Thursday, February 10, 2005


Question Time Analysis

I thought it was an interesting edition of Question Time in Belfast.The panel included British Secretary of State Paul Murphy,UUP leader David Trimble,the DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson,SDLP leader Mark Durkan and IRA Army Council member and Sinn Fein chief negotiator,Martin McGuinness.

It was certainly a lively programme and was in stark contrast to the drab,dull programmes we're used to on Question Time.David Dimbleby had his hands full as the debate frequently descended into a shouting contest.
My views on the panellists:

I thought Paul Murphy came across able and competent.
I thought Jeffery Donaldson did well and made his points effectively.I didn't agree with him on the matter of Blair's apology to the Guildford Four.
I wasn't too impressed with David Trimble.I thought he was sluggish.
I thought Mark Durkan did OK until he got dragged into a slanging match with McGuinness.By rising to the bait he came across poorly.I thought he did well when speaking about Blair's apology.
I thought McGuinness was out of line by refusing to let Mark Durkan speak and by talking across him and David Dimbleby.However McGuinness has no problems in doing such things and neither will his supporters.He trotted out the usual rhetoric but he did far better than he did the other night on Questions and Answers on RTE.He did better than I expected he would and certainly did better than others in his position would have.(I'm thinking about McLaughlin)

An interesting show but I can't help but feel the people in Britain will have been scratching their heads about the whole thing and I don't think this show was a great advertisement for the peace process!


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