A review of BBC 'Nolan' talk show with Jim McAlister and other guests

NolanQuite a whlle ago, Jim McAlister was on a BBC (NI) talk show ‘Nolan’  which had a number of threads including gay marriage; our reviewer’s analysis was as follow:


…You owe me a serious slug of good rum, mate.  Watching an hour of of inter-Unionist wrangling is enough to make a man take to the quare stuff.

   I assume it is Series 4, Episode 5, with Jim Alister (a man who rather uncomfortably makes a lot of sense to me), and the UUP man, tho’ I note neither of them makes the obvious comment, “Why aren’t the political groups in contention to run the UK state over here soliciting your votes?”, Shaun Woodward did make subdued comment on that talking about his constituency of St Helen’s.  Generally he was talking bollix – the ‘party line’ – I’ve reasons to suspect his personal view is a bit different.  He know quite well what Alister said is right, the Scots and Welsh actively campaigned for their representative bodies, the public in NI was overwhelmingly indifferent.  The big votes for the GFA then the Assembly was about bringing the gunfire to a halt.
   Nolan, 3′ 42″ in, mentioned ‘gay marriage’, presumably on the grounds that the Assembly stopped it.  And he said (3′ 42″) “…civil partnership imposed…”, one could quibble about  the word ‘imposed’, and the implication that people in NornIrl broadly object to such things, which is probably inaccurate. 
   But it is only one interpretation of what he said – presumably a committee works on such things to find the BBC’s fabled ‘centre ground’.
   What is objectionable is the Beeb’s notion of Gays on one side being balanced by Bible-thumpers on the other, when it is quite clear that people in NI are not merely not anti-LGBT but are largely not merely tolerant, but well-disposed, as proven – beyond peradventure – by three Prides.
   And the Prides are not just tolerated, they are popular public events, and people – families – have their own spots to view them from…

Sean McGouran

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