Sunday, 15 November 2009

NVTV Blogtalk

I see that my blog was discussed last week on the NVTV Blogtalk by Gerard McKeown, a performance poet from Ballymena, liberal unionist blogger Owen Polley, and Conall McDevitt, consultant and senior member of the SDLP in South Belfast. The discussion was chaired by Donal Lyons. 

Gerard was disappointed that in the course of blogging I had only referred to our two indigenous minority languages and had not referred to ethnic minority languages such as Chinese, Urdu or Polish. He has no need to be disappointed. The fact is that indigenous minority languages fall within the remit of DCAL whereas Chinese, Urdu or Polish do not.


  1. It's a shame that's the point you choose to focus on. My main point was that the culture of Northern Ireland is wider and richer than is reflected in your blog. As culture minister there are people from abroad who may look to you as a means of exploring Northern Ireland's culture. I just think it's time a Culture Minister took note of the culture which Northern Ireland is producing based here and now and not necessarily as a product of Irish, Scots or English heritage.

  2. Gerard
    1. I was simply explaining why I write about cultural traditions, including Ulster-Scots and Irish, and not about ethnic minority languages, since you made that point.
    2. This is a personal blog. Anyone wanting to know about the whole range of departmental activity should look at the websites of the department or the Arts Council, which is an arms-length body of the department, or indeed Culture Northern Ireland.

  3. Anyone wanting to catch the programme and the comments can watch over at Vimeo.

    Funny enough, your blog was nearly my topic in the previous edition!


    Normal practice is that ministers defend their departmental and personal policies in the mainstream media. Phone into Nolan. Appear on Politics Show. Hearts and Minds. Normal practice that they get taken to pieces on Slugger! But at the end of September, Nelson set up a blog on Blogger. He now talks about all these subjects, unmediated.

    There's no "this is my personal not departmental opinion disclaimer" ... yet! Just a simple "A personal blog hopefully giving an insight into my time as Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure" in the tiny text in the banner. And it's no nonsense. Pretty factual. Explains his position. Talks about ministerial meetings and events. No cheap shots when he talked about POBAL.

    A politician talking back, listening to comments, and responding directly. And a minister at that.


    I guess that one problem is that the subjects that interest you (and hence you blog most about) aren't necessarily reflective of the full scope of your ministerial work and meetings?

  4. Fair points. You can write what you want on your blog. I was just saying why some people might be reading it.


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