If you were a Scot who felt a bit excluded from the leaders' debate, pity the poor Northern Irish. It's not just an issue of reserved matters over there. They are expected to get excited about the leaders' debate even though only one of the featured British parties - Conservative = are actually contesting seats there. I was invited to participate in a BBC Radio Ulster discussion yesterday on how the debate went down on the Celtic fringe. The Irish participants pointed out that a leaders 'debate in Belfast would be more of a "round table discussion" because Stormont has five different parties. It actually sounds very civilised.
It's emerging as something of an Ulster Irish month for Go Lassie Go. I am debating political blogging withSlugger O'Toole and Stuart Cosgrove at the Celtic Media Festival in Newry next Friday. My initial impression is that Slugger AKA journalist Mick Fealty has created a safe, non-sectarian space, in which all sides of the debate in Northern Ireland can contribuite. That includes community groups as well as politicians. We have nothing of this ilk in Scotland, Indeeed, compared to NI, which has experienced real political vioence, we are viscious. Thankfully it is all verbal.