Stephen Nolan probes the issues that matter over lively debate with interesting guests.
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Welcome along to the big show and what a show we have tonight!
Bob Geldof is here with his Boomtown Rats.
And of course we'll be discussing the big issues that you want to talk
There've been massive political developments across these islands
Scotland is calling for another independence referendum,
Sinn Fein want a border poll, and in Dublin, Michael Martin
is looking at a paper on Irish Unification,
and the Taoiseach wants a referendum about Irish people north
of the border being allowed to vote in their presidential elections.
So big, big shifts happening post-Brexit, and then
Ireland is told, get over it, don't worry about it, it is going to be a
frictionless border, whatever the hell that means. Nobody knows. Let
me put the record straight. No border, hard or soft, will be
accepted by the people of Ireland. But British armoured cars and tanks
and guns couldn't do in Ireland, 27 member states will not be able to
do. Theresa May, your notion of the border, hard and soft, stick it
where the sun doesn't shine, you are not getting it in Ireland.
Some of the audience laughing. Is that funny or offensive? I
understand why the laughing. It got quite a lot of feed on social media.
A lot of Unionist people were sharing it and they were having
quite a lot of humorous comments about that performance. I think if
you just roll back three or four weeks, you had an election where
Sinn Fein was constantly talking about respect and I think there was
a severe absence of respect yesterday. Whenever Martina Anderson
was making a speech. Wasn't a joke? It is a clear absence of respect.
The comments from Michelle O'Neill over the last number of weeks as
well, the waffle, waffle, waffle comments and so forth, there has
been a severe lack of respect shown towards our Secretary of State who
is here to do a job and should be shown courtesy. Matt Carthy from
Sinn Fein, what is she at? Is your party trying to wind people up no?
Was that coordinated, premeditated? Anybody who has been listening to
what Martina Anderson are any one of the forged Sinn Fein MPs have been
seen here in Strasbourg and Brussels will be not one bit surprised by the
comments of Martina Anderson. Nobody has done more to protect the
interests of the people of the Northern Ireland since the
referendum last year and Martina Anderson. I have joined her on a
number of occasions with the European Commissioners and
representatives of the council with almost every delegation represented
in the European Parliament making the case as strongly as it needs to
be. The people in the north of Ireland will not suffer. Here is
what I am asking you. How has your party got any moral authority left
to ask the likes of the DUP to treat it with respect? You criticise them
for not taking the population with respect, when your Representative
Martina Anderson tells the British Prime Minister to stick deck for the
sun doesn't shine. Is she really at that base level? The question you
asked was what she at? Does she really have... Making the case as
forcefully as it needs to be made so people right across Europe
understand that the potential implications for the island of
Ireland, north and south, of Brexit are so great we cannot allow it to
become part of some... It is vulgar. That is where your party is that no.
Did throw that type of offence at the British minister is vulgar, is
it not? The point has been made as forcefully as needs to be made and
we continue to make this point. Under no circumstances can we see
any hardening of the Irish border. The reality is that lots of people
in Ireland, north and south, going to suffer as a result of Brexit. The
implications were always great as a result of Brexit. All of the
challenges and problems presented are exacerbated because we are no
fees with the prospect that one part of our country will be taken out of
the EU is remaining. That is not the current discussion in Northern
Ireland. The current discussion is the language that your party has
used while asking other parties to show respect. It is one of your
campaign slogans, for goodness sake. And then you should -- through that
type of abuse at a British payments. White are you smiling? What is funny
about it? If you want to be sensitive, that's your own business.
Sinn Fein have been consistent in saying that we will argue and demand
at every single opportunity in every single for privately and publicly we
need to ensure there are special arrangements put in place so we
don't see any hardening of the Irish border because the complications and
implications of any such move would be so great that the error just
simply an copperhead will to us and we are not going to tolerate any
situation where a British Government behave as we have been doing for the
past number of months, setting out their own strategies Brexit that
doesn't give a single iota of concern for the invitations that
will have for any county in Ireland, whether the six counties in the
north or any of the rest. We see the implications for agriculture,
business, students, the economy and the ever so great we need to make
those points forcefully. When it comes to agriculture, the vast
majority of the farming community voted to leave the European Union.
The reason they voted to leave the European Union is they were sick,
sore and tired of the regulations imposed upon them and the
regulations posed upon business in general. How do you know the
majority of them voted to leave? Doing the doors for the election,
the Assembly election which took place before the European
referendum, farmer after farmer after farmer was telling us that
message, over and over again. A vast majority of Nationalist farmers, I
believe, voted against, voted to leave the European Union as well. I
speak to a lot of people and that committee. I know that community
well and the voted to get out of Europe because they are sick so and
tired of the regulations of people in Brussels telling them how to do
their job and not telling them very well how to do it. They have been
huge constraint on the welfare of agriculture, huge problems for
agriculture and the benefits have come from Brussels are far
outweighed by all of the rest... Go ahead. Picture hand up. With the SNP
asking for a second independence referendum and Sinn Fein gesturing
towards the border poll, it is time the British Government started
taking the devolved institutions more seriously in the negotiations
about Brexit? I think that is right. We need to take the devolved
institutions and the whole of the United Kingdom and the Irish all
talking together to work out how do we make the union work better. Not
how do because to fall apart. Is direct rule free period going to be
better? We want our Government any here and showing respect to each
other. You think that can be done in three weeks? Three weeks of is what
it starts with. We need to sort it was happening with our hospitals,
schools, there is so much that needs to be done here. There is ten days
left. You any closer to getting the deal? Work is taking place, I think
next week will be a very, very busy week for all of us. Considerable
background work is being done. Any compromise between new? You go into
negotiations with a willingness to look at what other people are asking
for, explore that and Testament as to why they're asking for it. To
resolve issues. You don't go in with the hard-nosed attitude. At the same
time, we intend to be tough in the negotiations but pragmatic in terms
of getting the Assembly back in the room again. At any cost? Not at any
cost. We are your red lines? We are not setting red lines. We are in
there to negotiate. You have set red lines. There will never be an Irish
Language Act under Arlene Foster. That is the red line. Is Sinn Fein
would prefer James Brokenshire to be running Northern Ireland, van
working with the DUP we want to actually run Northern Ireland, we
want people in Northern Ireland to be making the decisions on behalf of
the people of Northern Ireland. If Sinn Fein want to bring a British
director Ronald ministered to build Northern Ireland, that'll be up to
them. Go ahead. Does Theresa May's stands towards Nicola Sturgeon's
Brexit concerns come straight out of Arlene Foster's hand-picked and is
it helpful? What do you mean? The way she is just denouncing Nicola
Sturgeon's concerns about Brexit. Theresa May doesn't seem to be
taking anybody's concerns about this Brexit thing seriously apart from
those concerns in her own party. There is a lot of truth in what you
say. Certainly, the response of Theresa May to the mandate that
Nicola Sturgeon has in Scotland was quite derisory and I think she has
made it more difficult for herself to sell any future day with the
devolved administrations. It has been our experience and experience
of Scotland in particular. That is borne out in part by the comments of
Martina Anderson, the lack of knowledge, around Brexit, what a
double meaning, it is not just in terms of the border but the economy
and our relationships. Even within England, it looks as though those
who campaign for Brexit, once they've won, the actually jump ship
and left it there. And now the hour trying to interpret what Brexit will
mean. I actually think Theresa May's comments to Nicola Sturgeon were
most unhelpful. Help me understand how that is not going to be some
type of hard border. Help me understand how someone can walk
effortlessly in and out of Europe. Northern Ireland will be outside of
Europe, Ireland will be within inside Europe I can just walk over
the border and there will be no checks. Is that right? Two choices.
We could have a hard border, there could be checks. What Sinn Fein are
seeing and we are seeing in the north last year, is that that wasn't
something that was acceptable to them. How does your secure its
border? What we have been putting forward is an argument for the north
to receive special starters so it would remain part of the European
Union. So there is no border at all? The border would be maintained on an
island of Ireland basis, people coming in leaving the island of
Ireland, would go through the same immigration controls. Would that
work? Not necessarily. The border we have been told from the evidence
given in the Northern Ireland affairs committee, the European side
had to have checks for goods but as far as the Common travel area,
people can move freely. It is only on the goods. There is a long way to
go on negotiations and a lot to be played out. What happens with the
dudes? What has been proposed by Sinn Fein is fantasy politics. That
won't happen. There is no prospect of that happening. I don't want to
remain in the European Union, I want out. I wouldn't be fighting for it.
It is up to the Europeans what happens with the border. Theresa May
doesn't want a hard border. The political representatives in
Northern Ireland want a hard border. But if Europe insists they are going
to have these tariffs and all of that there, it would be to the
detriment of Europe because Britain imports twice as many goods to
Europe as it exports from it. If the are going to be like this and going
to insist on this, it will certainly be some kind of border. You have no
problem with a hard border? We want the border to remain as it is, but
if it's going to be imposed, is going to be imposed at the behest of
the European Union. Martina Anderson was targeting the wrong person.
Theresa May doesn't want a hard border. It's the Europeans who will
impose it upon us, not Theresa May. It is Britain that will be doing it
if they leave the customs union. You have different trading policies on
either side of the border, you have to have physical checks. You cannot
avoid it. We want is special deal for Northern Ireland, that could be
wearing Northern Ireland stays in the European union, like Norway.
What is the boat? In Northern Ireland the vote was for yes and
quite clearly we have to appreciate a one size fits all Brexit across
the UK is not going to work. It would work for Scotland, Northern
Ireland. We have our peace process, I Good Friday Agreement, we are a
divided society, we are now going down this road of... Why does this
matter in terms of Europe? We need stability. The only way to have it
is if we have some recognition of our special circumstances. If we are
dragged out of the European Union against the well of local people
without some form of special deal that recognises the fact... What
special deal? We single market, European funding, how we protect the
Good Friday Agreement. The whole essence of the agreement is that
people buy into this shared space. People can operate on a north side
bases, east west bases. What Brexit is about is beating downlines.
Do you think we get a special deal? There is no prospect of it. I was
speaking to our leader this week and she was talking about some form of
special arrangement. She is not talking the Sinn Fein version of
staying in the EU budget -- but she has recognising... What special deal
does she want? I am aware of what the DUP has signed up to. It is for
them to answer what they are talking about. You have hinted at it. Last
summer they wrote a joint letter to the Prime Minister which touched on
a number of issues facing Northern Ireland. There was a set of
principles agreed... You said you spoke this week to Arlene Foster. I
can see what they don't want is for Northern Ireland to remain part of
the EU but they're saying it is different from the rest of the UK
and we have to recognise that. She hasn't told you she wants a special
deal. She says she recognises there are a special circumstances. If we
had devilish -- devolution restored... It was a UK wide vote,
special circumstances are not going to work. We knew it was either we
are going as the UK are we are staying. I voted to leave. Northern
Ireland voted to stay but it was a UK wide vote. Sinn Fein and anyone
else should accept it. With respect, really what people thought about was
just leaving the EU and getting extra millions into the health
service. That disappeared quickly. That is the ?350 million a week on
the side of the bus. It wasn't just that, Arlene made a comment during
the week where she said there should be a special deal for Northern
Ireland. America further and say that in terms of Brexit it is
regrettable that the DUP fronted for a research group UK wide further
Brexit campaign. It is very patronising to people. You know what
it means but the public doesn't. Nobody knows what it means. Even
those who campaigned for it. It means we are casting the shackles of
Europe. It means the fifth largest economy in the world will run its
own business. We have been relegated already. Tell that to the firms that
might move back to France. Their economy has risen since the Brexit
decision, employment and business have gone up and the economy is
thriving. Are you saying the economy is thriving? The economy of the UK
is thriving. There is more wealth amongst about 6% of the people and
greater levels of poverty amongst a 90%. I know some other parties like
to talk Northern Ireland down but our unemployment rate is half of
what the average of Europe is. And look what our average salary is and
the level of child poverty. We are talking Northern Ireland town again.
It is about facing the facts. 48 workers this week, told the jobs
were going, you covered that. In the absence of a devolved
administration. That particular course of work was one I had
actually saved. Civil servants in the absence of politicians have
taken it away. All the more reason to sort ourselves out. We covered it
on the show. It was an organisation that helped involvement will -- help
vulnerable families. The civil servants have told them it is over.
The civil service and health and social care board said it was a
pilot project but civil servants have said that is it. 47 people are
going to lose their jobs and there have been some vulnerable people
contacting the shorter safe they are desperate now. Early intervention
that took place with those families will save us hundreds of thousands
of pounds each year because young people will get a chance in life. It
is government. -- it is gone. We are prepared to get to the bottom of the
problems that were around. Sinn Fein decided they would take advantage of
the situation. Might you sacrifice your leader in order for governments
to be restored in Northern Ireland because Sinn Fein are saying they
will not go into government with you while Arlene Foster is being
investigated? We fully support our leader. If anybody wants to dictate
to the DUP as to who we nominate for any position, they will find it is
our choice. We did not tell Sinn Fein that their people were
unacceptable. If we listen carefully to what you have said, you're not
saying that Arlene Foster will definitely be your leader nominated
for the First Minister post. You might give her away. It is for hard
to make that decision herself but we are not offering up Arlene Foster do
-- to anybody. What you are not saying and what Arlene Foster is not
saying is that she will definitely be the nominated candidate. You are
leaving it open as an option. We are not setting red lines. Arlene Foster
as a leader of a political party gained more seats than other
political parties, why are you not saying that she will be the
designated candidate? It is for her to make that decision and we are 100
cent binder and if she nominates herself to be First Minister and
then she will have our full endorsement. Has she talked about an
option of her standing aside? No. So the uniform statement from the DUP
is that it is her decision, you are all coincidentally saying the same
thing. It just makes sense. That was was her decision as to who she would
nominate last time as well. It is the job of the leader of the party.
Do you think the union is under threat? No. Is Dublin circling
around the union? People read into the election results that the unions
are in a minute or two in the Assembly, even in the election were
Sinn Fein worked so hard to get the vote out, still people came out to
vote for Unionist parties. I voted to remain for a number of reasons
but one was because I grew up on the border and I know what it is like
living beside a visible hardboard and nobody from the panel can tell
me what it is going to be like when we leave Europe, what my family will
have to face. -- heart border. I had to cross the border to buy things,
to practice my faith. Nobody understands what a heart border is
to the people that live on it. There are so many people who live on
the border and cross it all the time. We have big populations on
either side so we have to restrict the UK not to leave the customs
union. Europe is the biggest market so why are we throwing that we? If
we can keep everyone in the customs union and think about the single
market for Ireland then there are prospects of surviving and the
region flourishing. The UK Government are being and talking in
platitudes and meaningless phrases. What is most crucial is that we will
get nowhere in terms of fighting for Northern Ireland unless we have an
executive that is functional with a clear plan around Brexit. Therefore,
to flip some of the questions, why doesn't Sinn Fein in the interests
of the people of Northern Ireland, go into this negotiation now without
any red lines? That is the spirit that Sinn Fein are entering the
negotiation. You are dictating to them who their leader will be. We
are stating clearly that we don't have the confidence in Arlene Foster
that would allow us to support her nomination for First Minister while
the cloud is still hanging over her. Does this DUP have confidence in
Michelle O'Neill when she celebrates and engages and aligns himself with
people who tried to put bullets into policemen many years ago? --
herself. There are no clouds hanging over her in relation to cash
scandals. She was found guilty by a judge as to how she administered her
department in the Department of agriculture. I am sitting on an
uncomfortable seat here and I have listened to the whole debate and I
like to be able to complete one sentence without interruption. I
think it is clear we need to say this. An earlier contribution quite
rightly said that Theresa May, the Irish government, EU institutions,
they are happy to say there should be no return to a hard border. But
what do they all mean by marker on? Some cases it is the simple free
movement of people. To us what a hard border is is anything that
makes it more difficult for farmers for example to operate or trade in
an all Ireland basis, for other businesses to operate, for students
to travel across the border, anything that makes it more
difficult for communities on either side of the border. The truth of the
matter is that all of those things are up in there and up for
negotiation as a result of the failure of the British government. I
was going to ask who will man the border and who will pay for the
people on the border? Who is going to man the border? There is a
reality that given what happens during the troubles with the many
soldiers and police officers, it is not realistic to have a customs
borrowers would have been the case many years ago. A lot of it has to
be around technology in terms of people movement. Even on goods it
will have to be around technology. It is in the best interest of
everyone that the EU do not insist that Britain leaves the single
market. And that we all stay in the single market. Consequently we don't
have a heart border. We have to move on.
Well, you all know this show is all about the politics
He's a household name who doesn't mince his words and likes to get
You are on the European Parliament fishing committee and you are
attempted one out of 43 meetings. -- attended. You are a fraud, Nigel.
The gentle, he doesn't shout very much, please welcome Sir Bob Geldof.
Good to see you. Hello. Help me get my head around where you are
rattling your head with Brexit. It is, without question, the greatest
act of national self harm that has ever been perpetrated in history.
APPLAUSE And yet you are a Democrat and you
respect the referendum. Where people stupid? I accepted, I don't respect
it. I rejected argument but accept its result. Over the next two years,
I will do everything in my power to undermine what Theresa May is doing,
everything in my power within the Democratic confines. Why do you
think you lost the referendum? Why do you think people voted for
Brexit? I have got the passport and the kids of all got is, thank God.
But it was an emotional moment and we know that it was the dawn of
alternative facts and features news, we know that now. We knew it then.
If you look at recent studies over the last few weeks, queer people
have a certain sentiment about something and the told something
menial to be false. -- certain people. There is a sense that this
is better for us, it is not working at all. Where I would agree is that
the EU is not functioning. I have been dealing with it with 30 years
with regard to Africa and there is a bureaucratic mess. That's not to say
the UK does not go in to the heart of this thing. The French are afraid
of Germany. My main argument throughout all of this was that one
singular reason I would vote to remain, and it goes to this country
here, one singular reason is I will never, I will never vote for my
children or my grandchildren to go to war. Never. I will never do that.
If we are reduced, if Britain is the loose thread on the EU cardigan and
we have pulled it with Brexit and the whole thing begins to unravel,
stay with me, then we are reduced to economic competing states. When
states compete economically and the small guy says that's my field over
there and if you don't give it to me, I will get my mate rush out to
give it to me. We are back to World War I and we are the most ardent,
the most dangerous, the most tribal and wealthy continent ever for 2000
years, we fought each other, the one great triumph of the EU is we have
had 70 years of peace and look what the belt. You seriously think Brexit
could lead to another war? It could lead to an unravelling of this
desperately complex compact. If it does lead to an unravelling, we are
already in a brutal world war anyway with proxy. Things like Al-Qaeda and
Isis fighting each other. Not so much under the wire any more. You
know me, I know you, I bought the artist of people. Stay where I am
coming from. 1814 was the Battle of Waterloo, one century had to die and
another had to be born because there was new technology. It resulted in
an afternoon, a day of Matt Kuchar. The greater the first day of the
Somme, get rid of old politics because a new economy is coming.
Must we repeat that the 21st-century? No. You are not
seriously suggesting... I am. Within our lifetime, a few years our
European partners fighting with this country in a war? You are not
suggesting that. If you look at Russia and a thug like Vladimir
Putin, already illegally invading Crimea and he is starring in the
Balkans, big-time, where he currently tried to... That is very
First World War. The Balkans are frightened to death. Britain has
sent 800 troops out there, Germany has sent 500, they are scared of
sending their own troops. We are in one here and the people here talking
about the border, please guys, please, please, please let's not go
back to that, please. Let's not go back to that nonsense that we have
had to put up with here, please. What do you mean? The border. There
may be. This is the worst Government. I am serious. You have
an odious unprincipled creep, and unfunny clown as Foreign Secretary,
he really is awful. A very popular man. He lied his way to try and get
into position. He has no principle other than herself. He was a lousy
mayor. He is a clown. This is anti-democratic. You are pumping
your anger into all of these people and denigrating them as characters.
Boris Johnson was one of the most popular politicians. That is what
you do on a nightly basis. You get paid for it, I don't.
APPLAUSE Johnson is useless. He is not up to
the job. He goes off and denigrate leaders to diseases. Hello. You talk
about that moment in Brussels. David Davis who I know and spoke far in
his constituency when he stood down on the 42 days, he asked me if I
would go and he came. I spoke with him, he has never done a negotiation
in his life. What is your sense of what's happening here in Northern
Ireland? Some people are worried. Our Government has fallen. The two
big parties, people would argue, they entrenching now into their core
base and he did have the DUP on easily talking before the election
about a radical Republican agenda, that Sinn Fein have. And you have
Sinn Fein talking about Irish unity and very much appealing to their
base. Are you worried about what's happening in Northern Ireland? We
have no Government. We have no Government and that is really a
shame that it's come down to two views of what this places. -- what
this place is. You see it's a radical Republican agenda, I don't
want to speak about the politics in this place because an city before
the show, it is not pertinent because I don't know enough about
it. I am for staying in Europe. It's a mess but you can change it. I saw
the representative of the DUP about farmers. The farmers will be killed
by this. The young people who voted against it, the future has been
taken from them. This is true, Stephen. You don't know. It's an
unknown. Of course you know, look at the facts. A deal hasn't been done
yet. What you are you talking about? The Theresa May is going to be
negotiated. This is nonsense. It is the Crystal Method Government. The
are saying it's going to be great. Let me tell you, hope is not a plan.
What do people do now? You say you're going to spend every minute
you can under many Theresa May. I will be playing with the The
Boomtown Rats and he is up there and doesn't care what he says. You did
say you're going to try and undermine what Theresa May is doing.
What can you do? I have got no power at all but I can only persuade with
absolute evidence as opposed to the lies that people vote on. I respect
the people who voted for all the reasons they voted but I reject your
argument and it is my democratic right, just like you don't like what
happened in this election, so you must keep the argument going. Where
is the opposition in parliament and Westminster? Where is it? Nicola
Sturgeon is the opposition. What happened to the Labour Party? BIP to
be Her Majesty Buzz 's official opposition, it isn't clear. May keep
seeing the people of Britain, no they didn't. Some couldn't be
bothered. 48 million said no and some are too young to vote. The vast
majority of people said no or didn't vote at all. This must be fought
tooth and nail because it's existential to the future of
Britain. You go out and you argue. You go out and you campaign, you
walk in the streets, I know it's a drag. And who cares what I see? But
it's so important that my kids can have a life. I watched these guys
here in the front row nodding and objecting. I don't know how you
voted, lads, but my life was we would be queueing overnight on
borders with the checked every guitar, every amplifier, sleeping in
seats where we try to cross the border. Then the EU happens and we
breezed through. When I was trying to go around Europe getting any job
I could, I had to go under the wire and get rubbish jobs. Now, you get a
Ryanair over to Berlin for a weekend, you go to the club, you
like it, you find someone, you go to the flat, you hang out. Maybe stay a
week. I'd apply for a job. That's over! The future is closed. Get
stuck in at open it up. Where do you get this energy from? From you.
APPLAUSE Seriously though. It's not for me to
see what you're saying is right or wrong but I love your passion. Do
you never actually... I bore people. I really wish I didn't. I told you
my whizbang plan, you said that will never work. Here is the plan. If
only to a Theresa May, here is the plan. It is the Hibernian
federation. You are not going onto the next ten minutes. You have got
20 seconds. Everything is up for grabs. You on a rock star and
talking about this. We get Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic,
the three capsules, three separate entities but they join up in a
federation, it back to Earth Scotland into the EU, the except the
euro, for the Republic, the keep all the benefits of an additional larger
economy, for Northern Ireland to keep the benefits of the EU while
expanding their pop -- economy and Theresa May starts worrying. Don't
you blame me that we haven't had time to talk about the fact that you
are coming to Belfast. You are playing next Friday. For the first
time in years. Why and coming back? I love it. I love it here. We all
do. We have been here, coming for 40 years. It has always been fantastic
playing here, one of the greatest venues. Belfast was always the best
venue. Belfast, Glasgow, to play. We are a mega- band, probably the
greatest band in the world, as you know. Shut up! And we are coming
back to prove the point. I wish I could get away with wearing a suit
like that. You won't! Bob, thanks very much. You're going to sing for
us later on. Thanks. We will hear from Sir Bob Geldof
later on, he's going to sing for us. Right, it's that time of year again,
St Patrick's Day, and if you're wondering about the Universities'
policy of giving a reading day to students today and tomorrow,
it's because they are trying to encourage students to leave
the area and avoid a repeat of this. Imagine living in
the middle of this. A lot of the students are gathering
already tonight to start the party. We sent a camera up
to the University area to hear We don't do anything except drinking
our own gardens because the union would get involved. -- University.
We are getting a hard time and we are not doing any harm. It is not
fair to brand all the students with that image. It is unrealistic to
what St Patrick's Day is about for all of us. It is about celebrating
your heritage. It is not as if everyone who lives here is actively
bad. It is that once you are there it is easy to be drawn into the
wrong lifestyle. It is a religious day but students think otherwise.
But I am in equilibria, I don't mind getting drunk or sitting chilled, it
will be a good night. Students work hard all year round and then one day
of the year they want to get have a good day. There is letter but it
doesn't cost that much to clean up. We get the impression that
universities are going to be penalties on us and we are going to
get kicked out but it is not as, it is the people who are coming up. I
think we have to have respect for everyone in the area. What residents
live there now, realistically? There are more students than residents so
surely our voice should be louder. What residents realistically live
their? What residents want is a quiet night. St Patrick's Day is
focused on Saint Patrick at the minute but we have practical every
term night of the week there is something going on. People clear off
about half past ten, they front-load beforehand. It gets quiet for about
three hours until about three o'clock and they come back shouting
and running over cars and it isn't fun. We have been talking about
this, since about 20 years ago when I was skinny, you have lost the
argument. This goes on every year. It doesn't mean it is right. It
means you're not going to stop it. The police have offered three times
the number of officers over the period coming up to St Patrick's
Day. The argument is with the wrong people. This problem was created by
property developers funded by the Housing executive. We have created a
ghetto for students. If I was 18 years old on Friday morning I'll be
down there at ten o'clock with my own bottle of cider cos that is what
young people do. But we created a ghetto in which you bring thousands
of young people together. It has been ruined. You think what it was
30 or 20 years ago, it was the best mixed area in Belfast. It was a
beautiful area, I lived there and had friends there, Protestant and
Catholic, people at the University, working-class people, it was
wonderful. It was destroyed by developers and the whole plan to
create an area first and is. It is now a zoo. I don't think it is fair
to call it a zoo but also not fair for us to concentrate on saying it
is the fault of students. Did you live there? Certainly no. He
wouldn't live their? I mean, I moved home from London a few weeks ago.
I'm staying on the Mullen wrote. That doesn't help my case at all,
does it? Why do we focus on students? Because they're getting
drunk. The majority of people who go there on St Patrick's Day are
actually just young people who are not students but they know that is
where you have to go. In fact, students face a lot of consequences
and penalties from universities which is more of a disincentive. You
remember freshers week. If you go on the first week outside Queens,
people are giving out drinks vouchers, the entire bar culture of
self Belfast is constructive and students in the first thing you get
when you arrive in Belfast as a student is not your books or grant,
it is a drinks voucher. And the students bring their friends, their
younger siblings, people come into the area. It is because the students
that they are attracted all. They're coming for a big party. It is not
the way to behave nowadays. There is no respect shown to people who have
lived there. You're not the enemy here but you represent the students.
Do you think they care? I am neither a student nor a representative of
them so I would encourage any students in the audience to speak up
for themselves. I think a great deal of them do care. Think about the
people who do cause upset, and I am not defending them at all, people
who break the law are subject to the law. No, they're not. They ought to
be. The you're not allowed to walk openly with open cans of beer or
whatever, and they do it and get away with it. I would never condone
anti-social behaviour but the problem is more holistic. All year
round you have absentee landlords, rundown areas, housing that needs
investment in regeneration. Rundown housing doesn't prompt them to get
drunk on St Patrick's Day. If they took an interest around the whole
year where there is a lot of reinvestment to be done then maybe
the problem would be solved. Your demonising students yet we are one
of the main economic contributors around that area. What, with buying
drink? We rent out the houses and we're shopping and creating an
economic injection into the economy. I think the mistake was destroying a
beautiful area by putting students there. Property developers made big
money out of it and the Housing executive put money to fund them to
redevelop and you have created... I would break it up. Try to get some
accommodation for students outside of the area. Distribute it so they
are not bundled together in mass numbers. Separate them and restore
it to what it was, a lovely housing area. Is one day of partying that
bad? It is constant. You're talking about people not being prosecuted,
in one year less than ten people were prosecuted for drinking and if
you walk down on St Patrick's Day you'll see about 1000 and the worst
that has happened is able get their bottle taken off them. Should the
PSNI not just do their job and sorted out? Make sure they are there
whenever the students go home, stop the riotous behaviour? It would be
difficult for the police to remove alcohol from hundreds. They could.
We pay hundreds of pounds assistance to live there but the way that Irish
firms act during the Euros, they get rewarded for acting the same way we
act on St Patrick's Day. -- fans. Is it fair enough? The students take up
90% of the place and have fun on one day of the year and yet the Northern
Ireland and Republic of Ireland fans can be celebrated for doing the same
sort of thing but then all the media outlets slate us. You talk about
getting the students out but it is one of the closest places to Queens.
There is housing all over all fast. South Belfast is much bigger, so
spread them about. The concentration and then you bring drinking and big
festivals and you have mayhem. It is not just one day of the year. People
living there are putting up with ghastly noise from neighbours all
the time. That was a good area, lovely area, it could be a lovely
area again. I wish we had more time to talk about this but tonight I'm
afraid we don't. You are a starstruck! I like the man.
Right, I promised you the Boomtown Rats.
Here they are with one of their biggest hits - Rat Trap.
# There was a lot of rocking going on that night.
# Cruising time for the young bright lights.
# Just down past the gasworks, by the meat factory door.
# The five lamp boys were coming on strong.
# The Saturday night city beat had already started.
# The pulse of the corner boys sprang into action.
# And young Billy watched it all under the yellow street light.
# And said, "Tonight of all nights there's gonna be a fight".
# Billy don't like it living here in this town.
# He says the traps have been sprung long before he was born.
# He says hope bites the dust behind all the closed doors.
# And pus and grime ooze from its scab crusted sores.
# There's screaming and crying in the high rise blocks.
# It's a rat trap, Billy, but you're already caught.
# But you can make it if you want to or you need it bad enough.
# You're young and good looking and you're acting kind of tough.
# Anyway it's Saturday night, time to see what's going down.
# Put on the bright suit, Billy, head for the right side of town.
# It's only eight o'clock but you're already bored.
# You don't know what it is but there's got to be more.
# You'd better find a way out, hey, kick down that door.
# It's a rat trap and you've been caught.
# In this town Billy says everybody tries to tell you what to do.
# In this town Billy says everybody says you gotta follow rules.
# You walk up to those traffic lights.
# You push in that button, and when that button comes alight.
# Take a walk with me. take a walk, take a walk.
# Little Judy's trying to watch Top Of The Pops.
# But Mum and Dad are fighting, don't they ever stop?
# She take down her coat and walks down to the street.
# It's cold on that road, but it's got that home beat.
# Deep down in her pocket, she finds 50p.
# Now is that any way for a young girl to be?
# "I'm gonna get out of school, work in some factory.
# "Work all the hours God gave me, get myself a little easy money".
# Her mind's made up, she walks down the road.
# Her hands in her pockets, coat buttoned 'gainst the cold.
# She finally finds Billy down at the Italian cafe.
# When he's drunk it's hard to understand what Billy says.
# But then he mumbles in his coffee and suddenly roars.
# "It's a rat trap, Judy, and we've been caught!"
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