Admittedly, that is a slightly sensationalist statement, but let's look at the facts. Forget highly-charged diatribes about United Irelands or United Kingdoms. Forget histrionic republicanism, flag-waving unionism and arguments about terrorists and freedom fighters. Take bigotry, ideology, and romanticism out of it.
"In Belfast in the early '70s things were tricky. When I asked my local green grocer if I could do some paintings for his window for Christmas, he paid me in vegetables. The next year when I did the butcher's, he paid me in sausages. By the time I was 13, I realised I had a business. So I started charging."
The Reduced Shakespeare Company was scheduled to perform their production of The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged) twice this month at The Mill Theatre in Newtownabbey, just outside Belfast. A week before it was scheduled, the local council 'persuaded' the artistic board to cancel the performances.
Whenever a political party's annual conference takes place, one can look forward to nothing but speeches, applause at regular intervals, speeches, workshops, goody bags filled with pens and branded notebooks, and maybe a speech. It's like Christmas for politicos, and last week's UUP Annual Party Conference at Belfast's Ramada Hotel was no different.