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Alliance TV Highlights

Mark Devenport | 09:28 UK time, Wednesday, 30 March 2011

These days it's so much taken as read that all the parties are using web technology that to point out that this candidate is tweeting or that candidate has posted some video frankly exposes you as an old crusty has been tapping out your story on a 1940s vintage typewriter (on which the tttt key tends to stick).

So I won't.

However the party websites can still yield some surprising moments - one of which was discovered by a colleague of mine as she checked out Alliance TV. Click on the little TV screen and you will watch a cartoon promo for the achievements of the East Belfast MP Naomi Long.

So far so good.

But leave your cursor hovering there and you are offered various suggestions for other mini films, some of which are Alliance party broadcasts but some of which appear entirely unconnected with the ideology of the centre ground party.

For example there's a busty woman in a silvery blouse, who appears to be one of a number of starlets featured in a contribution called "My House of Night Movie Dream Cast".

If you click through on the mini "You Tube" icon you get a variety of other tangential suggestions such as "Naomi Long Speaks Honestly Against The Drugs War" (this turns out not be the East Belfast MP but a quite different counsellor based in Washington D.C.) and "Davey Edge and Naomi Long singing at O'Leary's Irish Bar, Southport". This Naomi belts out a pretty mean version of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain", but once again I am not convinced this woman is the Alliance Deputy Leader (although she is wearing a hat and dark glasses which may be an attempt to cover up a bit of "double jobbing" in case the gig clashed with a parliamentary debate.)

I should say that when you go to the Alliance Party Channel site on You Tube all this extraneous stuff is sadly missing. So I'm guessing the surprise appearance of the blousy woman must be one of the side effects of You Tube's suggestion system.

P.S. Having said I wouldn't mention anyone's tweets, last night I enjoyed Sinn Fein's Niall Ó Donnghaile for telling off us "media/trendies" for suggesting the people had never voted on issues before (and I thought you were trendy, Niall..) and the SDLP's Claire Hanna who noted that politicians are only ever "shocked, appalled or delighted". Claire pledged, if elected, to be "awestruck, bemused and occasionally ambivalent". I think there has to be room in the new politics for an avowedly ambivalent party.


  • Comment number 1.

    You spoilsport, Mark. I followed your instructions to the letter in paragraph three and ended up with this:

    "This video has been removed by the user.
    Sorry about that."

  • Comment number 2.

    As a real old crusty who dabbles in web conversations I couldn't resist the temptation to pop 'mark devenport' into the YouTube search box. It brought up your namesake as the character Ashley in a British horror movie called "Eden Lake".

    When you listen to the young American reviewer you could be forgiven for thinking that the film was set here with a local cast: "gritty, raw, brutal and disturbing ... dialects were a little hard to understand ... dropping their weapons and running away ..."

    Sometimes I don't even have to make it up. Just love that one about Davey Edge. I've known the AP leader for manys a moon but I don't recall him strumming a guitar :L

  • Comment number 3.

    It seems that the DUP are getting a little ahead of themselves. I always assumed that someone actually had to win an election before they could use the title MLA but in their "DUP at Stormont" section they have 46 MLAs listed...


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