Update - Note that 2010 East Belfast Speaks Out has been postponed until November due to panellist unavailability. The new date will be announced shortly.
If you’re living and/or working in and around East Belfast then pop Wednesday 20/10/2010 into your diary.
This year’s line-up of political panellists hasn’t yet been publicly announced, but there are some heavyweights expected to attend and respond to questions from the floor. Last year’s event was a response to the successful West Belfast Talks Back that has become a regular feature of the summer festival.
Last September around 130 people came to the school hall and asked Jeffrey Donaldson (DUP), Gerry Kelly (Sinn Féin), Naomi Long (Alliance), Laurence Robertson (Conservative) and Patrick Corrigan (Amnesty) about:
- loyalist working class areas getting left behind;
- the effectiveness of the HET;
- negative reporting by the media;
- the Bloody Sunday inquiry (which hadn’t been published at that stage);
- the possibility that a Tory government would declare NI an enterprise zone and reduce corporation tax to attract business;
- the 11 plus;
- Belfast City Airport’s runway extension and the possibility of a public inquiry.
I bet some of those topics get raised again this year! But let’s hope there are some fresh ones too. The video below records the impressions of organiser James Smyth as last year’s event ended ...