Alex Kane (@AlexKane221b) - The Mrs Lincoln argument

Alex Kane wrote in the News Letter in June 2014:

"At some point we’ll also hear someone deploy a variation of “the vast majority of [Orange Order/loyalist] parades pass off peacefully, it’s only a few that cause problems”. I call this the Mrs Lincoln argument, because it’s a bit like saying to the assassinated president’s wife, “but apart from that, how did you enjoy the play?"


"People don’t remember, let alone notice, the parades that pass off peacefully. They notice and remember the ones that result in protests, violence, stand-offs and heightened tensions. They notice the ones that dominate the headlines and confirm their opinion that nothing is ever really going to change here."

In full here:

Julian O'Neill - 'Image problem' may explain fall in NI visitor numbers

An "image problem" may explain a fall in visitor numbers to Northern Ireland from across the border, according to a review of the tourism industry.

Overnight visitors from the Republic of Ireland declined by 7% in 2013.

A report for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) said "social unrest over parades and flags" had potentially had an impact.

It also said the local tourism industry was worried about "continuing sectarianism and racial prejudice".

The report said there needed to be "concerted action to promote a safe and secure image of Northern Ireland, including targeted marketing".

The review was ordered by DETI minister Arlene Foster last year.

It calls for a need "to deepen the relationship" between the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) and Invest NI.

It rules out a merger, but suggests a shared office and renaming the Tourist Board either Visit NI or Discover NI.

The recommendations contained in the report have been put out to public consultation.

It calls for an updated strategy and says the Tourist Board needs to improve "partnership working".

"NITB is at a crossroads," the report's author writes.

"Given the board's achievements in recent years... I am confident that NITB will meet the challenge."


Report here: