“BackinBelfast”…I Have A Hashtag

Oh God no.

Traders in Belfast are having a hard time…economic downturn and for six weeks the Flegs Protestors have meant that a lot of people are not shopping, eating or drinking in the city. Even the tourists are turning their backs.

Earlier this week, TV News went to a bar where a delightful young barmaid was wearing a white and red T shirt, bearing the slogan”I’m Backin’ Belfast”. That’s what we need…a PR campaign and a Tshirt.

True to form and without a hint of irony,the politicians are backing the campaign. They are having a press conference today. DUP Mayor Gavin Robinson(he represents East Belfast) will be there. I don’t think he will be blaming his constituents who make up a large percentage of the rabble who are disrupting traffic and protesting in the city centre.

Yes that’s what we need…a PR campaign….and a Tshirt….and a DUP Mayor, backed by Sinn Fein holding a Press Conference. Is there anything that could make this even more nonsensical? Why not have Sinn Fein councillor and journalist, Mairtin O’Muilleoir congratulate the DUP Mayor for er…..holding the Conference, being young and name checking SF Councillor Deirdre Hargey, who is also er…young. What could make this even better?

Obviously we need a hashtag. All campaigns should have a hashtag. God knows how we campaigned before we had a hashtag. It is the reason we have that # symbol on our keyboards. What would Rosa Parkes and Dr Martin Luther King have done without a hashtag? Therefore we have a hashtag #BackinBelfast.

Congatrulations everyone. Problem solved.

The older I get, the more I realise that nothing is really new.

Back in the Spring of 1968, tJust beforeMy O Levels, there was a campaign called “I’m backing Britain” Britain under Harold Wilson was going thru a bad time and some scretaries in a firm in Surrey, decided to work an extra hour for no overtime. Harold Wilson liked the idea. Employers liked that idea. Trade Unions did not like that idea at all.

But Bruce FORSYTH LIKED the idea. Yes THAT Bruce Forsyth. He made a record called “I’m Backing Britain” and it flopped.

No hashtags in 1968 of course but newspaper magnate and crook, Robert Maxwell like the idea and threw the weight of the Daily Mirror behind it. He produced “I’m Backing Britain” Tshirts. The campaign fizzled out, not least because the Tshirts were made in ….Portugal. Alas the “I’m Backing Britain” Campaign is oonly remembered by old codgers like myself.

So for Belfast…we have Tshirts, a PR campaign, and a press conference. I don’t suppose Gavin Robinson, Mairtin O’Muilleoir and Deirdre Hargey are old enough to remember Bruce Forsyth singing “I’m Backing Britain” but I checked ….it’s available on YouTube.

I see that Belfasts last linen mill closed today. So where those Tshirts made in Belfast?

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