Belfast Telegraph

Nuala McKeever: Nelson McCausland has meddling down to a fine art

Arts Minister Nelson McCausland wants the Belfast Festival to feature pro-Israeli talks and southern gospel singers (that’s southern USA, not southern Ireland — not sure he’d be so keen on them).

As minister, it’s not clear how much influence he has or should have on the running of an arts festival.

Some say he should butt-out, others are less complimentary.

But, ever one to spot a possible money-spinner and let’s face it, anything to make a few bob in these difficult times has to be considered, I reckon a reworking of the old Desmond Decker classic might be just the ticket for Queens this year.

Picture the scene, opening concert, Waterfront Hall, Nelson and the McCauslander Gospel Choir kick things off with this: “Get up in the morning, working for DCAL, so that every soul can be saved/ooh, ooh oh oh, the Israelites”

It’s got everything — Israel, gospel, singing, religion. What more could a non-partisan, secular, festival-for-all want?

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