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Ruth Dudley Edwards: Rows on council over cartoonist and Belfast Blitz memorial sad indictment of our politics 

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Last week I watched about an hour of the Belfast City Council webcast, which at various times made me laugh, fume, plunged me into gloom and gave me some hope.

Here's some of what came up last Monday under the umbrella of the strategic policy and resources committee.

There was the request made in December by Brian John Spencer, an artist I like and admire, to make a drawing of the chamber during the January council meeting.

There's is a long-standing tradition of artists painting parliaments in session, so you'd think councillors would feel flattered.

But Sinn Fein, in a fury over a brilliant Spencer cartoon about the party's hypocrisy on Kingsmill, had reacted like an old-style Irish bishop (Bishop Brennan from Father Ted anyone?) and at a chaotic meeting had found a way of voting it down.

Last Monday, though, this was challenged eloquently from all sides as censorship that breached Mr Spencer's rights to freedom of expression.

Realising it was going to lose this time (Donal Lyons of the SDLP described its stance........

© Belfast Telegraph