Tuesday, 17 January 2012
The Costa Concordia - no, Virginia, it's NOT like the Titanic
Quite a sight it made: the luxury liner Costa Concordia on its side like some giant mechanical whale, beached with no hope of escape. Who's to blame? The owners for not seeing to it that everything was shipshape? The captain for sailing recklessly close to shore to give a bravura salute to those watching from the land? The people who constructed the ship so that there was a fatal weakness that has now resulted in, what, nearly thirty people dead?
One thing we can be pretty sure of: in a hundred years' time, no city or port will bust a gut trying to remind the world that the Costa Concordia was built by them. No city or port, in their desperate bid to win world attention, will construct a ship-shaped building to remind people that this was where the Costa Concordia was put together. No city or port will shell out on that building £20 million which, if what we hear is right, may never be recovered. No city or port will spend millions refurbishing the boat that ferried passengers to this ghastly vessel.
How different, then, from the way our own dear city of Belfast has responded to the Titanic gravy-train: "Let us on, we've as much right to a seat as Cork or anywhere else. I mean, look at us - we're terrific, we built this ship! No one else can say that!"
If you want proof positive that Belfast is an Irish rather than a British city, try following the logic of that one. Listen, guys: it sailed, it sank, get over it. And stop shovelling millions into the memory of this sea-going coffin for the super-rich.