Altered States

Slugger goes through the looking glass where black is white and green is orange. Discuss.

“that’s the trojan horse of the entire republican strategy…”

From his reported comments, it would appear that Sinn Féin’s John O’Dowd, the Northern Ireland Education Minister, has, at best, a flawed “understanding” of his party president’s comments last night – and, hence, a flawed “understanding” of his party’s entire strategy.  From the UTV report Mr O’Dowd added that his understanding of Mr Adam’s ‘Trojan more…

Cartoon – Spencer on Tuesday

Francie Molloy cartoon, Brian John Spencer

Last week Spotlight looked into Stormont expenses and the use public money to rent offices. Spotlight revealed that Sinn Féin paid office rent to three different cultural societies whose identity is unknown. The next *extended* instalment is tonight. The Firemen have last week’s here.

Och, C’mon in Gerry, what a beautiful big horse y’have there.

Belfast Barman is the first person we’ve published in response to our call for Unionist bloggers. He has an interesting and cautionary tale to share. There will be others to follow. I awoke this morning to a better understanding of my own political leanings, and for that Gerry Adams, I thank you. I was raised more…

Slugger Seasonal Book Club: Vol. 3

Man Mountain

It’s getting to be the time of year when you have to start thinking about gifts. Bah. For others. Humbug. Or maybe you are just a bibliobibuli, c.f. someone who reads too much. Maybe Gregory’s extremely mature “joking” around about his curry yogurt lunch combo (err..yum?) in DUP-land this weekend and Gerry’s similarly enlightened response more…

Rest in Peace Barn Owls

This is a piece about natural selection. About a bird that has not existed here for hundreds of years but which certain pampered groups within the green lobby pretend exists so they can extract grants from the public purse, further their green agenda and engage in their environmental war. Don’t be fooled into believing the more…

Joseph Ruane on ‘Ireland’s Crises: North-South Intersections': From the Taming of the Celtic Tiger to the Rise of Sinn Fein in the Republic

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Professor Joseph Ruane, Visiting Professor of Sociology at University College Dublin and Professor Emeritus University College Cork, presented the 25th John Whyte Memorial Lecture last week at Queen’s on ‘Ireland’s Crises: North-South Intersections.’ Ruane’s wide-ranging talk focused primarily on crises in the Republic of Ireland. Ruane described the Republic as a ‘multiple interface periphery’ because more…

Round-up of press reaction to DUP conference #dup14

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So what did the Monday papers think of the DUP’s weekend conference in La Mon? In an Irish Times opinion piece under the headline of “DUP leader’s subtle message of co-operation to end gridlock” Gerry Moriarty pulled out Peter Robinson’s statement – buried in his speech – about the need for the DUP and Sinn more…

Calling for more Unionist writers and/or bloggers?

The last few weeks and months have seen a great inflow of new talent. I’m particularly pleased that we have made a start on flipping the dominance of the male voice in Slugger’s blogging team.  Earlier in the year in her lecture for the London Review of Books Mary Beard noted that the sidelining of the more…

Despite the rise and rise of UKIP it remains a little confused on the matter of Northern Ireland

The more cynical political analyst might conclude there were two Monster raving loony parties standing in the Rochester and Strood byelection this week that resulted in the return to Westminster of Mark Reckless, UKIP’s second MP and a former Conservative. Standing on a ticket that was principally anti-immigration and anti-Europe – and Reckless got into more…

With DEL cuts of 10.8% NI Executive will be encouraging local talent to leave Northern Ireland

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Professor Deirdre Heenan is Pro Vice Chancellor for Communications and Provost of Coleraine and Magee in the Ulster Univerity. She writes here on the long term depressive effect of proposed cuts to the funding of the two major universities in Northern Ireland. Relevant, accessible skills, innovation, new technology and productivity; these are factors that underpin more…

Casual Racism, Belfast-style

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Last weekend, I came across a number of disturbingly racist tweets. After seeing BBC reporter Kevin Sharkey complaining on Twitter about racist attitudes encountered by him whilst out with a black friend a few days ago, I feel compelled to share the tweets on Slugger in order to highlight what I believe is the worryingly more…

Gerry Adams: “There is a clear need for more innovative and forward-looking politics…”

By which, the passive-aggressive Sinn Féin president actually means, the SDLP must join Sinn Féin in a sectarian electoral pact in “the next Westminster and Assembly elections”, and the year after that, and the year after that… because… themmuns! To paraphrase, if Sinn Féin can get away with treating all future Northern Ireland elections as a glorified pissing contest more…

UKIP’s latest successes could yet damage it

Slowly the dust is beginning to settle on UKIP’s latest by-election victory. This one could be analysed as more or less important than the last one dependent on a number of factors. Rochester and Strood was a considerably less attractive target seat for UKIP than Clacton on Sea. It has much less of the older, more…

‘Deprivation’ fund gives grant of £350,000 to Lurgan Golf Club

Another cracking exposé by the one man opposition that is Jim Allister. The Department of Social Development gave a grant of  £350,000 to Lurgan Golf Club under its ‘Neighbourhood Renewal’ scheme. It gets even better. A member of the club, who is a senior official in DSD, was involved in processing the application. But he failed to more…

Photo of the day – Milky Way Ablaze over An Port, Donegal

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Photo by Brendan Alexander, Taken on November 15, 2014 Brendan says: The final shot from my trip to the enchanting famine village of An port in southwest Donegal, Ireland (15th November 2014). In the image the Milky way shines over the the lobster pots, boats and a solitary cross commemorating the passing of a Scottish man in more…

Campbell: No apology on remarks but “If they wanted me to repeat it, they went the right way about it”

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He’s been in the headlines recently over his comments about the Irish Language during question time in the Assembly and normally it is Sammy Wilson who grabs the headlines at a DUP conference for an interesting speech, but this year Gregory Campbell unbowed continued with his remarks and brought some visual aids to demonstrate his more…