Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

New Joint committee for Tories and UUP…

Mon 5 January 2009, 4:01pm

The Ulster Unionist and Conservative Parties have just announced their joint Committee for the enforcement oversight of the Memorandum of Understanding last November…From the Tories and the UUs:

The Conservative Party and Ulster Unionist Party have appointed the members of the Joint Committee they agreed to establish when both parties endorsed a Memorandum of Understanding on November 20th.

The Joint Committee will, as a matter of priority, bring forward proposals on manifesto commitments, branding of joint candidates and candidate selection procedures. The Committee will report by the end of January latest for ratification by both parties.

The Conservative Party members are: Owen Paterson MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland), Neil Johnston (Conservatives NI Chairman), Jeffrey Peel (Conservatives NI Vice Chairman) and Paul Megarity (Chairman, North Down Conservatives).

The UUP members are: Lord Maginnis, Danny Kennedy MLA, David Campbell (UUP Chairman) and Cllr. Mark Cosgrove (UUP Treasurer)

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Comments (50)

  1. observer says:

    so no sylvia…

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  2. Horseman says:

    Slightly off-topic, but speaking of the Tory/UUP thing, was that Johnny Andrews I saw on Antiques Roadshow last night with his father (and a picture of the Titanic sister ship)?

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  3. DC says:

    Suggestions are that Sylvia is standing for New Labour now and next election too.

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  4. Whats in a name? says:

    Disappointing. [edited by the moderator - play the ball]. No actual campaigning talent fom London involved.

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  5. elvis parker says:

    DC if Sylvia is standing for New Labour that would be excellent news because it would mean that she has persuaded Labour to contest elections in NI. It would also mean that she would lose North Down however.

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  6. Jeffrey Peel says:

    Oh and another point. Of course we have campaigning talent from London involved. Owen is our key conduit into the Shadow front bench team and we have access to the full campaigning team at CCHQ.

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  7. observer says:

    so jeff, what is sylvias position.

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  8. Jeffrey Peel says:

    And you, no-name, can’t even disclose an email address or URL. [edited by moderator]

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  9. Why am I still a UUP voter? says:

    [edited by moderator - play the ball]

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  10. observer says:

    Owen is our key conduit into the Shadow front bench team and we have access to the full campaigning team at CCHQ.

    Posted by Jeffrey Peel on Jan 05, 2009 @ 12:38 PM

    didnt you always have this and didnt you always do abysmally at elections?

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  11. fair_deal says:

    Knock the personal on the head

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  12. Jeffrey Peel says:

    Frankly, no, we didn’t always have this. The Party, nationally, is now a much more effective election machine and the front bench team is very, very supportive of Party organisation here. Plus joint ticket candidates have never been run here before. We know from polling that there is demand for our joint offer so what has happened in the past is very different from what will happen at the next general election. This is widely appreciated by the general public and by the media alike. I’m surprised, Observer, it’s lost on you.

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  13. X says:

    The interesting point missed by most is that with the exception of Mark Cosgrove the UUP line up is a group of men form the past – in fact men from the Trimble era

    With the UUP having an upsurge in membership and a very successful conference the opportunity for a new start is immense but it appears that Reg cautious as ever has gone for the safe option – stick with what he knows.

    Outcome – fairly predictable re run of the past no new thinking.

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  14. fair_deal says:

    JP

    “We know from polling that there is demand for our joint offer”

    Political polling has a very dodgy history in NI. Any chance of releasing the full data instead of the cherrypicking so its cedibility can be assessed?

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  15. elvis parker says:

    X – ‘men from the past’ Isnt Danny Kennedy Deputy Leader and David Campbell Chairman of the UUP?

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  16. Jeffrey Peel says:

    Just for clarification, I used my own name because someone had described me as “an idiot” in the trail. I’ll bow out from the discussion now. However if readers want any further clarification about the joint committee they can email me at jeff @ conservativesni.org

    Regards all.

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  17. Belfast Gonzo (profile) says:

    Why am I still a UUP voter?

    Unlike you, I would suggest that most readers appreciate ‘grown-up politicians’ coming on this board to express their views. Please don’t ruin it for everyone else. Please?

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  18. William says:

    It never ceases to amaze me that the UUP/Conservative link-up is derided by so many, yet it seems to give all of those critics great concern. If it is so bad, why worry?….or is the truth of the matter, they are so worried that it will be a great success and once again the major Unionist party will be the true Democratic and Unionist party, not the one that masquerades as being ‘democratic’ when it is no such thing and ‘unionist’ when in fact it is an Ulster Nationalist party, which flirts with the likes of that Scottish sleazeball, the slippery Salmon.

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  19. x says:

    Yes Elvis, they both are part of the current set up but they were both intimately involved from 1998 – through the defeats of 2003 and since.

    Just because they are still there doesn’t mean they are men of today.

    THe UUP has an opportunity to turn itself around, they can with dedication and work reverse the little ulster mentality pervading unionism now but those that have had the monopoly on ideas within the UUP over the last 10 years are not the ones to see it take advantage of the new opportunities.

    Anyone who watched the UUP closely will tell you that the political antenae of these uup gentlemen were not that good in the end, they weren’t able to capitalise on the Agreement they weren’t able to sell it, so they lost out to the snakeoil men who took their idea and resold it to a gullible unionist population.

    So if that’s their record how will they deliver a new political NI – new thinking needed- new people needed!

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  20. Why am I still a UUP voter? says:

    [That's a yellow for you mister. Please read the commenting rules. If they are too tight for you, then take your personal attacks elsewhere! - moderator]

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  21. Whats in a name? says:

    What he said (at comment 20 – pre moderation).

    Point about old boys club on UUP side being taken as read, the only real mistake on Reggie’s part was ouwl Ken, all the more so when you put one tosser up against another (the aforementioned one). Paula Bradshaw, Philip Smith, John McCallister, all would have been infinatly better choices, all are people who could do with the odd leg up, all overlooked again. But it looks like he decided he only needed to tip the cap to one newbie and let the old boys rock on through. Mistake.

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  22. DC says:

    Elvis, plans are afoot.

    I think she wants to bring people through the downturn fairly and be closer to Europe now after the fall out. The UUP will get its fingers burnt if Cameron, as he seems to be suggesting, pulls back on public services and pulls up the ladder so only the wealthy can feel comfortable.

    He said today he wants an enabling state but he is about to a disable a large part of it and NI must surely be affected given both the size and nature of public sector life here.

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  23. ZoonPol says:

    I am not to sure DC. If the Lisbon Treaty comes into force the Charter of Fundamental Rights will effect all member states of the EU so i reakon he can recind the Human Rights Act if he wants but the Charter will take its place.

    http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/unit/charte/index_en.html

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  24. autocue says:

    William

    Your posts would have more effect if they actually had some reasoning and logic to them rather than ranting nonsense!

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  25. fair_deal says:

    “The UUP members are: Lord Maginnis, Danny Kennedy MLA, David Campbell (UUP Chairman) and Cllr. Mark Cosgrove (UUP Treasurer)”

    I was told that it is the conclusions of this group that will rule in or out the possibility of electoral pacts in SB and FST.

    Peel and Owen have nailed their colours to the mast and I doubt if the other two tories are minded any differently.

    Danny is a practically minded man so I would have thought he’d be sympathetic to leaving that option open. Maginnis was a beneficiary of such arrangements in the past but there is an ingratitude about him and loathing for the DUP that probably makes him willing to do a volte face. As for Campbell and Cosgrove I don’t know, anyone else know?

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  26. observer says:

    any word from sylvia?

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  27. Why am I still a UUP voter? says:

    This really is silliness, even by the mysteriously modest ‘moderator’s’ standards. I attacked no one. Nor do I in this post. I made, and continue to make the general point that, would-be politicians posting under their own names on Slugger are *thereby* doing both themselves and their purported causes a diservice. You can doubtless disagree with that argument, but to do so convincingly you’ll have to rhetorically do a teensy bit better than simply deleting the argument every time it is put to you. And as some free advice: to butress whatever your counter argument is, as to why the hallmark of the serious, grown-up, professional NI politician *is* posting under their own name under Slugger, I wouldn’t rush to cite the fruits of that thought-experiment thus far.

    But once again: I fully see why it’s in Slugger’s collective self-interest to promote the myth that it’s a sign of credibility for politicians themselves to post on Slugger under their own names. It is not, however, true.

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  28. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    You presume I disagree with your argument. Well, I do as it happens, but that is not why you were cut repeatedly.

    You are certainly free to make the point. You are not free to make contemptuous personal remarks about other posters or public figures.

    Now, my actual counterargument.

    There is nothing standard or immutable about how public spaces online operate. The advantage they have is the bluntness and honesty they encourage; the disadvantage the nihilistic impulse they often release in some individuals.

    We try to encourage the former and discourage the latter.

    Generally, it is a good thing to have public figures interact in spaces like this. It’s a sign of confidence both in the site and in the politicians themselves. And it invariably makes for more informed comment.

    In five ten or fifteen years time it will be a generational skill every bit as important as being able to handle yourself on TV (the Atlee/McMillan transition comes to mind).

    The (bad) joke here is that we have someone who refuses (possibly for good reason) to comment in their own name abusing someone who has the courage to comment in theirs. Not simply that, but attempting to legislate for that no public figure must comment on a website under their own names

    Now, I am not decrying anonymous commenters. Since most of our commenters decide to go anonymously, it stands to reason that some of our best are anonymous.

    But if you want to legislate that no one who has a reputation outside the internet should comment on blog like Slugger, it sounds to me like you’d be better off running your own blog show and keeping your own rough house ‘trolls only’ rules.

    You are welcome to comment on Slugger, but you are not welcome to set the house rules for Slugger. Nor to break them.

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  29. slug says:

    It will be interesting if Sylvia Hermon is indeed signed up by Labour. Labour would surely be tempted to make an exception for one who has been supportive of them and someone who is a sitting MP. She will be able to argue Labour will better defend public services etc. She will have the advantage of incumbency, and will be able to pick up the sizeable Alliance-inclined vote in North Down (which is surely sympathetic to public services etc).

    The Westminster election 2010 would be a real DUP-C&U;-Labour three-way that could be hard to call.

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  30. Why am I still a UUP voter? says:

    What pompous piffle. Let’s start with that dismally arch ‘legislating’. No one is doing that. Even you don’t think that. But you’ve sat on one too many symposium panel, and so the litany of ever more pretentious, sub-social-science terms have to litter these arguments. Then we have your own sanctimonious exercise in ad hominen arguments: that *I’m* at fault for disparaging those who use their real names whilst not of course using my own. But that’s my precise point: anyone who lacks the wit to refrain from typing, “I’m me, I yam, I yam” demonstrably lacks the transferrable wit to be a credible public figure. It’s of course *exactly* why those who are credible public figures precisely opt *not* to slabber on on Slugger under their own names.

    You’ve also engaged, as Pete Baker might put it, some fairly spurious futuring by claiming that in some unknown future posting on Blogs will in effect be as commonplace a skill for politicians as canvassing for votes is today. That’s your opinion, and you’re welcome to it, but you’re unfortunately unable to in any way back it up. For naturally if you had supporting evidence, you’d have deployed it. As it is, I can easily enough divide the world (or at at least that sub-section comprising Norn Iron’s political class) into two: those politicians who post under their own names on Slugger, and those who don’t. The latter list is, we will agree, substantially longer than the former. And we can safely leave it to the wisdom of the reading crowds to make such subjective personal conclusions as they will about the personal calibre of the few names on the former list.

    Where, though, your argument simply falls down, indeed, becomes sadly childish in some aspects, is your slightly squeakish insistence that you’re actually attempting to high-mindedly enforce civil discourse. That puzzled me as it bears zero resemblance to the Slugger so many of know. So I popped along to some other threads – all ones current today – and what do you know, personal abuse doled out in full and glorious, and entirely unredacted measure. Yet as it always come to this, I’ll say it yet again: it’s your site old son, so naturally you do what you want with it. Just don’t expect all of us to take you at your own estimate for doing so. After all, no one is forcing you to do any of this.

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  31. slug says:

    Can I just say with respect to the “names” thing that IJP (Alliance, North Down) has posted under his own name here indeed was a very regular contributor and it has done his reputation a lot of good–with me at least—he was an excellent contributor. True, he posts less now he’s elected. David Ford has also posted here in his own name. As has DSD and others.

    In the end if what you post is sensible and careful it is no different from writing a letter or article in to a newspaper.

    One would not, of course, want to be seen spending every hour online as that might look bad!

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  32. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    You’ve had my spake on this. Here’s the commenting policy, in case you haven’t yet gone there:

    Commenting policy:

    1. We request that anyone wishing to leave comments refrains from posting material which is abusive, threatening or potentially libellous.

    2. We reserve the right to edit or even delete comments for reasons of legal compliance, taste, decency, good management or any other reason that we see fit. Furthermore we may impose an IP ban on any person or persons who persistently or wantonly flout this policy.

    3. We do not have the time or resources to constantly monitor or moderate the comments sections, and so may be unaware of illegal or potentially libellous material posted there. If you believe a libellous statement or statements have been made in the comments section, please notify us by sending an e-mail containing details of offending material to [email protected].

    4. We will review the material and if, in our opinion, there are grounds for believing the material to be libellous or potentially libellous then that material will be deleted at the first possible opportunity.

    5 The judgement of the Editors in these matters is final and will be exercised without apology, explanation or compensation.

    I have also checked the [email protected] account and there is no complaint from you, or anyone else.

    Now if you are done, please move on, or if you insist on further ad hominem attacks, take a RED.

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  33. oneill (profile) says:

    Can I just say with respect to the “names” thing that IJP (Alliance, North Down) has posted under his own name here indeed was a very regular contributor and it has done his reputation a lot of good–with me at least—he was an excellent contributor. True, he posts less now he’s elected. David Ford has also posted here in his own name. As has DSD and others.

    Danny O’Connor has been on a few times as well.

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  34. Rory Carr says:

    “You’ve also engaged, as Pete Baker might put it, some fairly spurious futuring by claiming that in some unknown future posting on Blogs will in effect be as commonplace a skill for politicians as canvassing for votes is today. That’s your opinion, and you’re welcome to it, but you’re unfortunately unable to in any way back it up. For naturally if you had supporting evidence, you’d have deployed it.”

    You must admit, Mick, old Why am I still a UUP voter? (or Whohe? as he is affectionately known to regulars) has got you there.

    What’s the point in Slugger anymore if our inspirational leader is unable to provide hard evidence to support his musings on what might happen in the future? Didn’t you ever hear of Michael J Fox and Dr Who? It wouldn’t be any bloody problem for them.

    This bloody blogging is all hooey. It’s back to the crystal ball and the Tarot for us serious wannabe politicians.

    p.s. Do you remember that one that used to do the Lottery predictions in The Sun? I met her once at a charity ball in the Grosvenor House Hotel. Ugly as sin and mad as a bat. And bloody useless to boot – a man might as well ask for advice on the winning numbers on Slugger.

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  35. Biggerstaff says:

    Any truth to the rumours that Cllrs. Bob Stoker, David Browne and John Scott (Newtownabbey) may resign from the party over the Tory link up?

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  36. Why am I still a UUP voter? says:

    After that gaseous, disengenuous exchange, I’m more than delighted to take a red. Believe me, an automatic redirect to the Teletubbies site would be a heap sight more informative than your prim little recitation above was.

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  37. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Uh oh… Off you go then… Two weeks… I’ll trust you not to come back until then, this time…

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  38. DC says:

    BLESSED OUR THOU TORIES ON SLUGGER.

    Look over there, Cameron is walking on water with Reg.

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  39. Television versus a laptop. says:

    Serious have blogs and some make little comments, with spelling mistakes and everything. The Lib Dems are quite good at visiting each other.

    The TV comparison works, if adjusted for the societal changes, the Royals treated TV as visual radio,

    and many Grandee politicians, as much the same s going to a football (soccer) match, a concession to the masses.

    Also remember, the Tories were ( at the time) quite impressed that ordinary working joes would save for a tv, to watch the young Queen.

    It is a skill set, and so is the internet, and so, Mick is kind of right, if the furniture is adjusted for the thing in question.

    “And I ask all our Christian people, whatever their denomination, to attend their places of worship on Sunday next to pray for the peace and harmony of our country.”

    Terence O’Neill’s Television Address, reproduced in his Ulster at the Crossroads (London, 1969), pp. 140-146

    That was a good TV effort.

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  40. William says:

    There is a lot of logic to your post Autocue….when you write this tripe:

    Your posts would have more effect if they actually had some reasoning and logic to them rather than ranting nonsense!

    Posted by autocue on Jan 05, 2009 @ 03:03 PM

    I still wonder why members of other parties and of none are so interested in the business of the UUP / Conservatives. If you are not a member, then it isn’t your business….and if you wish to vote for them when the time comes do so….if not vote elsewhere….simple.

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  41. William says:

    Biggerstaff wrote:

    Any truth to the rumours that Cllrs. Bob Stoker, David Browne and John Scott (Newtownabbey) may resign from the party over the Tory link up?

    Posted by Biggerstaff on Jan 05, 2009 @ 08:53 PM

    Not likely, but if they did, it would be no great loss….in my humble opinion !!!!

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  42. darth rumsfeld says:

    ..Sooo, noone wants to tell us why the merger is bogged down yet again, as I posted elsewhere?

    This time even I don’t know why , since my top UUP source is on his annual pilgrimage to Lough Derg, but I’ll bet my sash that part of the problem is the name of the new amalgamation.
    I’m told some MLAs aren’t very enamoured at the thought of running next time as “Conservative and Unionist”.
    Perhaps the “Federation of Ulster Conservatives and Unionists” in its acronymic form might relieve the blockage? Only trying to help….

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  43. Horseman says:

    … some MLAs aren’t very enamoured at the thought of running next time as “Conservative and Unionist”.

    Have they really

    The difficulties in finding a name pretty much sums up the whole project – they’re trying to ‘merge’ two different beasts – a wannabe modern party that nurtures the hope of attracting non-Unionists with a backward-looking tribal party desperate to keep the inaccurate-and-deliberately provocative word ‘Ulster’ in their title. Doomed to fail.

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  44. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    DC,

    You’re just not paying attention…

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  45. slug says:

    Names: The CUP CUUP or UCUP would be fine. The NICUP surely has too many letters? The name can be reviewed after the Euro election.

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  46. Horseman says:

    Let’s be realistic. The only name that could be acceptable to the Tories is the “Conservative and Unionist Party”. If they do not stand under that name, then they are not standing in NI as the same party as in Britain, and that would just emphasise the emptiness of this gesture.

    Coincidentally, the official name of the Tories is the Conservative and Unionist Party.

    What on earth would the UUP have against that name? If they really want to ‘play a full role’ etc in Westminster, then why not do it as fullblooded Tories? Are they such ‘little Ulstermen’ that they cannot blend their identity with that of the British? If so, they simply provide proof of the nationalist position.

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  47. slug says:

    The Conservatives are not standing in NI as the same party in GB, that was what they did previously up to now. This new political force is not a merger of the two parties or a takeover of one by another, it is an alliance of two parties. I don’t think theres anything wrong with Conservative & Unionist as a name for this alliance or undeed Conservative and Ulster Unioinst, or indede UCUP where the U in UCUP might actually stand for ‘United’.

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  48. DC says:

    Mick, someone purporting to be from the Conservative Party gets red carpeted and the other red carded.

    The green ink brigade is on its way!

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  49. not now says:

    The Conservatives are not standing in NI as the same party in GB, that was what they did previously up to now…………..

    so the Tories are treating NI differently from the rest of the UK, typical tories

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  50. darth rumsfeld says:

    “a backward-looking tribal party desperate to keep the inaccurate-and-deliberately provocative word ‘Ulster’ in their title”

    ..er, well without reopening the can of worms that horseman is holding, the party name did predate the wee six , and had members from the lost three

    And how refreshing to see a nationalist wanting rebranding of inaccurate and tribal names- be sure and tell BIFFO of the Warriors and the grey chappie who leads the tribe of the Gael that it’s 2009. I always appreciated the irony of a Fine Gael TD for “Donegal”…

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