Slugger O'Toole

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Michael D and the Queen are just “what you need on occasions like this…”

Fri 11 April 2014, 5:02pm

Tweet There’s a ton of good comment on Nuzhound re Michael D’s state visit to the United Kingdom [makes a change from the single transferable column much in evidence at home this week - Ed]. It’s hard to know what to leave out of John Spain’s column for IrishCentral, so here goes: The plain people […] more »

Friday thread: Perhaps ‘War’ brings a properly social benefit after all?

Fri 11 April 2014, 3:54pm
Morris War

Tweet Today’s Friday thread is a talk delivered yesterday at the RSA in London by Ian Morris, author of a new book which posits the controversial idea that, over time, war is actually good for us, not necessarily as individuals but as societies. The presentation is fairly short but it was around this part I […] more »

Row over GAA tops at University of Ulster

Fri 11 April 2014, 2:10pm

Tweet Jim Allister recently asked the Stormont Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry to: “outline any discussions he has had with the University of Ulster regarding concerns that the proliferation of GAA tops on campus leads to an intimidating atmosphere for many students” Jim has apparently been approached by unionist students complaining about the “chill […] more »

“Merely reflecting this majority view is the easiest form of leadership….”

Fri 11 April 2014, 1:34pm

Tweet So for those of you itching for a blog which takes Peter Robinson to task for poor leadership, here’s Warren Little with a usefully proportionate analysis of a missed opportunity: So here we have a golden, gilt-edged, how-could-it-possibly-go-wrong opportunity for the unionist leadership to step beyond the traditional tribal boundary. God knows they don’t […] more »

Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition (except for opening stuff and jobs announcements)

Fri 11 April 2014, 8:20am

Tweet What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? Lady MacBeth, Act V, Scene 1         Hard to disagree with an essential core of Newton Emerson’s criticism of Peter Robinson, ie that as a leader he’s more tactical than strategic. He is right too that […] more »

McGuinness trying to assure ordinary unionists that he recognises their Britishness?

Thu 10 April 2014, 11:16am

Tweet Can’t have been easy for Martin to that Royal Banquet. He’s never struck me as the Black Tie type. But clearly there was method in his constituional madness. One, not going would have been a step back from the last time. Doing it, as Tom Kelly points out allows them to project a statesman […] more »

Whatever you do, don’t mention the war dead…

Thu 10 April 2014, 11:05am

Tweet Not sure quite what Mary Warnock was thinking when she wrote this, but you have to chalk this up to a propaganda victory to Sinn Fein… Of course, we cannot overlook the horrors of the Orange marches, nor the continuing hatred between Catholics and Protestants. As the Irish President noted just a few days […] more »

Scotland, “England” and the post colonial struggle for warmth and freedom between porcupines…

Thu 10 April 2014, 8:32am

Tweet Melanie McDonagh writing in London based Evening Standard thinks Michael D “…isn’t so much a foreign dignitary; more like a friendlier version of Alex Salmond”. Aha, now it would be tempting to go with the ‘well if Scotland was independent…’ line, but it’s probably better to point out that as President Michael D is […] more »

Phil Mac Giolla Bhain showing what ‘socially present journalism’ looks like…

Wed 9 April 2014, 5:33pm

Tweet “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations       So a little vicarious glory via sometimes Slugger blogger Phil Mac Giolla Bhain who has made it to number 10 in the Press Gazette’s top social journalists (not bad […] more »

Where does ‘Guns and Government’ leave victims of the Peace Process’s ‘self regulation’?

Wed 9 April 2014, 9:49am

Tweet Seems to me there’s a lot of unpick from last night’s Spotlight, but I think this from Catherine McCartney on Facebook is worth sharing more broadly… Ingram’s comment on ‘self regulation’ encapsulates the government’s covert policy re paramilitary criminality. I have said this over and over, this policy led to Robert’s murder, (who wasn’t […] more »

John Barry: “We need legislators, not negotiators…”

Wed 9 April 2014, 7:24am

Tweet I had an interesting chat today with John Barry. A fellow Dubliner but a far more interesting and indeed public character than that may suggest. John is a Green Party candidate in the forthcoming Council elections standing in the Abbey ward of the new North Down and Ards Council. He was co-opted onto the existing […] more »

Knock Euro election hustings #nieuro (+audio)

Tue 8 April 2014, 10:12pm
Knock PCI hustings

Tweet Nine parties sent candidates or representatives to the European Election hustings organised by the Peace Group in Knock Presbyterian Church in East Belfast tonight. listen to ‘#nieuro Euro hustings at Knock Presbyterian Church – candidate 60 second summary at the end’ on Audioboo A little under 200 people turned up to hear a three […] more »

Quebec says ‘Non’ to PQ govt after less than Two years.

Tue 8 April 2014, 4:28pm

Tweet It is 3,000 miles away and no, I am not arguing for a moment that you can transplant the political musings of the francophone province of Quebec on to our situation, but this election is a genuinely interesting one to watch. Scandals, divisions and student protests drove the last Liberal government from office after […] more »

“a claim on behalf of Mr Green against Sinn Féin has been registered with the Fair Employment Tribunal…”

Tue 8 April 2014, 3:03pm

Tweet When Sinn Fein’s political director at Stormont, Leo Green, failed to appear at the party’s Ard Fheis in February, both Mr Green, whilst confirming that he was no longer their northern political director, and the party were keen to play down suggestions of a dispute.  As Liam Clarke noted at the time Green said he had renewed […] more »

Cartoon – The Statesman

Tue 8 April 2014, 9:49am
Martin McGuinness polticial cartoon, Brian John Spencer

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A reminder that “nations and states can evolve as well as endure…”

Tue 8 April 2014, 9:21am

Tweet Hat tip to Word By Storm, today’s Guardian editorial on Michael D Higgins state visit to the UK. In particular this last paragraph: Some in Britain will be tempted to dismiss the Higgins visit as a sideshow. But this is not how it is seen in Ireland. That’s worth remembering, because the networks of […] more »

“…allowing organizations to attract support without having to demonstrate superior functionality”

Tue 8 April 2014, 8:46am

Tweet Lant Pritchard writing in Harvard’s Building State Capacity blog draws some useful lessons on how US democratic institutions were forced to prove themselves in a struggle with the independent interests of their people. He offers these insights into why the transfer of institutions in developing countries not only may not work, it might also […] more »

McCann meets….@NI21Chair Tina McKenzie

Mon 7 April 2014, 4:05pm

Tweet This morning I met NI21’s newly minted European candidate, Tina McKenzie in the Europa Hotel for one of her first interviews as the party candidate.  Bouncing in and full of passion we spoke for just over twenty minutes as she regaled me with her ideas and plans for the campaign to come. I know […] more »

Sinn Fein’s Demographic war for constitutional change is useless without middle class

Mon 7 April 2014, 10:55am

Tweet Interesting take from Denis Bradley on Friday on the current impasse. In it, he accurately describes the model as I suspect SF see it: While an unreformed DUP occupy one of the corners in the boxing ring, Sinn Fein are in no danger of being removed as their opponent in the other corner. Our […] more »

Populism: A low road to power or voracious beast that consumes its own objects?

Mon 7 April 2014, 9:26am

Tweet Sunder Katwala has spotted something useful in the aftermath of the Farage Clegg debate. It perhaps mirrors the paradox we see when populists rise to greater prominence their own objects face greater challenge and even a dip in popularity: Here is the Nigel Farage paradox: the more that Ukip’s media profile, poll rating and […] more »

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