Slugger O'Toole

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Angry Planner has commented 23 times (0 in the last month).

  1. Comment on UK’s strongest constitutional card may be the very mildness of the loyalty it invokes…
    on 2 February 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Whoops I forgot to paste in this quote!!

    “The point they completely forget is that any difference is precisely due to the very existence of Republican aggression: as long as Republican aggression exists locally it will always be necessary for Unionists to stand up and say no for…”

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  2. Comment on UK’s strongest constitutional card may be the very mildness of the loyalty it invokes…
    on 2 February 2013 at 1:21 pm

    That reminds me of something I read while study Prof Freddie Boal’s course at Queen’s, he wrote that a community under siege will play up its nationality and all the things that make them different from “The Other Lot” Boal called this “The Ghetto Mentality.” You can see it in both communities, many Unionists continue to have a regard for the Loyal Orders and an issue like the Flags Dispute causes events like those we’ve seen recently, that people from the rest of the UK find incomprenhensible. While Nationalists emphasise their Irishness in terms of language, sport and culture probably more than their compatriots in RoI do.

    It is quitea sad state of affairs as the British and the Irish probably have more in common with each other than with anyone else in the World and both share and adopt large parts of each other’s cultures. Just a pity that a more enlightened attitude wasn’t exercised by leaders down through the centuries or we’d be in a very different and better situation.

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  3. Comment on The NI Planning Bill 2013: A goldmine for lawyers, a field day for objectors and a mess for the rest of us?
    on 1 February 2013 at 7:57 pm

    ” And the fact that the Bill also allows economic disadvantages to be taken into account opens the door for potential competitors to challenge any planning decision because of the impact on existing businesses.”

    Must admit I haven’t had time to read the whole Bill but this strikes me as being the typical NI approach of trying to keep everybody happy, even those with mutually opposed interests, only to end up pleasing no one. dPPS24 was simply a wheeze by Poots after Wilson’s 2009 Statement was thrown out by the High Court, obviously someone is very keen to try and get the principle of it introduced in some way. With the current position on economic development it mainly comes down to jobs, if a proposal is only going to create a handful then that gets little determining weight, its all the other so called benefits that are harder to quantify.

    What makes this so potentially harmful is the total Uriah Heep mentality that the senior management of DoE Planning have towards Ministers and politicians who desperately want their local favourite businessman’s application approving that they disregard professional judgement to give the politically acceptable outcome. I know of one case where a haulage firm wanted to relocate to a rural area just outside a town to facilitate a major development on their original site. Although a major industrial estate was just a short distance away, the applicant claimed that the roads into it were locked at night and he needed 24 hour access to the site, together with my line manager we told our Divisional Manager that this was total crap and there were no gates or closing times in the industrial estate. He ignored us and signed the application as an approval, it was pretty obvious he was being leaned on because people further up wanted the major development to proceed ASAP.

    Sadly that’s just the tip if the iceberg of questionable decisions that I know of.

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  4. Comment on Declan Kearney on unionism, compromise, and building reconciliation as the next stage in the peace process
    on 31 January 2013 at 9:13 pm

    “Sinn Féin will guarantee parity of esteem for British and Irish identities.”

    Alex Kane touched on this in his News Letter column recently, what SF says it will do in any Border Poll campaign is actually irrelevant as they’re unlikely to be in any position to implement it. It’s what Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore or their successors say that will determine what happens.

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  5. Comment on Border Poll: “We may just call your bluff on this one Mitchel…”
    on 22 January 2013 at 4:21 pm

    I agree with those above that if there was be little chance of the SoS vetoing a border poll if SF and the DUP called for it as there would be a majority in the NIA for it. The Irish Government will also need to be onboard, something that Alex Kane said in his column yesterday about how in such a campaign he wouldn’t be listening to Gerry and SF but to Enda, Gilmore and their parties as their electoral strength is much greater than that of SF.

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  6. Comment on “Will Comet ISON fizzle … or sizzle?”
    on 21 January 2013 at 10:12 am

    I can remember that well David, I was 16 and was out in the back garden until about 3am counting over 100 Perseids, I had a crick in my neck the next day but it was well worth it!

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  7. Comment on “Will Comet ISON fizzle … or sizzle?”
    on 19 January 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Fingers crossed that it puts on a good show, its been 16 years since Hale-Bopp. I was in the final year of my B.Sc at Queens in 1997 and can remember seeing it in the sky every night.

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  8. Comment on Leadership That’s Working?
    on 12 January 2013 at 7:44 am

    As a Unionist I can totally understand why you think that way Gerry. The last few weeks have shown the complete inability to see the bigger picture in Unionism, Robbo may be a great elections manager but he’s useless at strategy and “The Vision Thing.” The irony is that its Paisley and the DUP who have prevented the development of political Unionism over the last 50 years.

    Smart Unionism would have joined the Alliance in advocating the designated days policy and then contrasted that with Newry and Mourne’s refusal to rename Raymond McCreesh Park. It would also have done a deal on the issue of an Irish Language Act, honestly outside the usual OO head bangers most Unionists probably don’t care but its of huge symbolic value to Nationalists. The Unionist message for a Border Poll should be ” By staying in the UK you can be as culturally and socially Irish as you want but you will still have the NHS rather than the HSE and all the other benefits.” But of course Robbo and Nesbitt are too fixated on the idea of Unionist Unity to even contemplate that so Unionism continues fighting the wrong battles while steadily losing the War.

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  9. Comment on Why are Sinn Fein’s ratings in political game higher than the Unionists’?
    on 11 January 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Obviously I disagree on your second point, I don’t believe that having a British identity and wanting to work to resolve problems on an all Ireland basis are mutually exclusive. Unionism has traditionally had a mental hang up about ” North-Southery” that’s very short sighted as there is much that can be achieved through working together and resource sharing.

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  10. Comment on Why are Sinn Fein’s ratings in political game higher than the Unionists’?
    on 11 January 2013 at 6:24 pm

    There is a positive vision for Unionism to be set out, the problem is Unionism has never had anyone capable of articulating it, the nearest was probably Terence O’Neill but he lacked the skills to confront Paisley, Craig and the other hardliners who opposed him, Faulkner and Trimble both tried as well but failed. The problem is that Unionism seems to value unity above any other political values so what you get is lowest common denominator politics based on parades and flags that over time has proved increasingly unattractive to large sections of the Unionist community. Instead when faced with a challenge they keep trying to run back to what they think worked in the past and are surprised when the electoral turnout drops.

    The Flymo Men actually aren’t a new phenomenon, in Stormont in Crisis Ken Bloomfield told of how Unionists MP’s of the time had remarkably little political talent, the brightest and best never got into politics as their Nationalist equivalents did because they were motivated by a determination to achieve equality and further their communities, Nationalism also is part of a wider family, the Irish in RoI and the wider diaspora so in general it has a more outlook looking focus, in contrast Unionism has tended to be much more parochial and insular and since the abolition of Stormont has tended to regard Britain with hostility, losing itself potential allies and failing to play a bigger part in the political life of Britain. The Flags issue really shows up all that is wrong with Unionist thinking, they went for what looked like an easy win but its going to be counter-productive in the long run, just like those other Pyrrhic victories at Drumcree and elsewhere.

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