Slugger O'Toole

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Latest posts from articles (see all)

articles has posted 12 times (0 in the last month).

The US Presidential Election: For what we are about to receive…

Sat 1 September 2012, 11:08am

Tweet Reading  Glenn Greenwald’s piece in Pete Baker’s previous post  will reinforce in the minds of many their negative views of the American political process and the Presidential elections, and that’s even  before we start getting personal about US presidents with our own favourite stories about their stupidity and iniquity. This  negative coverage will increase exponentially […] more »

Widening access the UU way

Sun 19 August 2012, 11:22am

Tweet Full marks to UU for their novel approach to widening access by giving  everybody who applied for their engineering courses a place whether one existed (exists) or not. Very French. For the full story please follow the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19307130 Here we have a situation where: - there were 180 places but all 370 applicants […] more »

Why do they do it?

Thu 2 August 2012, 12:36pm

Tweet “What is it that makes  people want to be politicians?” is not a question we often ask ourselves, more likely we might ask “Why would anybody want to be a politician?” in such a way as to suggest that  we already know the answer. I have a long held memory that Tony Blair’s response […] more »

Olympic riff

Sun 29 July 2012, 12:52am

Tweet Something unusual happened last night, some 30 million BBC viewers  watched a Performing  Arts event live on TV as did a billion more throughout the world. While we’re used to major sports events attracting large numbers of viewers very rarely do we see a Performing  Arts event promoted so heavily.  OK so it was […] more »

Euro 2012 Prediction competition

Mon 4 June 2012, 1:03pm

Tweet Another chance to predict the future; the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, Euro 2012, is almost upon us. The tournament will be hosted by Poland and Ukraine and the first match kicks off this Friday 8th June 2012. Local interest here will focus on the Republic of Ireland, England, Poland and Portugal but not […] more »

IF

Tue 16 August 2011, 1:38pm

Tweet   As this is now poetry corner, a piece of performance poetry which is almost prophetic (pathetic as well) Joe’s Bar,  Exit 30,  Interstate 4,  FLA,  USA,  Date: 9 December 1999          Side by side in the liquor store sat George Dubya Bush and Big Al Gore. “Dubya ‘tween you an’ me an’ that […] more »

London Olympics 2012: the countdown is over for us

Thu 28 July 2011, 9:12am

Tweet My campaign to get some London Olympic 2012 tickets for NI fell  at the first hurdle, see below http://sluggerotoole.com/2011/06/29/pt-brits-required And the last couple of days have seen the beginning of the countdown to London 2012. The BBC being unable to report on any tangible benefits for Norn Iron have rightly asked the question, several […] more »

Are we becoming more and more Italiano?

Wed 27 July 2011, 6:37pm

Tweet Last night’s late night television on BBC 2 was riveting. It began with “This World” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mgxx at 11.20 in which reporter Mark Franchetti investigated Italy’s Camorra who operate in and around Naples. Its hold on the city is extensive. It was followed by “Gomorrah” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wyqzs a film set in Naples which exposes the murky […] more »

P/T Brits required

Wed 29 June 2011, 10:00am

Tweet Someone very close to me and three friends have just succeeded in getting tickets for court No 1 at Wimbledon today and will see Djokovic’s and Nadal’s quarter finals. True they had to queue overnight and pay £74 each for the privilege. £74 each is a lot of money to them as they are […] more »

Move on up

Wed 22 June 2011, 5:42pm

Tweet It’s competition time … It used to be a well-established principle that city status was only recommended in the case of towns of the first rank in population, size and importance, and having a distinctive character and identity of their own. Nowadays a city does not need a large number of inhabitants, St. David’s […] more »

Latest comments from articles (see all)

articles has commented 892 times (0 in the last month).

  1. Comment on Viewing platform, Orange Hall, Clifton St
    on 7 September 2012 at 11:13 pm

    My apologies all round, to Mr McCausland, to Mr Fealty and other long standing Sluggerites, for drawing attention to a guided tour and it seems prompting some mischievous comments. The intention was to draw attention to the fact that Mr McCausland had broken his purdah only to speak of the tour and not recent troubles; having said that a free guided historic tour is in itself worth noting and I did so. I am wholly in favour of anything which educates, informs and entertains , and having been on similar tours, I am sure this tour will do exactly the same. There was no ulterior motive.

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  2. Comment on Viewing platform, Orange Hall, Clifton St
    on 7 September 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Very good guys but seriously this is a guided tour of an historic cemetery, I might pop along myself if I can, I’ll be in the background wearing a black fedora hat and a red carnation in my lapel.

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  3. Comment on Viewing platform, Orange Hall, Clifton St
    on 7 September 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Nelson McCausland has broken his eight day silence on his blog but I am afraid I cannot tell you his views on recent local developments.

    Rather he has chosen to announce a guided tour of the Clifton Street Cemetery. This will take place starting tomorrow Saturday at 10.30am.There is no charge, anyone is welcome to join Nelson and friends and they will be assembling at the gate in Henry Place.

    Sounds good to me and I am happy to spread the message.

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  4. Comment on Following Bill Clinton
    on 7 September 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Ruarai

    Grateful for an explanation of the middle class posters; I know the middle class will determine the election but there’s more to this than that. Is their middle class the same as ours, does it encompass all etnicities, etc etc

    Go to comment

  5. Comment on Parades: A question of morals and incentives….
    on 6 September 2012 at 5:06 pm

    When Gandhi is mentioned I always reprise my exclusive of some years ago.

    REG EMPEY AND GANDHI SET FOR THE GARVAGHY

    World exclusive by Articles

    Articles can exclusively reveal that world famous actor Ben Kingsley has said YES to re-creating his role of Mahatma Gandhi and YES to leading a peace march down the Garvaghy Road, Portadown. This latest initiative to end the long running Drumcree dispute is the brainchild of Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey who hopes to score a knockout blow in his titanic make or break election battle with the DUP’s Reverend Willie McCrea for the constituency of South Antrim

    Articles can exclusively divulge that the idea came to light in a document mistakenly left on a Stormont photocopier. An embarrassed spokesman for Sir Reg initially denied its existence but later called back to confirm its authenticity. Sir Reg Empey himself refused to comment immediately but invited Articles to a press conference to be held Monday of next week.

    Sir Reg Empey sets out his proposals in a memorandum addressed to fellow unionist Harry Hamilton, the Freddie Mercury impersonator, who is standing for election in Upper Bann, the constituency in which Drumcree near Portadown is located. Empey speculates as to the possible reaction of key players, emphasises the need to massage public opinion in advance and ends with this appeal to Mr Hamilton “If we want to end this impasse, we cannot be impassive, we have to be imaginative, we have to be creative, we have to break free.”

    In detail, the proposal envisages Sir Ben Kingsley dressed as Gandhi hand in hand with Sir Reg Empey and Harry Hamilton together with the Grand Master of the Portadown Loyal Orange Lodge leading a small procession of Orangemen down the Garvaghy Road singing a peace song the chorus of which runs:

    “We’re going Gandhi
    Down the Garvaghy
    With Sir Reg Empey
    And Freddie Mercury
    Everything’s raji
    It’s a kinda of magi….c”

    The vision continues… “The massed Garvaghy Road residents will part allowing the Orangemen to walk through and then fall in beside them singing from the same sheet. The whole drama to unfold in the absence of any security forces in the anticipation – carefully choreographed beforehand – that all parties merely wish to bring the present dispute to an end and start afresh and that there are to be no winners and no losers.”

    Reaction on the ground was immediate and mixed. A spokesman for Portadown Loyal Orange Lodge said “Gandhi you say – which Gandhi is that then, where’s he from ..Delhi? ah LondonDelhi you mean. But seriously if you’re asking me whether our reaction would be positive then the answer is yes. We are determined to walk the Garvaghy Road, if Empey can fix it and this fellow Gandhi wants to come along too, then we’re right behind them”

    Breandan Mac Cionnaith of the Garvaghy Road Resident’s Coalition was more guarded and recalled memories of David Trimble and the Reverend Ian Paisley dancing a jig. “We’ve been through too much to let them (the Orange Order) through just like that. I’d have to be convinced of their sincerity. Perhaps if the Orangemen forgot their suits and sashes for the day and dressed up like Gandhi – OK they could keep their bowler hats and their umbrellas – just so that the symbolism is clear to all, well we could possibly run with that.”

    Meanwhile Mr Hamilton refused to take my call. A spokesman claimed not to know of the document’s existence raising the possibility that the Freddie Mercury impersonator has disassociated himself already from what is the latest in a long line of political initiatives from the ever creative Ulster Unionist leader and strategist.

    Sir Reg Empey’s opponent in South Antrim, the Reverend Willie McCrea, was less reticent “He can’t sing, he can’t dance and he can’t find a seat. It doesn’t matter where this fellow runs for election; East Belfast, Upper Bann in the future or South Antrim this time around, the good unionist people of Ulster will not vote him in.”

    Last night, the final word fell to Mr. Kingsley who speaking from his London home said “I am willing to do anything I can to help bring peace to a troubled community.”

    Articles

    And for those readers puzzled by the word “raji” the Ulster Scots Agency confirms that it is Ullans for great news.

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  6. Comment on Parades: A question of morals and incentives….
    on 6 September 2012 at 9:44 am

    As we know, Nelson McCausland has a personal blog. “If something takes my attention, then I may well comment on it.” indeed he is a prolific blogger. Strange then that he hasn’t blogged on his own site for a week and that recent developments haven’t grabbed his attention.

    In the absence of reliable and trustworthy media outlets, the BBC, the BelTel, I News etc regularly come in for Nelson’s criticism, it is beholden on Nelson to set out the facts without some reporter interrupting him with competing facts, and that’s what personal blogging allows you to do. So come on Nelson, don’t be shy, get blogging.

    Go to comment

  7. Comment on Parades: A question of morals and incentives….
    on 5 September 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Risking repetition:

    The two questions I’ve kept asking of the OO on these boards recently but which have been ignored, apart from leamhderg2, are:

    “But why go where people don’t want you, why let other people spoil your day out”.

    “How is it not possible to organise a peaceful family day in the capital city when every damn thing is done to facilitate it.”

    Can somebody give me an insight?

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  8. Comment on Parades: A question of morals and incentives….
    on 5 September 2012 at 10:28 pm

    As ever I don’t disagree with you Mister Joe, and on this occasion the Lodger makes the same point. My reason for asking the OO first, apart from having no first hand knowledge of the organisation, can perhaps best be illustrated by asking yourself whether you see this as a chicken and egg scenario, or a horse and cart scenario.

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  9. Comment on Parades: A question of morals and incentives….
    on 5 September 2012 at 9:59 pm

    QUOTE
    “But why go where people don’t want you, why let other people spoil your day out”.
    to get from A to C you pass B. END QUOTE

    As good an example of linear thinking as I’ve ever seen, and that’s nor a compliment.

    QUOTE “How is it not possible to organise a peaceful family day in the capital city when every damn thing is done to facilitate it”
    every damn thing is NOT done to facilitate it, people who dont like the O.O. and who want to cause trouble, are facilitated instead.END QUOTE

    The linear answer to the first question determines your answer to the second question.

    Perhaps the person who commended lamhdearg’s answer might wish to answer the two questions, otherwise next please.

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  10. Comment on Parades: A question of morals and incentives….
    on 5 September 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Younger readers will not believe that Leeds United were once a great football team and very nearly conquered the whole of Europe. One of their tactics was to subdue an opposing skillful player by taking it in turns to foul him thus it was difficult for the referee to isolate an individual Leeds player and send him off. Other examples of unfair play included going in very hard in the opening minutes in the knowledge that the referee was unlikely to send the player off so early or surrounding the referee when a decision went against them. All commonplace subsequently but not then.

    The relevance to this thread is not the obvious association between using thuggery and intimidation to get your own way rather it is the insight that any system can be subverted and the system used against itself. Thus in the example quoted above about infringements by the YCV and the resulting escalation, all it needs is for another group of like minded individuals to carry out the dirty deeds, then another the next et seq. Of course the regulatory authority can respond with more and more procedures indeed can bind the various parties in ropes and knots much like Gulliver in Lilliputia but to what effect. The parties themselves will still aim to subvert the system. Remember the poll tax rebels in Scotland who very cleverly ran rings round the authorities.

    What is required is a change of attitude if not a change in culture; that much is obvious to every dog in the country lane if not street. And to do that you have to get deep into the pysche.

    The two questions I’ve kept asking of the OO on these boards recently but which have been ignored are:

    “But why go where people don’t want you, why let other people spoil your day out”.

    “How is it not possible to organise a peaceful family day in the capital city when every damn thing is done to facilitate it.”

    If we get some honest answers we might move forward.

    As to Leeds United, well they changed their culture and attitude and played the beautiful game for a season or so, but it was too little, too late. The finest club footballing team of their generation were forever labelled a “dirty, cheating” team.

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