Slugger O'Toole

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backstage has commented 32 times (0 in the last month).

  1. Comment on “The trouble with public art…”
    on 5 July 2011 at 11:59 pm

    ‘Pure’ art, as alluded to in the article has become more practised since the advent of public subsidy in the 1930s and the subsequent creation of Arts Councils, etc, that enable the artist to pursue their own work. Up until then most art was commissioned either for a specific purpose by wealthy patrons or for public consumption. Either way it had to meet the ‘market’ so that the patron and the artist could earn a living – it’s nothing new and it doesn’t prevent innovation, experimentation and great art. The writer does have a point though – it isn’t much evidenced in the UK and certainly not in Belfast.

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  2. Comment on …Red Sky in the morning (press), DUP’s warning?
    on 5 July 2011 at 11:48 pm

    I wondered how long it would take this minister to interfere (sorry…I mean intervene) in his new post. He has quite a track record of inappropriate intervention and faulty judgement. NI Water is criticised for poor governance, OFMDFM (or DFP..can’t remember which) is criticised for poor procurement practices. NIE makes an attempt to get it right and all of a sudden the minister wants to change the rules. Hmmm….

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  3. Comment on “Put aside the rhetoric…”
    on 3 July 2011 at 10:24 am

    Poor old Ed. Running for the leadership just to show form and thought he was part of the chasing pack. Probably thought he end up shadowing Environment! When they let him go probably depends on how badly the coalition is looking two years out from the next GE. If coalition is looking strong they might keep him until after; if they think they have a chance he’ll go 18 months out.

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  4. Comment on The only good Quango is a dea… efficiently run, accountable and cost-effective one.
    on 2 July 2011 at 11:00 pm

    I don’t know NICCY but programme spending is hardly the sum total of the work they produce. Research, advocacy, lobbying, awareness raising, for a start, are probably significant elements of what the staff do and these will not be reflected in programme costs. I don’t know what percentage these activities represent but flying a few headlines may not tell us everything about the organisation. Possibly…an easy target.

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  5. Comment on All Aboard for the Dock Church?
    on 25 June 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Well, I suppose it gives them something to do…?

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  6. Comment on If Robinson pitches for Catholic votes, where does that leave nationalism?
    on 25 June 2011 at 10:57 am

    More warm words from Robinson. He must realise that with Nelson et al in the party he has little chance of carrying any Catholic votes. Perhaps the real political motivation is to steal more ground in the middle from the UUP – expanding the centre vote and further weakening the UUP.

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  7. Comment on Nationalism’s ‘crise de foie’: most Catholics prefer the United Kingdom…
    on 18 June 2011 at 12:35 pm

    The real political issue for irish/nationalist/Catholics has not been constitutional but cultural. A devastating impoverishment of unionist leadership could not see the benefit of reaching out culturally to irish/nationalist/Catholics in NI. Not just re powersharing but acknowledgement and respect for language, culture, sport, religion. Republican constitutional politics would never have taken a hold if mainstream unionism had been visionary enough to embrace rather than reject with such vehement hostility. Of course fundamentalist religion lead this onslaught and in this respect we may be emerging into more enlightened times.

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  8. Comment on Is the Head of the NI Civil Service defending the indefensible?
    on 17 June 2011 at 7:40 am

    Does this mean that Bruce Robinson is the only person in the Civil Service who is accountable to politicians and the public? Every other Civil Servant is only accountable to Bruce….?

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  9. Comment on Legal Aid Fees Dispute: “necessary to go outside Northern Ireland to bring in other lawyers”?
    on 6 June 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Cartels, closed shop, monopoly – call it what you will.
    - medics and their trade union the GMC
    - being ‘called to the bar’ in Northern Ireland
    - conveyancing in a house sale having to be performed by a solicitor (is this still the case in NI?)
    - one electricity provider
    - one water provider
    - one public transport provider (allegedly)

    It’s all about wringing more and more money out of us poor sods. With all of these advantages you would think the private sector would be thriving here – just how unfair a playing field will they need to actually succeed?

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