Slugger O'Toole

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Crow has commented 34 times (0 in the last month).

  1. Comment on After Haass, the numbers game threatens. How can we avoid it?
    on 8 January 2014 at 1:43 am

    Billy –

    I’m not sure NB is in the bag for SF in spite of the demograhic changes. While it is definite that the SDLP will run, there is no guarantee that UUP will. The UUP’s paltry 2,800 votes last time out was likely an even split between (i) stauch anti-Dodds/DUP voters and (ii) a personal vote for Cobain. If the UUP don’t run, the DUP will pick up most of their tally, leaving them comfortably ahead of SF. If they do run, Cobain’s personal vote will anyway make its way to his new party, the DUP, and while a tighter race, will likely leave them ahead of SF by the same margin as last time.

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  2. Comment on Tough messages for the SDLP: Open up policy gaps and start speaking human again.
    on 30 November 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Nicholas & Gopher – Perhaps Newry & Armagh for Westminster but the real measurement of progress for the SDLP will remain Stormont for the time being. Here though the opportunities are not that far out of reach. In fact the potential for any nationalist gains in the next Stormont elections rest almost exclusively with the SDLP. While their existing tally appear largely safe, they stand a decent chance of gains in Strangford (4th time lucky?), South Antrim, North Antrim, South Down, and at a big stretch Lagan Valley (where they overtook SF last time out). While they won’t come close to winning all of these, even one or two can be hailed as a marked success and the road to recovery.

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  3. Comment on Inability of OFMdFM to compromise has allowed the “No Go” politics of the street to re-occupy a central space
    on 12 August 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Without doubt, Robinson knows where the PUL community must travel to in order to secure the future but it continues to be unclear as to whether he:

    1. Doesn’t know how to get there
    2. Doesn’t want to get there
    3. Knows it can’t be reached or
    4. Wants to leave it to his succesor in a year or two

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  4. Comment on #Flegs: “That’s what we, in many instances, choose to see…”
    on 17 January 2013 at 4:50 pm

    The juxtaposition is interesting. As I have been pondering the causes of the loyalist flag protests, I am reminded of Patrick Pearse’s graveside oration for O’Donovan Rossa in 1915. One of the more memorable lines was of an Ireland “not free merely, but Gaelic as well; not Gaelic merely, but free as well”. An absolutist position that would make any unionist shudder (although he also said he looked forward to the time when the children of the Sandy Row would curse the Pope in Gaelic!). However, in regards to the flag protesters, it seems that their position could be best summed up in a similar way, ‘not in the Union merely, but culturally British; not culturally British merely, but in the Union as well’. Arguably, if this was truly their position, the non-aligned and others could be attracted but the reality is that it is not British culture that is on offer but rather a loyalist sub-culture that is intimidating, exclusive, and repellent. Additionally, it is one that is both perplexing and alien to your average Briton across the water, who is at a loss to understand at all the sectarian singing, marching, bonfiring, flag-burning, and obsessive flag flying, that pass as stables of this culture. Remarkably at a time when all others are trying to draw the non-aligned to their banners, this group is happy with the mantle of ‘Ourselves Alone’ or perhaps in less loaded parlance ‘Nobody likes us and we don’t care’. The worrying thing is that they may not be reconcilable to the current disposition and it is unlikely that mainstream unionism has the gumption to cut them adrift. In less than a year after Pearse’s oration all had changed utterly and it could be the case here too. Let’s hope it is for the better.

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  5. Comment on Essex, Bacon and the early treachery of (Irish) politicians…
    on 20 October 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Enjoyed that immensely. Sad I won’t be able to make the lectures.

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  6. Comment on What does McIlroy’s pending decision for Team GB mean to the rest of us?
    on 11 September 2012 at 4:42 am

    Good luck to him whatever flavour he chooses.  Seems very strange that his country of choice for the Olympics is continuing to be debated on this thread.  Surely if nothing else, based on his comments, it has to be Team UK or nothing.  Opting for Team Ireland now would seem contradictory if he had the choice of Team UK, and completely opportunistic if he didn’t.

    That said, the whole thing seems a little ham-fisted.  What’s wrong with saying ‘I am both British and Irish’ and continue to walk the line. All this additional commentary about being just a product of Irish Golf (born in a barn?) and being a proud Ulsterman, seems he’s attempting to eschew all Irishness.  More akin to what you would expect to hear from Davy Tweed of the DUP (albeit Rugby not Golf).  Why go out on that limb to alienate when it is so easily finessed? 

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  7. Comment on “Time for the beginning of a calm debate” on Northern Ireland’s Demographics
    on 4 January 2012 at 7:36 pm

    I think one likely development that was not mentioned in the article will be the re-birth of the partitionists. Even in the absence of a Border Poll, (let alone one that is likely to be successful), the putative catholic majority will rankle with many on the unionist right. Politically, even a catholic majority that could drive a nationalist majority at Stormont, will have no more power than the protestant/unionist one today. However, psychologically and optically it will discomfort enough unionists to dream of homogenous East Ulster that would restore their rightful place. The spectre of Rome Rule may be long gone but it has been replaced by a very distinctive ethnic characterization that in many ways is even more divisive. I am doubtful that the partitionists would win the day but I do see them entering the debate.

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  8. Comment on #aras11: He doesn’t know it’s a damn show. He thinks it’s a damn fight!
    on 17 September 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I think a lot of folks in the South will be challenged to put a number next to Martin McGuinness’ name. “What would the protestants think of us after all the things he has done” will be a common refrain. However, there will be a sizable portion of disillusioned Labour supporters and ex-FF’ers that will have no such qualms. I think a food result for SF will be to be there or there abouts at the last count. Builds on their profile in the south, removes more of the taboo for the next election. Also, the impact on those middle-class SDLP voting Catholics in the North will be interesting. Especially when McGuinness switches to Foyle instead of Glenshane at the next Westminster election. You heard it here first ;-).

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