Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Profile for FuturePhysicist

I have a degree in a physics related area.

Latest comments from FuturePhysicist (see all)

FuturePhysicist has commented 1,138 times (6 in the last month).

  1. Comment on NI21 issue open call for council candidates: fresh politics or desperate measures?
    on 31 March 2014 at 12:33 pm

    To expect “Èireann an Tuascairt Fiche a hAoan” to get workers out of fellow travellers right away was going to be difficult, but let’s be realistic here, even among the bigger parties there are some issues about getting some candidates in some constituencies, be that Sinn Féin or the SDLP in North Down, DUP in Newry, UUP in Foyle, Alliance in any place near the border.

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  2. Comment on NI21 issue open call for council candidates: fresh politics or desperate measures?
    on 31 March 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I always think writing off small parties is bad, had it not been for Bob McCarney’s UKUP and other small groups I doubt the DUP would have overturned the UUP, like Sinn Féin with the SDLP. The effect of the Vanguard Unionists on the UUP as well, indeed PDs on Ff, the Democratic left on Labour Ireland, the Social Democratics on the Lib Dems, the Co-Op party on Labour UK. Moderation is not the problem, both the DUP and Sinn Féin needed to move towards the centre ground to grow, abandoning it like other political splinter groups such as TUV or Erígí is clearly even less a favourable choice with our electorate than what is there from the UUP and SDLP.

    NI21 have problems, as do Alliance, the SDLP and the UUP, but people go into politics to fix problems. The first three are at least picking their battles and sometimes competing sometimes for the same group. It’s the UUP who are in danger, because with pact politics with the DUP they are in danger of conceding that there is no principle difference between them and the DUP.

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  3. Comment on Fianna Fail sets 2019 as a target date for running in NI elections
    on 30 March 2014 at 2:09 pm


    Again I ask the question, even if by some miracle Sinn Fein do get a majority in the Republic, what are they going to do differently from the older Sinn Fein to unify Ireland? Nothing!

    At best they wise up, sterilise the IRA connections and achieve a goal of being a new FF until the electorate rejects them, at worst they take their IRA apologist behaviour southward, make the place even more a cold house for Protestants and IRA victims and facilitate anti-principle of consent republicans to increase violence to “finish the job”

    Irish unity would come from a unity of people, not merely republicans in power. There would need to be compromises that Sinn Féin have to be prepared to make that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael were not prepared to do so to achieve that.

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  4. Comment on Fianna Fail sets 2019 as a target date for running in NI elections
    on 29 March 2014 at 1:27 pm

    FF have no choice. In a UI scenario SF would be the biggest party on the island, so FF have to position themselves now in preparation. Its clear we are entering the endgame stage visa vis partition. Expect many political shocks over the coming months, particularly big one coming within the next two weeks.

    1. Sinn Féin and their cohorts in the IRA have been the main obstacle to Irish unity.
    2. Sinn Féin are a saturated force up North and are tarred to sectarian lines because even if they weren’t blacked by the IRA they are still considered the most anti-Protestant party in any part of Ireland.
    3. Sinn Féin WERE the biggest party in Ireland, they used violence, they used authority, they used rhetoric about equality and leadership and Irish patriotism and what did it achieve? A divided Ireland and a divided Sinn Féin leading to Fianna Fáil in the first place. What has Sinn Féin nua tried now that Sinn Féin oige didn’t?

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  5. Comment on Fianna Fail sets 2019 as a target date for running in NI elections
    on 22 March 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Fianna Fail’s effects on Northern Ireland, particularly the border region are there for people to see. They’ve got some decent PR from McAlease but the fact they need 5 years to rid themselves of the Shackles of Cowan.

    If they do, I definitely will Neil Blaney a few independent SDLP candidates into the 26 county elections.

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  6. Comment on AFBI’s incentive scheme for scientific innovation ‘does not sit well’ with Stormont’s PAC
    on 21 March 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I think the scientific question is whether this scheme finances and incentivises public sector research, there are theories but I would like to see fiscal economic research data to see if the economic theories hold up.

    The political question is whether said research remains in the public domain if the taxpayer has paid for it or if the public taxpayer is financing private business on research patents that are basically private commercial property.

    I am biased given my avatar name, but the holistic approach to science funding has to be taken so facilitating the profits of a handful of scientists and private research firms may not worth shrinking the public science budget for the rest.

    Public financing in science pays for actions that are not market profitable such as environmental cleanup and protection, NHS healthcare, blue sky international collaborations on “Big Science” projects even some military/defence research. Private gains do need to be investigated in the context of exploiting the public. Also commercial science success noes not necessarily vindicate that good science has been practiced which is why science funding into forensic and clinical investigations and the security of peer review is vital to knowledge protection.

    Other than that the political interest into the nature of the research should follow the Haldane Principles.

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  7. Comment on McCann meets… Alex Attwood MLA
    on 11 March 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Any chance that this European election will become about Europe?

    The DUP would probably give all the European money back for two European seats, not that it would make any societal difference. They do give back peace money as was seen in the Maze, so why bother sending Diane Dodds over, her presence would have greater priority in Twaddel?

    This is about a flag and party power rather than millions of pounds on farming, research, economic investment, trade, knowledge transfer and labour movement at the end of the day, isn’t it?

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  8. Comment on NI Tories lend their weight as Labour NI accuse Ed Miliband of “undemocratic, 1950s, colonial governor mindset”
    on 8 March 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Denying a set of citizens the right ever to be part of government is exactly what the bad old Unionists did.

    Plenty of Ulster people have made it into government in the Labour Party, don’t you consider Ruth Kelly to be one of your own, or do you need the party to move Westminster over the Irish Sea? Even the Duke of Wellington couldn’t get elected over here!

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  9. Comment on NI Tories lend their weight as Labour NI accuse Ed Miliband of “undemocratic, 1950s, colonial governor mindset”
    on 6 March 2014 at 5:15 pm

    The decision to suppress the Labour Party is hard to explain. It has nothing to do with a united Ireland, as we support Labour Party policy. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Peace Process. And Alastair McDonnell has said publicly on two occasions the SDLP can live with Labour fighting elections held under PR STV.

    It would seem that it is purely a matter of the party washing its hands and saying we do not want to take responsibility for building a common future in Northern Ireland.

    The implication from this line is that Labour is afraid of lost deposits.

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  10. Comment on NI Tories lend their weight as Labour NI accuse Ed Miliband of “undemocratic, 1950s, colonial governor mindset”
    on 6 March 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Boyd Black has fought a long war against the irrational NI policy of the Labour Party. He attracted a lot of goodwill when he stood as a candidate in the Fulham by-election nearly three decades ago.

    It’s not rational to believe you can juxtapose Fulham onto say South Belfast either. It’s irrational to believe grassroots party of hundreds would be able to influence politics effecting millions simply by getting permission to contest elections again.

    The last Labour MP in Northern Ireland came from the Southern ‘Luacht Oibre’ variety rather than from the English based party, Labour Party had for many years in both islands accepted this constitutional flux, it once was unilaterally pro-Irish unity. A Northern Irish Labour Party has to deal with the ecosystem it lives in, rather than pretending the desert is the forest, and blaming the differences on the lizards and plants. The SDLP wasn’t the one who shut the door on Labour, Indeed the SDLP and Labour competed in East Belfast once.

    Comparing the SDLP to the SNP might not be bad, Labour does not accuse the latter of being sectarian yet accuses the former of it. Labour cannot escape the fact that in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland there is a desire to escape the UK or at the very least not to conform to it. Would Black argue that SDLP rebellions over the Labour whip on issues like on the Iraq war, 42 day anti-terrorism detentions and indeed this on the run issue do not come from a social democratic framework but rather some distant Irish Catholic ethno-nationalist separatism? Or is this because Labour need more “West Lothians” to secure it power when it struggles to get a English seats in the West Midlands and West London?

    Many Labour constituencies would like someone like Durkan or a Ritchie as their Labour MP, yes they want NI to leave the UK, but on that issue that’s not different from many British MP’s like John McDonnell. A hardworking MP is always respected. Let’s remember Ringland’s outrage at the UUP over the unity pact it engaged in a sectarian pact for FST, which the SDLP refused to do with Sinn Féin.

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