Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Profile for oneill

A UK Unionist and also confirmed devo-sceptic. I believe the creation of devolved "governments" in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, along with the corresponding unsolved "English Question", has weakened that Union. The present-day Conservative Party would be the national party which would come closest to representing my political beliefs. I have previously belonged to the "Friends of the Conservatives" and the UUP but am no longer connected with either party. Outside of my Unionism, I consider myself as an economic libertarian, social liberal and secularist- e'g. am pro-choice, anti-schools segregated on the grounds of (parents') religious beliefs. Very suspicious of NI's Human Rights' Oligarchy (in particular the NIHRC) and hope to be writing on this topic, as well as wider UK and European political issues.

Latest posts from oneill (see all)

oneill has posted 40 times (0 in the last month).

Dancing apart on the narrow ground

Fri 7 September 2012, 11:27am

Tweet The explosion of Dance Culture,  fuelled by rave music and Ecstasy, is often credited with being one of the causes for the reduction in football hooliganism in England and Scotland in the late 80s, early 90s. If you follow the popular mythology, then hooligan outfits such as West Ham’s ICF and Millwall’s Bushwackers, overnight swapped […] more »

Peterhead, Annan, Elgin etc here they come…Revenge or Redemption?

Fri 13 July 2012, 7:26pm

Tweet The second (or third, depending who you listen to) most supported club in Northern Ireland will next season be playing against clubs who rarely break 700 as an average home attendance. To put that figure in context, on occasions there are probably more Rangers fans travelling over from Ulster alone to watch their team […] more »

“The Progressive Patriot” by Billy Bragg: a book review.

Sat 10 December 2011, 6:22pm

Tweet  After I had submitted my two previous book reviews to him (here and here), Mick suggested I also try one on “my favourite book”. Well, probably one of the most enjoyable and thought-provoking political reads I’ve had over the last couple of years is Billy Bragg’s “The Progressive Patriot”.  For those readers not of a certain vintage, Billy […] more »

Yet more devolved discrimination

Wed 30 November 2011, 9:14pm

Tweet Edinburgh and St Andrews Universities, which are the most popular in Scotland with students from the rest of the UK,  have decided to charge  £36,000 for a four-year course- their degree courses will be the most expensive in the nation. The SNP’s Education Secretary  Mike Russell has (bearing in mind his party is the architect […] more »

“Good Friday. The death of Irish Republicanism” by Anthony McIntyre: a review

Thu 17 November 2011, 2:23pm

Tweet  This was a book that I first reviewed at the same time as “Unionism Decayed” back in 2008. Like Vance’s work, it is the author’s portrayal of a defeated political movement or ideal and as a Unionist it was instructional to read an interpretation of the immediate post-Agreement period from the other side of the […] more »

“Unionism Decayed 1997-2007″ by David Vance: book review

Sun 13 November 2011, 2:57pm

Tweet I initially wrote this when the book was first published three years ago; whilst certain elements of it now sound dated, its basic premise that the period of 1997-2007 was a period of irreversible decay for Northern Irish Unionism can still be argued as a valid opinion.  My own feeling is that it did […] more »

Is O’Flaherty prepared to rattle *all* the cages?

Sun 16 October 2011, 4:37pm

Tweet Editor’s note: *See the bottom of the article for an important footnote from Professor O’Flaherty… In last Monday’s Irish Times, we were helpfully informed that “Michael O’Flaherty has carried out much work promoting human rights” which was a relief to read, especially bearing in mind his new position as Monica McWilliams’ replacement at the Northern Ireland Human […] more »

Some serious Unionist thinking required…

Tue 27 September 2011, 1:28pm

Tweet Peter Robinson, July 2009: When I first became the leader of the DUP, I stated that one of my objectives would be to increase the confidence and understanding of the Unionist people concerning their history and heritage. My plans for the development of a Unionist Academy are at an advanced stage and will be […] more »

An alternative (economic) Future

Fri 23 September 2011, 2:15pm

Tweet Conservative Future (the youth movement of the UK Conservative Party) is presently the largest political organisation on British campuses. Ben Howlett, as a candidate for the post of the organisation’s chairmanship, last year created a major political kerfuffle (OK, make that a kerfuffle within right-of-centre student political circles!)  by answering the question posed during […] more »

“The Committee continues to question whether it is possible to sit in two national legislatures simultaneously”

Thu 15 September 2011, 5:12pm

Tweet Only (as far as I am aware) the NI Conservatives have commented on this- it will be interesting to see what the other more directly affected parties make of it; probably busily sweeping it under the carpet as we speak…  Anyway…  the  Committee on Standards for Public Life released its annual report (pdf) today and it made the following points […] more »

Latest comments from oneill (see all)

oneill has commented 986 times (0 in the last month).

  1. Comment on [Meanwhile in Galway]: “Get the f**k off our campus now…”
    on 7 March 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Four Nazis attempting to deny free speech in an empty hall, wouldn’t have given them the publicity.

    It’s not *their* campus.

    Go to comment

  2. Comment on “Scary or liberating, that is the meaning of independence…”
    on 21 February 2014 at 6:29 pm

    “….there was only London, Kent and the home counties left, at which point you’d be left with a valueless lump of the managerial classes.”

    And a population bigger than 7 or 9 of the present EU?
    And the highest GDP per head in the EU?

    Really, not the strongest pro-Union argument to put to the S English.

    Go to comment

  3. Comment on McCann meets…LAD Part 1
    on 21 February 2014 at 6:24 pm

    “What’s your issue with “their people”?”

    Struck me as presumptious, bit like when SF or the DUP claim to speak on behalf of the entire nat-unionist population.

    But, hey, we live in a democracy and like SF or the DUPes they can claim to speak on behalf of whoever they like.

    And if they are really confident “that they were in touch with their people,” then they can test it at the ballot box beauty contest I guess?

    Go to comment

  4. Comment on McCann meets…LAD Part 1
    on 20 February 2014 at 1:02 pm

    “….this they said that they were confident that they were in touch with *their people, who they defined as ‘in the middle’ and not aligned to either side.”

    *Their people*??!!

    Go to comment

  5. Comment on Do nationalists have fears? If so, why can’t our journalists report on them?
    on 1 January 2014 at 2:13 pm

    “Do nationalists have fears?”

    Ask any of them living beside a *peace* wall to separate them from their “Unionist” neighbours and you’ll get a very succinct answer to that question.

    But that’s the real world and it doesn’t suit the somewhat more abstract narrative propagated by SF which is of a confident community (under the guidance of a confident and astute political party obviously) progressing steadily towards its nirvana of a 32 County State where fear will disappear the next day along with the *Peace* Walls.

    Admit fear and you are admitting Gerry & Co haven’t done their job.

    Go to comment

  6. Comment on Negative pro-Union campaign causes Tory jitters about Scottish independence
    on 30 December 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Win/win for Cameron.

    Scotland separates then England remains Conservative forever. Within 5 years the harsh economic realities of separation will hit the Scottish electorate hard and mercilessly.

    The only scenario for Salmond is to win his referendum convincingly.

    A Scotland which is separated on a 20/30% (of the overall electorate) “yes” vote will turn on itself and primarily on the SNP>
    A Scotland which separates on a 50%+ vote will have nobody to blame but itself.

    Go to comment

  7. Comment on Interview with Loyalists Against Democracy – will @LADFLEG’s second year in existence be their difficult second album?
    on 9 December 2013 at 7:29 pm

    “The fact is one doesn’t have to look very hard to find republicans of a similar ilk, LAD chooses not to do this because themuns deserve it more…”

    If LAD chooses to concentrate their ire exclusively on working/class Hun then that’s their choice and right. The internet is not the BBC, supposedly operating under a set of equality guidelines when reporting or analyzing.

    Go to comment

  8. Comment on Interview with Loyalists Against Democracy – will @LADFLEG’s second year in existence be their difficult second album?
    on 9 December 2013 at 2:23 pm

    They were labelled on Mallies blog recently as Northern Ireland’s equivalent to Tahrir Square, Gezi Park, Charter 77 and Charles Dickens, no less.

    And I really think there is their biggest problem now

    They, their advocates and the loyalists they target really do overestimate LAD’s importance in the grand scheme of things. Have they managed to change one attitude?
    Nope. Have they made some people laugh at the more obnoxious end of loyalism. Occasionally. That’s it.

    Also their response to more nuanced criticism or questioning, as Alan points out, verges on bullying and they are not above using the tool to abuse to push people off the debate.

    Go to comment

  9. Comment on #Lethal Allies: this is not collusion.
    on 2 November 2013 at 5:28 pm

    “Would the reception have been any different on any other date?”

    No, probably not.

    Still… why pick a Wednesday when generally a Tuesday or a Thursday are considered the most *friendly* “media-savvy” days to get a reaction?

    And why that Wednesday and not, for example, Wednesday 30th October?

    Go to comment

  10. Comment on #Lethal Allies: this is not collusion.
    on 2 November 2013 at 4:47 pm

    “The publication of Ann Cadwalladers Lethal Allies last month by Mercier Press was always going to have a relatively predictable reception.”

    When exactly was it published John?
    Why did the PFC specifically wait until (Wednesday) 23rd October to deliver its verdict?

    Not read it yet, plan to do so soon

    Go to comment

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