Slugger O'Toole

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Latest comments from SDLP supporter (see all)

SDLP supporter has commented 313 times (26 in the last month).

  1. Comment on What makes a good local Councillor?
    on 14 April 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Barnshee, success in business rarely translates into political effectiveness. George W. Bush had an MBA from Harvard Business School and was probably the worst-ever US President. In contrast, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman had pretty unsuccessful business careers but were highly effective US Presidents. Robert McNamara, JFK’s Defence Secretary, had run Ford Motor Company highly successfully but was a monumentally disastrous political operator responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, both Vietnamese and US.

    I agree with you that there are too many councils and, even under the new model, it is ridiculous that there is an average of 3,572 voters per councillor in Belfast and an average of 2,027 voters per councillor in Fermanagh and Omagh. If they had equalised the number of councillors throughout the North, we could had reduced the number of councillors from 582, not to 462, but to about 350. SDLP missed a trick there.

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  2. Comment on What makes a good local Councillor?
    on 14 April 2014 at 6:57 pm

    What a detestably smug attitude from Barnshee. What on earth is he or she even doing on a site that deals mainly in politics. I am a political partisan but I do acknowledge that the great majority of those who put their names forward as council candidates, from whatever party, want to make a contribution to the public commonweal. What are the great qualities than Barnshee thinks he or she has?

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  3. Comment on Belfast City Council: “what happened on Saturday evening is a clear breach of our terms and conditions of hire.”
    on 3 April 2014 at 7:35 pm

    So I take it, Socaire, that you are not actually capable of formulating any answers to the questions I asked.

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  4. Comment on Belfast City Council: “what happened on Saturday evening is a clear breach of our terms and conditions of hire.”
    on 3 April 2014 at 1:38 pm

    1. Is someone like Francie Molloy, abstentionist MP for Mid Ulster, a better Irishman, with more achievements to his name for the benefit of the Irish people than men like Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell and Michael Davitt (founder of the Land League), all of whom sat at Westminster at various times?
    2. Was General Tom Barry (‘Guerrilla Days in Ireland’) who served with the British Army in World War 1, and who later played such a prominent role in the War of Independence, an Irish nationalist?
    3. What is the position of Martin Doyle, a Wexford man who won the Victoria Cross in WWI, and who later fought for the IRA?
    4. Were the Connaught Rangers, soldiers in a British regiment serving in India, who mutinied after the 1916 Leaders were shot, and who themselves then were executed, deluded fools and traitors for enlisting?
    5.Was Wolfe Tone, the very avatar and originator of the idea of Irish republicanism, who wrote a plan for William Pitt to colonise the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) under the British Crown, an imperialist lick-spittle who in another time and place would have been a ‘legitimate target’ for the Provisional IRA?

    All questions for Socaire and those like him to mull over (‘think about’ is too strong a phrase to describe what goes on in their heads).

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  5. Comment on Belfast City Council: “what happened on Saturday evening is a clear breach of our terms and conditions of hire.”
    on 2 April 2014 at 10:16 am

    As a democratic Irish republican I won’t be particularly honouring the men of 1916 nor anyone else from a century ago. The decade or so from 1912 was a disaster for the whole island because of the cult of militarism (official state) and paramilitarism and the country was practically smashed to pieces by a ruinous civil war and the bloody origins of Northern Ireland.

    In these circumstances, and given the dishonesty and deceit of successive British governments in ignoring and/or sabotaging the fair demands of democratic Irish nationalism (Parnell, Redmond etc), it’s a wonder that whatever democratic institutions that we have today have taken root, wholly imperfect as they are.

    Here’s the thing: would Sinn Fein take a hall in Ballymun or Darndale or Ballybough and put on the display of strutting faux paramilitarism that they put on at Whiterock? Pretty sure they wouldn’t, it would torpedo the glossy new sanitised Mary Lou image and besides a democratically-elected Irish government (however imperfect) would come down on them with full force.

    That cynicism is Sinn Fein partitionism in action and the essential difference between 2014 and 1916 is that we have democratic institutions in place and a genuine Oglaigh na hEireann, not the corner boys at Whiterock who have misappropriated the name and have the gall to call themselves “soldiers of Ireland”.

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  6. Comment on And meanwhile in Larne, the UDA enforces its imaginary paramilitary writ…
    on 1 April 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Agree with the comments of Comrade S, about the weasel words of Sammy Wilson and the studied eye-averting of the DUP, and similar attitudes in relation to Whiterock by themmuns on the other side.

    Another classic was Paul Maskey MP condemning the “dissident rocket” on the Falls Road which took a chunk out of the City Cemetery wall and nearly killed a whole Filipino family. Literally, in one breath, he managed to “condemn” the perpetrators and “condemn” the PSNI for their slowness in arriving on the scene. As if there was some equivalence.

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  7. Comment on Anti austerity socialists take a beating in French town hall elections…
    on 31 March 2014 at 5:11 pm

    It’s interesting that Sinn Fein (in the Republic), UKIP and the Front Nationale are all surging in the polls. All these parties have a hell of a lot in common although, I suppose to be fair, Sinn Fein has not (yet?) played the anti-immigrant card that the other two parties have. Certainly UKIP and Sinn Fein have shared joint anti-Lisbon Treaty platforms.

    What Trichet says is largely true, though no one ever elected him and he is definitely part of the problem rather than the solution,

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  8. Comment on Alliance is diversity in action by Lauren Mulvenny
    on 28 March 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Sad to see news of the death of Sam McAughtry, may God be good to him.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-26785370

    Had he been well he would have enjoyed the forthcoming night of celebration of the life and work of another Sam, Sam Thompson, in the John Hewitt Bar, Donegall Street, at 8 pm on Wednesday, 2 April, with Michael Longley, Tim Loane, Brian Garrett, John Gray, Denis Tuohy, Dan Gordon, Julia Deardon, Ophelia Byrne and Alan McKee.

    A plaque will be unveiled in memory of Sam Thompson and to mark the new bridge in East Belfast being named after him, by public vote.

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  9. Comment on Alliance is diversity in action by Lauren Mulvenny
    on 28 March 2014 at 2:41 pm

    FJH, at the 2012 Conference, those were the young people from the Strabane branch where the SDLP has been moribund organisationally since the heady days of Ivan Cooper.

    I know people like you have switched (back) from Sinn Fein to voting SDLP, and I’m glad, but the main problem with the SDLP is the number of former voters who just don’t bother to vote any more.

    I have no problem engaging with current Sinn Fein voters but their activists are pretty hard going and obdurate and thoroughly indoctrinated and, in almost all cases, aren’t going to switch on the basis of argument.

    The Seamus Mallon programme on RTE touched on it last night: the greatest challenge of the SDLP is its organisational dysfunctionality from its earliest days over large parts of the North, and the shielding of representatives who weren’t up to the job (which Seamus was also guilty of).

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  10. Comment on Alliance is diversity in action by Lauren Mulvenny
    on 28 March 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Bourbon-like fundamentalism from Coll Ciotach who (I believe) may be one of those people who want Fianna Fail to organise in the North. Does CC believe that there is an arguable case for unionism, if only on the grounds of short-term economic self-interest?

    I thought that the one of the essences of the Good Friday Agreement was that the constitutional status of the North would change when a majority of people here, and a majority in the Irish Republic, voted for it. Certainly, SDLP and Alliance are on the same page on that one. That should have de-toxified the ‘border’ question and democratic republican/nationalist parties should have set to work on plans to build a new Ireland that would have been attractive to those of the unionist tradition who were open-minded.

    Of course, both DUP and Sinn Fein have largely nullified that intent by picking at the wound of the border for their own advantage.

    As Hume said, Irish unity is a matter of those who want it persuading those who don’t want it. There is no other way.

    In addition, an Irish nationalist is someone who wants Ireland to be ruled by the people of Ireland in all their diversity. In a way, that makes nearly all of us nationalists because there has never been as much democratic control and accountability on the island, North and South.

    Joint sovereignty at present is not feasible, as Dublin could not remotely afford the cost. The Six Counties is a basket place economically and financially.

    I also have to say, as someone who believes in a truly united Ireland, and who has lived long periods of his life in three of the provinces, that the endless stories emanating from the Republic about corruption, mega-incompetence, absence of public morality and sheer lack of governance and civic spirit in so many areas of life (especially among the rich and powerful), profoundly depresses me.

    Focal scoir, I enjoy trying to tweak the noses of Alliance people on this site from time to time (hi, Comrade Stalin). However, in my limited experience their activists are, by and large, good people. They can oversell themselves and be self-righteous (so can I) but the differences between SDLP and Alliance on a fundamental, defining matter like the On the Runs are as nothing compared to the yawning gulf between SDLP and Sinn Fein.

    I have and will transfer my vote to Alliance. I would never to Sinn Fein, DUP and any paramilitary-linked party and I increasingly see no reason to do so in the case of the UUP.

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