Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights


Scotland, “England” and the post colonial struggle for warmth and freedom between porcupines…

Thu 10 April 2014, 8:32am

Tweet Melanie McDonagh writing in London based Evening Standard thinks Michael D “…isn’t so much a foreign dignitary; more like a friendlier version of Alex Salmond”. Aha, now it would be tempting to go with the ‘well if Scotland was independent…’ line, but it’s probably better to point out that as President Michael D is […] more »

Knock Euro election hustings #nieuro (+audio)

Tue 8 April 2014, 10:12pm
Knock PCI hustings

Tweet Nine parties sent candidates or representatives to the European Election hustings organised by the Peace Group in Knock Presbyterian Church in East Belfast tonight. listen to ‘#nieuro Euro hustings at Knock Presbyterian Church – candidate 60 second summary at the end’ on Audioboo A little under 200 people turned up to hear a three […] more »

McCann meets….@NI21Chair Tina McKenzie

Mon 7 April 2014, 4:05pm

Tweet This morning I met NI21’s newly minted European candidate, Tina McKenzie in the Europa Hotel for one of her first interviews as the party candidate.  Bouncing in and full of passion we spoke for just over twenty minutes as she regaled me with her ideas and plans for the campaign to come. I know […] more »

NI21 announce their Euro Candidate @NI21Chair Tina McKenzie

Mon 7 April 2014, 12:00am
NIF 20131116 IMG_5362

Tweet Ok, folks well the wait is over and it was really what we expected but NI21 have officially announced the party Chair as their European candidate. Speaking about being nominated Tina McKenzie said in a party press statement that; I want to maximise the potential of Europe and will focus on getting the best for Northern […] more »

FSB Euro Election Hustings #FSBNIHustings

Fri 4 April 2014, 9:41pm

Tweet This morning the Federation of Small Businesses in Northern Ireland hosted the first debate amongst all of the European candidates (Jim Allister didn’t turn up and Basil McCrea was representing NI21.) The event was attended by around 80 people at the top floor of the Europa Hotel. The debate kicked off with each candidate […] more »

TUV European Selection Convention- Jim Allister is the candidate

Thu 3 April 2014, 8:39pm

Tweet So, I wandered over to the Park Ave Hotel in East Belfast tonight to see the TUV announce as their candidate for the European election. The party room meeting was comprised of around 170 people. The evening began with a speech by the party leader Jim Allister, followed by a Q&A were delegates got the […] more »

McCann meets…Ross Brown #gpniconf14

Tue 1 April 2014, 1:39pm

Tweet Last in my series of interviews from the Green Party conference is the party’s European candidate, Ross Brown. I began by asking him about his ability to raise the £5,000 pounds necessary to run in these elections, but he assured me that the party along with his online drive to raise funds will allow […] more »

Anna Lo- A United Ireland would be better placed economically, socially and politically

Thu 20 March 2014, 8:05am

Tweet Expect more things like this from Anna Lo-she is full of surprises and her interview with John Manley in today’s Irish News is no exception to this rule as she speaks about her position on Irish unity.   In the piece she tells Manley;   I’m an honest person…I think it is such a […] more »

Ukraine: impotent activism and the limits of US power

Sat 15 March 2014, 7:30pm

Tweet Tomorrow will bring the referendum on Crimea leaving Ukraine and joining Russia. Most people are aware of the sequence of events: the Ukrainian president turning down a deal with the EU in favour of one with Russia; mass protests in Kiev leading to the fall of the government; the new government being unacceptable in […] more »

Milliband removes EU referendum from Labour’s agenda…

Thu 13 March 2014, 10:26am

Tweet Shrewd argument from Lord Ashcroft on Milliband’s speech on not calling an EU referendum: My polling has found that Tory voters are twice as likely as Labour voters, and UKIP voters three times as likely, to say that defending Britain’s interests in Europe is one of the most important issues facing the country. Among […] more »

McCann meets… Alex Attwood MLA

Tue 11 March 2014, 12:18am

Tweet I met with the SDLP’s candidate for the upcoming European elections, Alex Attwood up at Stormont to discuss his views on Europe, Nationalism, SDLP and the Executive.   When we began, Alex told me about the impact that his parents, particularly his mother had on his politics of looking after others and standing up […] more »

David Cameron’s bid to go it alone could open up the debate on the UK’s future on the EU

Tue 25 February 2014, 7:45am

Tweet NOW this is interesting. James Kirkup at the Telegraph broke the news last night that as well as having its manifesto writen by five old Etonians (and one former pupil of St Pauls, and I don’t mean the one in Beechmount!), the Tories will be going into the next election determined not go into […] more »

McCann meets…Anna Lo MLA #AimHighVoteLo

Fri 21 February 2014, 9:46pm

Tweet On Thursday evening I met the Alliance party’s European candidate, Anna Lo MLA for an interview about her experiences as a politician in Northern Ireland, the upcoming European elections and her future. I began by asking her about her experience in being elected in 2007 and the support she garnered from the Chinese community […] more »

“Scary or liberating, that is the meaning of independence…”

Fri 21 February 2014, 12:06pm

Tweet Talking to an English mate the other day he was waxing lyrical about how he’d be glad to get rid Scotland, until I pointed out that that’s a song you could keep singing until there was only London, Kent and the home counties left, at which point you’d be left with a valueless lump […] more »

Kenny addresses the nation as Ireland exits its bailout.

Sun 15 December 2013, 10:42pm

Tweet Only five times in Irish history has a Taoiseach taken to the airwaves to address the nation and Kenny went for his second go tonight as Ireland exits its bailout programme. Full text of the speech is available here Overall I found it a bit of a dull speech without any real coherent message […] more »

Taoiseach promises to ‘look into it’ just as the eleventh hour passes on Narrow Water bridge…

Sat 16 November 2013, 9:56am

Tweet So the EU money is gone, withdrawn as Wesley Johnston notes on the grounds “that the project’s instigators (Louth County Council) have not been able to secure sufficient funding to complete it in time for the deadline of June 2015″. Locally Paul Malone of the Newry Times seems fairly sanguine about a project that’s […] more »

Diane Dodds gets the DUP’s nomination for Europe…

Fri 8 November 2013, 11:54pm

Tweet And for balance’s sake, this evening the DUP nominated their sitting MEP, Diane Dodds. Here’s the FM’s pitch: Diane hasn’t been one of those MEPs who lives in Strasbourg and Brussels but forgets about their constituents. She has been a tireless advocate for citizens all across the Province, publishing three Funding Directories, highlighting funding […] more »

Attwood launches unambiguous pro EU pitch for MEP job…

Fri 8 November 2013, 11:00pm

Tweet The SDLP’s conference kicked off with Alex Attwood’s interestingly on topic (and actually quite intelligent) pitch for a seat in the European Parliament. I say intelligent because there’s no peace process ambiguity here. He’s actually selling membership of the EU as, erm, in a very Sellar and Yeatman way, ‘a good thing’: “The SDLP […] more »

Updated: European Parliament rejects abortion as a `human right` – Sinn Fein & Labour support motion

Tue 22 October 2013, 3:00pm

Tweet The European Parliament has today voted by 351 MEPs  in favour of referring the resolution by the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality back to committee, with 319 voted against. Fianna Fáil MEPs oppose EU parliament’s attempt to make abortion a human right: — Paul Anthony Ward (@PaulAnthonyWard) October 22, 2013 The Progressive Alliance […] more »

“His independent role has on occasions required him to take actions against the Executive…”

Wed 16 October 2013, 2:14pm

Tweet In the Belfast Telegraph Liam Clarke picked up on this exchange during questions to the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers in the Assembly on Monday.  The topic was the review, by Dame Elish Angiolini, Lord Advocate of Scotland until 2011, of the Office of the NI Attorney General, the report on which was delivered […] more »

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