Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights


McCann meets…@LADFLEG Part 2

Thu 20 February 2014, 9:00pm

Tweet Pints nicely topped up, we began round two of our interview. I began by putting to them the criticism they get most that they are one sided and only go after Loyalists. Ron responded that there are plenty of occasions where LAD has criticised Sinn Fein citing the imagery they created when Gerry Kelly […] more »

Haass – Larkin unrepentant, Allister is on the attack, but where oh where is the DUP critique?

Fri 3 January 2014, 5:47pm

Tweet Now hold on, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet.  Inevitably most early reaction to Haaas is about the overall political verdict without going  much into detail. And you know how we can’t be bothered  to go into detail if we can stick  it into them instead. But hush!  Jim Allister QC has spoken. People […] more »

He’s back! Haass is returning to NI

Thu 26 December 2013, 5:48pm

Tweet Who said Haassmas comes but once a year? Our very own international problem solver Dr Richard Haass will be returning to get a deal that eluded him earlier in the week. Question for our posters-if you were Richard Haass how would you approach these talks and what concessions would you seek to get from […] more »

Cartoon – ChristmHaass carve-up

Tue 24 December 2013, 12:01pm
Haass carve-up, Brian John Spencer

Tweet Enjoy the cartoon and have a Merry Christmas and happy new year. Full acknowledgements to James Gillray and his infamous piece, ‘The Plumb Pudding in Danger’. Martin Rowson also gaves his take on it recently here. Morten Morland has his take on it with Cameron and Osborne here. more »

“The parties were told not to bring in any phones or other communication devices, nor to leave with any copies of the draft.”

Mon 16 December 2013, 11:48pm

Tweet Richard Haass’ attempt to ensure confidentiality during the on-going talks between the five Northern Ireland Executive parties – on the past, parades, and flags - failed to survive first contact with Sinn Féin.  Today the Haass team presented their first, complete, draft proposals to the parties.  The BBC report notes his latest attempt at ensuring […] more »

Interview with Loyalists Against Democracy – will @LADFLEG’s second year in existence be their difficult second album?

Mon 9 December 2013, 9:00am
Loyalists Against Democracy LAD logo

Tweet Like them or loathe them, Loyalists Against Democracy will have been around for a year on Tuesday 10 December. They’ve become a local online phenomenon with their mix of parody, banter and acerbic attacks. It started out as one man trolling “ridiculous” loyalist flag protesters online. Early daft parody protest ideas like complaining about […] more »

McCann meets….Arlene Foster MLA #dup13

Sun 24 November 2013, 11:59am

Tweet I took a trip up to the DUP Conference yesterday to interview some of the key figures within the party. I spoke with several Ministers namely Simon Hamilton, Edwin Poots and Arlene Foster. Just after her conference speech I spoke with the Enterprise Minister and possible future leader, Arlene Foster. We spoke about a […] more »

Where have all the moderates gone?

Tue 19 November 2013, 10:51pm

Tweet Well he’s back; Jamie Bryson made his first appearance on Nolan this morning since his restrictions on public speaking were lifted. I listened to Jamie talk about the need for more protests (he did say they should be peaceful in fairness) and how he believed the last round of protests had actually achieved a […] more »

McCann meets….Chris Lyttle MLA

Wed 13 November 2013, 7:19pm

Tweet  Last Friday I interviewed the East Belfast Alliance MLA, Chris Lyttle. Below are some excerpts of the interview but I would recommend listening to the entire thing as it is only 16 minutes long. On Naomi Long retaining East Belfast at the next election I think we have as always worked extremely hard in […] more »

Nesbitt recommends politics over further street protests; McCallister disses talk of “culture wars” in speech to Ulster GAA

Sun 10 November 2013, 12:00pm

Tweet In other non-SDLP news, the Belfast Telegraph report that Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has told party colleagues via an internal bulletin that the tactic of flag protests should cease. The tactics used to protest over the flag have alienated many who instinctively supported the cause … He warned against disrupting Belfast city centre […] more »

Lord Empey attacks Alliance Party for flags, participation in Irish Constitutional Convention and issues warning to Dublin government

Sat 19 October 2013, 10:19pm
Lord Empey at 2013 UUP conference

Tweet Listening back to Lord Empey’s opening statement at today’s UUP conference, his comments seemed worthy of a post on their own. In his nine minute address he predictably attacked the Alliance Party’s role in the Belfast City Council Union flag vote, explained why they shouldn’t be viewed as Unionist, and questioned their role in […] more »

#Onthisday 1964-The UK General Election

Tue 15 October 2013, 10:51am

Tweet On this day 49 years ago, the United Kingdom went to the polls to choose a new government. The result was a narrow Labour win of just 4 seats making Harold Wilson the Prime Minister. Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, the election of Wilson provoked fears among some Unionists in Northern Ireland that he would […] more »

DUP call on parade protests to be “peaceful and legal” and “within the law”

Mon 7 October 2013, 8:57pm

Tweet Ten months on from the beginning of the flag protests, it looks like DUP is finally applying foresight and making its position clear in advance of potential trouble. Addressing the Orange Order’s plans to “up-scale [protests] right up to civil disobedience if that’s what it takes”, Arlene Foster told BBC NI’s Sunday Politics show: […] more »

McCann meets…..Michael Copeland MLA

Mon 30 September 2013, 7:42pm

Tweet Last week, I sat down with East Belfast UUP MLA, Michael Copeland. We talked about his entry into politics, the flags protests and the performance of the PSNI. I want to apologise first for the audio but here are some quotes that I thought were interesting On the Executive’s performance in tackling underachievement; Thus […] more »

PUP-Is there anyway back in from the cold?

Sun 29 September 2013, 10:59am

Tweet The PUP has not had a very happy post-Good Friday Agreement existence. Since 1998, they have suffered an electoral decline that would make David Trimble blush. Yes, Northern Ireland’s voice of Loyalism has been out of sorts and out of political influence since it lost its last remaining assembly seat in 2010 when Dawn […] more »

NI21 call for ministers to pledge a flag commitment & for councils to regulate. But flags aren’t the only issue?

Sun 15 September 2013, 7:07pm
NI21 logo

Tweet Tonight, NI21 have launched an intervention into the debate around flags. You can read their statement and find the link to their video on an earlier post. It’s notable that the video is very careful to balance shots of Union flags and Irish tricolours. The messaging is not aimed at just one community – […] more »

Time to show flags proper respect

Sun 15 September 2013, 6:04pm
Respect for Flags campaign

Tweet Does the Union flag represent the United Kingdom or is it a marker in a sectarian battlefield? When the flag of the country hangs tattered from a lamppost, so does our society. When it is wrapped around someone during a riot or used to attack the police, it is defiled. In no other country […] more »

Matt Baggott on flag protests, Boston tapes, G8 summit, drones & social media

Tue 23 April 2013, 9:00am
PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott

Tweet It’s all looking a bit fraught. We need a recovery plan. The words of the Chief Constable Matt Baggott describing the fortunes of his football club rather than the PSNI’s response to the flags crisis. Though the words must echo what went through the PSNI senior officers’ minds when the flags crisis didn’t abate […] more »

What does the Irish flag mean to you?

Tue 2 April 2013, 12:58pm
Flag_of_Ireland.svg (1)

Tweet So, this is an experiment. I’m going to introduce a special rule for commenting on the thread below. There’ll be no sanctions for those breaking them (unless you’re really bad!!), but I will take those comments off when I get back into Slugger Central later on today. The rule is you can only say […] more »

Flags – Can we now have a sensible debate?

Tue 19 February 2013, 8:30am

Tweet Last night at Platform for Change‘s Flags – Can we now have a sensible conversation? event, 120 or more people crammed into a room in the Holiday Inn to hear from nine local political representatives and to pose their questions. The two hour event, chaired by Robin Wilson, started with each panellist being given […] more »

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