Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights


“neither should loyalists use the flag issue as an excuse to stir up sectarian strife”

Mon 24 March 2014, 3:25pm

Tweet Paisley, K Reverend, scion of the founder of the DUP has had this to say on #flegs: “Perhaps [UUP MLA] Tom Elliott is right when he says ‘people should not deliberately confuse sovereignty with identity’. “However, neither should loyalists use the flag issue as an excuse to stir up sectarian strife, or to attack […] more »

McCann meets…David Ford MLA #AP2014

Mon 24 March 2014, 7:50am

Tweet In my second interview from the Alliance party conference, I was able to chat to the party leader, Justice Minister, David Ford. In the interview we chatted about the conference, his predictions for the future growth of the party and the On the Runs issue. I asked him about the comments made by Anna […] more »

#Haass talks D-Day-No Agreement

Mon 30 December 2013, 7:31pm

Tweet Well it’s nearly over. After three months of talks and attempted deal Dr. Haass and Prof. O’Sullivan will end their talks on flags, parades and the past. At the moment we are looking at an announcement of a deal or failure to agree at around midnight. It may well be the latter as Tracey Magee […] more »

Parade Commission, flegs and other matters…

Fri 20 December 2013, 11:18am

Tweet So how well do our political parties represent the views of the broader population? Not that well, it seems. The Parades Commission has at least passive backing from a large majority of Protestants, and flying the Union flag on designated days is fine with most Catholics: The poll for BBC Newsline found that 39 […] 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 »

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 »

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 »

#WillieFrazer dresses as Abu Hamza for court

Fri 27 September 2013, 12:20pm

Tweet                                       Sometimes, there just aren’t words (and no, I’ve no idea who Jamie Bryson is dressed as). Certainly, Newt thinks he has a point:   As usual, the real problem with Willie Frazer is that he […] more »

“I have no problem with the burning of a tricolour on top of a bonfire”

Thu 27 June 2013, 6:16pm

Tweet DUP MLA Paul Girvan (PG below) did an interview with Frank Mitchell (FM) this afternoon where he expounded upon his ideas about bonfires and burning the Irish tricolour. I’ve included a transcript below, rather than comment, other than he may have got this memo, but he didn’t get this one (and he probably burnt the one from […] more »

No room for British #flegs in, erm, British Fermanagh…

Tue 11 June 2013, 2:38pm

Tweet Aha, I wondered how long it would take. In today’s Irish News Fionnuala O’Connor that it is ‘time to give all our identities a rest’. But not in Fermanagh. It started with the council airbrushing an English flag of St George from the top of Enniskillen Castle in a leaflet, now, according SF MLA […] more »

See that #fleg in Enniskillen? Well, now you don’t…

Fri 7 June 2013, 11:59am

Tweet Now relax… The St George’s flag still flies over Enniskillen Castle as a reference to two former British regiments raised in the town’s defence in 1689. Can’t say I’d ever noticed before, but apparently there’s a row brewing over it’s removal from a leaflet for the G8 Summit… Here’s the council’s reasoning… “The design […] more »

#SpAdBill, the #GFA and the long shadow of the Boundary Commission

Mon 3 June 2013, 9:46am

Tweet I have been intending to post on the SpAdBill for a while but nothing has encapsulated the shrill histrionics of any public debate involving unionism since, well, the fading #flegs crisis or whatever the issue was just before that. And don’t get me wrong, there is no doubting the sincerity of Ann Travers or […] 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 »

Willie Frazer detained at his home this morning…

Wed 27 February 2013, 1:12pm

Tweet UTV reporting that Willie Frazer has been arrested... A 52-year-old man was detained at a house in the Tandragee Road area of Markethill, Co Armagh, just before 9am on Wednesday. He is currently in police custody being questioned on suspicion of public order offences linked to the Union flags protests. more »

“Simply because if you fill in a form you could get charged with an offence”

Fri 22 February 2013, 12:45pm

Tweet So, Mervyn Gibson rocked the boat on The View last night, when he noted the Orange may, after taking legal advice, choose not to notify the Parades Commission… Why? because one of the outcomes of the recent flag protest is a new ‘understanding’ that if you don’t notify the Parades Commission, there is nothing […] 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 »

#Flegs: They haven’t gone away you know…

Mon 18 February 2013, 1:28pm

Tweet There was a lot of upset Crusaders and Cliftonville supporters on Twitter at the weekend. Apparently flag protesters from other parts of Belfast (let’s call them predominantly Blues and Glens supporters) turned up at the away turnstiles to prevent Cliftonville’s majority Catholic support ingress to the ground. Result: the season’s big game between the […] more »

Will unionism’s long 2012 be seen as the year when the wave broke?

Fri 1 February 2013, 10:37am

Tweet With the #flegs protests seemingly diminishing, it seems like a good time to wrap up where 2012 has brought unionism, although it can be pretty much summed up in one word – crisis. It was a year in which there were early signs of modest progress visible to DUP leader Peter Robinson in March and by November he felt confident to proclaim that the constitutional debate […] more »

#Flegs Protest: Blocking the highway is only one way you can be convicted…

Thu 31 January 2013, 12:48pm

Tweet For me this was the most straightforward and relevant contribution on last night’s Nolan. Peaceful protest is fine this audience member says, but who is informing the young people who are getting involved about what is and what is not legal. Obstructing the highway has been a focus (because it is probably the most […] more »

Does Robinson’s move to the right on #flegs open a viable space on the Unionist ‘left’?

Wed 23 January 2013, 11:53am

Tweet How long ago was Peter Robinson’s speech of hope? I want us to use our powers of persuasion here at home, where it matters, to expound the benefits of belonging to the Union. That means challenging ourselves as well as challenging others and it means building a society where everyone feels equally valued. In […] more »

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