Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

peter robinson

Cartoon – Mission accomplished

Mon 14 April 2014, 3:08pm
Martin McGuinness, caricature, Brian John Spencer

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Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition (except for opening stuff and jobs announcements)

Fri 11 April 2014, 8:20am

Tweet What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? Lady MacBeth, Act V, Scene 1         Hard to disagree with an essential core of Newton Emerson’s criticism of Peter Robinson, ie that as a leader he’s more tactical than strategic. He is right too that […] more »

Cartoon – The Statesman

Tue 8 April 2014, 9:49am
Martin McGuinness polticial cartoon, Brian John Spencer

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OTR crisis begins to abate: totally inappropriately

Tue 4 March 2014, 9:39pm

Tweet The crisis has begun to abate, without the direct threat of Stormont collapsing in the immediate future. Despite various claims from the predictable sources in both former government and pliant media circles this was and remains a major scandal and a colossal indictment of the whole political process. The first suggestion at minimising the […] more »

If the DUP overdo their anti-OTR campaign, they risk losing more face

Sat 1 March 2014, 12:14pm

Tweet Now where are we? On the basis of Mick’s posts and other comment let’s try to find out. On the face of it the terms of the inquiry are broadly drawn. The aim of the inquiry is to: To produce a full public account of the operation and extent of the      administrative scheme for […] more »

David Cameron: “We will appoint an independent judge to produce a full public account of the operation of this administrative scheme…”

Thu 27 February 2014, 3:56pm

Tweet The BBC reports that the Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a judicial review of the operation of the controversial administrative scheme to deal with so-called “on the runs” which was highlighted in the recent collapse of the John Downey case.  From the BBC report Mr Cameron told a Downing Street press conference: “I agree with […] more »

How the system of “comfort letters” developed. Secrecy was important, Hain admits

Thu 27 February 2014, 3:36pm

Tweet Much of the ammunition Peter Robinson needs is already in Mr Justice Sweeney’s lengthy judgment in the Downey case. Key points in this Belfast Telegraph summary. The administrative scheme began in 2000 to rectify the anomaly because as on the runs, they weren’t eligible for the early release scheme. The overall picture is of […] more »

More than ever, the “crisis” shows the need to face up honestly to the end of Troubles prosecutions

Thu 27 February 2014, 11:40am

Tweet Fair enough. There are genuine grounds for shock and anger but there is a good deal of grandstanding too. The pity of it is, the growing recognition among unionists of the case for limited immunity tied to truth recovery will be set back. Taking the optimistic view (somebody has to), the full extent of […] more »

If you want an excuse to bring the house down, you’ve got one now

Wed 26 February 2014, 2:39pm

Tweet It’s too much to hope for that politicians should act with restraint over the Downey debacle. It gives them a heaven sent opportunity to jump up and down.  Look,  at one level  the Downey case is an obvious anomaly. He was wanted. He wasn’t not wanted. Unless you think that the 180 letters were […] more »

Cartoon – Hear Nesbitt roar!

Tue 18 February 2014, 2:05pm
Mike Nesbitt, Edwin Poots cartoon, Brian John Spencer

Tweet   <div data-boourl=”” ><a href=””>listen to ‘UUP leader Mike Nesbitt says &quot;Poots must go&quot; #BBCNolan’ on Audioboo</a></div><script type=”text/javascript”>(function() { var po = document.createElement(“script”); po.type = “text/javascript”; po.async = true; po.src = “”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();</script> Not like we haven’t heard it before.       more »

Cartoon – With friends like these

Fri 7 February 2014, 4:10pm
Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, Brian John Spencer

Tweet   Who needs enemies? And of course it’s been said:  “I fear the real danger for Unionism lies not in what our opponents would seek to do to us but in what we do to ourselves.”   more »

DUP: “the public may well ask whether then or now they have been misled” #Paisley

Sun 19 January 2014, 11:14pm
DUP Nigel Dodds shadow

Tweet In the internet age, rebuttals come in fast. Tonight’s statement from the DUP manages to arrive just in time to make it into some of tomorrow morning’s newspapers and news bulletins and even before those media outlets’ journalists have been able to report their analysis and opinion on what they gleaned from Friday afternoon’s […] more »

Cartoon – #Paisleydoc

Sat 18 January 2014, 12:41pm
Peter Robinson, Brian John Spencer

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Cartoon – The organ-grinder

Mon 6 January 2014, 1:59pm
Jim Allister, Northern Ireland cartoonist,

Tweet In the 19th and 20th Century organ-grinders were often paid to keep silent, given the repetitious nature of the music. Not much chance of that in this instance. more »

Cartoon – Haass talks 2.0

Mon 30 December 2013, 5:23pm
Haass talks 2.0, Brian John Spencer

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Cartoon – away from Home, Alone 2

Sat 28 December 2013, 7:05pm
Richard Haass cartoon, Brian John Spencer

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Peter Robinson, keeping the press accountable – Caption Competition

Tue 26 November 2013, 10:38am
Peter Robinson - 'Kittens', Brian John Spencer

Tweet Never mind the “unpleasant odour” rising from Northern Ireland’s libel law (and the urge to censor), there’s something a little stinky coming from Peter Robinson’s call for the media to show more support for Stormont. As Orwell said, “journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” Surely […] more »

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