Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights


Tenx9-A true story of Belfast

Thu 27 March 2014, 1:40am

Tweet Over the past two years I have constantly heard yarns from all and sundry about the importance of culture. Who belongs to this tradition and what emblems we should back over the other? So, I went along to the most recent Tenx9 event in the Black Box on Wednesday evening to see a cultural […] more »

Live drawing #TweetupNI (and with Ian Knox)

Fri 14 March 2014, 4:31pm

Tweet Local tweeters give Ellen and the Oscars a #TweetUpNI selfie. David McCann kicked proceedings off at around 8pm with a healthy turnout. #tweetupni @dcmbfs kicks off the tweetup in McHughs — Alan in Belfast (@alaninbelfast) March 13, 2014   Derek McCallan from @NI_LGA launched #participate14.Then the mayor spoke:   Belfast Lord Mayor @newbelfast addressing @sluggerotoole #tweetupni […] more »

What Women Want: removing barriers to full participation in politics

Sun 9 February 2014, 12:28pm
Labour Party in Northern Ireland

Tweet Labour Party NI are holding a women’s policy conference on 22 March in The Pavilion at Stormont. The all-day event – the same day as the Alliance Party conference – is free to attend and open to non-party members and men. Under the title of What Women Want? the organisers want to discuss “real […] more »

Does social media have much influence or use in NI politics or protests? #nisocialpol

Tue 10 December 2013, 11:15pm

Tweet Researchers Orna Young and Jonny Byrne hosted a panel discussion in the University of Ulster this morning on Transformative Networks – Social Media, Politics and Protests. A panel gave their thoughts and afterwards there was a discussion. In the first part you’ll hear Orna Young introduce the event, followed by Alan Meban and Dave […] more »

Learning Together: NI21 Party Conference

Wed 20 November 2013, 3:02pm
Logo NI21

Tweet Learning Together: Maximising Common Education NI21 Party Conference by Allan Leonard for Northern Ireland Foundation 16 November 2013 At the NI21 inaugural party conference at the Europa Hotel, I chaired a fringe meeting to explore how shared and integrated education could be increased in Northern Ireland, and what potential role NI21 could have here. […] more »

Coming to a shared understanding of the past in the present is going to be painful, iterative and difficult

Fri 4 October 2013, 1:17pm

Tweet How many other things might be tolerated in peace and left to conscience, had we but charity, and were it not the chief stronghold of our hypocrisy to be ever judging one another! I fear yet this iron yoke of outward conformity hath left a slavish print upon our necks. John Milton, Areopagitica, 1644 […] more »

Jobs and Freedom for Northern Ireland

Fri 30 August 2013, 7:45am

Tweet Sponsored by the US Consulate Belfast, the Washington-Ireland Programme and Politics Plus, Chris Lyttle MLA hosted a remembrance event at Parliament Buildings for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, with Martin Luther King Jr’s speech, “I have a dream”. Chris recalled his experience as a participant in the […] more »

Basil and John need a name for their New Party: Can you help?

Thu 28 February 2013, 11:51am

Tweet Renegade former Ulster Unionist MLAs Basil McCrea and John McCallister have now publicly announced that they intend to set up a new political party for those disaffected with the political direction of the UUP under Mike Nesbitt’s leadership. At this point, the new party still needs a name. As both Basil and John lived […] more »

Italy’s Five Star Movement – is this what The End of History looks like?

Thu 28 February 2013, 7:00am
Former TV comedian Beppe Grillo on his election 'Tsunami Tour'. Photo by Roberto Beragnoli.

Tweet In 1992, Francis Fukayama predicted in The End of History that the end of the Cold War would impend not only an era of triumphant liberal-democratic capitalism, but one where political evolution had reached its final form. Western democracy, he argued, was the best form of state organisation practically achievable by humans. The folly […] more »

What remains valuable about the middle ground in Northern Ireland?

Wed 19 December 2012, 12:47pm

Tweet It’s a commonplace wisdom in Northern Ireland that the middle ground of politics is exactly where you don’t want to be. Both nationalist and unionist politicians who have taken up middle positions have long been subject to the kind of death threats and physical attacks the Alliance party is being subjected to. The animus […] more »

Donald Trump movie and the ill-defined concept of the ‘public interest’…

Wed 24 October 2012, 3:21pm

Tweet If you have watched You’ve Been Trumped yet, you should. There are many strong points to this documentary on not just how Donald Trump threw his weight around with local residents whose homes bordered his development in Aberdeenshire. But of most interest to me is the degree to which the Scottish media and Scottish […] more »

Sheriff Poots “opened up from an upstairs bedroom” to scare away intruders – can you ever take the guns out of politics?

Fri 27 July 2012, 3:30pm
Edwin Poots green teacher awards 2

Tweet While the dissident non-conformist republican groups are amid a rebranding exercise, there was a reminder this morning that paramilitary groups aren’t the only ones with guns that are willing to use. DUP Health Minister and Lagan Valley MLA Edwin Poots has admitted to firing warning shots out of a bedroom window to ward off […] more »

Place-names, Politics and Conflict

Thu 5 July 2012, 3:07pm

Tweet In a series of four posts over the coming weeks Ciarán Dunbar will explore why the single most important event in Irish place-names study and a significant event in Irish history, the 1st Ordnance Survey is almost universally misunderstood – But how do such simple everyday things such as place-names become involved in  politics, […] more »

Ard Comhairle to sign off details of the forthcoming ‘Martin meets Elizabeth’ gig…

Fri 22 June 2012, 12:42am

Tweet One of the stories that’s been hanging in the air for the last few weeks has been will Martin McGuinness meet the Queen, or won’t he? Well, it seems he will. Though the i’s and the t’s remain to be dotted and/or crossed. In recent weeks Slugger understands that the leadership within Sinn Fein […] more »

“For much of the time, the Stormont Assembly looks more like a talking-shop.”

Tue 29 May 2012, 1:58pm

Tweet With the announcement on Girdwood [and any other business? - Ed] as a stark example of the semi-detached polit-bureau back in action, Ed Curran looks ahead The mark of the Stormont Executive has been its ability to take longer than could be imagined to arrive at decisions on many important issues. No agreed legislation means little, […] more »

Iain Dale’s Total Politics moves right into the heart of Westminster…

Thu 1 March 2012, 12:28pm

Tweet Not everyone is hampered by the demise of print journalism. Ian Dale’s Bite Back media has bought Parliamentary Brief, a sort of house magazine for Westminster with an impressive array of writers and political topics far beyond Westminster. As usual the acquisition was engineered by local lad Shane Greer: Parliamentary Brief has been on […] more »

Quote of the Day…

Thu 22 December 2011, 12:12pm

Tweet From The Great Stagnation, quoted by Martin Wolf… “…politics is very difficult in an America without much low-hanging fruit”. As in America, so in Ireland where pork is also the chief political commodity? more »

#Aras11: How the Press got it wrong on Gallagher (and failed to admit it)

Thu 27 October 2011, 8:48am

Tweet Whilst it was perfectly legitimate to probe Martin McGuinness on his paramilitary past in the course of a Presidential election the key reason (character) for doing so was rarely crystalised by the many good journalists who did so. To be blunt, you cannot make political murder a reason for not taking office in state […] more »

The Irish political journalist’s problem with partial disclosure…

Fri 23 September 2011, 12:05pm
What the media are doing

Tweet The nod and wink politics of Ireland’s last two or three decades as practised par excellence by Bertie, Albert and Charlie is ultimately what has the Republic in the stew it’s in. Don’t get me wrong, the effective monitoring of those exercising of power does not demand full disclosure of everything all the time. […] more »

Great Big Politics Quiz kicks off tomorrow Night (Black Box, Belfast)…

Wed 21 September 2011, 4:28pm
PoliticsQuizLogoRed sml

Tweet Last chance to book your place… We have a stack of great prizes, courtesy of our old friends and consistent supporters Stratagem… All proceeds go to charity, in aid of rebuilding homes in Haiti… In fine old Northern Irish tradition the much revered office of Quiz Master will be rolling (d’Hondt has not been […] more »

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