Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights


What makes a good local Councillor?

Sun 13 April 2014, 12:40pm

Tweet Over the coming weeks hundreds of people will be seeking a job with an interview panel of thousands asking questions about their ability to deal with local problems, create jobs and run local services. But, this year will be a little bit different as local councils take on a lot more powers. Speaking about […] more »

Seamus Mallon: “No gobbledegook peace-nik speak, no motherhood and apple pie…”

Mon 31 March 2014, 9:12pm

Tweet Tom Kelly in the Irish News today makes a point worth re-iterating in the case of Seamus Mallon: Mallon is an erudite, eloquent but earthy politician. Listeners immediately get what he is saying. There’s no gobbledegook peace-nik speak, no motherhood and apple pie sweet nothings and certainly no pan European fudge eulogising about Franco-German […] more »

TUV, SDLP and UUP host victims commemoration at Stormont

Tue 11 March 2014, 10:47pm

Tweet Alan has a post on the Alternative Ms. Ulster event hosted by Steven Agnew at Stormont on Sunday complete with the inspiring / daring / indecent, speech/ behaviour by Ms. Park. In contrast yesterday the UUP, SDLP and TUV hosted the third annual day of remembrance for victims of terrorism. 120 people attended and […] more »

Belfast’s Big Tweet Up-Thursday 13th March 7:30pm. #TweetupNI

Tue 11 March 2014, 6:26pm

Tweet Calling politico’s across the land-we are going to be hosting our big tweet up in McHughs bar this Thursday night from 7:30pm. We will have the finest collection of bloggers, politicos, journalists and politicians that a free basement in Belfast can buy. Plus we will have our guest speaker, the Lord Mayor, Máirtín Ó […] 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 »

#ShinnersList is “a consequence of Sinn Fein’s selfish misdealing…”

Sun 2 March 2014, 2:57pm

Tweet Interesting response to the Hain interview this morning from Mark Durkan… “It is no surprise that Peter Hain has now articulated this view. That was clearly his position. Sinn Fein, who have been quoting him in aid this week, know that this was Peter Hain’s view when they were collaborating together to push forward […] more »

Fine Gael to consider contesting elections in the North #fgaf14

Sat 1 March 2014, 1:03pm

Tweet Interesting development from the Fine Gael Ard Fheis this weekend as the party’s delegates have passed a motion to set up a working group to consider the possibility of contesting elections in the North. The motion that was passed only states contesting elections at Local, European and Assembly elections but it will be interesting […] more »

Rationale for the #ShinnersList: “Preferential treatment of IRA men regarding their potential criminal liability…”

Fri 28 February 2014, 5:06pm

Tweet On Facebook yesterday, I saw a query from an old schoolfriend (from P1, as it happens). He’s about as apolitical it is possible to be, but his curiosity was clearly piqued and he asked a question about how on earth the NIO managed to get all those letters out to the OTRs. The answer […] more »

Belfast’s Big Tweet Up – Thursday 13 March at 7:30pm

Tue 25 February 2014, 8:59am

Tweet Please do come along to this event for some drinks, political chat and a good warm up before the St Patrick’s Day weekend. Guest will be the Lord Mayor, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir Picture is by Brian John Spencer. more »

Whatever you do, don’t stand out from the crowd.

Fri 14 February 2014, 9:24pm

Tweet In an interview with Barton Creeth, the SDLP council candidate for Balmoral, Justin Cartwright made the following statement which caused a bit of a brew ha ha when he said this about whether he was campaigning for Irish unity No I’m not. I’m an economic unionist. Increasing numbers of nationalist voters are moving away from this idea of […] more »

NI Justice Minister: “It is important to note that, in setting some minimum standards, I am not prohibiting the Board from adding to these minimum criteria…”

Tue 28 January 2014, 2:39pm

Tweet Whilst Brian may regard them as “surely sensible” changes to the criteria for the next Chief Constable, and they may well be, as I mentioned in updates to a previous post, no sooner had the Northern Ireland Justice Minister, the Alliance Party’s David Ford, announced those changes than the NI First and deputy First […] more »

McCann meets….Jamie Bryson

Thu 9 January 2014, 6:27pm

Tweet When I put out a call for who I should interview on this segment Jamie Bryson’s name came up. He is a controversial character and invokes very few muddled opinions as the interview went out live on Lisburn’s 98FM the twitter feed went into action with people tweeting praise and criticism in equal measure. […] more »

Tough messages for the SDLP: Open up policy gaps and start speaking human again.

Fri 29 November 2013, 6:24pm

Tweet Nice work from Stephen Walker to get his hands on a confidential report based on focus groups across Northern Ireland. The leaker, no doubt, will be keeping his/her head down low (there’s a pun there if you dig not too deeply). It’s hardly the best way to communicate tough home truths to: one, do […] more »

So what do SDLP supporters really think?

Tue 12 November 2013, 2:50pm

Tweet Okay, I’m coming in late with this, but since its inspired so many off topic comments on other threads, it might be useful to focus on LucidTalk’s short form conference survey at the SDLP conference in a single thread. I’ll let pass the question of how wise it is to let a newspaper do […] more »

SDLP need a ‘violent storm’ or two to learn how to sail a ‘ship of war’…

Mon 11 November 2013, 3:03pm

Tweet I remember being asked, rather pointedly by one leading Pol Corr why I even bothered turning up for the SDLP’s Newcastle conference which elected Margaret Ritchie as party leader. I was then told, in no uncertain terms, “they don’t matter any more” This is the wilderness pit that the likes of the SDLP and […] more »

Poetry, space, aliens, Haass & kicking arse – finally some unscripted colour and passion at #sdlp13!

Sun 10 November 2013, 10:00am
Paul Hoban sdlp13

Tweet Light relief came at the SDLP conference when party member Paul Hoban got up onto the platform to support the party’s two Haass talks representatives with a poetic – and eccentric – contribution: A missionary Yankee called Haass Was given a difficult task. Unite extremists […] to respect each’s past No deal, so plan […] more »

SDLP conference – a party ill at ease with itself over opposition & strategy #sdlp13

Sat 9 November 2013, 11:17pm
Mark H Durkan

Tweet Over half the motions at the SDLP policy-making annual conference were addressed on Friday afternoon and evening. Participation in debate was sporadic and the numbers of delegates in the hall were low compared to the number catching up in the hotel corridors and social areas. One observer recalled that not much more than 50 […] more »

McDonnell, the conference and the SDLP’s unhappy muddle. #sdlp13

Sat 9 November 2013, 5:11pm

Tweet This was Alasdair McDonnell’s third speech as SDLP leader. If you watched on TV the poor audio for the first ten minutes would have forced you to switch off but when the BBC managed to sort out its technical difficulties the quick reality was that the viewer was not missing much of anything anyway. […] more »

Who has the youngest assembly group in NI?

Thu 7 November 2013, 1:07pm

Tweet I had to do a bit of research during the week on the assembly and the people who work in it. On the side I thought it would be interesting to find out just how old the average MLA is and what party has the youngest assembly group. Let’s begin with the overall picture-I […] more »

Timeline of an Assembly vacancy, part two: the correspondence trail

Wed 6 November 2013, 11:19pm
6B NI I Assembly Elections Amendment Order 2009

Tweet Catching up on a few emails, I realised that I’d neglected to post the second part of a post started in early September about the timeline for co-opting a replacement MLA (Conall McDevitt) and the sequencing of the process between the Speaker, EONI and the political party (SDLP in this case). While relatively mundane […] more »

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