"I am here to support Mark Durkan" – Brian Cowen

The Irish Times reports on, the Irish Government Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen’s endorsement of Mark Durkan and the SDLP during a visit to Derry yesterday – Cowen backs Durkan during Derry visit.. Hmm.. no statements about Irish Government interference in the North from Sinn Fรฉin.. yet.

The visit by the Irish Finance Minister is another show of support for Mark Durkan from political parties in the Republic –

Last week Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny joined Mr Durkan on the campaign trial in the Foyle constituency, where the SDLP leader is defending the seat held by John Hume.

Interesting quotes throughout the piece.. and they will probably make their way into campaign literature for the SDLP at some point –

Yesterday Mr Cowen said if he were able to vote in the constituency in next month’s general election, he would vote for Mr Durkan.

“I am not here to put anyone’s nose out of joint, I am here to support Mark Durkan.

“I think he has been an outstanding finance minister in the Assembly and he is a good personal friend of mine. He is here to contest and to hold John Hume’s seat and I am delighted to be here to be associated with his efforts,” Mr Cowen said.

And in response to a rather pointed question the report states –

Asked if he was telling voters in the constituency not to vote for Sinn Fรฉin, Mr Cowen said he would tell them “Mark Durkan is an excellent candidate to succeed John Hume. They will vote for whomever they wish and obviously I am here to support whom I would like to see them support.”

Mr Cowen said if he could vote in the election, “I would be voting for the man beside me. He espouses some of the economic republicanism that is relevant to 21st-century Ireland”.

Mr Cowen said the SDLP had the “most economically literate agenda” of the Northern parties.

“They understand the economics that are required to bring peace and prosperity to the people of Northern Ireland.”

  • Young Irelander

    Davros,

    Let’s unite Ireland and see how we do!

  • Jim Bob

    “”Because at the moment most Unionists don’t feel a part of it.”

    This doesn’t support your argument that it doesn’t exist.”

    It does. The reality is that such a nation doesn’t at the moment exist. And it’s that reality you have to face. No good going up the Shankill and quoting the Irish constitution.

    Politics is a bit more difficult than that. If it were that easy everyone would be doing it.

    “Many nationalists feel unionists are a key component of the Irish nation.”

    I know. But Unionists don’t. That’s the awkward bit.

    “Besides, the ‘nation’ is a nationalist concept!”

    And it’s an immensely problematic concept. I prefer more modern ideas like Republicanism

    “”I take the more sensible view in recognising that whilst many people feel that there are two nations in Ireland, that can change.”

    But surely most people feel there is one nation in Ireland?”

    Many Unionists don’t.

    “Bunreacht na hEireann does not appear to acknowledge two nations.”

    So what? What does it matter what it says if people don’t agree?

    “”Of course. Unionists present it all the time. That’s what you have to face in the North. You have to face that reality and counter it. You can’t just be complacent and pretend it doesn’t exist as you do.”

    No, I am willing to argue with any unionist about partition. That’s what the GFA is all about – arguing for unity through peaceful means. It’s one thing to face an argument, it’s another thing to accept it. I have studied Irish history quite a bit and I do not accept the arguments that are put forward for partition. This is not complacency, it is a conviction in my nationalist principles.”

    So where does an abstract argument about partition get you?

    “”Because they’d think your position naive.”

    I think unionists would welcome my position as being different to the tribal politics that infest the present political scene.”

    I think they’d see your arguments as comforting, that nothing was ever going to change.

    “”They’d be much more comfortable with your position over mine precisely because it naive. It doesn’t challenge them. It doesn’t engage with the reality on the ground. That is the flaw in your approach.”

    On the contrary my friend, the flaw is in your approach and more specifically, that unionists MUST BE CHALLENGED.”

    If you don’t challenge them nothing will ever change. Your arguments are complacent and unchallenging. They remind me a bit of the certainties of student politics.

    “The way unity will be achieved is not through pitting one side against the other but by realising that we are on the same side and that we are stronger together as opposed to being divided. To convince unionism; not defeat it.”

    There’s always a need to convince but you don’t do that by telling them things that they don’t believe to be the case. That’s easily shrugged off.

    What you have to do is challenge them in terms of the things they do believe.

    “”It’s a more citizen-based approach.”

    I don’t understand your definition of republicanism. You need to be more specific.”

    That’s not a definition. I’m pointing out the distinction between Republicanism and Nationalism as it applies to what we’re discussing.

    Nationalism is not the way to go, in short. It’s fraught with all sorts of problems.

    Republicanism is more a bottom-up approach. Nationalism is top-down.

    “”You have to face up to the fact that they did.”

    They did not!”

    They did.

    “Tell me, when the border was introduced, did the Ulster dialect of Irish die out? Were the counties of Armagh, Antrim, Tyrone, Derry, Down and Fermanagh banned from competing in the GAA on an all-Ireland basis? The British CANNOT divide the Irish nation. It never has, and it never will. The Irish nation transcends partition.”

    It doesn’t. It’s an issue that needs to be addressed. You’re much too complacent on this and if your analysis is flawed so too will be your solution.

    “”But it’s not above how Unionists want to see themselves.”

    It is up to Unionists to define how they see themselves. They are welcome in the Irish nation.”

    They might just decide that they don’t want to be part of it.

    “”It don’t matter what it says if Unionists want to think differently.”

    You seem to let the wishes of Unionists override your own views.”

    I just realise the importance of taking them into account. You have to do that before you can achieve anything. They’re part of the topography, if you like. The terrain you have to negotiate.

    “Let’s argue our case in a responsible manner and let them decide.

    Please do tell me your view on how Irish unity will come about as a republican?”

    There are many aspects to it, not least in many of the anticipated evolutionary developments. I’ve mentioned some of the political aspects above, but there are also economic and cultural things that need to be taken into consideration. And more broadly of course there are the changes taking place in Europe which will play into it too.

    What’s for sure is that old ideas of “the nation” are not the way to go.

  • JD

    Who said anything about Loyalists or Violence ? I was thinking more of SF and the SDLP at each others throats, FF at everybody else’s throats etc etc

    Indeed. I will say in my defence that “peace” in NI has always had physical force to reckon with.

  • Young Irelander

    Jim

    “The reality is that such a nation doesn’t at the moment exist.”

    Of course it still exists. It existed before the border and it exists at present.

    “So what? What does it matter what it says if people don’t agree?”

    Bunreacht na hEireann is the constitution of the state that most of the people on this island inhabit. Surely SF supporters respect this since they are pushing for the Irish government to bring forward a green paper for Irish unity?

    “So where does an abstract argument against partition get you?”

    I don’t accept my argument is abstract but if the majority of nationalists put forward their argument in a proper fashion, it will lead one day to reunification in my opinion.

    “If you don’t challenge them nothing will ever change.”

    Unionists have always been challenged and where has it gotten us? They were challenged through the bomb and the bullet and it achieved nothing worthwhile. As I’ve said, the key to attaining unity will be the realisation that we don’t need to challenge them.

    “There’s always a need to convince but you don’t do that by telling them things that they don’t believe to be the case. That’s easily shrugged off.”

    For once we agree! I take it then you would oppose comments like the ones made by Adams who stated there could be a UI by 2016? As you say, things like that are easily shrugged off. The key is to argue things that aren’t easily shrugged off.

    “I’m pointing out the distinction between Republicanism and Nationalism as it applies to what we’re discussing.”

    But you have not pointed out the distinction in a clear way.

    “It doesn’t. It’s an issue that needs to be addressed. You’re much too complacent on this and if your analysis is flawed so too will be your solution.”

    With respect Jim, you are running away from this point. You criticise my analysis yet you do not offer up why my analysis is wrong. What is your analysis? You have yet to proffer one.

    “They might just decide that they don’t want to be a part of it.”

    They might but let’s wait and see after we’ve discussed it rationally. For all we know, Cork might decide to go it alone and camapign for independence. Let’s not deal in speculation though.

    “I just realise the importance of taking them into account.”

    Yet you do not see them as part of the Irish nation. Unionists need to be taken into account Too many nationalist figures ignored them throughout history.

    “What’s for sure is that old ideas of “the nation” are not the way to go.”

    I wouldn’t say that. Republicanism is one of the oldest ideas known to man after all!

  • Young Irelander

    Jim

    “The reality is that such a nation doesn’t at the moment exist.”

    Of course it still exists. It existed before the border and it exists at present.

    “So what? What does it matter what it says if people don’t agree?”

    Bunreacht na hEireann is the constitution of the state that most of the people on this island inhabit. Surely SF supporters respect this since they are pushing for the Irish government to bring forward a green paper for Irish unity?

    “So where does an abstract argument against partition get you?”

    I don’t accept my argument is abstract but if the majority of nationalists put forward their argument in a proper fashion, it will lead one day to reunification in my opinion.

    “If you don’t challenge them nothing will ever change.”

    Unionists have always been challenged and where has it gotten us? They were challenged through the bomb and the bullet and it achieved nothing worthwhile. As I’ve said, the key to attaining unity will be the realisation that we don’t need to challenge them.

    “There’s always a need to convince but you don’t do that by telling them things that they don’t believe to be the case. That’s easily shrugged off.”

    For once we agree! I take it then you would oppose comments like the ones made by Adams who stated there could be a UI by 2016? As you say, things like that are easily shrugged off. The key is to argue things that aren’t easily shrugged off.

    “I’m pointing out the distinction between Republicanism and Nationalism as it applies to what we’re discussing.”

    But you have not pointed out the distinction in a clear way.

    “It doesn’t. It’s an issue that needs to be addressed. You’re much too complacent on this and if your analysis is flawed so too will be your solution.”

    With respect Jim, you are running away from this point. You criticise my analysis yet you do not offer up why my analysis is wrong. What is your analysis? You have yet to proffer one.

    “They might just decide that they don’t want to be a part of it.”

    They might but let’s wait and see after we’ve discussed it rationally. For all we know, Cork might decide to go it alone and camapign for independence. Let’s not deal in speculation though.

    “I just realise the importance of taking them into account.”

    Yet you do not see them as part of the Irish nation. Unionists need to be taken into account Too many nationalist figures ignored them throughout history.

    “What’s for sure is that old ideas of “the nation” are not the way to go.”

    I wouldn’t say that. Republicanism is one of the oldest ideas known to man after all!

  • Young Irelander

    Jim

    “The reality is that such a nation doesn’t at the moment exist.”

    Of course it still exists. It existed before the border and it exists at present.

    “So what? What does it matter what it says if people don’t agree?”

    Bunreacht na hEireann is the constitution of the state that most of the people on this island inhabit. Surely SF supporters respect this since they are pushing for the Irish government to bring forward a green paper for Irish unity?

    “So where does an abstract argument against partition get you?”

    I don’t accept my argument is abstract but if the majority of nationalists put forward their argument in a proper fashion, it will lead one day to reunification in my opinion.

    “If you don’t challenge them nothing will ever change.”

    Unionists have always been challenged and where has it gotten us? They were challenged through the bomb and the bullet and it achieved nothing worthwhile. As I’ve said, the key to attaining unity will be the realisation that we don’t need to challenge them.

    “There’s always a need to convince but you don’t do that by telling them things that they don’t believe to be the case. That’s easily shrugged off.”

    For once we agree! I take it then you would oppose comments like the ones made by Adams who stated there could be a UI by 2016? As you say, things like that are easily shrugged off. The key is to argue things that aren’t easily shrugged off.

    “I’m pointing out the distinction between Republicanism and Nationalism as it applies to what we’re discussing.”

    But you have not pointed out the distinction in a clear way.

    “It doesn’t. It’s an issue that needs to be addressed. You’re much too complacent on this and if your analysis is flawed so too will be your solution.”

    With respect Jim, you are running away from this point. You criticise my analysis yet you do not offer up why my analysis is wrong. What is your analysis? You have yet to proffer one.

    “They might just decide that they don’t want to be a part of it.”

    They might but let’s wait and see after we’ve discussed it rationally. For all we know, Cork might decide to go it alone and camapign for independence. Let’s not deal in speculation though.

    “I just realise the importance of taking them into account.”

    Yet you do not see them as part of the Irish nation. Unionists need to be taken into account Too many nationalist figures ignored them throughout history.

    “What’s for sure is that old ideas of “the nation” are not the way to go.”

    I wouldn’t say that. Republicanism is one of the oldest ideas known to man after all!

  • Young Irelander

    Jim

    “The reality is that such a nation doesn’t at the moment exist.”

    Of course it still exists. It existed before the border and it exists at present.

    “So what? What does it matter what it says if people don’t agree?”

    Bunreacht na hEireann is the constitution of the state that most of the people on this island inhabit. Surely SF supporters respect this since they are pushing for the Irish government to bring forward a green paper for Irish unity?

    “So where does an abstract argument against partition get you?”

    I don’t accept my argument is abstract but if the majority of nationalists put forward their argument in a proper fashion, it will lead one day to reunification in my opinion.

    “If you don’t challenge them nothing will ever change.”

    Unionists have always been challenged and where has it gotten us? They were challenged through the bomb and the bullet and it achieved nothing worthwhile. As I’ve said, the key to attaining unity will be the realisation that we don’t need to challenge them.

    “There’s always a need to convince but you don’t do that by telling them things that they don’t believe to be the case. That’s easily shrugged off.”

    For once we agree! I take it then you would oppose comments like the ones made by Adams who stated there could be a UI by 2016? As you say, things like that are easily shrugged off. The key is to argue things that aren’t easily shrugged off.

    “I’m pointing out the distinction between Republicanism and Nationalism as it applies to what we’re discussing.”

    But you have not pointed out the distinction in a clear way.

    “It doesn’t. It’s an issue that needs to be addressed. You’re much too complacent on this and if your analysis is flawed so too will be your solution.”

    With respect Jim, you are running away from this point. You criticise my analysis yet you do not offer up why my analysis is wrong. What is your analysis? You have yet to proffer one.

    “They might just decide that they don’t want to be a part of it.”

    They might but let’s wait and see after we’ve discussed it rationally. For all we know, Cork might decide to go it alone and camapign for independence. Let’s not deal in speculation though.

    “I just realise the importance of taking them into account.”

    Yet you do not see them as part of the Irish nation. Unionists need to be taken into account Too many nationalist figures ignored them throughout history.

    “What’s for sure is that old ideas of “the nation” are not the way to go.”

    I wouldn’t say that. Republicanism is one of the oldest ideas known to man after all!

  • Davros

    Davros,

    Let’s unite Ireland and see how we do!

    4 problems mate.

    1) Larne
    2) Dubs
    3) Corkonians
    4) Louth.

    Sort them out and yer on !

  • Young Irelander

    Davros,

    Number 3 is a lost cause. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Young Irelander

    Davros,

    Number 3 is a lost cause. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Young Irelander

    Davros,

    Number 3 is a lost cause. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Young Irelander

    Davros,

    Number 3 is a lost cause. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • spirit-level

    I think we need more silly sausages on sluggers

  • Young Irelander

    OK, I’ve enjoyed the debate here on Slugger tonight but I’m going to call it a night. I’ll try and pick it up tomorrow if I can. Jim, while I don’t agree with alot of your views I enjoyed our discussion. barney, likeise why I’m opposed to alot of your views at least our arguments didn’t descend into anything too bad! No hard feelings on my part.;)

    Oiche mhaith all!

  • Young Irelander

    OK, I’ve enjoyed the debate here on Slugger tonight but I’m going to call it a night. I’ll try and pick it up tomorrow if I can. Jim, while I don’t agree with alot of your views I enjoyed our discussion. barney, likeise why I’m opposed to alot of your views at least our arguments didn’t descend into anything too bad! No hard feelings on my part.;)

    Oiche mhaith all!

  • Young Irelander

    OK, I’ve enjoyed the debate here on Slugger tonight but I’m going to call it a night. I’ll try and pick it up tomorrow if I can. Jim, while I don’t agree with alot of your views I enjoyed our discussion. barney, likeise why I’m opposed to alot of your views at least our arguments didn’t descend into anything too bad! No hard feelings on my part.;)

    Oiche mhaith all!

  • Young Irelander

    OK, I’ve enjoyed the debate here on Slugger tonight but I’m going to call it a night. I’ll try and pick it up tomorrow if I can. Jim, while I don’t agree with alot of your views I enjoyed our discussion. barney, likeise why I’m opposed to alot of your views at least our arguments didn’t descend into anything too bad! No hard feelings on my part.;)

    Oiche mhaith all!

  • Davros

    God Bless YI ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jim Bob

    To Young Irelander

    “”So what? What does it matter what it says if people don’t agree?”

    Bunreacht na hEireann is the constitution of the state that most of the people on this island inhabit. Surely SF supporters respect this since they are pushing for the Irish government to bring forward a green paper for Irish unity?”

    It’s Unionism and what it thinks which is the problem that needs to be addressed.

    “”So where does an abstract argument against partition get you?”

    I don’t accept my argument is abstract but if the majority of nationalists put forward their argument in a proper fashion, it will lead one day to reunification in my opinion.”

    It doesn’t work like that. Politics is not about abstract discussion. It’s a practice.

    “”If you don’t challenge them nothing will ever change.”

    Unionists have always been challenged and where has it gotten us? They were challenged through the bomb and the bullet and it achieved nothing worthwhile. As I’ve said, the key to attaining unity will be the realisation that we don’t need to challenge them.”

    You’d need to have more of a strategy than that I’m afraid. The main reason why Unionism did not want to speak to Republicans is that they knew that they would be challenged. The DUP have shrewdly continued this policy. Your approach wouldn’t challenge them.

    “”There’s always a need to convince but you don’t do that by telling them things that they don’t believe to be the case. That’s easily shrugged off.”

    For once we agree! I take it then you would oppose comments like the ones made by Adams who stated there could be a UI by 2016? As you say, things like that are easily shrugged off. The key is to argue things that aren’t easily shrugged off.”

    He wasn’t talking to Unionists there. His approach to Unionism is to challenge them in terms of what they believe.

    Your approach is merely to restate what you believe.

    “”I’m pointing out the distinction between Republicanism and Nationalism as it applies to what we’re discussing.”

    But you have not pointed out the distinction in a clear way.”

    The difference between a citzenship-based approach and a nation-based approach is perfectly clear.

    “”It doesn’t. It’s an issue that needs to be addressed. You’re much too complacent on this and if your analysis is flawed so too will be your solution.”

    With respect Jim, you are running away from this point. You criticise my analysis yet you do not offer up why my analysis is wrong.”

    I’ve told you repeatedly. Because Unionists don’t accept that the one-nation idea.

    “What is your analysis? You have yet to proffer one.”

    I’ve told you. You need to recognise the reality as it exists and deal with that. You need to deal with Unionism in terms of what it believes, not what you believe.

    “”They might just decide that they don’t want to be a part of it.”

    They might but let’s wait and see after we’ve discussed it rationally. For all we know, Cork might decide to go it alone and camapign for independence. Let’s not deal in speculation though.”

    The point is that argument alone is not enough. And additionally even your argumentative approach is flawed.

    “”I just realise the importance of taking them into account.”

    Yet you do not see them as part of the Irish nation.”

    What I’ve said is that that’s how they see themselves and you have to deal with that reality.

    “Unionists need to be taken into account Too many nationalist figures ignored them throughout history.”

    Patronising them definitely won’t work!

    If you knew anything about the North you’d know that.

    “”What’s for sure is that old ideas of “the nation” are not the way to go.”

    I wouldn’t say that. Republicanism is one of the oldest ideas known to man after all!”

    Don’t confuse Plato’s Republic with modern Republicanism. It’s a mistake many beginners make.

    The problem with nationalism is that it isn’t really any more sophisticated than ancient tribalism.

  • spirit-level

    And all who sail in him… getting a bit bitchy wasn’t it. The Darlings from the south and the Duckies from the North. Tell you what, I should come over there in me police uniform, ohh very sexy, and arrest em all..then we’ll see who’s boss.. hmm yes… soon as I get me truncheon out.. ooh there’ll be some red faces round the place, I can tell ya.. specially when I start waving it about…. hmmm yes
    Now I’ve got some dishes to do , if you don’t mind. Wash and go
    Because i’m worth it !!!
    Bye Bye my little possums.

  • Chris Gaskin

    Spirit-level

    Are you a man or a woman?

    If you are a man your last comment has just scared me ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • spirit-level

    Chris,
    I’m a geezer luv with a face like old sails
    Actually I’m practising my actress for a play:
    The Twelve Faces of Humankind
    see if you can see yourself!

  • Chris Gaskin

    What is a “geezer luv” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    If any it would be the warrior

  • Davros

    This is my first election on Slugger – does it usually get this crazy ? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • franc

    Davros

    ‘Crazy’

    Absolutely bonkers,more like.

  • spirit-level

    cockney, geezer = bloke
    luv is well you know “love” as in “alright luv, how you going”
    You can say “alright luv” to a man, its very familiar, if you ain’t careful you’ll get a sock on the jaw !
    ( Jung’s anima/animus idea is that the psyche, or soul, is male/female.. just the body is sexually different ) So if you’re the Warrior, your “female” opposite is The Child.. she’s so tender and vulnerable.. and if men don’t have her developed at all.. they turn into right bruisers and make bad husbands..

    Now what this has all to do with Mark Durkan
    God only knows.. poor feck.. SDLP and UUP are doomed.. the gaping wound of Norn Iron opened further.. ouch… it’s a right stitch up mate;)

  • spirit-level

    Hey lads
    When you go to school in England, and get beaten up because the IRA kick off… then your parents send you to Glasthule Dublin to get an education and the Irish beat you up for speaking in an English accent ….you end up dolly doodahs, stark raving bonkers, like franc says.

  • Chris Gaskin

    Spirit-level

    You are one rare boy ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • spirit-level

    Cheers Chris … a wild boy too, need taming!
    You’re on me fav’s place to visit n’all
    Balrog? Who or what does that mean?
    Is it Gaelic for something?

  • Davros

    it’s an anagram ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • spirit-level

    You mean RA Blog.. Davros that’s slippery of you;

  • Chris Gaskin

    “Is it Gaelic for something?”

    No

    I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan and a Balrog is an ancient primordial spirit of fire that induces great terror in friends and foes alike

    Similar to my blog ๐Ÿ˜‰

    “it’s an anagram ๐Ÿ˜‰

    You mean RA Blog.. Davros that’s slippery of you;”

    LOL, I didn’t actually realise Balrog was an anagram for Ra Blog, LOL

    Either you are too suspicious Davros or my subconscious is one sneaky git ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • spirit-level

    “I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan and a Balrog is an ancient primordial spirit of fire that induces great terror in friends and foes alike

    Similar to my blog ๐Ÿ˜‰

    LOL good choice

    Ohh I think our Professor Davros has a gollum side to his personality… which he likes;)

  • Chris Gaskin

    Oh yes, he wants the precious!!!! (tobacco) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • spirit-level

    LOL
    Channel 4 are showing the first episode Saturday.
    Hey I’m excited that you are going to this live thing tomorrow.. wish I was there.

  • NewYorker

    Good Evening,

    I see Boy George is back in town.

  • Chris Gaskin

    “Good Evening,

    I see Boy George is back in town.”

    Who?

  • Davros

    ahem – ‘fess time – anagram was sheer bluff – if somebody had said “it doesn’t make a 6 letter word” I was going to point out that his spelling is bloody awful ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • NewYorker

    Chris,

    Boy George – androgenous rock star of the 1980s.

  • hoots

    new yorker

    Very funny,

    Not

  • Chris Gaskin

    New Yorker

    I am well aware who boy george is I was asking who you were refering to as boy george on this site

  • IJP

    slug9987

    Correct.

    I specifically said 1 million people.

    There are 1 million British people in the northeast of this island (at least, in fact). Nothing to do with ‘occupation’, nothing to do with ‘army’, everything to do with a genuinely-held national preference.

    Some Nationalists might like to live in a dream world where the ‘British Army’ suddenly goes home and suddenly all Prods realize they’re Irish after all, in the same way some Unionists might like to think you can transport all Catholics South. Neither is going to happen: get used to it.

  • NewYorker

    Chris,

    “Chris,
    I’m a geezer luv with a face like old sails
    Actually I’m practising my actress for a play:
    The Twelve Faces of Humankind
    see if you can see yourself!” – the person who posted this to you.

  • spirit-level

    NewYorker
    I’m suprised at that from you, esp where you live… must be more whacko’s n wierdo’s per head per capita than anywhere else.
    Being in touch with your feminine side does not mean you’re gay or bi.
    Interesting that Norn Iron is more homophobic than the rest of the UK though.. I wonder why that is?

  • Lafcadio

    Apologies for going off-topic, but cg, spirit-level et al: Lord of the Rings is absolutely gash. I thought the first episode was fairly enjoyable, if rather disappointing, second one an exercise in mediocrity, half an hour into the third one I was checking my watch every 30 seconds.. I thought they were patchily-acted, frustratingly inconsistent, the cutesy humour jarred, and the dollops of cloying sentimentality stuck in my throat..

    (Adopt the brace position – INCOMING!!)

  • Chris Gaskin

    “Lord of the Rings is absolutely gash”

    Blasphemy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You will burn in the eternal fires of hell ๐Ÿ˜‰

    LOTR is one of the most sucessfull films of all time

    My dear lafcadio, you are in the minority on this one

  • spirit-level

    Absolutely LOTR an epic:
    Chris can you offer any help on the blog
    BBC Election webcast today…
    siege mentality unionists and historical re-writers… shameless and remorseless

  • Chris Gaskin

    “Chris can you offer any help on the blog
    BBC Election webcast today…”

    What do you want?

  • spirit-level

    back up mate
    The English carved up Ireland, like they did to 1/2 the World… fair-deal disagrees and he’s got a degree in History ????

  • George

    Spirit-Level,
    Glasthule? You surely weren’t sent all the way from England to go to Pres for an education?

    You weren’t beaten up by one of the Perry brothers by any chance?

  • spirit-level

    George actually I was sent from Nigeria to Presentation Brothers College, Glasthule when I was 10.. I remember the Fish Mongers son, who I knocked about with in Sandycove.. shop still there I believe last time I visited. Perry no recollection ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Lafcadio

    chris – the Daily Mail is a successful and popular newspaper, that doesn’t make it good.. I think I am probably in the minority here, but this is a case where I’m very much glad to be..

    Although I wonder did many other people watch it thinking “this really isn’t all that.. and my ar#e is aching from this seat!” but were reluctant to say so because of the wall-to-wall middle-brow fawning over it.. In places it was very lovely to look at, but frankly I would have found a half-hour documentary on New Zealand’s mountain ranges much more enjoyable, and enlightening..

    s-l it was only “epic” in the vulgarised modern meaning of the word, which is to say “long”..

    right, I’ll get me coat..

  • spirit-level

    Lafcadio
    I’m a sucker for all this monumental good vs evil stuff.. ever read Milton’s “paradise lost”
    come back and have a pint ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Chris Gaskin

    You are a lost soul Lafcadio ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • El Matador

    “Lord of the Rings is absolutely gash”

    At last, someone who thinks the same!

    LOTR is one of those things that you’re not allowed to say is crap. It’s like Prince or Madonna. People act as if it’s something untouchable- God help any who dares to criticise it. It boooooooring zzzzz

  • Ringo

    It’s like Prince or Madonna

    Prince? I can’t believe the LOTR is being compared to the arsehole sorry, the artist formerly known as a scrawl.

    They may be the latest in a long line of overhyped merchandising operations masquerading as films, (Jurassic Parks, SW prequels etc..), but they’re excellent books in their own right, and the films are fantastic eye candy.

  • spirit-level

    like that expression “eye candy”
    the game Diablo is based on LOTR
    my wee brother plays it, its awesome
    I stick to me chess: game of kings

  • dermy

    I see the SDLP’s buddy in South Belfast, Michael McDowell,seems to have enough problems within the 26 counties without heading off on junkets.

    http://breaking.tcm.ie/story.asp?j=10824624&p=yx8z4678&n=10824738&x=