Has Empey picked the wrong ‘fight’?

Fionnuala O’Connor in today’s Irish Times reckoned Slugger would go for Brian Feeney’s analysis on parades this week. Well, not wanting to disappoint, we have now. But it’s his criticism of Reg Empey’s choice of parades as a first public issue on which to fight and asks whether it can yield any votes for the UUP. In an echo of the troubles of the SDLP, he argues that this will do little to draw the disaffected middle class voters (who have simply stopped voting) back to the party.PS Fionnuala ends her reference to debate on Slugger with a mention of “a gentle soul urges them to ‘play the ball, not the man'”. As some of commenters here already know, this particular ‘gentle soul’ has no intention of letting Slugger ‘go gentle into that good night’ that often descends when individuals forgo that basic rule of civil discourse.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty