Slow blogging today…

I’m working on Britain and Ireland today, so have forbidden myself to go near the internet for most of the day. I’m hoping some of my colleagues will take up the slack. We should have two new bloggers joining us in the next day or two, from Dublin and London. As you may have noticed we have a new politico Chris Donnelly, who will be mostly blogging from a Republican point of view. We have room for at least another Unionist politico blogger – since we’re only getting regular contributions from a multi-tasking Michael Shilliday. So let us know if it’s something you’d be keen to get your teeth into!

  • fair_deal

    What technical know-how do you need and what sort of time commitment?

  • Mick Fealty

    Well, tech know how: minimal. Time committment is as much as you can give. But I think the skill is in finding the right story: which is particularly challenging for Unionists at the moment.

    If you only did one story a week we’d be doing better than we are now – but one a day if you could build it into your routine would be great. Personally I’m interested in the change of angle on the current newsflows, and getting to local stories that are struggling to get attention given the current trajectory of editorial choice.

    I’m particularly interested in anything that brings to light the positive nature of protestant civil society, which has been a constant subject of pejorative (and largely ignorant) attack by Slugger readers, politicians and the media in general – despite own best efforts.

    Everyone is different, but if it was something you could build into your working routine, that would be great!! Snippets from offline publications would be just as good as any detailed analysis.

  • smcgiff

    I think Fair_Deal’s angle on events would be very interesting. Here’s hoping he takes up the challenge.

  • smcgiff

    Oh, and Willowfield. If you could get him out of retirement/State of disillusionment that’d be good also.

  • “anything that brings to light the positive nature of protestant civil society”
    Hmmn I’m not sure if there is any light, or anything positive or even civil, but as one of the ignorant pejorative masses I remain open-minded at least. All the best fair-deal 😉

  • smcgiff,
    I’m afraid willowfield remains under section
    Mental Health Act 1980.
    Of course we all wish him a speedy recovery.

  • fair_deal

    Still in two minds about all this.

    I was looking at creating my own blog as well – not as a normal blog but I have started writing a personal strategic analysis of Unionism and thought its development could be helped by some online evaluation and criticism.

    A Clintonite policy wonk used this approach when developing the policy approach to the internet and it seemed to work so I thought it might be interesting to try. (This attempt at an analysis originally began as an article on the DUP’s performance Mick had agreed to put on slugger but this short piece is now over 30 pages long.)

    I know willowfield (and his secret real identity) so I’ll mention it to him as well but he is up to his oxters with a campaign at the moment.

  • Two Nations

    I second Seamus.

    It would be great to see Fair Deal blogging on a regular basis. He always makes worth-reading comments and I believe would make an excellent blogger.

    I also share your loss of Willowfield.
    The question is though, whatever happened to Davros?

    -Two Nations-

  • “whatever happened to Davros?”

    The Doctor finally caught up with him..

  • Mick Fealty

    FD, that sounds like a great idea to me. I’d be happy for you to do that here, or in a discrete space elsewhere and link in. Trouble with linking is that can be sporadic, and we can miss important stuff.

    BTW, there’s rather too much playing of the man on this thread.

  • fair_deal

    Careful now lads, I’m an Ulster Prod and as you all know we don’t cope praise and adulation well 😉

  • Stephen Copeland

    .. there’s rather too much playing of the man on this thread

    Man ???

    You mean Willowfield isn’t Arlene Foster?

    [PS Mick, I’m fed up having to correct the mis-attributions of comments. Today I am whoever it says below, regardless of the truth. As Marshall says, “I am whoever you say I am”.]

  • Two Nations


    I was actually being sincere.

    I miss the contributions of both Davros and Willowfield to Slugger. They were both even-handed and interesting.

    -Two Nations-

  • fair_deal

    “I’d be happy for you to do that here”

    It could be an opportunity to raise the tone/quality of debate on here a bit beyond Unionists suck, are bgiots, full of sectarian hate etc.

    Although, the mix of slugger is a bit poor at the moment while nationalist and non-aligned feedback would be interesting a primary focus would be Unionist feedback to see if there is any real opportunity for my ideas to have an impact.

    Anyway I have distracted you enough from Britian and Ireland.

  • jimi hughes

    hi mick
    as regards the situation yesterday with the closure of the ormeau baths and the earlier closure of NI Visual arts forum etc the arts scene is depressing at the minute . i would like to invite u all down to the conway mill gallery belfast tonite at 7 where i will be opening my own show Solitude , which like most of my shows recieves no funding , no support bar a few friends so if you want to see this place through my eyes come down for a glass of non funded wine ! jimi

  • Hey FD you could serialise your 30 page report.

  • Stephen Copeland
    Mick’s sorting out the comments problem, and suggests meantime to type your name before your comment as I’ll demonstrate below.
    Mick, surely the little pepper sprinkles of gentle mockery at your opponents Mental Health Status are ok. It adds spice, and is jesting more than ad hominem.

  • fair_deal


    “you could serialise your 30 page report.”

    That would be my intention. Also it will be longer than 30 pages (only about 1/2 to 2/3 finished putting it online might also encourage me to finish the damn thing!)

  • oops sorry steve
    I meant this:

  • Stephen Copeland

    oops sorry steve
    I meant this:

    Yeah, I guessed! Thanks.

    Actually, though, at times the f*cked-up commenting is amusing, like when you see obviously orange comments being attributed to a name renowned for its green-ness, and vice-versa. Its a bit like ‘eyes wide shut’, except without the nudity!

    It probably means, though, that we will never be able to fish through the archives for ‘incriminating’ posts to use against people in future debates (a speciality of some people).

    [Posted by Stephen Copeland]


    Not strictly connected Mick, but a development issue: is it possible / are there any plans to creat a Slugger Widget for those with Macs and Dashboard?

  • stephen
    I think its a republican spy-bot in the software to get us all to see that whether we’re green or orange, we’re all irishmen in this together, and its our one country we all care about.
    It is funny though the mix up.

  • I really hope that fair-deal takes up the offer. I have a lot of respect for his views and the way he expresses them.

    from bertie

    BTW I am intrigued to see whose name comes up as having written this. This Slugger identity crisis got me thinking – what it the news papers had the same problems with statments from politicians. It could be interesting 😉

  • susan

    from Susan
    Could I add my name to the consensus. fair_deal posts are knowledgeable and thoughtful.

    Does that count as playing the man?

  • Mick Fealty

    From Mick Fealty:

    I know I’ve been a little tardy on getting this sorted, but I think there have been some pay offs. If people can’t look at the name, they are forced to read what people actually write. I have to admit to being surprised myself once or twice at who’s been arguing what in the last few days.

    I hope the habit long outlasts the fixing of the code Gremlins!

  • Cahal

    “We have room for at least another Unionist politico blogger – since we’re only getting regular contributions from a multi-tasking Michael Shilliday”

    Isnt Peter Baker a unionist? Seriously.

    “The question is though, whatever happened to Davros?”

    He is posting as Madradin Ruad on Vance’s site and on Balrog. His name change seems to have coincided with an extreme hardening of his views. He is often in agreement with Andrew McCann. That’s his perogative I guess.

  • Mick Fealty

    Pete’s not a politico as such. That category is for people firmly inside one particular camp, and who are happy to blog from the inside out.

    George is not a politico either, nor a range of others who doubtless have strong views. But that’s not their primary reason for being on Slugger.

    Despite we have quite a few Unionists on our books, there is a clear nationalist bias amongst those who actively blog.

    Now if you don’t buy that, then I suggest you ask a genuine unionist whether they consider Slugger is as was suggested recently a ‘unionist talking shop’.

  • The Beach Tree

    “Despite we (sic) have quite a few Unionists on our books, there is a clear nationalist bias amongst those who actively blog.”

    “Now if you don’t buy that, then I suggest you ask a genuine unionist whether they consider Slugger is as was suggested recently a ‘unionist talking shop’.”

    Might I suggest you ask a genuine nationalist whether they consider Slugger has “a clear nationalist bias amongst those who actively blog.”?

    “Watcher, watch thyself”

    The Beach Tree

  • Pete Baker

    In reference to the assumptions of readers/commenters – Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

    Read the posts.. think about it.. comment if you want.

    Just don’t miss the second step.

  • The Beach Tree


    To be fair, I don’t think anyone is suggesting for a second that you should give a damn, or should not post for that matter.

    After all, your posts are generally good fun, IMHO.

    I think the point being raised is more general; i.e. that the whole tenor of the site is being described , mainly by Mick, in a certain way which is ‘arguably’ misleading.

    He no doubt intends not to mislead, but the last question of his last post clearly begged the question I raised immediately afterwards. It just seems his argument is circular, at least to me. It’s not a unionist site, because unionists say so. to which the obvious answer is ‘well, they would say that’, and we’ve gotten nowhere.

    After all, is a committed unionist poster in any position to decide if a site is a unionist talking shop, and more than a committed nationalist is in a position to decide if it displays a nationalist bias?

    I’m a scorpio. As a scorpio, should I be the arbiter of whether this site is a talking shop for people born in late October and November?

  • fair_deal


    Could you email contact numbers and I’ll give you a buzz to have a yarn about a few of these things.


  • smcgiff

    ‘I’ll give you a buzz to have a yarn about a few of these things.’

    Mick, charge £2.50 per minute. Satisfaction guaranteed!!!

  • fair_deal

    £2.50 per minute that doesnt sound like a fair deal boom boom

    I’ll get my coat

  • fair_deal


    Talked to Mick last night I am going to attempt to become a slugger blogger. It may take a little time to find my feet so your patience will be appreciated.

    Mick and I are also going to experiment with slugger for online evalutaion/criticism/amendment/addition to of my thoughts about Unionism.

    Thank you to all who said nice things about me.


  • fair deal
    That’s excellent news, look forward to you starting!

  • smcgiff

    ‘Thank you to all who said nice things about me.’

    Build ’em up… knock ’em down.

    Only joking… Looking forward to your report.

    The main reason I hang around Slugger is to get a feel for the Unionist Voxpop.

  • fair_deal


    Could you email me the weblink’s etc so I can start blogging. I have a couple I want to put up one on education and one on equality.

  • Good luck fair deal – looking forward to hearing it.

  • fair_deal

    Cheers beano

    By the way folks willowfield doesn’t want to become a blogger.


  • Great news fair-deal and good luck!