DI, FF, SDLP, and ‘that’ MSN message…

Our blogging companion from Letterkenny Damien Blake has a front page slot on Daily Ireland calling for Fianna Fail to organise in Northern Ireland. It’s sits alongside the paper’s extraordinary W**nker headline on Espie’s ruck with former colleagues in the SDLP. It still looks like storm in a… ‘milkbottle’?

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

  • slug

    Its a battle royal!

  • J Kelly

    i didnt think that the good people in the sdlp used such language

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  • Thanks for the link Mick.

    This is all stuff I’ve said before, most notably on the Ogra discussion board, and at any FF event where I could possibly make the point.

    I’m interested to hear what other people have to say on the matter. I definitely think it’s something that would be good both for FF and for politics in the North.

  • Damien,

    I personally would be far more inclined to vote for Fianna Fáil in the republic if they were to field candidates in the north-east. I have never voted Fianna Fáil at any level, so this would be a Labour conversion for you. Incidentely I may be moving to Letterkenny very soon, hint hint!

  • Hi Damian

    I agree there may be merit in FF looking at its options in the North, but any coherant deabte on the matter can’t be had in the context of what’s going on with Daily Ireland and Eddie Espie.

    I know FF politics well and say without fear of contradiction that netiehr Espie nor Morgan are FF men. As discussed on my own (embryonic) blog yesterday, Morgan is a former proud member of the Party of European Socialists and is anti-PSNI. Neither FF characteristics. Espie is, well who knows what Espie is?

    The FF issue, like these two unfortunates, is only being used by Daily Ireland to paint a cartoon of Durkan in crisis.

    Have a look at the blog if you get a chance.

  • Rory

    “Sexy White Milkman”…indeed. Well I never. And this man has the cheek to be in politics and yet not to have membership of either the LibDems or UKIP. Or is it that the SDLP is morphing into the mini Ulster version of the LibDems?

  • tokane

    look why didnt the daily Ireland talk about the robbery in meath . its nothing more than an phobleacht with tv listings its generating anti sdlp propaganda just like it has the impartilaity of th daily express which it is like promoting none stories to fulfill its own narrow agenda come on the paper said donaldson was a suicide !!

  • Shore Road Resident

    I don’t believe it – Daily Ireland has actually made the SDLP interesting.
    How can they manage that when they can’t even make their own paper interesting?

  • Peter Armstrong

    My thoughts:

    1) Do DI really not have any better news…
    2) Do people not see DI are using this for their own political gains…
    3) Front page news 3 times in a week!!
    4) FF are welcome in the north but are Espie/Morgan really FFers?

  • I know that DI are trying to run these two issues together, but I think they are better considered seperately. The FF-in-the-north issue has run for some time. I only hope that it gets a bit further this time.

    As for Espie and Morgan being “FFers”, well that’s up to them. I’m not suggesting that we should be linking up with them to split the SDLP or to merge or anything similar. If they want to fill in their membership forms, they can already become individual members of the party. We now need to get the right structures in place for the party on the ground.

  • JD

    It is amazing to see the critics of DI pointing to political bias, in their view, are you all blind the political bias of the Irish News, Sunday Indo etc. Taking political/editorial slants is part of what newspapers do. Get used to it. Well done Daily Ireland its nice to have a full variety of views for a change.

  • JD – You are only agreeing with my point. I know very well that the media is biased, which can be healthy, but I was questioning whether the man on the street realises this when they read the articles even if DI’s political-agenda slant stands out more than most.
    I wouldn’t call it a ‘full variety of views’ as I don’t believe it’s cross-representative.

  • Paul

    All newspapers have a political bias in their editorial stance but is there another paper anywhere which follows a party line so slavishly? It is a SF propaganda sheet, nothing more. It totally ignores or downplays stories, genuine news stories, that are damaging to SF and attempts to create stories that are damaging to SF’s political opponents. It is not a real newspaper.

  • Oilibhéar Chromaill

    I was questioning whether the man on the street realises this when they read the articles even if DI’s political-agenda slant stands out more than most.
    I wouldn’t call it a ‘full variety of views’ as I don’t believe it’s cross-representative.

    So posts Peter Armstrong:

    I think that the diversity of the media is served by the strong presence of Daily Ireland. We need an unashamedly republican newspaper to represent a particular constituency in the Irish media marketplace. It’s also a growing constituency.

    As for the rather condescending attitude towards the ‘man in the street’ (why not ‘woman in the street’ or is this another example of bias?) I think the ordinary punter is able to cop that without any problem. Perhaps under the new legislation being introduced in the south, newspapers should be compelled to carry a health warning warning of overt political bias? Daily Ireland has never hidden its colours, won’t the other newspapers come forward and declare their party allegiance.

    The fact is that Daily Ireland have been leading the field this week and setting the agenda. It’s a genuine scoop and that’s why the begrudgers are out singing the same tired old tune about ‘An Phoblacht’ with a tv listing. Listen lads, change the f**king record, you w**kers.

    It doesnt’ matter surely what people’s view of Eddie Espie’s motives are in this affair. He was the vice chairman of the party – if the vice chairman of any other political party resigned his position making such a damning indictment of the leader, would there be this concentration on the messenger?

    If it was the Irish News who got this scoop, I know it’s unlikely that newspaper would get such a scoop, but if it did, would there be such a smokescreen to distract from the real story here, which isn’t about Daily Ireland, about the nationalist wing within the SDLP standing on its two feet at last to assert itself in the face of the mé féiners?

  • Hang on a second with the ‘w**nkers’ OC – my sick pet mouse reads this blog.

    Also, hang on with the talk of the ‘scoop’ – the news of Eddie the Eagle’s resignation was widely discussed on slugger a full day before it broke on the front page of DI. The ‘leadership challenge’ exclusive wasn’t a story at all since he’s not a member of the SDLP. A point tacitly acknowledged in DI’s editorial today.

  • Monday’s front page was geniunely a scoop – although once you finish reading you realise it’s not much of a story as EE/MM confirm the bid to ‘oust’ the party leader is non-existent. Tuesday’s article was desperation – you really can’t call that a scoop. I prefer news that isn’t fictitious.

    As for DI:
    Perhaps there is a sub-group that needs such a newspaper, but it can’t be healthy for the constituency. As Paul said, it’s propaganda.

  • Just to confirm I hadn’t seen urquharts post (wasn’t disagreeing about the scoop). I know slugger revealed the full resignation letter the day before, just DI brought MM into it (and had pictures!).

  • This Guy

    Guys a very simple point, no matter what! There is no way i would allow a newspaper to print on their front page a picture of me with the word W**KER over my head.

    I feel sorry for that guy in the article, from how it reads and what i read on other blogs, it seems that he is just a hard working activist who Eddie has taken a pic on.

    Am i wrong, any stoops wanna comment?

  • John is a very hard working activisist who has chaired the SDLP Youth group for the past two years. He is respected by all parties’ youth groups and continues to work for the benefit of all within the communities. Even members of Sinn Fein pay tribute to him over on Balrog.

    I also feel sorry for John that this story appears like this and contains personal and not party contact details. Was there any real need to publish his email address?

    The fact he is also a good friend though might make me a little biased in this area.

  • Brendan, Belfast

    OC – how about a little teensy weensy paragraph on the vodka heist? a sentence? a line? anything???

    where was the scoop? Slugger broke this story last week (Eddie’s resignation); what DI did was get its own columnist to give his views and get his pic taken. Pulitzer prize on the way!

    get a grip on yourself.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    it really isn’t worth my while to get involved in a debate about this given the focus is on the messenger rather than the message.
    I have nothing to do with the editorial policy or management of Daily Ireland, let me make that clear. All comments and suggestions regarding same should be addressed to that newspaper.
    I do feel that the newspaper had a genuine scoop and has led the field on the schism within the SDLP, not alone with Eddie Espie but with previous stuff from west Tyrone.
    There is a debate within the party about its direction – or misdirection – and its, to my mind, ill thought out attempts to ditch its nationalism in favour of a Blairite, centre left agenda. Just because this debate is being led by the coverage in Daily Ireland, the usual reaction has kicked in – give the newspaper a kicking and perhaps people will forget the issue at hand.

  • Paul

    Yeah a real issue, if i was on the front of the newspaper everytime i was called a wanker i would never be off it.

    Real stories please. I see no problem with the other two, but this one was a joke.

  • tokane

    oilbhar would u rather that the sdlp follow a sinn feinn agenda of being extreme right making speches at a man who wanted to collaborate with nazis statue in fairview in Dublin and kill 3000 jews in Ireland how republican ?? to extreme left sitting with ex communists whio had as much regard as the provoos for human rights and having an economic policies that would make Ireland o place for capital outflow mass unemployment . SDLP have created many jobs with John Hume wereas Provos did Quite the Opposite Putting People Out Of work by Bombing workplaces and Discouraging investment HOw socialist ??

  • godsdog

    Tokane, how nice of you to point out how good the SDLP are and how evil and nasty those Sinn Feiners are, now on the point of the schism within the SDLP what do you think?
    When I meet john Hume I must thank him, all that progress, all those jobs, all the investment he made in Ireland on his own, with no help from anyone,