Open thread…

To bring up what we’ve not been talking about… (usual rules apply though…)

  • ingram

    MK dons Tonight

    Deal or No Deal?

    Ingram says Deal

  • red bus all gone

    Has the bus left?

  • A N Other

    Even the paid members of the SDLP Helen Quigley don’t even live in the Derry. Now I know that the SDLP want to be an all Ireland party but thats taken it a bit too far.

  • borden

    Sorry another -could you repeat the silly accusation but this time in sensible English. Methinks the PSF gremlins are at it again.
    SDLP Foyle team

    Durkan, Diver, Quigley, Ramsey.

    Difficult to see the PSF dreamteam getting 3MLAs – have they given up on Derry?? they’ll have to put up with 4 stoops and McCann who according tm my Derry mate is going to gather sizeable dissident support.

  • Kloot

    The price of Oil is dropping rapidly, and yet it seems our price increases for electrical and gas bills are still going ahead (at least in the ROI).

    The justification for these increases was rising oil prices…so how we aint getting decreasing bills now, let alone a halting of the increase

  • wishing

    everyone should get down on their knees and really, really pray that this disgusting deal between the two most repulsive parties in europe disintegrates and that this will be the last we will ever hear of paisley and adams in government!

  • ingram


    Little Red Bus is One nil up

    Get On.

    Do the deal Big Man

  • Yokel

    My local HMV has a number of copies of Jade Goody’s workout DVD but none of FHM’s High Street Honey’s workout DVD.

    How can this scandal be allowed?

    Also can the secret of how they get figs in Fig Rolls be forced to be released under some kind fo Freedom of Information Act?

  • Kloot, if it makes you feel any better, I’m yet to hear of any reduction in the prices of Phoenix Gas either – a right Dick Turpin outfit that one.

  • Kloot

    >>Also can the secret of how they get figs in Fig Rolls be forced to be released under some kind of Freedom of Information Act?<< Its covered by the government secrets act I think. Sealed for 1000 years, or until a working Assembly forms in NI. Which ever comes first...

  • mark

    On obits: most recent obituary threads on Slugger’s have seen absolute attacks on the deceased as ‘anonymous’ notes below.

    How can Cecil Wlaker, Charlie Haughey and Siobhan O’Hanlon attract such vemon and bile while David Ervine is treated like some kind of East Belfast working class ghandi?

    “When Cecil Walker died last week the first related posting in the comments section at Slugger was insulting and was correctly removed. When Charlie Haughey died there must have been steam coming off some posters keyboards with base insults and personal derogative postings about one of Ireland’s long standing politicians. These were allowed remain in the comments section. Likewise, in April the postings about the recently deceased Siobhan O’Hanlon got so bad that the following was penned by Mick Hall…

    When I saw the first posting about C Walker and then it’s removal I meant to ask what are the rules (beyond “man not ball”) for posting to this site about the recently deceased?

    I think the disgraceful new low was reached when Bruce Anderson’s obit about Sean McBride was published in the Daily Telegraph (anyone got a copy please).

    Posted by anonymous on Jan 08, 2007 @ 06:14 PM”

  • Kloot

    Kloot, if it makes you feel any better, I’m yet to hear of any reduction in the prices of Phoenix Gas either – a right Dick Turpin outfit that one.

    Its crazy really. The gas company down here ( of course theres only 1!!) is now changing its tune to say it needs the money to invest in the company and workforce…

  • Dan

    Cecil Walker was knighted for WHAT? For invisibility?

  • Yokel
    How do they get the figs in the Fig Rolls?
    There are no secrets,you just have to be in the
    know.The same way as they get the ice cream in the Arctic Rolls!

  • dalek


    For someone who makes a lot of posts why is it that they all seem to come at a sort of a tangent and never seem to make a discernable point?

    What’s a matter you..hey!

    and as for David Ervine..

    The difference was that he did for the first time, and I don’t want to be condescending in any way, offer an articulate and persuasive defence of the position of the community he came from and whilst there was steel it was balanced by a bit of humour and he liked a pint too.

    At least he put in his latter years spreading a bit of positivity and trying to engender a bit of confidence in his community.

    RIP Mr Ervine and my thoughts are with your family.


  • Kloot

    Is it to be Ireland’s year in the Six Nations. Anyone lucky enough to be getting tickets to the Croke park games ?

  • Comrade Stalin


    It’s a bit out of order to speak ill of the dead, but in the case of the people you name – Cecil Walker is famous for doing absolutely nothing (I used to live in North Belfast and never once saw him outside of election time – Dodds on the other hand was constantly around), Charlie Haughey is famous for being a criminal and a thief who stole off his own people and got away with it.

    Yes, Ervine was in the UVF. He was involved in efforts to kill people, and may well himself have killed – we’ll never know for sure. In many ways that would make him a bad man. Maybe he never stood up and said that he was wrong, but surely his open support of the agreement and democratic politics means that he must have implicitly accepted that paramilitarism and violence was not the way to go, and that he wanted to ensure nobody else took the “scenic route” towards peaceful means. Here was a guy who had “bought the t-shirt” as he said several times, explaining to people in their own terms, even in their own accent, that this wasn’t the way to go.

    Unionists leaders and politicians for a long time tended to be people who seem to be neither seen nor heard. Worse, they’d cheer the paramilitaries and violence from the touchlines, but were nowhere to be found when the communities they exhorted to violence need real leadership and support. Ervine was a different kettle of fish and for that reason he his memorable.

  • merrie

    Is the Six Nations rugby? Is it league or union? Which nations are playing?

  • lonely piny

    oh dear,Ingram-I see that the wheels have fallen off the MK Dons bus.

    Reassuring to see that your knowledge of football is on a par with your understanding of the Irish political situation

    Ding Ding.

  • Declan Murphy

    If big Ian doesn’t want to do the deal, Sinn Fein will be quite happy to run the North through the Irish British partnership arrangements as part of a Fianna Fail Sinn Fein coalition government in the South. All we need is the minister for “foreign” affairs portfolio. Bertie has given his strongest hint yet he may walk this route and it is my opinion that he may well have to. As for Ian let him no no no.. all the way to political obscurity.

  • CS Parnell

    Six nations? Yer bollix. World Cup a go-go.

    What a story that would be – and it would be something to bring the island together – especially if we beat the English in the final 🙂

  • mark

    Dalek, Stalin,

    The point was more “anonymous'” than mine. Mick suggested he put it here mainly due to the point about the tendency for obit threads to be taken to the lowest common denominator (i assume) but ‘he’ didn’t bother.

    I merely restated and added to his point and wondered why David Ervine seems generally exempt from the criticism/abuse the others named above received – though I note Gareth Mccord has raised some valid questions.

    I haven’t been critical of Mr Ervine in any way. Just wondering aloud what makes his positives cause people to ignore his negatives in a way they didn’t do on the obit threads for others.

    The only answer so far seems to be people are more concerned with his recent actions than his past. Fair enough.

    Mr Walker’s recent past was one of retirement and old age, same with Haughey, O’Hanlon promoted the peace process too. Yet they received huge amounts of abuse.

    Seems an unlikely hero.

  • Plum Duff

    Declan M

    Hell will freeze first before Bertie gives SF a leg up in the present circumstances. What do you think the recent outburst from Martin McG was all about (Bertie only meeting Gerry A once, etc). SF is now an opposition party and are therefore to be smashed, not assisted.

  • Declan Murphy

    Plum Duff,

    That’s all very well until the PDs aren’t enough to get back in ahead of Fine Gael and Labour.

    If this situation arises which is every bit possible, Bertie will not go into opposition when he can regain power with Sinn Fein. He is not the type to cut off his nose to spite his face.

  • Mick Fealty


    Your question is an interesting one. I would through the Gerry Fitt thread in too as one that attracted negative stuff too. From memory, the Haughey thread started civilly enough, but then deteriorated. It was also one of the few occasions when both hard-line unionist and republican commentators were speaking in some kind of unison.

    There is a question over whether we should do this at all. Making ‘the man/woman’ the subject of a thread tends to blur an otherwise clear line between man and ball.

  • mark


    Could it be Fitt, Haughey, Walker and O’Hanlon all belonged to political party’s that could be seen as a political threat or challenge to others and as Mr Ervine’s PUP, especially without him ,is unlikely to challenge any other political party then people have more space to eulogise him?

    If he had been part of a successful or potentially challenging political movement then the attacks might have been as vicious as those mounted on the others? Political irrelevance giving the space to praise?

  • circles

    How do they get the figs in the Fig Rolls?

    ask ingram – sure he thinks he knows everything. Probably something to do with MI5 controlling Gerry Adams by wireless and infiltrating Sinn fein I’d guess…..


    i was just wondering what the consequences are gonna be for us catholic dope smokers.,when ever sf sign up to the police, will their members (grass us up)i mean at the minute things are really tight on the ground any interferring with our last supply lines,and i promise you will have violence unleashed like never before.(ever lived with a smoker with no smoke???)at the minute the freestate is the place to be (turty euro,s a quarter)young smokers in rural area s in norn iron are heading to london in their droves,something has got to be done to stop this exodus of youth,before we re only left with oxford shoe wearing types.please dont squeal on our dealers future ocops

  • dalek


    I personally felt it was a wise move to create an open thread so as the obit thread remained so and commented last night on a deleted thread in a similar vein. So as to avoid a duality of praise v’s spleen.

    Humanity does tend to divide in to two schools of thought and call them man/ball if you will but…

    There will be those from both sides that will hand over a E-Mass Card/Sympathy Card and there are those that will kick the still warm corpse.

    Personally i think in his latter years his contribution was positive in that he provoked debate in his own community IN PUBLIC …many people i know had similar views but hardly ever expressed them in company. Mr. Ervine expressed them publicly and bravely in my point of view.

    At the end of the day a youngish man has passed away with probably still a lot to add and to my mind that is something to regret. Notwithstanding that I and perhaps he regretted a lot of his past.

    Looking through all of the posts so far he seems to have come out okay barring the mccord post which followed in a similar vein to others by same poster in the past.

    once again Slán.

  • miss fitz

    Declan Murphy
    Interesting noises from FF this evening. Bertie saying that he would accept SF support for a minority government and that the only impediment were differences in economic policy.

  • Sandy Bay

    First current DUP elected member to resign from party over potential power carve up deal with Sinn Fein occurred tonight.

    Jack McKee, fmr Assemblyman, Westminster candidate, Mayor and Paisley’s pointman in Larne for 40 years has resigned from the party and gone independent.

    You heard it here first.

  • Sorry for taking so long in following up on my original posting.

    I just thought it was ironic / hypocritical for so many to be praising a man who had possibly been involved in serious crimes (an assumption based on UVF past performances & he was jailed for possession of a bomb) in comparison with what was written about Haughey and Walker.

    Haughey feathered his own nest (mainly from B. Dunne and the banks, so not out of your pocket) while Walker was not a very notable politico. The bile that was typed about these two is extraordinary in comparison to what’s being posted about Ervine in light of his UVF past.

    Secondly, why does the Slug policy seem to remove the insult about Walker & some less favourable posts about Ervine and yet allow the postings about Haughey and O’Hanlon? A lot of what was written about the latter two was personal and a classical case of “ball not man” therefore implying an subjective rendering of the rules by the site admin.

    In conclusion, I’m not posting negatively about DE but about other posters and the Slug policy.

  • gareth mccord

    i think it would be wrong to criticise ervines actions as a young man caught up in the hatred of the ira! he was wrong and maybe he tried to put that right by going down the political path? but his past should only be judged by his political actions of a p.u.p / u.v.f party leader! he recently stated he never left the uvf. he recently stated the uvf ceasefire is intact. he has also stated the 28 murders of mostly protestants since the g.f.a. was for the following reasons NOT THE UVF NOT SANCTIONED IT WAS A FEW OPPERTUNISTS AND LAST BUT NOT LEST SAYED NOTHING. he also as a political representative refused to help the victims families get justice from uvf killers. also as a democratic political representative refused to co operate with the ombudsman probe into the uvf informers being allowed to kill without convictions? So i would ask people not to just judge a young easily led man but the leader of a party linked to the uvf who continue to kill and target. AS I SAID DONT JUDGE JUST LOOK AT THE FACTS

  • Mick Fealty


    Suffice to say, I think you are being a tad unfair. But I’ll try to field some of your criticism.

    I nearly bust a gut trying to keep the O’Hanlon thread clean, and took no end of flak for doing it. I also had to take the whole thing off two or three times. Much as I had tried to foreground her work as an unacknowledged backroom worker in a democracy, a significant number of our readers wished to focus elsewhere. Perhaps I should have been more balanced in my original comments.

    Haughey’s thread ran to 130 comments. HAs I say it started civilly enough, but it did get got very heated. Unsurprisingly, since he was a highly controversial figure. Maybe I should have sat on it more stringently.

    But, strange as it may seem, none of us earn a red cent for running and feeding this blog. I can certainly understand why people expect the quality of the comment zone to match those of (most of) the outputs above. But that requires commitment all round:

  • gerry

    3 nuns die and are going to heaven . before they get in st peter says to them you must answer a simple question.
    To the first nun he says, what was the name of the first woman?
    she Answers Eve
    right go on in says peter
    To the second he says
    what was the name of the garden they lived in
    she answers, eden.
    right go on in says peter
    to the third peter says ok because you are the mother superior your question is a little more tricky. what did eve say when she first saw adam
    she answers hmmmmm thats a hard one.
    ok says peter you’re in

  • if an elected rep from NI passes away some time in the near future will I be able to post that he was a ***** and list my reasons for this… I think yes.

    But then will I be allowed to post that his death (and comment on the type of departure from this world & how I’d like to have had a hand in it) is a blessing for mankind because of metioned reasons and may his like never be spawned again? Would I also be allowed post with the most base and vulgar language?

  • Plum Duff

    Declan Murphy and Miss Fitz

    My original premise stands. Both of you are talking *post* election when different rules will apply. Bertie would be a mug not to take support from anyone if he wants to hold on to power. However, I’m talking *pre* election.

    In the current round of negotiations post SAA, the Southern Government are the weakest link because Bertie doesn’t want SF to gain brownie points from a successful outcome in case they eat into FF’s vote. That’s why they’re sitting on their hands and not being pro-active.

  • Alan

    OK – may as well. . .

    The Cultural event of the Christmas period in South Belfast was the re-opening of the Sphynx Kebab shop on Stranmillis after about two years of closure.

    Haven’t been able to get in through the door yet, however, as it’s been constantly bunged to the gills.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Ed Joyce (from Dublin) is opening the batting for England in the 20/20. They have a huge total to chase – 222 to win.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Oh dear – he made 1.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    But at least he did better than Freddie Flintoff.

  • Rory

    During the dreary doldrum days after Christmas I have been re-reading into the classics, in particular Boccaccio’s Decameron, Plato’s Republic and St. Matthew’s Gospel and pondering on the Big Three questions of sex, death and religion. So offered the generosity of an opportunity, courtesy of Mick, to discourse to the world on any topic of my choosing I thought I should grace you with my thinking on these great matters. But I couldn’t come up with anything.

    So if any of our wonderful research ferrets out there on Slugger have any lowdown on a clergyman (preferably a bishop) with an abiding interest in necrophilia, just give me the heads up and I’ll liven it up with a literary flourish or two for the market. Put some bones into it as they say.

    Anyway here are some thoughts on the Great Topics:

    On Sex:

    Do I think that sex is dirty?

    No. But one can always hope.

    Do I approve of gay sex?

    Only if I get to join in.

    On Death:

    What do I think of death?

    I think it is best to be avoided.

    Is there life after death?

    If there isn’t then the poor folk of Ballymena have had a raw deal.

    On religion:

    Do I believe in God?


    Does God believe in Rory?

    I sure pray that He does.

    What is my stance on the smaller sects?

    I look down on them.

    What do I think of the Mormons?

    The funniest group from the USA since the Marx Brothers.

  • Way Icit

    Sexual Orientation Regulation Debate in Lords

    Live at

  • aquifer

    Interesting piece in the Financial Times 6 jan by Christopher Caldwell, reporting a German book ‘Sohne and Weltmacht’ by Gunnar Heinsohn that suggests that too big a proportion of young men in any society is likely to lead to violence, as there are not enough positions to give these young men position and standing. CC: ‘Of 67 countries with ‘youth bulges’ 60 of them are undergoing some kind of civil war or mass killing’

    Were the Provos just baby boomers gone bad?

    My links never work so try ‘Youth and war, a deadly duo’ in the search at the site for the full article.

    What about the three peacenick nuns who have got the US authorities on the run with their parole violations: enter ‘3 nuns’ in the search works,1299,DRMN_15_5260376,00.html

  • aquifer

    so links work without all the funny brackets suggested below. devilishly clever these webmasters

  • BP1078

    I pretend I’m a busy man (The Management is no doubt reading this) so I use Bloglines to let me get a quick summary of all those blogs I’m interested.

    Slugger, of course, is in there, but for some reason only about 20% of your posts get listed. Is this some kind of feed problem? Or do some of your contributors not press the right switches at the end of their post? Or is Bloglines also infiltrated by the Securocrats?