Archive: Census 2001…

There are several blank spots in Slugger’s memories. But some have been preserved for posterity at archive.org. From time to time, we’ll fish up some old, otherwise forgotten posts. This one is a short summary of the highly excitable run up to the announcement of the religious demographic figures back of the 2001 Census, just before Christmas 2002. It’s by no means comprehensive, but captures most of the basics.

  • mark

    Slugger’s has always been a site focused on downplaying the importance of Republican initiatives. Now you just have more people being paid for other work doing the job.

    Thanks for emphasing it.

    The only blog committee on Sluggers –

    Pete and Fair Deal.

  • slug

    Mark

    Chris Donnelly (and Rusty Nail?) put forward blogs from republican perspectives. And yourself, you were good too. I’m sort of sad to see you get a bit negative.

  • Mick Fealty

    What precisely have we downplayed? Northern Ireland is firmly in prisoner’s dilemma territory: it is not the winner take all game that many would like it to be.

  • mark

    Slug,

    The site used to be about, imho, honest representation of political views. (before I insisted my name was removed).

    We now have political bloggers using psuedonyms, political bloggers not admitting their bias.

    When I blogged here the others contributed with integrity and honesty. Rusty Nail, Pete, FD,…nice posts….we used to do bias honestly around here.

  • mark

    Mick,

    Your last few posts have been personal viewpoints. Get back to me with a scoop – not a view. And what has been your view/s? Typical?

  • Mick Fealty

    Henry ticked me off for getting maudlin a few months back, hankering after the ‘good old days’. They are never as good as you remember them. There have always been pseudonymous bloggers. Belfast Gonzo and Elementary Wharton were two of the first.

    I wanted you on board because, even then, SF was taking a lot of flak and I wanted to make sure a mainstream Republican voice could be heard above the melee. And, as slug has said, you were good.

    As for anonymity, well, our commenters are extended that courtesy, so if bloggers request it, I don’t see why that should not be respected.

    The bias is in the format. I have never insisted that any of the team blog with or without it, nor do I seek to set their agendas – as you should know better than most.

  • slug

    Mark and Mick

    Slugger is at present better than at times in the past (not as many over-long discussions) while worse than other times in the past (in that the discussion isn’t as deep).

    Reading those comments you get a feel for the change that has happened over four years. Things are changing rapidly in the political set up.

    Who would have thought back four years ago that Dr Paisley would be taking the position he is now, and doing what seems to be a pretty sure-handed job?

    Who would have thought that Gerry Adams would have led his people successfully through total decommissioning and now the acceptance of civic policing?

    It really feels like things are moving. It will still take time but we now have 80% of unionism and 90% of nationalism (I guess wildly) being willing to go forward with the structures that are proposed.

    Not with great optimism as of the 1998 era, but more with a sense of realism that there are social and economic issues that local politicians are best placed to work out.

    People don’t feel that sense of euphoria nor do the parties have electoral advantage from stirring things up. It feels like a normalising situation.

    The Census was all important in 2001. The 2011 census religion breakdown will still be important – things don’t change that fast – but possibly it will be the last time it will be highly so. There are those on Slugger who try to argue the census stuff, outbreeding etc. To me the concept of two religious tribes seems to be melting and the future is one where the two gruops better understand each other and where the emphasis is on economics and a better cohabitation of the island – no winners or losers. Both republcanism and traditional unionism have moved on and matured.

    In that sense, I think we are moving out of prisoners dilemma.

  • smcgiff

    It’s sad to note so many of the most cognant posts were spam! 😉

  • Seamus,

    That tells a tale about how long it took before we got people talking on the site. At the time we were cycling about 800/1000 readers a day, but it wasn’t until we started publishing the unionist research interviews in February that year before people started making their own comments.

  • Confused

    ‘social and economic issues that local politicians are best placed to work out.’

    Best placed but probably incapable 😉

  • fair_deal

    Mark

    “we used to do bias honestly around here.”

    1. On the blogger list I am listed as a politico, even though I hold no party membership because on this site I have made my personal ideology and party preference clear. Slugger has never claimed I am free of bias.
    2. I was recruited as a blogger on a similar basis as yourself. I responded to an open request on the site that Mick wanted a blogger from a particular Unionist perspective to balance out the blogging team.
    3. Would you care to provide a quote from slugger where I have ever claimed to be free of bias?

  • URQUHART

    The posters on the linked thread are a good deal more interesting than the angry beaks on here!

    Slugger’s doing a sterling / euro job and should be allowed get on with it. The fact that people are finally standing up to SF rhetoric may be lamentable Mark, but hopefully it’s here to stay.

  • BP1078

    We now have political bloggers using psuedonyms, political bloggers not admitting their bias.

    When I blogged here the others contributed with integrity and honesty. Rusty Nail, Pete, FD,…nice posts….we used to do bias honestly around here.

    That’s one of the most slapped arsed comments on here for a long time and from somebody who should know better.

    From my understanding of how a blog works, somebody puts up a post, if people are interested in it, they put in a comment. Nobody is forced to read a blog, nobody is forced to comment on a blog, if after a period of time the posts are not to your fancy, you move on. Very few of the Republicans who are regular commentators on here have moved on during the period I’ve been reading-somthing is keeping them here.

    If Pete, Fair Deal puts up a post, you are allowed to comment on it (unlike the bright young things on the Ogra Blog who run a tighter ship than Pravda circa 1985, have a word with them about the concept of free speech would you Mark or Chris?).

    If Pete or FD put up a crock of poo, then they’re crucified pretty soon. If they put up a decent *biased* argument supplemented with facts, then so what? The Shinners then have to rely on their intellect and come up with their counter-arguments, which is a good thing, surely??

    Where on earth is the problem?

    (and finally a personal plea- please, please can commentators start relying on the actual statistics when they bandy round their theories about demographics, voting patterns etc? Thanks.)

  • smcgiff

    ‘That tells a tale about how long it took before we got people talking on the site.’

    Somewhat like an old actress reminiscing the silent era of cinema, that time must be mourned on occasion. 🙂

  • Some Guy

    Thanks for posting this.