500 posts (almost) review: what’s good, bad and indifferent?

I had been intending another review of my blogging when I reached 500 but the comments raised here and the fact election fever/blinkers is descending on commentors I decided to do it 21 posts early. The feedback I would like from everyone is about the range of topics, my style and the choice of images I blog. Also as I am a Unionist blogger, are there issues and themes of particular interest to Unionist commenters and readers of slugger that I need to address more?

NB The ball not man rule still applies to this thread. I am not seeking feedback on my personal opinions and any “bias/neutrality” complainers are reminded that I am listed as a politico blogger nor hidden my preferences so no claim to “neutraility” is made by Slugger or myself.

  • another_pleb

    Yay for slugger!

    I find the comment on SOT to be highly interesting. I like the fact that you can always be sure of reading strong, articulate opinions from both sides of any given argument. There are a few flamers/trolls but that’s to be expected.

    Thumbs up from this pleb!

  • Observer

    Good blogging all round.

    Range of topics raised/discussed in a professional and journalist manner.

    However you obviously have party affiliations which you sometimes display which is fair enough in the name of free speech and obviously why you were appointed.

    Keep it up! You make Slugger interesting!

  • Agree entirely with Observer – I don’t share your views but I enjoy your blogging and think you contribute much to the happy mix that is Slugger. You’re good at separating cold fact from partisan opinion too, although you could try to be even better.

  • Rory

    But of course, as Carol Caplin said to Cherie Booth, “We all need positive affirmation of our work choices every now and then”.

    And I can only but reply as Carol did to Cherie, “you are doing a wonderful, positive, life affirming Job..”, Fair Deal.

    And may I add that I think it also has impact on personal weight loss and ensuring the future survival of endangered species such as dung beetles.

    Unfortunately, in a purely personal sense you understand, my own cigarette, alcohol and spliff consumption does tend to dramatically increase after reading your blogs. Which is nice.

    So do, please, to do continue what you’re doing.

  • grimesy

    I’m taking a break from juvenile bashing of Pat Mac to give some honest feedback for a change.

    Fair_Deal, you’re easily the most articulate blogger of working-class loyalist views/concerns on this site.

    I don’t always agree with your points, but they’re always clear, concise & constructive. In particular, the analysis by constituency(and the subsequent debates) of the upcoming MLA elections was inspired.

  • mickhall

    Fair deal,

    I cannot follow Rory, what such style and charm he does possess, I doubt few could top his post, but as far as your blogging is concerned, keep up the good work your doing fine mate.

    Although perhaps a bit more bigotry, fire and brimstone and nastiness might help as we all like to have our stereotypes reinforced and you have been letting the side down of late with your reasonableness and common decency 😉

  • wild turkey


    I unreservedly second and endorse the above comments of both grimesy and mickhall.

    Like Grimsey, even when I do not agree with your points, your analysis is clear, concise and with a minimum of needless personal/ego baggage.

    keep up the good work and don’t let the bastards wear you down.

  • fair_deal

    Thanks for the kind comments but remember my Ulster-Scot sensibilities mean I can’t really cope with praise.

    Also there is always room for improvement so new ideas are welcome.

  • slug

    I think you are at your most interesting when being critical of the unionist parties and when you are talking about social and economic issues.

  • I love this site, but rarely comment on things, but I thought since you asked…

    I wish more attention would be paid (in general) to the economic side of things, and I know the sites primarily about Northern Ireland but any chance of bringing in more world news?

    Cheers and keep up the good work,


  • Way Icit

    I very much enjoy this blog and your contribution to it.

    A very big slice of the electorate is completely disillusioned with politics and politicians. That situation is not good for democracy and deserves much more attention here. Otherwise, perhaps they are they right when they say that politics is only a gravy train for power seeking charlatans!

  • Mick Fealty

    Most of the last ten posts have been removed. So much for FD’s appeal to play the ball. RED CARD to the sockpuppet concerned – comes after several repeated warnings.

  • Animus

    I disagree with much of what you say on many things, but your posts are interesting and you are willing to engage. I do think you articulate what many others think, so it’s certainly worthwhile from my point of view to consider your viewpoints. I would also say your analysis is usually clear, even if often wrong. 😉

  • graduate

    Fair Deal
    as a newcomer to SOT i’m impressed by your analysis and common sense. great blog. keep up the Good work and don’t worry about the Ulster-scots tendencies. it’s possible to overcome any handicap if enough booze and fags are appplied

  • jone

    Sometimes infuriating but almost always worth reading for the insights into contemporary unionist thinking.

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