Ireland’s last chance

At the minute France are punishing Georgia for daring to think they might have a had a chance at an upset, although the Georgians have had only 4 days since their previous game. Adds France win 64 – 7. Oh, and Ireland are getting ready [hopefully – Ed] to face those Pumas. Kick-off 4pm at the Parc des Princes. As I may have mentioned, a win by 8 points and at least 4 tries are required against Argentina for Ireland … Read more

And Irish Labour came too

The Sunday Indo is predicting that the Irish Labour Party will decide to contest elections in Northern Ireland (and give SDLP members unhappy with a Fianna Fail link-up a home), Fianna Fail is claiming victory over SF in the campus recruitment battle and apparently Fine Gael has been here for years: “We have had a presence up North for a long time and we have a strong presence in the universities. Fianna Fail have made a lot of noise about … Read more

World Cup round-up

If Ireland are to still be in the World Cup after tomorrow’s game against Argentina they must win by 8 points and score at least 4 tries against a Puma side that has yet to concede a single try in this campaign. Meanwhile England will face the favoured Australians in their quarter-final game after holding their nerve to go past Tonga 36-20. Wales, though, are gone. They trailed Fiji 25-10 at half-time and, despite a thrilling second-half come-back, the Fijian’s … Read more

2 + 1 = ?

Irish Senator Eoghan Harris thinks it is time for the UUP to disappear. Alex Kane argues the issue of Unionist unity is complex and sceptical of the electoral benefits. However, Kane’s analysis mixes the issues of a pact with a merger, two situations with different costs and benefits. Lee Reynolds

Why Paisley backed two anti-monarch rebels…

IAN Paisley must be the last person you’d think would back two women who were drowned at the stake rather than utter the words: ‘God save the King’. But yesterday in Scotland the First Minister told of how his firebrand Protestantism was influenced by the Covenanter martyrs, perhaps another illustration of how the idea of Ulster loyalty to the Crown is a highly conditional form of allegiance. Belfast Gonzohttp://sluggerotoole.com

Dealing with sectarian stereotypes…

WHILE problems with sectarian posts are not something Slugger can claim to have avoided, the BBC’s Talk Back messageboard was forced into a U-turn yesterday after a commenter complained about a thread entitled ‘Breeding like rabbits’. Initially, the complainant was told the title “did not contravene house rules”, but the Beeb later changed its mind and the thread was removed. Is it ever possible to discuss sectarian stereotypes on the internet in an acceptable-to-all manner? Or is it a topic … Read more

Been there- got the t-shirt

My knowledge of Rugby is severely limited, but I admit I watch the games pretty avidly. Well, any red blooded woman would! I know enough about the procedings to be aware that things are not going quite as well as they could at the moment. Maybe it was this

Learning from implementation?

The implementation of Patten reforms has contributed to the the local crime clearance rate falling from the second best in the UK to the worst. However, for some it remains Patten and nothing but despite the real problems crime is causing and communities wanting more not less policing (Windows Media Player or Realplayer required 1m35sec in). So is it more of the same or time to re-assess? Lee Reynolds

A very public spat

To the annoyance of her dectractors on the unionist benches (and elsewhere..), Education Minister Catriona Ruane would appear to have successfully intervened to resolve the Classroom Assistants’ Dispute. As interesting yesterday was the very public spat between the various trade unions representing Classroom Assistants. Whilst trade unions often differ in strategy, tactics and outlook, the convention (normally though not always adhered to) of not publicly criticising another union, particularly in the midst of a strike, was shattered. Chris Donnelly

Not too shabby at all..

Iain Dale has published his list of the 500 top political blogs in the UK – as compiled from a reported 500 lists of top 10 or 20 political blogs submitted by his readers and other bloggers. A point which is worth noting when I see that a humble NI-centric blog, with delusions of grandeur, comes in at number 32. Thanks to all concerned, the cheques are in the post [They are?!! – Ed] Pete Baker

General to ride to the rescue..?

Rumours on the BBC [and in our comments zone – Ed] that the UDA’s response to the recent meeting with the Social Development minister, and that deadline, will be to call on the services of General de Chastelain [Now why would he do that.. – Ed]. But while the BBC report claims that, “Decommissioning was not part of the contract when the government agreed to fund the three-year project in loyalist areas”, at the time the government made it clear … Read more

“to which Mr Purnell kindly consented..”

The UK’s Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, James Purnell, is in trouble after a publicity photograph for the Tameside and Glossop Hospitals NHS Trust was altered to insert his image into a photo-opportunity that he didn’t attend – he was due to be there but arrived late. It’s worth studying the coverage though, because there are still contradictory statements about what went on. Purnell is quoted in the BBC report as saying, “I didn’t think a faked … Read more

Happy Ulster Day

Haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere else, but today was quite an important day in 1912 and for a lot of families in Ulster, including mine, it is possible to have a look at what ancestors were doing on this day in history. Michael ShillidayI used to write and get paid, now I read and don’t. Former UUP staffer, currently living in London. @mjshilliday

“a substantial additional sum of money..”

With few details in the public domain it’s difficult to tell how much, if any, realism was insisted upon. But the classroom assistants’ unions are to go back to their members with a new offer after reporting “substantive progress” in talks today. The employers [the Education and Library Boards? – Ed], seem to be suggesting it consists of a one-off additional payment. Employers spokesman Robin Harper said they were offering “a substantial additional sum of money”. “Each classroom assistant would … Read more

What about the Revenue Bertie?

Sarah Carey is now settling in to Palo Alto but before she left, she fired this salvo at the Taoiseach… Whatever about the Tribunal , the Rev are going to have some fun. The October 31 deadline is coming up for tax returns and I just filed mine. Every single €50 I get for minor radio interviews has to be accounted for. And he’s pissed off cos we’d like to know where he got the £50k in CASH from? My … Read more

Freedom of the press in Burma…

Here’s the official news in Burma: nothing to see here, move along… And through a blog: mobile phone system shuts down, internet reduced… Via 1820… Mick FealtyMick 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

Too good to miss…

Malcolm waxes poetical on the, errr, Shipping Forecast… Mick FealtyMick 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

“this is very much a pastoral, outreach development..”

The Irish News reports a little local difficulty in Crumlin between the Catholic church and the local gaelic club, St James Aldegrove GAC. The club has been using parish-owned grounds since the 1960s but the Diocese of Down and Connor, recently seen picking a fight with Amnesty International, want it back and have instructed the club to vacate the site by November 30. [subs req]From the Irish News report [subs again] A spokesman for the Diocese of Down and Connor … Read more

A sudden outbreak of attacks and threats…

Just checking Newshound this afternoon, and what’s most striking is the number of attacks and/or threats against Sinn Fein offices, senior party personnel and a prominent journalist. Indeed the LVF has issued a threat against two journalists at the Sunday World. The LVF killed one of its journalists, Martin O’Hagan six years ago. Mick FealtyMick 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 … Read more

More on the bail saga..

Yes, he’s probably a flight risk, and yes, the “access to considerable funds” is an issue for someone who’s also receiving legal aid. But the charges against Ihab Shoukri of “UDA membership, including one of assisting, arranging, or managing a meeting of the loyalist terror group” are of a “serious nature”? How about this meeting then? Or, indeed, this one? Must be a change in the weather.. Pete Baker