Announcing the Slugger Awards 2008

For the last six years, with all its various eyes and ears, Slugger has been a particularly avid watcher of the political scene. We have endeavoured to pick up and share the best journalism and research and keep a close eye on Northern Ireland’s nascent political process. In our own informal way, we’ve acted more as a critical friend than fawning acolyte or jaded oppositionalist.
At Slugger we think that we have a fantastic opportunity to improve politics in a way that institutional reformers will never be able to. We want to reward better politicians, better politics and better governance. We’d like to reward those that have succeeded in reaching out to the public and involving them more effectively in local governance. So today, with the support of our launch sponsors, Stratagem NI Ltd, we are announcing The Slugger Awards 2008.

We’d like to highlight the good things that are happening right now in Northern Ireland, and the awards will aim to reward effort and interactivity with a pat on the back from the blogosphere. Our focus will be on local democracy. As Bernard Crick put it: “local government is the school of democracy.” These awards will highlight those who have made local government work more democratically and more efficiently.

Over the next fortnight we will be announcing eleven different categories to recognise the work of politicians, journalists, local government officers and bloggers in helping to build a stronger and more robust democracy in its widest sense. Each ‘thread’ will be announced day-by-day and continue to act as a nomination field. I tiwll be kept open throughout the rest of the summer. We’ll be relying on you, not simply to nominate candidates, but to tell us why you think they should win.

By September our invited judging panel will begin their deliberations online, then meeting face-to-face to make their final decisions. The winners will be announced in Belfast on 7th October 2008.

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  • Maith sibh. Good for slugger – I hope there’s a catergory recognising what’s being done for and in the Irish language… it’s a significant feature, whatever the naysayers may think, in NI life.

  • Tony B

    I like this:

    “….we’ve acted more as a critical friend than fawning acolyte or jaded oppositionalist.”

    Slugger is really good for this. I doubt if there is anyone that works in politics in NI that would avoid looking at Slugger – unlike the letters pages of most newspapers (or even the editorials of some).

    Not being jaded and cynical (and also avoiding being too starry-eyed as the inevitable prelude to disappointment) is important in commentary – and most blogs don’t avoid this as well as slugger does.

    Good luck with the awards!

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Dear God!

    Another meeja backslapping session – just what Northern Ireland needs. “And the best political website called goes to…”

    Do politicians really need their egos massaged any more by a media that has long since lost the will to investigate their activities and merely comments on them? You might want to try exposing their ineptitude, not throwing flowers at them.

  • Tony B

    Yes BJ – there’s an absolute shortage of people running politicans down and ‘exposing their ineptitude’ isn’t there?

    If they are all so inept, why not stand for electon yourself and give us all a masterclass?

  • Mick,
    Just loved the neutral colors of your sponsors site, red white and blue. Come on Mick PR firms have been the curse of politics at Westminister and on the Hill, they have all but legalized brown envelopes and now you intend giving them a powder puff in the north.

    Couple of points, you regard the Stormont administration as a step forward, whilst I and others consider it as nothing more than an undemocratic stitch up the purpose of which was to set partition in stone. How are you going to square that circle, or are you going to be like RTE and the BBC and pretend we do not exist. Is it only politicians who accept partition and the British instruments of government that can enter your jamboree.

    Who are the judges going to be, please do not tell me their chair will be the head of said PR company.

    What makes a better politician in your eyes? one who lies to his constituents and gets away with it, if not the top table of SF and the DUP have to be ruled out. How about a better journalist, one who acts as a go between perhaps?

    Maybe you should call the whole sorry business ‘the better go between’ for as Dave once posted on slugger, “The entire peace process was orchestrated by synchronised lying”

    Now you what them all rewarded, as if the holiday homes, planning permission granted, and the wife in the Lords were not enough.

  • The Raven

    Tony B – he probably would, if:

    – all the parties weren’t such old boys clubs

    – standing for one of the five main parties didn’t land you jobless or make you untouchable in the workplace (I have personal experience of this which I’ll happily email you about if you wish)

    – any of them actually had substantive policies that would get you excited enough to stand

    – you placed such a low value on your personal credibility that being under the age of 35 and not related to another party member didn’t matter.


    Sorry for the cynicism – it’s only 7:16am.