Slugger is looking for new (mostly Unionist) bloggers…

Slugger was a one man band until the summer of 2003. The first summer we had less than 100 readers, so I left for the wilds of Donegal with nary a backward glance. The second year, when we had acquired over a thousand readers on a daily basis, it seemed we had created a demand that was worth finding a way to continue to fulfill. Not wishing to impose a demand for a substitute Mick Fealty, I put out a call for bloggers from a mix of backgrounds. It was conscious decision on my part since it seemed to me that Slugger’s appeal from the start that it culled the best journalism from across the piste…But we have always struggled to recruit and keep bloggers from the Unionist tradition (for some reason, nationalists have always seem more willing to ‘share’ their opinion on politics here). With the departure of Fair Deal for pastures new, we have a major space going for someone who is mainstream unionist opinion.

I have a queue of nationalists who want to blog on Slugger, but no unionists. I’ve had to put some of their kind offers on hold until such times as we can address the primary imbalance in the blogging team. If you’d like to like to get involved, {encode=”mick.fealty@gmail.com” title=”just send me an email”} with a two or three sample pieces on any given subject regarding NI, GB or Europe…

On a related matter, we’re keen to pull in people who can give us a strong local perspective on Scottish, Welsh and European politics too.

I’m not particularly worried about impartiality, so much as the quality of analysis. One of things I know our readers value more than anything else is the multiplicity of views they can read in the one space. If you think you can help push Slugger develop its potential in responsibly holding the various democratic institutions to account, then {encode=”mick.fealty@gmail.com” title=”don’t hesitate to get in touch”}…

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  • only asking

    Against, all the standard advice, ya know, don’t feed the trolls (yes, you 😉

    Yeah someone posts something negative about you and they’re a troll. Blogger logic? Or the sign of a big ego that can’t take criticism, well deserved criticism I may add…. ;0

    Against, all the standard advice, ya know, don’t feed the trolls (yes, you 😉 ). Your accusation would be relatively simple to prove, if ye weren’t talking shite.

    I’m in good company then ;0 but at least I only talk it, and don’t produce it, nor fight over whose hole it came out of…????

  • Tubular Bells

    I want to know about the mysterious middle class woman in a Tunisian cafe . She confirmed every one of Mick Hall’s prejudices and I’m guessing she was a wild ride.

  • Driftwood

    A good unionist blogger..

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    RS:

    Unless I am very much mistaken, to quote famous Seamus, Harry’s passport is very much a green one (figuratively at least)…

    Cynic:

    Sometimes you have to turn round and draw the poison slowly. I’ve had quite a few good people (unionists and others) step forward as a result of this thread. I’m hopeful we will get some (as they might say on The Wire) good ‘product’ as a result of this thread.

    CW:

    Good idea. We’ve a blogger in waiting who I hope will do some good stuff on the local music scene. It may make for a pretty cluttered offering with the current design, but I am hoping it will sit well with the new design.

    ‘Just asking’:

    Good to have you back (even if it is with the obligatory name swapping). You always enliven the debate. I’ll take your comment about the day going by without a posting on the chin, since it’s good and valid crit. We need to get our timing worked out better than we have recently.

    We tend to cluster new posts in the evening (when many of our bloggers have the time to gather their thoughts and post). I’ll give it some thought and make some suggestions to the blogging team.

    If I have a criticism of your criticisms, it is only that you still look at these matters too much like an MSMer. Your case agin Pete completely misses the fact that he’s onto critical aspects of a story that the Beeb don’t or won’t tell. If there is a case to make it is that the Beeb often follow Pete, if not as often, then often enough to prove his worth beyond any doubt on my part.

    I’d like to see you stand your criticism of Mack up straight too. Though I note your riposte that you ‘can’t be arsed’. More evidence of your MSM credentials?

    IMHO, for all the one-eyed criticism of Slugger’s supposedly anti Nationalist bias, contributors like Mack have done us a huge service in bringing home to an Northern Irish audience the reality of political life in the Republic. I only wish we had more of his calibre.

    Indeed, we have paid extremely close attention to the business and politics of the south for the reason that it is the subject of much passion and commitment amongst our base audience. The same should go for Scotland, Wales, Westminster and Europe. Or even the US.

    That other blogs do it well is not the point. The British blogosphere in particular is dominated by party pro bloggers who don’t have our detached view of the passage of politics. The Irish blogosphere has P.ie and IE.ie, but (as I argue in the next edition of the Total Politics Guide to the Blogosphere – published in September) much of the serious comment in the Irish blogosphere comes from expert bloggers, not politicos. I think we have something we can add to the overall value of the debate ‘there’ and ‘here’.

    Besides, this is not about direct competition (as it might be in the print world), it is about access to good analysis and news; the more diversity, the more the intelligence to be applied to collective problems. There is some considerable value in even just collating that intelligence (as John at Nuzhound has proven over the years)…

    We can and we should do that better than we currently do. The broadening of our references should enhance our service, rather than diminish it…

    Thanks again for your honest responses…

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Harry’s passport is very much a green one (figuratively at least)…’

    He must have been in the same que as Dudley Edwards and the Cruiser, with Myers stamping it.

    (I jest Harry 😉

  • Mack

    Mick-

    If I have a criticism of your criticisms, it is only that you still look at these matters too much like an MSMer

    I thought ‘only asking’ was a journo at the start who didn’t quite get blogging vs say investigative journalism (& slightly confounded by the interlinking networks of de interwebs), I just found it funny that he thought I was riffing on stuff from p.ie (as maybe 1% of the blog entries I’ve done have come from stuff I’ve seen there). Btw, I consciously modelled my style on Pete’s, and to be honest, I find what his filtering and value-added analysis immensely useful (I much prefer Slugger, Reddit, Proptertypin, CedarLounge et al to regular newspapers – the best stories are hand picked).

    It was his accusation that I copy and paste entries or plagiarise them almost word for word from other sources that I find offensive. Something he has been entirely unable to substantiate – for the simple reason I don’t do it.

  • republican stones,

    The Irish, like oppressed people every-where, {witness todays Palestinians] at times retreated into their religion, that it to was often under attack from the English State, made it almost inevitable that the Free Staters would give it prominence, the more so when they abandoned republicanism, as the then church gave them historical significance and continuity.

    Having said this, once Dev gained power there was no excuse for his kowtowing to the church, and certainly not once FF got its feet firmly under the table. Not least because the church had played an especially despicable role in the 20th century Irish fight for freedom. Thus if it came down to a contest between State and church he had every chance of coming out even.

    Tubular Bells,

    Please! A gentleman never talks about the behavior of a lady, especially after her husband has gone to bed.

    Slugger O’Toole Admin

    What is MSMer?

    I was not being facetious when I asked my question about your ” call specifically for a unionist, or say a republican, nationalist whatever, are you not playing the sectarian game, etc.”

    In many ways I think you are acquiescing to sectarianism, but, having said that the North politically is such a sectarian society I am not sure there is an alternative.

    The problem is when you use this methodology to select bloggers, almost every thread can, and often does slip back into a ghetto mentality.

    For example of why this occurs, I know many unionist trade unionists and socialists, and feminist unionists, but when push comes to shove, because of the nature of the society they live in, they too see it almost as a duty to defend the union above all else.

    Before someone says it, this is also true of Republican and nationalism, indeed with the former it is IMHO why in the North SF has always kept its trade union activists at arms length.

    Of course blogs like any section of the media reflect the society their makers live in, so I am not sure if there is a solution to this problem, I hope there is because if not, rather than Slugger and those who comment here lessening the sectarian nature of the North, we are inadvertently reinforcing it.

    Just a thought.

  • Brit

    “The Irish, like oppressed people every-where, {witness todays Palestinians] at times retreated into their religion, that it to was often under attack from the English State”

    Plenty of religious fanatics and extremists who are not oppressed (Mr Bin Laden?) and plenty of oppressed people who did not / do not take up fundamentalist religion. The Jews of Europe in the 19th / 20th Century – who “turned” to Marxism, Socialism, Bundism, Zionism. The Basques and Catalans under Franco. Most of occupied Europe during WW2.

    We need to be careful about justifying reactionary obscurantism and clerical fascism.

    And it was the British State, the British State not the “English State” (sic).

  • Brit

    I was not justifying reactionary obscurantism and clerical fascism, in any case you are mistaken about some European Jews, as they turned to Zionism which has its bases in religion.

    As I was ‘speaking’ historically it ‘was’ the English State which put many catholics to the sword. (800 years and all that) The British State only got around to raping and pillaging in Ireland in later years. Although admittedly once it got started it seemed to enjoy the work.

  • Brit

    Zionism was primarily a secular nationalist movement but even if it was religious it wouldnt undermine my point. ie that reactionary politics, religious based or otherwise, should be condemned without too much “understanding” when that morphs into excusing. Many oppressed people do not turn to religion of a fundamentalist/political authorian nature and fight oppression on a secular programme. However some that do embrace the worst sort of politics and their disadvantaged circumstances should not district us from the true nature of those politics.

    Whilst we are doling out national guilt I would hate for it to be forgetten that Irishmen as well as Scotsmen and the Welsh (forgive the patriarchal language)were involved in the raping, pilliaging, occupying and other imperialist crimes in Africa, India and elswhere not just the English.

  • sinless

    “I’m not particularly worried about impartiality, so much as the quality of analysis.”

    This is an oxymoron in the context of Unionists. They are partial and they have no analysis, except that of the Croppies lie down type. may as well get the Burmese junta to blog and to give us their take on today’s hurling match, carbon foot prints etc.

    If you do need a Unionist, Dave would be a good bet. At least he can think and reason and be reasonably impartial.

  • RepublicanStones

    Brit you seem ignorant of the fact that the Basques were the same religion as Franco himself, ditto for the catalans. I don’t remember Franco banning his own religion.

    We speak in terms of the southern state genuflecting to the Vatican once it gained its freedom, to ignore the manner in which catholicism was treated by the British in Ireland is to deny the full truth. It seems when people criticise the uber-catholicism of the republic, they tend to leave out a lot of historical context.

    Mick I agree ref Dev after FF had its feet under the table, but church attendance in those days percentage of population would have been the likes of which we’ll never see again, so may there have been an element of electoral thinking in his kowtowing?

  • Brit

    “Brit you seem ignorant of the fact that the Basques were the same religion as Franco himself, ditto for the catalans. I don’t remember Franco banning his own religion.”

    Are you sure RS? I could have sworn that that the Basques were Jains and the Catalans Sufi Islamic mystics. Yes OK it was not a great example but the point stands.

    Basque nationalism in its militant version is a text book case of how not to react to the suppression and subjugation of a culture and national identity (ie with mythical romanticism, a victimology cult based in the past and anti-democratic terrorist violence). Ring any bells?

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘ie that reactionary politics, religious based or otherwise, should be condemned without too much “understanding” when that morphs into excusing.’

    Funny that Brit, but over the last few days I can recall your defence of zionism, its coveting of other peoples land and you harping about centuries of oppression of Jews as a way to try and excuse it, but now it seems your philo-semitism is such that theres no room left in your head to afford the irish the same courtesy.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘but the point stands.’

    The point doesn’t stand. You tend to hold tightest onto that which somebody attemps to tear away from you. Fracno didn’t attempt to do to the basques religion what the british did to the irish.

  • only asking

    Mick, there is as much competition between blogs as there is among any other media outlet.

    That other blogs do it well is not the point.

    Yes it is. What is it that you will add that they don’t? Being objective? I have seen many many posts from pro-party bloggers that have been as objective as any person on the street. I’ll give you an example: Iain Dale wrote a post on the NHS shortly after a conservative went on US television to rubbish it. That post, though I differ from it politically, was as unbiased as any voter on the street. The gist ofit was that instead of focusing on the NHS, why not focus on the health of the nation? The difficulties of a system devised in 1948 trying to cope with a modern day society. He did link toa post Dizzy had, but Dizzy’s post was not as well written, nor as interesting as that particular post. Thats why I go to a conservative blogger, who adds a bit of instinct from a gay perspective. There is an angle there that gives him a niche in a tough market. So I’m asking what is to be your niche in a broader market? Objectivity won’t cut it.

    Then of course whereas a pro-party blogger has certain paramaters, yours will be much wider, will they be too wide? All breadth and no substance?

    The stuff you do locally is your bread and butter, to move from such a narrow perspective to an all encompassing one is going to take a much more radical change than you are willing to undertake. IMO you need to start from scratch, recruiting from these other areas, which you did seem to do with the blogger from here and had a UKIP perspective Ithink it was. He made one post, to introduce himself and then was gone. Any chance of a replacement, or even a ressurection of this guy?

    I’m not going to get into a bun fight with you over your bloggers, that is your business and no one elses. Inever said anyone wasn’t a good blogger. As regards mack, plagarism is too strong a word. I didn’t use it, he did. I said his posts were recognisable, which they are, and when I offered that perhaps we visited the same sites that wasn’t enough. (A right fighter who has tobe right at all costs- that I have no time for. I mantain we obviously visit the same sites…..

    That is the trouble with using other sites, everybody visits them and can come to similar conclusions and then see it in front of them. The dale post I refered to above wasn’t like that. It was an original concept that wasn’t anywhere else. Do you get what I’m saying? Too bad if you don’t.

    I like your blog immensely, but for local stuff. Welcome to the other stuff, but whether anything can be contributed from slugger in those areas is a challenge for you to meet, and for your (local) audience to embrace. I wish you well in that, but unless it proves its self, it’s not for me is all I’m saying, unless it gives me what better than the others.

    Its competition mick, no one can touch you locally, further afield others are streets ahead. Good luck on that. As for locally, what are the chances of going a little more in-depth outside of Belfast…….

  • Mack

    only asking –

    Text is a pretty blunt medium for communication, and something that could be sorted out pretty quickly with a face to face chat can escalate to stupid levels in an online forum. What I took offence to was in your initial reply – was the assertion that I was copying stuff ‘almost word for word’ from politics.ie. I mostly blog about financial events, and as it’s highly unlikely I’m going to break any news stories there, of course there are going to recognisable elements (I can assure that any analysis is my own). Visiting the same sites is fine, if that’s what you mean.

    I think any blogger would react strongly to the idea that they were copying others work word for word.

  • Mack

    I think any blogger would react strongly to the idea that they were copying others work word for word.

    Or even at all 😉

  • Dave

    “If you do need a Unionist, Dave would be a good bet. At least he can think and reason and be reasonably impartial.” – sinless

    And those modest qualities are exceptional among unionists?

    A unionist is any citizen of NI who accepts the legitimacy of its constitutional status. All who voted for the GFA, for example, are unionists. Whether or not some of them harbour an aspiration to alter its constitutional status does not alter the fact that they have accepted the legitimacy of that constitutional status and that they cannot therefore claim they wish to change it because it is illegitimate. In other words, they accept that they have no right to unity and that they must make arguments to others as to why it is their best interests. Those who are not NI’s citizens may express an opinion but the act of expressing it doesn’t confer any status on them that is applicable only to citizens. Personally, I have zero intention of voting for any unity agenda that is based on the GFA – not that the option will ever arise.

    As for blogging, I have no interest in it whatsoever.

  • only asking

    I mostly blog about financial events, and as it’s highly unlikely I’m going to break any news stories there, of course there are going to recognisable elements (I can assure that any analysis is my own). Visiting the same sites is fine, if that’s what you mean.

    I think any blogger would react strongly to the idea that they were copying others work word for word.

    It’s not all of what I mean, if you don’t get it by now – you aren’t likely too. It isn’t about breaking stories. I refer you back to the NHS story. You are very recognizable is what I’m saying, perhaps predictable is a better word for it. Doesn’t mean you are a bad blogger but you’re not Brian Walker are you?

    Peace. (As you say from a ‘troll who spouts shite’.) You’ve been doing an awful lot of feeding haven’t you? I’ll not enliven debates on your threads if you have an attitude that those who differ from your opinions are trolls, theres enough of that already on the internet.

  • “I have a queue of nationalists who want to blog on Slugger, but no unionists. ”

    Maybe because Unionists tend to be older and therefore less internet-savvy.

  • michael

    Speaking of internet savvy
    This website needs a visit from the standards man, to sort out it’s piss poor navigation

    target=”_blank”
    target=”_self”
    target=”_i_dunno_lets_have_a_feckin_wild_guess_then_do_the_opposite”

    just make it fecking ‘SELF!!!!’

    feel better now 🙂

  • eranu

    sometimes when i click ‘Home’ it pops up a new window. happens on my work pc also. i think this also happens sometimes when clicking the numbered links to pages.

  • Mack

    Only asking –

    I was/am trying to build bridges with you there, trolling is attacking someone without basis perhaps to provoke a reaction (such as saying that my posts are copies of other people’s work and refusing to provide evidence, would fall into that – I accept you meant something else, but I’m not a mind reader, you need to actually clearly express it.).

    Dissenting opinion is always welcome, and you are starting to sound more constructive now. There’s nothing wrong with being predictable / recognisable – there’s a limited sub-text that permeates my posts particularly the short ones and I don’t see the need to over complicate issues (e.g. authoritive source says X, link back to Irish events implying Y. Depending on the topic Y may well be that bailing out all the banks is a bad idea). And you’re right, last time I checked I wasn’t Brian Walker, I enjoy his posts too – but it’s a very different style (beauty is, you’re free to choose).

    I’ve no idea which NHS story you refer to? Did you mean this blog entry –

    http://www.sluggerotoole.com/index.php/irish-healthcare-time-to-adopt-the-singaporean-model/

  • Mack

    And just to make clear, I agree Brian Walker is a master of his trade, far, far better than I.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    oa,

    I take your point on competition, but I don’t think we are competing against the likes of Iain and Guido, or even Labour List, Go Forth etc. If anything the likes of that NHS story’s a good example of how original blog content can provide strong content for countless others. It’s good content for us, because most of our readers might not otherwise read it. Blogging’s a phenomenon of a time of abundance, newspapers were a primary means of diffusion in a time of scarcity.

    Two stories in which, I think, we demonstrated a gap in the Westminster market, were the Coulson/Murdochgate fracas, and most recently the TPA’s ‘dodgy dossier’. No one else was onto either of those stories with the sustained attention that Slugger gave it.

    Why? Because in both cases each set responded almost solely in line with their own party interests: the right ignored both and Labour went for what they thought was the easier kill.

    That said, I agree that such a roll out depends on recruiting a strong ‘native’ team from each space. It cannot all be done from the centre. Also agree we are over-serving the Belfast bubble and under-serving those in rural areas the west.

  • Mack

    Only asking –

    I see what your saying (NHS story too boot), I hadn’t read the whole of your response to Mick. Btw, I mentioned breaking stories only in terms of the recognisability (i.e. your going to have seen the story before). I accept there is no unusual angle, beyond bog-standard right-of-centreness, and so perhaps a degree of sameness. That’s not a bad point, but a whole different ball game from copy and paste / word for word.

  • only asking

    Thanks for getting back guys. This is an interesting blog, on ward and upward – mack like I said it was meant to be constructive criticism. Take your point re a blunt instrument, it is in my hands anyway. I’m done here.

    Later guys…..I’m off on hols tomorrow.

  • Dave

    “sometimes when i click ‘Home’ it pops up a new window. happens on my work pc also. i think this also happens sometimes when clicking the numbered links to pages.” – eranu

    If you’re using IE: click Tools/Internet Options. On ‘General; look down for ‘Tabs’ and then click Settings. Adjust your settings there according to how you want IE to handle tabs/windows, i.e. if you don’t want a link to open in a new window or a new tab but rather to re-use the existing tab/window.

  • eranu

    cheers dave

  • Brit

    RS

    You and I dont agree on Israel or Zionism. You are very certain of the rightness of your perspective. Fine, but there is no need to write me off as a philo-semite (or “Jew-lover” as those without the university eduction term it). You have previously described me as sick, disgusting, racist and learning disabled,suggested that I am a liar and also that I thought Jews incapable of evil. Strange that you think any non-Jew (which you have guessed I am) who disagrees with your kitsch anti-imperialist “analysis” of I/P must have some abnormal way of thinking about Jews. Why dont you play the man?

    You wrote “The point doesn’t stand. You tend to hold tightest onto that which somebody attemps to tear away from you. Fracno didn’t attempt to do to the basques religion what the british did to the irish.”

    Your misunderstanding the point I was making.

    I was responding to a different poster who wrote:-

    “The Irish, like oppressed people every-where, {witness todays Palestinians] at times retreated into their religion”

    The basic point being made is that most oppressed people retreat into religion. It was NOT a comment that people whose religion is banned retreat into religion (as the reference to Palestinians makes clear). My point was that lots of oppressed people dont do that and that being oppressed is no defence to reactionary views or actions whether religious or not.

  • Dave

    Brit, I don’t know if you have noticed but support/opposition for/to Israel is broadly divided along sectarian lines in NI. Unionists support Israelis and nationalists support Palestinians. I usually avoid ‘debate’ about the subject. Such debate is rarely genuine or transcends the tribal, with the nationalists seeing Israelis as settlers who stole Palestinians land and seeing parallels to how they view the unionists. For that reason, they do not recognise Israel’s right to exist, just as they *did* not recognise Northern Ireland’s right to exist.

    However, those who led the nationalists to that perspective have updated the parallels without updating the muppets, i.e. they have accepted that Northern Ireland has a right to exist and that unionist ‘settlers’ have a wholly legitimate claim to the territory. 😉

  • I was responding to a different poster who wrote:-

    “The Irish, like oppressed people every-where, {witness todays Palestinians] at times retreated into their religion”

    The basic point being made is that most oppressed people retreat into religion.
    Posted by Brit

    Brit

    Don’t take the piss mate, I have already pointed out to you that is not what I meant, I just wrote the simply fact that oppressed people at times retreat into their religion, I meant nothing more nor nothing less. Although I would add this happens more so when the oppressed fail to see any viable political avenues that could ease their plight. Hence my use of the Palestinian example today.

    You may like to believe the oppressed are always thinking on a political plain, if only it were so, but sadly life is rarely that simply.

    One of the things I learnt when I was very young, whilst there were heroic acts, there was also a great deal of praying going on in the nazi Ghettos and death camps and understandable so; and I have no doubt something similar was taking place in the famine hit areas of Ireland.

    You are quiet able to make an argument without distorting another fellows words, so as I wrote above, stop taking the piss.

  • RepublicanStones

    Brit I never called you a ‘jew lover’ and I can see through the childish inference toward myself you intend with such a remark. However you do display philo-semitism, an exaggerated case, as is evidenced by your defence of zionism regarding jewish oppression, but yet you criticise the irish and say to claim oppression is just an excuse. Furthermore I suggest you read what two polar opposite academics, Finkelstein and Goldhagen have written on such displays of philo-semitism.

    ‘You have previously described me as sick, disgusting, racist and learning disabled,suggested that I am a liar and also that I thought Jews incapable of evil.’

    Anyone who espouses an ideology which advocates ethnic cleansing is sick, racisr and disgusting. I don’t recall describing you as having a learning disability (apologies if i did) i do recall asking if you had one. Furthermore your sad little attempt to portray me as that which you would so dearly love to label all palestinian supporters, as is evidenced through your rather selective reportage of what my posts contained, is quite obvious. I stated that you seem to view jews as not human, as being incapable of wrongdoing. I further stated that I view jews as humans as having the same desires and emotions as the rest of humanity. But you merely limit that to me having said that you….

    ‘thought Jews incapable of evil.’

    Now its pretty obvious what your intent is with such selective reporting of our correspondence.

    ‘Strange that you think any non-Jew (which you have guessed I am) who disagrees with your kitsch anti-imperialist “analysis” of I/P must have some abnormal way of thinking about Jews. Why dont you play the man?’

    Brit I would invite every reader here to follow our correspondence on this issue and your attempt to belittle the fact you made a bit of a wally out of yourself time after time, by using the word ‘kitsch’ is quite sad.

    The said threads are the ‘Its going to run and run’ Sean Russel statue thread and the recent NI flags issue thread.

    ‘The basic point being made is that most oppressed people retreat into religion.’

    And you missed the point, Mick said ‘at times’
    and he used the example of the palestinians. Which is quite correct. Now you used examples such as the basques, catalans and most of europe during world war 2 to negate his point. Again making a wally out of yourself. Franco did not ban his own religion. Most of europe did not have their religion banned. The jews aside, who Mick quite correctly pointed out, some of whom jumped on the zionism bandwagon. Now your ridiculous equation of the british treatment of native irish in Ireland (of which legislation against their religion played a big part) to Franco’s treatment of the Basques or Catalans (where religious suppression played no part) is idiotic.

    ‘It was NOT a comment that people whose religion is banned retreat into religion (as the reference to Palestinians makes clear).’

    Here you obviously refer to the fact Islam is not banned in Israel. But yet again you’re being disingenous. Zionism, which is the ideology the palestinians are rebelling against does seek the erradication of other religions under its domain. And there is plenty of evidence for this in speeches and quotes from it earliest founders right through to present day advocates. So please desist with any attempt to deny it.

    ‘My point was that lots of oppressed people dont do that and that being oppressed is no defence to reactionary views or actions whether religious or not.’

    The above paragraph shows your hypocrisy. You for post after post, put up a spirited but futile defence of zionism based on past treatment of Jews, and once the irish and thier adoption of uber-catholicism is talked off, you somehow measure them with a different stick.

    Brit, it is there for all to see.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘However, those who led the nationalists to that perspective have updated the parallels without updating the muppets, i.e. they have accepted that Northern Ireland has a right to exist and that unionist ‘settlers’ have a wholly legitimate claim to the territory. ;)’

    Dave are you saying that Norman Finkelstein, Micheal Neumann, Chomsky et al had a hand in drafting the GFA?

  • Dave

    “Dave are you saying that Norman Finkelstein, Micheal Neumann, Chomsky et al had a hand in drafting the GFA? “- RepublicanStones

    No, are you saying that nationalists supports for the Palestinians and unionists support for the Israelis is because the former have the named authors and the latter have not? Indeed, these positions were adopted prior to the three distinguished authors adding their commentary to the mix. So, it is most likely your vanity that leads you to believe that your rabid anti-Israeli views were indoctrinated into you by either of the above scholars rather than from a rather shabbier source, i.e. Shinnerism.

    I’ll explain where this comes from…

    1. The long Irish violent struggle for self-determination leads to an identification and sympathy with the long violent Palestinian struggle for self-determination.

    2. The Irish see the Palestinians as a dispossessed people whose land was taken by settlers – identifying and sympathizing with them.

    3. The Irish see the Palestinians as partitioned against their will – identifying and sympathizing with them.

    4. The Irish see the Palestinians as being demonized and de-humanized, subjugated by a nation that is well regarded internationally – identifying and sympathizing with them.

    5. The Irish see the Palestinians as a nation whose right to self-determination remains subject to the veto of another nation – identifying and sympathizing with them.

    6. The Irish did not recognise Northern Ireland’s right to exist just as the Palestinians did not recognise Israel’s right to exist

    7. de Valera describes engineers a foreign policy that is hostile to Israel, granting it only de facto recognition at first and taking it 14 years to grant it je jure recognition; a further 11 years to establish full diplomatic relations, and finally granting it the right to establish an embassy 44 years after de facto recognition.

    This is all a reversal from the pre-WW2 position where the Irish identified and sympathized with the Jews. That’s not to say that Palestinians do not merit sympathy or that they should be deprived of their right to national self-determination. It, however, explains why nationalists support the Palestinians and unionists support the Israelis.

    The Palestinians become a convenient proxy for the nationalists to argue against colonization by settlers that deprives the natives of their territory and of their right to self-determination and to argue in favour of the right to use terrorism to resist. On the other side, the unionists have the Palestinians as their proxy. The nationalists can wallow in their sense of victimhood by this proxy, and the unionists can wind them up by expressing support for Israel – particularly its ruthless treatment of terrorists.

    Sadly for the nationalists, they have now recognised Northern Ireland’s right to exist; accepted that another nation holds a legitimate veto over their right to national self-determination, and accepted that the formerly disputed territory properly belongs to the United Kingdom.

  • Dave

    Typo: “No, are you saying that nationalists [i]support[/i] for the Palestinians and unionists support for the Israelis is because the former have [i]read[/i] the named authors and the latter have not?”

    If there are any more, correct them yourself. 😉

  • Brit

    “Zionism, which is the ideology the palestinians are rebelling against does seek the erradication of other religions under its domain”

    No Mosques or Churchs in Jersusalem are there?

    “The above paragraph shows your hypocrisy. You for post after post, put up a spirited but futile defence of zionism based on past treatment of Jews”

    My comments have been directed at showing the weakness, one-sidedness and ahistorical nature of many of the anti-Zionist narratives. I have from the outset criticised Zionism as an ideology and in practice. I am critical of Zionist philosophy, of the acions which led to the creation of Israel and of Israel’s conduct including in its recent military activities in Lebannon and Gaza. I am a defacto Zionist in that I accept the existence of the state of Israel and, for reasons that I have only touched on in our previous debtates, do not question the 67 border. On that basis I am a British, American and Italian Nationalist as I would argue against any attempt to castigate those countries now for crimes of original sin and/or to abolish or dismantle Britain the USA etc.

    I have never once argued that the suffering of the Jews over history justifies the wrongs committed by Zionsts against Palestians. However, any half-way nuanced understanding of Zionism requires an understanding of the history of the Jews, the oppression, displacement and lack of security. Any history of Israel needs to understand the holocaust because without it there probably would never have been a Jewish state.

    You have failed acknowledge the history of Jewish oppression and sufering, have failed to aknowledge the anti-semitism of the Palestinian nationalist movement. You have failed to condem the clear anti-semitism of other posters.

    ” once the irish and thier adoption of uber-catholicism is talked off, you somehow measure them with a different stick.” My comments were very broad and general ones aimed principally at Islamism which some of the left see as a kind of distorted anti-imperialism of the oppressed. Irish nationalism never embraced fundamentalist Catholicism in the way that Hamas and the Taliban embraced Islamism.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mick,
    Think we need both a Jewish and Palastinian poster on here too,
    as a wee side issue have just discovered that it was a Belfast man who bulldozed the Muslim area in front of the Wailing Wall. Have we many other direct connections to the conflict over there?

  • YelloSmurf

    Oh,I’m sick of this topic and I’ve only read two pages.

    If you were looking for centreist bloggers (which you aren’t) I would suggest Sammy Morse of Comrade Stalin. Just a thought.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘No, are you saying that nationalists supports for the Palestinians and unionists support for the Israelis is because the former have the named authors and the latter have not?’

    No, what im saying is my anti-zionism comes from reading the history of the conflict, where my interest was first piqued as a young 14yr old at school. It has nothing to do with Grizzly’s views. And lets face it, you would have to be gombeen to take your lead for international issues from a parochial party here in the north. But you said…

    ‘However, those who led the nationalists to that perspective ‘

    Sinn Fein lead me nowhere. The closest i have come to letting Gerry Adams decide for me who was right and who was wrong in I/P conflict was when I was seated behind him last year at a talk given by Dr Ghadi Karmai and he was merely an audienece member like myself. He nor his pary had anything to do with my interest. Now i realise its nice and easy for you tho think we’re all sheep up here, but perhaps if your brush strokes were not so broad, you wouldn’t be quite so wrong.

    Brit

    ‘No Mosques or Churchs in Jersusalem are there?’

    Nice try Brit, but I stated zionism, not israel. And as we’ve already seen ample evidence of, you have very little knowledge surrounding the ideology you seek to defend.

    ‘My comments have been directed at showing the weakness, one-sidedness and ahistorical nature of many of the anti-Zionist narratives’

    Funny that, but anyone following our posts can quite clearly see, its the weakness in your argument which is illustrated. When one examines the war of words over the I/P conflitct, its quite clear to see that those who advocate the rights of the palestinians and the dubious nature of zionism are in a greater command of the facts and realities than the supporters of Israel and zionism, who usually resort to inferring ‘anti-semitism’ on the behalf of those they disagree with. Or merely claim quotes and facts are inaccurate, distorted or just plain false, without neary a bit of evidence to back up their assumptions.

    ” I have never once argued that the suffering of the Jews over history justifies the wrongs committed by Zionsts against Palestians. However, any half-way nuanced understanding of Zionism requires an understanding of the history of the Jews, the oppression, displacement and lack of security. Any history of Israel needs to understand the holocaust because without it there probably would never have been a Jewish state”

    You continually refer to the oppression of jews as a means to excuse Israel. But on an earlier thread you said history should not be used to justify reactionary politics. It seems you use a different measuring stick if non-jews are concerned. Regarding your support of zionism being part based on the history of jewish oppression and the holocaust (which contradicts yourself where non-jews are concerned)…

    “The mere fact of later suffering cannot retroactively convert a wrong into a right: my attempt to usurp your land does not become legitimate simply because i am savagely beaten by someone else, far away, when my project is near completion.” (Case Against Israel – Neumann p76)

    No matter how much you harp on about their suffering (and lets not forget many early zionists were singularly untouched by such events) it does not legitimise in any way the taking of anothers land. Can you not see that?

    “you have failed acknowledge the history of Jewish oppression and sufering, have failed to aknowledge the anti-semitism of the Palestinian nationalist movement.”

    Have I not routinely referred to the ‘horrors of the past’, have I not mentioned the holocaust? Again you fall into the usual pro-zionist tactic of inferring ‘anti-semitism’. As regards the anti-semitism of the Palestinian leadership, you fail to acknowledge that zionism has anything to do with its increase. Also you seem to think the anti-palestinian/anti-gentile nature of zionism is fine. So yet again your exaggerated philo-semitism is such that you feel less for others.

    ‘ou have failed to condem the clear anti-semitism of other posters.’

    Yet again inferring anti-semitism, well-done (any chance of changing the record).

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Have we many other direct connections to the conflict over there? ‘

    Chaim Herzog.