What will it take to get the prosperity the people of Belfast deserve…

As Conall notes, Gerry Adams, as well as being the most popular MP at elected to Westminster, is also presiding over the most deprived electoral wards in Northern Ireland. According to Leargas, where Mr Adams has transfigured into a blog (I kid you not!), the ultimate destination of the peace process will come when “the people here have the prosperity they deserve”. But here’s the political meat in Mr Adams’ literary sandwich:

The West Belfast and Greater Shankill Task Force reports were published in February 2002. Since then some progress has been made on a number of these projects like Conway Mill, the Colin Gateway Initiative, and the Shankill Peacewall Art Project. But getting agreement on these has been a huge job of work. There have been at least three concerted efforts in the last 2 years to collapse the Task Force. There are still officials in different government departments working against investment and economic development in west Belfast.

Interestingly one of those departments taking a needlessly aggressive stance against the Task Force over the last few months has been the Department of Education, run by Adams’ own party colleague, Catriona Ruane. Not that there are not valid questions to be asked over the sustainability of Belfast’s regeneration projects. One criticism is that the money that goes out comes with plenty of carrots but no stick.

Organisations like the CBI in Northern Ireland have long been dissatisfied with the supposedly poor return on investment for all this public money. After a typical three year funding cycle there is often little to measurably show for all the money and the effort.

And there tends to be a disjunct between what’s happening on the ground and the commercial opportunities that have arisen from time to time. So that when Fujitsu set up at Springvale, they struggled to fill vacancies in an area where the jobless numbers have been residually high.

In a time of recession it makes little sense to abandon wholesale the work of what’s routinely called ‘building capacity’ in deprived areas. Benefit traps are at their most inimical to the prosperity of individual communities in times of wider societal prosperity, and that’s probably the optimum opportunity to find ways to encourage people to jump from state support to private sector or more free-standing voluntary sector work.

But there is little to suggest that many such lessons have been substantially learned by key players in Belfast’s large community sector. Mr Adams’ party has shown some degree of leadership in strengthening its communities. Despite the often justified criticism that it tends to monopolise strategically important positions for its own supporters, working class loyalist communities continue to trail far behind in their capacity to identify need and deploy government resources.

But if Adams is serious about bringing prosperity to his party’s core areas, then to some extent there needs to be an embrace of some of the aspirational values once propagated by the Labour movement across these islands and an encouragement to individuals to use such opportunities to make the leap out of state funded comfort and into the riskier business of developing a prosperous and diverse private sector.

That will almost certainly come down to a resolve to withdraw the carrot at the right moment, and introducing the right stick to encourage the kind of innovation likely to entrench longer term prosperity.

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  • I’m a troll fol de rol…

    Mick,

    for the sake of accuracy, may I suggest that it would be best if the subtitle to the site reflected its actual content. So from now on, let it be known as:

    Slugger O’Toole: Notes on Gerry Adams

    As well as yourself, the irrepressably obsessed Pete Baker and now McDevitt, have you thought about asking John ‘Jesus’ O’Connell to join your team? You guys really do/would make a formiddable team, providing guidance for Gerry on an almost hourly basis so that he can reflect on his flaws and your boisteous request that he depart from SF’s leadership.

    How about counting the number of blogpieces that have been posted on the site over the past three months by your core team which directly relate to Adams and/or his leadership of SF?

    Also, what do you make of Andrew Charles’ claim on Saturday, made on this site, that Catholics in north Antrim are currently involved in ”ethnic cleansing” and that ”Republicans are relatively new to the area, Protestants have lived there for many generations but are now however expected to roll over for them”? Are those comments conducive to constructive debate?

  • slug

    West Belfast has the highest level of out-migration of any NI constituency.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick

    Some good points in there, but let’s not try to make too much political hay out of the fact that Adams’ constituency has the highest percentage of unemployed (as SDLP supporters have done in the past.)

    After all, Foyle- held by the SDLP for an unbroken period of successive decades- is second in the list of unemployed. And, given that you make mention of loyalist communities, clearly the advice would be better delivered to elected representatives of all parties who would claim to represent the interests of the most deprived, catholic and protestant.

    The siting of public sector jobs is a key factor- never mind the professionals, the ancillary workers in any major workplace are normally from the locality, so if a large percentage of the public sector buildings are in north Down/ East Belfast, this will benefit the entire community in that region.

    Ultimately, this is why a more strategic approach to inward investment is required (west of Bann as well as more deprived urban regions of Belfast) as well as the type of changes needed to transform our society into a more enterprising one.

  • Ray

    This is the usual blah-blah-blah out of Adams, all bark and no bite.
    When will Gerry understand that at some you point you must produce results?
    How many years have you now been a MP with nothing to show for the local community?
    You cannot continue to sound like a NI civil servant and be thoroughly impressed with yourself. This is not Cuba.
    Adams desperately needs a role model.

  • Mick Fealty

    To the troll who posted the first comment: you know the old Wildean adage: ‘The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about”. We don’t work to quotas on Slugger, nor do we respond to annonymous attempts to regulate who and what we blog about.

    And if you want to take a swegeing go at bloggers who have the courage to write their contestable views in their own name, it would come across much better if your used yours to do it.

    Chris, agreed on most of that. Our friend the troll above seems to have pass over the part of my analysis which states that SF have at least provided leadership on community capacity building.

    The key question for me is how to extend the positive effects of that capacity building.

  • I’m a troll fol de rol…

    Mick,

    Nowhere did I attempt to ”regulate who and what we blog about.”

    And nowhere did I ”pass over the part of my analysis which states that SF have at least provided leadership on community capacity building.” I don’t give a flying feck what you talk about or how much you criticise Gerry Adams. My point is rather that this site’s obsession with Adams is entering new levels. Smoke and mirrors. Straw man. Call it what you want.

    You really do seem very touchy on this matter and unable to accept the hard truth that this site now seems to be a website largely dedicated to Mr Adams. To do otherwise would seem to be an act of gross denial.

    Ah, the old ‘you don’t post under your real name ergo your comments are inferior to mine.’ I choose not to post under my real name for security reasons. What happened to Mark McGregor when he posted using his real name? His disappearance was most mysterious. Also, have you revealed this reality to Turgon? When can we expect him or Gael gan naire to cast aside their pseudonyms?

    Anyways, it’s good to see you openly condoning the use of language such as ‘genocide’ to label Catholics because of the actions of a criminal few. No wonder your site is fast going down the gutter.

  • Mick Fealty

    Troll,

    So far, you haven’t made any reference to anything I’ve said above other than it’s another post on Gerry Adams. Most of it is about the subject he’s opened; not me.

    Am I to understand that you believe this should not be debated? The issue at stake is way too important for anonymous posturing and man playing.

    So I kindly request that you put up an argument about the errors in my reasoning. Or take the usual exit for mischief-making trolls.

  • I’m a Troll fol-de-rol and I’ll eat you up

    [i]Am I to understand that you believe this should not be debated?[/i]

    It’s your site, you can do as you please. My point nevertheless remains: the obsessive focus on Gerry Adams which this site has taken on, through the blogpieces of its main contributors, detracts from its credibility and has become tedious. I don’t know your visitor numbers but I’d say it couldn’t be doing them any good.

    And again, you prove just how much you are in denial: the majority of the piece above relates directly to Adams and not the substantive issue.

    So I kindly request that you take that into consideration. Or take the usual route for those suffering from acute denial and continue to accuse those critical of your approach of making comments and allegations which are simply untrue.

  • Mick Fealty

    Troll,

    Are we reading the same piece? I read 8 paras from me, with only the first referencing Mr Adams, which apart from one banal comment about his transfiguration simply reference his substantive case.

    The second notes a detail not covered by Mr Adams: ie the identity of one of the departments whose behaviour he is (justly IMHO) complaining about. The remaining six paragraphs about the issue he raises, with some slight ancillary references to his party’s position.

    I don’t mind the criticism aimed at me or the blogging team, and I am not above taking a direct hit and holding my hand up if I get things wrong. In fact robust and intelligent exchange is what this site has made its reputation on (though there is no doubt this often takes a nasty dip in the summer).

    But I cannot reasonably deal with contentless irritation.

  • I’m a troll fol de rol…

    Mick,

    I think that the issue you raise in this piece requires urgent attention and you, of course, have every right to do so regardless of whether or not this is your blog. The economic situation and level of chronic social deprivation here reflect the embarassingly poor depth of talent prevalent in our local political ‘leadership’, and most especially of people like Adams.

    However, my point is that given the running commentary which Slugger now provides on Adams’ every move, this piece really just seems like background music. And that is a shame.

    I apologise for my puerile antics in post 1. However, why you feel the need to not only match, but beat those antics – i.e. to change my name, label me as a “contentless irritation” and contend that I made allegations/statements which I simply did not – is beyond me. For all your platitudes to the effect that you are “not above taking a direct hit” or holding your hand up if and when you things wrong you genuinely seem to be unable to take said criticism. If we, the readers, “don’t get it” then the implication is that it’s our fault – that seems to be this site’s dictum. It is a somewhat aloof and condescending attitude to take.

    In my opinion, your attitude only serves to highlight and substantiate my point that you are in complete denial as to the manner in which this site has now descended into Adamswatch.

    Furthermore, your attitude with regard to Andrew Charles’ comments made on Saturday absolutely astounds, saddens and sickens me. If you have not done so already, then I really would urge you to have a look at the way in which that thread descended, particularly in the last three of four pages, into complete anarchy. I also think that you’ll find there comments which are potentially libelous with regard to events in Ballymoney, 1998.

    I think that it is nothing short of a disgrace that a supposedly neutral site (and no, I don’t mean that you should have 5 Catholics, 5 Prods and 1 Englishman blogging here, I just mean that you should go below the belt) contains an assertion made by one of its key blogging team members that Catholics are carrying out acts of ethnic cleansing right now in North Antrim. To that end, I’ll (not) see you around.

  • Brian MacAodh

    This particular blog post doesn’t seem to be all about Adams. I’m not sure what Troll sees. His larger point may have basis, but this particular blog is not as he describes it as being.

  • Mick Fealty

    troll,

    I meant that I can’t address material that is expressed as ‘contentless irritation’; I was not addressing you personally in those terms.

  • Mick,

    Don’t you feel that part of the problem is precisely the obsession with the NGO sector? There have been hundreds of millions of pounds poured into these types of organisation in the last 15 years or so, with very little to show for it in economic returns (even if it helped acclimatise the Provos to the peace process). That money could have been much better spent in creating jobs in industry. An influx of jobs might have done more to solve the social problems and strengthen communities than any amount of community workers.

    We need to seriously look at trying to re-create some form of real economy in deprived areas (preferably at a higher level than security guards and cleaners for buildings populated by people who live elsewhere). As we look at Germany and France recover from recession on the basis of stimulating their industries maybe we can stop thinking about call centres and the like, and start planning for high-value economic growth.

  • the joxer

    Mick, I don’t think that your exchanges with the person you castigate as a ‘mischief-making troll’ reflects at all well on you.
    Like it or not, that contributor makes some valid and intelligent points about the unrelenting and tedious obsession with Adams from your bloggers and those that comment here.

    How many other recent threads can you recall regarding the other Party leaders (Empey, Robinson and Durkan) compared to the amount on Adams?

    You were quick enough off the mark to invite ‘Troll’ to leave yet you allow potentially libellous comments regarding the Quinn family and Barry Gilligan to remain unchallenged.

    You moan about the obvious dip in the quality of contributions over the summer months, yet you allow deranged nonsense from John McConnell to distort and destroy every thread that he chooses to wreck for his own insane ends.

    With regret, I am out the exit door as well although as another ‘cowardly, anonymous poster’, I am sure that you will feel that you are well rid of me.

  • Mick Fealty

    tj,

    That contributor is invited to stay as long s/he bids by the rule of civil engagement. I did not see that thread until I had a pretty trenchant complaint (in similar terms to your own) about the abuse heaped on various loyalist figures too.

    All of it pretty grim stuff, and much of it done within a matter of hours (on a weekend when I was spending time with family rather than monitoring the toing and froing here on Slugger). I started to go through the whole thread after it had got to 150 comments. In the end it was closed. That may be tardy, but it is not tolerance.

    As for JMcC, he has been banned several times. And you are not the first to complain this time. I’ve an email from 11th with a bid from one of our bloggers to ban him. I’ll review it and take a decision shortly.

    One thing that would help immeasureably in taking complaints is that people be specific in what they find objectionable. In the meantime we have plans to re-write commenting policy, and to make the lodging of complaints more user friendly.

    Sorry to lose you so soon…

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    I think we can all agree that there’s indeed an “unrelenting and tedious obsession with Adams”. But here’s the thing Provettes: were you all to craw back out of his lower colon, you might be able to see these things with a bit more perspective, rather than bore the rest of us rigid with your non-stop, one-note, drooling fanboy brown-nosing. Or perhaps one of our plentiful Provettes would care to point me to their criticism of He Who Must Not Be Doubted? No? Gosh, what a diverse, free-thinking lot you are.

  • exile

    Yes, that’s right L(T)U, as John O’Connell has Himself decreed, those who question the endless attention which SF and Adams seem to attract on this site are all, each and every one of them, “drooling fanboy brown-nosing Provettes.”

    You truly are a vile individual. (Yep, that’s ad hominem alright, but it seems to be in vogue on this site at the moment, emanating even from those who preach the virtues of only playing the ball, so I may as well join in the fun)

  • Mark McGreg

    I can kinda understand the issues some SF minded readers have, there does seem to be a lot of focus on their party and leader in particular. However, as they are quite openly reviewing direction and strategy (almost an admission of problems) and dissenting opinion, while not a mass movement, is certainly a growing phenomenon this should be expected.

    The problem I see is an imbalance in people willing to blog and fill gaps. To be honest even though we have politically active bloggers they are either infrequent contributors or focus on other parties instead of raising positives or interesting blogs on their own.

    Now FD is gone we have no mainstream DUP voice, Chris D is on far too infrequently, Conall arrives to fill a long empty SDLP gap and focuses on SF attack blogs, the UUP voice when heard is all about regurgitated press dept attacks on the DUP, Turgon too is an infrequent contributor.

    So the site is left mainly relying on Mick and Pete – Mick will go after the hot story/issue on most occasions and Pete will do what Pete does.

    I’d suggest the problem isn’t that the blog is hostile to SF (I got away with pushing propaganda for them for years) but Chris isn’t active enough. I’d also suggest too many of the team are attack focused. I’d also suggest Mick’s thoughts that the site needs more Unionist contributors is to be honest utterly ridiculous when by far the main contributors are very much focused on anti-SF contributions already.

    What I suggest is those onm the blogging team are encouraged to turn up to work more often and push themselves beyond it was ‘themuns’ as Chris and FD did/do so well.

    I’d also support the banning of John, not for the posts but because the site is clearly facilitating a mental health problem form someone that needs professional support not a platform for delusion and abuse. I’d also suggest more proactive use of the cards for people like ‘ Laughing (Tory) Unionist’ above and numerous others that continually use the site for firing off abuse and rarely if ever debate or discuss a single word.

    (btw – my main email account is fecked, if anyone is loooking me you can get my backup address off this post)

  • GGN

    I think that John should be banned also.

    I also think that the Sinn Féin craze, whilst tiring for Sinn Féin supporters and neutrals will probably die off after a while.

    Ten Sinn Féin blogs in a row can make Slugger look at little odd, but then perhaps the party would take it as a complement?

  • exile

    Mark,

    what you and others seemingly fail to understand is that you don’t have to be “SF minded” in order to express puzzlement and frustration at ad infinitum number of posts on one specific movement/figure within the Irish political establishment. It’s boring for the ordinary punter. End of.

    I’m all for thorough analysis of Adams’ leadership and perceived shortcomings – of which there are many. But it’s getting laughably myopic. The closest issue, to my mind, that it resembles were the brief but frequent posts made in relation to the UUP/Tory link-up a while back. It got tedious, people realised that and then it stopped. There really are as many challenges facing the rest of the parties in the north as there are facing SF.

  • eranu

    well lets have a thread with a roundup of what each party is doing on job creation? a paragraph or two on specific things each party is doing. not ‘we’re for jobs..’ waffle, actions only.

  • DC

    I watched the Tall Ships last night and then after you could hit the red button on the BBC to watch the documentary filmed last time they were here in 1991.

    The event in 1991 was opened by (from what I could tell) none other than Nigel Dodds, now that’s a good 18 years he’s been on the scene. Does anyone ever stop and poke him over the state of North Belfast. He was 29 when mayor and North Belfast has gotten worse not better.

    Frankly the whole political spectrum is awash with careerists and those that want to clock-in for as long as possible, despite not achieving or building in any shape or form the political visions as per manifestos etc.

    I agree big time with the sentiments that Slugger is in two-footed on SF at the mo. Fair enough, I’m on record as saying Adams is a dud. But you could if feeling bold enough pick up on other parties from the DUP and it’s bluff over ‘no never’ and even Alliance a party pushing integration values for the last 30 plus years – with segregation as a matter of fact increasing. Not decreasing. Plenty of people clocking in and staying in despite hardcore facts running contrary to those stated political aims and values.

    Back to Adams, he could perhaps step down as an MLA and allow others to fill in, or give up his Westminster seat in an act of humility based on acceptance of the need to re-focus in on other non-constituency yet pressing matters?

  • John O’Connell

    How many other recent threads can you recall regarding the other Party leaders (Empey, Robinson and Durkan) compared to the amount on Adams?

    The North of Ireland is out of balance at the moment with an Adams but no Paisley and the focus is going to be inevitably on Adams in those circumstances. If he wants to rectify this he should resign as SF boss and lose the limelight.

    Yes, that’s right L(T)U, as John O’Connell has Himself decreed, those who question the endless attention which SF and Adams seem to attract on this site are all, each and every one of them, “drooling fanboy brown-nosing Provettes.”

    Troll, use your own words and don’t put them into my mouth.

    I’ve an email from 11th with a bid from one of our bloggers to ban him. I’ll review it and take a decision shortly.

    Do I hear what was in the email or is this just more from the Troll who has effectively harassed me on this site for months to the extent that I was on the point of involving the police. Be careful who you placate, Mick.

    I’d also support the banning of John, not for the posts but because the site is clearly facilitating a mental health problem form someone that needs professional support not a platform for delusion and abuse.

    I’m sorry, Mark, this is just absurd. I get harassed for months by someone trolling me with mental health announcements in order to try to create an impression he wants for the audience and you fall for it. I have had no symptoms of manic depression in ten years but I have got an equation that is new information, granted, but that in fifty years, or who knows sooner, it will be the norm. Of that I have no doubt. In that sense it is you who is mentally ill in that you cannot see the truth.

  • Mark McGreg

    John,

    My view on you has nothing to do with trolls, SF or equations. But the very clear demonstration of a self declared person with mental health problems and delusions using this site with increased frequency when clearly experiencing episodes that require intervention and treatment not ridicule and abuse.

    Sorry, I’m not for treating you as anything other than a serious mental health issue that Slugger is making worse and facilitating. Its long past time Mick took a more responsible attitude when it comes to you. Intervention of sorts is what is needed not encouraging your illness.

  • Mick

    For what little it’s worth, I must agree with those calling for John’s removal from the site. ‘Tis one thing to allow bunfights, but the man is clearly suffering from something that Slugger cannot be helping him control.

    John

    I’m sorry, but it is genuinely for your benefit.

  • Mark McGreg

    exile,

    I don’t know, there has been a lot of focus on SF, their direction and Adams of late but they as a party have been doing that more publicly than ever themselves.

    For a party that operated on at best a democratic centralism basis for decades (and it is a very big at best) this opening up of debate on direction is both new and pretty positive. When it was a closed shop for so long it is bound to get attention when discussion seems to become more open and democratic.

  • John O’Connell

    Sorry, I’m not for treating you as anything other than a serious mental health issue that Slugger is making worse and facilitating

    For what little it’s worth, I must agree with those calling for John’s removal from the site. ‘Tis one thing to allow bunfights, but the man is clearly suffering from something that Slugger cannot be helping him control.

    So what qualifications in mental health do you have, Mark?

    Clearly we’re getting into the realms of what we don’t understand we call madness. Moreover what we fear to be true we assign mental illness to it.

    Isn’t it interesting that a thread about Gerry Adams is still dominated by me because the one thing you republican blogger associate with Gerry Adams is my discovery that Gerry Adams name comes out at 666. Isn’t that interesting?

    It scares you and it may even liberate you from the supposed certainties you had about the boss and the whole political philosophy you support.

  • John O’Connell

    Would you ban them too:-

    Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin
    Alexander the Great
    Hans Christian Anderson
    Roseanne Barr
    Drew Barrymore
    Charles Baudelaire
    Samuel Becket
    Ludwig von Beethoven
    Brendan Behan
    Napoleon Bonaparte
    Marlon Brando
    Robert Burns
    Albert Camus
    Winston Churchill
    Eric Clapton
    John Cleese
    Charles Darwin
    Charles Dickens
    Thomas Edison

  • DC

    I think, John, that Hans Christian Anderson was closer to on the ground reality than you.

  • exile

    Just for clarity John, did any members of that list claim to be Jesus Christ incarnate?

  • Sean

    Hey John I am all for banning Roseanne Bar… she is just annoying

    As for most of the rest of the list they were dead long before anything bordering on teh interwebs was dreamed up

    Though I hear that Napolean guy could be a real ass

  • John O’Connell

    Exile

    I don’t claim. I am.

    It’s like Princess Anne’s declaration, when asked if she wanted to join the Spanish royal family in the Royal Box at the Barcelona olympics, that, “Wherever I am is the Royal Box?”

    Give it a few years and you’ll be eating and drinking me.

  • Mick Fealty

    John,

    If you do get banned, it will be for not engaging with others on the site. And I can see one or two of your tormentors going down with you.

    It’s a shame so few on this thread saw fit to discuss/debate the post itself. Well, you can take a horse to water etc.

    I count seven posts today. This one, the Pol Brennan story and Conall’s are on SF. There’s one on Westminster. Another on the Department of Health’s flu precautions. One on Irish in the Gaeltacht. The An Post story. And the one about the TPA’s dodgy dossier.

    Check out Sunday’s posts. None of them directly about SF. I really wish some of you guys would even do some basic homework before you go shooting from the hip.

    I have tried to assemble a pluralist blogging team. Any of them will tell you that I give them no direction on what they should or should not blog about. So long as it is legal and decent it is fine with me.

    If I am not in the business of telling our bloggers what to blog about, you can be sure that I am not going to let myself to be directed on what I can and cannot blog about either.

    There was a serious point to the blog above. Some caught by some commenters and not by others. The people who did not ‘get’ the point have drowned out the voices of those who did. Fine, I’m happy to give people latitude to shot the breeze every now and then.

    But if you honestly think we are breaking some kind of unwritten law that says you cannot examine in detail what a key political leader says about his party’s politics, then you’re missing a fairly basic tenet of democratic politics.

    SF, for those who haven’t yet noticed, is a part of the government. I am always mindful of the importance of their democratic mandate. But that does not mean we should have to step around them on tiptoes in between times.

  • OC

    Hmmm….

    As probably few NI Unionists vote for SF, it looks like SF is in power due to the NI Nationalist vote, and if they are disatisfied with him, then vote for somebody else.

    As to banning people: if they aren’t libelling someone, and not being nasty to someone, and not using banned words or phrases (provide list, please), then why not just ignore them?

  • Dave

    I don’t think John O’Connell should be banned based on ‘evidence’ from people who think that mental illness can be diagnosed from message board posts. If there is a reason to ban him, then I would think it is because he is too prone to use threads to promote his own agenda/topic.

    I’d believe that John O’Connell is Jesus a lot sooner than I’d believe that that Gerry and Martin aren’t two of Her Majesty’s prize touts. 😉

  • Pete Baker

    Reluctant though I am to engage with this pseudo navel-gazing..

    I see the strategy of fair gaming is in operation again.

    Now encompassing the entire blog apparently.

    I’d have hoped that actual bloggers here would have been paying enough attention to be able to spot that..

  • I wonder if there isn’t a resurgence of the pretend John O’Connell on this thread.

    Like you say Mick, a shame a serious thread on a vital topic has been derailed. One of the few threads on the economy not informed by neo-liberalism 🙂

  • John O’Connell

    Mick

    If you do get banned, it will be for not engaging with others on the site.

    I’ve had to defend my mental health on this thread and I’ve been engaging with those who question it. I don’t understand your point.

    Dave

    I’d believe that John O’Connell is Jesus a lot sooner than I’d believe that that Gerry and Martin aren’t two of Her Majesty’s prize touts. 😉

    Thanks, Dave. 😉

    I wonder if there isn’t a resurgence of the pretend John O’Connell on this thread.

    No, but Exile is the same poster so far as I am aware. I think he is a complete sociopath. He has just changed strategy from harrasser to prosecutor, and all on the average industrial wage (or pocket money).

  • exile

    Incorrect John. Like Garibaldy, I actually thought your previous two posts were p*sstakes and I couldn’t resist the bait.

  • borderline

    Sometimes I fell that all of us who waste away our lives, typing away at a screen about the tribulations of Northern Ireland must have mental health issues.

  • Dave

    Well, I’m away for 5 weeks on Friday, so maybe I’ll recover a little, but I doubt I will ever recover enough to understand NI politics. For example:

    [i]One day during a particularly difficult phase of the peace process I was walking with Father Alex Reid through a west Belfast housing estate. We were having a ‘secure’ discussion about the issues involved.

    ‘When?’ he asked ‘will we know the peace process is working?’

    ‘When the people here have the prosperity they deserve’ I replied.[/i]

    That’s a nice anecdote from Gerry Adams blog that puts him in the heart of his (15.6% unemployment) constituency, man of the people among the people, working relentlessly to bring economic prosperity to the people of Northern Ireland, with PIRA/PSF’s murder campaign having this aim. So, the Peace Process jumps from having the aim of securing a unified 32-county socialist republic – by-passing its internal settlement aim of securing equal rights between two Christian sects within the British state – to the new aim of promoting an enterprise economy. The Shinners weren’t really rebels or militant civil rights workers, you understand, but were actually militant economists of the Keynesian ilk.

    Sorry, but that is why NI is so fascinating. It’s the sheer brazenness of the bullshit that sustains the place. That said, unemployment is no joke for those who elect this joke. The people won’t get “the prosperity they deserve” as long as they continue to elect the politicians they deserve.

  • eranu

    “that is why NI is so fascinating. It’s the sheer brazenness of the bullshit that sustains the place.”

    you’re right there! serious issues are all well and good, but a bit of mad NI goings on now and again is far more interesting to read about and comment on 🙂

  • Mick Fealty

    OC,

    I’d ban John reluctantly, because, as you say he is rarely if ever nasty to anyone on Slugger. But he does take the conversations off on unwelcome tangents.

    John, perhaps you’d be better off ignoring the distractors. Or telling me about it, and I’ll deal with them?

  • Mark

    To be fair I have already blogged about the future of nationalism which affects the SDLP as much as it does SF. http://oconallstreet.com/2009/07/31/new-nationalism-now-needed/

    Yesterday’s post was not a critical of anyone. I was just sharing stats that are in the public domain.

    Conall

  • kensei

    Mick

    I’d ban John reluctantly, because, as you say he is rarely if ever nasty to anyone on Slugger. But he does take the conversations off on unwelcome tangents.

    There is an internet term for that, Mick. It’s called trolling and is more destructive to the site in the long term than a bit of nastiness quickly delat with.

    I do not like to delete anything, depsite what you may think. But when I do eventually get back to writing some blogs, any instances of “666”, “Gerry Adams” et al will be nuked with extreme prejudice.

  • John O’Connell

    Kensei

    But when I do eventually get back to writing some blogs, any instances of “666”, “Gerry Adams” et al will be nuked with extreme prejudice.

    Don’t be getting too worked up. I think my work is done for the moment. But I like the idea of being nuked with extreme prejudice.

  • Dave

    John isn’t the one who is doing the trolling. Posts 20/21, for instance, are unlikely to match John’s IP. It would be wrong to ban someone because he is harrassed by trolls/fair game merchants – banning the trolls would be the better move.

  • John O’Connell

    Well said, Dave. I agree entirely. I have come nowhere close to disrupting this site as the troll who’s been shadowing me, who shows too much sheer determination to be doing on his own bat. He simply must be on the average industrial wage, though in recent weeks he has kept quiet mostly.

    So far as I am concerned I have reservations about posting on this site because of the foul language and shamelessness of the troll, who simply must be “a volatile personality”.

  • Tom

    Pretty standard Sinn Fein tactics. They just don’t do criticism. Listen to their spokespeople on radio/TV as they attempt to closedown debate when the focus is turned on their actions or record.

    Watch out Slugger they’ll be calling for a public enquiry to address why the net is so hard on them, poor wee things.

  • John O’Connell

    Thanks Tom. Some people on this thread are in denial about these things.

  • Brian MacAodh

    Denial? John, you’re the one who thinks you are important/sane enough for SF to pay someone to come on here and post mocking comments of you.

  • Mick Fealty

    He’s another IP flipper too Dave. The only way to keep idiots like that out is be enforcing registration.

  • John O’Connell

    Brian

    John, you’re the one who thinks you are important/sane enough for SF to pay someone to come on here and post mocking comments of you.

    So you’re saying he’s just obsessed. It’s possible but I think I’ll stick with the theory that he’s a Sinn Fein troll engaging in damage limitation.