Slugger Awards 2008: Best Campaign of the Year…

Right, here’s a variation on last year’s theme. This time, although we’re asking you for nominations, it will be the politicians themselves who vote for the winner of this category. It’s the best campaign of the year. Now, for this, it can be an ad campaign, a website, good use of Facebook or Twitter or Pledgebank… And it only has to be focused on some aspect of politics or public affairs in general. It can be pretty public facing like the campaign, a fairly raw response to those who feel strongly enough to leave the Catholic church after various scandals… Or it could be more directed at specific lobby issues… but in this case it is the politicians, often the intended targets, who are the electorate rather than the other way around…

  • Sam Semple

    Age Sector Platform’s campaign “Can’t Heat or Eat”

    Good example of different lobby groups working together.

  • DR

    I think it has to hats off to the Lisbon No campaign, and Coir (think thats the group) in particular, to have the whole establishment against you and SF and UKIP on your side (bit of a double whammy there). I know nothing about the campaign apart from what was posted on here but it seems they stood up and made it a real battle in some very clever ways. (Ok I still love the you tube video, can you repost the link Mick?)

  • Mick Fealty

    Northern Ireland guys. It can be island or UK or even Europe wide, but it needs to have been targeting people ‘here’ not just ‘there’… 😉

  • ulsterfan

    The campaign to keep the Giants Causeway in public ownership was well co- ordinated and effective, but perhaps that was last year.
    O how time flies!!!

  • LittlePoint

    The campaign by Belfast City Airport Watch to stop the runway extension which if it goes ahead will lead to ever increasing numbers of large planes flying out of the City and making life unbearable for many people in South & East Belfast and parts of North Down.

    Fiona McKinley who is the spokesperson on behalf of 11 residents groups opposing this plan, has faced public insults from Brian Ambrose, Chief Exec of the airport as well as the now infamous ‘sea of puking residents’ comment from Michael O’Leary. Clearly she is having an impact.

    No councillor or MLA in these areas has been allowed to forget this issue and it will be a very unwise Environment Minister who fails to conduct a public inquiry this proposal.

    Fiona knows her subject inside out and ensures that she can back up any claims she has with research.

    Check out their website:

  • Garza

    The Ghurka Campaign was a pretty good campaign I thought and very well run, the Ghurka’s lawyer was Northern Irish as well :-).

  • visionary

    Strangford Ulster Unionist European election campaign 2009.Excellent campaign resulting in clear lead by Conservative and Unionists in a DUP stronghold held by the Mrs Robinson who had biggest swing in her favour in the last general election,campaigning managed by Elections Officer Bill McKendry under Chairmanship of Dr Edward Rea.This was the biggest electoral turaround in Northern Ireland politics since Paisley won North Antrim watch this space in 2010 general election-selection imminent

  • Chris Donnelly

    CALNI have run a fairly robust campaign against the incinerator proposed for Lough Neagh (even managed to get the attention of Newt Emerson on several occasions…)

  • Corrina Langelaan

    While I don’t necessarily support a paper using its natural platform for campaigning purposes, the sit down and sort it out campaign for the Bel Tel is a good one. It is consistent and will continue for a while. It’s messages are simple (a manifesto of only six points is admirable) and easy to support. It is also successfully including politicians and policymakers from all sides. It has also tapped into an issue of concern to many people in Northern Ireland.

  • Julie Findley

    I would like to nominate the Energy Saving Trust’s Energy Saving Week campaign 19th – 25th Oct 09. The campaign appeared all over the press and was supported by Politicans such as environment minister Edwin Poots. Energy Saving Week provides a good example of a multi-stranded
    campaign offering consumer advice.

  • I would like to nominate Action for Children’s recent UK wide ‘Wake up to Neglect’ appeal and campaign. It aims to raise awareness and encourage the public, supporters and politicians to take action on behalf of neglected children in various ways. In Northern Ireland, the campaign has already achieved cross-party support from MLAs for holding a debate in the NI Assembly on tackling the complex problem of neglect of children through investing in early intervention and prevention services.

  • Sally Kennedy

    I agree with Corrina on the Tele’s Sit Down Sort it Out campaign. Not necessarily good for a newspaper to influence talks on such an important issue but full marks to the Tele for exposing the ridiculous stand-off between Ruane/ Shinners and the other parties. Credit for not coming up with its own solution and instead ordering politicians to get their finger out and talk to each other. It’s prompted good campaigning coverage, strong public support and, most importantly, actual talks between all the parties expect Sinn Fein. it’s biggest compliment is how riled SF are about it. (John O’Dowd said he wouldn’t be surprised if politicians turned up for the talks in Tele t-shirts. They’re reluctant to comment on it at all).
    Good use of the Tele website too with video packages etc and it has a facebook campaign too.

  • Claire Harrison

    Here’s a link to the Sit Down Sort It Out facebook page for anyone wishing to join…

  • During Gordon Brown’s keynote speech to the Labour party conference in Brighton in September 2009, he announced that he was planning to phase out the Childcare Voucher Scheme for working parents. Replacing it with a commitment to deliver free childcare places, for 250,000 two year olds. However what the speech failed to detail, was that this would be at the expense of 340,000 working parents that avail of the childcare voucher scheme in the UK.

    The childcare voucher scheme works on the basis that parents are offered the opportunity to pay for their childcare tax free, (providing your Employer is a member of the scheme). Saving working parents £900 (for basic rate payers) and £1,200 (for higher rate payers). Currently 10,000 working parents avail of the scheme in Northern Ireland. Making it a feasible option for both parents, to return to work, as it offsets the high cost of childcare. It ‘pays to work’.

    The rationale for the surprise decision was ‘to re-direct money to where it is needed most, to help disadvantaged children access high quality childcare’ .

    Employers For Childcare in direct reaction to the announcement, established the ChildcareSOS (Save our Savings) campaign.

    As a campaigning charity which strives to make it easier for parents with dependent children to get into work, and to stay in work, EFC are spearheading the opposition to the proposals in Northern Ireland, through their ChildcareSOS campaign. We have also strong links with the rest of the UK working directly with Scottish and English alliances to highlight the implications of the proposals.

    The announcement was made on 29 September, the ChildcareSOS campaign was launched on 30 September, at Stormont building in reaction. The Political campaign strategy, has involved directly lobbying government Minsters of the devolved Administrations, as well as influential MPs.

    We have also beeing working with parents and the community and voluntary sector to highlight the implications of the proposals.

  • What about the Green New Deal campaign put together by Friends of the Earth in NI?

    It’s still early days in the campaign, but it has brought together a wide-ranging coalition – ICTU, CBI, UFU, & NICVA – has gathered momentum, and has started feeding some much-needed new thinking into NI policy-making.

  • Marcus

    The Remove Sammy Wilson as Environment Minister is definetly one!

    On facebook this campaign reached almost 3000 supporters. It also recieved alot of international publicity.

  • middleoftheroadunionist

    Green New Deal has managed to even get the DUP talking positively about environmental issues…WOW

  • CMBelfast81

    ChildcareSOS campaign that is happening at the moment has received great support on the Downing Street online petition and seems to have a large number of MPs backing the campaign to urge Brown to rethink the proposal …will be interesting to see if the PM backs down on this one…

    Think the Green Deal comments on previous posts are also interesting

  • The Changing Places campaign, led by Mencap, has received a great deal of attention over the past year and has made good progress. The campaign calls for fully accessible disabled toilets (including a hoist and changing bench) and raises awareness of the need for such facilities.

    The hard-hitting campaign has created outrage that thousands of people in Northern Ireland are forced to either limit outings to a few short hours, change the person that they care for on a cramped and dirty toilet floor or not to go out at all. The call for dignity for people with a disability has been covered in the media, received support from representatives of all parties, a number of councils and government departments, and engaged thousands of people in petition signing and a postcard campaign.

    The campaign, which is likely to at least treble the number of Changing Places facilities in Northern Ireland within the next year, is helping to allow people to realise their right to live in the community, to move around within it and access all its facilities.