Slugger Awards: Those late results…

For those waiting on results last night, I’m sorry for the late arrival of this post (behind the MSM for once, must be getting old or middle aged or something)… Martin McGuinness won best politician of the year. Although he only received one nomination in the comments zone, both the readers panel and the judging panel felt that the moment when he stood with Hugh Orde and Peter Robinson on the steps of Stormont after the Masserene and Craigavon killings was the one moment in the year when the need for political courage was both required and fulfilled. (Davy Sims’ podcast for good interviews and honourable of Ulster is Doomed, 1169 and Counting and other). UTV Report gives a strong flavour of the night…Up and coming politician: Simon Hamilton, bright and literate and very good communicator… Tipped by one voice on the judging committee as future MP material…

Blogger of the Year: Alan In Belfast… Another non political blogger who nevertheless went the extra mile at the European election campaign and has been showing a few of us middle-aged old stagers a thing or two about holding the system to account..

Councillor of the Year: Cara McShane youngest ever chair of Moyle District Council she is an example of next generation of young councillors coming through

MLA of the Year: Dawn Purvis MLA her party’s lone MLA, she’s been a tough campaigner on issues like abortion (where there is a general omerta is almost (with exception of Alliance) total in the other mainstream political parties

Local Council of the year: Down District… For an impressive redevelopment programme in Newcastle and an ongoing project in Killough not simply for the results, but the quality of the consultation process it’s used in getting to that destination.

Campaign of the year: Employers for Childcare Vouchers campaign… A quickly assembled response to Gordon Brown’s plans to cut childcare vouchers category is a new one which incorporate a poll

Participation and Involvement: Public Achievement… For its successful WIMPS project working to get young people to engage directly with the Assembly and its institutions. Also for its lobbying to establish a permanent Youth Assembly.

Journalist of the Year: Julia Paul… journalist whose impacts are often underated by her audience precisely because of her capacity to deliver tight informative stories on complex issue in a way that that makes it easy for the audience…

Stormont Committee Chair: Fred Cobain MLA Can’t put it better it than this, by the commenter NI Water: Loved by his committee for being fair to them, hated by officials for being tenatious in questioning, he gets the mix right.

And thanks too to the Italian blogger who was there last night… who scooped pretty much everyone else…

  • Downpatrick TUV


    Once again you have shown what a farce you have let Slugger become.

    Facts –

    Martin McGuinness – convicted terrorist and leader of IRA Army Council.

    Down District Council – Why not go and look along the coast of Ardglass. Rubbish everywhere.

    Bloody disgrace

  • Dave

    Well, with that obvious ‘peace processing’ bias on the judging panel, I’m not surprised that my nomination of Anthony McIntyre for Blogger of the Year didn’t make the shortlist:

    [i]Watching him earlier this week stand with a British chief constable and British First Minister for a British-run North of Ireland, himself now a British micro minister, I ruminated on the crossover he had made. Standing alongside these implacable opponents of everything he had at one time fought for, he was now denouncing as “traitors” those who had believed him when for years he had proclaimed the IRA the cutting edge of republican resistance. Like a chastened moral dwarf in the land of the giants, there he was screaming “midget” at everybody else.[/i]

  • Mick Fealty

    I hear what you are saying, but the process was about as open as we could make it under the circumstances.

    Next year, we MUST find ways to open it out even further and in particular we need to find some way of mapping out hyper local categories with good evidence, possibly in a competitive, wiki based way: ie, it’s not all based on positive advocacy, but a way in which we can map the beast more precisely.

    That could take a lot of time and resources, but it might be worth trying in one or two categories (participation and council come to mind, where it’s less individual). The vote on the campaign categories by the MLAs was a new innovation.

    Maybe we use platforms like Second Life to convene virtual meetings for several reader’s panels across Northern Ireland and beyond. That way distance would be less of problem. Though the learning curve on SL is pretty sharp, we could maybe build the Slugger O’Toole coffee house for that purpose earlier in the year.

    Just ideas… but I’m happy to use these post awards threads to identify problems and see if we can’t find some way to respond to them.

  • Any chance of posting the winner of the best local newspaper catergory?

  • An Lorgain

    Portadown killing? you mean Craigavon killing, sober up Mick and congrats on the new sponsorship 🙂

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    re. “Like a chastened moral dwarf in the land of the giants, there he was screaming “midget” at everybody else”

    Perhaps it was this woeful line that did it for poor Ant – maybe he rushed that bit as we was worried his large and eager audience couldnt wait any longer for his latest thoughts?

    Dawn Purvis is an excellent choice and she would surely have won political quip of the year for “rabble-rousing politicians threatening to fight to the last drop of everyone else’s blood” if there had of been such a category.

    Next year perhaps Mick?

  • Outdated

    The Slugger Awards seem to be a few years behind Schedule!

    Simon Hamilton was elected and up and coming in 2007. Next year at Slugger Awards 2010 i think we can expect the winner to be the up and coming politician of 2008.

  • Mick Fealty

    Downpatrick TUV,

    On the first, that’s a big P political question, I won’t comment on that other than Jim Allister, for the second year in a row was pretty close runner up. No one can deny that he is the live political factor in Northern Ireland, whereas in terms of the general game and where it is going, McGuinness is not.

    In the end, I am happy with the decision in the terms under which it was made.

    You are entitled to take that view and express it here. On the second, Ardglass the panel was very well aware of that problem, it was one of the reasons why the vote was particularly tight between Down and Limavady. In the end it was the scale of the good work, not the inability to solve the difficulties in Ardglass that got them over the finishing line.

  • Only Asking

    Dave if your choice isn’t picked theres bias?

    hmmm…. ok.

    Do try and be gracious to Alan.

  • Disappointed

    Biased is the word that sums up these awards!

    I am very disappointed.

    There are quite a few politicians who put their head above the parapet much sooner than Martin McGuinness.

    There are also quite a few Councillors and MLAs who may not be too young but who do more than their fair share of hardwork. In Moyle there are three and in other Councils there are quite a few too.

    Patsy McGlone of the SDLP springs to mind.

    I hope you take a good look at these results Mick and work on a more open and transparent way of coming up with the winners. Possibly having a more inclusive of all political persuasions panel???

  • Mick Fealty

    Absolutely Disappointed. Tim Worstall has good point on this when he said that government always falls to those who don’t fall asleep in committees.

    The probity of the process depends on the application of our readers. Not just in making the nominations but in boots on the ground committment and showing up at the readers panel evening.

    As I say above, I think we can create extra capacity, but if we build it, will you come?

  • Pray tell me how Martin McGuinness behaviour when he appeared along side Orde, etc has moved this process forward one iota. Did the DUP think now Marty is on side, it is time we got policing devolved, or did Peter and his homophobic wife conclude we really must sort out the road block over education.

    Not a bit of it, his appearance set the process back, the DUP must have thought there is nothing this chump will not do, and we do not even have to concede an inch of ground.

    Of course it is no accident that republican military activity has been stepped up since his appalling appearance with Orde when he cow towed to the main institution of Orange state.

    Youngsters with a republican bent saw with their own eyes that Marty had sold them out, for there is no going back from what he did on that day. Thus I have no doubt some will have decided to throw in their lot with the RIRA, as dead an end as that is.

    The whole purpose of having Martin McGuinness in his current position was to keep on side the more militant republicans, he was not placed in that job to demand support for the RUC/PSNI, or become a cheer leader for the orange state. But that is what he became that day when he decided to throw his weight behind the most reactionary political elements in the UK, including its most discredited police force and for what, fear of a bad media headline?

  • Downpatrick TUV.


    Thank you for a “reply”

    For your website to name Martin McGuinness as politican of the year is scandalous to many unionist people. How can someone is on the IRA army council be awarded this? If it wasn’t for his role in the peace process and the subsequent blind eye turned by the Government McGuinness would be in jail.
    Who is runner up?? Bomber Kelly?

    What did Down Council do to achieve the award? The work in Newcastle was funded by DSD and DRD.
    Ardglass is a disgrace. Why not pick up a Down Recorder today and you will see why.

    Just when your in the mood for listening Mick I note your great friends with the political parties.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Downpatrick TUV,

    Have you read the post above that goes along way to explaining why Mc Guinness won the award.

    Personally I would have gone with Jim Allister – wasnt he the runner up?

  • Trev

    When did Martin tow a cow? Did he use an official car? Is there a USPCA investigation?

    Did Martin win the Slugger award because he is a mooer and shaker?

  • Brian MacAodh


    Who do you think deserved it?

  • BcastleEdin

    This is my first post on here, and if all comments on here are like what is being displayed above then id imagine it will also be my last.

    I bet if the late David Irvine had been alive, he would be in contention for some of these awards, as a young Nationalist myself, I had a lot of respect for Mr Irvine, and I am able to see past what he may have been involved with in the past – had he been around today, he would have well deserved an award, and I dont think you would have heard too many people crying about it if he had been.

    The same will never be said for the dinosaurs who support the TUV, who are blindingly one sided and will never have the progressive thinking of the majority of the people in NI.

    With comments like on this post by those stuck in the past, is it any wonder I decided to leave NI in search of employment across the water.

    I Dont see any condemnation of the fact that Dawn Purvis was also recognised – and neither she should be, just because of the party she is linked to – she well deserves recognition for her hard work.

    The bitterness on this thread is throughly depressing, and I would have hoped to have seen more people sticking up for the award winners.

    Its time a lot of people grew up and stopped being so bitter – the vast vast majority of people in the North want to move on – God help us all if dinosaurs like Jim Allister and the so called “dissidents” get their way.

  • Dave

    Only Asking, I’m sure Alan is a good blogger, and I didn’t declare otherwise (I couldn’t do, anyway, since I’ve never followed a link to his blog).

    I made the point that if McGuinness is picked as Political Hack of the Year because of his declaration that anyone who does not support the British state should be regarded as a “traitor” to it, then it is pretty obvious that a blogger who has no loyalty to the British state (and who regards Mr McGuinness’ declaration of loyalty to Her Majesty’s United Kingdom with contempt) would not make the shortlist as Blogger of the Year despite his outstanding qualification for that award.

  • Trev

    It may be comfortable to sit back and arrogantly chastise those “stuck in the past” but many are there because their loved ones died at the hands of the organistation represented by Martin McGuinness, and indeed the organisation associated with Dawn Purvis.

    It can be difficult for them to let go and to many the public profile, and the lauding that goes with it, of those they see as having blood on their hands can be a daily torment.

    Not everyone is a Gordon Wilson and not everyone who expresses their pain and anger to those who victimised them are looking to have the past revisited.

    Victims do not deserve condemnation. A little bit of understanding would not go amiss

  • Dave

    Trev, well said.

    But part of the price for electing those most responsible for creating victims to Stormont is that the victims that they created should be ignored lest people be reminded of what and whom they voted for. That price, of course, was paid by the victims themselves.

  • Reilly

    The post award coverage has been crap to say the least, on Slugger anyway. On can only assume that the Slugger bloggers got locked on the night, lost their cameras and were too hungover today to function.

    Mr Fealty, you need to get over to Mr Ulster’s blog to see how this type of thing it’s done. Well done Mr Ulster.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    I agree with a lot of what you say, but it cuts both ways – those who do not want to move on for very understandable reasons, which should be respected, have to accept that others dont feel the same as them. That is what democracy is about and the GFA, which was carried in a referendum where it was made clear that those who had been actively involved in the ‘troubles’ would be allowed to move on themselves.

    Also there are those, who for their own political purposes do not want to move on and use the victims as a political shield from behind which to attack those who do.

  • Reilly

    It could be that few who have posted to this thread here on slugger go in for the self congratulatory crap that is an awards ceremony.
    Some of us hoped the www and blogging would be innovative, not ape the worst of the mainstream media.

    When someone posted on the blog you mentioned “the do was all the better for not having to wear dinner jackets” or some such I thought oh f…. what am I doing here.

  • DC

    You know it’s easy to criticise decision making and lack of appropriate coverage etc, while failing to appreciate the taking part and the happenings of the night.

    It is those complaining about the night and the also rans who remind me more of the commercial media and its outright negativity to almost everything than say people here who made the personal effort to go.

    Which I didn’t, so fair play to them and that being the case, who I’m I to criticise and those who weren’t there but complain etc I imagine same applies to you.

  • Jo

    Despite the clear push for JA to be politician of the year, the question remains and should have been asked of you, Mick, last night on RU – “why should a wrecker, who if he got his way, would send us back 30 years and lead to instability and the risking of hundreds of deaths, be deemed worthy of the praise and recognition which such a blog award seems to bestow?”

    If politicians are about anything, they should be about building, encouraging positivity and reaching out to others, without losing the sense of who and what you are. This man and his followers pose as principled leaders and conviction politicians.

    Swallowing that lie would lead people to praise or commend their political ability. I don’t believe it and neither should anyone with a titter of wit.

    Were there never any bigots in this country? Did they all disappear with the GFA/SAA? Of course they bloody didn’t – they re-emerge as opponents to what the rest of us voted for and support to this day. Reaching out to Unionists – which Slugger tries to do – does not mean praising those elements of that ideology which trail their knuckles in the mire.

    There are worthier examples, unfortunately, David Ervine is no longer with us but was an outstanding exammple of what a politician, any politician of merit should aspire to be. A changed man who changed others and provided hope and positive leadership. And saved lives.

  • Jo

    ..follow up..and therefore I completely agree with Martin and Dawn’s awards.

  • Moochin Photoman

    A beer (or two or three) was deserved particularly when folk that normally interact using technology were able to meet face to face (often for the first time) so having a yarn and real conversations would surely be allowed.
    Thanks to Mr Ulster for my first pint in the Europa (hic)
    And it was all the better for not being a stuffy formal event.

    Some photos here….

  • Danny O’Connor

    Reminds me of the story about the man who was nominated for a special award for his humility-and after much soul searching and persuasion from his friends he decided to accept.The offer was then withdrawn –

  • K.G

    Disapointed to see that Steven Agnew did not recieve up and coming politician. The average punter knows his name alot more than they know Simon Hamilton.

    What exactly has Simon Hamilton done this year in 2009 to recieve the award? I know he was tipped for a ministry but he didnt get one so whats the fuss?

    Agnew shocked everyone with his vote and performance during the election and should have won this year.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Well done to Alan.

  • fanatical tuv

    tut tut Mick taking my post down – too extreame for you?!

  • Mr Brightside

    Clearly an award entitled best politician of the year will irk those if someone from the other side gets it. Get over it.

    Though I always find it amusing when a man of violence is congratulated for turning to peace. Reminds me of Nobel peace prize winners such as Kissinger, Arafat and Begin.

  • Mick Fealty

    fanatical… wasn’t me I’m afraid… I’ll have a look and see what you wrote…

  • Moochin Photoman

    countenancing that a bullet in the head was what was a deserved prize certainly deserves the post to be deleted

  • Only Asking


    despite his outstanding qualification for that award.

    In your opinion. The people have spoken the bastards! He didn’t make the cut. Personally I think since Alan isn’t a political blogger (!) he ought not to have been in there to win the award, but thats only my view. Outside of that, he has been consistent over the years and puts a lot of work in to it, and skirts the edges of political debate, so good luck to him.

    I don’t see why opposition to SF views merits the award on its own. Why should it?

  • Jo

    Any post that refers to someone getting a bullet in the head should be judged against a Slugger “tolerance” that accepts posts here on Israel’s action in Gaza, which are on record, that an acceptable response to the killing of hundreds of woman and children in the terms is “Go, Israel!”

    All other reprimands on posters here, Mick, are judged on your acceptance of that approval of mass murder – you still haven’t responded to my earlier direct question. With your championing of blogging come responsibility as well. Bloggers spread hatred and incite hatred. It is not a subjective matter.

  • Politico

    I notice that the Rev Ian Paisley – for it is he -won the Political Studies Association of the UK’s Lifetime Achievement in Politics award yesterday. Must be the first time he has won a prize from academics….

  • Santa

    “Politician of the Year” is synonymous with hatred and destruction. It is synonymous with fraudster of the worst order.
    Mr. McGuinness will be damned — and rightly so — for his campaign of linguistic genocide that he initiated against the Irish language schools.
    We are not all fools, Mr. McGuinness.

  • Hi Mick !
    I certainly feel like we won – the mention of our wee blog on your ‘front page’ is more than we expected. We’re opening a flagon of our favourite brew as I type , and the Junior staffer here is preparing to install another stat counter on the blog , to deal with the extra hits : much appreciated!
    Thanks again ,
    Slán go foill anois ,

  • Danny O’Connor

    Remember BHO is getting the Nobel peace prize for ehm …..oh yes – Feck all.Looks like a total bollocks consodering he wasn’t even elected before the closing date.Getting an award from a committee is a bit like winning the Community shield in football,it is nice and shiny but it wont get you into the champions league.

  • CE

    What’s the ongoing Down Council project in Kilough, Mick? I hope you are not referring to the now finished and already crumbling path along the back of the main street.That was funded by The People’s Millions and not the Council. A much more notable intervention from Down Council has been the fact that they have locked the gate of the wheelchair access to the beach for well over 2 years. Shame on them.



    Wednesday, November 25, 2009 At 07:07PM
    I see that Northern Ireland blog Slugger O Toole’s readers have voted IRA godfather Martin McGuinness “politician of the year”, beating TUV leader Jim Allistair and DUP minister Arlene Foster.

    What interests me about this is how successfully the “Butcher Boy’s” bloody past has been sanitised and how so many within Irish nationalism have accepted this new look Marty. Sure the past is the past. Tell it to those who survived the concentration camps.

    Naturally enough the British and Irish governments, along with the USA and EU, have done everything possible to erase the past, the terrible litany of murder and mayhem that was the IRA’s pedigree during those years when McGuinness was such a central figure.

    There is one incident from my book that springs to mind when I hear what a good guy McGuinness is these days. It relates to a friend of my wife’s family who was attending Church in Londonderry one Sunday morning with his sons and wife. He was leaving the service and was getting into his car when a few bullets were pumped into his head. His young kids saw their Dad die, His crime? He was a police officer. McGuinness held senior office in Londonderry at the time. Do the maths.

    I can NEVER see McGuinness as anything other than a bloody monster. That he is voted as politician of the year by others demonstrates the moral depravity brought by the embrace of the “peace process”.

  • ProfessionalPhotographer

    Moochin Photoman….John, old boy….those photos on Flickr are pretty grim… yourself a good flash unit….they’re on offer at Jessop’s…..Had I taken those pics, I wouldn’t have published them on the web…..I’d have deleted them!!!

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Marty McG

    re. “I see that Northern Ireland blog Slugger O Toole’s readers have voted IRA godfather Martin McGuinness “politician of the year”,

    The readers voted for Allister.

  • Only Asking

    The readers voted for Allister.

    You mean the committee over ruled votes?

    Thats disgraceful. What is the point of nominations then? If I were Alan or anyone else I’d be offended. I hope mcguinness has the decency to reject it.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Only Asking,

    thats my understanding of it – but I dont see how you could simply have a numerical vote unless it was restricted to regular ‘punters’ or perhaps those registered before the day otherwise you would have all sorts of muppetry with people voting many times.

    We can all see that Slugger tries to be impartial and the nominations should, by the quality of their arguements help to inform the panel.

    XFactor/Twins controversy best avoided.

  • ” The people have spoken the bastards ”

    Only asking

    You comment highlights what is wrong with ‘awards shows,’ for the gullible end up believing ‘the people’ have spoken, when no such thing has occurred, indeed a large section of ‘the people’ are excluded from these awards shindigs. (I doubt there was many working class people on Micks mockney jury.)

    What has happened is a tiny group of specially sanctioned individuals who have been vetted not to embarrass Mr Fealty with his shady and slimy Stormont and Westminster friends. (Just to be clear Mick is no worse than any else who organise such bean feasts}

    This is exactly what I meant when I wrote in a previous post I had hoped the web would not succumb to the worst of the mainstream media.

  • Mick Fealty

    I hope so too Mick.

    We’ve still to properly review the successes and failures of this year’s awards, but I am keen to work out what we can do to make this open channel even more open and more accessible.

    On the numbers thing, I was at pains to stress in every single nomination post that the quality of the pitch was what mattered, not the number of them.

    But we have to care about making the net bite, and firmly resist becoming just another PR to the politics industry.