That was Eamonn’s scoop BBC…

It’s not like me to get thick with the BBC, but where on earth did they think that news story about the Tories secret talks with the UUP and DUP came from? Eamonn broke story both through his radio reports and his post on Slugger, from which it was picked up by other media outlets… Really guys, it’s not good enough… I suppose we should be grateful that last night they finally broke (on the anodyne nature of which, more later) the Sunday Tribune story which has been cycling through Slugger and the Irish News for three days now… All in all, it’s been a poor show from the local BBC over the last few days (some resting on Spotlight’s laurels perhaps?)… At least it demonstrates the enudring power and importance of a free, commercially supported press… Adds: Eamonn tells me he got a few texts congratulating him from inside Ormeau Avenue, so kudos to those guys…

  • Rory Carr

    “…a free, commercially supported press…”, if not an oxymoron, sounds suspiciously like a press in hock to commerce.

  • seosamh

    Well put Mick

  • Mick Fealty

    And your point is Rory?

  • Mick Fealty

    And your point is Rory?

  • If there had been a story to break your point would have had more validity. Both the reports I’ve read (other than Eamonn’s explicit bullshit insinuations) have been the same. There was this meeting (cue dramatic music) – reader inserts own sinister interpretation – bulked out with a few more solid bits and pieces about Hermon / P & J.

  • BelfastYid

    I’d take the BBC any day over this anti SF drivel of a site lol Joined here a during the Iris scandal, hoping for unbias reporting lol How wrong was I? All I found was a guy called Mick who seems to have joined Suzanne Breen in trying to make a living out off going after Adams and SF.

  • granni trixie

    If that is “all” you see BelfastYid you are in danger of damning yourself with you own words. Hang in there – there’s much more to the views experessed on Slugger, I assure you.

  • “resting on Spotlight’s laurels”

    Hmmm. I thought Selwyn Black delivered the story to the BBC on a plate. There doesn’t appear to have been much in-depth research into the politician-developer relationship and there was nothing from Iris Robinson to indicate whether or not her ‘confession’ was genuine.

  • BelfastYid

    granni trixie

    This site is nothing more than Suzanne Breen Online

  • jtwo

    Yes I’m pretty sure Selwyn Black gave the BBC a bunch of text messages and then they just went on air without doing any other journalistic leg work whatsoever.

  • jtwo

    Maybe Nevin could suggest a subject for Spotlight. I think he mentioned something about a ferry once, but I can’t be sure.

  • J Kelly

    BelfastY I am with gt on this i have been posting on slugger and have to say I am shocked at the level anti sf threads in recent times especially from Mick. Who I have to say is usually fairly middle of the road, does have strong opinions but this campaign he has joined is surprising and I have to say interesting. We all know Suzanne Breens motives a hatred of all things sinn fein and gerry adams but Mick I don’t know his motives at all on this one. Not only is he following SB on the topic but also taking her lead in attacking the media for their unwillingness to see the news of the day through SB and now Sluggerotoole tinted glasses. The first thread today on Eamon M scoop mick turned it into another attack on the bbc for not weighing in on their campaign. As I say surprising but interesting I would have always thought Mick was better that this.

    But BelfastY hang in their the craic is usually good in the run up to elections we will have all sorts telling us how SF will be in meltdown, the dissidents will do this and that, the sdlp will be reborn but come counting day it all changes. He who laughs last laughs longest.

  • BelfastYid

    Thanks J, will hang in there and see how it goes.

    Whats Suzanne’s reason for being so anti SF/Adams? Is it just away of making a living or has something happened there? A few years ago she was very close to DUP/Robinsons, she even got exclusive interviews, shes very quiet about all that now lol

  • Jaggers


    It’s nice to be acknowledged, particularly by the big boys and you have a right to be piqued but if it is of any consequence, I have noticed many references to the Slugger website on other websites, some prestigious, in the last 2-3 weeks. Maybe your webstats support an increase in viewings. There’ll always be the glory-hunting, or just plain thick, hacks who’ll never acknowledge you but you appear to be travelling in the right direction. Keep up the great work.

    Regarding the story, is there any historical record of the Tories (who let’s face it are likely to be the next Westminster govt though their lead in the polls must give them some cause for concern for a hung parliament) trying to fix an election outcome not for their party but for potential allies. It has the same offensive smell as gerrymandering to me and is different in nature to say a peer-to-peer agreement between DUP/UCUNF as it is being overseen by a potential govt in waiting.

  • granni trixie

    But surely in the not so distant past Suzanne was criticised for being too cozy with SF? Infact is that not how she got scoops over others?

    BelfastYid:for the record I am absolutely not a fan of SB as her preaching annoys me to bits. But I try not to let that get in the way of making ‘fair’ comments.

  • Scaramoosh


    Grow up, and try and see beyond your own concrete bunker, for after all, it has been proven that confronting contrary thoughts keeps the brain younger!

  • J Kelly

    I dont think that she was ever close with SF at a time got scoops from the INLA, IRSP and in recent times from the so called RIRA.

  • Mick Fealty


    I hear what you are saying, and I very much appreciate your kind words…

    As for the anti SF kick, it’s just hard to say anything good about what the party is up to at the moment.

    I agree re the elections. My feeling is that the effects on any future outcome are minimal thus far.

    There is no opposition in Northern Irish nationalism at the moment, so you are right to be, as Lord Mandelson might have put it, intensely relaxed about the electorate’s verdict in either up coming election.

    Even after the last few weeks, I don’t see this through party political eyes, but rather I am trying to process what all of this says about what the party professes about it’s own values.

    The disparity is quite jolting.

    What our attitude towards both the DUP and SF is that they neither of them are ready to deal with the demands for greater openness. The ST story is a cypher for that demand.

    And the UTV story on Liam Adams demands a similar openness (and not the kind that takes three weeks for the key witness to work up his story).

    Robinson will rightly be dragged over the coals to ensure we get the fullest account of private affairs that may or may not conflict with his public duties.

    We should not let up on that. Nor will we let up on Sinn Fein’s corporate line against the exposing of their ‘real’ attitude towards women and child abusers. If we did, Slugger would cease to be ‘Slugger’…

    Our greatest guarantee of impartiality is the plurality of voice on the site. And our greatest ongoing deficit in that respect is unionist commentators, not nationalist ones.

  • Scaramoosh

    P.S In the style of old school journalists, Suzanne Breen is somebody who seeks to challenge power, in all of its guises.

    This will never win her the support of the yes-men types, who are intellectually mediocre and nothing more than links in a chain of evil.

    I do not agree with much that MF says, but at least he has the balls to articulate an opinion, and to stick his head above the parapet.

  • jtwo, the beasts and the financial sums are far bigger in the ferry saga – but, so far, not a whiff of sex. Also the scene is beyond Belfast city limits 🙂

  • BelfastYid


    Grow up?

  • granni trixie

    JKelly:you got me there – I have indeed got all paramilitaries (on either side) mixed up into my mind into one entity. Suzanne B,yourself and others may be up to speed with the nuances between the groupings, but I guess that most ‘ordinary’ people are like me.

  • Mr Crowley

    Whats Suzanne’s reason for being so anti SF/Adams? Is it just away of making a living or has something happened there? A few years ago she was very close to DUP/Robinsons, she even got exclusive interviews, shes very quiet about all that now lol
    Posted by BelfastYid on Jan 20, 2010 @ 11:41 AM

    She made no secret of her past access to Iris Robinson in her recent, scathing coverage. Ms Breen has something that both Adamsites and the Robinsons lack entirely; integrity. I find it most pathetic that there are so many bleating shinners painting themselves as victims of Ms Breen as if she was the rapist or harbourer of rapists.
    The momentum is growing, Newton Emerson is at his satyrical best here:
    The dictator will fall.

  • Rory Carr

    “And your point is Rory?

    Clues are available cunningly hidden in the words “free” and “commercially supported”.

  • danielmoran

    MF.. The Tories claim to want to bring NI into normal UK politics has a credibility problem if they are now getting into bed with the Duplicity party as well as the UUP. Anyway, if there is a hung parliament, the Tories will look for a deal with the Liberals first, and won’t want to be seen by other parties in the commons to be messing with the peace process here, with the international legal binding agreements unmovable. What would there be in this meddling for them?

  • J Kelly

    Mick I have no problem with openess and impartiality but we are not getting it. I see on the BBC that Padraig Wilson and Seamas Finucane have released a statement and as yet it doesn’t get a mention on slugger. My view is that this doesn’t fit in with the campaign being wedged. As I put it last week this campaign will last til about the 7th of May.

  • “I want to begin by thanking people for their kindness and generosity to me and my family during what has been a difficult time.

    “I have been moved especially by people who have told me that they or their family are or were in exactly the same position as my clann.

    “There is now more disclosure about child abuse, a taboo subject, in today’s society. That is a good thing for everyone.

    “And even though the first words are hard to say, and to hear, in the long term an end to a culture of concealment will create an educated, informed society with proper and enlightened and competent protections for children, and processes for dealing with victims and persecuting perpetrators.”Gerry Adams 20.01.10

    Will Gerry Adams now tell the truth about his PIRA activities?

  • Greenflag

    granni trixie,

    ‘So for all the rhetoric about ‘a shared future’ in the end self interest wins ie unionists unite.’

    When it comes to self ‘interest’ i.e winning the next election the Conservative Party politicians would sell their daughters into prostitution and their sons to slavery ;). If it takes beating both main brands of unionism into one then that’s what they will do as well . All the UCUNF hype about a ‘shared’ future is just so much whitewash . The ‘black crow ‘ soon shows black again .
    Irish nationalist and republican voters should not be surprised at the DUPlicity of the British Tory Party . They have sold out every political interest on this island when needs must .

    I thought the UUP were suffering from geriatric induced dementia and not long and short term memory deficit syndrome also 🙁

    Unionists are of course entitled to ‘unite .

    Frankly I don’t see any difference between the DUP , UUP or TUV as regards actual policy differences .

    From an Irish perspective these parties are differentiated simply in what I would term the ‘hate ‘ pecking order .i.e the degree to which each of these parties is perceived to hate the nationalist/catholic/republican Irish/SF?SDLP the most .

    Formerly the DUP headed the list but have now been edged into second place by the TUV . Whether the latter can survive the coming electoral season being a one man ‘crusade to nowhere’ party is debateable . It’s difficult to pin a league table place in the anti Irish stakes on the UUP . They seem to move up and down the table depending on each issue .

  • joeCanuck

    It’s the way you tell ’em Frank Nevin.

  • Mick Fealty


    The key word for me in Eamonn’s report was ‘stability’. I read that in the context of the Shinner’s possible collapsing the Assembly and going for a snap election to split and destablising unionism.

    It makes sense to build (as I suggested they should last week in CIF) some kind of greater a more robust and consolidated understanding. The rule of the ‘biggest boys’ is effectively over.

    Messing about with the peace process by getting organised is one of the things the peace process ought to be robust enough to handle.

    Maybe one day nationalism will get organised too, and all those things SF could not get by pointlessly blattering their unionist colleagues at Stormont, will fall into place when some kind of a joint plan is agreed.

    A unionist friend put it perfectly to me this morning: nationalism has to start playing to win, not playing to lose. Not getting paranoid when unionists talk together might be a useful beginning.

  • Mick Fealty


    Impartiality is the BBC’s bag, not ours. It never has been and those who have tried to measure by BBC metrics have been getting it badly wrong.

    I actually did blog the Wilson and Finucane statements and noted the imbalance in that since the original accusations were not quoted alongside the two mens’ refutations.

    That’s not even adhering to the BBC’s own editorial standards. It is the BBC playing it cautious with the most powerful political interest within nationalism.

    As you know by now, that’s not how we do things here on Slugger…

  • jtwo

    Presumably your swashbuckling means you also dismiss needless old media practices such as these?

  • Joe, I’m not a great footballer but that was just a tap in. I’m surprised none of the bloggers had spotted it.

  • danielmoran

    Mick….msg 5 Not getting paranoid about this meeting is, as you say a good way for nationalists to react to this meeting. I think it’s academic anyway, because even if the dddddddup and uup, agree on STH B’fast and/or Ferm/sth tyr. the TUV will still be there to get DUP votes. I’m not sure that the tories will need them anyway, as, even if a hung parl. is the situation after the election, the liberals are there for the Tories to form govt.

  • Mick Fealty


    You’ve been dining out for three days now on that line. But it DOES NOT apply to the Cahill story. There is NO excuse for soft peddling on that.

    BTW, have you read Bernadette McAliskey’s piece in the Irish News today?

  • jtwo

    Three days, yes: serious engagement with the point, no.

  • Cynic2

    ” So for all the rhetoric about ‘a shared future’ in the end self interest wins ie unionists unite.”

    Doesn’t it depend on what platform they unite on? From a unionist perspective the war is over, the IRA were defeated and we have jointly made peace with each other. As part of that the constitutional situation is settled. We also have a joint Assembly with mandatory coalition.

    In that context what divides unionists has largely fallen away, so why not unite and form a strong central base from which we can work with nationalists and move forward together? Just what have you got against that?

    Indeed it was interesting to hear Mark Durkin this morning rail against it. He seems to have suddenly realised that Westminster will still be a big player in all our lives in the future but his response was pathetic. Vote SDLP in the Westminster election so we can send a representative to London to oppose the unionists? That’s the mark of a party that evolution has passed by, that is unable to climb out of the swamp and seek a better future.

    Unionism is evolving and developing in ways that may offer a better future for all of us.

  • Kensei

    A unionist friend put it perfectly to me this morning: nationalism has to start playing to win, not playing to lose. Not getting paranoid when unionists talk together might be a useful beginning.

    Presumably you mean “playing not to lose”?

    Given that there is no indication that there is any danger of the SDLP splitting from SF on most of the main bones of contention — P&J, Irish Language Act etc what exact political leverage do SF gain by some kind of formal pact? What do the SDLP gain by being too heavily involved. This is stupid.

    This is also ignoring that incestuous relationships like this are bad for democracy. Not as bad as one party rule, but bad. The SDLP shouldn’t be attacking SF more than Unionism, but they should be alternative vision and competing as strongly as they can for votes. In a perfect world, some fo the Southern parties would move up and we’d have a few more options. Nationalism may lose some short term battles, but in the long term would be much healthier. Unionist “unity” as a goal mystifies me.

    Any take any advice from people diametrically opposed to your positions with a grain of salt, and beware stupidf cathphrases that sound smart but are actually really stupid.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    It beggars belief that the DUP, UUP and the Conservatives could get together for a cosy chat about agreed candidates and nobody except Eamonn Mallie would actually know about it …or report it.
    Id imagine that there are enough BBC types living in North Down (do they ever live anywhere else?) not to pick up on gossip from Shandon Park, Carnalea, Balmoral, Royal County Down etc.

    Hmmm…lets consider this. Unionists only took 10 from 18 seats last time and even screwed up South Belfast. And they are talking about an election pact this time.
    If youre really surprised that unionists cant bury their differences in order to keep a seat out of Cathol……..oops I mean “anti-union” hands, then I am truly shocked.

  • danielmoran

    FJH Msg 14. I’m a bit surprised at this from the UUP. I can easily understand why the DUP would be anxious to offset what they know is going to be a bad couple of elections, [assuming that marty pulls the plug], but I thought it a bit strange the UUP who stand to take most benefit fom DUP in retreat. Isn’t Sunny Jim going to have an impact on the effectiveness of this brainwave? He’s gone rather quiet, hasn’t he? Not like him at all.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    UUP hold one seat (Hermon who is semi detached) and a pact would likely see them add to that.
    DUP hold nine and a pact would see them hold off votes going to UUP.
    SOME of the DUPers wont be standing again…Iris Robinson obviously and one or two other double jobbers who will maybe stay at Stormont if there is an executive.
    Either way a pact would bring in at least one and possibly two extra seats (South Belfast and FST).

    So it suits everyone. A Catholic Tory being selected as one of the 18 will take the look off it being straightworwardly sectarian……and obviously (ahem) “pro union”