Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu

Due to an editorial stance I cannot agree with that may leave readers assuming my integrity is open to question, I no longer feel I can continue as a blogger on this platform. Despite some challenging issues, I have enjoyed the cut and thrust that goes with Slugger. It has been a great outlet during a rollercoaster of politics both personal and generally. I’m sure it was a journey many of you didn’t appreciate me taking but hey that’s the … Read more

Undue Influence is a corrupt practice

The BBC have a brief report that the Electoral Office is investigating the claim: staff at Sam Gardiner’s office allegedly refused to assist constituents because they had not voted in the Assembly election This seems to relate to use of the Marked Register, a copy of the register from polling stations showing who was issued with a ballot paper, which was subject to an Electoral Office report in 2005. The Electoral Office report notes: We are instructed that political parties … Read more

McGuinness: success is just about losing well?

Martin McGuinness’ entry into the Presidential race has surely shook things up. However while some of the shriller media commentary has focused on the danger of him winning, it is past time to ask what would really constitute a victory for McGuinness and Sinn Féin. For this discussion we may need to abandon the ludicrous notion he was ever ‘in it to win it’. If you accept SF didn’t enter their star man into the contest to be beaten and … Read more

Rev. David Latimer at the Ard Fheis

For those that missed it you can see Martin McGuiness introduce his friend David Latimer to the Ard Fheis and then his speech from 15mins on: Video streaming by Ustream Mick Adds: Mark McGregorBlogging at: http://heartsofoakandsteel.wordpress.com http://heartsofoakandsteel.wordpress.com

Did local media have a role in the Boston College case?

I’ve previously noted how some local media seems to get a free pass from the PSNI over their sources/stories while others are dealt with more proactively and recently we’ve seen the press collectively oppose attempts to turn them into an evidence gathering arm of the state. The ongoing legal case to access the Boston College oral history archive may indicate elements of the media already acting in that evidence gathering capacity (hopefully unwittingly). It is impossible to know which arm … Read more

PSNI badly misjudge their harassment?

It looks increasingly like the PSNI have made a very serious miscalculation during an instance of harassing the family of a non-compliant republican. While it is no surprise they would arrest an ex-prisoner who is the RNU prisons spokesperson, targeting his family could backfire spectacularly. The arrest of lay magistrate Delia Van der Lenden and her retired Dutch naval officer husband seems to echo the lazy harassment many nationalists can easily connect with the attitudes of the old RUC. Mrs Van … Read more

Irish News doesn’t always err on the side of caution

The Irish News photo coverage of the third arrest at Thursday’s RNU protest at Alliance HQ was a tale of two halves – while they decided to hide the identities of the PSNI officers arresting a 16 year old, they didn’t give that same protection to the arrested youth. When UTV covered this story (TV coverage available via link), before the Irish News would have gone to press, they protected the identity of the minor along with those of the … Read more

Handcuffed times two. A case of wrongful arrest?

The Belfast Telegraph reports that two men were arrested during a Republican Network for Unity (Cogus) protest at Alliance Party HQ yesterday. Two members of Republican Network for Unity (RNU) walked into the building on University Street at 9am yesterday and demanded a meeting with Justice Minister and Alliance Party leader David Ford. They note the men were arrested by the PSNI due to behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace. This common law concept has been clarified … Read more

Augher, Clogher…..Slugger hits the road

When I blogged our intention to visit the Twelfth in Clogher John Robinson and Iain McClung of Glenageeragh LOL 908, a rural Augher lodge, kindly got in touch to offer some guidance and help. Their hospitality and warmth along with that of their fellow lodge members was greatly appreciated throughout yesterday. So we started our day with a feeder parade in Augher. According to the 2001 Census the entire Augher ward was 55% Catholic and the output area (95OO020004) including … Read more

UVF: Peter Robinson and the DUP’s preferred ‘terrorists’?

Today’s Irish News reports a deal to resolve the ongoing dispute in Magheraberry gaol between prison authorities and Republican inmates, meant to have been resolved a year ago, has yet again fallen apart. This time the dispute was unresolved due to intransigence from Peter Robinson and the DUP: Sources say the Department of Justice agreed to the compromise in principle and the proposal was put to OFMDFM. Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is also believed to have agreed … Read more

‘Field’ trip 2011

Some of us will be out-and-about again on the 12th July. I’ll be joining a small party heading to Clogher for Slugger’s first rural 12th visit, probably calling into Portadown on the way back towards civilisation. As usual people are welcome to join us at any point during the day. We’ll be making an effort to capture and cover as many facets as possible; positive/negative, participant/spectator, supporter/opponent and whatever else comes up. We aren’t asking people to park their bias … Read more

Oliver Napier RIP

Members of the Slugger team who could do the blog title justice seem to be away from the office. In the meantime I hope the following links are a suitable opening for your comments on the passing of Sir Oliver Napier. David Ford pays tribute to party founder BBC obit and some video. Mark McGregorBlogging at: http://heartsofoakandsteel.wordpress.com http://heartsofoakandsteel.wordpress.com

Unregistered interests: ca. 50% of MLAs don’t declare £150 payments from Lobbyist Company?

There are lots of interesting little details in the Assembly Register of Member’s Interests. Two MLAs being paid a small sum for filling in surveys isn’t one of them: Miscellaneous Interests Jim Wells and Paul Givan Stratagem Northern Ireland: a survey company which occasionally surveys the views of MLAs on a wide range of issues. A fee of £50.00 is payable for each survey completed. You can find the results of numerous Stratagem surveys of MLAs online but details of … Read more

BBC giving David Ford another bye-ball?

The BBC headline runs: Prisoner MacFerran mistakenly released six weeks early Mr MacFerran, this time, did nothing illegal like numerous prisoners before him – he was wrongly released on David Ford’s prison watch. MacFerran wasn’t the one in the wrong but his name is the headline – how does that work? Why doesn’t the headline run – Minister Ford oversees another prison farce? Mark McGregorBlogging at: http://heartsofoakandsteel.wordpress.com http://heartsofoakandsteel.wordpress.com