The aim of the game

According to the Irish Times

Negotiations: the cost of further inaction

Gary Kent looks at a number of related issues in the run up to negotiations at Leeds Castle. He warns that the inability of the main political parties to come to an agreement has already had major cumulative and detrimental effects, and that these only stand to increase in the face further and prolonged inaction. By Gary Kent Northern Ireland

Morgan retires at 37

Martin Morgan, the SDLP’s candidate in the recent European elections and former Lord Mayor is to retire from active politics when the local elections are held in Belfast next May. It will undoubtedly be a blow for a party that in recent years has consciously tried to build the profile of its younger members.

Irish interests best served in English?

Having lost (albeit temporarily) our archives, I’m not sure if I have already posted this spirited argument against the campaign to have Irish recognised as an official language in the EU.

Ireland most expensive in Europe

Joe Humphreys in the Irish Times reports on the latest annual statement on prices and costs from the National Competitiveness Council. Consumer price inflation in Ireland has risen at twice the rate of the Euro zone average since 1999 and the average price of Irish goods and services by 22 per cent above the EU average in the same period. Statement and full report can be found here Selected quotes from the Irish Times article “Ireland is now ‘almost on … Read more

Hey Ho Let's Go!

Not, strictly speaking, within the remit of the site, but allow me a little latitude. Johnny Ramone, real name John Cummings, one of the founder members of the punk of all punk bands, tributes. A moment’s silence, followed by raucous celebration of the life and music of the man with a plan. 1-2-3-4!



Frank Delaney lists his

Adams could destablise the DUP?

This fascinating op-ed in the Belfast Telegraph sees most of the negotiating cards stacked with Gerry Adams. It argues that his internal position within the party and the wider movement is unassailable. It further suggests the DUP has mismanaged its constituency’s expectations of a deal, that Adams might look in that area for further advantage over Unionism: “…should Adams decide to play for high stakes, he would either come away with a deal or he would have revealed a great … Read more

Adams: a deal is inevitable

On his way into Leeds Castle this morning, Gerry Adams has told reporters that a deal is inevitable between his party and the DUP. Although clearly he was not committing to a timeline for such an accord it would, he suggested, take shape within the confines of the Belfast Agreement.

Join the Tories online…

The British Conservative Party has just speculated £250,000 on a new database that they hope will net them new members via the web. It’s particularly noteworthy for them as until now (not unlike the UUP) party membership has been regulated through local associations, rather than through a central office.

Blogs: the modern moveable type…

The Belfast Telegraph has the story of the demise of one Dan Rather, whose long career in the media may have ended at the hands of a powerful network of blogs. Tony Blankley welcomes the outcome and weighs the benefits and drawbacks of this particular blog revolution. According to Andrew Sullivan, the US election is fast becoming a war between new and old media.

Peace process: critical questions

Eric Waugh is in top form this evening. A long term critic of the practical working of the Belfast Agreement, he outlines what the opening gambit of unionist negotiators should be:- The first principle is that more of the same will not do. – Not a scintilla of a goody should be bestowed on tick. Cash on delivery must be the rule. – The overblown machine should be shorn of its fat and the Assembly of 108 cut by one … Read more

In gratitude

Seamus Heaney writes on the life and work of his fellow poet Czeslaw Milosz, from last Saturday’s Guardian Review, while threading a simultaneous discourse on the nature and power of poetry.Within characteristically dense but measured prose Heaney pays tribute to Milosz and his “wish that poetry in general should be capable of providing an elevated plane of regard” while the poet should seek to imbue the work with “awareness of the triteness and tribulations of other people’s lives [that is] … Read more

Bugs taken to leaders

As a second bug is found, this time in Sinn Fein party offices, Gerry Adams has vowed to hand the device back to Tony Blair, Bairbre de Brun (the device was in her offices) has highlighted the issue with 40 MEPs from the GUE/NGL and group leader Francis Wurtz has pledged to raise the matter with the European Parliament President Josep Borrell and the Conference of Presidents.

Money’s too tight to mention….

We’ve had a rough summer of it, but it seems that things are getting back to normal on Slugger. What I think it has highlighted is the difficulty of keeping up a site that at least aspires towards professional values on a zero budget.The move from the UK to the US server means that the technological costs have plummeted. Even low level clicks on the Google ads should now work in tandem with these substantially lower costs. The real question … Read more


While Slugger had it’s problems Dave Wood carried on writing on his excellent website.Thanks Dave. There’s a book in this, and I’ll want you to sign a copy for me!