Slugger’s comment thread rebuild – redux

You may recall that – a few weeks ago – I posted an idea on how we can add value to Slugger’s comments thread. It met with a mixed reaction, and while some of you liked the idea and saw possibilities in it, there were also some extremely perceptive objections. As a result, we have ruled the idea out of bounds. We are keen, however, to try and give Slugger more of a community dimension for a number of reasons, … Read more

Diane Abbott and Labour’s political monoculture…

Diane Abbot for Labour Leader? Well, she’s sneaking up slowly in the amount of backers she’s got, from herself and David Lammy now up to six. But she is still a very long way short of the 33 she needs to make the leadership contest in September. One problem is, she left her announcement a little late. The other is her Campaign Group colleague John McDonnell jumped the gun somewhat and threw his hat in the right before talking to … Read more

General Election 2010: The PDF Action replay panel at RSA London

Highlights from the beginning of a lively session at the RSA in London on May 13th, featuring Craig Elder (, myself, James Crabtree (Prospect Magazine), Stella Creasy (Labour Tweeter and MP), Anthony Painter (author of Barack Obama: Movement for Change) and Harry Cole (aka the blogger Tory Bear). Well worth the listen not least because of the variety of the inputs coming in from very different angles… Although sadly there is nothing of the following (at times very lively) debate, … Read more

Friday thread: Improving Slugger’s comments

One of Slugger’s virtues is its comments thread. Unlike a lot of blogs, Mick applies a certain standard and trolls, threats, sockpuppetry and flamebaiting are generally discouraged. This isn’t done perfectly or consistently because it’s a big job to do and involves hours of unfunded work. We do the best we can under the circumstances – and at least half the job is done when people find themselves occasionally clipped. For the most part, commenters are better-behaved on Slugger than … Read more

All in a day’s work for post room staff …

This news flash came through earlier today on London Borough of Westminster’s public alert feed via CommunitySafe. Please could Postal Room staff be made aware of the following : earlier on this afternoon a Parcel containing a doll and organic matter was handed into a Government building Post room. The person handing in the item was described as a Male, approx 60-70 years of age, with White hair and wearing a green coat. The item was declared suspicious and Police … Read more

World Twenty20: Ireland v England

As I mentioned last night, the West Indies rain-assisted win over England provides the slightest glimmer of hope for Ireland to progress to the next stage of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup.  If they can beat England… If the match actually takes place… The rain at Providence, Guyana, has already intervened in the first match of the day.  Which side Duckworth/Lewis will benefit as Ireland take on England is anybody’s guess. Match due to start at 6.30pm.  Ireland win the toss … Read more

Gordon Brown: “You can see the moment his political career leaves his body”

Jon Stewart on why the UK debates don’t matter after the first one… He absolutely hammers UK politics for its triviality… It’s over five minutes, but the end is worth waiting for… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Election 2010: Things I believed in yesterday…

I picked this up this morning, it’s a Tory leaflet warning people of the big danger of a hung Parliament… 24 hours ago it was a decent pitch. Today, I’m not sure anyone believes Gordon can be PM any more… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Open thread on Brown’s gaffe

Mick is in transit and has asked me to open a thread for you on Brown’s bigot comment Mark McGregorBlogging at:

Are Tory bloggers an asset to their party?

Hindsight is a great thing isn’t it? Surely we all saw that the Tories weren’t on a winner going into an election with the promise of nasty medicine? I mean, I wondered if it would hurt them, but at the time, it was a consideration that got crowded out by others. But it hasn’t worked, has it? The bookies should be paying out already to Tory punters, given the state of the economy and Brown’s lack of charisma. So why … Read more

TPA get stung again over inaccurate figures….

Lest Matt or any of the guys over at the Taxpayer’s Alliance think I have some kind of agenda, let me re-assure them I don’t. The topline of their previous ‘research’ that the Government was paying lobbyists to lobby government is, if true, important work. Particularly in Northern Ireland where the public sector employment steals much of the oxygen from the private sector. That’s why it’s important that if you are going to have a punt at bursting that particular … Read more

Lisbon Essay (1): The treaty would isolate Ireland – a ‘No’ vote would free her

My post yesterday on the poor quality of the debate around Lisbon brought positive feedback from some unexpected quarters… It also brought in a short blog essay contribution from the young editor of the Eurosceptic European Journal, Jim McConalogue. It marks the first a series of guest essays on the broad subject of Lisbon that will run each morning here on Slugger from the No, Yes, and no fixed opinion camps right up until polling day on Friday 2nd October. … Read more

Murdochgate: “It is not, as News International claimed, one rotten apple; it is a culture…”

BBC Radio Four’s The Media Show yesterday opened with a bit of a ding dong between John Lloyd of the Reuters Institute at Oxford and Anne McElvoy of the London Evening Standard. Lloyd opened with this: John Lloyd – “Whether it was on a modest scale or an industrial scale what some journalists where doing was using their power and their money and the backing of their news organisation to substantially diminish people’s privacy and their civil and human right … Read more

Murdochgate: Time to stop feeding a desparate and overbearing ferryman..?

The #Murdochgate affair trundles on with big guns coming out on both sides. On Sunday Tim Montgomery one of the most respected figures (on all sides) of the British blogosphere came out with not so much a defence of Mr Coulson (no one who looks closely at his alleged role in a NOTW fishing expeditions can do that) as a spirited attack on the Guardian. Meanwhile Nick Davies at the Committee for Culture, Media and Sport yesterday, has named the … Read more

Phone tapping: No new Guardian facts to dent NoW rebuttal

As Mick has just offered a shrewd review of the political vibes, I’ll go on today’s press stand-off. Certainly, you can never fault the News of the World for lack of chutzpah. The great phone tapping scandal centres on two questions: were the News of the World Goodman and Mulcaire convictions in 2007 for phone tapping the tip of an icebeg of “thousands “ of other cases as the Guardian suggests? And can David Cameron’s PR chief Andy Coulson, the … Read more

If Blair played footsie with the tabloids Cameron has brought them in-house…

The story in Westminster continues, if at a decidedly lower pitch now the Guardian has shot most of the bolts in it possession. For context, the Tory blogosphere until three days ago confident and even bellicose in it’s prosecution of the case against an ageing Labour administration is now unusually silent on any matters of substance. Guido’s list of what’s hot and cooking in the media is normally a highly reliable weather vein towards some of the sharpest comment on … Read more

Murdochgate: A scandal that’s only just beginning…

If you were watching closely enough yesterday you’ll have noticed that there was a buzz all around Westminster and associated media ports over the revelation that two of Rupert Murdoch’s papers have been conducting regular fishing trips against public figures (some political, some not), and that they had settled with three ‘victims’ for £1 million (or ’shut-the-f*ck-up’ payments as Rick puts in this excellent piece on where all of this is really heading). That’s a public interest story, if ever … Read more

Hacking row widens as Yates of the Yard investigates.

The very idea of a gagging out of court settlement in the News of the World hacking case is highly dubious in this age of trumpeted accountability. That a media group should seek such a settlement is typical hypocrisy of a high order. That a court should grant it and that the police and the CPS should take no further action when, as it appears, they knew most of the Guardian’s facts boggles the mind. Without the Guardian’s scoop who … Read more

About that Daily Mail interview…

This article appeared in the Daily Mail last week… It’s an interview with Peter Hain, as you may never have seen him before… with one Petronella Wyatt… (I’d be scared in the unlikely event she asked me for an interview)… Much to the delight of one blogging supporter of one his rivals for the Deputy Prime Minister’s job, he accepted the invitation… Particularly with the Vice Roy comment, you have to wonder if she is a closet Brian Feeney fan…By … Read more

London shuts down…

Given I was in London only yesterday (thus the pacity of blogging from me) this morning’s news has a greater shock value. Now it seems the tube network is effectively closing down. The death toll is likely to rise during the day, but current estimates are about 20. It appears at least one bus has been ripped apart in Russell Square. It looks like a co-ordinated attack on London’s transport infrastructure. Up-date: We’re hearing via the BBC that all public … Read more