Cameron was clumsy but accurate…

David Cameron has touched off something of a bush fire in his interview with Jeremy Paxman on BBC2 in speaking of the dependency culture in Northern Ireland. He compared the amount of state support to that of some of the Communist Eastern bloc countries. The potential PM was clumsy in his exposition despite the accuracy of what he was actually saying. My suggestion that there was ‘a whiff’ of the infamous Harold Wilson “spongers” sobriquet about Mr Cameron’s observation, sent …

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Hague will step in for Cameron in Belfast on Monday

Apparently David Cameron’s schedule got set back because of the Icelandic ash cloud. So whilst yesterday, according Eamonn (who is on fire just now on Twitter) the Conservatives were planning to send their big howitzer in on Monday, they are now sending William Hague instead… And nothing, they say, to do with last night’s remarks on Newnight… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media …

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Confessions of a former electoral canvasser

Anorak canvassers – this is your thread ‘This’ is a very politicised place but for those that think electoral canvasses are a bit random here’s my run down on how to do it (only 2 1/2 parties even get close) You should have a ‘marked register’ showing what every person canvassed said on the doorstep last time – a definite vote, a possible, a no chance. That old register can then be marked further against a register provided post count …

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Quote of the Week…

The Conservatives have been facing the wrong way, like the guns at Singapore. This is what happens when an organisation comes to believe its own propaganda. Charles Clarke in The Spectator today. 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

You can take tablets to get rid of worms

Spoof worm trail graph showing the author's dissatisfaction with broadcaster’s worm trail analysis, laid over screen grab over Sky News

The phrase “every word scrutinised” and the sight of worm trails stretching out across the TV screen make me shiver. The West Wing boxset, a politics educational series that should have been co-produced by the Open University, long ago taught us the techniques of US pollsters. But just because political parties can afford to wire subjects up to boxes and force them to record their second by second reactions to the witterings of three party leaders doesn’t mean to say …

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Ulster leaders’ debate: Still stuck in reverse…

If I were to judge the generic effectiveness of TV debates as the potential fulcrum of future politics we might look no further than our own backyard squabble on UTV last night. For us, there were no surprises. The highlights were the set piece questions: Adams on the IRA and Robinson on the five pound strip of land. But these had nothing much to do with the election. And both were necessarily truncated by side shifting and the commercial breaks. …

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Election kit: Awkward Questions for party doorsteppers…

David Gordon has a handy guide to being an (intelligently) awkward bugger when someone comes to the doorstep looking for your vote. Here’s some snippets. First the DUP: The DUP opposed power-sharing for decades and said in its last General Election manifesto in 2005 that a coalition with Sinn Fein was “out of the question”. Just two years |later, Ian Paisley did his deal with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. Why the U-turns? There has been talk in recent months about …

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