Imagine… the Great Big Politics Quiz is back

What a time for politics fans to be alive! RoI general election tomorrow, NI Assembly election in May, topped off by perhaps the most important poll of the year, the EU referendum on June 23rd. If all that wasn’t exciting enough, the Great Big Politics Quiz returns next month as part of the fantastic Imagine Festival of Ideas & Politics! The Festival runs from March 14-20, with the Great Big Politics Quiz taking place on Friday 18 March in its … Read more

The Great Big Politics Quiz – celebrating and lampooning politics in a way not possible everywhere #ImagineBelfast15

A big thank you to new faces and old-timers who came along to take part in the Great Big Politics Pub Quiz in the Black Box, part of the Imagine! 2015 Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics, and in support of Amnesty’s campaign for Saudi blogger, Raif Badawi, sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes (sign the global petition). As well as refreshing political trivia and recognition skills, we raised £1009.30 – thank you all. A big thanks to … Read more

Great Big Politics Pub Quiz tonight!

As everyone knows, Thursday night is politics night. But instead of sitting in for a marathon session of The View, The Issue and Question Time, why not test your political knowledge by getting down to The Black Box tonight for the Great Big Politics Pub Quiz? Sure, you’re probably on strike tomorrow anyway… Or else you’ll have to stay at home because there’s no public transport for you. Or buses or teachers for your kids’ school. Even if you’re at work tomorrow, … Read more

Big Politics Pub Quiz – anagram round!

Ten days to go until the return of the Great Big Politics Quiz – a night to find the champions of all-things-balloty, this year as part of the all-new Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics. So, if you’re a politician, press officer, policy wonk, journalist, lobbyist, psephologist, academic, student, blogger, tweeter, House of Cards binge-viewer or just a West Wing wannabe… it’s almost time to prove yourself. Just so there can be no lingering arguments over hanging chads, no … Read more

News: blogger not flogged

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was not flogged yesterday. This is good news, of course. And it’s the fifth Friday running that the flogging has not been carried out, which is even better. The first fifty lashes were administered in a public square in Jeddah after Friday prayers on January 9th. Badawi was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and ten years imprisonment. The sentence stems from his creation of the website Saudi Arabian Liberals, a blog not unlike Slugger. He was subsequently charged for … Read more

Calling all politics fans – the Great Big Politics Pub Quiz is back!

It has been a while, but the ever-popular Great Big Politics Pub Quiz is back! As part of the soon-to-be-launched Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics, the quiz returns to The Black Box in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter on Thursday 12 March. With politics trivia questions – fact and fiction – and guest quiz-masters elevated from the benches of Stormont and Westminster, this fun fundraiser is one not to be missed. A treasure trove of books, DVDs and political ephemera awaits the … Read more

Big Politics Pub Quiz: one day to go!

There’s just a day to go before the Great Big Politics Pub Quiz, so we hope you’re busy swotting up from Schott’s Almanac of Political Trivia, BBC Democracy Live, Hansard, 1996 Forum Election manifestoes and your box-sets of The Thick of It / The West Wing (delete as applicable). Some of our legislators will be among us, laying down the law from the quizmaster’s chair from 7:30pm or thereabouts in The Black Box. This year, we’re raising money for the emergency work of the Red Cross … Read more

Big Politics Pub Quiz: one week to go

There’s just one week to go before the Great Big Politics Pub Quiz, and as Malcolm Tucker once memorably said: “I’ve got a to-do list here that’s longer than a f#cking Leonard Cohen song.” The politicians are coming down from the hill and they’re headed for The Black Box. Tuesday 20 November, from 7:30pm to be precise. Currently confirmed to take a turn in the quiz-master’s chair are UUP leader, Mike Nesbitt; Environment Committee chair, Anna Lo MBE; Policing Board … Read more

Red Cross reaches besieged Homs. You can help.

All war is terrible. But there is something particularly terrible about a city under siege. Think of Derry, Leningrad, Sarajevo. That’s been the fate of Homs in Syria since Spring 2011. It was there that reporter Marie Colvin was killed by Syrian government shelling in February of this year. Who knows how many residents, whose names we don’t know, have shared her fate before and since. Most of the city is now under government control but fighting continues in certain … Read more

Hopes fading for Syria ceasefire

A four-day ceasefire to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha has come into effect, albeit patchily, in Syria. The BBC’s Lina Sinjab reported this morning from the capital: Damascus hasn’t had a quiet morning for a long time, but so far, the ceasefire is being honoured. During the Eid holiday people visit cemeteries where their beloved are buried and put flowers on their graves. There are thousands of new graves to be visited today Yet, almost as soon as … Read more

Great Big Politics Pub Quiz 2012

For those who missed the Slugger for Syria post, this is an event announcement to confirm that the Great Big Politics Pub Quiz is back, this time to raise funds for the Red Cross / Red Crescent Syria crisis appeal. In Syria the need is desperate and the situation is deteriorating. Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers are risking their lives to provide a lifeline for everyone in Syria caught up in the conflict, supplying emergency food, shelter and medical care. … Read more

Slugger for Syria

“An artillery shell had just landed and the hospital entrance was a grotesque tableau of blood, bodies and tears. A small team of doctors set to work against a soundtrack of bombs and bullets.” So began Ian Pannell’s BBC report from Syria last week. His words and pictures were moving, distressing, enraging: “Two-year-old Ahmed screamed in terror and agony as a surgeon sewed his scalp back into place. His head had been torn open when a rocket landed on his house … Read more

Great BIG Politics Quiz: prizes to vie for!

Courtesy of Stratagem, here’s the awesome prize list for the Great BIG Politics Quiz, supported by Slugger O’Toole, and being held next Thursday, 22 September at 7:45pm in the Black Box, Belfast. There’s enough in this valuable prize hamper to keep even the most anorakish of political anoraks going for quite some time – and plenty to share amongst your triumphant quiz team-mates. “The Thick of It Series 1 & The Special Boxset” DVD “Last Mitterand,the [DVD]” “Pistols at Dawn: Two … Read more

Great BIG Politics Quiz: tickets now on sale!

Former (edit: see comment #1) Belfast City Councillor Niall Kelly reckons the SDLP South Belfast team are out to retain their Great Big Politics Quiz champions title: I know that ballot box brainiacs from other parties, campaign groups, public affairs companies and the media will be out to prove him wrong. Indeed, there might even be the odd blogger who fancies getting a team together for a tilt at the title. Well you can all now pre-book your places as ticket … Read more

From Haiti with thanks

Back in October, much of the Slugger O’Toole ‘community’ – Mick Fealty and Paul Evans, bloggers Alan in Belfast and Mark McGregor, politicians of all hues, public affairs company Stratagem, and of course readers / commenters – came together to support the Great Big Politics Pub Quiz, raising money for a house-building project in earthquake-stricken Haiti. The event raised £1,225, all of which went to the Haven Partnership’s Build-it-Week initiative. Due to the cholera outbreak, the week itself was postponed … Read more

The Great Big Politics Quiz results – another win for the SDLP in South Belfast

Stoops to Conquer (South Belfast SDLP team) who won The Great Big Politics Quiz for Haiti

Last night Haiti was the real winner with £1225.90 raised at the Great Big Politics Quiz to help re-house some of the million-plus poor Haitians left homeless by the January 2010 earthquake. An outbreak of cholera in Haiti has resulted in more than 2,500 cases and 200 deaths. People forced to live in the island’s huge campsites are highly vulnerable to cholera, which is caused by bacteria transmitted through contaminated water or food. The house-building project, run by Irish charity … Read more

Great Big Politics Pub Quiz – prizes update & reassurance that you don’t have to attend with a fully formed table

Politicos! We feel your pain. We know that you’re desperate to go to The Great Big Politics Pub Quiz, but you’re cursed with normal friends who would rather dip a tender extremity in acid than go and get bamboozled by questions about The East Lothian Question*. Do not despair. You can still join the fun even if all your friends are ‘normal’. Individuals coming along on Monday night (25 October) won’t be left without a team. Your name will be … Read more

More brain-stretchers

It’s Friday! It’s 3.30pm! It’s Poets Day. You’ve only got another 90 mins of Looking Busy to get through! The boss is probably going to be ‘off to a meeting’ shortly anyway, but in the meantime, here’s a few more samples of the kind of questions we’ll be asking you at the Great BIG Politics Pub Quiz, scheduled for Monday 25 October in the Black Box. NB. We will not be asking these actual questions just in case there are any … Read more

Great Big Political Quiz – give us your funny team names

The tickets for the Great Big Political Quiz Night are selling rapidly – get yours to avoid disappointment (form below). We’re also going to be dishing out a few spot prizes. For instance, we know that one or two of you have hilarious team names planned *clutches sides at the very thought*.There will be a prize for the best one on the night. We also know that one or two organisations are very bullish about their plans to snatch the … Read more

Politics quiz time

In what year did Jeffrey Donaldson and Arlene Foster join the DUP? Appointed in 1721, who was Britain’s first Prime Minister? Name the President of China. How many members (TDs) of Dail Éireann are there? Name the creator of US TV show The West Wing. To the nearest hundred votes, what was Naomi Long’s margin of victory in the 2010 Westminster election? Which two men were awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 1993? Which Belfast street was the birthplace of … Read more