More Hypocrisy From Slugger O’Toole

Slugger O’Toole at its worst.

Organising a “General Election” Debate in East Belfast…which only features two of the candidaes standing. Sitting MP, Naomi Long of the Alliance Party and Gavin Robinson of DUP.

The Election itself is effectively a head-to-head between two Parties…Alliance and DUP. They put up a deposit and they are entitledto stand at Election. The Green Party, SDLP and Sinn Féin will also be standing. They put up a deposit also and at least as entitled to have their voice heard.

Not in the view of Slugger O’Toole.

Slugger wants a “focussed debate” with serious challengers. The criteria is that a Party must have 10 per cent of votes cast in the previous election. This qualifies Alliance, DUP and UUP. But UUP are in a shameful pact with DUP.

It is shamefully a Pact that Slugger O’Toole has entered into with Alliance and DUP. The point can and will be made by Slugger that the Greens, SDLP and Sinn Féin cannot win the seat.

Absolutely true. But votes cast for them can influence the result. Certainly the votes for Greens, SDLP and Sinn Féin will be squeezed but as two of the Parties are anti-unionist and one allegedly neutral, it seems more likely that the squeezed votes would benefit Naomi Long than a representative of an Orange supporting and homophobic Party.

Part of the calculation in East Belfast has to be that a DUP candidate benefits from the decision of the UUP to stand aside. The decision of UUP to enter into an electoral pact with DUP has been criticised. I agree. It is shameful.

Part of the calculation in East Belfast has to be that Naomi Long and Alliance would be efit from any decision of “progressive parties” to stand aside. The Greens, SDLP and Sinn Féin are not standing aside but Slugger has oblidged their Alliance friends by making them more irrelevant.

The perceived wisdom is that the Election will be close. It might hinge on the decision of usual Green, SDLP or Sinn Féin voters to vote against the DUP. Slugger has facilitated that by emphasising that it is a straight choice.

Part of the duty of any democratic party is to seek to represent its most marginalised voters…and clearly in East Belfast, nationalists and left-leaning parties are marginalised. It is a credit to Greens, SDLP and Sinn Féin that they put up a candidate. It is a credit to Alliance that they will give their supporters a voice in (say) Mid Ulster.

Little credit then to Slugger O’Toole. We do not know who within the Slugger team dreamed up this formula. And with the lack of transparency that Slugger condemns in others…we wont know.

What we DO know is that on Facebook, Alan Meban promotes the event by pointing out that supporters of other parties are “welcome”. Perhaps in a segregated part of the audience. Rather like black, coloured and mixed race people were allowed to attend rugby matches and cricket matches in South Africa.

Shame on Slugger O’Toole …again.

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12 Responses to More Hypocrisy From Slugger O’Toole

  1. John McMahon says:

    The pig (Slugger) grunted and John Mooney is surprised or disappointed. When will John Mooney ever learn?

    • Oh I am never surprised.
      One of the reasons that this Blog exists is my belief that Slugger O’Toole is a Message Board that favours LetsGetAlongerism in general and Alliance Party especially.
      I am always happy to say whenSlugger is “at its best”
      And I call it how I see it. Slugger O’Toole has acted badly…is promoting Alliance in this case.

  2. John – there are many ways of running hustings, and I suspect that all will be bespoke and unique – we’ve chosen a legal and decent method, others will choose other legal and decent methods too. Willowfield Parish are running a hustings the evening before and we’ll advertise it and others beforehand too for people unable to get tickets to attend our one!
    – – –

    The organisers have sought to create a short and focussed hustings in East Belfast. It would have been impractical to run a short hustings event [roughly 1 hour long] with all the candidates present as the time allocated to each candidate would have been so short. Instead criteria have been applied to shrink the field of candidates invited to participate tonight.

    We have invited candidates from parties that had a significant share of the vote (10% or more) in the constituency at the 2010 Westminster election http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/aeb.htm, while taking into account more recent elections (2011 Assembly http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/aeb.htm and 2014 Local Government http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/nlgbcc.htm) in case there was evidence of a significant shift in support.

    Three parties qualify: Alliance, DUP and UUP. The UUP are not running a candidate. The two candidates invited have a much greater local prominence than any of the other candidates standing in 2015 and occupy distinct and different areas of the political spectrum found in East Belfast.
    The organisers and chair of the hustings have no links to the parties running in the constituency.

    The invited candidates will be given equal time to answer questions and reasonable opportunity within the overall hustings to respond to points made against them by other candidates. After opening statements by the invited candidates, they will be asked questions by our panel who work and write across the full range of Belfast daily newspapers. Finally the candidates will have an equal time to question each other.

    As well as listening to the invited candidates, the audience will be informed about the other candidates and parties contesting the election in East Belfast.

    • There are indeed at least two ways ….Fair and Unfair.
      The legal and “decent” (what????) method is a method that coincidently favours Sluggers favoured candidate.
      You talk about “Organisers”.
      But who ARE the Organisers?
      Name them…..
      Did Slugger discuss it internally?
      Were you party to the discussions?
      Was Slugger directed along these lones by outside forces who “keep ‘er lit”?

  3. roddy says:

    Niall ODonnaille does an almost impossible task in getting a council seat in East Belfast.He takes the overwhelming majority of Short Strand and to be honest I cant see that vote defecting to Long.

  4. James says:

    Can’t wait for the west belfast debate. Should be interesting with just the serious contenders .

  5. siphonophorest says:

    Uh-oh, you’ll be getting banned from slugger if you keep on speaking truth.

    • Oh I dont think so.
      I can get a red card or yellpw card there.
      But unless they invent a charge of bringing Slugger into disrepute, I can say anything I like on my own Blog.
      Brian did ask me to elaborate my one sentence objection on Slugger and I directed him to this Blog. Invited him and Alan to link my Blog to the Slugger piece but they have strangely failed to do that.
      Interestingly Blog figures for today are thru the roof. Probably the best day of hits in 2015.
      As I only have 15 followers on Twitter, please feel free to link to this Blog.

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