I could only stay about forty five minutes at the second event on Thursday 26th March. An informal, social event organised by Slugger O’Toole at the Hudson Bar in Belfast City Centre.
To be honest, forty five minutes is the limit of my comfort zone with my fellow Bloggers. So I was actually glad I had somewhere else to be.
When I left, Basil McCrea MLA (NI21) and Máirtín Ó Muilleoir MLA (Sinn Féin) had just arrived and joined some NI21 members and Slugger regulars. Let me emphasise that I am not anti-social but rather I think its better for a Blogger to be at arms-length from the rest of the Blogging community.
It is an odd thing. This Blog is actually quite successful. But the problem with being successful is that I get sucked into the small world of Norn Iron bloggers and politicians. Almost all of the people I encounter are decent people…Chris Lyttle MLA (Alliance) and Chistopher Stalford (DUP) for example. I even like Máirtín Ó Muilleoir MLA (Sinn Féin). Academics like Dr Gladys Ganiel and Professor John Brewer are patently decent. Journalists like Alex Kane.
I find it harder to engage with people I like than people I dont like. Thankfully there are a lot of Norn Iron politicians and wannabee politicians who are impossible to like. I just hope I never meet them.
Yet I think my aversion to such socialising runs deeper than “personality”.
David McCann promoting the event on the Slugger O’Toole message board…describes it as an event for POLITICOS.
The question must be asked. What is a POLITICO? And is it flattering to be called a POLITICO?
As far as I can make out…a POLITICO is someone who expresses an interest in Politics but doesnt actually DO anything. A political anorak. A nerd.
It seems unflattering. Rather like Leonard, Sheldon and Rajesh wearing Star Trek uniforms at Comic Con. But then Howard did actually go into Space. So the Slugger event is essentially Comic Con for political nerds. While the highlight of the Slugger event was to be a “tweet up” during the David Cameron and Ed Miliband TV non-debate…people really interested in Politics were knocking doors on behalf of SDLP, DUP, UUP, Sinn Féin, Green, Alliance and TUV…and actually doing the nitty gritty of Politics such as preparing a case for a Tribunal on Housing Benefit.
So the Slugger event was at best a “get together” for people with a similar interests. Or at worst it was Fantasy Politics. Rather like teenagers like a “kill or be killed” computer game but would run a mile from being drafted to a real war in Syria. Rather like teenagers play “football” computer games like FIFA 2015 but get their mothers to write notes to a teacher to excuse them from Gym Class.
So really the Slugger Tweet-Up is little or nothing to do with real Real Politics.
As I have often said, the Norn Iron Blogging World is essentially a Belfast suburban world. The Metro-Textuals inside the “beltway” could not find their way beyond Lisburn, Glengormley, Helens Bay and Shaw’s Bridge without a very expensive Sat Nav.
In effect, Slugger O’Toole reflects this. The Slugger “agenda” is really just the extension of the Metro-Textual mindset.