As she prepares for her head-to-head encounter (courtesy of Slugger O’Toole) Naomi Long did an interview with “Sticky” Henry McDonald in yesterdays Guardian. I dont suppose that there are many copies of The Guardian sold in East Belfast…it is £1.60 per copy.
“Sticky” McDonalds interview was hardly hard-hitting. It allowed Naomi to be the Ginger Ninja. The ordinary wee girl from Dee Street who …against the odds…won East Belfast from the nasty DUP. This is Naomi’s schtik (sp)…the carefully crafted image of the wee woman facing down sectarian bullies in her constituency. She is absolutely right to turn Loyalist bullying to her advantage.
Curiously Naomi Long is “scathing” about the DUP-UUP electoral pact, which means that her only unionist challenger is Gavin Robinson (DUP).
Curiously Naomi Long is not boycotting the Slugger O’Toole “selective hustings” even though it is a pact. A pact to ensure that only Alliance Party and DUP are taken seriously. Realistically there is only one constituency that Slugger O’Toole gives a damn about. Getting Naomi re-elected is a LetsGetAlongerist priority.
As unionist rivals…UUP and TUV have agreed stand aside to help Gavin Robinson win back the seat for DUP, Slugger O’Toole have sought to neutralise the (not very many) leftist and/or nationalist votes in East Belfast by marginalising the Sinn Féin, SDLP and Green Party candidates.
While Naomi is “scathing”about the DUP-UUP electoral pact, she omits to mention the DUP-Sinn Féin pact, which gives Alliance Party (8 MLAs) two Executive seats while SDLP (14 MLAs) and UUP ((14 MLAs) get one Executive seat each.
Ginger Ninja or just a Hypocrite?
Some fair points, FJH. I’m generally favourable to Slugger but sometimes the editorial “pro-union” inclinations get a bit much, especially in relation to the Alliance Party (or NI21 when they were around). This is one such time. Personally I thought SF, the SDLP and Greens should have withdrawn their nominations and swung behind Long on a tactical “progressive” stance (however much the AP would have disliked it) but since they didn’t all the candidates should be represented in any debates.
There is an irony in all this given that most of the Slugger team were so worked up about the DUP/UUP/et al being excluded from the “UK” national debates. They are now practising a local version of the “discrimination” they earlier decried. And oddly in a constituency an AP MP is fighting to retain. Or, as you would no doubt point out, not so oddly.
I was there tonight. Basically being nosey. Talked to Brian and David McCann. Indeed they asked me to stay.
Will blog some more considered thoughts in the morning.
Important also to note that on tonight’s slugger thread Alan in Belfast has blocked comments. No doubt in large part to avoid the embarrassment of his and his colleagues attempts at gerrymandering of publicity being pointed out.
This is a major issue for slugger. As I see it this is not Mick’s doing (though I am always loyal to Mick) but rather that of his acolytes especially the likes of Alan and Brian O’Neill who along with Dvid McCann has rather too much of an editorial line compared to the past. It is also worth noting that Pete Baker (whom I do not know at all) is much less active of late. Again I feel he is not really in the letsgetalongerist camp: as clearly neither am I.
I hope this trend does not continue as I am a huge fan of slugger but I fear that the voices of those not in the letsgetalongerist camp may be marginalised further.
I will be blogging about the “Hustings” tomorrow. I briefly called in to the venue. I lied that I was waiting for someone who had tickets.
In fact I was only there to see who was attending the event. I had to be at another event in South Belfast anyway.
In fact I was talking to David McCann and Brian O’Neill who were ok about me staying.
Certainly the effect of this event is to boost Naomi Long. Whether it is intentional…well this is denied.
But I think it is clear….all the rivals for the unionist votes have stood down.
The rivals for the Alliance votes….small but crucial…have not stood down.
Slugger is creating a narrative that marginalises them.
Turgon, a blast from the past – hows-she-cutting ?
Just to add to the above I see Willowfield CoI held and event co sponsored by the Evangelical Alliance with all the candidates. Now clearly I am a fan of the likes of the Evangelical Alliance but even I would not pretend it was set up as an inclusive organisation. Yet it was prepared to have all the candidates debate unlike Slugger an organisation specifically committed to inclusivity.
After the election this attempted gerrymandering by (and it is important to name them) Alan Meban and David McCann and no doubt others needs to be remembered and thrown back in their faces as the antidemocratic behaviour which it assuredly is.
I am out and about a lot…Bangor, Newtownards and East Belfast today and I am actually pleased to see the diversity of posters. There is increasing respect for other parties.
Odd….very odd …that Slugger…is not showing that respect.
It is almost as if only one constituency mattered and the other seventeen are irrelevant.
I never will get this animosity to the Alliance Party. If Slugger is deliberately or inadvertently assisting them then all I can say is ‘good’ – reasonable people (and I don’t include myself in that category) are in short supply in Norn Iron and the boul Naomi is one such.
Gwan ye girl ye.
This whole malarkey about Alliance having 2 ministers but not having the vote to justify it – is a complete and utter nonsense.
The Stormo settlement was (correctly) gerrymandered to get the insurgents into power (to get peace) and to keep the 2 ‘communities’ from dominating each other – designed brilliantly by Johhny Hume and every time SDLP supporters or others bang on about lack of opposition and ‘failure of democracy’ as if it was some principle that was unbending and that should not be tailored to suit the circumstances – they kick sand in the face of its architect St John of the Bogside.
… and that is not even taking into account that without the Alliance holding the poisoned chalice of Justice – without which – the (republican) insurgents might well have started to dig up those guns that may or may not have been destroyed.
ps As someone who is permanently banned from Slugger I couldn’t possibly comment (fairly) on the subject of alleged ‘censorship’.