40 episodes

Slugger O’Toole is an award winning news and opinion portal, which takes a critical look at various strands of political politics in Ireland and Britain.

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    • Politics

Slugger O’Toole is an award winning news and opinion portal, which takes a critical look at various strands of political politics in Ireland and Britain.

    Politics Plus: US Lessons for Northern Ireland in democracy

    Politics Plus: US Lessons for Northern Ireland in democracy

    Here's our wrap up session with Ruarai and Shane reflecting on the lessons that might be drawn from the US elections for politicians and political parties in Northern Ireland, particularly in the more down-ballot races where money was tighter.

    Why did the Democrats underperform? Ruarai highlights a split between moderates blaming poor messaging for lost seats (Shane gives the example of 'defund the police' which went ricocheting all over), left says bottom-up campaigning was inconsistent.

    What can our politicians in Northern Ireland learn? Well, you'll have to listen to the end. You can get it here via podcasts under the new title Slugger's Politics Plus wherever you get your quality podcasts.

    • 19 min
    #TheReset Podcast: "Why can't government do things (anymore)"?

    #TheReset Podcast: "Why can't government do things (anymore)"?

    Ed Straw has been in and around government and state led projects for a large part of his later working life. He has also been involved with the UK Labour Party using his trained engineer's eye to look at how things work. His new book throws new light ( https://www.routledge.com/The-Hidden-Power-of-Systems-Thinking-Governance-in-a-Climate-Emergency/Ison-Straw/p/book/9781138493995#:~:text=The%20Hidden%20Power%20of%20Systems%20Thinking:%20Governance%20in,ways%20of%20thinking%20and%20acting%20has%20become%20urgent. ) on the problem of poor "government agency".

    * Governments are hooked on a systematic approach which assumes society remains as simple as it once was. This results in what Ed calls the 'end stage fallacy': ie, the naive assumption that government does not suffer a long decay between conception and the reality of deployment.
    * Ed says that what we need is a more systemic approach, which requires if anything a more relaxed approach to problem solving in which you wider the boundaries of the thing you're trying to fix and the framework in order to the greater context in which it sits.
    * Finding wider and more resilient solutions that are fit for a future that is both fast in arrival and departure means bringing the electorate into the deal between major electoral events. It also means employing a disciplined pluralism to see what works and doesn't before scaling up.

    • 30 min
    NI's opportunity lies in attracting new people as well as new jobs

    NI's opportunity lies in attracting new people as well as new jobs

    Today Mick spoke with his old friend and Lagan College alumnus Shane Greer, who now owns and publishes Campaigns and Elections Magazine ( https://www.campaignsandelections.com/ ) and lives and works in Washington DC about whether in order for Northern Ireland to get a good reset we need to think more globally, not to mention bigly.

    The main impetus for the start of the discussion was his recent Reset essay ( https://sluggerotoole.com/2020/09/25/thereset-incredible-opportunity-to-bring-well-heeled-consumers-into-the-northern-ireland-economy/ ) on what he sees as a live opportunity to exploit the new home working arrangements rapidly being put in place bring well-heeled consumers from wherever they are in the world into the Northern Ireland economy.

    In it we cover:

    * In Northern Ireland, we spend too much time thinking about how things were in the past, too much time discussing things now and how they are, and too little time planning for a future and which is arriving at a far greater speed than most of us can keep up.
    * Most quickly of all work is changing. More people are shifting to remote working, which means, one more people are going to be able to work wherever they want, and two, if they are going to work wherever they want they are going to need the kinds of infrastructure that facilitates that.
    * This, Shane argues, that as well as a job creation strategy we ought to have a people attraction strategy, bringing in high-value individuals from wherever in the world they want to come from. Think of them like seeds for a whole series of journeys we have yet to imagine going on.

    If you would like to get involved in #TheReset ( https://sluggerotoole.com/tag/thereset/ ) with Ulster Bank either as an individual or as part of an organisation, please do get in touch by emailing us at editor@sluggerotoole.com with an idea for inclusion in a range of articles or events over September and October.

    In the meantime, you can catch up on Cargo of Bricks and In Conversation and subscribe on Apple Podcasts ( https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/slugger-otoole/id1486015674 ) | Google Podcasts ( https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hcGkucG9kY2FjaGUubmV0L3Nob3dzL2Y1MTJhZTg4LWQzNzgtNGU4YS1hNjZjLTE1ZjYwMWYzZWRiZC9mZWVk ) , Spotify ( https://open.spotify.com/show/64A1xhE3nUNTUC2ITFHHAn?si=xAv7sfktRGKNDnD2QJhYHQ ) , or wherever you get your quality podcasts.

    • 27 min
    Siobhan O'Neill on the need to develop "pack leaders" at every level of society in our responses to Covid 19...

    Siobhan O'Neill on the need to develop "pack leaders" at every level of society in our responses to Covid 19...

    Now today's Cargo of Bricks with Siobhan O'Neill, Northern Ireland's mental health champion was recorded before this morning's announcement of a four-week circuit breaker lockdown, which in fact is some way short of the sort of near-total lockdown we had in Spring.

    But in it, we cover what we have learned so far and what are the issues that come with facing the uncertainty of a second wave and trying to balance a number of factors external to the core concern of slowing down the spread of the virus...

    In it we cover...

    * Our response in the spring was pretty normal to a previously unknown threat: the panic buying of food and toilet roll was the instinctive response you might expect to fulfil the base of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. But we also discovered that *our communities have the agency* to protect themselves.

    * As things change we need clear messaging, not just from the centre but we also need to translate those guidelines into more culturally specific circumstances like sport, weddings and funerals. To do that well we must *start bringing together epidemiologists, mental health and behavioural scientists*.

    * *Maintaining well being is crucial*. So we need to think about our diet, our levels of activity (which can help with reducing the stress of living in uncertain circumstances and get us back into a position where we can calmly go about doing the more regulated problem solving that everyday life brings.

    Throughout Siobhan stresses the necessity of developing "pack leaders" at every level of society, who can model the sort of behaviour we need to see in others, not just from the top down. Sport, education and even leisure activities can play a huge role in maintaining individual well being.

    Above all, we need to respect and appeal to the intelligence and integrity of two much talked about populations, our young people and the elderly many of whom are very resilient and who are looking for their own agency in and through this crisis.

    If you would like to get involved in #TheReset ( https://sluggerotoole.com/tag/thereset/ ) with Ulster Bank either as an individual or as part of an organisation, please do get in touch by emailing us at editor@sluggerotoole.com with an idea for inclusion in a range of articles or events over September and October.

    In the meantime, you can catch up on Cargo of Bricks and In Conversation and subscribe on Apple Podcasts ( https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/slugger-otoole/id1486015674 ) | Google Podcasts ( https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hcGkucG9kY2FjaGUubmV0L3Nob3dzL2Y1MTJhZTg4LWQzNzgtNGU4YS1hNjZjLTE1ZjYwMWYzZWRiZC9mZWVk ) , Spotify ( https://open.spotify.com/show/64A1xhE3nUNTUC2ITFHHAn?si=xAv7sfktRGKNDnD2QJhYHQ ) , or wherever you get your quality podcasts.

    • 27 min
    Covid has unleashed a vast global economic experiment

    Covid has unleashed a vast global economic experiment

    In today's Cargo of Bricks, we take our first look at how the southern economy is coping with the shocks to the labour market in particular. With my guest Dan O'Brien, chief economist at the IIEA in Dublin we cover...

    * It is absolutely impossible to read too far into the success or failure of what amounts to 'the biggest social policy or political experiment in decades'. Government is able to hold to it's massive intervention in the labour market for now, but in 6 to 9 months it could get 'hairy'
    * We are far from understanding the effectiveness of different countries approaches to fighting the Covid crisis, but there are no golden bullets. Some think the Fortress New Zealand approach works but their economic contraction in the second quarter was similar to Italy's and Belgium's.
    * If there is a sliver of good news from an Irish point of view it is that world trade did not contract by as much as expected. The Republic's substantial pharmaceutical industry ensured that they were the only European country to increase exports in the first half of 2020.

    In the meantime, you can catch up on Cargo of Bricks and In Conversation and subscribe on Apple Podcasts ( https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/slugger-otoole/id1486015674 ) | Google Podcasts ( https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hcGkucG9kY2FjaGUubmV0L3Nob3dzL2Y1MTJhZTg4LWQzNzgtNGU4YS1hNjZjLTE1ZjYwMWYzZWRiZC9mZWVk ) , Spotify ( https://open.spotify.com/show/64A1xhE3nUNTUC2ITFHHAn?si=xAv7sfktRGKNDnD2QJhYHQ ) , or wherever you get your quality podcasts.

    • 20 min
    Strategic response to economic crisis facing those leaving education needed

    Strategic response to economic crisis facing those leaving education needed

    One of the key reasons for having the Reset project in a space like Slugger is to look behind the headlines and try to assay the effects of the Covid emergency, not just in health, but in other key areas of life. As we prepare for a second wave, the effects on those leaving education are acute.

    So this week I spoke to Professor of Education Tony Gallagher, to get his take on what that means in practice...

    In it we cover...

    * After 2008 young people who left education in the year of the crash are still faring worse than either the class ahead or the one after. A recent survey shows that a third of nongraduates and a 1/5 of graduates commonly find jobs in areas most directly affected the Covid lockdown.
    * This huge economic risk being shouldered by young people contrasts enormously with how the most serious health risks lie with older people. As such, there is a risk of polarisation as the mediation to protect public health pushes intolerable burdens on those leaving school.
    * Not all young people will be hit equally, poorer education leavers in general are hardest hit. We need a much more strategic view of education as a whole to enable politicians and social policy makers to develop ways to come to a shared and shareable view of what's needed.

    • 24 min

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