Westminster parliament

A good reason to return to Stormont? “What have Sinn Fein ever got you? Nothing.”

Here’s a revealing exchange between LBC’s liberal shock jock James O’Brien and ex-Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers: James O’Brien (JOB): How can Westminister observe rigorous impartiality to the political traditions in Northern Ireland when it is writing a seven-figure cheque for one side. Theresa Villiers (TV): The package of financial support is for more…

And there could be more dosh to come! But the government rejects demands from a chorus of women MPs to fund abortions for NI women

The payout could be higher as a result of studies of the impact of lower corporation tax and scrapping air passenger duty.  In its financial analysis the FT points out that Costs will be higher if the renewed commitment to allow Northern Ireland to set its own lower corporation tax rate and air passenger duty more…

First questions about the DUP deal with the Conservatives

Handing over the money is not contingent on restoring the Executive – at least in print. but it is clearly intended  to put pressure on Sinn Fein. If there is no Executive what happens with the new £1 billion and even the already promised £500 million? A budget has to be passed next month by more…

Tory-DUP deal reached

Very briefly… source for all information is the Guardian as that was the first place I could find with the detailed documents! The agreement The short version is that the DUP will vote with the Government on the Queen’s Speech, the budget, all finance and money bills, supply and appropriation legislation and Estimates. In return, more…

Belfast City Council’s Bonfire Scandal: The Key Questions

The revelation that Belfast City Council is involved in facilitating the storage of pallets (including stolen pallets) to be burnt on loyalist bonfires typically adorned with posters of nationalist politicians, Kill All Taigs-emblazoned Tricolours, Celtic shirts and a statue of the Virgin Mary would be remarkable on its own, but news that the stored pallets more…

Do we want Westminster to impose uniform UK standards? On abortion and same sex marriage? How about an indemnity for soldiers?

 Social reform – on abortion and same sex marriage – is not only a bone of contention in the Stormont talks. It’s creating a clash with MPs across party at Westminster at a precarious time for the future of both legislatures. The Supreme Court’s rejection of the appeal against the decision of the Health Secretary more…

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George Osborne in a Twitter wilderness: “That all you got George? You disappointing me.”

“I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody.” Are those famous Marlon Brando lines from ‘On The Waterfront’ swirling round George Osborne’s head? Bitterness towards Theresa May and the world in general, is the most obvious explanation for the ex-Chancellor’s behaviour. There must be a certain degree of enjoyment for more…

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Trading Partners Wanted: Looking at France…

As it stands, arguably Ireland’s most important trading and investment partner is the United Kingdom. This has been the case since Independence although the balance has shifted greatly since Ireland entered the EEC in 1973 with the UK no longer wholly dominant despite our reliance on the UK in certain sectors such as beef, timber, more…

Westminster parliament

Dodds: “We will work to see an end to the dark tunnel of austerity…”

Interesting line from Nigel Dodds, who leads the DUP at Westminster… The Belfast North MP said the economic outlook of Northern Ireland would be “easier to predict” with “stable” government both in Belfast and Westminster. He told MPs: “The electorate sent a very clear message to politicians about austerity at the election, and I think more…

Steven Agnew

The collapse of the Executive, two Assembly elections, a General Election, a new Taoiseach, Trump and the decimation of the Conservative Commons majority.

Steven Agnew is the Leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland. It’s a year to the day since the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. It’s been remarkable but often disconcerting. The Green Party campaigned to Remain within the EU with great effort and energy. A year later, we haven’t shifted more…

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Can Warren Gatland see off his tribal critics with an historic Lions NZ win for only the second time in history?

When Warren Gatland announced his Lions squad for the tour to New Zealand there was considerable disgruntlement in Scotland that only two of their kith and kin and had been selected. Former Scottish internationals lined up to criticise the selection that also saw 16 players from England and 12 players from Wales even though they more…

Leo

For Leo A Week is a Long Time in Politics

Eoin Neylon was President of Ogra Fianna Fail from 2014-2016, he has taken a look at the week in Irish Politics “A week is a long time in politics”. This quote is often attributed to former UK Labour PM Harold Wilson. It’s a quote that was likely ringing in the ears of Leo Varadkar this more…

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The French Elections and the Macron phenomenon…

‘Brenda from Bristol’ probably summed up the mood to this year’s general election when stopped in the street by a TV reporter. ‘Oh no, not another one!’ [i] In Northern Ireland we are used to annual or even bi-annual elections but even our electoral activity pales in comparison to the poor people of France who more…

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The expansion of the Ulster waist-line is threatening to bankrupt the Health Service in 20 years, obesity should be weighing heavily on the Health Minister’s mind; if only we had one…

Good grief Northern Ireland you’re getting bigger!  One-in-four of us has now moved up the scales to possess a “Over-30-BMI-Body”.  Given that the expansion of the Ulster waist-line is threatening to bankrupt the Health Service in 20 years, obesity should be weighing heavily on the Health Minister’s mind; if only we had one.   If we more…

SDLP leader anticipates the Con-DUP money bonus…

This just in from Colum Eastwood (see how many of Richard Bullick’s points you can spot?): The talks in London are clearly undermining the talks here.  We need a resolution to that uncertainty so that we can get on with the job of getting the deal done here. The chaotic talks between the DUP and the more…