A smaller Northern Ireland Assembly?

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Martin McGuinness has today added his support to the notion of cutting the Northern Ireland Assembly to 90 seats from the current 108, ie to five per constituency instead of six. How would this have affected the 2011 election? It’s a fairly straightforward calculation to raise the quote in each seat from 14.29% to 16.67% more…

“to protect the Policing Board’s integrity…”

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In the absence of any further explanation from Sinn Féin for Caitríona Ruane’s dramatic flouncing off the NI Policing Board selection panel to recruit a new PSNI Deputy Chief Constable on Monday, her party colleague on the Board, Gerry Kelly, MLA, has attempted to defend her actions. “If the process is wrong and particularly if the belief [is] more…

London’s problem is that Scotland is already de facto independent…

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No one gets in

When we tell you to apply updates we are not telling you to mend your ship. We are telling you to keep bailing before the water gets to your neck. Everything is broken, Quinn Norton Okay, so moving away from the detail of IndyRef, here’s an interesting four point blog from Mark Leonard at Reuters. He raises a number more…

Journeys on the Scottish omnibus

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If you’re into politics then this is the happening place this week. I arrived in my native city last night and it started for me almost immediately. On the shuttle in from Glasgow airport the chaos of the universe decided to put me in the seat in front of Brian Wilson. For the uninitiated Brian more…

Sinn Féin: “In light of the need for absolute transparency in all public appointments and to protect the Policing Board’s integrity…”

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Earlier today the Sinn Féin MLA, and member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, Caitríona Ruane, suddenly announced that she was unilaterally withdrawing from the panel to recruit a new PSNI Deputy Chief Constable – claiming that she “[believed] that the process may have been compromised”.  Here’s the statement from Sinn Féin Sinn Féin MLA and Policing Board member Caitríona Ruane more…

Lisa McElherron: Why Northern Ireland needs a living wage

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NICVA has recently published some important research into the benefits of introducing a minimum wage in Northern Ireland. Writing for Slugger O’Toole, NICVA’s Head of Public Affairs, Lisa McElherron makes the case for its introduction Fifteen years ago the New Labour government introduced the National Minimum Wage (NMW). Critics vehemently argued that it would impose more…

Murdoch cooling on the idea of independence #indyref

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Rupert Murdoch, he is famous for backing certain parties in electoral contests and has recently flirted with the idea of carrying forward his support for the SNP in 2011 by backing a Yes vote on Thursday. However this interesting report drawing on his recent Twitter comments show that he is cooling on the idea of more…

Aggregate spend in Belfast is probably higher than any other UK city

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Haven’t got time to unpack this properly, but I think this is important insight from Mike Morrissey on why despite very high funding levels tackling poverty in Northern Ireland is simply not working… Mainstream service spending per head in Northern Ireland is about 20 per cent greater than the UK  while the region has also more…

All aboard the gravy train

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ExpensesAmended3

We have just gone through an election for our new councils. Little did we know that while we were being talked to about the need for balanced budgets and battling austerity that some of our very own public representatives have been jetting off around the world and it appears for a few money has been more…

Scotland, Canada, #Indyref and all that jazz……

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“Vive le Scotland Libre!” If I could twist a phrase from the former French President, Charles de Gaulle about the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence this according to the polls is apparently what nearly half of the Scottish people will be chanting on the 18th September. It is hard to believe that just two months more…

Rev. Dr. Ian Paisley: a religious and political life fully lived

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Paisley molyneaux

Any analysis of Ian Paisley in life or in death is tempered by one’s own views of him but also ones own view of post war Northern Ireland events: such is the extent to which the man came to define though actually rarely dominate events. There is circularity to Dr. Paisley’s life: he began as more…