Archive | March, 2014

Seamus Mallon: “No gobbledegook peace-nik speak, no motherhood and apple pie…”

Tom Kelly in the Irish News today makes a point worth re-iterating in the case of Seamus Mallon: Mallon is an erudite, eloquent but earthy politician. Listeners immediately get what he is saying. There’s no gobbledegook peace-nik speak, no motherhood and apple pie sweet nothings and certainly no pan European fudge eulogising about Franco-German love more…

Belfast Politics as petulant childsplay (while Ballymurphy langours in deprivation) Redux…

Somethings only start to look truly absurd when you look at them in conjunction with some other things… Here’s one thing, a DUP councillor being barracked for temporarily donning a Linfield scarf whilst the council body was discussing a motion calling on the council to honour out-going Linfield manager David Jeffrey. And here’s another thing: more…

Anti austerity socialists take a beating in French town hall elections…

My French isn’t great, but using translate this snippet in Le Monde strikes me as getting close to the predicament parties of centre right and centre left face in tackling an unpredictable future after the first round of France’s municipal elections: Malheureusement, je ne vois aucune personne politique capable ni d’expliquer la situation aux Français more…

Green Party Conference, Brian John Spencer

Live Drawing the Green Party conference

  The leader’s speech. Taking a firm line on developers, planners and non-disclosure of party-donations.   Current councillor John Barry (@CllrJohnBarry) and council candidate Clare Bailey (@ClareBaileyGPNI):     Green Party candidate for Balmoral Elli Kontorravdis (@EKontorravdis): And onto Ross Brown and that cartoon: Make sure you read or listen to Ross Brown’s (@voterossbrown) story via more…

British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly: Recommendations on GFA…

This session is in Dublin at the Royal Hospital. Panel Discussion currently underway is on the theme ‘Future of Work’… Senior Vice President of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce – Gerry Kindlon Science Foundation of Ireland – Ann Riordan, Chairperson IDA – Frank Ryan, Chair Of particular interest to Slugger readers is the Assembly’s recommendations on more…

“Unlike Gerry Adams & Mary Lou McDonald…”

In a follow-up to a previous post on his Broken Elbow blog, as noted here, Ed Moloney has “an answer to Gerry Adams, Mary Lou McDonald and other critics of the Boston archive“. Aside from myself and Anthony McIntyre there is only one other person who has read all of the interviews lodged in the Belfast Project more…

McCann meets….Steven Agnew MLA #gpniconf14

So, last week it was Alliance, this week it was the Green party’s chance to strut their stuff on the conference stage as they gathered in East Belfast yesterday. Just before his speech I caught up the party leader Steven Agnew MLA. I began by asking him whether he believed that his European candidate, Ross Brown more…

Lamentation over the Boston tapes does not prevent us dealing with the past

Newton Emerson ‘s bleak assessment of how to deal with the past deserves serious attention (£). The Boston College tapes make a mockery of all high-blown talk about “dealing with the past”. The idea that a formal process of investigation, truth recovery and historical assessment into 3,700 Troubles deaths could work at all, let alone more…

OFMDFM: “open and transparent…” – redux

Via The Irish News.  As UUP leader Mike Nesbitt says, “We’re not North Korea…”  [Thankfully… – Ed]  ANYhoo…  The UUP leader has welcomed a recent (27 March) decision by the Information Commissioner (not yet online) that the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers were wrong to refuse to release the results of market research, that more…

Quote of the Day…

Anthony McIntyre speaking (from 16mins in) on Michael Read’s LMFM show this morning: The day that academics and journalists and historians discover Gerry Adams was not in the IRA, is the same day that scientists will discover that Newton’s theory of gravity was wrong: that the apple when it comes off the tree it goes more…

Photo credit – http://www.kremlin.ru under Creative Commons licence.

Russia, China, Crimea, Xinjiang and Putin’s Risky Gambit

My train of thought started with with Ambrose Evans-Pritchard article in the Telegraph on the possible impact of Putin’s Crimea gambit on Sino-Russian relations entitled Putin’s Russia caught in US and Chinese double-pincer. Pritchard has his own prejudices, of course, and the headline is terrible – there is no Sino-American diplomatic co-ordination to effect a more…

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Belfast Film Festival – Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Albania, Maze/Long Kesh and Belfast

The annual Belfast Film Festival starts tonight and runs for 10 days showing 121 films. I’ve blogged elsewhere about some of the festival highlights. There’s certainly plenty of local and international films to challenge, entertain or even offend. I thought I’d bring some of the international/conflict/political films to the attention of Slugger readers. Sunday 30 more…

Alliance is diversity in action by Lauren Mulvenny

After the recent debate about the make up of Alliance’s party membership, Lauren Mulvenny-a party staffer writes for Slugger that its candidates in the upcoming elections have a diverse range of backgrounds. On the back of the Party’s 44th successful Conference, Alliance champions the individuality of its membership base, proving it is the only Party more…