Archive | May, 2014

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Slugger’s BIG Election Hangover

Finance Minister, Simon Hamilton addressing Slugger crowd Last night we held our very first election hangover in the Hudson; we have guests from across the main political parties and journalism in attendance at the end we had over 100 people there. Our guest speakers, Finance Minister Simon Hamilton and NILGA Chief Executive Derek McCallan gave more…

Free Presbyterian Church supports Pastor McConnell

Kyle Paisley, Pastor McConnell & Peter Robinson

Kyle Paisley has commented on the recent McConnell / Robinson Islam debate over on the Eamonn Mallie blog. While there are irreconcilable differences between the theology of Biblical Protestantism and the theology of traditional Islam, this is no reason for any man to go out of his way in order to insult another. One has more…

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Cartoon – Brits [values] OUT!

  Of all the ink and wind spilt over Pastorgate, surely Alex Kane has it best (The View, BBC, 29.5.14): “[Peter] Robinson is the leader of unionism in Northern Ireland. His primary job in that role alone is simply to promote the values of a multi-cultural, multi-national state. He makes people living here feel like more…

After an all-Ireland election, where might Sinn Féin go next?

If any party are glad that the recent elections are over, it is surely Sinn Féin. Being the only major party that contests elections in all 32 counties means it is uniquely challenged when simultaneous local, European and bye-elections are held at the same time. With such an island-wide volume of electoral data, sifting through more…

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After the election… The SDLP…

The late Maya Angelou’s once said “surviving is important, thriving is elegant.” With each year that passes the SDLP is living proof of the resonance of that acute observation. They do, very much against the odds and the broader dynamic within the voting classes, rather inelegantly survive. Just enough to keep hope, now that almost more…

UKIP

After the election… The UKIP…

For all its detractors (and I don’t count myself as the greatest fan of its ‘Brixit’ policy) UKIP does something most mainstream parties in Britain are struggling with. They connect with the ordinary man (and I suspect it is mostly men, to be honest) in the street, and they speak in a language they understand. more…

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Cartoon – “Forgive me for…” [part 2]

As surmised, we got it. Full acknowledgements to Ian Knox. Joint Exhibition of the work of Ian Knox and I, this evening (May 30 2014) at the Slugger Hangover Event at the Hudson Bar from 8pm! Full information here.

Quick STOP THE PRESS! Religious prejudice rediscovered in Northern Ireland…

Not sure what others make of this latest culture war controversy, but I think Jim Sheridan captures my own confusion at the broad surprise in the media and the political classes… Quick STOP THE PRESS ….Northern Irish Politicians may be prejudiced against someone of a different religion! #AnnaLo #WhatsNew — Jim Sheridan (@Jim_Sheridan) May 29, 2014 more…

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After the election… Fianna Fail…

After Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail is the longest continuously operating party in the Republic. Their long ongoing argument with big rival Fine Gael is often characterised as a continuation of civil war politics. Yet such reasoning is largely academic. These historic if unresolved issues have barely featured in southern political life in thirty years. Class more…

“Peter Robinson poses as a unionist….”

I get the feeling Trevor has been itching to say something like this for a while. Here’s the presser from the Northern Ireland Conservatives’ Trevor Ringland on the First Minister’s queasy defence of Pastor Jack McConnell’s remarks on Muslims: “The DUP can present a modern face when it needs to court moderate voters”, Trevor said. more…

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The next Chief Constable… is George Hamilton

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…  Having “unanimously” agreed to appoint Matt Baggott as PSNI Chief Constable in 2009 for his strong advocacy of “community-style policing”, the Northern Ireland Policing Board, or its party political members, might be said to be experiencing buyer’s regret. Alternatively, those same political parties have undermined the outgoing Chief Constable throughout his tenure by more…

The power of Nolan – too much of a good thing?

It was interesting to see that there was as much comment on Nolan personally as about Pastor McConnell. I don’t see or hear Nolan that often but I thought he played a pretty straight bat on this one. I’m told he divides an already divided community, not on sectarian lines but between pro- and anti- more…

Anna Lo to step down before the next Assembly elections

And she’s citing racism as a primary reason… The BBC has a reference to it, which tops a previous story text about Pastor Jack McConnell, and the ‘supporting’ remarks of Peter Robinson… [Helpfully joining up the dots just in case anyone missed it? – Ed] You might say that, I couldn’t possibly comment.

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After the election… The Green Party…

One of the few consistent dynamics in the elections north and south was the success of the Green party. In the south the party’s Euro candidate, and former minister of environment Eamon Ryan, is probably kicking himself that he didn’t also run for a seat in Dublin city council. That a minister from the last more…

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After the election…. Irish Labour Party…

The poor performance of the Irish Labour Party is important for a number of reasons. It’s not as though it hasn’t happened before in the party’s history. Labour defenestration has been a regular feature of coalition governments over the last 30 years. And it always happens for roughly the same reasons: overpromising before the election, more…

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After the election… The UUP..

On Friday at the count, Mike Nesbitt was on a roll and so was his party. I was surprised at the news from East Belfast, particularly Ormiston one of two DEAs making up the most of the coming battleground between the sitting MEP Naomi Long and the DUP. The drama lingered to the very end, just into more…