Archive | July, 2014

“Run like a huckster’s shop” – Redux

[No change since June 2009, then? – Ed]  Have there been any consequences…?  A BBC report that the DUP and Sinn Féin have, belatedly, agreed the outcome of the semi-detached polit-bureau Northern Ireland Executive’s June budget monitoring round was met with understandable criticism from the other NI Executive parties. Justice Minister David Ford, who leads the Alliance Party, described more…

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Live Seanad Debate on #Ukraine and #Gaza [from 2pm]…

Here’s the live feed. I’m still looking around for a sustainable live blog platform (that’s reliable and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg), but for today, I’ll update manually above and let the comments zone below to take your comments. If you want to comment you will need to register with Disqus.com which should more…

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Why is the Left so nonchalant about anti-Semitism?

The number of hate crimes against Jews living in the UK has doubled since the beginning of Israel’s military offensive in Gaza. In Europe, where violence and violent rhetoric against Jews is much higher than the UK, anti-Semitic attacks have become so frequent, that they have inspired a new wave of Jewish emigration to Israel. more…

Shelling UN schools and media soundbites in #Gaza

Last night yet another UN school was hit by Israeli shells, reportedly adding a further 16 dead to the ever growing number of fatalities in Gaza. That death toll has now more or less doubled since the Irish and UK governments abstained from the UN vote on Gaza last week. In the absurd media war that more…

McGregor, an ancestor of John Kerry is labelled the Irish Moses, as US monitors persecution of Christians

  It’s amazing what the Economist picks up… the half forgotten and much missed tradition of Presbyterian liberalism, forced to emigrate to the States and often confused there with the Irish Catholic variety. Could they have possibly read Turgon? DOES the Obama administration care about religious liberty round the world? In some ways, it has more…

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Blue Plaque unveiled in Aghadowey

Yesterday the Ulster History Circle unveiled a Blue Plaque at Aghadowey Presbyterian Church in honour of Rev. James McGregor. Aghadowey Presbyterian Church was founded in 1655 making it one of the oldest congregations west of the Bann. It also has amongst the largest Presbyterian church buildings in County Londonderry. Rev. James McGregor was a veteran more…

John McTernan: For Labour hope needs to beat fear

Next up in our 2015 general election series is former advisor John McTernan on what Labour needs to do to win next year.   There is no real secret to winning elections. Be united, have popular ideas and connect to the public. As Ronald Reagan used to say, ‘It’s not easy, but it is simple.’ more…

“I want to swim with the dolphins in Donegal someday…”

Great metaphor from Pól Ó Muirí: “speaking a language is like swimming – you might need assistance and a little water helps…” “And you would want to swim…?” “Every day! I want to swim every day! I like swimming. It’s fun and good for your health.” “Every day! I don’t know that the other members more…

#VinB takes some time to consider the question of a United Ireland…

Normally I wouldn’t necessarily flag this up, but it is worth watching Vincent Browne programme on TV3 tonight. It starts at 23.15 BST) and amongst [planned] guests will be Sinn Fein’s Dublin MEP Lynne Boylan, Mark Cosgrove of the UUP, our own David McCann and chaired by journalist Justine McCarthy… I don’t think TV3 is more…

Murdo Fraser: A Federal Future? #indyref

There is nothing new about the idea of federalism in Britain. Early last century a Cabinet sub-committee was tasked with drafting a Bill for a federal UK, in an attempt to deal with the Irish question. Federalism has long been a Liberal, then Liberal Democrat, objective. In recent months the idea has attracted more interest, more…

Considering the Past: “Too comfortable a zone and we stop looking towards a ‘better’ future.”

we insist that politics is imagination and mind, we will learn that imagination and mind is politics, and of a kind we will not like… – Lionel Trilling John Bruton has published an interesting apologia for John Redmond and his achievements in securing the Home Rule Bill in September 1914. Considerable brinksmanship was needed, because, more…

Ireland’s Media War of 1914: the Bachelors Walk lessons

Basil Fawlty was wrong: the message this year is Do Mention The War.  Just remember that there are two wars to mention: a century ago, the Great War broke out in Europe, but at the same time (to my mind) Ireland’s war of independence was temporarily postponed. Irish media outlets – then as now – were a crucial political thermometer, more…

US Congressional staffers receive a nine day ban from Wikipedia…

Just across the street from the imposing US Congress building is home to 9000 staffers servicing federal democracy in the US. Some of them have been very naughty (or very funny, depending on your political opinion) indeed… Most members and staffers of the US House of Representatives won’t be able to edit pages on Wikipedia more…

Lord Ashcroft: The Tories need to show that it matters who wins.

As we approach the general election next May, Slugger will be hosting a series of articles looking at the chances of each of the main parties next year. Writing for us on the Conservatives is the former Deputy Chairman and pollster, Lord Ashcroft. Since I stepped down as the Conservatives’ Deputy Chairman in 2010 my more…