Archive | September, 2014

Urgent Reform of Race Relations Legislation Required

The rise in racial incidents and crimes in Northern Ireland has been well documented.  Our last Racial Equality Strategy expired in 2010; and although work on the latest strategy started in 2007, the result—entitled A Sense of Belonging—was not launched by OFMDFM until June of this year.  Despite clear evidence that racism is affecting many communities, OFMDFM has neglected its responsibility to more…

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And then there were just two candidates left standing for the Seanad byelection…

So John McNulty has gone. That just leaves Sinn Fein’s Lurgan based candidate Cat Seeley and independent candidate Gerald Craughwell, … That McNulty sure seems qualified. Board member of IMMA…impressive. pic.twitter.com/vdMNVr8hkU — Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) September 29, 2014 He cannot by law withdraw from his official candidacy but he’s indicated that people should not vote for more…

Religion, Security and Global Uncertainties Report Published

The Open University’s ‘Religion, Security and Global Uncertainties’ Report has been published, and is available in full. OU’s Prof John Wolffe and Dr Gavin Moorhead are the principal authors of the report, which has been crafted through a series of interviews and roundtable discussions with academics, MPs, public policy officers, journalists, church minsters, school head more…

Adams and McGuinness: hard cop, soft cop routine

What are we to make of this?  Who calls the shots? Gerry Adams 24 September ( party leader but unelected in the jurisdiction he’s pronouncing on) Sinn Féin would be willing to allow the Northern Ireland Executive fall and new elections called if the parties cave in to the British government imposing budget cuts of up to more…

Lessons from the past

Last week I spied an interesting fact in the New Statesman’s piece on Richard Nixon. “By March 1970 the US was dropping 130,000 tonnes of bombs every month on North Vietnam, eastern Cambodia and Laos with the aim of disrupting the safe havens used by the People’s Army of Vietnam and the Vietcong, and holding more…

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Photo of the day – Puppy Love…

Here is a photo to melt the heart of even the most cynical slugger commenter. Rodney Harrison took this lovely photo last Sunday on the East Strand in Portrush.

There Is No Alternative! (to Casement Park development plan)

A fairly desperate argument from lawyers for the Northern Ireland Planning Service in Belfast High Court today, during the judicial review of the planned £70million redevelopment of Casement Park in west Belfast.  As the BBC reports The judge heard that DCAL have contributed £62.5m of the £77m cost of rebuilding the stadium as part of a project involving more…

Time to call Sinn Fein’s bluff over welfare

John Simpson, an economist who deserves to be trusted, dismissed the Great Welfare  Crisis as essentially bogus months  ago – yet his analysis seems to have failed to pass into political  debate and comment from the Business pages.   It might help if  critics of Sinn Fein’s grandstanding spoke on the basis  of an agreed analysis. OFFICIAL Treasury more…

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Photo of the day – The Duke of York Bar

This is a new feature from Slugger where we will be showcasing the best in local photography.  This is a lovely photo of one of Belfast’s most famous watering holes. Gerry Adams once pulled pints here as a barman, and many a journalist, student and politicians have propped up the bar over the years. The owner more…

Talks on the past, no talks on the welfare deadlock, a border poll? No prizes for guessing what they amount to.

 Government by tweet is a curse as it fends off searching inquiry. Twitter is a blessing for the non-information strategies of government by politburo. I’ve never known a time when it’s been more difficult for political correspondents to do their jobs.  Is Liam Clarke of the Belfast Telegraph right when he fears a slow slide more…

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#uniref: what are mechanics of a border poll?

In today’s Belfast Telegraph, Liam Clarke is reporting on an opinion poll that says that a majority of people want a referendum on a border called. David has already sketched out some ideas of what a Yes campaign might look like, but what are the actual mechanics of holding such a referendum? The calling of more…

The “what ifs? ” of our past play a part in dealing with it today

The row over former taioseach John Bruton’s regret that the Easter Rising ever happened goes on. Will historian Diarmaid Ferriter have the very last word? In his latest sally in the Irish Times, Ferriter attacks the exaggerated use of the counterfactual, the “what if” school of history. His argument to  Bruton is basically simple –look, more…

photo by Arno Declair

Schaubühne’s “An Enemy of the People” – an incredible political thriller coming to Belfast Festival #BelFest

Dirty politics, abandoned loyalties, live music, paint thrown around and questions about the role of individuals and the state … The plot of An Enemy of the People could be a big screen thriller in the cinema. Instead this is probably the best of a new generation of theatre that will play on the island more…

Still image grab from Peter Robinson talking before DUP's 2011 Assembly Election launch

Biggest threat to Robinson is that there is nobody left who can say to him, ‘don’t do that’

Cathy Gormley Heenan (author of Political Leadership and the Northern Ireland Peace Process) and columnist Newton Emerson on last Thursday’s The View with some useful insights into last week’s controversy over the DUP’s wobble… …a long term threat to Peter Robinson’s leadership is that there is nobody left who can say to him, ‘don’t do more…

Lemmings, Icarus, and that dish best served chilled

The rumours of discontent within the usually closed ranks of the DUP spilled into the public domain in sensational manner with the latest intemperate outburst of party leader Peter Robinson this week. The identity of the lemmings has since been the source of much speculation, with The Irish News’ John Manley listing as the “core more…