Archive | September, 2016

Theresa May’s new assurances on the border and consultation raise more questions than provide answers

In advance of the Conservative party conference and with speculation running about a hard Brexit, Theresa May has given an interview to  BBC  Scotland and BBC Northern Ireland to try to assure  their  governments  that they won’t be ignored in formulating  the UK Brexit strategy. This is in spite of the UK government’s insistence in more…

How Much Does it Cost to Buy an Election?

The Electoral Commission today published the expenditure returns for the Assembly elections in May 2016. They make for interesting reading. Topping the poll in terms of spend was the Ulster Unionist Party with a declared spend of £95,855. Not surprising perhaps that a party led by a former television presenter and PR person would spend more…

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#Trump v #Redacted: The Donald attacks The Denis

As if the never-ending US Presidential election campaign was not surreal enough, yesterday Donald Trump issued a statement attacking Hillary Clinton, entitled: Follow The Money: Denis O’Brien – Another Corrupt Clinton Friend. And it’s only ‘semi-exact‘ to call it a statement. It’s actually a set of news clippings all studiously referenced and hyperlinked back to their original more…

An Irish “conversation” is one thing, but what role for Stormont in the British conversation?

The Institute for Government is a think tank that works closely with government. It reports that turf wars are already costing tens of millions. Its expert on devolution Akash Paun blogs that Holyrood, Cardiff Bay and Stormont should get their act together to pool  their influence at the centre. Following exchanges over an Irish “conversation,” more…

Leave granted for a judicial review of Lord Morrow’s Prostitution law…

Another legal case, this time it’s the granting of a judicial review of Lord Maurice Morrow’s private members bill criminalising payment for sex. As our own Siobhan Fenton (writing here for the London Independent) notes: In an unprecedented case, a sex worker has taken launched a legal challenge against the laws, saying they expose sex more…

Unionists have to be nudged to talk, with the incentives of common citizenship and other common interests

Enda Kenny is surely right to be cautious about setting up an “all-Ireland forum” Better to have a “conversation” at least to start with in November.  Even so its ability to speak for all Ireland would be seriously weakened  by the absence of  unionists,  just as it would be counter- productive  for the unionists not more…

Tom Watson reminds @UKLabour that it has a record it can defend rather than just destroy…

“Trashing our record is not the way to enhance our brand. We won’t elections like that, and we need to win elections” @tom_watson pic.twitter.com/d6OkXKqYm4 — DailySunday Politics (@daily_politics) September 27, 2016 He reminded his Conference audience that the single-minded denunciation of its own government record (for the last six years, ie it is not simply more…

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National Conversation: “This is why in respect of Northern Ireland we need the voice of Ireland…”

At Leaders’ Questions in the Dail, Gerry Adams used his time to bring up the Taoiseach’s ‘plan’ to “bring forward about an all-Ireland forum”. An unfortunate term to use at the time since it was interpreted as a formal political proposition and easily repelled by the DUP. But Kenny’s response today indicates that he has been doing more…

Since Corbynistas joined @UKLabour digitally, it looks like they prefer to fight their battles that way too.

Strong piece from Polly Toynbee at the Labour Party conference today, where she’s been fielding puzzled inquiries from fervent Corbyn-ites as to why she’s anti-Jeremy Corbyn when both she and he stand for roughly the same things. It’s more than a decent and comprehensive response. Corbyn could apply a little balm to the great gash in his more…

Creator of LAD takes to the boards…

The originator of LAD John-Paul Whearty, has outed himself, just in time to publicise his upcoming production Adventures in Ulster… He comments to the Irish News… “I would describe LAD as like being in a band. We have had a really successful first album and now it’s time to go from there. I see myself more…

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Stormont Holds Its First Ever Opposition Day

Stormont Today will be worth a watch to see a little bit of history. The Assembly held its first ever opposition day which meant that for around four hours MLAs debated topics selected by the opposition namely rural bank closures, public confidence after the NAMA revelations and Impact on Women of Changes to the State Pension. more…

Rory Finds Form to Win FedEx Cup

By winning the Tour Championship yesterday in Atlanta, and with it the FedEx Cup for the first-time, Rory McIlroy has turned a decent, if disappointing by his high standards, season into a great one.  Until the FedEx play-offs began his only win this year was the Irish Open.  The new FedEd Cup winner now heads to the more…

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Is it coming to the end of the line for Enda?

Interesting report in today’s Irish Times about the rumblings within Fine Gael The intermittent rumblings about Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s leadership are preparing Fine Gael for the choice it will have to make. “It’s now the time to start getting organised,” said one of those who will be centrally involved in preparing a leadership hopeful. The more…