Archive | October, 2016

Getting up earlier in the FDI morning is not poaching Arlene…

All’s fair in love, war and politics. So Arlene Foster (who, let’s remember was actually on the overall winning side of the Brexit argument) reckons there is a campaign to poach investors south of the border. In one sense she is right. As John Campbell noted on Twitter picking up any future faltering investment in more…

“I’m trying not to take The Fall personally.”

Guardian TV critic Stuart Heritage with a nail on head review of the “dead dog of a show” that The Fall became.  From the Guardian review Even by most recent standards, The Fall was dire this year. Now that it’s done, and Paul Spector is dead and Stella Gibson is back enigmatically muttering like a more…

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DUP’s victory lap celebrates election success, belittles Opposition, criticises Dublin & sets out Brexit negotiation principles

DUP CONFERENCE celebrated Assembly election success and demonstrated party unity as it poked fun at the Opposition, criticised the Irish Government, and set out the DUP’s principles for Brexit negotiations. The leader’s speech was light on policy – perhaps understandable in the vacuum before specific Programme for Government action plans are announced.

Battle lines re-drawn over new Casement Park stadium plan

The BBC reports that the Mooreland and Owenvarragh Residents Association (MORA) has said it opposes the recently unveiled revised GAA plan for a new stadium at Casement Park.  MORA campaigned successfully against the original proposal.  From the BBC report In a statement, the residents group said it supported a “suitable-sized redevelopment” that was safe, did not host concerts and more…

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Foster: Onward to the summit

Today Arlene Foster will speak to the DUP conference for the first time as party leader. Writing for Slugger she outlines her vision and plan for the next mandate of government  Detail is important.  For someone from a legal background like myself this is a given. Within the DUP Conference programme, there are details that more…

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Green leader calls on DUP MLAs to show courage & come out in favour of marriage equality

Green Party leader Steven Agnew has commented on Arlene Foster’s recent statements about using POCs to block marriage equality. “I am therefore calling on DUP MLAs to show courage, to be true to themselves, to risk alienating their family, friends and colleagues, and to “come out” in favour of marriage equality. Their party conference this more…

Northern Ireland High Court rejects Brexit Challenges

As the BBC report notes, the High Court in Belfast has dismissed two judicial review challenges to the way the UK Government intends to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union to trigger withdrawal from the EU. One of the legal challenges, by victims’ campaigner Raymond McCord relied on legal aid.  The other, involving Sinn Féin, the more…

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Cllr Graham Craig defects to the DUP

Another man overboard for the UUP as Botanic Councillor, Graham Craig defects to the DUP.  This is particularly bad news in South Belfast where the party lost their only seat to the DUP’s Christopher Stalford. Craig was formerly a SPAD to Sammy Wilson when he served as Minister for Finance and had some very harsh more…

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Foster says DUP will use POC to block marriage equality + criticises Equality Commission

DUP leader and First Minister Arlene Foster says DUP will continue to use Petition of Concern to block Equal Marriage legislation. In the same pre-conference interview with Press Association, she criticised the Equality Commission’s handling of the Ashers case, saying that they “need to have a long hard look at how they work with faith more…

Does the Executive have the will to make the tough decisions and face the consequences of real Health reform?

So after last year’s Donaldson report (saying clinicians should drive reforms and politicians take a back seat), we have this year’s Bengoa Report (commissioned by Simon Hamilton) along with the suggestion that the new SF Health Minister will do exactly that? The report’s ten-year time span and lack of specific actions (costs would be both too more…

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Cllr Aaron Callan defects to the DUP

Limavady Councillor, Aaron Callan has defected from the UUP to the DUP.  He cites what he claims as the UUP ignoring his constituency and lack of confidence in his former leader as the main reasons. Speaking about his decision to leave he says; Some people may be asking why I have decided to leave the more…

The New BrexitSec

Brexit or Flexit, for a time UK politics will take sole control of the stage

There’s a plethora of speculation around Brexit and how it might affect Northern Ireland. For all the heartfelt nature of Brian Feeney’s attack on Arlene Foster highlightly the fact that she doesn’t represent majority opinion in NI – her Euroscepticism is aligned with majority opinion in the UK. And for the foreseeable future, so far more…