Author Archive | Brian Walker

While the Supreme Court continues the agenda moves on. A hard Brexit looks more and more likely and the future of the Irish border is in the balance.

The Financial Times (£) says it all in the editorial quoted at some length below  – or most of it. If Theresa May had introduced a simple bill granting MPs a vote on Article 50, the November High Court case and the appeal to the Supreme Court would not have happened. What it doesn’t say more…

Sinn Fein’s attempts to confront the chaos of Brexit are still too hung up on the dubious appeal of constitutional change

 Two cheers for Sinn Fein for at least  having a go where others fear to tread,  in exposing their ideas in progress to the deep uncertainties of Brexit. In this document, if responding to the confusion of Brexit were not enough, the party is delivering a mixed revisionist  message that is caught between its roots more…

The Belfast Telegraph is wrong to become Ms Angry over religion. Stick with decency

Gail Walker’s column in the Belfast Telegraph she edits  gives a  heavily nuanced  welcome to the prospect of the Pope’s visit  to Northern Ireland. For the millennial generation, it also marks a  new  division between all the Churches  and “the so-called progressives,” she stigmatises. What is really surprising is just how much common ground over more…

New life in an auld relationship? The Scottish government may pay for Northern Ireland abortions

A tentative move to erode the prohibitive position over abortion in Northern Ireland may become a landmark shift, now that the issue has been raised.  Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is open to the suggestion  as reported by the Guardian, that woman from Northern Ireland could have abortions performed free in Scotland under NHS devolution. more…

There is no threat to the Union. Irish bickering north and south over the reality of Brexit has to be replaced with practical cooperation, fast.

Newton’s latest observations on the “curmudgeonly” Arlene can be counterpointed with an incredibly wise article in the Indo by Brendan Keenan, Belfast born and bred but long anchored in Dublin and with a strong sense of reality for the interests of both. Arlene’s dour comments  can be contrasted  unfavourably  with the regal visionary style of more…

So is liberal capitalism dead?

Sure enough, the columnists are having a field day. If tweets are narrow- focus and the medium of choice for Trump and the alt-right, ( I don’t mean you dear),  those prophetic souls who are favoured with space are laying it on thick with the broadest of  brushes. Right now  this is preferable  to the more…

Gordon Brown’s plan for a constitutional convention is likely to be stillborn, but his ideas for closing the yawning UK wealth gap deserve attention

A more federal UK is needed to create a more economically equal state and  buttress the Union’s survival, says the former prime minister Gordon Brown. New research starkly exposes the wealth gap between London and the regions more clearly than ever. The Northern Powerhouse plan for the north of England only scratches the surface and more…

Nationalists and unionists need to discard their illusions about Brexit. The gap is dangerously wide.

We begin with two different  views of the impact of Brexit in Northern Ireland;  from first, the historian and Irish Times columnist Diarmaid Ferriter, contrasted later with DUP MP Nigel Dodds. In 1998, at the time of the endorsement of the Belfast Agreement, Fintan O’Toole observed that “Northern Ireland is now a place that is more…

The complexities of Brexit could overwhelm the British political system. For all Ireland, a bigger role needed for the GFA structures

.As the “all island ” civic forum meets in Dublin bereft of unionists, a high powered think tank The UK in a changing Europe warns: “Brexit has the potential to test the UK’s constitutional settlement, legal framework, political process and bureaucratic capacities to their limits – and possibly beyond.. And they suggest the repatriation of decision-making more…