Author Archive | Brian Walker

Tony Blair has made the case for a rethink on Brexit and Northern Ireland will need a new financial deal. Is anybody listening?

Hurtling at us like a comet but unnoticed by the local worthies is the prospect for repatriating powers direct from Brussels to Stormont, Holyrood and Cardiff Bay. Among them are powers over agriculture and energy, which in Ireland are linked or integrated north and south. How they’ll be divvied up is  hasn’t  even been examined. more…

Obsessing about vote management is inevitable but shouldn’t distract us from what happens afterwards

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has predictably taken a hammering over his personal choice to vote SDLP next. The Newsletter has helpfully quoted 8 UUP candidates who think otherwise. They can hardly be blamed. Most of them  rely on DUP transfers to  get elected and aren’t expecting SDLP transfers anytime soon. They mortally fear a more…

Arlene’s partial withdrawal will not close the crocodile’s jaws. Remember what happened after a previous DUP leader said “never?”

I would contextualise David McCann’s well- balanced report of Arlene Foster’s partial climbdown a little differently.  How will she now follow through?  Gerry Adams is bursting to  know. He or Michelle O’Neill  and will challenge her shortly. All the other parties will join in the chorus. When columnist Eilis O’Hanlon, a keen debunker of  Sinn more…

Pressure for special treatment for soldiers would kill any chance of agreement on the past. Obviously.

Flaws in the system of investigation into charges of  British army  misconduct “on the battlefield “   have been dramatically exposed in the disgrace of the solicitor Phil Shiner. In the Commons and in the press, it has reinforced calls for Theresa May to speed up the promised reform of how human rights law applies to more…

What on earth is James Brokenshire up to? Does he even realise he’s attacking the judiciary?

The recently retired and very steady SDLP veteran MLA Alban Maginness who is also a qualified barrister has been given space to mount a  measured  criticism  against  secretary of state James Brokenshire in the Belfast Telegraph for  his disastrous article in the Sunday Telegraph  complaining  that  an apparent “imbalance” that has led to a “disproportionate” more…

Theresa May holds the initiative as she makes promises on an open border

While the world is transfixed by Trump, we made a little quiet progress on the interlinked politics of Brexit and the future of the Assembly. What did we get from Theresa May’s immersion in the generally anti-Brexit atmosphere of the joint ministerial committee and a summit with Enda Kenny? A warm gesture of commitment,  that’s more…

The DUP have a point about an Irish Language Act but it’s smaller than they think – and small minded too

The journal.ie have done a useful bit of fact checking over contradictory claims that the St Andrew’s Agreement committed the DUP to “ an Irish Language Act.”  Their verdict: VERDICT The DUP’s claim that they never agreed to establish an Irish Language Act as part of St Andrews Agreement is true, as the legislation refers more…

Good news, Gerry! The Human Rights Act is here to stay

Another of Gerry Adams’ sticking points for returning to the Assembly seems about to disappear. The on- off on sequence of the May government’s  commitment to a new British Bill of Rights to replace the Human Right Act now looks permanently off the agenda and not just delayed until after 2020, according to  Daily Telegraph more…

The road to influencing the Brexit future isn’t closed. But is Adams now detaching Brexit from the future of the Assembly?

Why are staunch defenders of the  GFA  not rejoicing since the UK Supreme Court found that  nothing about Northern Ireland’s removal from Europe breaches any law, treaty or part of the constitution and there will now be a UK parliament vote on article 50?  Newton Emerson puts the question in the Irish Times with his tongue firmly more…