Author Archive | Jeff Peel

A Pointless £5m Election

Consider this. We have a coalition government that is incompetent and has fallen because it can’t govern. The leadership of both coalition parties (DUP and Sinn Fein) are calling for an Assembly election (that will cost around £5m) just a few months after the last election. The last election had a turnout of less than more…

Time to fix this broken shire

The RHI scandal showed the extent of the incompetence at the heart of the Northern Ireland Executive. The cock-up, moreover, was not just the DUP’s. Not one local MLA had the gumption to inspect and raise alarms about a botched and ridiculous scheme that, in the words of John Humphries on Radio 4’s Today programme, more…

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Ireland Post-Brexit: A Conference

Since the people of the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union there has been a lot of discussion about what the decision means for UK/Irish relations…and for Ireland itself.  I’ve asked some of Ireland’s most prominent Europhile and Eurosceptic speakers to discuss whether Ireland’s future should be inside or outside the EU. The more…

Will this Drag Draghi Down?

Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank, was previously Governor of the Bank of Italy. He served in that role from December 2005 to October 2011. He assumed his role at the ECB in November 2011. During his tenure at the Italian Central Bank he will have been aware of some ‘issues’ at more…

David Gordon

David Gordon, Nolan Show and Stormont

I first met David Gordon decades ago when he and I were involved in the Campaign for Equal Citizenship (CEC) – the organisation that campaigned for Northern Ireland’s sectarian-based politics to be replaced with the politics of Left and Right. All who were involved in the campaign at that time would have been Labour or more…

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CBI: Misery Merchants

The CBI is a business membership body that supposedly represents the interests of British (and Northern Irish) business. But you could be forgiven for missing this. During the entire EU Referendum campaign, the local branch of the CBI was unrelenting it its gloom-laden assessments of the outlook for the NI economy should the UK electorate choose more…

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The Trouble with Nolan

In the audience warm-up at last night’s Stephen Nolan hosted EU Referendum “Debate,” May McFettridge (AKA John Linehan) asked the audience “who’s in and who’s out?”.  One section of the audience shouted, “Out”.  May’s response was, “Aye, Pradistants.” This programme had been trailed as Northern Ireland’s “big” EU Referendum TV debate. Trouble is it wasn’t more…

EU: Corporatist, Anti-Democratic and Maintaining Cheap Labour

Last week I wrote a post suggesting that all Socialists here should vote for the UK leaving the EU. Needless to say, I’d hope that most fellow free-market, libertarian Conservatives will be doing likewise. I’ve just listened to Kate Hoey’s speech at last night’s Spectator debate in London. I implore you to listen if you have more…

George Galloway is campaigning for a leave vote

Why Irish Socialists Should Vote to Leave the EU

This post is something of an appeal. If you’re reading this try to ignore everything I’ve ever written or said before about Socialism. That’s not the point of this article. This is all about the EU Referendum and I’d like the argument contained in this post to stand on its own two feet. In short, try more…

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Just a day to go to the Big EU Debate from Belfast

Tomorrow evening we’ll be holding our EU Referendum debate featuring some of the leading pro-leave and pro-stay campaigners. We’ll be pitting Owen Paterson MP (a former Secretary of State) against Vernon Coaker MP (the current Shadow Secretary of State). We’ll have Kate Hoey MP against former Conservative MEP, John Stevens. The good news is that more…

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EU Referendum Business Debate: Live from Belfast

On April 4 we’re holding a business-focused ‘brexit’ debate and we’ll be broadcasting across the UK, Ireland and beyond. Slugger O’Toole will be our official blog partners. The event is kindly sponsored by Equiniti Group, the FSB and Danske Bank. We’ll have a panel of heavy-weight debaters on both sides of the argument including Owen more…

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Money and (Better) Public Services?

I was on the Nolan Show this morning, performing my usual role as defender of the idea of small state/low tax economy. The discussion was to have focused on whether it might be a good idea for us to collectively pay more tax to fund ‘better public services’. You can listen to the debate by more…

Labour Party Elects Irish Republican as Leader

Jeremy Corbyn – a man who has never made a secret of his closeness to Sinn Fein – has just been elected leader of the Labour Party (with nearly 60% of 1st preference votes). So Irish Republicanism has just scored its greatest victory through a democratic process on British soil. There’s something weirdly ironic about more…

A Bus Without Wheels

Northern Ireland is a great place for political clichés. “If only they could get around a table and talk,” is up there as number one. But the most bizarre of the local political clichés is that only our local political parties can resolve our local problems. This concept – hard-wired into the idea of devolution more…

Change coming?

Conservatives to start governing Northern Ireland?

The United Kingdom is a parliamentary democracy. The most important decisions are taken by an elected government that may, or may not, have an electoral mandate from all regions and all constituencies of the United Kingdom. That’s why the Conservative government’s policies are applied in East Ham – a constituency where the Labour MP polled more…

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A Banana Republic without Bananas

According to Wikipedia a Banana republic is “a politically unstable country, whose economy is largely dependent on exporting a limited-resource product, e.g. bananas. It typically has stratified social classes, including a large, impoverished working class and a ruling plutocracy of business, political, and military elites. This politico-economic oligarchy controls the primary-sector productions to exploit the more…

Mick Wallace

Off-Shore Bank Accounts and NAMA (NI)

Mick Wallace TD is the mop-haired Independent TD for Wexford. Today he opened a veritable can of worms – and the story is beginning to break on this evening’s bulletins on the BBC. Wallace today revealed in Tánaiste Questions in the Dail that Northern Ireland law-firm Tughans allegedly, according to Wallace, held a £7m Isle more…

No money, no power

Stormont: Let’s Keep it Closed

There’s a wonderful, fascinating irony developing – for political anoraks at least – in the devolved regions of this United Kingdom. Just a few days after David Cameron’s initial talks with Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP about devo-max for Scotland it appears that devolution in Northern Ireland is about to be handed back. Devolved institutions more…

A lot of us don't do church

Why the old Protestant/Catholic atheist gag isn’t funny anymore

A couple of evenings ago I attended a discussion in the Old Chelsea Town Hall in London. It was an ‘election dissection’ debate with four panelists representing left and right opinions. They tried to answer why the outcome of the UK election was so surprising. They discussed the failure of Labour. They discussed the success more…