Film review – Bobby Sands: 66 Days

Bobby Sands 66 Days poster

BOBBY SANDS: 66 DAYS is a documentary film that weaves together the story of 1970s and 1980s republicanism with day by day updates on Sands’ condition and diary entries throughout his hunger strike. It’s neither an apologetic nor a rose-tinted documentary. The film sets events firmly in context but the critique of the hunger strike, more…

Kenny tells EU to prepare for prospect of a Border Poll

Kenny speech

Just in from the Irish Independent; #BREAKING Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the Government and the EU must prepare seriously for the prospect of a border poll. More to follow — Independent.ie (@Independent_ie) July 18, 2016 Quotes from Enda; The discussion and negotiations that take place over the next period should take into account the more…

In Brexit dialogues the DUP must be included. The Good Friday Agreement requires it.

Sadly, the Sunday Politics programmes have registered no closing of the gap between the DUP and Sinn Fein over “Brexit means Brexit.”  Inevitably there is a real danger that narrow politics and positioning will confuse already very difficult issues.  But at least they  are not the ones aggravating the disagreement at  the moment. They appear more…

Live Cricket: Ireland v Afghanistan at Stormont – 4th ODI

With the series level at 1-1 after 3 games, Ireland’s cricketers take on the touring Afghanistan team at Stormont today in the 4th One-Day International of 5 scheduled matches.  Afganistan won the toss and chose to bat first.  Cricinfo has the over-by-over text commentary.  Live streaming video via CricketIrelandTV.  Update Afghanistan made 229 for 7 from 50 overs. more…

Two polls show good news for Fianna Fail

Dail Eireann full

Two polls out tonight from RedC and the Sunday Times/Behaviour and Attitudes survey show good news for Fianna Fail NEW SBP/Red C Poll: FG 26 (-) FF 29 (+3) SF 13 (-2) Lab 6 (-) IA 5 (+1) Ind 7 (-4) AAA/PBP 5 (-) SD 4 (-) GP 4 (+2) Ren 1 (-) Other 1 more…

Euro2016 and a new chapter

Médaille Irlandais - Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo presents the award to the Green and White Amry

To the relief of no doubt many the Euro 2016 championship have now ended, and while few pundits have called it a classic it will now be retold and relived by the fans who witnessed it for years to come, just like all such tournaments before. Before the tournament BBC screened a documentary in which more…

Is Jeremy Corbyn slowly turning UK Labour into the ‘nasty party’?

Labour NI AGM table goodies

It is getting hard to know whether Jeremy Corbyn is actually malign, or just a bit ‘slow’. On foot of this and other incidents, no branches of the British Labour party are allowed to meet. Whatever your own definition of leadership is, I doubt it resembles this… That long slow summer of poisoning has well and more…

Appointment of James Brokenshire represents a serious upgrade to the NIO…

Jmes Brokenshire

There have been jokes on the internet about how his name is appropriate for a place like Northern Ireland. But, with no personal slight intended, James Brokenshire is a senior upgrade from Villiers and a reflection of the fact that North-South relations will take on a heightened importance in upcoming Brexit negotiations. May’s right-hand man more…

Live Cricket: Ireland v Afghanistan at Stormont – 3rd ODI

Live streaming cricket from Belfast as Ireland take on Afghanistan in the 3rd ODI of a 5 match series.  The first was rained off, and on Tuesday Afghanistan comfortably withstood Ireland’s attempt at chasing down the total of 250 runs they set in the 2nd ODI after being put into bat.  This time, Afghanistan won the toss more…

Reflections on Johnson and Davis

As we learn that we have a new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (but not, as I write, knowing who), I wanted to reflect on the two most controversial appointments to Theresa May’s cabinet. Either the appointment of Boris Johnson and David Davis as Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State for Brexit respectively is more…

Brexit and the politics of diversionary tactics

Erich Ludendorff (1865-1937)

Ever a philosophical type, Harold Macmillan wrote in his memoirs that he never thought of sabotaging matters for his successor, Lord Home, following his decision to resign as Prime Minister in October 1963, commenting ‘E finita la commedia. It is tempting, but unrewarding, to hang around the Green Room long after the final retirement from more…

Lessons on referendums: why the Greeks only used “Ostracism” for a short period of their history…

Referendum: after the ‘weapons grade’ shock to the UK’s political system, do you still remember that? Great lessons from Mary Beard and Ancient Athens on the shortcomings of Ostracism… I am not suggesting that there is a direct lesson here that we can simply apply across the millennia. Ancient Athens is far too different from more…

NEC votes that Corbyn is automatically included on the ballot

Corbyn result

Labour’s National Executive Committee has voted 18-14 tonight that the current leader, Jeremy Corbyn should be automatically included on the ballot for the forthcoming leadership contest. UPDATE: They’ve pulled up the drawbridge on taking any more opportunistic political migrants… Klaxon – existing new members may not even be allowed to become registered supporter paying £25. more…

Bonfire Porn and Our Contempt of the Working Class…

samhainbonfire-243x300

While the last pallets were gathered and stacked in estates around the country yesterday, moralising social media pundits were already unleashing patronising vitriol. It grows in vigour as the sky-scraping pyres rise ever higher across the province, the self-assertion of Northern Ireland’s armchair intelligentsia whose smug classist intolerance is as easy and cheap as the more…