Finance Ministers from the devolved administrations issue a warning on cuts

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Interesting article that caught my eye on Politics Home today was a joint letter issued by the Scottish Finance Secretary, John Swinney, Welsh Finance Minister, Jane Hutt and our own Finance Minister, Arlene Foster, to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Greg Hands about the pace of spending cuts coming from Westminster. The letter warns more…

The disaster of the 1970s: truisms in need of challenge?

As I noted previously in relation to the 1983 election campaign there is a tendency in political analysis to accept truisms which are historically inaccurate or at least highly incomplete. One of the recent manifestations of this tendency (also related to the current Labour leadership campaign) is that Corbyn is going to take the UK more…

“Members of PIRA carried out their own investigation” into the Davison killing…

In the Belfast Telegraph, Liam Clarke highlights a significant point from the police assessment of Provisional IRA involvement in the murder of Kevin McGuigan – a point that was not included in earlier reports of that police assessment.  From the Belfast Telegraph article Police have confirmed that senior IRA members conducted an inquiry into the more…

Adams: ‘Those who threaten to take action against Sinn Féin in the Assembly and Executive have no basis whatsoever for this.’

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Continuing the round of statements from party leaders, the Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has spoken about the recent developments in the McGuigan murder. Here are his comments; The killing of Kevin McGuigan was wrong and those who were involved in it are criminals who do not represent republicanism. The so-called group Action against Drugs more…

Burnham “We were offering little gimmicky policies designed to change a couple of days headlines”

I was on Radio Leicester on a semi regular slot I have with Jonathan Lampon to comment on his interview with Andy Burnham. Two things worth highlighting. Burnham is probably the only one who (albeit indirectly) identifies Labour’s most proximate difficulty which was the last failed campaign. He notes Labour didn’t have enough to say more…

2015 GCSE Results: Signature’s Swan Song

The 2015 GCSE results were announced yesterday, with news reports capturing the mixture of emotions experienced by teenagers as they discover how they have performed in what can be significant assessments in terms of determining the future career paths they take- either through pursuing A Levels, other qualifications, training courses or employment opportunities. The overall more…

PSNI Det Supt Geddes: “It is my assessment at this stage and my belief that people who are members of the Provisional IRA were involved in this murder, but we will not speculate on at what level.”

The police held a press conference today on the on-going investigation into the murder of former Provisional IRA member Kevin McGuigan Sr in the Short Strand area of Belfast last week – he had reportedly been “warned by the police that he was under threat from republicans” following the murder of former PIRA commander Gerard ‘Jock’ more…

Robinson: ‘We will have discussions with other parties about tabling the necessary exclusion motion in the Assembly’

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Interesting statement in from Peter Robinson over the PSNI’s comments about the murder of Kevin McGuigan; Last week I indicated that the Police Service of Northern Ireland must be free to fully investigate the murder of Kevin McGuigan without regard to any potential political consequences. I have had an initial discussion with the Chief Constable more…

The Labour Party in Northern Ireland: the first ripple in a new wave of electoral dynamics?

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Craig Harrison writes for us about the Labour leadership and the possibility of the party contesting elections in Northern Ireland This week, Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham made a public commitment to review the party’s policy on standing candidates in Northern Ireland, arguing: “I want the people of Northern Ireland to make their voices heard more…

Collins: “The bottom line is you either support the idea of gender balance in our national parliament or you don’t.”

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Suzanne Collins is the Director of Operations and Campaigns for Women for Election the non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation that works to inspire and equip more women to succeed in politics. Responding to John McGuirk, she writes about why his central thesis on women in politics is wrong… What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same more…

Politicians and silly expenses claims

In the news today we are told that Alan Shatter claimed €12 for passport photos on his expenses and also for injections he had to take before travelling. Now, let’s be honest here this isn’t the biggest news in the world. Nor will the country be facing ruination over the claim. It is far from more…

Andy Burnham pitches to Labour leadership voters in NI: comprehensive not selective education, gay blood, & candidates

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This morning’s Belfast Telegraph publishes a statement from UK Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham. He’s the bookies’ favourite to come second, and clearly the candidate the local Constituency Labour Party members are most comfortable with. 610,000 ballot papers have been issued to party members, registered supporters and affiliate supporters. There are around 500 1,000 members more…

I’m really looking forward to the Labour leadership contest of 2017

As an old inhabitant of the Westminster bubble, I give my prophetic testimony.  Having been bombarded by emails from different sections of the Labour party and paid to qualify for a vote, I’m now waiting for my ballot papers in the leadership election. For the first time in my life, I’ve declared a party allegiance. more…