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Latest posts from Andrew Gallagher (see all)

Andrew Gallagher has posted 8 times (0 in the last month).

Russian special forces caught red handed on camera

Wed 5 March 2014, 3:17pm

Tweet Russia continues to deny that it has armed forces in Crimea, but it was only a matter of time before someone slipped up. Not only do the mysterious “self-defence forces” use Russian guns, uniforms and vehicles (complete with Russian military number plates) but at least one of them has forgotten to take all the […] more »

“Lacking genuine political competition, public administration in newly pacified nations is often a mess.”

Sat 9 November 2013, 10:59am

Tweet The Economist has an interesting article about civil conflicts. It doesn’t mention NI, but one paragraph in particular caught my eye: One reason for backsliding is that peace often fails to bring the prosperity that might give it lasting value to all sides. Power-sharing creates weak governments; nobody trusts anyone else enough to grant […] more »

How can I trust you if you don’t want my vote?

Wed 16 October 2013, 8:30am

Tweet Politicians are often castigated for appearing to put reelection before principle, for lusting after votes rather than doing what’s best for the country. Sometimes this may be justified, but the lust for votes is not necessarily a bad thing. We should be more worried when politicians stop caring about our votes, because then we […] more »

The moment of quickening

Tue 20 November 2012, 9:00pm

Tweet Patsy McGarry has an interesting article in the Irish Times today on the surprisingly fluid nature of the Catholic Church’s stance on abortion: … some of the church’s greatest teachers and saints believed no homicide was involved if abortion took place before the foetus was infused with a soul, known as “ensoulment”. This was […] more »

A historic vote just took place in the USA. Oh, and Obama won too…

Wed 7 November 2012, 10:55pm

Tweet I’ve no idea how this flew under the radar, but the outside world (bar the BBC) has largely ignored the most historic American plebiscite since the 1950s. Obama’s re-election, important though it is in itself, might find itself eclipsed by what just took place in Puerto Rico – a clear popular vote in favour […] more »

“Just following orders”: SF Ministers are subordinate to their own command structure

Thu 23 June 2011, 1:42pm

Tweet Tuesday night’s Spotlight on the killing of Mary Travers was indeed fascinating, not so much for the story of the ambush itself – although I had never seen the family members speak on camera before, and their continuing suffering was palpable – but for its insights into the inner workings of Sinn Féin. SF’s […] more »

The Assembly’s looming crisis of legitimacy

Fri 11 June 2010, 10:10am

Tweet For me, the second most interesting result from the last General Election (after Long’s defeat of Robinson, of course) was the turnout figure. 57% is a far cry from the 70% turnout at the first Assembly election. Although a turnout of 57% would be considered respectable for, say, Scottish Parliament elections, hyper-political NI can’t […] more »

The Maori and the Pakeha: Why can’t it work for us?

Wed 2 June 2010, 10:11pm

Tweet I recently had the pleasure of visiting New Zealand, and was quietly impressed by the way in which the minority Maori culture has been embraced by the majority Pakeha (i.e. white) population. That is not to say that NZ is blissfully free of ethnic tension, but such tensions seem to revolve around affirmative action […] more »

Latest comments from Andrew Gallagher (see all)

Andrew Gallagher has commented 928 times (8 in the last month).

  1. Comment on Anna Lo, and the Myth that Northern Ireland Politics is about the Border
    on 24 March 2014 at 5:32 pm


    It is not offensive to use the term tribe about letsgetalongerists unless one regards using the term about unionists and nationalists as offensive.

    You are conflating two usages of the word “tribe”. This is misleading and disingenuous. It is quite clear that the OP intended “tribal” in the sense of “ethnic”. This is a label that can accurately be used to describe unionism and nationalism, but cannot be used against “others”. Just because the word “tribal” can be applied to “others” IN ANOTHER CONTEXT does not equate them.

    Dragging them down to the same level is only relevant if one wishes to castigate unionists and / or nationalists for their positions

    The idea that political parties should be ethnically homogeneous damn well deserves castigation. An insult directed against unionism as a political movement is not one directed at unionists as a social grouping. There are many unionists who do not vote “unionist”.

    The “moral high ground” is the belief that politics should not be based along ethnic lines. The entire point of the OP is that one can be a unionist or a nationalist and not support a “unionist” or “nationalist” political party. Is it arrogance to believe that ethnically-homogeneous political parties are dangerous?

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  2. Comment on Anna Lo, and the Myth that Northern Ireland Politics is about the Border
    on 24 March 2014 at 4:40 pm

    DC, safety is always dependent on something. If you’re up a tree, you’re perfectly safe so long as you don’t start cutting the branch you’re sitting on.


    I am taking issue with your attempt to portray “letsgetalongerists” as “just another tribe” equivalent to unionists and nationalists, in an attempt to drag them down to the same level. This is offensive nonsense – while unionism and nationalism are clearly ethnically-based movements, Alliance, Greens etc. are consciously multi-ethnic parties. Portraying them as “just another tribe” is a cheap attempt to deprive them of the moral high ground by insinuating a false equivalence.

    Go to comment

  3. Comment on Anna Lo, and the Myth that Northern Ireland Politics is about the Border
    on 24 March 2014 at 2:10 pm

    DC, just because someone doesn’t fit into a neat pigeonhole doesn’t make then incoherent.

    Go to comment

  4. Comment on Anna Lo, and the Myth that Northern Ireland Politics is about the Border
    on 24 March 2014 at 12:34 pm

    The semantic argument about “tribalism” here is actually more important than it appears. Turgon is attempting to paint it as a purely political sort of tribalism, but this won’t wash. A labour-supporting Englishman from Bradford and a Conservative-supporting Englishman form Oxford may vote on a tribal basis, but they both consider themselves equally English. Their political tribalism is secondary to their nationality.

    Equating that with Northern Ireland is disingenuous. It is not simply a question of degree. In NI we have an ethnic conflict, which is fundamentally different. The closest English equivalent would be the race riots, and even then there was no political separatism.

    Also, Turgon: if you agree that support for the union is not synonymous with support for unionist parties, then you concur with the OP that the Union is not the real issue.

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  5. Comment on Anna Lo, and the Myth that Northern Ireland Politics is about the Border
    on 24 March 2014 at 12:41 am

    Gerry, I couldn’t have put it better. If we all would just admit that the troubles were an ethnic conflict, we’d be so much closer to finding a solution. You can’t cure the disease if you haven’t diagnosed it properly.

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  6. Comment on Pilot offers a ‘smoke in the cabin” scenario for #MH370 on G+….
    on 19 March 2014 at 12:45 am

    Actually it has two flaws. Why would the pilot aim for Langkawi in an emergency when there’s a lovely new 747-capable runway in Kuala Terengganu?

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  7. Comment on Pilot offers a ‘smoke in the cabin” scenario for #MH370 on G+….
    on 18 March 2014 at 11:43 pm

    Actually, it would be the Seychelles rather than reunion.

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  8. Comment on Pilot offers a ‘smoke in the cabin” scenario for #MH370 on G+….
    on 18 March 2014 at 11:35 pm

    The fire hypothesis has one flaw though – if the pilot set course for langkawi but overshot because he had been incapacitated, then the plane should have crashed somewhere near reunion island, which is flat out contradicted by the “last blip” satellite data. So long as the last blip is sound, there’s still a piece missing.

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  9. Comment on Micheal Martin: “For things to change in the North they require greater generosity and restraint”
    on 5 February 2014 at 4:02 pm

    There’s no prohibition on anyone talking about Strand One issues, just on doing something about them. But at what point do we admit that strand one has problems?

    Whatever my disagreements with Martin on domestic issues, I can’t fault his analysis of NI.

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  10. Comment on After Haass, the numbers game threatens. How can we avoid it?
    on 6 January 2014 at 7:43 pm

    It’s easy to dismiss evidence that doesn’t fit your worldview. On the other hand, there’s no hard evidence to the contrary, and it can be explained easily if you accept that ‘unionism’ isn’t primarily a constitutional movement.

    Or you can stick your fingers in your ears and go “la la la” if you want. Up to you.

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