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Profile for Conor James McKinney

Born and live in London, brought up in Dublin, roots in East Belfast. Occasional blogging at and far more frequent tweets at

Latest posts from Conor James McKinney (see all)

Conor James McKinney has posted 3 times (0 in the last month).

A cold house for Roma

Fri 25 October 2013, 2:15pm

Tweet A week ago, Greek police searching a Roma camp discovered a child who looked as though she didn’t belong there. DNA testing proved them – at least in biological terms – correct. An Garda Síochána were not so lucky. more »

Meath East: We’ve seen it all before

Fri 29 March 2013, 5:04pm

Tweet Irish by-elections, by and large, are a bit of harmless fun. The outcome rarely influences the balance of forces in parliament, but it gives the voters a chance to give the incumbent party – whatever incumbent party – a good shoeing. Everyone feels better about themselves except whatever hapless candidate has been persuaded to […] more »

Valence voters and the centre ground in NI

Mon 14 January 2013, 4:49pm

Tweet Peter Kellner, the pollster, knows something about political junkies. A journalist himself, he’s married to Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs (stop sniggering at the back – it’s probably a very important job). As a reader of a political blog, you almost certainly fall into that category as well. It’s worth […] more »

Latest comments from Conor James McKinney (see all)

Conor James McKinney has commented 6 times (0 in the last month).

  1. Comment on Uniting Ireland: no #abortion, no #equalmarriage
    on 2 May 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Great insights. Even if some are familiar, well worth revisiting these social issues regularly as attitudes and the law are changing at a rapid clip, particularly on same-sex marriage.

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  2. Comment on Margaret Thatcher roundup (1): Britain’s growth in wealth and poverty
    on 9 April 2013 at 3:08 pm

    If you’re adding more, I suggest looking at Andreas Whittam Smith’s piece, also in the Indo. He’s dead right that the only two PMs since the war with a meaningful claim on greatness were Attlee and herself. Both reshaped the country; the rest merely governed it.–for-better-or-worse-baroness-thatcher-remade-our-nation-8564563.html

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  3. Comment on Meath East: We’ve seen it all before
    on 3 April 2013 at 11:26 am

    @Scáth Shéamais @mollymooly Thanks indeed for the factual corrections, have updated accordingly. Interesting point made about independent support of govts – that doesn’t seem to have the same deleterious effect as when it’s a party. We don’t have to go back to Tony Gregory either: four independent TDs supported the last government, and all retained their seats bar Beverly Flynn, who retired. Compare that to the six Green TDs who also supported the government, who all lost their seats. Hardly seems fair!

    Perhaps independents are better at explaining to constituents what they got out of the deal, which has always been the challenge for minority partners to articulate.

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  4. Comment on Micheal Martin: NI’s ‘establishment parties’ are failing the Belfast Agreement
    on 1 March 2013 at 1:41 am

    “The lazy idea that the mere fact of the existence of power sharing institutions in and of themselves would solve all problems” – quite so. The disengagement of the respective governments that he also identifies is a symptom of that particular illness.

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  5. Comment on Exclusive: Ian Paisley’s belated acknowledgment of David Trimble’s legacy: the principle of Consent…
    on 25 January 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Great catch – that piece that could have been written by David Trimble a decade ago.

    If it has been spiked, presumably that reflects the party line no longer aligning with Paisley’s personal views. It would be interesting to know how many current DUP top brass would endorse this revised interpretation.

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  6. Comment on Valence voters and the centre ground in NI
    on 14 January 2013 at 5:56 pm

    @Malcolm, I wholly agree that it is not a new concept – it just may give a slightly different perspective on familiar issues. Could easily descend into truisms like “voters like the country to be run properly” and “parties should devise popular policies”. But I think the point that regular voters, as distinct from the political classes, are more concerned with ends than means these days is an interesting one.

    @David, I would think that possible – not necessarily a new party, even, as there is no reason parties from the south and the mainland couldn’t wade in where they don’t take a strong line on the Union. The current Alliance leadership seem quite capable from where I sit, but it’s a hard party to make sexy. The flags row has given them more exposure than anything positive I can think of recently.

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