Region Archives: England

Despite the rise and rise of UKIP it remains a little confused on the matter of Northern Ireland

The more cynical political analyst might conclude there were two Monster raving loony parties standing in the Rochester and Strood byelection this week that resulted in the return to Westminster of Mark Reckless, UKIP’s second MP and a former Conservative. Standing on a ticket that was principally anti-immigration and anti-Europe – and Reckless got into more…

UKIP’s latest successes could yet damage it

Slowly the dust is beginning to settle on UKIP’s latest by-election victory. This one could be analysed as more or less important than the last one dependent on a number of factors. Rochester and Strood was a considerably less attractive target seat for UKIP than Clacton on Sea. It has much less of the older, more…

“vices and follies of the powerful are much less despised than the poverty and weakness of the innocent.”

This is soooo good, I’m just going to post a big chunk of it below. It’s Chris Dillow nailing a key problem with the UK media’s obsession with bringing celebrity to the big politics table… He cites an experiment (pdf) by James Andreoni and Justin Rao involving a constructed roleplay scenario involving a ‘dictator': There more…

Federalism – Wherefore The Union?

I have long been of the view that a federal UK would be the eventual outworking of devolution.  Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has been calling for a constitutional convention for the last few years. Scottish Conservative Murdo Fraser outlined his thoughts on Slugger earlier this year. Why Murdo Fraser is right to promote UK more…

Photo of the day – (LEGO) men at work

DSC00997

I visited Durham Cathedral yesterday. While the Cathedral is very grand and imposing, I was more interested in the LEGO recreation they are building. They are building a model of the Cathedral in LEGO as a fundraiser. You buy a LEGO brick for £1 and you can even add it yourself. The model will be more…

Celebrating Louis MacNeice in Carrickfergus

macneice flyer

The anniversary of the birth of the poet and playwright Louis MacNeice was marked on 12 September with a celebratory event in Carrickfergus Museum and Civic Centre. The event was titled ‘Beyond the Hawthorn Hedge, the Sound of Bugles,’ and was hosted by local historian and author Philip Orr. It included an engaging lecture by more…

Bruton calls for Redmond Home Rule monument (‘Living for Ireland is preferable to dying for Ireland’)

John Bruton, An Taoiseach, 1994-7

As predicted, the war is continuing, and shows no sign of abating.  By “war”, I mean the ongoing battle over interpretation of Ireland’s  past, and how and whether certain historical figures deserve particular attention and commemoration.  The latest campaign in this conflict unfolded at the Royal Irish Academy on Dublin’s Dawson Street.  A quartet of speakers, more…

#IndyRef: Dublin silent, an insouciant NI and an abrupt resumption of British constitutional history

So this morning I joined an Irish Times Inside Politics panel to talk about the implications of a decision next week in favour of Scottish independence for Ireland and Northern Ireland… Some of the highlights include… – ‘Neo unionist’ silence of Dublin and the unspoken fear of unintended consequences, particularly within Europe… – The dream more…

Party Conference Speeches – if only they were a chance to scrutinise & refresh arguments & messages!

An August Economist magazine featured a timely article [PAYWALL] looking forward to the Autumn party conference speeches. Focussed on the main English conferences the unnamed writer noted: The process can begin as soon as June. An early task is to cook up one or two big policy announcements, without which no conference is complete (an more…

Gove, Cameron and the old four year Switcheroo…

Here’s a classic case of where the polling mechanism breaks down. The question presumes there’s a meaningful difference in interest between Michael Gove and his boss, the British Prime Minister. I’m not convinced there is any such difference. I saw the Indy going to town on the salary loss, but to be frank, career progression more…

Friday thread: Flags make a difference to how we think and feel…

Via Peter Curran with a h/t to Phil Mac Giolla Bhain. Fascinating piece of quick and dirty research on the Scottish Sunday Politics Show regarding the effect of flag displays during a detailed online questionnaire from last week… It’s well worth watching the whole way through, but the findings themselves are at the beginning and more…