Region Archives: UK

That Newsnight debate: How was it for you?

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I think the NI parties probably did best out of getting their own debate on network BBC last night. The contrast with the oddly lopsided UK wider debate was noticeable. That’s probably something to do with the coherent framing of the debate amongst known quantities and viewing them in the same frame the voters will more…

Electoral Office rejects Commission’s direction against moving Moygashel voters 5 miles

So what’s the crack with the election in Northern Ireland? Well, as I mentioned in our first Slugger Daily Report on Periscope the real action is the ground war. With few seats expected to change hands every advantage is fiercely fought over. In what may turn out to be the only seriously competitive seat of the election in Fermanagh and South more…

NI Tourism Minister: “I recently had discussions with the chief executive of Tourism Ireland and expressed my disappointment about how the promotion of the Wild Atlantic Way stops at the border.”

Irelands Ancient East Map

Without wishing to undermine historian Hiram Morgan’s call for Irish Government action to preserve the cultural heritage in the seas off the Wild Atlantic Way, it’s worth noting the stated objective of that tourism initiative… The overall aim of the project is to develop a route that will achieve greater visibility for the west coast of more…

Gay conversion therapy—pray your gay away

A conference was held yesterday (Tuesday 14 April) in London about ‘gay conversion therapy’. Its organisers included various ‘christian’ groups; it was reported in the Independent (here), Guardian (here) and Daily Telegraph (here). Parts of the meeting were closed to the press, to allow private discussion. One of the organisers’ concerns was that any opposition more…

Tax Reform: Voters don’t seem to like job friendly taxation…

With the rise of culture war politics across the west, what about policy? “Opposition politics is partly an artform…” said Steve Richards. “Policies about what you are doing to do…” retorts John Kay. Well, whichever it is, John FitzGerald thinks Ireland has a problem selling what he sees as job friendly taxes: Colbert, a French more…

Defence Spending: an orphan subject at the election – with a mad uncle

Defence after a few days in the spotlight a couple of weeks ago has settled back to being one of the Cinderella subjects in the General Election campaign. It is maybe fairer to call it an orphan rather than a Cinderella subject: orphan because very few serious politicians pay it anything more than lip service more…

That Scotland Office Memo. Who leaked it? And was it actually wrong?

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So, interesting times. Some people clearly take the view that the Secretary of State at the Scottish Office is up to something. But the truth may be more interesting than that: A SCOTLAND Office civil servant was behind the leaked memo that claimed Nicola Sturgeon wants David Cameron to remain as Prime Minister. Scottish Secretary more…

Valleys of trouble – Labour’s difficulties in their Welsh heartland

Anglesea 2013

Last night’s leaders debate marked the introduction of Leanne Wood, and her party Plaid Cymru, to the British mainstream political audience. Plaid received 165,394 votes in the 2010 General Election, fewer than the DUP (168,216) and Sinn Féin (171,942). Leanne Wood unashamedly played to the audience at home throughout the debate, and it is very more…

Bloody foreigners coming over here and taking our medicines

Last night, during the party leader’s debate on TV, Nigel Farage was told that he should be ashamed of himself when he sort of said that people with HIV/AIDS come to the UK to get free treatment. But, of course, that’s just a part of his party’s xenophobic, keep the others out message. Firstly, his more…

Michael Gove on Tony Blair’s Christian Virtues

Tony Blair: a role model for Christian virtue?

Over on The Spectator blog Michael Gove, the Conservative Party’s answer to the Tea Party, is having a pop at people who are disdainful of Christians. In the article Gove chooses Tony Blair as a role model example for Christian virtue. He refers to Jeremy Paxman’s disdainful interview of Blair where he implies that Blair’s tendency to pray more…

So, what place a possible Brexit in Northern Ireland’s elections?

UK Book Launch

There was a time when Europe had a popular political champion in Northern Ireland. John Hume made a successful pitch for one of Northern Ireland’s three European seats in the first directly elected European Parliament, based as much on his personal commitment to developing NI PLC as to any sectarian pitch to nationalist voters. Since then more…

DLA, mental health, and the legacy of the Troubles

NI DLA & Troubles Deaths

The debate surrounding welfare reform in Northern Ireland has gradually seen opinion divide into one of two camps; those who decry any reform of the system as “ruthless Tory cuts”, and those on the other hand who see the swelling ranks of those claiming DLA as evidence that the feckless and workshy are gaining a more…