Region Archives: UK

Only problem with Basic Income is an unwillingness to move to consensus on reform..

Chris makes an important point regarding Natalie Bennett’s apparent inability to explain the Green Party’s basic national income policy (which has been policy for almost a generation) in her interview with Andrew Neil… He’s clearly disturbed by Bennett’s lack of clarity (as the Greens emerge blinking into the light of Westminster scrutiny after many years more…

The Election Debates and the Northern Ireland ‘Difference’

Nick Robinson: inclusion of NI politicians in the election debates a step too far?  Pic: Tom Page

Northern Ireland is politically different from the rest of the UK, according to the BBC’s Nick Robinson. That’s why, he argued this morning on the Today Programme, broadcasters are confused by the Prime Minister’s insistence that if the Scots/Welsh Nats are including in the proposed television election debates, Northern Irish parties should be included too. more…

Gerry Kelly running on an aggressively ‘get themuns out’ ticket in North Belfast

Kelly v Dodds

  Here’s the front of a leaflet in support of Gerry Kelly’s bid for the Westminster seat of North Belfast. The lack of party logos suggests it’s intended to reach beyond party loyalists to wavering SDLPers and dissidents by rousing sectarian tensions, tribal loyalties, erm, legitimate political grievances against the sitting MP (who just happens to be more…

The PSNI’s latest move against the Boston archive is unintelligent

Henry McDonald in the Observer has picked up on the PSNI’s latest incursion into Boston tapes morass. There is a blinkered police logic to this that contradicts the stated expectations of the law officers of the low likelihood of future prosecutions.   Pursue the Bloody Sunday paras and  give Gerry Adams lousy food in Antrim more…

Forecasting the 2015 UK General Election

Results and Forecast 2

CON 252, LAB 231, SNP 52, LD 41, UKIP 38,  DUP 9, GRN 9, PC 8, SF 6, SDLP 2, Independent 1, Speaker 1 Required for majority: 322 (CON 70 short, LAB 91 short) The upcoming UK General Election has been called “the most unpredictable for almost a century”. There are several reasons for this; the rise of UKIP, the Greens, and the SNP, the collapse of the Liberal Democrats, who nevertheless seem to maintain highly localized popularity more…

Ed Miliband: I’m not sure [120 PMQs have] made much difference to the sum of human knowledge!

Ed-Miliband at Heenan-Anderson Commission at Ulster University

Amongst the questions about education, mental health support and apprenticeships at this morning’s Heenan-Anderson Commission session with Ed Miliband, the Labour leader kept back one question to answer to the end. Youth and political engagement … listen to ‘#heenananderson Clip of @Ed_Miliband questioning PMQs which don’t make “much difference to sum of human knowledge”’ on more…

A spirit of genuine power sharing is needed to make more powers work for the Scottish Parliament

Power sharing of the genuine sort  is clearly needed to make work the complexity contained in the 44 draft clauses of legislation to grant sweeping new powers to the Scottish Parliament. But not for a while yet, if ever. David Cameron’s visit to Edinburgh to present the Command Paper was marked by political jostling much more complicated more…

Lessons from Chilcott apply to dealing with the past

Why is it when the search is on for instructive examples, that Ireland is seldom looked at by British movers and shakers?  Over  the behaviour of militantly anti-austerity parties when the focus is on Greece, an alternatively financed  health service, the behaviour of coalition governments, what a constitutional convention might achieve, Ireland  has a wealth of more…

Open Government: In what practical ways can citizens increase their engagement?

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 20.01.21

How to make Open Government practical or realistic possibility? As Matilda has pointed out there’s no pro forma method for going forward. In some countries it’s felt that it’s better if citizen start things, because few trust the government, and in other places, vice versa. In research into priorities amongst #OpenGovNI network members participation comes out more…

Can the next EU regulation guarantee data protection for all?

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream One of the points made by Tim Hughes in our OpenGovNI DigitalLunch was the need for protection of data for citizens. This discussion on European Data Rights, goes live shortly… You can joinin the NI Open Government Network at tinyurl.com/OpenGovNI

MoU to allow joint exercises between British and Irish Armies…

And it’s worth noting that after the first member of the PSNI was engaged by An Garda Siochana, Simon Coveney and Michael Fallon have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which as Michael Fisher notes… The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will be followed by the drafting of a three-year Action Plan that will contain more…

“Rangers has become a magnet for every chancer in town….”

Great piece from John McDermott in the FT (worth the registration)… The club, like the nation, had a comfortable dual identity as both Scottish and British. At its most famous game, the 1972 European Cup Winners’ Cup victory over FC Dynamo Moscow, fans sporting kilts and Robert Burns T-shirts waved the Union Jack alongside the more…

Hamilton balances the budget but 20,000 jobs destined for the scrapheap

So the NI budget? How was it for you? John Campbell of the BBC NI has most of the readings against Simon Hamilton’s draft budget… Mr Hamilton’s own account only references additions and neglects the subtractions.. Meanwhile Michael McHugh notes the eye-wateringly high number of public sector jobs expected to go… Around 20,000 jobs are more…

Acht na Gaeilge: Time for a mature discussion

The Stormont House Agreement arrived at as Christmas dawned was supposed to have heralded a new dispensation for Northern Ireland and yet here we are in early January with the same old theatrics. A Sinn Féin Minister proposes a consultation process on the long promised Irish Language Act (2006, St Andrews) and up pops that more…