Region Archives: UK

Lord Ashcroft: The Tories need to show that it matters who wins.

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As we approach the general election next May, Slugger will be hosting a series of articles looking at the chances of each of the main parties next year. Writing for us on the Conservatives is the former Deputy Chairman and pollster, Lord Ashcroft. Since I stepped down as the Conservatives’ Deputy Chairman in 2010 my more…

Theresa in the Wonderland of the Hallett review

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The plainly rushed Hallett Review and the British government response to it raise as many questions as answers. They expose not a carefully planned discreet operation but a terribly improvised muddle in which the  left hand ( the  PSNI)  did not know the full de facto amnesty effect of what the right hand ( the more…

Are we slowly waking up to the pressing need to deal with child sexual abuse?

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Something interesting is happening in the territory of child sexual abuse. The arrests over the last few days indicate a few rather disturbing patterns… Police forces across the country have arrested 660 suspected paedophiles including doctors, teachers and former police officers in the biggest operation for more than ten years targeting online child abusers. A more…

Martina Anderson MEP: “and if the British government lifts its ban on Executive access to the EIB…”

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No update yet from Sinn Féin on the meeting they chose to trail a couple of days ago between three of their MEPs, led by the Derry Northern Ireland representative, Martina Anderson, and “the Vice-Chairman of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Jonathan Taylor”.  But let’s hope they were better briefed than the 15 July press release suggests, more…

UPDATED #ShinnersList not a secret and not an amnesty…

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So, the #ShinnersList is real, legal but not an enforceable amnesty… The police had realised they had made a mistake, but the assurance to the County Donegal man was never withdrawn. “Nothing in law or logic” explained their failure to rectify the error, Lady Justice Hallett said. “The administrative scheme was kept ‘below the radar’ more…

Gove, Cameron and the old four year Switcheroo…

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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…

Intercept evidence could convict terrorists, says former SoS Murphy

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As a  curtain raiser to Lady Justice Heather Hallett’s  review of OTRs’  “ administrative scheme” due out tomorrow (Thursday), the mild-mannered former Labour secretary of state Paul Murphy has told the separate  inquiry into the affair by the Commons Northern Ireland Select Committee that more convictions might have been obtained if the rules of evidence more…

Why is Irish nationalism neutral on Scottish independence?

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Martin Mansergh is a splendid relic of an old Anglo-Irish tradition, a Tipperary landlord, one of a very rare breed of Fianna Fail intellectuals, an adviser on the North to successive Fianna Fail Taoisigh, a minster who never quite fulfilled his promise possibly due to his background, a historian and son of Nicholas, one of more…

“Gay cake” case may prompt top level legal rethink

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The life story of Andrew Muir, the mayor of North Down is part of Northern Ireland’s long journey towards civilisation – including the fact that as an openly gay person he made it to mayor at all. It was his Bangor reception that sparked the Great Cake Discrimination Case. Even so, the case may not more…

Where the big arguments for devolution are heading

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This post most of which I mainly wrote for an academic blog gives anyone interested a heads up on a more sophisticated theatre of devolution – Scotland –  assuming it votes No in the referendum. A couple of points to start with. First, taxation is the big theme. How much of its own revenue should more…

Police win flag protest appeal

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As the BBC reports, the Appeals Court has overturned a High Court ruling in April that the PSNI misdirected themselves in relation to policing the flag protests in Belfast – which “led to the situation in which the police facilitated illegal and sometimes violent parades with the effect of undermining the 1998 Act, in breach more…

Book Review of The Scarlet Woman and the Red Hand: Evangelical Apocalyptic Belief in the Northern Ireland Troubles by Joshua Searle

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Pastor James McConnell’s provocative comments about Islam last month sparked outrage and indignation throughout Northern Ireland – as well as sympathy and defence from some quarters, it must be admitted. But I couldn’t help thinking that what McConnell said about Islam wasn’t all that different from what Rev Ian Paisley had been saying for years more…

Gerry Adams: “this can be too easily twisted into a view that since everyone was to blame, nobody was to blame…”

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The Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, TD, has been blaming others, again, for the failure to agree a comprehensive package on, among other issues, dealing with the past – in particular, a failure to agree on the holistic approach that could be said to characterise the mechanisms contained in the Haass proposals.  But he had some interesting more…

Gerry Conlon dies…

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“To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice.” – Magna Carta 1215, clause 40 Sorry to hear of the passing of Gerry Conlon, one of the Guildford Four who were wrongly arrested and convicted of the IRA’s bombing of two 6-pound gelignite bombs at two pubs more…