Region Archives: UK

Goldsmith’s Gamble Fails

A penny for Zac Goldsmith’s thoughts today! The now former MP for Richmond Park in Southwest London, resigned from his seat and from the Conservative Party to force a by-election in the constituency, to show his opposition to the Government’s plan to expand Heathrow. In the by-election held yesterday, Goldsmith was beaten by Lib Dem Sarah more…

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Martina Anderson joins the European Parliament’s #Brexit monitoring team…

Along with a Catalan separatist MEP, according to the Glasgow Herald… Mr Terricabras – who represents the SNP’s main Catalan allies Republicana Esquerra in the parliament – made clear his support for a deal with Scotland. He said: “To me it seems extraordinarily important for Catalans to see the possibilities that there are for an more…

EU Special Status, and ignoring the Northern Ireland Assembly…

As Mick noted this morning, Micheal Martin has joined the list of party leaders calling on the Irish and British Governments to negotiate for EU special status for Northern Ireland post-Brexit. At the recent All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit, there was the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said in his speech more…

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How the big UK parties utilise technology for canvassing & voter management…

UK political parties and constituencies are going through a period of ‘change-and-upgrade’ in relation to their campaign practices and constituency management. Ever since social media became a must-have for politicians there has been a pressure to manage their public life through digital means. In most respects, the US still leads the way in this type more…

Politics is not a lifestyle choice or some hippy form of self actualisation: it deals in the business of us, not me

Post truth society? As Ian Parsley notes on his blog this morning, we’ve have had a predilection for it here in Northern Ireland for as far back as anyone can remember. And we’re not alone. In 1956, speaking about writing, Ernest Hemingway noted in interview: Every man should have a built-in automatic crap detector operating more…

New life in an auld relationship? The Scottish government may pay for Northern Ireland abortions

A tentative move to erode the prohibitive position over abortion in Northern Ireland may become a landmark shift, now that the issue has been raised.  Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is open to the suggestion  as reported by the Guardian, that woman from Northern Ireland could have abortions performed free in Scotland under NHS devolution. more…

There is no threat to the Union. Irish bickering north and south over the reality of Brexit has to be replaced with practical cooperation, fast.

Newton’s latest observations on the “curmudgeonly” Arlene can be counterpointed with an incredibly wise article in the Indo by Brendan Keenan, Belfast born and bred but long anchored in Dublin and with a strong sense of reality for the interests of both. Arlene’s dour comments  can be contrasted  unfavourably  with the regal visionary style of more…

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If Medics Treated Patients As Governments Treat the NHS, We’d All Be Dead

Another Secretary of State pushes determinedly, blindly on with NHS reforms, with the notion they alone can solve the great mystery of health. No matter how well intentioned, policy making is doomed to fail as before. I humbly suggest another way. The NHS is now into its 30th year of perpetual reform (perhaps we should hold more…

“It was crazy to allege that the Irish government isn’t working for the interests of [northern] businesses.”

This is worth noting. It relates to Arlene’s accusation aimed at the Republic accusing them of poaching FDI opportunities away from NI. In reply to a written question from Cavan Monaghan TD Brendan Smyth, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor noted (scroll down to Question 506) this last week: Both agencies under the aegis more…

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If Ireland is facing a perfect economic storm, it’s surely time for a shift in strategy (and story)…

Good points here by Cormac Lucey, on the vulnerability of the Ireland’s long established and successful FDI (or what Arlene calls, poaching – but more on that later). First, he puts in the Republic’s clever exploitation of FDI into proper historical context: Consider the impact of the foreign-owned sector another way, by comparing living standards more…

Peace and Life by Yaacov AGAM

OPINION: Promote critical thinking skills for better democracy @WFDemocracy Strasbourg 2016

OPINION: Promote critical thinking skills for better democracy: World Forum for Democracy: Strasbourg 2016 by Allan LEONARD for Northern Ireland Foundation 7 November 2016 The 600 seats of the hemicycle of the Council of Europe soon filled with young activists and seasoned practitioners at the 2016 gathering of the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg. more…

“if you do that you are going to see a flood of companies leaving Ireland and Canada and Germany and France and they are going to come back to the United States…”

Here’s something for Taoiseach Enda Kenny, and any one else, to keep in mind when they hear that US President-elect Donald Trump “understands Ireland very well.  He was complimentary about the decisions made about the economy here.”  The Belfast Telegraph reports comments by Stephen Moore, a “senior economic advisor to Mr Trump”, on BBC Radio 4’s more…

Gordon Brown’s plan for a constitutional convention is likely to be stillborn, but his ideas for closing the yawning UK wealth gap deserve attention

A more federal UK is needed to create a more economically equal state and  buttress the Union’s survival, says the former prime minister Gordon Brown. New research starkly exposes the wealth gap between London and the regions more clearly than ever. The Northern Powerhouse plan for the north of England only scratches the surface and more…

Nationalists and unionists need to discard their illusions about Brexit. The gap is dangerously wide.

We begin with two different  views of the impact of Brexit in Northern Ireland;  from first, the historian and Irish Times columnist Diarmaid Ferriter, contrasted later with DUP MP Nigel Dodds. In 1998, at the time of the endorsement of the Belfast Agreement, Fintan O’Toole observed that “Northern Ireland is now a place that is more…

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