Region Archives: UK

Stormont

Arlene says ‘it’s dangerous to transfer to nationalists’, but without cross community transfering it’s just another standoff…

I can only assume from the demeanour of DUP friends that this latest statement comes in reaction to wisdom distilled from the doorsteps… “It is dangerous to advocate supporting candidates who are Pro-United Ireland above preferences for fellow unionists. The greater the number of nationalist MLAs elected the stronger the push will be for a Border more…

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Renegotiate the St Andrews Agreement? No thanks says Sinn Fein. (Too much of a good thing)

Michelle O’Neill said over the weekend: We are not interested in renegotiating a new deal – we don’t need one. We need the implementation of what has previously been agreed. That’s part of the problem. The DUP have failed to implement previous agreements, the British government have failed to implement previous agreements and they have more…

“is Gerry the Genius sure he has thought all this through?”

In today’s Irish News, Newton Emerson asks the impertinent question… Remarks by Mike Nesbitt about cross-community voting distracted from what should have been the major story of the week. Northern Sinn Féin leader Michelle O’Neill has said her party will not return to the executive with Arlene Foster as first or deputy first minister until more…

Tony Blair has made the case for a rethink on Brexit and Northern Ireland will need a new financial deal. Is anybody listening?

Hurtling at us like a comet but unnoticed by the local worthies is the prospect for repatriating powers direct from Brussels to Stormont, Holyrood and Cardiff Bay. Among them are powers over agriculture and energy, which in Ireland are linked or integrated north and south. How they’ll be divvied up is  hasn’t  even been examined. more…

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NI’s post Brexit (and unpolicible) border will be dictated by the (un)generosity of #Brexit’s precise terms.

Last night, I rewatched Michael Smiley’s Something to Ride Home For, a light-hearted, three-part TV series featuring interviews and bike rides across Ulster (including Monaghan and Donegal) which was originally broadcast in the summer of 2015. There’s a section in his interview with author Dervla Murphy at Crossmaglen on the shores of what I took more…

Advert in Tyrone local paper for Vote Leave

Sinn Fein has abandoned the idea of Irish Independence for the EU

The recent blog post of Free Church of Scotland Minister Rev David Robertson ( @theweeflea ) on his conversion from being a Pro SNP Scottish Independence supporter to a person who would now vote “No” in any second Scottish Independence referendum has triggered some fierce debate.  I could not help but see the parallel between more…

“I don’t have to be a Sinn Féin republican.”

Despite the efforts of the former Sinn Féin MLA for North Antrim, Daithí McKay to reinvent himself [move along now… – Ed], some of his supporters appear not to be prepared to let it lie. Having resigned from the party over its handling of the Jamie Bryson coaching scandal, and its anointing of Daithí McKay’s successor, former Sinn Féin councillor Monica Digney is standing in more…

Pressure for special treatment for soldiers would kill any chance of agreement on the past. Obviously.

Flaws in the system of investigation into charges of  British army  misconduct “on the battlefield “   have been dramatically exposed in the disgrace of the solicitor Phil Shiner. In the Commons and in the press, it has reinforced calls for Theresa May to speed up the promised reform of how human rights law applies to more…

White Paper

UK Government produces #Brexit White Paper

The UK Government had just produced its Brexit White Paper which can be read here The text dealing with Ireland and the Common Travel Area comes to a grand total of 3 pages with two key commitments which are listed below; 4.9 We are determined that our record of collaboration, built on shared experience and more…

What on earth is James Brokenshire up to? Does he even realise he’s attacking the judiciary?

The recently retired and very steady SDLP veteran MLA Alban Maginness who is also a qualified barrister has been given space to mount a  measured  criticism  against  secretary of state James Brokenshire in the Belfast Telegraph for  his disastrous article in the Sunday Telegraph  complaining  that  an apparent “imbalance” that has led to a “disproportionate” more…

Theresa May holds the initiative as she makes promises on an open border

While the world is transfixed by Trump, we made a little quiet progress on the interlinked politics of Brexit and the future of the Assembly. What did we get from Theresa May’s immersion in the generally anti-Brexit atmosphere of the joint ministerial committee and a summit with Enda Kenny? A warm gesture of commitment,  that’s more…

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“on behalf of all those other people you let down by not being good enough to win the election…”

With kind permission of Tom Harris, the former Scottish Labour MP for Glasgow South, this is a posting from his Facebook page. It’s an important ‘dry your eyes’ corrective to beaten political parties, to get over themselves and a reminder that politics is competitive for good reason: There’s a lot of anger among my friends in the more…

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Caring for Carers? – 4 Corners, Cliftonville Football Club, and Rethinking Public Policy

The value of carers’ contributions to Northern Ireland is similar to that of the entire 2016/17 Stormont health budget – but is our Government investing in improving their circumstances? This year’s 4 Corners Festival (3-12 February) is highlighting carers’ contributions to our society through a banquet at City Hall for people who provide full time more…