Region Archives: UK

#SpotlightNI: Dodgy deals and private societies which turn out not to be what they seem…

Here’s a conversation involving Peter Weir of the DUP and Francie Molloy both trying to find ways to defend the otherwise indefensive on Spotlight last night… listen to ‘DUP's Peter Weir & SF's Francie Malloy react to Spotlight expenses investigation’ on audioBoom Now, I’m not a fan of expenses stories, but listening Peter Weir you more…

Sinn Féin MP: “I think this is part of an ongoing process by the BBC of insulting the Irish people…”

The DUP and Sinn Féin have united, again, to complain about the BBC’s use of subtitles during an interview with County Londonderry blacksmith, Barney Devlin, on its Sunday evening Countryfile programme.  Of the two parties, the DUP’s Peter Weir, MLA, was relatively restrained The DUP MLA, Peter Weir, told BBC 5Live that he also felt more…

Remembrance: Could we ‘hack’ a common purpose from our shared and bloody history?

‘Traditions’ which appear or claim to be old are often quite recent in origin and sometimes invented. Eric Hobsbawm In his introduction to a 1983 collection of essays Eric Hobsbawm notes not only that traditions are by definition ‘unchanging and invariant’, but that they are themselves created or invented as a response to rapid technological more…

We’re just managing poverty (and those who experience it) rather than tackling and overcoming it

This is my response to an article on Slugger O’Toole describing welfare reform as the “horror show“. The article itself was excellent, in the sense that it gave an entirely fair commentary of many of the opinions held on welfare reform (albeit limited to a particular, often unrepresentative sector). However, most of these are based more…

#OpenGovNI: Why a loose, distributed and eclectic network is vital… [updated with audio and video]

BCT launched Northern Ireland Open Government Network 2014

A key irony noted by Tim Hughes of Involve is that conversations about Open Government can very quickly become wonky and technical, and as a consequence begin to close out the ordinary citizen with techno jargon and insider speak. Wednesday’s launch of the Open Government Network Northern Ireland at Malone House in Belfast was moderately successful in broadening their more…

Open Government in Practice 2 – Open Policy Making

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Paul Braithwaite has been leading the Building Change Trust’s work exploring the issue of open government over the past year, focusing on the international Open Government Partnership initiative and its potential in Northern Ireland.  Last week the topic in focus was open budgets, this week it’s the turn of open policy making.   A new more…

The Taoiseach: “I will ask them the question that the Deputy will not answer.”

There was a clear attempt at political revisionism this week, as the Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, TD, sought to, as Anthony McIntyre put it, “claw back lost ground” following an “unprecedented” Leaders’ questions in the Dáil on Wednesday 22 Oct – aided and abetted by interventions from the legal representative of four of those accused, and acquitted, more…

Federalism – Wherefore The Union?

I have long been of the view that a federal UK would be the eventual outworking of devolution.  Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has been calling for a constitutional convention for the last few years. Scottish Conservative Murdo Fraser outlined his thoughts on Slugger earlier this year. Why Murdo Fraser is right to promote UK more…

Lord Bew on the Prospects for Dealing with the Past

Yesterday’s House of Lords debate on the Haass-O’Sullivan Talks raised questions about the responsibility of the British and Irish governments, as well as the Northern Ireland parties, in moving forward on addressing the legacy of the past. Lord Bew’s remarks on the unlikeliness of ‘a shared process of recovery from the past’ were particularly sobering more…

Cahill brings up matter of recordings of her meetings with Adams…

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Mary Lou McDonald stumbled a little today on RTE’s Saturday with Brian Dowling programme when the host read out a tweet from Mairia Cahill referencing recordings of her meetings with Gerry Adams. There are recordings which exist in relation to those IRA meetings in those flats. @MaryLouMcDonald — Mairia Cahill (@mairiac31) October 18, 2014 She mentioned it more…

Jonathan Powell: The Lessons of Northern Ireland

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Following the launch of his new book ‘Talking to Terrorists,” former Chief of Staff to Prime Minister, Tony Blair, Jonathan Powell, writes exclusively for Slugger about the lessions he learned from his time working on the Northern Ireland peace process The Northern Ireland negotiations were the most difficult and frustrating challenge I faced in my more…