Region Archives: Wales

An answer to Rentoul. Referendums like terrorism can shape events, but not always in the ways expected

Alerted by Mick on the thoughts on referendums by the Independent’s political commentator John Rentoul, I took in his part 2 “Should Referendums be banned?” This is a rhetorical question which is really in  support of Rentoul’s  contention  that they make very little difference to the course of political  events. His pieces prompted my following more…


Time cannot silence the Voices of the Somme

Lurgan Volunteers with pic

At the start of July I posted on Slugger O’Toole to introduce Somme Voices, a month-long series of daily tweets in remembrance of that dreadful World War One battle. I’m returning to Slugger to bring the Somme Voices project to a close with a final poem. The reason is that I’d like to quote this more…


Wales now experiencing a mild dose of ‘buyer’s regret’?

Fascinating results from the Welsh Political Barometer poll. I doubt it was the taunting by Northern Ireland fans… More likely a post ref reminder that large parts of the post-industrial economy in Wales is sustained by EU structural funds now hang by a wafer thin Tory (neo-Thatcherite?) thread. Or just plain old morning after blues. Here’s the headline figures: Remain: more…


The wee nations of these islands show the way in Europe

It was a big week in Europe in more ways than one. Wales is left as the standard bearer of the home nations in the Euros. Northern Ireland and the Republic get honourable mentions  in the reputation stakes not only on the field but on the terraces and the pubs.  The Somme commemorations recall Britain’s more…


On parliamentary sovereignty and post-Brexit Britain

House of Commons

The latest phase in the stages of grieving for Remainers is the idea that parliament can save the UK’s membership of the EU. How would that play in blue-collar England? As 78% of the men on the Clapham omnibus, in the London Borough of Lambeth, voted Remain, we’ll need someone different to act as our more…


Five quick Brexit observations


1. I’m increasingly willing to see the split verdict as wise: offered stay in EU as-it-is versus get out utterly, the GB public says: make another option. 2. Overheard yesterday in Dublin: ‘So the English are knocked out of Europe twice in one week. Once by Iceland, once by people who shop there.’ 3. #CelticPride: This was found more…


Devolved legislatures and the EU

Devolved legislatures and the EU

Jim Fitzpatrick drew our attention to an interesting possibility the other day: (extract from Chapter 7 of The process of withdrawing from the European Union) The key issue here is the competency of Westminster to amend the Northern Ireland Act 1998, the Scotland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 2006 (and 1998 to more…


Euro 2016: Northern Ireland through to last 16

IFA logo

Despite losing to world champions Germany earlier today, Northern Ireland’s footballers have secured a place in the last 16 of the UEFA European Championship 2016.  There they’ll face either France or Wales. A heroic performance by NI’s freelance keeper, Michael McGovern, kept the ball out of the net on all but one occasion and the more…


We can already see a post-Brexit economy emerging. It’s grim.

Here’s a confusing financial press headline from today: German 10-year sovereign bond yields turn negative for first time. What does that mean in plain English: it means traders are so worried about what the UK economy would look like post-Brexit, they’re pulling their money out of the UK, and actually paying the German government to more…


EU referendum: The Reverse Sturgeon Option?

From Eirigi's Facebook page

The activities of dissident Irish republican groups is clearly something on the minds of many in Northern Ireland and Westminster. Following-on from the Home Secretary’s warning last month that a fresh attack was “a strong possibility” a number of arrests have been made at the gatherings of various dissident groups in different parts of Northern Ireland. more…


Can UKIP show its mettle in devolution?


Despite their significant media exposure I think it’s fair to say that so far UKIP’s main successes have come at the ballot box and not at the dispatch box. That the party serves as a repository for protest votes rather than enacting detailed policy is evidenced through the record of long-standing elected members. In his more…


Should doctors strike?


There is to be a further strike by junior doctors in England next week. They will not work between 8 am and 5 pm on 26 and 27 April. In previous strikes, cover for emergencies was maintained; this time it is ‘all out’. (The strikes, and the challenges of the new contract, don’t apply in more…


Northern Ireland’s first fact-checking service launched: FactCheckNI

FCNI Postcard

FactCheckNI — Northern Ireland’s first ever fact-checking service — was officially launched at the Skainos Centre in Belfast. The project — funded by the Big Lottery Fund through Building Change Trust — aims to influence public policy in regards to the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, keep politicians right in terms of both more…


Just a day to go to the Big EU Debate from Belfast


Tomorrow evening we’ll be holding our EU Referendum debate featuring some of the leading pro-leave and pro-stay campaigners. We’ll be pitting Owen Paterson MP (a former Secretary of State) against Vernon Coaker MP (the current Shadow Secretary of State). We’ll have Kate Hoey MP against former Conservative MEP, John Stevens. The good news is that more…


Referendum & devolution: 3 different pictures

Will they toe the line together?

The elections this May are almost certain to see the return of familiar faces of both nationalism and unionism. Of course I’m referring to the elections to the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, whose electorates will go to the polls on 5 May and then again most likely later in the year for the more…