Tag Archives | northern ireland assembly

Boring to say so perhaps, but a stable DUP- Sinn Fein partnership matters more than hopes for the opposition or changes in voter behaviour

While we wait on developments, our thoughts might profitably turn to a  the immediate future in which the key signifier is nearly 50:50 but the electorate is becoming somewhat more diverse than that and looking for “delivery.” What sort of cross community politics may be emerging? Which will be the more important: a better DUP/SF more…

Alliance grip tightens? Or hold hands with Sugden?

Waiting for the FA Cup Final the Newsletter has made a simple inquiry to the renamed OFMDFM. Presumably they passed the information onto the office holders who will respond accordingly. My job share suggestion won’t fly apparently. Brendan Heading is not the only one interested…But how about SF  and DUP one after the other, like Israel’s more…

The failure of the DUP and Sinn Fein to agree on the big issues is giving Alliance more leverage than they could have ever dreamt of .

Listening to Radio Ulster’s Inside Politics, little Alliance seems to have the joint leaders on a hook. It appears that the main sticking point for David Ford was Foster and McGuinness’s refusal to accept reform of the blocking mechanism of the petition of concern. Ford has been campaigning for reform for a long time, most more…

Assembly brinkmanship must end soon

In the last mandate David Ford liked to boast that the Alliance party was unique because they had been finally chosen to occupy the Justice department by the whole Assembly rather than selected by the mechanism of D’Hondt.  Because of their status they are more essential to the formation of the Executive than the SDLP more…

Nesbitt’s gamble: at last the Ulster Unionists (and the SDLP) will have to decide what they stand for or face oblivion in the next Assembly

Since the election and even before it, commentators have been  casting around  desperately for anything that suggests that the old muscle- bound duopoly is starting to crumble.  Even the DUP  “victory”  is being  hyped as a harbinger of change alongside the Sinn Fein “ defeat”.  Something, anything that  might mean fresh movement or greater stability. more…

The DUP manifesto: a fair start but big issues are left out

In the DUP manifesto,, buzz phrases like better service delivery and the modernisation of government  are invoked in  support of the business- like appeal of Arlene Foster  the party is relying on at the outset of their campaign. There is a marked lack of “shared future”  and united  community rhetoric. At the same time unionist/loyalist more…

Gerry Adams at Easter. In full

I though it worthwhile to put on the record Gerry Adams’ Easter Centenary address, part unreconstructed old republicanism, part election address, a classic of its kind in style and content, without further comment.   On Sunday 27th March, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD addressed the Easter Rising commemoration in Belfast’s Milltown Cemetery. Mr Adams more…

Has the Co-option system passed its sell by date?

TIME FOR CHANGE: I was on Evening Extra yesterday (40 mins in) with the former Communications Director, Ruairi O’Kane debating the virtues of co-option. Before this term is out, we will have two more new faces in Stormont as Peter Robinson and Pat Ramsey depart the Assembly this month.

There seemed to be a Purple glow over the city

PCAM

Guest Blogger Ann Allan talks about the Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month event at Stormont on Monday November 2nd As a blogger I’m always on the look out for a subject for my next blog. In my case it is usually something witty (hopefully) and the word ‘me’ or ‘I’ comes up quite a lot. As more…

Coming out. For equality.

fergal

Fergal McFerran is the President of NUS-USI, the organisation which represents around 200,000 students in Higher and Further education across Northern Ireland. He tweets @FergalMcFerran. This weekend I did something I was never sure that I’d be able to do. I got on a train and I went home to see my family. This journey more…

Stormont deal now looking likely

Very gradually, the language surrounding the political talks is changing from negative to cautiously constructive, as Noel McAdam’s report shows .. In the strongest indication the party could return to the Executive, Mrs Foster has said the DUP will respond “positively” to positive developments during the inter-party talks on IRA activity and welfare reform. There more…

For the AssembIy solution, it’s the Stormont House agenda, stupid!

Amid all the sterile political sparring, the most significant development in the Assembly stand- off  has been the one that has been almost totally ignored – the UK governments’ publication of a summary of measures which would form the basis of a Northern Ireland  (Stormont House Agreement ) Bill  to be included in the Queens more…

Will Sinn Fein emerge as winners once again?

For general stimulation, Kevin Toolis, a noted historian of the IRA, presents the millennarian version of Sinn Fein’s outlook in the Times(£) For the IRA and Sinn Fein, the collapse of Ulster’s power-sharing executive shortly before Irish voters go to the polls is a perfect political storm that could sweep Gerry Adams to power in more…

Are you impressed with the latest Assembly moves?

Gaming in the Assembly crisis  reaches new heights ( or depths) with the DUP delivering an undisclosed ultimatum  to the secretary of state  and the Ulster Unionists implementing their own ultimatum by refusing to take part in talks on the basis of the Stormont House Agreement,  even though Mike Nesbitt’s way out of one part more…

Who is responsible and what’s at stake in the Assembly standoff

David McKittrick emerges from retirement to pass a magisterial verdict on the Assembly in the Newsletter, while the paper has just run a long and fascinating interview with David Trimble by Alex Kane. His view of the history since 1998 is not a million miles from the familiar saying that Sinn Fein were  clever enough more…