Tag Archives | northern ireland assembly

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…

Threatening the existence of the Assembly is a victory for terrorism

Oh God, not another fundamental breakpoint founded on the highest principles, whether they’re about welfare or the IRA! Come on, get real. This kerfuffle over “IRA structures” will pass. For all their simulated outrage over the IRA or welfare, no politician – none of the leaders anyway – want to close Stormont down.  Electoral politics more…

As austerity is set to continue whatever, it’s time for civil society to call for a halt in the game of chicken over the budget

The silence from local economists and business people has been deplorably deafening about the game of chicken being played out in the Assembly over the budget and the welfare Bill. Rather than mixing it with the politicians they can perhaps be forgiven for turning to bigger pictures and hoping that the Assembly will do likewise. more…

Northern Ireland Executive spending dribbles out without a clear narrative. Does anybody care?

Taking a break from the minutiae of party battle,  let’s just see how we’re faring on policy – you know the stuff that politics is supposed to serve. The current results are mixed. Three points for more progress on school sharing between Protestant and Catholics. Why not go the whole hog and integrate them for heaven’s sake? more…

Spreading the word in the Irish language requires a new beginning

I thought I’d tiptoe into the minefield of the “Irish Language Act”, an area where the massed ranks of persuadables risk getting wasted by the zealots, but here goes. Concubhar is right, there should be a mature discussion. I’m one of those who shrugged off Gregory Campbell’s leaden humour and hoped that most language supporters felt more…

Assembly reform needed but to enable rather than to block

Rick Wilford the recently retired professor of Politics at Queens, provides  an analysis in the Belfast Telegraph  of the deadlock in power sharing that is as bleak as it is authoritative. “That there is a case for reforming the Assembly and the Executive is irrefutable”… This was recognised by all parties at St Andrews, where more…

2011 Sinn Fein/DUP Speaker Deal

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In 2011 during the election of William Hay as speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly it was agreed that Sinn Féin would assume the post in May 2014. First Minister Peter Robinson (DUP) confirmed the deal to the Stormont Assembly.   Following William Hay’s retirement due to ill health the DUP apparently reneged on the more…