Tag Archives | Parties

At home the ” running commentary” defence is under pressure. But at the EU summit, Theresa is limited to pitching ” over coffee” tonight.

 With the leak of Brexit cabinet committee documents and the Chancellor’s admission of tensions within  the committee itself, the UK government’s refusal to give “a running commentary” is under heavy pressure already. This morning in Commons questions, the Brexit Secretary still stalled on the details but insisted in general : Davis says the government will more…

On dealing with the past, Brokenshire should demand Executive action or withdraw the money

James Brokenshire is at least the eighth secretary of state to utter warm words about dealing with the past.   It’s almost two years since the abortive Stormont House Agreement described new structures headed by a new Historic Investigations Unit. £150 million will be made available by Westminster over the next five years to implement the more…

NI Attorney General on post-brexit future: “not one word or phrase in the Belfast Agreement” would be affected

There might be another, somewhat related, reason why Sinn Féin delegated their now-backbench MLA, John O’Dowd, to front the party’s support for the High Court legal action against Brexit – as a party of the NI Executive they may have seen legal advice from the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, John Larkin, QC. Earlier reports more…

Tom Watson reminds @UKLabour that it has a record it can defend rather than just destroy…

“Trashing our record is not the way to enhance our brand. We won’t elections like that, and we need to win elections” @tom_watson pic.twitter.com/d6OkXKqYm4 — DailySunday Politics (@daily_politics) September 27, 2016 He reminded his Conference audience that the single-minded denunciation of its own government record (for the last six years, ie it is not simply more…

Since Corbynistas joined @UKLabour digitally, it looks like they prefer to fight their battles that way too.

Strong piece from Polly Toynbee at the Labour Party conference today, where she’s been fielding puzzled inquiries from fervent Corbyn-ites as to why she’s anti-Jeremy Corbyn when both she and he stand for roughly the same things. It’s more than a decent and comprehensive response. Corbyn could apply a little balm to the great gash in his more…

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What will make for a good opposition at Stormont?

The two main government parties seem to have convinced a large chunk of the media that in order to be effective as an opposition, the UUP and the SDLP must form a government-in-waiting. It suits the DUP and Sinn Fein to paint it that way in order to cover their many splits on policy. Unfortunately, it more…

The Ulster Unionists and the SDLP need to form a shadow Executive. Otherwise, they face oblivion

In the tradition of political comment for decades without a government, Alex Kane’s analysis of the state of opposition at Stormont  concentrates on political positioning rather than the politics of policy. He exaggerates somewhat  the achievements of the two- party Executive. Foster and McGuinness have played a blinder in terms of standing together on difficult issues more…

Brexit is not an alibi for inertia. Executive action within its own powers is needed on the economy

The Executive must take action within its own powers to counteract the slowdown effect of Brexit. That’s the consensus among economic commentators. But as yet there’s little sign of that happening. The begging bowl strategy was already failing and bluster against “ austerity “ will have declining impact. And with the replacement of inclusive multi-party more…

A time to press for Irish unity or a time to stay cool?

In contrast with Chris Donnelly’s reasoned case and the speculation that Fianna Fail may at last organise in the North, herewith Newton Emerson’s latest in the Irish Times The Troubles generation was marked by an almost total collapse in the unionist sense of Irishness, which is usually explained as a reaction to republican violence. However, more…

“rather than trying to pretend that essentially, testing does not exist”

As the BBC notes, the Northern Ireland Education Minister, the DUP’s Peter Weir, has reversed the department’s previous position prohibiting the use of academic selection to decide what post-primary school pupils transfer to.  That position was set out in 2008 by then NI Education Minister, Sinn Féin’s Caitríona Ruane, and upheld by the subsequent Minister, Sinn Féin’s John O’Dowd. more…

Message for the divided politicians. Read the long list. This is what really matters over Brexit.

Divisions in the Executive and the Assembly contributed to the lack of  scenario planning for the referendum outcome and are inhibiting the development of a clear Brexit strategy. These are among the conclusions in  a comprehensive briefing paper prepared for the Centre for Peace Building and Democracy ( chair Lord Alderdice) by  Queen’s academics  Professor more…