Tag Archives | Parties

“So let nobody speak of a progressive or anti-Brexit pact either…”

In Saturday’s Irish News, Newton Emerson with some impertinent points about electoral pacts in the forthcoming General Election on June 8.  From the Irish News Sinn Féin has ordered the SDLP to stand down, although sadly not to dump arms, in North Belfast and Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Let nobody call this a nationalist pact, more…

The fault lies in ourselves, not just the politicians

Slagging off politicians is so often the default of Slugger comment, sometimes  down to  the level of that useful word “trolling,”   which  for me recalls the fate of the troll in “ The three billy goats gruff,” when the troll richly  deserves to  get crushed to bits. It ought to occur to people by now more…

Amnesty for soldiers and police officers appears imminent after the election. And the effect on prospects for restoring the Assembly?

The government appear to be on the brink of taking the legacy of the Troubles out of the hands of the Assembly. The only  question remains if they would entertain an agreed counter proposal from the Assembly parties . You can work out for yourself  the prospects of that The Times (£) are reporting that more…

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Brexit (in the short term) re-engineers the environment around Scotland’s political trilemma

Brexit is changing the terms under which the UK’s internal politics are played. If you thought it could only drive Scotland out of the UK let me re-introduce Dani Rodrik‘s Political Trilemma: …economic globalization, political democracy, and the nation-state are mutually irreconcilable. We can have at most two at one time. Democracy is compatible with national more…

Out of respect to the voters, the governments and parties must spell out in detail where they stand on the Assembly by next week. Otherwise the election is an insult to democracy.

Although only one of 13 MPs  to deny Theresa May the green light for calling a Westminster general election, Mark Durkan MP surely got it right for  Northern Ireland.    I was not asking for an election last week or the week before; I was arguing that any move to an election in the near more…

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A centrist alternative to the UK Labour Party?

It’s worth reading this first… …being an equidistant centre party is good for winning votes and terrible at winning seats. That’s three questions anyone wanting to set up a new centre party has to answer, just as a preliminary: What does your proposed party stand for? How are you going to build an actual party, more…

Left to themselves, the parties won’t agree. The time has come for the governments to bring forward solutions which involve the people directly

Observed from London, the political atmosphere at home is surreal.  The volume of comment on the talks is in inverse proportion to hard information. Expectations of agreement by Good Friday are so low that  the local media can barely be roused from torpor. Emergency action for feeding the Stormont cats occupied more space in the more…

Bertie Ahern the voice of sanity on a border poll and Brexit

It’s the prerogative of elder statesman  to tell it as it is without looking over their shoulder at the opposition inside and outside their own party.  Bertie Ahern gave a reminder of just how good he could be.  He spoke the language of stability in the fevered atmosphere of Leinster House. Micheal Martin please note. more…

Will unionists ever imagine a more generous vision than Orange culture to match Sinn Fein’s on unity?

Showing good timing and a big bunch of confidence, a warm house for Unionists in a united Ireland within the EU has been imagined once again by Matt Carthy of Sinn Fein. Political positioning, based solely on opposition to Irish unity, is unsustainable. Although he can hardly expect an immediate favourable response,  his pitch   is more…

Is Sinn Fein planning to make a virtue of its inability to ride two horses north and south?

One of the most enduring political quotes of 20th British politics is attributed to the Independent Labour MP John Maxton for Glasgow Bridgton, which goes to the effect that “if you cannot ride two horses at once, you shouldn’t be in the circus”. When you consider from a distance what’s been occupying Northern Ireland’s columnists, ie more…

The Assembly crisis is costing £300 million a year in Health alone

The Belfast Telegraph has an exclusive on the depth of the health crisis. It shows the real world  gap between the obsessive zero sum game that dominates politics and the practical need for regional government  of some sort. If the RHI scandal broke the Executive, will the long-term health scandal remake it? Northern Ireland’s health more…

At last! The British and Irish governments have produced an agreed plan to put to the Assembly parties from Monday 3 April

Not before time, a detailed talks plan agreed between the two governments has been presented to the Assembly parties and will form the basis of talks over a 10 day period beginning tomorrow.  Brian Rowan, former security correspondent and Assembly candidate, has got sight of it and has summarised it in EamonnMallie.com   As I’ve been more…

The political parties should not deceive themselves that the lessons from demographic change are simple and obvious

“ The morning after the Brexit vote, the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party said that “the constitutional question has been reopened, and we now have people who were content in Northern Ireland thinking again about a united Ireland” Has  this development become  the new driver of politics or is it  still in the background? At more…

Should the other Dublin parties denounce Sinn Fein if they’re gaming the Stormont talks?

The Irish Times political editor Stephens Collins enjoys an unusual dual role of senior political reporter and opinionated commentator. It’s not always clear if he’s getting a bead on emerging trends of opinion in politics or simply speaking for himself.  Perhaps what Stephen thinks today,  many of the guys in Leinster House think tomorrow?  Today, more…