Tag Archives | Parties

More Brexitref alarms: could a Corbyn government deliver Irish unity?

When we’re taking about Brexit fears, Newton Emerson in the Irish Times has an outlier scenario that’s sounds plausible but is full of holes.   He imagines the possibility of an early UK election out of the post-referendum chaos regardless who wins, with the Conservatives in worse disarray than Labour. Jeremy Corbyn gets SNP support more…

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…

After the election, and the SDLP’s gamble only just paid off…

Press Eye - SDLP  -  28th Jan 2016
Photograph By Declan RoughanSDLP's  leader Colm Eastwood.
SDLP Ð Prosperity not austerity
New SDLP team will deliver positive alternative for Northern IrelandSDLP leader Colum Eastwood MLA unveiled his new team of party spokespeople today at an event in Belfast at Cultœrlann McAdam î Fiach.  The nine spokespeople will shadow the nine new NI Executive Departments which are set to be in place in the next Assembly mandate. The party is the first to do so and the team will include MLAs and councillors from across the North.
New appointees include South Belfast MLA Claire Hanna (Department of Finance), former Belfast Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon (Department for Communities), West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan (Department for Infrastructure). Mid-Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone MLA is spokesperson for the Department of the Economy and Fearghal McKinney (South Belfast) continues as spokesperson for the Department of Health. Larger portfolios will see new teams where spokespeople are supported by Assembly or Council colleagues.

In the event, that leaked internal SDLP report which suggest five of their Assembly seats were in trouble in this election accounted for two they lost (Upper Bann and South Belfast) and one they weren’t expecting (Foyle). Swapping leaders with just six months to go left Eastwood little time to prepare for the fray. Radio silence from 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…

After the election, the UUP have… gone into opposition…

UUP MLAs

Some will have noticed a pause in these rough post-election profiles of the main and mid-sized parties. The truth is I was struggling with what I could usefully say about the UUP. It wasn’t a great election for them, but they at least pulled back to 16 (from 13). On reflection in terms of content or more…

Martin McGuinness: “We now wait to see if SDLP will stand by the principles of the Good Friday Agreement or follow the UUP into opposition…”

The response of Sinn Féin’s new MLA for Foyle, Martin McGuinness, to being upstaged – at the moment of his re-appointment as Northern Ireland deputy First Minister – by the UUP leader Mike Nesbitt’s announcement that his party had unanimously agreed to go into official opposition in the NI Assembly, betrayed a confused, or forgetful, party more…

To oppose or not oppose? Good government is the real priority

I hope wrangling over whether there should be an opposition or not doesn’t overshadow the important business of agreeing an outline programme for government.  Now is exactly the right time for all parties to pitch in on more or less equal terms with their ideas free of immediate electoral constraints. The election is over, Mike more…

#AE16 A 5% drop for nationalist parties on an increased overall turnout suggests it’s time for a serious rethink

Chris Donnelly nailed it on one of the primary emerging themes during BBCNI’s coverage at the Belfast Count Centre yesterday. A 5% drop in Nationalist turnout in an election which actually saw overall turnout rise should trigger a profound review in both main parties. True it has probably been ill served by the false cover more…

Sinn Féin’s partitionist approach to united Ireland referendum(s)…

… or an attempt to avoid ‘stupid’ questions about the party’s stated commitment to campaign against the fundamental principle of consent – that it is for the people of Northern Ireland to exercise their right of self-determination.  Those are the options from a comparison between the commitments on Irish unity Sinn Féin presented to the people more…