Tag Archives | Politics

The right side of truth – Saying No to Same Sex Marriage

James D. is well known to many people on Twitter as @jdtips . Apart from reading odds and giving many betting tips he is also an advocate of a No vote in the upcoming referendum on same sex marriage.  Having heard the case for the ‘Yes’ vote he now lays out his case for people more…

Electors, Prisoners and the ECHR

There are complicated rules about who can and can’t vote, and who can and can’t be a candidate in UK elections. It also depends on the type of election, local, for Westminster or for the EU. I’ve put up a short and incomplete summary here—it’s already quite turgid enough, and I’m not going to repeat more…

Slugger O’Toole – New Horizons in the Republic

I am delighted to take up the role of Southern Editor here at Slugger O’Toole.  It is the perfect time for ‘Slugger’ to expand.  Over the next year we want to bring that unique approach to the Irish political scene.  In the past I was deeply involved in grass root politics.  Ireland has a great more…

GE2015: The Autopsy

When there’s something puzzling or suspicious or unnatural about a death, there’s an autopsy. Sometimes it’s obvious what happened, sometimes it takes time and tests to discover the truth; just very occasionally it’s not possible to determine with certainty the sequence of events. Before 10 pm on Thursday night, we were all wrong; and immediately more…

A hung Parliament? What then?

Opinion polls over the last few weeks suggest that no parliamentary party will have an overall majority in the Westminster parliament; we will have a ‘hung parliament’. What then are the consequences? Who will govern, and how? It’s useful to go back a few steps in the process. Each constituency votes for a member to more…

“Today, I hold fast to all tenets of mistrust…”

The novelist Howard Jacobson on the virtues of art and literature over politics and politicians… It doesn’t follow from what I say that we should hand over the reins of political power to artists. They wouldn’t make a better job of it. But we would all make a better job of thinking about politics – more…

Drug Decriminalisation

Channel 4 showed a documentary a couple of days ago about cannabis. One of the commentators was Dr David Nutt, once the government’s chief drugs adviser until he suggested some decriminalisation, when he was very unceremoniously sacked. Cannabis now comes in two varieties, the original ‘hash’ and modern ‘skunk’. Skunk is a hybrid, and is more…

Purdy to leave the BBC

Just in from the BBC; Political Correspondent Martina Purdy is leaving Ormeau Ave for a new vocation in the church. Speaking about her decision she said “I’ve been a journalist now for almost 25 years, 15 of them at the BBC,” Martina said. “It has been an immensely rewarding profession. “I am especially grateful to more…

“We need a politics of recognition not identities”: Professor Rick Wilford

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“We need a politics of recognition not identities”: Professor Rick Wilford Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings 17 June 2014 As part of his retirement from Queen’s University Belfast, Professor Rick Wilford was invited to present a lecture: “Two cheers for consociational democracy?” The Senate Chamber of Parliament Buildings provided a most appropriate setting for his review more…

Tenx9-A true story of Belfast

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Over the past two years I have constantly heard yarns from all and sundry about the importance of culture. Who belongs to this tradition and what emblems we should back over the other? So, I went along to the most recent Tenx9 event in the Black Box on Wednesday evening to see a cultural event more…

Live drawing #TweetupNI (and with Ian Knox)

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Local tweeters give Ellen and the Oscars a #TweetUpNI selfie. David McCann kicked proceedings off at around 8pm with a healthy turnout. #tweetupni @dcmbfs kicks off the tweetup in McHughs pic.twitter.com/zJbVp9HPfl — Alan in Belfast (@alaninbelfast) March 13, 2014   Derek McCallan from @NI_LGA launched #participate14.Then the mayor spoke:   Belfast Lord Mayor @newbelfast addressing @sluggerotoole #tweetupni – more…

Does social media have much influence or use in NI politics or protests? #nisocialpol

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Researchers Orna Young and Jonny Byrne hosted a panel discussion in the University of Ulster this morning on Transformative Networks – Social Media, Politics and Protests. A panel gave their thoughts and afterwards there was a discussion. In the first part you’ll hear Orna Young introduce the event, followed by Alan Meban and Dave Magee. more…

Learning Together: NI21 Party Conference

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Learning Together: Maximising Common Education NI21 Party Conference by Allan Leonard for Northern Ireland Foundation 16 November 2013 At the NI21 inaugural party conference at the Europa Hotel, I chaired a fringe meeting to explore how shared and integrated education could be increased in Northern Ireland, and what potential role NI21 could have here. The more…

Jobs and Freedom for Northern Ireland

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Sponsored by the US Consulate Belfast, the Washington-Ireland Programme and Politics Plus, Chris Lyttle MLA hosted a remembrance event at Parliament Buildings for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, with Martin Luther King Jr’s speech, “I have a dream”. Chris recalled his experience as a participant in the Washington-Ireland more…

Basil and John need a name for their New Party: Can you help?

Renegade former Ulster Unionist MLAs Basil McCrea and John McCallister have now publicly announced that they intend to set up a new political party for those disaffected with the political direction of the UUP under Mike Nesbitt’s leadership. At this point, the new party still needs a name. As both Basil and John lived through more…

What remains valuable about the middle ground in Northern Ireland?

It’s a commonplace wisdom in Northern Ireland that the middle ground of politics is exactly where you don’t want to be. Both nationalist and unionist politicians who have taken up middle positions have long been subject to the kind of death threats and physical attacks the Alliance party is being subjected to. The animus raised more…