Tag Archives | Politics

Changing the conversation with e-petitions in Northern Ireland

Mairaid McMAHON presentation on e-petitions for Northern Ireland. Xchange Summer School, LIFE Church, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

As part of the Xchange Summer School, Mairaid McMahon announced the launch of e-petitions in Northern Ireland, which is scheduled to appear on the Northern Ireland Assembly website in September 2016. She described the shortcomings of the current system of petitioning politicians, which included the need for support from an MLA — making them gatekeepers more…


Ireland – The Politics of Consensus and Spoof

Consensus Politics?

Is consensus politics choking the Irish system? Freelance journalist Feidhlim ó Broin makes the case Much has been written recently about the steady rise of Fine Gael in the polls, about the nascent economic recovery and the construction of a new, progressive, modern Republic. Indeed, Ireland’s political parties illustrate this new order. Fine Gael, Fianna more…


Paisley: Relic of the Past or Harbinger of the Future?

LRB 1987 cover Paisley

I recently chanced upon this 1987 review by Charles Townshend in the LRB of Steve Bruce’s God Save Ulster: The Religion and Politics of Paisleyism. It now reads as a fascinating period piece. Just the previous month, Paisley had performed the first of his major protests at the European Parliament, heckling Margaret Thatcher. She was more…


The 10 most annoying political phrases in Northern Ireland

Nice wee Friday thread for you all to get your head showered from the madness of Northern Ireland politics. One thing that really bugs me is the platitudes that pass for talking points in our political system. These annoying phrases can be heard on Nolan, Talkback and the Sunday Politics most weeks and if you more…


Blogging: Why I bother doing it.

Guide to Blogosphere 2010

Blogging, why the hell do you bother? This is the question that bloggers of all stripes get asked A LOT and in the past week I have been getting this question more often than I usually do. It’s a fair enough question I suppose. There is no secure income from it, it is generally looked more…


Why Enda must aim for a 2016 Election Date

Predicting elections is a tricky business. The pressure of government sees events overtake plans very quickly. Deciding when to go to the country has always been a holy grail of strategy for serving Taoisigh. There are many examples of getting it wrong and still many more of where a government collapse takes the decision away more…


Losing the armour after decades of hurt

Paul Francis Quinn is a singer and in this heartfelt piece he describes exactly what the recent marriage referendum result meant for him and many others. In 1986, near the end of a long, balmy and sleepless summer, a heterosexual male friend and I took the DART from the suburbs of Bray. Into the city more…


Take a position or face irrelevance – The FF choice?

Fianna Fail needs to decide on its path for the future.  Most of all it needs to decide who it represents according to Communications Consultant John McGuirk.   A year ago today, two of Fianna Fáil’s biggest stars were its young, attractive, articulate Senator for North Dublin, Averil Power, and it’s poll-topping, gravity-defying MEP for more…


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

Logo NIA

“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…