Topic Archives: Government

In dealing with the past, both the state and its legal critics should stop playing games

 “The UK is still in breach of international law for failing properly to investigate unresolved killings, especially and most controversially where state agents might have been involved”. So  states Brian Gormally the director fo the legal lobby group the Committee on the Administration of Justice, quoting the UN Committee on human Rights, No doubt Nuala O’Loan more…

Baroness O’Loan reflecting on the foundations required to build peace

Nuala O'Loan Corrymeela APERTURE festival

Sunday afternoon wasn’t Baroness O’Loan’s first visit to Corrymeela. When setting up the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, she brought staff up to Ballycastle to talk through how they would ensure that their own backgrounds and experiences would not hamper the impartiality of the office and it’s investigations. She began her address speaking about being more…

“It is rather as if the US and Europe ended up not only accepting the right of ISIS to exist but went on to embrace Islam as their state religion…”

At The Broken Elbow, Ed Moloney responds to the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams’ recent claim that “the IRA was never defeated” and, in the process, provides a useful corrective to the partial, ahistorical, view held by some.  From The Broken Elbow post Adams was also responding, according to press reports, to recent remarks by British more…

“Still, there are words for the sort of reception meted out, and the most polite are ‘low’ and ‘key’.”

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… or, rather, as far away from the ranch as you can reasonably get…  For the benefit of those concerned about accountability and the democratic process…  Liam Clarke has some points to make about Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, and the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness’ recent, more…

We need a national conversation

A deep and wide process of engagement with citizens to co-create a future vision for N(n)orthern Ireland could help jolt our peace process and our politicians out of the stalemate we find ourselves in.   I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in a few far-flung places, including Pakistan, DRC and Rwanda – each more…

NI Public Appointments Commissioner: “Despite all the supportive talk in principle I don’t see any change in the public appointment process.”

When the previous Commissioner for Public Appointments in Northern Ireland, Felicity Huston, stepped down from the role in 2011 she, pointedly, wished whoever her successor would be “the best of luck”, noting that She said there were difficulties asserting her role as a regulator at Stormont. “People recruit people who look like them, sound like more…

It’s authenticity, not left or right wing, that’s scoring with oppositions

Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn although poles apart, have nevertheless more in common than Corbyn would like to admit (Trump wouldn’t take Corbyn under his notice). Not as political ideologues but as icons of “authenticity,” that holy grail of reality politics which itself is ironically becoming a marketing category. Authenticity works for Labour’s Alan Johnson more…

“future banknote designs, starting with the new polymer £5 note, will explicitly represent all four nations of the UK.”

As mentioned in this BBC report focused on the first Bank of England polymer banknote – a £5 note featuring Sir Winston Churchill which will be issued in 2016. Banknotes will feature images from all four nations of the UK starting with the new £5 note entering circulation in 2016. [Timing, eh? – Ed]  Eh?  more…

After Greece – where now for Cameron’s negotiating?

David & Donld

Donald Tusk has improved his English lately, which may have something to do with his employing of an Ulster-born speech-writer. The former Prime Minister of Poland took-over from Herman “damp-rag” Van Rompuy as the President of the Council of the EU last year, this was the job once sought by Tony Blair, but no British more…

“Sinn Féin were not in court today. Councillor Kelly was, and he was acquitted of all charges.”

Entirely unrelated to Sinn Féin’s opposition to welfare reform… Last week a Deputy District Magistrate in Londonderry acquitted Sinn Féin Councillor Colin Kelly on charges of fraudulently claiming over £19,000 in Housing Benefit and Job Seekers Allowance between November 2010 and March 2014 – when he was a member of Derry City Council.  He is currently a councillor on more…

How feasible is a 7 day NHS?

cardiac-217139_640

So, Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary for England and Wales, wants consultants to work a 7-day week, and is prepared to impose this. Simon Hamilton, the local Health Minister, agrees. This demand is based on there being 6,000 extra and unnecessary deaths (in England and Wales) when patients are admitted at the weekends. This assertion is questionable. more…

A modest proposal (to abandon public service broadcasting

When some propose a massive change in the way the BBC is structured and run, you have to ask ‘what problem are they trying to solve’? This advocacy piece on Political Betting betrays a profound thoughtlessness behind scrapping the licence fee for a subscription service: In the beginning, the licence fee was entirely justifiable. It more…

niedcamp: Teachers Taking the Initiative

education

It is now widely accepted that reform of public services must continue over the coming years as both central and local government try to offer the same level of service with less money to spend. As a result we can expect further decentralisation, eradication or contracting out of some back-office functions and ever-closer relationships with more…

Election Notebook (Nick Robinson) – a humble & honest recollection of #ge2015 – and a reminder that NI politics don’t matter at a UK national level

Nick Robinson Election Notebook

Nick Robinson’s premise was to document the twelve month run up to the May 2015’s General Election. Between the Scottish independence referendum, UKIP’s rise and wobbles, and early polling that couldn’t predict the next government at Westminster, it was sure to be volatile period on which to report. The diary format of Election Notebook: The more…

Greek deal: This Is NOT a Coup

EU flag

Whether the Syriza-led government of Greece survives its own domestic democratic pressures remains to be seen following the deal struck at the Eurozone summit yesterday – in the end the 28 EU leaders didn’t have to meet…  The Guardian live-blog on the Greek crisis notes one possible scenario Analysts at Eurasia Group suspect Greece could soon head towards more…

What Austerity is what it isn’t (and, really how not to haggle)…

Now, notwithstanding the sage advice of Chris Dillow that “understanding support for austerity requires not an economist but a psychologist”, here’s Newton Emerson to duly report that whatever Northern Ireland is suffering, it sure ain’t austerity: HNIW9 from The Detail on Vimeo. There’s the narrow case that Newton makes here, but to that you can more…

Casement Park Development: Further allegations at Assembly Committee Hearing

The BBC reports that GAA official, and independent Northern Ireland Policing Board member, Ryan Feeney, has threatened “immediate [legal] action” following further allegations by the chairman of the safety technical group, Sport NI’s Paul Scott, of pressure being exerted to drop concerns about safety at the controversial proposed £70million redevelopment of Casement Park in west Belfast.  more…

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