DURABLE DEVOLUTION through voluntary coalition and vibrant opposition was the promise of the TUV’s leader Jim Allister at his party’s annual conference in Templepatrick. 300 delegates lapped up the sharp criticism of other parties and welcomed Henry Reilly to the fold. But is the party’s hard edge and tone of voice holding back their support more…
Topic Archives: Government
Unite protests against Fresh Start: The Unite union holds protests against the ‘Fresh Start’ deal outside offices of the NI parties responsible – DUP and Sinn Féin.
LISTEN BACK to Ministers Charlie Flanagan and Arlene Foster explaining their differing positions on what Brexit might mean for Northern Ireland at a QUB-hosted event today. Agreeing that a wide debate about the issues is essential was perhaps their only point of agreement.
CAMPAIGN TACTICS: Interesting poll out in the Irish Times today showing a continuing improvement in both Fine Gael and Sinn Fein’s vote. Whilst Fianna Fail remain steady at just around 19% and Labour are stuck at 7% .
AUTUMN STATEMENT: You have seen the news with commentators and business journalists pouring over Tax Credit changes and cuts to the Bloc Grant, but one cut that really caught my eye was this little gem buried in the Autumn Statement on Page 76 which is benignly titled “Reducing the Cost of Politics”
So, no need for that new money to offset the cuts in Universal Tax Credit. George Osborne left it to the last minute and then deemed that the offset cash was not necessary because he wasn’t going to make the cuts anyway (with it goes the illusion of a better Stormont deal)… The Chancellor has more…
IN OR OUT: Sammy Wilson issued an interesting press release today highlighting his attendance at Leave EU event and even had his picture taken with the UKIP leader, Nigel Farage.
UNCOVERING STAKEKNIFE: A new investigation could cost up to £12.5m over a five year period. Interestingly the Chief Constable in interview on Newsline this evening suggested that whilst the investigation would be looking allegations against Stakeknife, it would be looking all the murders associated with the IRA’s internal security unit.
CUSHTY CORBYN: This week that will be the true test of Corbyn’s ability to fight off his opponents in the PLP. Anger and defiance on the right of the party is growing, but Corbyn remains the overwhelming first choice for the Labour grassroots, with 66% of members backing him.
UNFITTED SOLUTIONS: One thing we may see happening more often in UK politics has long been a feature in Irish politics where referendums are constitutionally de rigueur, and that is the problem of what happens when the contagious politics of the big idea meets small politics of administration.
PROGRESSIVE ALTERNATIVE: Lowering Corporation Tax is not the magic wand which many believe it to be, argues PUP Cllr Julie Anne Corr-Jonnson. How many will invest the tax cut in nice holidays and better cars as opposed to the creation of new jobs? There are no sanctions, no prohibitions and no guarantees.
WHO HAS THE POWER? We all got a bit distracted over the resignation of Peter Robinson as DUP leader, but until we get announcement of a new First Minister and party leader, it’s back to the main issues at hand.
PAST OR FUTURE: The SDLP needs to do what it can to enlarge the shadow of the future (rather than the past) and create an expectation that the future will be better than the present (or indeed the past). They should encourage the electorate to judge politicians by actions rather than words.
When it has been commissioned, under cover, by Friends of Sinn Féin USA, perhaps… Sinn Féin were quick to welcome the recent announcement of the “first-ever economic modeling [of the] economic benefits Of Irish unification” at the Harvard Club in Manhattan. Twice, in fact. An Phoblacht were too. The press release from Sinn Féin MEP, Matt more…
CORPORATION TAX rate and date is set according to Arlene Foster in an interview this afternoon with Slugger.
There were few surprises during the Saturday sessions of the DUP conference. While the next party leader and First Minister were anointed with praise, neither Nigel Dodds or Arlene Foster were taking anything for granted and second guessing the inevitable view of the elected representatives who will shortly back their formal promotion to new roles. more…
HEALTH SPENDING increase proposed by minister Simon Hamilton at DUP’s conference. £1 billion over 5 years … with a challenge to other parties to support this intervention to deal with current pressures and challenges ahead.
WHO SUCCEEDS ROBINSON: Latest odds from Paddy Power are in for who will take over from Peter Robinson.
PILOT DROPS: He has only been the DUP’s second leader in its 45 year history, and a key influencer for almost all of its history. It is a significant departure. A political Houdini of extraordinary talent (as the latest crisis amply demonstrates, as we say in Irish, ní beidh a leithéid ann arís.
DOING BUSINESS: Disagreement [again] between Sinn Fein and the SDLP over the virtues of Margaret Ritchie at Social Development introducing a Welfare Reform Bill under accelerated passage and the current move by the DUP/Sinn Fein to introduce reforms through the Legislative Consent Motion (LCM).