Topic Archives: Government

Is it coming to the end of the line for Enda?

enda-kenny-time

Interesting report in today’s Irish Times about the rumblings within Fine Gael The intermittent rumblings about Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s leadership are preparing Fine Gael for the choice it will have to make. “It’s now the time to start getting organised,” said one of those who will be centrally involved in preparing a leadership hopeful. The more…

What will make for a good opposition at Stormont?

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-09-59

The two main government parties seem to have convinced a large chunk of the media that in order to be effective as an opposition, the UUP and the SDLP must form a government-in-waiting. It suits the DUP and Sinn Fein to paint it that way in order to cover their many splits on policy. Unfortunately, it more…

Reflections on the British-Irish Association in Oxford

 A tale of two Unions: can circles be squared by a new devolution settlement?   This was written for the blog of the Constitution Unit of University College London. In the wake of the Brexit vote there has been much discussion about the possibility of Scotland and Northern Ireland, where there were Remain majorities in more…

Catch up on the Mount Stewart Conversations: diplomacy and Europe, then and now

msconversations-2x2

MOUNT STEWART CONVERSATIONS – a weekend of ideas, debate and stories looking at relationships with Europe from Lord Castlereagh’s involvement in the Congress of Venice right through to Brexit and the kind of diplomacy that will be required in years to come. Throw in live music, food, and the gorgeous National Trust gardens and walks, more…

If Brexit means Brexit, the UK Can’t Block an EU Army

“This is not going to happen. We are full members of the EU and we will go on resisting any attempt to set up a rival to NATO.” Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon’s response to proposals for an EU army discussed at the Bratislava summit ‘informal gathering’ of EU Heads of Government (minus Theresa May), more…

[FILM] GrassRoots: The Cannabis Revolution…

poster-v1-1

Cannabis is a divisive topic wherever you live. I live in Norwich, in the east of England, yet I am as attached to the issue as someone with a severe chronic illness in Brighton, or London, or Belfast is. This is because I have made a feature length documentary about this very issue. To expand: more…

Declan Kearney: “an attempt to destabilise nationalist areas in the North.”

As mentioned by Newton Emerson in Saturday’s Irish News, in an under-reported article in An Phoblacht this week, the Sinn Féin national chairperson, and MLA for South Antrim, Declan Kearney, doubled down on Roy Greenslade’s ‘policy of criminalisation‘ for dissident republicans to explain away the evident discontent the party is experiencing – adding further layers more…

Fixed-Term Parliaments Act – on the chopping block ?

Westminster parliament

One or two eagle-eyed observers on social media noted a development in the House of Lords which has apparently escaped the notice of the media – a new bill which, if enacted, would abolish the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act. It’s worth a quick recap on the background. Until 2011, the power to dissolve Parliament was by the Queen’s prerogative, exercised more…

Message for the divided politicians. Read the long list. This is what really matters over Brexit.

Divisions in the Executive and the Assembly contributed to the lack of  scenario planning for the referendum outcome and are inhibiting the development of a clear Brexit strategy. These are among the conclusions in  a comprehensive briefing paper prepared for the Centre for Peace Building and Democracy ( chair Lord Alderdice) by  Queen’s academics  Professor more…

Brokenshire dispenses with Villiers hands off approach to Stormont…

What? A UK SoS holding talks about what he and the Executive might collectively do about job losses in Northern Ireland? It wouldn’t have happened under Theresa Villiers watch, so we might deduce that this is a deliberate policy switch. It looks like the Sos is going to stay very much involved in the domesticNI more…