Topic Archives: Government

A cautious approach to the McKay affair is right. But for the sake of Executive cohesion, O Muilleoir needs to say more or stand aside.

So rather than buckle down to the altogether tougher demands of trying the govern the place, the politicians are having themselves a jolly crisis. Far more fun isn’t it? And the more bizarre the better. But might there just be a chance that the Executive will in the end decide not to waste a good more…


“What was the basis of that belief? Where was that belief grounded?”

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Máirtín says he had no knowledge of Daithi McKay’s backchannel with Jamie Bryson until it was published last week, even though the inquiry (which was supposed to be investigating Nama) has, as yet, turned out to be little more than a power play against the then First Minister, Peter Robinson. No political party worth the name more…


Why is Martin McGuinness making a stand on ” remain must remain” the obvious loser, whatever happens with Article 50?

Martin McGuinness appears to have reverted to Brexit fundamentalism in an article in the Irish Times. He  describes  a worst case scenario, “ the biggest constitutional crisis since partition…and insists  that “Remain must mean remain.” From our perspective, what is needed now is an island-wide approach to dealing with this crisis. That is why Sinn more…


An answer to Rentoul. Referendums like terrorism can shape events, but not always in the ways expected

Alerted by Mick on the thoughts on referendums by the Independent’s political commentator John Rentoul, I took in his part 2 “Should Referendums be banned?” This is a rhetorical question which is really in  support of Rentoul’s  contention  that they make very little difference to the course of political  events. His pieces prompted my following more…


Big Ideas: Festival of Economics round-up


The four year Centre for Economic Empowerment project at NICVA is nearing its conclusion but the full attendance at today’s event can be taken as a sign of the capacity that has been built in the community and voluntary sector around economic awareness and understanding.


Finance Minister says NI left out of Brexit negotiations: UK Gov won’t underwrite current EU funding for NI


Talking at this morning’s Big Ideas: Festival of Economics at NICVA, Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir indicated that Northern Ireland was being left out of post-Brexit decision making in London. He also felt it was likely the British Government would not underwrite the “half of” current EU INTERREG and PEACE funding, adding that he expected more…


David Cameron and the problem of setting real political choices


David Cameron’s referendums were regarded as reflections of ‘the will of the people’.  But is that true?  Here Peter Emerson of the de Borda Insitute questions that assumption then proposes a better methodology. 2011 Referendum on the Electoral System. Cameron’s first problem?   “Those damned Lib-Dems and the voting system!”  Hence the first ‘which’, to more…


Trade & Brexit: Where next?

The New BrexitSec

Among the changes in Prime Minister May’s post-referendum reshuffle David Davis has now been appointed new ‘Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union’ or BrexitSec as I’m growing used to calling him. He caused a bit of a stir last Monday when he appeared not to know that the Republic of Ireland was no more…


Calm down, dears…

Wilful or otherwise, there’s been a degree of misrepresentation of Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s apparently unscripted, and qualified, comments at the MacGill Summer School yesterday – you can read the official version of his speech here. As the initial reported quote demonstrated, his focus was not on preparing for the prospect of referendums on a united more…


Kenny tells EU to prepare for prospect of a Border Poll

Kenny speech

Just in from the Irish Independent; #BREAKING Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the Government and the EU must prepare seriously for the prospect of a border poll. More to follow — (@Independent_ie) July 18, 2016 Quotes from Enda; The discussion and negotiations that take place over the next period should take into account the more…


Appointment of James Brokenshire represents a serious upgrade to the NIO…

Jmes Brokenshire

There have been jokes on the internet about how his name is appropriate for a place like Northern Ireland. But, with no personal slight intended, James Brokenshire is a senior upgrade from Villiers and a reflection of the fact that North-South relations will take on a heightened importance in upcoming Brexit negotiations. May’s right-hand man more…


Reflections on Johnson and Davis

As we learn that we have a new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (but not, as I write, knowing who), I wanted to reflect on the two most controversial appointments to Theresa May’s cabinet. Either the appointment of Boris Johnson and David Davis as Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State for Brexit respectively is more…


An insider’s view of the latest problems with the Belfast Ambulance service

South Western Ambulance WA07RYP 612

With the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) in the news once again, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some insight into the ongoing internal problems within the service. This time the spotlight has been shone on staffing shortages after it was revealed that 25 shifts lay vacant last Saturday night, the equivalent of more…