Topic Archives: Politics

SDLP pledge to form a “Constructive Opposition”

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The SDLP Leader, Colum Eastwood confirmed that his party would be leaving the Executive and joining the UUP in opposition. In a statement he said; Throughout the course of the recent election campaign the SDLP made a clear promise to the public. We vowed to fight hard to negotiate a credible and progressive Programme for more…

What is it that our media don’t ‘get’ about social media…

It’s part of my day job to advise on how to engage with social media. For the most part and for most institutions, it is a largely upbeat story. But for politicians, well, it often gets a little complicated. It used to be that only our journalists got intense lobbying from party press offices. Now more…

@davidmcw games one #Brexit outcome…

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“Let’s go.” “We can’t.” “Why not?” “We’re waiting for Godot.” Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot Interesting piece from David McWilliams on an unintended consequence of the Brexit vote. The title – ‘A nation once again? Don’t write it off’ –  neatly encapsulates his argument and commits the obvious sin of deviating from a pro-unionist consensus. The more…

After the election, and the SDLP’s gamble only just paid off…

Press Eye - SDLP  -  28th Jan 2016
Photograph By Declan RoughanSDLP's  leader Colm Eastwood.
SDLP Ð Prosperity not austerity
New SDLP team will deliver positive alternative for Northern IrelandSDLP leader Colum Eastwood MLA unveiled his new team of party spokespeople today at an event in Belfast at Cultœrlann McAdam î Fiach.  The nine spokespeople will shadow the nine new NI Executive Departments which are set to be in place in the next Assembly mandate. The party is the first to do so and the team will include MLAs and councillors from across the North.
New appointees include South Belfast MLA Claire Hanna (Department of Finance), former Belfast Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon (Department for Communities), West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan (Department for Infrastructure). Mid-Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone MLA is spokesperson for the Department of the Economy and Fearghal McKinney (South Belfast) continues as spokesperson for the Department of Health. Larger portfolios will see new teams where spokespeople are supported by Assembly or Council colleagues.

In the event, that leaked internal SDLP report which suggest five of their Assembly seats were in trouble in this election accounted for two they lost (Upper Bann and South Belfast) and one they weren’t expecting (Foyle). Swapping leaders with just six months to go left Eastwood little time to prepare for the fray. Radio silence from more…

Democracy without Politicians: Could it Work in Northern Ireland? More Events at QUB’s Spring Festival

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The Spring Festival of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queen’s continued yesterday with a discussion on ‘Randomocracy: An Alternative to Elections and Voting,’ led by Prof John Garry. Some Slugger readers may have seen the short video produced as part of Garry’s research project, which summarizes the result more…

Age Profile of the New Assembly

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The votes are in and the new MLAs have all signed the register. Some of you will remember back in late 2013, I totaled up the ages of the parties in the last Assembly. I managed this time to get the ages of 107 of the 108 MLAs which means that this should be a more…

The Ultimate Eurovision Song Contest Winner…

With Russia discovering the joys of the politics of the Eurovision Song Contest this year, here’s the undoubted highlight from Saturday’s Grand Final in Stockholm – the interval act!  Just in case anyone from the BBC, or from RTÉ, are looking for any tips for next year.  Let’s face it, on recent form they could more…

After the election, the UUP have… gone into opposition…

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Some will have noticed a pause in these rough post-election profiles of the main and mid-sized parties. The truth is I was struggling with what I could usefully say about the UUP. It wasn’t a great election for them, but they at least pulled back to 16 (from 13). On reflection in terms of content or more…

Can UKIP show its mettle in devolution?

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Despite their significant media exposure I think it’s fair to say that so far UKIP’s main successes have come at the ballot box and not at the dispatch box. That the party serves as a repository for protest votes rather than enacting detailed policy is evidenced through the record of long-standing elected members. In his more…

Martin McGuinness: “We now wait to see if SDLP will stand by the principles of the Good Friday Agreement or follow the UUP into opposition…”

The response of Sinn Féin’s new MLA for Foyle, Martin McGuinness, to being upstaged – at the moment of his re-appointment as Northern Ireland deputy First Minister – by the UUP leader Mike Nesbitt’s announcement that his party had unanimously agreed to go into official opposition in the NI Assembly, betrayed a confused, or forgetful, party more…

Mike Nesbitt confirms UUP are going into Opposition

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Mike Nesbitt has just told the Assembly that the UUP will be a part of the Northern Ireland Assembly’s first official opposition. He has told MLAs that his Assembly group unanimously backed the move and concluded with the words “let the battle commence” Full statement from Mike Nesbitt; “We asked for a mandate to enter more…

“McCann’ll never do it…”, and yet he did…

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That Eamonn McCann is a deep humanising feature of politics will be obvious to anyone who watched Nolan last night. And from his column (will it be his last, now he’s a jobbing politician?) in the Irish Times today: Here’s another thing we discovered: the right to choose can be a vote-winner in the North. more…