Topic Archives: Politics

Lessons from Chilcott apply to dealing with the past

Why is it when the search is on for instructive examples, that Ireland is seldom looked at by British movers and shakers?  Over  the behaviour of militantly anti-austerity parties when the focus is on Greece, an alternatively financed  health service, the behaviour of coalition governments, what a constitutional convention might achieve, Ireland  has a wealth of more…

Basil McCrea: Fuel, Poverty and Politics

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The rising poverty rates in the Western world have been hitting the headlines. Writing for Slugger the NI21 Leader, Basil McCrea writes about what can be down about this issue President Obama has been criticised for plans in his State Of The Union Address aimed at introducing tax benefits for childcare, college education and retirement. more…

“How Chilcot made that mistake is not known…”

So, Sir John Chilcot is shelving his inquiry into the 2003 Iraq War until after the general election (still five months away). Interestingly, Chilcot also features as a player in the very early stages of the NI Peace Process. In a long detailed piece by Owen Bennett-Jones for the London Review of Books which discusses more…

Another ‘Flaw’ in the plan for an Historical Inquiries Unit…

Cillian McGrattan made a good point in yesterday’s Newsletter… The latest attempt at providing a policy programme for dealing with the past, flags, parades and welfare reform, the Stormont House Agreement (SHA), is an ambiguous document that contains many unanswered questions. One critically important grey area concerns the role of the Irish government in any more…

Can the next EU regulation guarantee data protection for all?

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream One of the points made by Tim Hughes in our OpenGovNI DigitalLunch was the need for protection of data for citizens. This discussion on European Data Rights, goes live shortly… You can joinin the NI Open Government Network at tinyurl.com/OpenGovNI

The Mirror Image-Minoritarianism

This is part two of my analysis of the Haass talks and Unionist thinking. This article also appeared on my blog Haass begins with: …there was a feeling that change would disadvantage them. First, Haass fails to notice the change that had occurred in the immediate run up to his talks had disadvantaged them. The more…

MoU to allow joint exercises between British and Irish Armies…

And it’s worth noting that after the first member of the PSNI was engaged by An Garda Siochana, Simon Coveney and Michael Fallon have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which as Michael Fisher notes… The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will be followed by the drafting of a three-year Action Plan that will contain more…

“Rangers has become a magnet for every chancer in town….”

Great piece from John McDermott in the FT (worth the registration)… The club, like the nation, had a comfortable dual identity as both Scottish and British. At its most famous game, the 1972 European Cup Winners’ Cup victory over FC Dynamo Moscow, fans sporting kilts and Robert Burns T-shirts waved the Union Jack alongside the more…

Open Government: Opening out what is already there?

Three clips from the three opening speakers at last Wednesday’s late DigitalLunch on “Open Government is a big umbrella term for all kinds of reforms, but the common thread amongst all of them is that it increases transparency, participation and/or accountability” – Tim Hughes, Involve “We already have people involved in policy-making, mostly the lobbyists. more…

Adams: No internal investigation by Sinn Féin into Maíria Cahill allegations

listen to ‘Adams: No internal investigation by Sinn Féin into Maíria Cahill allegations’ on audioBoom Here’s Gerry Adams’ interview on RTE’s This Week in which he denies his party has held an inquiry into its handling of the Mairia Cahill affair. It’s sparked a lot of conversation already on Slugger’s Facebook page, which it well more…

Spreading the word in the Irish language requires a new beginning

I thought I’d tiptoe into the minefield of the “Irish Language Act”, an area where the massed ranks of persuadables risk getting wasted by the zealots, but here goes. Concubhar is right, there should be a mature discussion. I’m one of those who shrugged off Gregory Campbell’s leaden humour and hoped that most language supporters felt more…

Of Speakers, yoghurt, murdering pensioners and hypocrisy

This week saw Mitchell McLaughlin elected as Speaker of the Assembly. The News Letter pointed to his previous comments refusing to accept that the murder of Jean McConville was a crime. Leaving aside McLaughlin personally there is a certain symbolism in a Sinn Fein speaker being elected just a week before the 34th anniversary of more…

Sammy Wilson … Reason 254 why local politicians need Atlantic Philanthropies’ money & initiatives like PoliticsPlus

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A little over an hour ago and about half way through a response to the rhetorical question “What has new or social media ever done for the peace process?” I suggested to the Critical Approaches to the Northern Ireland Peace Process symposium in Liverpool’s Edge Hill University that it has made it harder for politicians more…

Corr-Johnston: What we need is Robin Hood when all we have is Prince John.

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Corporation Tax dominated the headlines in 2014, writing for Slugger the PUP Cllr for Oldpark, Julie Ann Corr-Johnston argues for a rethink of the entire debate Corporation tax will probably go over the heads of many in our community, but it has the potential of bringing 50-60,000 jobs into Northern Ireland over the coming years-Peter more…

“my offence at your satire of [thing I care about] is so great that you must be censored”

So, there’s official censorship (which these days, outside questions of national security) scarcely exists in the west. And then there’s unofficial censorship (you publish that and our advertisers/backers would be very displeased). There’s also whistleblowing (no one in the sector will ever work with you again), and there’s downright intimidation (I’ll put your lights out/windows more…