Topic Archives: Politics

Unionism needs to play the Loyal Order card again

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An Orange Forum is needed to cement the Loyal Orders and the unionist parties together again. The Loyal Orders – the Orange, Black and Apprentice Boys – must begin formal negotiations, not just with nationalist residents groups, but also with the leaderships of the various unionist parties to discover precisely where they stand in relation more…

EU Referendum and the count process

Is the EU a liability on the ballot papaer?

We are now just a few days away from polling day and I thought it would be useful to put up some information about the count process in Northern Ireland for the EU referendum. Unlike other referenda that have been held in the past, Northern Ireland will count through the night and in 8 different more…

#EURef in grave danger of setting down its own “poisonous foundations”?

EUref 23 June calendar

I’m struck by this optimistic note from Ruth Dudley Edwards… Narrow-minded nationalism is being left behind. We have slowly evolved “a more civilised discourse” and we are much better people for it. She argues that Ireland has become a much more civilised place because it has committed itself (if not always in the slow, patient more…

Former UUP MLA defects to the DUP

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Sam McBride in today’s News Letter has an interesting report noting the defection of former UUP MLA for Fermanagh & South Tyrone, Alastair Patterson to the DUP. Speaking about the decision Patterson said; “This move to join the DUP was a step I needed to make. At the Assembly election in May the people of more…

Changing the conversation with e-petitions in Northern Ireland

Mairaid McMAHON presentation on e-petitions for Northern Ireland. Xchange Summer School, LIFE Church, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

As part of the Xchange Summer School, Mairaid McMahon announced the launch of e-petitions in Northern Ireland, which is scheduled to appear on the Northern Ireland Assembly website in September 2016. She described the shortcomings of the current system of petitioning politicians, which included the need for support from an MLA — making them gatekeepers more…

The Trouble with Nolan

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In the audience warm-up at last night’s Stephen Nolan hosted EU Referendum “Debate,” May McFettridge (AKA John Linehan) asked the audience “who’s in and who’s out?”.  One section of the audience shouted, “Out”.  May’s response was, “Aye, Pradistants.” This programme had been trailed as Northern Ireland’s “big” EU Referendum TV debate. Trouble is it wasn’t more…

#XSS16 – Participation, narratives, storytelling and the rocky road to ‘associative politics’

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Tomorrow I’ll be speaking at the Xchange Summer School on political participation. Now speaking as someone who has never been a serious member of any political party, I’m looking at it from an outsider’s pov. There are a bunch of conundrums facing politics. Participation in political parties is dropping across the board. In Northern Ireland more…

We can already see a post-Brexit economy emerging. It’s grim.

Here’s a confusing financial press headline from today: German 10-year sovereign bond yields turn negative for first time. What does that mean in plain English: it means traders are so worried about what the UK economy would look like post-Brexit, they’re pulling their money out of the UK, and actually paying the German government to more…

Executive Office: The more things change, the more they stay the same

Northern Ireland Executive logo

In today’s Irish News, John Manley has an interesting story about the powers and staffing levels of the new Executive Office (formerly OFM/DFM). In his report he notes that despite losing a decent amount of its functions, the number of Special Advisors, Junior Ministers and the workforce will remain the same as he notes; The more…

Operation Kenova: “I do not underestimate the huge task of establishing the circumstances behind how and why these murders occurred during those dark days.”

In a recent post Brian mentioned briefly the launch of the investigation into the activities of ‘Steaknife’ – the alleged British Army’s highest ranking informant within the Provisional IRA.  Named in the media as Freddie Scappaticci, originally from west Belfast, Scappaticci has denied the allegations. Operation Kenova, as it’s been named, will be headed by Chief Constable Jon more…

Bilderberg 2016: “If I were a member of a technocratic elite that wanted its influence on public policy kept under wraps…”

It’s that time again!  The 64th Annual Bilderberg Meeting, “like a corporate cross between Santa Claus and a big friendly squid“, has just ended in Dresden, Germany.  Charlie Skelton was there again for the Guardian, and his post on Bilderberg 2016 is well worth reading in full.  It’s a “tickle under the chin of the more…

Labour and Europe: a brief history

The recent narrowing of the polls in the EU referendum has prompted much soul searching by the Remain camp. This may all be unnecessary as exactly the same was seen in the Scottish referendum before Remain’s victory. However, for the meantime Remain is rattled. Much of their angst seems to be coming from the revelation more…

#SluggerReport: A good night on the media for Leave…

This morning’s #SluggerReport. It’s a longish one, but with the highest live viewer total yet. Key references include this report of last night’s ITV debate from The Times Red Box team giving thumbs down to Boris but thumbs up to Camp Leave. Even among Conservatives, Johnson was the choice of 12 per cent, behind Leadsom (33 more…

‘Collusion’ was RUC strategy, not RUC failing: #Loughinisland

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State collusion was a ‘significant feature’ in a loyalist gun attack in Loughinisland in June 1994, according to the latest report published today by the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland. You can read some commentary over at The Detail here, while the publication of the full report is awaited (it is now published here). The timeline more…