Topic Archives: Politics

Randomocracy in Northern Ireland

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There are three crucial ingredients for a high quality democracy: a very large hat, a pen and lots of small bits of paper. Write the name of each citizen in the land on a bit of paper, put all the bits of paper in the hat, close your eyes and pluck out 500 names from more…

Gerry Kelly: North Belfast is still winnable and is determined to challenge politics that are “sectarian in the extreme”

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Today Sinn Fein launched their plans to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in North Belfast. As pacts have dominated the headlines I caught up with the party’s sitting MLA and Westminster candidate, Gerry Kelly to get his views about deal announced on St. Patrick’s Day. I began by asking him what more…

On this day in 1914, The Curragh Mutiny took place…

Sir Arthur Paget, GOC Irish Command in March 1914

On Friday 20 March 1914, around 60 Army officers offered to resign their commissions rather than obey orders. They were based at The Curragh, the chief barracks in Ireland; what happened become know as ‘The Curragh Incident’ or ‘The Curragh Mutiny’. The (third) Home Rule Bill for Ireland was passed in 1912, anticipating an autonomous more…

“Sinn Féin’s purported defence of social welfare recipients will play well to their galleries”

Noel Whelan in his Irish Times column notes a cooling in Washington towards the leader of the Sinn Fein this week: …there was a sense that Gerry Adams was feted and focused on less during this year’s St Patrick’s festivities and exchanges than in previous years. The situation with his on/off/on again meeting with the US state more…

Apathy about politics is the new politics of Northern Ireland, it seems.

Liam Clarke has been raiding the University of Edinburgh’s Academy of Government recent survey for insight on Northern Ireland, and he’s come up with what on the face of it are some surprising figures: The latest figures to show the decline in our political dynamic is a survey from the University of Edinburgh. It showed more…

Legal implications if the Equality Commission wins gay cake case

The Belfast Telegraph have another article on the long running gay cake saga. They have obtained the legal opinion procured by the Christian Institute (as indeed have the Daily Telegraph) from a leading human rights barrister: Martix Chambers’ Aidan O’Neill QC. From the Daily Telegraph: Mr O’Neill argued that the Commission’s case ignores human rights more…

21C Governance: Practical tips for thriving in social media

So whilst we bask in the unbidden glory of getting named as one of the UK’s top political blogs, here’s some timely advice on how to handle difficult conversations in social media… Do stay calm. – That would be dependent on successfully negotiating the what I often call the go-and-stick-your-head-in-the-freezer moment. Do ask questions. – more…

Robinson, Nesbitt, Murphy and Long on Pacts

Robinson, Nesbitt, Murphy and Long on Pacts

On Slugger we have the full remarks from Peter Robinson, Mike Nesbitt, Naomi Long and Conor Murphy.   Let’s start with UUP  leader, Mike Nesbitt,   The Ulster Unionist Party and the DUP have reached an understanding regarding the General Election. The Ulster Unionist Party will have the support of the DUP for Tom Elliott more…

Gerry Adams: “It is no skin off my nose not to meet the [US] State Department.”

Did the US State Department cancel a planned meeting by a “high-level US state department official” with the Sinn Féin President, Gerry Adams, TD,  after Sinn Féin withdrew support for the welfare reform bill, as the BBC, and others, have been reporting?  Gerry Adams’ latest statement would tend to suggest that they did.  Here’s what the Sinn Féin more…

TUV fail Ofcom’s ‘major party’ test for automatic PEBs; are PEBs actually useful or necessary?

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Ofcom have ruled that there is not sufficient evidence to designate TUV as a ‘major party’ in Northern Ireland and hence Jim Allister’s party are not automatically eligible to two Party Election Broadcasts on UTV in the run up to May’s General Election. Back in January I blogged about the consultation which asked whether UKIP, more…

Your Guide to Israel’s General Election

Israel goes to the polls on St Patrick’s Day to elect a new parliament, which in turn will either confirm incumbent Binyamin Netanyahu in office or oust him in favour of the centre-left. The St Patrick’s Day connection? If Netanyahu loses, he will be replaced by a man whose father was born in Belfast’s Clifton more…

David Ford: we are more committed to transforming Northern Ireland than you, Mr Robinson #ap2015

Alliance empty set

This year’s Alliance Party conference was focussed on party members and supporters rather than reaching out to the public at large. Delegates were reminded about the core party values and principles. There were no visiting clerics or representatives of loyalist band forums. No one from the Syriza Greek government. Instead, Alliance heard from friends in more…