SluggerTV – the DUP melodrama episode

Commentators Tim Cairns and Sarah Creighton joined Slugger O’Toole’s deputy editor David McCann to discuss the dramatic loss of a second leader and the challenges ahead for the DUP in the latest episode of SluggerTV. What tipped the balance to end Edwin Poots’ leadership? How will the next leader be different? If there’s a by-election in Lagan Valley, might Brenda Hale run for the DUP, and what about the chances of Alliance’s Sorcha Eastwood and UUP’s Robbie Butler? What’s Edwin …

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Poots “Ultimately it was my intention had we not got success on the Protocol… then I would have been prepared to pull Paul Givan out of that job”

Outgoing DUP Leader, Edwin Poots sat down with SKY News Correspondent, David Blevins to talk about the events of last week. In the interview he made a defence of keeping the Assembly to fight the protocol; My focus was on the Northern Ireland Protocol first and foremost because constitutionally that is what is damaging Northern Ireland. “Our best asset at this moment in time in fighting the Protocol is actually having the Assembly.” He also spoke about nominating Paul Givan …

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The Irish Language Act: Once Bitten, Twice Shy…

Readers may recall my recent article in which I speculated on what the initial media frenzy led us to believe was the upcoming ILA. This was written in the immediate aftermath of the initial announcement and was published on Slugger around a day or so afterwards – by which time greater detail had emerged, with certain speculations and predictions having been subsequently laid to rest. The current ILA saga is, of course, ongoing – and will in all probability be …

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Don’t gloat; the DUP’s emotional spasms could spell trouble for all of us

Bogeyman Brendan Gloating over the chaos in the DUP may be understandable and even enjoyable. But it is not a sufficient response to what seems to be going on.  The full gamut of resentment at the state of politics has come to the surface of the DUP and there are dangers in it for everybody. In the present circumstances their cup runneth over. The British government are as much to blame as republicans.   First their betrayal over the protocol , …

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The bleak sight of back to the booze…

We went out for an early dinner on the Dublin Road in Belfast last night. Turning into Ventry Street, a young guy staggered down the middle of the street, clutching his empty 2-litre bottle of cheap cider. Completely oblivious to cars or people, he was impressively drunk for 5 pm in the day. We got a table by the window, which gave us a good vantage point to watch the various goings-on. Young guys carrying cases of Budweiser, drunk women …

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Is the new found love of the great outdoors waning?

One of the positives of the pandemic was more people discovering the pleasure of the great outdoors. As there was nothing else to do more people went out walking in their local parks, forests and beaches. Walking in nature is great for your emotional and physical wellbeing and best of all it’s free. Out for a stroll at Shaws Bridge, it was noticeably quieter compared to a few months ago, all the more surprising considering what a lovely day it …

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The Irish language Act: What to expect?

Blaine McCartney is a Co. Down-based writer William F. Buckley once mused that “A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling ‘Stop!”. Being a conservative of sorts himself, however, he meant that as a compliment – going on to say that the conservative yells ‘Stop!’ at a time “when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.” It does not seem to have occurred him that some conservatives yell …

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After its “double coup” tricky times lie ahead for whoever leads a divided DUP…

Well, that escalated quickly [So 2021 will be remembered for the year of three DUP leaders, at least? – Ed). Last night’s The View pretty much devoted itself to the Poots resignation, with some good commentary all round… Since it’s all gone very quiet afterwards (Gareth Gordon reports that DUP folks who have been phoning him for months now suddenly won’t return his calls), time for a few brief thoughts… Poots saw Arlene was in trouble and his opportunity to …

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There you are waiting for a new leader and like a bus, two come along one after another.

Well, the DUP has had close connections with bus companies for some time.   The tactics which got under way at the Ramada Hotel have won the day and Edwin Poot’s brief term as leader is over. It would appear his on the surface clumsy leadership played no little part in throwing wide the exit door as he managed to unite friends and foes against him   Unfortunately for the DUP the ‘proverbial elephant remains in the room.’   It …

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Arlene Foster, yes but spare us the revisionism.

Although by now it seems that the four days since Arlene Foster resignation as First Minister seems like ancient history, given all that’s subsequently occurred, it remains important that the appalling revisionism over her tenure is addressed – from a unionist perspective. In common with most ousted unionist leaders since O’Neill, Arlene is already being presented as a progressive moderniser undermined by the hardcore.  Her own allies are peddling this notion, as are nationalist commentators, both for their own ends. …

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You Are Wanted: A New Preamble for The Irish Constitution…

Reading David McCann’s Slugger article reporting on Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael Ard Fheis speech that sets out his vision of what Irish unity could be, I was saddened to read a comment from the_swerve: “Fundamentally, people here want to feel wanted”. To the_swerve, I would say: you are wanted, all of you. There is a great desire among many southern Irish people to actualise their belief in the essential fraternity of sharing this island together. The vast majority of southern …

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Housing policy faces challenges from many directions

For all the focus on integrated education, if communities continue to live separately then little progress will be made towards integrating our society. So developing more areas of shared housing is essential if we are to make progress.  But the lack of genuinely shared communities is only one of the housing challenges facing Northern Ireland today. There is more generally a shortage of social housing, compared with demand, leading to increasing waiting lists.  This is not simply a matter of demography. It …

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Edwin Poots has resigned as the leader of the DUP…

They used to say a week is a long time in politics, but in this new fast-moving social media age a day is a long time in politics. This morning Edwin Poots looked like he managed to fudge the issue of the Irish Language Act, by the end of the day he was gone as DUP leader. Only 20 days in office, absolutely extraordinary. This is a developing story, we will add any updates as we get more info. pic.twitter.com/cgI4GwcWaj …

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Sinn Féin awarded another tribal slam dunk without actually putting a ball through any hoop…

Well, I must admit I read this morning’s announcement that a crisis last night (that nobody seems to have known about) was narrowly averted, with some surprise. Did anyone else know there had been an actual crisis over nominations today? Well, that post midnight meeting with the SoS gave Sinn Fein the perfect opportunity to run to the press and get their story out first. However, some of the early claims of what the SoS said fall very far short …

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Et tu, Sammy? The knifes comes out for Edwin…

Wow, what a day. The putsch that overthrew Arlene Foster has been met with a counterattack against the new leadership of Edwin Poots. DUP politicians voted 20 to 4 against nominating Paul Givan, but the nomination still went ahead. I understand @duponline reps voted 24-4 AGAiNST nominating — Gareth Gordon (@BBCGarethG) June 17, 2021 A succession of DUP politicians has refused to back their new leader, even the ones who originally supported him. Does Sammy Wilson have confidence in Edwin …

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Stormont crisis averted. Until the next crisis…

So to no great surprise to anyone, Sinn Fein and the DUP have agreed to fudge the issue of the Irish Language Act. They have run to colonial daddy to implement the legislation for them at Westminster. BBC News: NI ministerial nominations due as Stormont stand-off ends BBC News – NI ministerial nominations due as Stormont stand-off endshttps://t.co/ybxWhPftU5 A Secretary of State intervenes to save the Assembly at Sinn Fein's behest. Now we've seen it all. — Brian Walker (@bwalker347) …

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How Sinn Féin’s multimillionaire assets buys it “the ability to ignore the will of the electorate.”

As Sinn Féin settles in as the largest single party in the Republic, here’s an interesting snippet from the Economist worth sharing on how it also became (by far) the richest… The newest income stream is the most intriguing. Two years ago the party revealed it had received £1.5m from the will of an English recluse, William E Hampton—by far the biggest donation in the history of Ulster politics. Cash from that source has continued to flow to the party, …

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Professor Rick Wilford has died…

The death has been announced of Professor Rick Wilford. Though born in Wales he long ago made Northern Ireland his home. He was an Emeritus Professor at the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen’s and a respected commentator of the political scene. Rick was a familiar face on our screens, especially during election counts. He was known for his laid back manner and dry wit, and amazingly for our divided society, he was universally respected for his …

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