Archive | November, 2006

“Sinn Fein must stop running away from and dodging the issue”

The DUP’s Ian Paisley Jnr has issued a robust response to Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams earlier statement on policing – “It is up to Sinn Fein to build confidence by their actions and so far they have failed this sincerity test.” From the Press Association report In a hard-hitting response, the North Antrim Assembly member more…

Hearts and Minds: steadying the jitters in the DUP...

Hearts and Minds: steadying the jitters in the DUP…

Even as you are tuning up for our politico’s big UK showpiece tonight, don’t forget Hearts and Minds, where, notably Jim Allister will continue to sing to a tune no longer to be found in the DUP’s official Hymn Book, just as the DUP prepare for tomorrow’s meeting to steady the ship after a week more…

Those pesky victims

The SDLP have a confused idea of who is a victim. Clearly that hasn’t stopped as Alban Maginness is still saying mean things about, by the definition of SDLP policy, a large victims group – the UDA.

Orde: I’m ready to talk Gerry…

Hugh Orde tells Gerry Adams that he is ready for face to face talks with Sinn Fein… “My people have got to be able to talk to their people and at every level openly about all the issues that people are concerned about,” the PSNI chief told the Belfast Telegraph. Policing isn’t political. It is more…

SF backs Guards, but with conditions…

There was a fascinating piece by Martin Kettle in the Guardian last weekend, about the degree to which citizens owe allegience to the state (complex, but well worth reading in with several local contexts in mind). It’s a serious question, that is rarely debated honestly in Northern Ireland, where political agendas of all types abound. more…

What blogs are good at…

And it’s not always breaking of news. Indeed that may be their least important function. Cato at Liberty with a critical analysis of the loudly trumpeted Stern Report, and in particular the forced manner of its launch. On the day recalls being asked by the press for worthy comment on what had been a heavily more…

Adams understands DUP has difficulties too…

In an interview in the paper version of An Phoblacht out today (but not yet online), Gerry Adams has congratulated Paisley for his powersharing signal and said he understands the DUP is taking as much heat as Sinn Fein on the ground. He also lays out the clearest terms and conditions on the type of more…

Pssstt… NI Pols crib sheet on events outside Northern Ireland…

As thoughts turn to the problem of getting our politicians to think about something other than themselves tomorrow night, here are four things that are happening in places other than Stormont, Conway Mill, and Antrim Borough Council… Please feel free to add your own suggestions…The big one at the moment is the discovery of radio more…

Anti Water privatisation campaign kicks off…

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the water charge controversy is heating up (insert your favourite ‘hot water jokes’ here). The government has denied rumours that it is about to sell off the Water Service, currently part of the Department of the Environment. There are also plans to bring in tough measures against non payers. more…

McKee: bringing unrepentant terrorists into government…

More local journalism. That man Jack McKee is making life difficult for the mainstream of the DUP again, in the Larne Gazette. “I would label and dub it a halfway house to a United Ireland. I must repeat : after 35 years of the Troubles what has that been about, the mayhem and murder that more…

Revolt in the Antrim ranks…

Often some of the best journalism (like all politics) is extremely local. In fact that Antrim revolt was first reported in the Antrim Guardian yesterday. Here, with kind permission of the paper, is Conor Spackman’s fuller account of the DUP’s little local difficulties there:By Conor Spackman THE six DUP councillors in Antrim are ‘absolutely opposed’ more…

“A safe and valid conclusion”

The Irish Times fills in some of the details[subs req] – also available in this RTÉ report[RealPlayer audio] – from the Irish Court of Criminal Appeal’s dismissal of appeals by two Dublin Sinn Féin members, Niall Binéad, a former secretary of a south Dublin Sinn Féin cumann, and Kenneth Donohoe, against their convictions for IRA more…

Miss 1800 Dave?

Beano asks, do the Conservatives care about Northern Ireland? Does being “pro-union” involve forgetting about the Union then?

DUP in Antrim in mini revolt?

Noel McAdam with a report of trouble brewing in Antrim, where the party’s six councillor’s are asking for reassurances that the party will not agree a fixed timetable for the devolution of policing and justice powers to a devolved Assembly. That’s a particularly aggressive move since Gerry Adams has said he is not prepared to more…

Can blogs make money….?

According to the Economist, the answer is yes. As it notes, the blogads model only contributes minorly towards costs rather than generates income. The money making blogs in the States it mentions have signed up to the more targeted kind of ad service that MessageSpace offers. One blogger they talked to was Om Malik: One more…

Second best bar in the world

Second best bar in the world

It’s an entirely subjective list, but no less valid for that [Hmmm.. – Ed]. The Guardian’s deputy travel editor, Isabel Choat, lists her favourite bars in the world and vying for the top slot is the other National Trust owned bar in Northern Ireland, Mary McBride’s in Cushendun [pictured in sunnier times – Ed].. Strangely more…

Question Time rolls back into Belfast…

Question Time comes to Belfast again. Let’s hope the panel can talk about something other than just Northern Ireland. They are: Peter Hain, Lord Trimble, Mark Durkan, Martin McGuinness and Jeffrey Donaldson. Our Secretary of State has some work to do to push his profile a bit higher in the race for the DPM’s job.

PSNI tells Adams of death threat…

We’re getting news that the PSNI have informed Gerry Adams of a death threat aimed at him. At this stage it is not clear whether it comes from a dissident Republican group, or from Michael Stone. Update: Here’s the link to the PA Report.