Archive | August, 2007

“No more exceptionally stupid wars” in NI…

WHILE I’m not convinced that the ‘lessons of Northern Ireland’ are directly applicable to other conflicts, there are some lovely turns of phrase in this article in Kenya’s Daily Nation. Here’s one: Essentially, the army in Northern Ireland prevented warmongers and brewers of hatred from annihilating each other. Meanwhile, they became civilised. Hopefully, a relapse more…

UUP and DUP support smaller OFMDFM (unless they’re in it)…

ULSTER Unionist deputy leader Danny Kennedy has been complaining that staffing levels at the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers are too high – at 415. However, he forgot to mention that when the UUP was in charge of the office, it employed between 417 and 424. Meanwhile, Junior Minister Paisley Junior has more…

Judicial review of school places allocation

This story probably has a few weeks to run but it should be an interesting one. Lord Chief Justice Brian Kerr has granted leave for a judicial review of the withdrawal of offers of school places to two Londonderry girls by St Cecilia’s College The BBC report notes that “The case is being taken against more…

BBC taking the urine?

BBC taking the urine?

From the BBC NI website That highlighted text in full NI politics blog Mark Devenport takes a urinary track around Belfast And I know that the post being referred to includes the line “Finally, the new extension to the Grand Opera House leaves something to be desired (guide – “it looks like a big urinal”).” more…

There may be troubles ahead…

[Cue music] This autumn looks like it will be time for our new found friends to face the music and dance.There are some obvious candidates for causing trouble between the Houses of Ian and Martin, that have already been extensively discussed here on Slugger: Key issues over policing and criminal justice are by no means more…

“We are living in an Orwellian state and we need to be aware of that.”

In the ongoing discussion over the Eames/Bradley group’s consultation I’ve been pointing on occasion to a previous post noting Tim Garton Ash’s CiF piece on Poland’s experience – “Delay has its own heavy price. The poison accumulates in the system.” So it shouldn’t be a surprise that, even if the accusations made against Polish prime more…

Castlereagh councillor quits

DUP Castlereagh councillor Charlie Tosh has resigned from the party citing a row with another councillor and dissatisfaction with the public relationship between Paisley and McGuinness.

One by one they are leaving Belfast…

Good news for Belfast is that there is much less news than there has been since well before the Troubles kicked off… bad news is that the jobs in journalism (which have been a proving ground for some of the world’s leading journalists local and international) are slowly disappearing. The Guardian did not replace Angelique more…

The trouble with ‘foolish consistency’…

Nice Emerson quote from Brian Feeney, who reckons, not unreasonably, that Pat Rabbitte’s over zealous consistency was his political undoing…Feeney reckons that Mullingar was Rabbitte’s undoing: The origins of his failure lie in his incomprehensible decision to push the ill-fated Mullingar Accord through his party in 2004 tying Labour to the right-wing Fine Gael. To more…

Sinn Fein’s second defection…

If one defection is unlucky; to lose two is downright careless. This column from the Southern Star almost anticipates the defection of Daniel Callanan, and reports widespread disaffection amongst Sinn Fein councillors with the directions from the top of the party to support Labour candidates in the Seanad elections. Not a disaster, but perhaps an more…

This sporting life?

In the US, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick pleaded guilty last week to federal charges relating to the operation of a dogfighting ring over a month after being indicted. – he faces a possible 6 year sentence. Here the BBC claim to have evidence, to be broadcast tonight, that Tyrone GAA player, and all-Ireland medal more…

Special advisors for “friendly little piglets”

Thanks to a slow news day, and an archive, I was able to note the BBC’s Martina Purdy’s post on how party political opinions of the positions of junior ministers, to the First and Deputy First Ministers, have changed in a short period of time.. Now it appears that the positions are deemed to be more…

Cabinet meet to defuse Shannon row..

The first meeting of the Irish Cabinet since the Dáil rose at the start of the summer takes place today and as the RTÉ report says – “The Cabinet is expected to spend a considerable amount of time trying to find ways of defusing the political and economic head of steam in the mid-west.” That more…

Is Reg speading himself a bit thin..?

Is Reg speading himself a bit thin..?

SIR Reg Empey must be pleased at Northern Ireland’s low unemployment rate, which stands at 3.7%. It would be even closer to zero if the Employment Minister didn’t have so many jobs for himself! OK, a bit facetious, but as Minister, MLA, UUP leader and councillor, and at a time when his party is in more…

Less than perfect drivers

Oh yes! A website to expose the less than perfect parkers and drivers in our midst. Shite drivers.com is the brain child of Niall O’Keefe from County Louth. The site allows people to expose all manner of less than ideal control of the vehicle. I know the subject of poor driving has come up here more…