Archive | October, 2007

Who stands where?

This statement from the DUP struck me as being very odd. Power sharing was a failure before 2003, but is now a rousing success under the DUP, and it is “sour grapes” for the UUP to even think about forming an opposition. At the end of the statement, Trevor Clarke says that the current power more…

Notice served on CTI funding

Confirmation today that the Department for Social Development has served a notice of termination on the funding of the UPRG-negotiated CTI project, as announced by the minister two weeks ago. According to one report the letter was hand-delivered to Farset yesterday. It’s not noted whether the civil servants involved needed to be officially instructed [by more…

8 arrests in planned police operation

Not much detail on this beyond the headline but it’s worth noting that police have arrested 8 men, 7 in Strabane and 1 in Londonderry, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The reports say the planned raids were in connection with “dissident republican activity”. Adds More details here

UUP man breaks ranks to lay into Ritchie over handling of loyalist funds…

AFTER the recent Margaret Ritchie-UUP love-in, David McNarry’s vicious attack on the Social Development Minister over her handling of the withdrawal of funds from UDA-linked projects seems curiously out of step with the rest of his party, especially as his party leader is backing her version of events in the row over the loyalist scheme.

New controls on party political donations seem toothless…

FROM tomorrow, donations to political parties in Northern Ireland will be ‘controlled’ for the first time. But the ‘controls’ are so slack and invisible to the public, that you wonder why the Electoral Commission bothered. Small wonder the parties back the new regime, as it looks like they got their own way. Much of the more…

Loyal orders present a different side...

Loyal orders present a different side…

THE News Letter highlights the irony of Dunloy Accordian Band marching in the Lord Mayor’s Show in London, although it can’t actually march through the village it is named after. The Mayor of London is hardly what you’d call sympathetic to unionism either! Elsewhere, the Orange Order continues its outreach by distributing cartoon pocket guides more…

Has the devolutionary ‘trap’ sprung?

Nationalist movements always face a dilemma with devolution, to reject it or work it. All the elected nationalist parties in the UK have opted for working it in the hope their good governance leads to increased support for secession. However, they run the risk of being used by voters who in an unitary state seek more…

“to search for appropriate wording..”

It’s not clear from either this report or this one who has actually appointed them, presumably the Council, but a trio of supernaturalists, led by former Presbyterian moderator the Rev John Dunlop, are to “search for appropriate wording on a shrine to the victims of the Real IRA attack [in Omagh] in 1998.” Omagh Council more…

Flute band controversy continues...

Flute band controversy continues…

THE row over the Pride of the Raven (see vid) flute band’s controversial parade planned for November 24 continued on Talk Back just now. Band spokesman ‘Nigel’, said the band’s intention to walk down Donegall Pass (after a protest at the Parades Commission’s offices) was to reach Alliance Assembly member Anna Lo‘s office. The reasons more…

“Negotiations to end the row could go on until midnight.”

Today marks the final day of discussions on the classroom assistants dispute and, as a previous BBC report noted, a confidentiality clause had been agreed between the sides during those talks. But the BBC are also reporting that “there appears to have been little progress in the pay and job evaluation dispute.” NIPSA meanwhile have more…

“There is nothing to suggest that the security forces colluded in the brutal murders”

The Eames/Bradley consultation may be intending to pass responsibility for “the substantive task of dealing with the past” to the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive… but the Police Ombudsman’s Office continues to look at some parts of that past. As reported here, and here, a statement has been released by the Ombudsman on the investigation more…

Hall burning and the failure of civil society…

There’s a piece in to today’s Irish News about the police investigation into comments left on Slugger on one of the more recent threads on what increasingly looks like a campaign against property owned by the Orange Order. A spokesman for the Order said: “We are surprised that a website with such a good reputation more…

Childish behaviour?

Whether it’s a reaction to the UUP’s weekend conference – and the appearance there of the NI Minister for Social Development [RealPlayer file] – or whether it’s a reaction to previous events within the Assembly and the Executive [or even somewhere else? – Ed], the statements from Sinn Féin and the DUP criticising their smaller more…

An answer or adding to the confusion?

Tony’s Blair’s uneveness and spasmodic nature of constitutional reform left it incomplete. Gordon Brown has stated his intention to carry on with the reforms but continues, as Blair did, to assiduously avoid answering the West Lothian question. The Conservatives seem to be toying with the idea of an English Grand Committee as an answer and more…

New representation new taxation?

Peter Robinson in a written answer (see below the fold) has confirmed that a Land Value Tax is one of the options being examined as part of the rates review. Other areas which apply this model include agricultural land but our present rating system does not. SDLP MLA Declan O’Loan and Ulster Famers Union have more…

Benedict opening arms to disgruntled Anglicans…

An interesting adjunct to that story of three Irish churches seeking, as Malcolm as put it, “sui juris” communion with the Holy See. Damian (the ‘blood crazed ferret’) Thompson over at the Telegraph reckons that Pope Benedict partially had disgruntled Anglicans in mind when he brought in the recent liturgical changes into the Catholic Church: more…

To blog or not to blog…?

There is a short piece in today’s Sunday Life which quotes a Belfast City councillor accusing Slugger of “fanning the flames of sectarian hatred”. The thread that caught the councillor’s eye concerned the continuing attacks on Orange Halls across Northern Ireland. Update: It seems I rather hastely ran to ‘print’ without checking whether or not more…