Loyalists, funding and Priests

The news that Margaret Ritchie’s decision to stop funding the CTI was illegal came this week. It allowed David Simpson to denounce her for wasting public money (though there seems a certain irony in that from the DUP). However, the legal decision continues the establishment’s appeasement of loyalist paramilitaries which is as predictable as rain in Fermanagh. I am sure the legal grounds were correct but once again it shows that legality and morality are unrelated. This decision continues the … Read more

“We assume they’re working for the benefit of humanity..”

Never mind those telescopes. The Large Hadron Collider had a little hiccup when it started up last year, but it has been re-assembled and should be up and runnning properly soon. There’s a detailed report at Discover‘s cosmic blog. Or you could watch the Daily Show‘s John Oliver, ermm, visit “the doomsday machine threatening to destroy our planet.” Heh. Thanks Susan. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c Large Hadron Collider thedailyshow.com Daily Show Full … Read more

What’s Denis Bradley really trying to say?

After “ A Cold Home for Unionists,” we now have “Nationalists feeling lonely and unwanted.” Denis Bradley’s curious and gloomy little analysis in the Irish News of the unease billowing through NI politics is the most original I’ve seen in a long time, but is it right? Do unexpressed fears lie behind it? Are bad boys in the Brandywell and Creggan getting to him, perhaps? In a sense, his analysis complements Jim Fitzpatrick’s comments below, as noted by Pete. All … Read more

Jeff Peel looses appeal – Burnside to be replaced ‘soon’

Reading in the Newsletter today (page 8) that Conservative Jeff Peel has lost his appeal against the Party decision to suspend him. He said that it would not stop him seeking office elsewhere in the party, as he was considering office in his local party next week at their AGM. Also, according to Sir Reg Empey South Antrim Assembly member David Burnside is said to be being replaced ‘within the next few weeks’. Sir Reg was responding to an attack … Read more

“I hope someone remembers to turn the lights out..”

Ahead of Sunday’s Politics Show, Jim Fitzpatrick has some thoughts on the absence of legislation in the legislative assembly. It’s clear the breakdown in Sinn Fein-DUP relations last year, and subsequent suspension of Executive meetings for five months, had an impact. But insiders say that despite the restoration of Executive business, stalemate remains. One source told me that last week’s Executive had only one serious paper to discuss, so it doesn’t seem like there’s going to be any late surge … Read more

Morgan selected by England for ODI and T20 squads

Congratulations to Middlesex and Ireland left hander Eoin Morgan who has been selected in the final 15 man England squad for the upcoming one-day series against the West Indies and the World Twenty20. The 22 year old Dubliner who played 23 ODIs for Ireland averaging a healthy 35 with the bat now moves into an England side in transition and already preparing for the next World Cup where he may of course end up playing against his old team mates. … Read more

Ease up on Gordon and Biffo for all our sakes

Although I know I’m departing from blogosphere conventions, I’m getting fed up with the gadarene rush to proclaim the end of the world, every time politicians do something stupid. Take two former finance ministers, both shoo-ins as party leaders after a decade of rule by dominant predecessors, both now slated for incompetence on political grounds and in their area of expertise, both facing meltdown, we’re told. You can take your pick from a tsunami of polemic. But hold on a … Read more

European Euphoria

The posters are up, the nomination papers handed it, and the so much anticipated European election campaign begins. On the 4th June the people will have their say. The most prominent thing people will have on their minds for this election is, how will Jim Allister do? However the biggest threat to the government this election is apathy. Jim Allister is just another thorn in the side of Unionism.Devolution has been restored and for the first time in a long … Read more

“we’re hoping that the guys will accept this..”

Apparently, the Unite union is to recommend the former Visteon UK Ltd employees in west Belfast accept the current offer from the Visteon Corporation. But is it different from the formal offer announced on 21 April? Which was based on the terms that Visteon outlined on 16 April? Which, as reported by the BBC, was rejected at the time – “A Unite union spokesman called the offer “derisory” and that it added “insult to injury.”” Just don’t mention that pending … Read more

And presenting your United Minds candidate…

I met Ross O’Mulane, briefly, last week in Dublin at the mediacontact.ie blogging and social media conference… He mentioned then that he was planning to stand for the Dail in the south Dublin by-election in June unser what can only be described as a social media ticket… In other words he is going to find a clever way of crowd sourcing each of his policy positions in the Dail… Tough sell on the hustings and the door steps Ross, but … Read more

Problems with blogs using Blogger….

Just got this tip off from Kathleen… Those of you with blogs using blogger, according to Dizzy there’s a fault with the comments… May be time to shift to Word Press? Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Do you have swine flu?

Click here for your answer… And long may it be so.. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Two parties trying to forget their ‘inconvenient bits’?

Now recognising this is real tin foil hat/anorak stuff, but two anomalies have become obvious to me since we started the Euro Elections Flickr group went live a couple of days ago… First, UCUNF’s campaign poster is, appropriately enough, the same that’s being run in Britain. So far, so good… Except when you look at the highly stylised union flag in the back, the most prominent aspect of the flag is the St George’s Cross of England… That’s genius for … Read more

“Office Cost Allowance is being used to create a property asset for a political party”

In the Belfast Telegraph David Gordon returns to the topic of the NI Assembly Committee on Standards and Privileges’ consideration of a report on Ian Paisley Jnr’s relationship with Seymour Sweeney and the Paisleys rental claims for their Ballymena office. The Committee rejected a recommendation that Ian Paisley Jnr should declare his connections with developer Seymour Sweeney in the Assembly Register of Interests – although, in his report, the Interim Commissioner, Tom Frawley, noted that in making that recommendation he … Read more

Euro Election Round up…

In the end Declan Ganley managed to round up a full 200 candidates in time for his party’s campaign launch in Rome yesterday, which unlocks that €200,000 in funding he was looking for… Ganley himself is given a fair chance of taking a seat in Ireland North and West, but it is not clear whether the appeal will travel beyond the peculiar bounds of Irish politics…- The Alliance Party leader has warned against the Euro elections locally turning into another … Read more

Unemployment is being privatised

Eddie Hobbs interprets the latest ESRI forecast in his latest blog entry, he says 1. Unemployment is being privatised – 1 in 5 workers in the private sector will be unemployed next year 2. The government is finished 3. By next year the state may be unable to pay public sector salariesBased on the ESRI forecast it is now the case that we may not be able to afford public sector pay cheques at all next year. The math is … Read more

On Hearts and Minds tonight…

On Hearts and Minds tonight, Robert Ramsay, the former PPS to Brian Faulkner and retired Brussels mandarin. Ramsey has a theory (possibly borne of his age that unionists should forget looking to Britain which has been perfidious Albion, as far as their future is concerned, and instead embrace Europe for their future survival . As noted previously on Slugger, Eamonn McCann reviews his book in tonight’s Tele. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the … Read more

“I am satisfied that the Minister was entitled to exercise a public interest judgment”

A, perhaps, less obvious point worth noting about today’s High Court ruling on the decision to cut public funds to the Conflict Transformation Initiative [added link], and its more prominent employees, is how it reflects on the reported legal advice sought at the time by the NI Social Development Minister – including that from Senior Crown Counsel for Northern Ireland, Bernard McCloskey.That legal advice according to reports noted by Mick at the time. Senior Crown Counsel for Northern Ireland, Bernard … Read more