Archive | October, 2009

Republics need to think outside the box on the past…

The challenge for our politicians must be ‘do the big thing.’ The raison d’etre for this approach is to convey hope and above all to convince your former political enemy that you are genuinely part of ‘ a new dispensation.’ To state the obvious- Loyalists did their fair share of killing during the Troubles just more…

MPs’ job is about making better laws, not local drudgery

Why do MPs require two homes anyway? In the firestorm over MPs’ expenses, attention is turning to what MPs actually do in the constituencies that eats up so much time that a second home is necessary. This goes to the heart of an MPs role. – is s/he more of the amateur social worker Matthew more…

Spotlight on Harbinson again

Mark Harbinson, has been covered in depth on Slugger and is now facing serious charges of a very different nature to those normally leveled at him. Update: taking on board concerns that my personal feelings on the subject resulted in a very heavy handed blog I have made some major amends to my text while more…

Cry freedom for the unis and the power of ideas.

A great blast in favour of academic freedom and the power of ideas has come from Vernon Bogdanor, whose latest work The New British Constitution (here reviewed by a slightly more conservative figure, Tony King) has immediately become a classic. For those who need the assurance, Vernon is a firm believer in the efficacy of more…

Robinson accuses Kelly of snooping…

From Eamonn Mallie: Another rift has opened up between the DUP and Sinn Fein. Earlier today Gerry Kelly said a twenty million pounds ‘side deal’ had been agreed by Gordon Brown for former part time police officers. Peter Robinson said this afternoon a letter from Mr Brown to him should not have been available to more…

The man with the cross-border knowledge in his head

[This is taken from A Note from the Next Door Neighbours, the monthly e-bulletin of Andy Pollak, Director of the Centre for Cross Border Studies in Armagh and Dublin] Gary McIntyre is a solicitor who works as an advice worker with Citizens Advice Northern Ireland in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. For the past six years he more…

Party mergers are not as attractive as they seem

Should the Ulster Unionists finally federate with the Conservatives and the SDLP with Fianna Fail? In each case in their present state of eclipse, the prospect of becoming part of a bigger machine must be sorely tempting. Below the surface however lurk huge problems. Unionists like Sylvia Hermon are sturdy individualists and want to remain more…

Final year for 50:50 PSNI recruitment?

Northern Ireland Justice Minister, Paul Goggins, MP, has announced that The Government is to consult on the 50:50 PSNI recruitment provisions, and intends to renew this legislation in March 2010 for a further, final year. From the statement NOTES FOR EDITORS The Police (NI) Act 2000 provides for the Secretary of State to legislate to more…

Comhairle na Gaelscolaìochta launch video campaign

Comhairle na Gaelscolaìochta, the Council for Irish medium education in the North have launched a series a videos on their website to give information on IME. (Apologies for fadas pointing left, I can do nothing about it!)The five videos are entitled … 1.What is Irish/Gaelic-medium Education? 2.What are the advantages of Irish/Gaelic-medium Education? 3.Irish/Gaelic-medium Education; more…

Slugger Awards 2008: Best Campaign of the Year...

Slugger Awards 2008: Best Campaign of the Year…

Right, here’s a variation on last year’s theme. This time, although we’re asking you for nominations, it will be the politicians themselves who vote for the winner of this category. It’s the best campaign of the year. Now, for this, it can be an ad campaign, a website, good use of Facebook or Twitter or more…

Big problems – small politics

With parading the new manufactured crisis on the hill you could be forgiven for believing the big two parties have the big issues of the day in hand. It doesn’t seem to be the size of the public finance deficit or the crisis in education but the smallness of partisan bickering which is dominating our more…

Blogtalk NI: Councils; Education; and the democratising effects of the Internet…

Great conversation between SDLP councillor blogger Matt McDermott, Geoff (aka Bobballs!) and Alan (from whom I picked the story up)… Really good conversation on Councils and councillors, their attitude to public information and the way they deal with citizens inquiry… Geoff plugs some of the free data stuff from Government2010 conference in London last week… more…

The threat is greater now than it has been for the last ten years…

Excellent piece from Newsnight the other night, in which Liz McKeen draws out some of the moral and political dilemmas facing the dissident Republicans who are backing a return to armed struggle. Gary Donnelly, formerly of Sinn Fein, now of the 32 County Sovereignty Committee: “‘It would be perfectly legitimate to target anyone who is more…

“obey the communal imperative”

That’s Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams’ advice to the DUP on the devolution of policing and justice powers. And, as well as describing the DUP leader Peter Robinson’s speech in the Commons as “not a sincere, genuine or a serious effort to resolve the issue of Orange parades”, he’s declared the linking of the parades more…

Et tu, Brian!

Brian Cowen’s hasty switch from Blair to Bruton as the favoured Irish candidate for the presidency of the EU council is a wise move by the government leader most in need of maximum European goodwill. The unelected taoiseach would be as good as anybody else, given that the word from the Brussels summit is that more…

Down the hill, take a left and round the houses

My weekly round-up of things mainly left, republican or just off the radar is blow the fold. (a bit late due to having to get on with real life). And as usual if I missed it and you think it should have been linked that will mostly be because you didn’t take the offer to more…