Archive | November, 2009

“the court concludes that it should order the withdrawal of the Guidance”

The Northern Ireland Health Department’s guidance to health professionals on termination of pregnancy, the law and clinical practice in Northern Ireland [pdf file], only emerged after a tortuous process. Firstly the Department, after a lengthy court battle, had to be instructed by a High Court ruling to produce the guidance. Then, after taking three years more…

McGuinness on the importance of contention and dialogue...

McGuinness on the importance of contention and dialogue…

It went hard with me that the end piece on the (excellent) UTV report on the Slugger Awards last week ended on a stalled video of the deputy First Minister… I’d given him a pretty deadpan intro to the effect that we’d often given his party a hard time on Slugger but in the certainty more…

What happens when you shop too much and save too little…

Okay, in news from elsewhere… Willem Buiter with what we should and should learn from Dubai… In comparing Ireland the UK in a basket of other countries he identifies the greater independence of the ECB from Irish government control as a positive factor in favour of Ireland’s chances of a credible recovery: From Dubai to more…

“Remarkably, we are still reduced to making it up as we go along…”

Tom McGurk with a perceptive piece on the likely consequences of a collapse in the Stormont Institutions. Despite the DUP’s electoral concerns over the TUV challenge, he calculates that the consequences this time out would prove more damaging for Sinn Fein than for those in the Unionist community: To many others, devolved government just isn’t more…

Ireland’s intellectual inheritance of “mental reservation”…

I really enjoyed (if enjoyed is actually the word) Gael gan Naire’s post on the crisis of belief in the Catholic Church this morning. Actually enjoyed is definitely not the word, it’s just that I think he nailed something that if Anne Maire Hourihan is right that plagues all forms of belief in Catholic Ireland, more…

Sinn Fein policing and undercover soldiers

Yesterday Sinn Fein’s national chairperson Declan Kearney addressed a gathering to commemorate two IRA members Henry Hogan and Declan Martin who were killed in a gun battle by the army in Dunloy in 1984. As Jim Allister has already noted, during the course of his remarks Kearney stated: “Nor is there any acceptable role for more…

An Empire At Risk

Niall Ferguson poses a brain teaser in an article on the risks of collapse of American hegemony in Newsweek Now, who said the following? “My prediction is that politicians will eventually be tempted to resolve the [fiscal] crisis the way irresponsible governments usually do: by printing money, both to pay current bills and to inflate more…

What Slugger readers got right about our politician of the year…

The art of politics is not just about the possible, it’s also about the plausible… There was a certain amount of disgruntlement with the choice of Martin McGuinness as Slugger’s Politician of the Year (and for good reason when you consider how his party has blocked the capacity of the Executive to progress any serious more…

NI Bill of Rights – the next steps

Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward, MP, has announced the launch of a public consultation document on the troubled NI Bill of Rights. Consultation period to end March 1, 2010. From the summary of proposals in the document [pdf file] there seems to be a [sensible] distinction between what is proposed to be included more…

Not a referendum, only a public opinion poll

Well, Scottish Nats in the 21st century are handling the politics of independence very differently from their Irish forebears in the 20th. Today, St Andrew’s Day with headline support for independence hitting new recent lows, Alex Salmond has revealed plans for a referendum on, not one, not two, not three, but four options. The cute more…

Stormont farce

History sometimes does repeat itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. That’s what forcing a crisis over the latest Stormont stand-off amounts to. The parties became spoiled by the over-reverent attention paid to them during the Blair-Ahern era. Now we’re down to the monkey antics before the organ grinders enter the ring. more…

Echoes of the case against Home Rule in the paedophile scandal

I’m right up on tiptoes to make this point, but might the Protestant case against Home Rule not seem just a little more convincing even to its critics in the light of the great paedophile cover –up? If the Roman Catholic Church retained strong authoritarian traits and clerical privilege above the law as late as more…

Labour’s dilemma over Goldsmith: Party or country (and the world)?

Lots of good stuff on Jeff Breslin’s blog this morning… Not least his sensible advice to Labour currently going full blast after Zac Goldsmith and his non dom status… …the key factor in this story is that Zac Goldsmith would contribute more to the UK as Environment Secretary than he would by stumping up a more…

NVTV Blogtalk NI Episode 6

On the latest edition of NVTV‘s Blogtalk NI, Belfast Media Group boss Máirtín Ó Muilleoir joins Mick Fealty and me. Máirtín commented on how the mainstream media cover Troubles-related stories, Mick spoke about Northern Ireland being treated differently by Ofcom from other parts of the UK in terms of media funding and direction and I more…

Bringing terrorism to an end and dealing with the past…

Hugh Orde is on Andrew Marr’s Start the Week programme on Radio 4 just now… It’s worth listening to for the extent to which one can extrapolate outwards to other conflict zone. Hugh Orde says closure is not what its about for victims families, what they want is details on how they met their end. more…

“What the NIO spooks and PSNI’s political detectives have forgotten..”

As Mark mentioned, also following Martin McGuinness’ grandstanding in Tullamore, Sinn Féin passed the script back to the same little known placeman as before, the party’s national chairman Declan Kearney – this time commemorating “an unbroken chain of republican struggle” at a parade in Dunloy. The BBC report picks up on the warnings of unspecified more…

The boy that cries wolf

When SF want to up-the-ante on areas like the devolution of policing and justice it seems they increasingly fall back on their unelected Chairperson, Declan Kearney, to issue some hard-ball threats. Yet again he throws down the gauntlet to the DUP: “It is a train-wreck political strategy and political consequences will be inevitable.” And yet more…