Archive | January, 2010

Northern Ireland broadcasters should not put their trust in politicians

I see the Commons Northern Ireland Committee has fallen for vigorous lobbying by the small but perfectly formed local broadcasting industry. Good luck to them, so long as we don’t take some the committee’s suggestions too seriously, as posted by Pete. One is self evidently bonkers financially and constitutes unacceptable political intervention. The Committee has more…

More important than life and death?

The Confederation of African Football (CAF), the body regulating football in Africa, has fined the National football authorities in Togo $50,000 and banned the team from the next two African Nations Cup tournaments. The confederation has justified the move on the grounds that the national government of Togo allegedly interfered in footballing matters by ordering more…

Senior SF member critical of Adams

During Friday’s Michael Reade show on LMFM (Louth Radio station); On foot of text comments about Liam Adams, Deputy Morgan tells Michael he feels his party president, Gerry Adams, badly handled allegations of sexual abuse against his brother.’ The relevant part of the broadcast is at 15m47s but it is worth listening to in full. more…

Unionist difficulties…

THIS is more of an update to Pete’s post than anything – a report of Lady Hermon’s address last night to the SDLP North Down Constituency Association (via Jeff Peel). Hermon reportedly confirms she will stand as an independent, and – after the UUP talks with the DUP organised by the Orange Order – admits more…

No, don’t bring back Blair

Tony Blair’s appearance at the Iraq inquiry was a blast from the past that ought to stay there. It prompted no wistful thoughts of the maestro staging a comeback to rescue the Assembly again. Not that I sympathise for a second with any revisionist thinking that he made a terrible mistake in drawing Sinn Fein more…

“And still we waited..”

On the local evening news yesterday Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy denied that there had been a “wobble amongst republicans” as Mark Devenport suggested. Interestingly, the Irish Times’ Gerry Moriarty clearly heard similar reports Conscious of mistakes made in previous negotiations, both the DUP and Sinn Féin were anxious not to be wrong-footed. Some sources spoke more…

An open appeal to all Republicans from Ms Cahill

This statement comes to Slugger from Ms Cahill. It is carried in full. Over the last number of weeks, there have been several allegations circulating – alleged to have been perpetrated by members of the Republican Movement. There has been mixed reaction to this within the Republican Community, but particularly those within the Provisional republican more…

“I now go forward with the full backing of my local members.”

According to a BBC report, the independently minded MP for North Down, Lady Sylvia Hermon, secured the “unanimous support” of her local Ulster Unionist Association at that “key constituency meeting” yesterday. From the BBC report. On 28 January, Lady Hermon met with the North Down UUP Association at it’s AGM, she said it was a more…

Still on duty…

Peter Robinson says a deal can be done: He said:”It is perfectly possible if everybody was prepared to move that little bit further.” Conor Murphy says there is no deal. He said it has been “a defining day.””It shall have to be called soon.” He added. Adds: The nastiness seems to be clearing. Adams said more…

Lessons in democracy

Picking up from Mick here, is it good or back luck that the latest Stormont cliffhanger has been overshadowed outside by just about everything, from a feeble end to the recession, a widening poverty gap, and a week of Middle East obsessions, from Yemen and Afghanistan to Blair? Probably only inasmuch as it prevented Gordon more…

Constructive ambiguity is dead. Its finally political prisoners’ dilemma time

Both the Belfast and St Andrews agreements eventually faltered due to the outworking of ‘constructive ambiguity’ built in to ensure ideologically opposed parties could accept the same text as delivering different things.In the case of the Belfast agreement the key element dealt with by this fudging was IRA decommissioning. While Unionists clearly believed they had more…

A tribute to the amazing Armagh Rhymers

[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] If I ever became Mayor of Armagh, the first thing I would do is to give the freedom of the city to the Vallely family. John more…

Spirit of Mars

Nasa’s Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, has been stuck in soft soil on Mars since May last year. After failing to free it in the months since, NASA has now designated the once-roving scientific explorer “a stationary science platform”. Below the fold JPL news celebrates 6 years of roving by the “little rover who could”. But more…

Paterson: “there was nothing of consequence arising from the meeting”

Owen Paterson, responding no doubt to Michael Crick’s attempt to play him, has this to say about what Slugger understands to be the Orange Order’s regular and usually ill-fated attempt (they tried in 2001 and 2005) to get unionist unity before a general election: “In his capacity as Ulster Unionist leader, Sir Reg Empey regularly more…

Will ‘private’ talks with DUP scupper Conservative-UUP pact?

The Conservative Party’s Northern Ireland spokesman, Owen Paterson, is reportedly seeking a meeting with UUP leader Reg Empey about those private talks with the DUP that the Conservatives were unaware of… And someone has been talking to the BBC’s Michael Crick “Some in Belfast think that the Conservative-UUP pact is now effectively dead, and that more…

On the need for a more open conversational politics…

I’ve a piece in today’s print version of the News Letter, I’ll not be putting it out on Slugger, but I have shared the full text with our LinkedIn Politics and Public Affairs in Northern Ireland (open to all with a LinkedIn account) group. In it I argue that the DUP has de facto been more…