Archive | February, 2010

The Conservatives’ moral panic isn’t working

Why is the Conservatives’ poll lead shrinking? One underlying reason not picked up clearly in the polls is that the worst fears projected by politicians and the popular media are not being experienced in people’s lives. However hard they try to duck it, opposition parties are fated to deepen gloom more than raise hopes. Take more…

‘educating the youths of the courageous exploits of the Volunteers'

‘educating the youths of the courageous exploits of the Volunteers’

After noting the small attendance at a vigil in Newry opposing those that bombed the city’s courthouse, I will also mention the largeish attendance at an Ógra Shinn Fein commemoration for IRA volunteers – Charles Breslin, Michael and David Devine. This commemoration was part of an ÓSF Republican Youth weekend: Sinn Fein Councillors Kieran McGuire, more…

‘Micro vigil’

Newry Republican turns a cynical eye to the vigil called in opposition to the bombing of the city’s courthouse. This irrelevant micro-group had every right to peacefully protest on Friday night but it seems the call for people to come out in force was ignored. He notes a turnout of around 20, the BBC put more…

“It is not the voices of contented old soldiers that the dissidents need to hear now.”

It’s a point he’s made before. And, for the comprehensively challenged, this time Malachi O’Doherty spells it out in the Belfast Telegraph. Mis-placed pride and the dirty tackling of dissenting voices will not discourage others from pursuing that “tragic history”. From the Belfast Telegraph article Imagine the impact Gerry Adams might have had on Channel more…

Unity Won’t Solve Ireland’s Two Major Problems

[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] I believe that in the present circumstances of continued deep communal division in Northern Ireland and deep economic crisis in the Republic, Irish unity is not more…

“As the slogan says: Citius, altius, slidius, positive discriminatius.”

I’d been looking for an excuse to link to Dara O’Briain’s Guardian Sports Blog. And this is as good an excuse as any. This week he’s cheering the Irish bobsleigh team’s kicking Antipodean arse at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver after the Australians’ bid for inclusion threatened the Irish duo’s place in the competition. Over more…

….and Gerry the peacemaker

After Gerry the prophet it’s back to the more familiar ground of Gerry the peacemaker, this time in the Basque country, filing his latest Leargas blog in CiF . The impact of the peace process in Ireland is clearly evident in the language used. The resolution, Stand up for Euskal Herria, commits Abertzale Left to more…

Gerry of Nazareth

While Malachi has documented the rise and fall of graffiti on the Royal’s wall the same pundit still provides a West Belfast review with some panache at Divis Tower: Gerry of Nazareth. What a wanker –eat your heart out Banksey. Addition: reader Paddy directs us to this more considered review

“OFMDFM is committed to transparency in all its dealings…”

Northern Ireland’s First and deputy First Ministers deployed an departmental “spokesperson” yesterday to defend their less than transparent approach to their “agreed [] programme for Cohesion, Sharing and Integration” – “The outstanding issues around Cohesion, Sharing and Integration have been resolved and the final draft of the document is being prepared.” And the same “spokesperson” more…

Abandon hope

As Alliance continue selecting their candidates for the Westminster election (congratulations Gerry Lynch) it will be interesting to see where they decide to run. While most assume the campaigns are doomed to failure, they will still put people up as in previous years. Looking back on recent Westminster elections a pattern seems to emerge on more…

P&J devolution: dates and confidence

The Hillsbourough agreement foresees the cross community vote on the devolution of policing and justice as occurring on the 9th of March with power to be devolved on 12th of April. Clearly this is colossally before Lord Morrow’s timetable of not in the life time of this assembly and indeed just as premature for Gregory more…

Platform for Change launch- what next?

Platform for Change’s website is a bit shaky at the moment – oversubscribed already perhaps? – but Conall tells us the launch went well. The Bel Tel gives it a fair wind. Its progenitor Robin Wilson has laid out the stall in an op ed piece. Elsewhere some time ago, Robin explained the ambitious aim more…

Swingeing criticisms of MI5 restored in Guantanamo torture ruling

A major review of MI5’s accountability and trustworthiness looks inevitable after an historic move in the courts right at the end of the week. The missing paragraph 168 of the English Court of Appeal’s ruling in the Binyam Mohamed torture case has been restored in slightly amended form. Lord Neuberger’s stinging judgement is now spelt more…

Six Nations Weekend 3

Fixtures for the weekend: Friday Wales 20-26 France Saturday England 16-20 Ireland Italy 16-12 Scotland Huge game for young Mr Sexton at Twickenham tomorrow. Tonight I’m expecting the normal boring kicking and forward dominated game at Cardiff…..(I hope – can’t put up with a game like Wales v Scotland) Anyway, here’s O’Driscoll on tomorrow’s centre more…

Some Royal Society Stamps

The BBC hosts a neat, but unembeddable, audio slideshow on a new series of commemorative Royal Mail stamps marking The Royal Society’s 350th anniversary year. Ten eminent scientists are featured starting with the Honourable Robert Boyle – who was born at Lismore Castle, Co. Waterford, on 25 January 1627. Missing from the list is the more…

“Should we eschew any cause or proposal…”?

Interesting point raised by former South African Minister Kader Asmal in the Irish Times report on his inaugural lecture at Trinity College’s Centre for Post-Conflict Justice. “The question that must be answered is whether the most important political consideration is the need to maintain the unity of the power-sharing executive? Should we eschew any cause more…

Some BBC cuts make sense but no need to overdo it

The niggardly Times view of impending BBC cuts is largely self -serving although they’ll deny it. The idea that selling off Radio 1 and closing BBC3 could produce cuts in the licence fee is absurd. Almost all content on BBC3 and 4 is repeated on the main channels and is then commercially versioned for channels more…

Stormont role over human rights disputed

Do Stormont, Holyrood and Cardiff Bay have a say in a UK Bill of Rights? Read the politics and the answer must be yes. Read the law and you get tangled between strict constructionists like Austen Morgan a Derry born, London based lawyer and sometime Trimble adviser and the recent Justice report, claiming that the more…