Archive | June, 2010

PSNI logo

Chief Constable seeks support for deployment of private security firms

According to BBC NI Home Affairs correspondent Vincent Kearney, at Thursday’s meeting of the NI Policing Board the Chief Constable Matt Baggot will seek endorsement of a plan to use private security firms to replace the estimated 400 PSNI officers currently providing protection for politicians, judges and other potential terrorist targets, and guarding police stations. From more…

“And then there was Arthur Morgan…”

An RTÉ report notes that a couple of TDs have been disciplined by their parties following yesterday’s vote in the Dáil which resulted in a ban on stag hunting, but not stalking.  And Harry McGee makes a sharp observation at his Irish Times blog And then there was Arthur Morgan. Like the Labour Party, Sinn Fein has done more…

Ulster Museum

I wonder what they’ll spend the money on……

It’s just been announced that the Ulster Museum has won the Art Fund prize of £100,000. Congratulations are in order but it does beg the question  can the Museum and trustees spend the prize as they wish or does the Minister for Culture & Arts  Nelson McCausland have the final say so?

High Court rejects Arthurs’ challenge to non-jury trial ruling

I noted in May the start of “prominent Co Tyrone republican” Brian Arthurs’ legal challenge to the ruling that he should stand trial in a non-jury court, on charges of converting criminal property and obtaining a money transfer by deception.  The original case against Arthurs collapsed in August 2008 when the judge ruled that the more…

mi5

Two convicted in Real IRA arms plot trial

As reported here.  35 security service agents applied for anonymity before the start of the trial.  Previously, the judge ruled that a third defendant had been entrapped by MI5.  From the BBC report The judge described the Security Services’ operation as an “elaborate and successful” hoax. The trial was the first for 20 years in which more…

“it is important to restore the public’s confidence in NIW…”

The NI Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee declined the offer to question directly the former chairman of Northern Ireland Water – who, along with the non-executive directors, disputes the circumstances of their dismissal in March.  Meanwhile, as the BBC notes, the NI Regional Development Minister, Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy, has appointed 4 new non-executive directors to more…

Possible sanction against Ruane over schools?

The saga of Catriona Ruane’s decisions or non decisions on the Capital Building Scheme for schools has been covered by Pete below. The DUP have a typically robust statement on their website from Mervyn Storey which calls for the minister to go. “Having waited a week following on from her non-attendance at last week’s Assembly more…

Let’s keep the debate on cuts open and honest

When the true impact of cuts is being analysed, gloomy spinning isn’t  any better than the Panglossian kind. The Guardian’s exclusive that the “hidden” costs of the budget will be the loss of 1.3 million jobs, according to a leaked Treasury will bring satisfaction only to the coalition’s most relentless critics. …500,000 and 600,000 jobs to more…

The power of incumbency

OK – post election depression done with – here’s some analysis. Prior to the expenses scandal it was conventional to think that the combination of new technology and the £10k p.a. MP’s communication allowance would increase the power of incumbency. So let’s see if the incumbency effect exists. Here’s the percentage drop in Labour votes more…

Guantanamo torture inquiry may have implications for Northern Ireland

The imminent announcement of a judge led inquiry into allegations of torture involving MI5 complicity is being welcomed by civil liberties groups in Britain. The inquiry is expected to offer compensation in cases, where necessary, and is likely to be held in private. A judge-led inquiry or commission may have the advantage of bringing together more…

PSNI logo

Two Arrests as Police Officers Injured During Customs Raid

Two police officers have been injured, one critically, during a cross border customs operation near Meigh, south Armagh.  Two men have been arrested.  From the RTÉ report Over the weekend a cargo of smuggled cigarettes arrived from China in Dublin Port. Watched by customs officers, the cargo was then brought to Dundalk. Earlier today the container was then more…

vance

TUV candidate’s website faces closure over ‘hate speech’

David Vance, defeated TUV candidate in East Belfast, faces having his long running blog, A Tangled Web, closed by his host over numerous instances of ‘hate speech’ in violation of Terms of Service. To Mr. David Vance, We have received several complaints regarding hate speech on your website. Per our terms, “Content with the sole more…

Towards a new politics, or just more groping around in the dark?

Looking ahead to the twin delights of the Stormont recess and the climax of the marching season, thoughts are turning to the prospects for ” a new politics. ”  Well c’mon, it’s a slogan they’ve heard somewhere recently – was it from Westminster? David Gordon has kicked off a series of articles in the Belfast more…

Community Relations Rally at Stormont Today

Youth workers, community workers and activists will gather at the Newtownards gate of Stormont today at 12pm and walk up to the parliament building in support of community relations work and in protest at the cut in vital funding. In a perhaps unwitting testament to how important this work is, the BBC this morning ran more…

US Flag

Battleground Ireland : The proxy war

US neo-Keynesians and the ‘Austerians‘ are slugging it out over the Irish approach to managing the crisis. At stake, the future of US and perhaps global economic policy. First up the Keynesian New York Times :- In Ireland, a Picture of the High Cost of Austerity Rather than being rewarded for its actions, though, Ireland more…

A solid statement that North-South cooperation is here to stay

Armagh is now on the Irish diplomatic circuit.  Next month the highly regarded Southern Joint Secretary of the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC), Tom Hanney, leaves to become Irish ambassador to Belgium. His successor, Anne Barrington, is finishing her days as ambassador to Tanzania. The man who will fill in over the summer, the current more…

Unionism needs to learn the magic of ‘vote management’

It’s more than thirty years since PR STV was introduced to local elections and although it is a complex instrument you would have thought most parties would have cottoned on by now as to how balance their tickets. Danny Kennedy sees unionism’s underperformance in South Antrim as a reason to seek greater co-operation with the more…