Archive | March, 2012

“pawns in a Government-organised blame-game”

Considering taking the government’s advice on stock-piling fuel? Consider this: “This is our Thatcher moment. In order to defeat the coming miners’ strike, she stockpiled coal. When the strike came, she weathered it, and the Labour Party, tarred by the strike, was humiliated. In order to defeat the coming fuel drivers’ strike, we want supplies more…

Mike Nesbitt takes 81% of UUP vote

Pretty impressive… So what will a Nesbitt leadership look like? Mike Nesbitt 536 votes John McCallister 129 votes Spoilt 3 votes listen to ‘John McCallister’s runner up speech’ on Audioboo listen to ‘Mike Nesbitt’s leadership acceptance speech’ on Audioboo

Big News. Innovation from the Executive

Good to see Northern Ireland featuring on the UK national news agenda with a report on the “Tesco tax.,” (Today programme 7.25, Sammy and retail consortium rep interview). Despite the national coverage, inexplicably I can’t find  news of  the 1st April vesting date for the business charge on the local BBC News website. Old news locally more…

Flange-twisted gold torc (c1300-1100bc)

“This is part of the culture of Ireland”

Even though a group of 4 gold torcs were discovered near Stirling in 2009, they’re not that common.  According to the BBC report, Dr Greer Ramsey from Armagh County Museum told Belfast coroner, John Leckey, that “10 torcs have been discovered in Ireland and 38 in Britain”. ANYhoo… the coroner has ruled that a [IIRC] 47 37 inch long flange-twisted gold more…

And into the last bend of the UUP leadership race: Who will win?

Someone, in their infinite wisdom, at the BBC has decided not to make this week’s Hearts and Minds video available on the iPlayer (which is odd)… So all we have of Mike Nesbitt’s interview is this fragment clipped and satirised and played over and over… (you’d almost think someone didn’t want him to win tomorrow)… more…

I Hereby Invoke …

Most of us regular contributors are well aware of “Godwin’s Law”,  which states “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”  therefore invoking Godwin’s Law has become the standard method of countering reductio ad hitlerum, with the argument being lost by default.  Such has been its success more…

POQU

The Peace Process in an Age of Uncertainty

The latest issue of The Political Quarterly includes articles from a recent symposium on ‘Northern Ireland: The Peace Process in an Age of Uncertainty’. It is freely available online until the end of April. The Political Quarterly “is dedicated to political and social reform and has long acted as a conduit between policy-makers, commentators and more…

Addie Morrow RIP

A real gentleman with a hearty laugh and a giant in the Alliance party, Addie Morrow served as Alliance’s Deputy Leader, was a Castlereagh councillor between 1973 and 1989, and was also elected in 1982 to represent East Belfast in the Assembly. Addie had a strong vision for peace-building and reconciliation, lived out both through more…

“The intention is to appoint a single commissioner…”

Apparently the Northern Ireland Executive OFMDFM are advertising for a single Victims Commissioner to replace the four three current encumbents.  According to the UTV report The decision to reduce the number of commissioners is understood to have been prompted by the accomplishments of the previously appointed three. Bertha McDougall, Patricia MacBride and Brendan McAllister – more…

On the advantages of a ‘social investment welfare state’…

Here’s a nicely topical post from Niamh Hardiman who is spending a semester in North Carolina at the moment… In it she talks about the the idea of the ‘social investment welfare state’, which may have implications for Ireland as it struggles not simply with a debt problem, but a widening gap in income levels and more…

Bradford West voters show their respect for Labour’s safe seat and vote in George Galloway as MP

This morning’s news headlines called it a “surprise landslide victory”. That’s shorthand for commentators being caught off guard and not accurately capturing the mood of the “safe Labour” Bradford West electorate who turned out in force (turnout just over 50%) to return George Galloway to Parliament in the by-election. Results via the BBC: Candidate (Party), more…

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#HouseholdCharge: Payment levels reach 1/3…

Thanks to Paul T for the heads up, but it seems that with just 48 hours to go a third of the eligible Irish population has now stumped up for the Household Charge… Meanwhile judging by the reaction of one senior civil servant on Morning Ireland, the government are expecting a last minute rush of more…

Kenny: Ireland rejects Tibetan independence

Controversial – but Kenny could not have been clearer. During yesterday’s visit to Beijing, Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny laid bare his government’s support for China’s position on quashing Tibetan independence in stark terms: “Ireland has always fully followed a one-China policy”. For those not familiar with China’s “one-China” policy, this is the frame used by more…