Archive | June, 2012

The Handshake-fest: “Ho, hum.”

In the Irish Times, Patrick Smyth rains on “this national parade, The Handshake-fest”. Don’t get me wrong. This is not to say that The Handshake was not a “good thing”. It was. Belatedly, 14 years after the genuinely “historic” Belfast Agreement was signed, marking not only Sinn Féin’s renunciation of coercion as a means of more…

Brits in

Caption competition: ‘Brits in, hug a unionist’

After a heavy week in politics which saw Sinn Fein shifting its policies and increasing its ‘Brits in’ rhetoric (into a united Ireland that is),  I thought I would produce a light hearted illustration to round it off. I’ve gone first in the caption competition with, ‘Brits in, hug a unionist’, losing out to, ‘hug a unionie’. Anyway I’m sure there’s more…

Quinn Contempt Case: “The judge will look again on 20 July at their co-operation with the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation”

In Dublin High Court, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne has delayed the issue of what penalty to impose on bankrupt Sean “I am not dishonest” Quinn snr, his son Sean, and his nephew Peter Darragh Quinn, to give them the opportunity to reverse their contempt of court in putting assets beyond the reach of the former Anglo-Irish Bank, now more…

At the end of the week who was up and who was down?

Here’s my pick… Up is Martin McGuinness as he stepped up the plate on behalf of his party, swallowed his Republican pride and once again did the manly thing and shook hands with the “Queen of England”. Down is the Chancellor of the Exchequer who’s latest budget seems to be losing large bits off it more…

A well performing adjustment programme?

As Mick has noted, the news coming from the latest in a long line of EU economic crisis summits appears to be good for the Irish government. The rather terse statement issued at 4 am this morning is being pored over by economists as if it were some Joycean text, but it is pretty light more…

Breakthrough on Ireland’s bank debt?

This looks like a breakthrough on the Republic’s bank debt problem: According to a statement issued at 4am (Irish time), eurozone leaders pledged to “examine the situation of the Irish financial sector with the view of further improving the sustainability of the well-performing adjustment programme.”

And in other news: Obamacare upheld by the Supreme Court…

This in plain English from ScotusBlog… The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five more…

Parliamentary Question of the week…

Just been sent this Parliamentary Question from Westminister (though we’ll take them from anywhere)…  It’s not so much the question as the answer here… Euro 2012 Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether any member of the Government is due to attend any matches that England will play more…

“If the party was serious about fairness and equality…”

In today’s Irish News Brian Feeney addresses the Fair Employment Tribunal’s finding that, as Northern Ireland Regional Development Minister, Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy, MP, MLA, discriminated against a candidate for the post of chairman of NI Water on religious grounds.  That he had appointed Sean Hogan to the post “because he was not from a more…

Google Plus Hangout on the Queens visit and ‘that’ handshake…

Despite the seeming slightness of the issue Martin McGuinness’s handshake with the Queen has probably inspired more political analysis in the last four days than the whole of Northern Irish politics has since the elections last May. So, for those who can, we’re inviting you to a Google Plus Hangout (a sort of a video more…

Marty dares

To shake or not to shake: Marty dares

After much speculation Gerry Adams announced last Friday 22 June (the day after World Hand Shake Day) that Sinn Fein had decided to give the green light to the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, to meet the Queen, provoking much excitement and debate amongst journalists, politicos, unionists and nationalists and prompting in particular some real more…

WHC requests UK Government “to halt the proposed development of a golf resort at the World Heritage property ‘Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast'”

The BBC reports that the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of Unesco has agreed to request “the state party of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to halt the proposed development of a golf resort at the World Heritage property ‘Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast’ until its potential impact on the outstanding universal value more…

British-Irish relationship stronger than ever in difficult times

As we all know, sometimes newspapers overlook or underplay an important story because it doesn’t make sensational headlines. The meeting between Prime Minister David Cameron and Taoiseach Enda Kenny in London last March – and the joint statement which came out of it  – was one such story. We in Northern Ireland, in particular, would more…