Archive | November, 2012

BelTel Poll: UUP disappearing in the east of Northern Ireland?

So, here’s today’s poll in the BelTel: DUP 30% SF 26.4 SDLP 13.5 Alliance 11.6 UUP 11.4 Alliance, without doing very much for it, are pounding the UUP east of Bann. As one leading commentator told Slugger this morning, this would cost the UUP key seats in Belfast and North Down. In fact, what’s happening more…

Gaelscéal na seachtaine seo

Gaelscéal: An Ghaeilge in East Belfast

Tuairisc le Colm Ó Broin Tá grúpa i gceantar Dílseachta i mBéal Feirste ag smaoineamh ar ghrúpa tuismitheoirí agus páistí Gaeilge a thosú amach anseo. Má éiríonn leis tá seans ann go mbunófar naíscoil (nó naíonra mar a ghlaotar orthu ó dheas) nó fiú bunscoil lánGhaeilge san am atá le teacht. Deir Grúpa Gaeilge Mhisean more…

Fermanagh Crannog 2012: bone comb with incised decoration

“The new A32 Cherrymount link road near Enniskillen will eventually be built on top of the crannog…”

The BBC reports, as do other news outlets, the Northern Ireland Environment Minister’s press release on “the first substantial, scientific excavation of a crannog in Northern Ireland”.  A “huge treasure trove of artefacts” was uncovered – potentially of “international importance” – and the crannog was occupied from at least AD 900 to AD 1600.  The ministerial press release also more…

Our Time Our Place logo

For what is Northern Ireland going to be known in 2013?

As NI2012 Our Place Our Time comes to a halt, does Northern Ireland Tourist Board have a fight on its hands to maintain this year’s impetus? Competition comes from Tourism Ireland’s The Gathering (which Tourism Minister Arlene Foster made no mention of in her party conference speech at the weekend) not to mention VisitScotland’s three more…

farage smoking

A UKIP breakthrough in 2015?

UKIP has been consistently polling in the high single digits and low double digits across Great Britain for well over a year now. This is the most significant and sustained burst of polling for a fourth party in Britain since at least the Greens’ post-Euro election surge in 1989. Arguably, the UKIP surge is more more…

An Essential Cross-Border Information Service

For the second month running I am unashamedly going to blow the Centre for Cross Border Studies’ trumpet. Because the Centre does not only write about cross-border cooperation in Ireland; it not only researches such cross-border cooperation – it also does practical cooperation between the two parts of this island. Last month I wrote about more…

A Fair US Election…

OK – the US system is flawed – FTTP in states means that only a dozen or so states matter each time. So make it fairer: You could just count all the votes ? (far too simple) Or perhaps recognise “states rights” The electoral college system gives a boost to small states by giving a more…

400,000 people missing from the Electoral roll in NI…

Front page of the BelTel today, the Electoral Commission has discovered there’s been a slip in the accuracy of the electoral roll from 94% in 2008 to just 78% today. A lot of the discrepancy relates to people who no longer live here any more. It may be that some of the stricter standards introduced more…

Spare us a new long game of political numbers

More clearly than before as Mick observes, it is Peter Robinson’s medium term strategy and perhaps his personal legacy to enlist the support of enough Catholics to preserve the Union.  But despite the superficial confidence in Peter’s leader’s speech it is loaded with insecurity.  He has been forced to recognise the likelihood of an eventual Catholic more…

DUP 2012 membership survey front page

Know your members: the DUP launches a significant membership survey (proposed & run by university researchers)

Update: A few clarifications from the DUP: “the researchers approached us and it is a funded research programme to costs party nothing”. The funding is from the Leverhulme Trust. The questions were drafted by the researchers around a year ago, building on previous work with the Orange Order. – – – Membership survey forms were more…

Merkel - G8

Comment on the Week: Is the Church of England facing a crisis?

Following hotly in the footsteps of the BBC, we now have the Church of England facing a crisis with internal strife and problems relating to the issue of women bishops. The departing Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, argued for it as did the incoming one, Justin Welby. Two of the three houses of the Church more…