Archive | December, 2013

#Haass paper published

Folks here are the proposals from the Haass talks that has been put up on the OFM/DFM website Paper opens with ‘We in Northern Ireland have come along way. From the depths of violence we have built an impressive, albiet incomplete peace.’ It goes on to say ‘Despite these positive steps , we have further more…

Your contributions to Slugger’s Old Year/New Year Playlist?

I thought it would be fun to do something playful in the wake of another difficult year in the life of Northern Ireland. So I thought we could build a notional playlist of NI related songs… So your [#OldYear] starter for ten, is Stiff Little Fingers cover of a Bob Marley song… Just post a more…

Haass failure keeps SF-DUP in driving seat

Richard Haass’ failure to facilitate a “comprehensive agreement” on Northern Ireland’s “contentious issues” represents yet another missed opportunity for would-be opponents of the SF-DUP axis. To recap, NI’s main problem is not its past, its parades, its parties or its people. Instead, it’s the structure of the current Stormont arrangement where a “battle-a-day”, to quote more…

#Haass talks D-Day-No Agreement

Well it’s nearly over. After three months of talks and attempted deal Dr. Haass and Prof. O’Sullivan will end their talks on flags, parades and the past. At the moment we are looking at an announcement of a deal or failure to agree at around midnight. It may well be the latter as Tracey Magee from more…

A is for Activist cover

A is for Activist

From an early age, children are introduced to animals, right and wrong, concepts of fulfilment and disappointment, fear and joy, all through chewed hardback books. Princesses are in need of rescue, dogs misbehave and talk, mice covet strawberries. Wealth is equated with happiness, poverty with sorrow. How do you introduce the concepts of social justice, more…

Lord Chief Justice Morgan: “this is a case about political failure”

Not the Haass talks.  You can keep your nose pressed against the windowpane with David if you’re hoping for a scrap of comfort from that.  No, this is about the continued dysfunctional approach of the two main parties of the Northern Ireland Executive semi-detached polit-bureau to the process of government – as defined under the current more…

Haass, our future and a plea form a frustrated politico

Dr.Richard Haass begins his final session of talks today to get an agreement from all of main political parties in Northern Ireland on flags, parades and dealing with the past. While his earlier efforts have failed to produce anything, he will be banking on the need for our politicians to demonstrate once again what great more…

He’s back! Haass is returning to NI

Who said Haassmas comes but once a year? Our very own international problem solver Dr Richard Haass will be returning to get a deal that eluded him earlier in the week. Question for our posters-if you were Richard Haass how would you approach these talks and what concessions would you seek to get from the more…

Haass carve-up, Brian John Spencer

Cartoon – ChristmHaass carve-up

Enjoy the cartoon and have a Merry Christmas and happy new year. Full acknowledgements to James Gillray and his infamous piece, ‘The Plumb Pudding in Danger’. Martin Rowson also gaves his take on it recently here. Morten Morland has his take on it with Cameron and Osborne here.

keep-calm-and-play-the-ball-5 (1)

Merry Christmas and (barring any more mega scale bank robberies) I’ll see you in the new year…

So the people of the Republic contemplate the reality of post bailout Ireland (a rush at the Christmas tills will help no doubt), Scotland takes further steps towards greater political agency (regardless of the result of the IndyRef), Wales’s quiet and popular evolution of its assembly, and England’s creaks under the weight of some pretty more…

Haass Round Table talks pushed back until later this evening…

So the latest time for the convening of roundtable talks has been being put back all day. Right now, Mark Devenport says 8.30. And Tommie Gorman of RTE has suggested that Haass may be back immediately after Christmas (he’s going back to the States tomorrow) to finalise any deal before the end of the month. more…

Alf McCreary Behind the Headlines

“I want a society where we will have politics & not a sectarian pantomime” (Alf McCreary in 1976)

In his autobiography Behind the Headlines, Alf McCreary recalls his editor’s leading article in the Belfast Telegraph on 5 November 1968 in which Jack Sayers wrote: The threat to Northern Ireland’s future is not … the IRA or even Nationalism. It comes from Protestant Ulstermen who will not allow themselves to be liberated from the more…

Haass pt3-more process, little actual solutions

Stephen Walker from the BBC has managed to obtain details of Richard Haass’ third draft to the five main parties. The latest draft comes to the conlusion that most of us could have said months ago that : “We could not reach a common position on the flying of flags.” Haass does reccomend a policy more…