Archive | April, 2015

Casement Park STG Chair: “we were being attempted to be coerced, pressurised into signing off something that we were singularly uncomfortable with…”

The BBC reports on the latest wrinkle in the on-going saga of the controversial £70million redevelopment of Casement Park in west Belfast – stalled in December last year when Belfast High Court quashed the decision to grant planning approval for the redevelopment. At the start of April this year, the BBC obtained the minutes of the last meeting more…

Could the SNP and Tories trigger a UK shift to the nationalist right?

This is interesting. I’ve made the point on the SluggerReport that even reliable national polling will be mediated by ground war efforts by various parties. However FPTP may allow the SNP to take almost all the spoils in Scotland: The latest and final Ipsos MORI poll for STV News puts support for Nicola Sturgeon’s party more…

336px-Rory_McIlroy_watches_drive_flight_(portrait_orientation)

How Would Rory McIlroy Vote?  And why that’s important.

Predicated as it is on avarice and greed and standing as a monument to the necessity for mandatory wealth re-distribution, the most useless supplement of the year reappeared last week. The Sunday Times Rich List likes to rank all the people in the country who have more money than you. And expects you to pay more…

“…lifetime ban on gay men giving blood “may be justified” in certain cases”

Interesting news from Strasbourg’s European Court of Justice… The European Court of Justice ruled that member states should establish if there were not more accurate detection techniques or “less onerous” ways of ensuring that recipients of donated blood were protected, rather than banning gay men for life from giving blood. Ireland and a number of more…

chart2

Brexit – What will be the cost if the UK exits the EU?

The German Bertelsmann Foundation with the assistance of the IFO Institute have produced a report attempting to analyse the effects of a UK exit from the European Union.  The report makes sobering reading for all, but particularly people in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The report makes a serious effort to put figures on what has more…

Indonesia executes eight drugs smugglers

I have blogged previously about the death penalty. It is only fair to state at the outset that I am fundamentally opposed to it. The BBC are reporting that despite a chorus of international pleas for clemency the Indonesian authorities have executed eight drugs smugglers. They included two Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran (the more…

Election ’15: The Nationalist Contest in NI

With just over a week to polling day, I’ve decided to take a closer look at the contest between the two main nationalist parties in the north of Ireland, Sinn Fein and the SDLP. Sinn Fein’s dominance over the SDLP was established in the 2001 Westminster election, when Pat Doherty and Michelle Gildernew secured two more…

It’s resignation Jim, but not as we know it

So Jim Wells has tendered his resignation. There’s something in the back of my mind about Peter Robinson threatening to resign before and withdrawing the threat when the storm had passed. Maybe I’m jumping too far ahead, though… A lot of commentators and journalists are proffering the opinion that the post-dated resignation is to allow more…

Marriage Equality motion fails in the Assembly

Today the Assembly narrowly rejected a Sinn Fein motion on Marriage Equality 47 votes in favour to 49 against. Three Alliance MLAs abstained and five SDLP MLAs did not turn up for the vote (I understand one had a family bereavement.) Of the 53 Unionists who voted just four supported the motion (Danny Kinahan, Basil more…

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 22.39.53

On hearing of Jim Wells’ narcolepsy…

For the sake of keeping record (and via the Irish News), this from Northern Ireland’s deputy First Minister* after news at the weekend that Jim Wells suffers from narcolepsy.. Wonder has @GerryKellyMLA got #narcolepsy !! Lol !! pic.twitter.com/odiJYlNTHK — Martin McGuinness (@M_McGuinness_SF) April 26, 2015 Our top tip: leave the trolling to the keyboard warriors more…

On Jim Wells and against serving Minister’s running for election…

Between all the spin and counterspin on Jim Wells’s resignation, this from Tom Kelly makes an important point: …what constitutes good governance during an election? No serving Minister should be allowed to continue in office whilst contesting an election not associated with the Assembly and even then purdah should be strictly enforced. It is ridiculous more…