Archive | August, 2015

A Command Democracy

Dan Boyle is a former Senator and member of the Green Party. He is the Author of ‘Without Power or Glory – The Greens in Government’. Today he gives us his take on local government and the threats to democracy posed by our current system After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the more…

Nationalisation is always a disaster: another truism in need of challenge?

Corbynmaina has gone a little quiet recently centrally due to repetition. Personally I am still unsure whether he will win or not. However, after having looked at some of the potentially questionable truisms regarding the unelectability of Labour in 1983 and the disaster which was the 1970s, I thought, to take our minds off the more…

A question of chairmanship

A wee Sunday thought. Under d’Hondt, and specifically section 18 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, the DUP is due to be asked to nominate the new minister for Regional Development when the Assembly reconvenes after the summer break. The current chairperson of the Committee for Regional Development is Trevor Clarke, in succession to Jimmy more…

Mike Nesbitt

More Questions Than Answers Following UUP Withdrawal

So the UUP executive met today and ratified Mike Nesbitt’s decision to leave the Northern Ireland executive, on Tuesday of this coming week Danny Kennedy will resign from his position as Minister for Regional Development – but what does this mean? I have spent today discussing this at length and have concluded that I know more…

UUP leaving the executive: anti agreement unionism for slow learners

So the UUP have finally done something exciting and left the Executive (or at least will once their own party executive rubber stamps the decision). The internal unionist politics of this: both why it was a politically good idea and the potential ramifications are significant and worth a separate blog (which I may get to more…

A critique of the Chief Constable’s statement on alleged PIRA involvement in the murder of Kevin McGuigan

Before considering my analysis of specific excerpts from George Hamilton’s statement on alleged PIRA activity, readers – if they haven’t already – may want to read the PSNI Chief Constable’s statement in full. Moreover, while I do feel there are a number of issues with what George Hamilton says in his statement, I am conscious more…

The 10 most annoying political phrases in Northern Ireland

Nice wee Friday thread for you all to get your head showered from the madness of Northern Ireland politics. One thing that really bugs me is the platitudes that pass for talking points in our political system. These annoying phrases can be heard on Nolan, Talkback and the Sunday Politics most weeks and if you more…

“The real story is not the existence of some skeleton structure, but the sound of gunfire…”

It’s not the still-extant Provisional IRA structures that are the immediate cause for concern, although “stupid” questions could, and should, be asked about their ultimate purpose, it’s the involvement of those Provisional IRA ‘structures’ in the events leading up to, and including, the murder of Kevin McGuigan, and the continued denials [of that reality! – Ed] more…

The collapse of the Northern Ireland Assembly can be averted

The Ulster Unionists appear to have succumbed to the revulsion many unionists feel at the very idea of sharing power with the spawn of the IRA that most of them have suppressed every day since 1998. The danger now is that they will set off a chain reaction and take the DUP with them. The  more…

Bertie

Ahern: IRA allowed continue to prevent vacuum

Since he left office in 2008, Bertie Ahern rarely ventures into the spotlight or gives any real in-depth comments about Northern Ireland. However, even his most ardent critics would acknowledge his role in bringing about the Good Friday and St. Andrews Agreement. Today he as spoken to Fiach Kelly in the Irish Times about the more…

Galvanising the Peace

Peter Osborne writes about the need to galvanize the peace process Building the peace is not just a laudable aim; it is one of the most complex and toughest too. There needs to be systemic and structural change, tackling the causes of division and the reasons why sectional and sectarian attitudes continue to prevail. Beyond more…

Mike Nesbitt

Nesbitt: “That decision is to withdraw from the Northern Ireland Executive, to form an Opposition and offer people an alternative, as is the way in any proper democracy.”

A confident Mike Nesbitt walked down the staircase of the Great Hall in Stormont with his parliamentary colleagues to make a significant announcement about the future of the UUP’s involvement in the Executive. Nesbitt began by speaking of the risks and political pain that his party had taken in the past to secure devolution in more…