“They’d have known from then that I couldn’t be counted on to fall into line.”

An organisation which plays a key role in distributing public money to community organisations in Derry has been found guilty of discriminating against a local man because of his opposition to what he characterised as a “Sinn Fein/DUP carve-up” of community organisation in the city. The Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership (WNP) has been ordered by a Fair Employment Tribunal to pay Gary McClean £10,000 compensation for denying him a job as a Community Development Officer (CDO) in the Curryneirin area despite … Read more

Slugger TV debuts on NVTV looking at key constituencies of #GE2017

Slugger O’Toole: Episode 1 from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo. Slugger TV debuted on NVTV  last night with a panel of the Irish News Security Correspondent, Allison Morris and our own Alan Meban. We looked at the key constituencies of the campaign and some of the moments of the election campaign.   David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Why is Colum Eastwood pulling his punches on a border poll?

There is no point in denying the appeal of a united Ireland within the EU, even if the threat of a hard border turns out to be exaggerated for its malign effects on trade, integrated agriculture and ease of movement and Theresa May’s team returns from Brussels in triumph. It transcends narrow nationalism and reflects the Remain verdict in the EU referendum which put nationalism on the winning side, courtesy of quite a few on the unionist side. For the … Read more

Colum Eastwood argues for a Border Poll after Brexit process

At the SDLP manifesto launch, Colum Eastwood was asked by the Irish News Political Correspondent, John Manley about a border poll and here is how he responded; I want a border poll, we’ve just made it a lot more winnable, because of the work that Mark and our MPs did in Westminster with David Davis. The work that we did in negotiations  when we were talking about lots of different things, we were talking to the British Secretary of State … Read more

Brokenshire’s line on a border poll won’t do. Straight after next week’s election, it will be incumbent to spell out terms and conditions for holding a unity referendum. And Dublin cannot be left out

In their manifesto,  the SDLP have now joined Sinn Fein in calling for a unity referendum, albeit on slightly different terms. Both are linking it to Brexit. If the combined nationalist share of the vote next week reaches 40+% which is highly manageable, can a unity referendum or border poll, reasonably be denied?  If not, what is reasonable?  By one reckoning a 50% threshold would seem unreasonably high for our divided community. By another, a referendum should wait until nationalists have … Read more

Why now is the time for voting rights outside the Irish state in Presidential Elections

Áras an Uachtaráin - residence of the Irish President, and soon to be home to Northern Irish bees

Professor Colin Harvey is professor of human rights at the school of law in Queens University Belfast. Mark Bassett is a barrister in independent practice. They made a joint presentation to the Oireachtas GFA committee on the 18th May 2017. 1. Non-resident voting rights raise important questions concerning equal citizenship. This includes Irish citizens in Northern Ireland. The relatively modest proposal of an extended franchise for Presidential elections received overwhelming support at the Constitutional Convention in 2013. There also appears … Read more

In Defence Of Democracy From Sneering Media Types…

Outside the liberal echo chamber that sees peril in almost anything hoving in from the right, here’s a considered note of sanity from Jeremy Paxman: “I don’t like these media class sneerings about Trump,” Paxman said. “I don’t share his politics on many things, but he was elected on that cockamamie system that they’ve got. He was elected president. And we should respect that.” Responding to a question from the audience about whether his views on Trump had changed since … Read more

To celebrate the launch of our new Slugger TV show, we’re giving you the chance to win free tickets to our live election event this Thursday

It is a busy week at Slugger. Tonight the first episode of our new Slugger TV Show goes out on NVTV. You can watch it on Freeview Channel 7 or Virgin Media Channel 159, we will also be putting the video online tomorrow. It will be on tonight at 22:45, and will be repeated on Thursday at 19:45, Saturday at 19:15 and Sunday at 22:45. Also this Thursday we have our live pre-election event in the Dark Horse. Join Alex Kane, Chris … Read more

Corbyn’s failure to close down the IRA story rests on some inconvenient truths..

In the purist world of the most starry-eyed Corbynistas, the saintly Jeremy has no time for spin or subterfuge. That’s what the evil Blairites did, after all. But when it comes to his past stance on the IRA, spin is exactly what the Labour leader and his fan base have been attempting. Not very well either. So let’s dispense with the myth-making. The blunt truth is that Jeremy Corbyn and his fellow Labour left travellers campaigned politically for an IRA … Read more

Queen’s Hosts Interactive Showcase ‘Global Thinking Locally’ at Belfast City Hall tomorrow

  Queen’s University Belfast will be hosting an interactive showcase event at Belfast City Hall to demonstrate the impact the University has on the community in Belfast and across the globe. The showcase will take place on Tuesday, 30 May 2017 from 10am – 2.30pm in the Great Hall at Belfast City Hall. There will be over 30 interactive exhibitions from a range of Queen’s world-leading experts and researchers showcasing their work under the themes of Future Cities, Healthy Citizens, … Read more

(Yet) Another Jim Wells Election Campaign Moment

Jim Wells is in the headlines again. Betcha that’s a sentence which makes the DUP press team despair…. This time, Mr Wells has made the news for his proclamation that Sinn Fein is “not welcome” in a “unionist town.” Mr Wells made the comments on Twitter in the aftermath of Sinn Fein election workers canvassing the small town of Rathfriland in the South Down constituency. His (now deleted) tweet read: Many complaints about Sinn Fein canvassing in Rathfriland yesterday. They … Read more

What do Leo and Simon have to say about the North?

Issues Leo Varadkar Simon Coveney United Ireland Believes in preparing for Shared Sovereignty or a United Ireland.   However says it needs support in both communities.   Opposes Border Poll now Wants a White Paper on Irish unity drafted by November 2017.   Supports establishment of an All Ireland Forum in 2018.   Opposes Border Poll now. North-South relations Supports good relations and commits to help restoring the Executive. Wants joint Dail Committee to examine possibilities for North-South relations. Brexit … Read more

Two coffees and a Highland wedding

To my nationalist and republican friends… I think you should reconsider your opposition to the Union, and here’s why… A friend of mine recently threw out a question which stopped me in my tracks. “Do you think there will ever be a united Ireland?” She asked. She knew I was a member of a unionist party and most who do see no point in asking me such a question, but ask she did. Her voice suggested she was asking the … Read more

Brexit tremors

The sportswear manufacturer O’Neills has told Radio Foyle this morning that planned investment at its Strabane site has been put on hold until it gets Brexit clarity. It comes the week after the local Derry and Strabane district council passed a motion calling for the North to be granted Special Status. Meanwhile in Lisburn Coca Cola HBC has said its “mapping out” the potential impact of Brexit on its business. It currently distributes 95% of Coca Cola products sold throughout Ireland. This … Read more

Did PSNI just change the script?

One standout take-away from the Belfast Telegraph’s ‘BelTelBomber’ piece was an unexpected response from police which cut to the very core of how large organisations deal with the media in two interesting ways. Firstly, a recap: the Belfast Telegraph’s story followed up on the Manchester bombing by sending a reporter to visit local tourist attractions, complete with a backpack, to check if he could do so without any checks. The newspaper’s front page was given over to the piece along … Read more

The English, with an identity problem to die for

As a little Bank Holiday sidebar, I nick part of Libby Purves’ meditation on Identity in the Times (£) today which laments a lack of the English variety and compares it mournfully  with the rosiest possible version of the Irish kind.  Being English, she actually thinks north and south are much the same – imagine! Libby, a broadcaster and journalist of my slight acquaintance is also a keen yachtswoman. She put into Schull in west Cork for the Fastnet film … Read more

The government’s idea of compelling doctors to work for a period in the NHS…

The general public regards the NHS as something between a ‘sacred cow’ and a ‘national treasure’, despite all the pressures that it is under. For decades it has provided a universal service, largely free* at the point of use. The public may have a collective memory of the abysmal provision before it was introduced; to see just what changes it made, you have to look for ‘the short and simple annals of the poor’ — you could start by reading … Read more

They will have to shed cherished illusions about how to deal with jihadist terrorism. We were different, but we know the feeling

Since the Manchester atrocity a lifetime ago on Monday night, we can hear echoes of the Troubles every day.   The elevation of suicide into martyrdom is a common theme but very differently enacted and  very differently received; passively- aggressively by  hunger strike  thirty five  years ago  and bitterly dividing opinion to this day: aggressively only  by the IED of militant jihad today; generally condemned except by their own but probably secretly admired by more than we care  to acknowledge. The … Read more

‘The Germans are bad, very bad’ – President Trump…

As part of his continuing programme of How to lose friends and alienate people, German magazine Der Spiegel quoted Trump at the G7 meeting as saying: “The Germans are bad, very bad. Look at the millions of cars they’re selling in the U.S. We will stop that.” A particular target seems to be BMW, from CNN: Trump has taken aim at German carmakers before. In an interview in January, he said Germany’s BMW (BMWYY) should reconsider building a plant in … Read more