Archive | May, 2017

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 more…

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‘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 more…

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Happiness is not to be found in good public policy, but rather in the eternal love of Jesus…

Over in the Minnesota House of Representatives, Republican Abigail Whelan had an imaginative response to a question. As reported by Think Progressive. Pressed about her lack of support for an amendment that would close loopholes for offshore tax havens, a Minnesota Republican dodged the question in favor of talking about her religious beliefs. Minnesota Rep. Abigail Whelan, a more…

Tweet of the Day: Irish Threat Levels…

Actually, it was yesterday, but nice one Martin… Irish Threat Levels 1. 'Tis grand2. Bit ropey3. Didn't see that coming4. Totally bolloxed5. Fucked altogether — martinmcmahon (@williamhboney1) May 24, 2017

We should envy the people of Manchester their sense of solidarity, but defiance in the face of killers is not enough

British reaction to the Manchester atrocity has not yet reached the level of reproaching the authorities for “ the one that got away.” But it soon will, if the reaction to 7/7 is followed. MI5’s investigation into Crevice threw up 55 individuals associated with the plotters. MI5 said it would have liked to have pursued more…

Political leaders’ first thoughts on #Manchester…

An abbreviated round-up of the reaction of Irish political leaders north and south to last night’s bombing in Manchester…. Arlene Foster, DUP… We all stand in solidarity with the people of Manchester and must unite in condemnation of those who brought terror to so many families as they enjoyed a concert. Whilst terrorists can bring more…

A century since Markievicz MP – are we much further on?

In the lead-up to the Assembly election I looked at the potential gender representation of the cohort returning to the Hill. A record 27 out of 90 Assembly members (30%) were returned. From looking at the 18 constituencies there are 12 seats that will be not be filled by female candidates. This is due, in more…

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Yes, Corbyn condemned the IRA. And the rest

Yesterday Jeremy Corbyn allegedly refused to condemn the IRA when pressed multiple times during a television interview. This sent various media into a frothing overdrive, delighted Conservatives, and apparently set off the whataboutery alarm at DUP headquarters, who immediately and predictably declared Corbyn “beyond the political pale”. Except, of course, he did not refuse to more…

South Belfast by Numbers

SDLP DUP ALL SF UUP   Comb Nat Comb Un 2017 A 19.4% 20.8% 17.8% 17.7% 9.0% 37.1% 31.9% 2016 A 20.0% 22.0% 16.4% 14.2% 6.7% 34.2% 34.1% 2015 W 24.5% 22.2% 17.2% 13.9% 9.1% 38.4% 37.7% 2010 W 41.0% 23.7% 15.0% – 17.3% 41.0% 41.0% 2005 W 32.3% 28.4% 7.2% 9.0% 22.7% 41.3% 51.1% more…

On Celebrity Endorsements & Battleground Constituencies

Celebrity endorsements are a feature of political life across the western world. We are well used to prominent figures in the entertainment industry lining up to endorse or criticise political candidates- in the United States, Britain and Ireland. Figures within the sporting world are also known for raising their voices to offer opinions on political more…

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Does the Tory manifesto contain bits of hope for the DUP?

As the current polls are pointing to the Conservatives being returned to office with an enhanced majority and the DUP’s influence is likely to evaporate. However, reading the Conservative Manifesto I wondered whether some of this might be premature as I focused on the Northern Ireland section. Here is where I must put the health more…

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Varadkar v Coveney for the Fine Gael Leadership

The deadline for nominations have passed and there are two confirmed candidates for the job with Minister’s Simon Coveney & Leo Varadkar in the race to replace Enda Kenny as Fine Gael Leader. How does the process work? Each of the candidates has been nominated by at least 10% of the Parliamentary Party (PP), comprised more…

Shock horror EXCLUSIVE! MI5 had Jeremy Corbyn under surveillance into the 1990s, for “links to the IRA”

Billed as  “Exclusive, MI5”, the Daily Telegraph  splashes with a predictable twist on an ancient theme, that Jeremy Corbyn had been under surveillance for having “ links” to the IRA. This is the flip side of the super-patriotic  coin that supports army veterans in their campaign, backed by Theresa May, against prosecutions for illegal actions more…