The DUP should withdraw its MPs from Westminster…

Big Ben, London

The political stalemate at Stormont isn’t anything new; nor are the strategic blunders that the DUP has and seems to be continuing to pursue. That said, the NI Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris MP is seemingly, going to plough ahead with an election that no party wants, will stop any negotiation dead in its tracks (arguably putting it into reverse) and lead to the same electoral outcome, albeit with minimal expected MLA seat changes. The upshot is basically that by …

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Consistently inconsistent: the Tories struggle with the basics…

There seems to be some confusion of behalf of the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nadine Dorries MP, who on Monday on BBC News openly demonstrated her misunderstanding of the UK’s constitutional status. This is perhaps indicative of a Cabinet that fundamentally misunderstands and/or actively derides how the UK’s constitution hangs together whilst prioritising the survival of the UK’s chief proponent of ‘strategic lying’, Boris Johnson MP (Gaber & Fisher, 2022). In a nutshell, Dorries stated …

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NI Assembly Election 2022 – What the data tells us…

Stormont Estate, Belfast, N. Ireland

I am not breaking any new ground here, but am one of those people that needs to visualise information to actually take it in. So, with that in mind here’s an historical overview of party first preference votes with the Apr 22 LucidTalk poll extension included (data collected in Mar 22). Traditionally, the poll-on-poll comparison compares just that, the voter intention between polls. With the election only circa 2 weeks away from now, I figure this is as close of …

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The cost-of-living crisis bites as gas prices nearly double in a year…

appliance, burn, burner

For some time now, the media has been awash with the narrative on the increasing cost-of-living, with gas supply restricted by Russia’s war in Ukraine compounding already increasing wholesale prices. As such, NI’s gas providers have begun to pass this on to customers. Thousands of others across NI will have received their latest gas bills today and without a doubt would have made for eye watering reading. The figure below shows a quarterly house bill in Belfast with seasonal fluctuations …

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Churchillian flourishes signal desperation from this ‘unexceptional’ Tory Government…

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has been hard on all aspects of society, not least of all the UK Government’s approval ratings as it has lurched from one crisis to another, many a product of its own making. Then, during the Prime Minister’s address on Tuesday, viewers saw Boris Johnson attempt to emulate Churchill when he said, “Never before in our history has our collective destiny and our collective health depended so completely on our individual behaviour.” Although his address …

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The problem with opening churches too early…

The Minister for Agriculture, Edwin Poots has recently called for churches across NI to reopen following a graduated easing of restrictions, citing novel methods of worship outside of the traditional mass congregation. Surely this is a fine position to take considering around 93% of the NI population identify as Christian? No, no it’s not. It is exactly this siloed approach that underwrites the nature of Stormont’s power sharing Executive and gives out of touch ministers, like Poots, a platform to …

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Public relations misfire: transparent and desperate…

On Wednesday at the national daily briefing, the UK government visibly acknowledged its anxiety over its COVID-19 response to date as talks of an Inquiry mount, just days after a Sunday Times article highlighted a series of spectacular blunders that prompted a detailed 2,000-word rebuttal. The tell…? Wheeling out the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter GCB, CBE, DSO, ADC. One would be forgiven for thinking it relatively benign, given that the military has been squarely involved …

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Not even a global pandemic can bring Sinn Fein to welcome help from the Brits…

Sinn Fein’s recent criticism of Stormont’s Health Minister Robin Swann was a curious occurrence in even more curious times. The UUP MLA’s decision to utilise the UK military to support logistic functions like distribution of PPE and construction of a NI Nightingale facility, was layered with realism, a sense of urgency and for once, relative political neutrality.  And yet, Michelle O’Neill criticised the decision, based not on the intended use of the UK military, but on the lack of consultation that …

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