Author Archive | Brian Walker

Signs that plates are shifting over Brexit?

While not exactly a flood tide, the case for Irexit made by economist Ray Kinsella has become a trickle of two. With a few distinguished exceptions, “official” Ireland has bought into the “spin”’. It has made the European Union the custodian of our national interests. It has ceded its responsibility for negotiations on our future relationship with more…

Some bold solutions, several welcome “principles” on dealing with the Irish border. The British paper in full is a serious document

The British paper on the border is at last the meaty  document  long called for. It makes a several  bold and practical suggestions for a seamless border  but leaves much up in the air, laying down “ principles” for future negotiations. Many of these  go far beyond the Irish border issues to the heart of more…

The 70th anniversary of the 1947 Education Act has lessons for the DUP

On a different tack the Bel Tel recently published a second article showing unionists in government in a more favourable light. This time it’s an article by Prof Graham  Walker of QUB  on the 70th anniversary of the the passage of the 1947 Education Act.  Would that today’s Stormont could agree on effective measures to more…

More than a hint of things to come on the Irish border

Once this period expires, the UK will look to agree either a “highly streamlined” border with the EU, or a new “partnership” with no customs border at all. This is the most optimistic reading of London’s proposal for “a temporary customs union.” introduced by David.  It gives a pretty broad clue of what they’ll propose more…

Major survey shows deep confusion in UK opinion over Brexit

Extracts  from the BuzzFeed report Many Remain voters now largely agree that Brexit should mean the UK taking full control over its borders, leaving the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and paying only a small “divorce bill” to the EU, according to major new academic research. A groundbreaking project by the London School more…

Are we seeing spin to reduce the scale of the RHI scandal?

It seems moves are afoot to massage  down the estimate of the RHI overspend and thus presumably the damage to Arlene Foster and her official and party advisers. The “ new” information reported by Jonny Bell in the Bel Tel dates from January and  is therefore not new but newly exposed, we’re told. (Stand by more…

Kevin McNamara RIP, champion of an old Labour approach to Ireland

The late prime minister Jim Callaghan was said to have described Kevin McNamara once as “the Fianna Fail member for Kingston upon Hull North”.  Kevin himself recalled how Tony Blair on being elected Labour leader summoned him and told him straight : “I don’t want you in my shadow cabinet.”  At which Kevin rose from more…

The limited case for Kevin

The limited case for Kevin

The Irish Times for which he once wrote and even more significantly the Jewish Council of Ireland have mounted a limited  defence of  Kevin Myers. As I labelled him a disgrace for the bonkers claim that two BBC presenters won bigger contracts because they were Jewish, I’m very happy to carry here the case for more…