Who would live in a town like this?

I dont think anyone else has blogged this, but there has been some discussion today of last night’s Channel 4 programme ‘Best and Worst Places to Live in the UK’. The programme ranked all of the Local Authorities across the UK looking at things such as educational performance, entertainment venues and employment. Coming in with the coveted title of third worse place to live in the UK was Strabane. The makers of the programme list Strabane’s infamous unemployment rate as … Read more

FAIR step up campaign for justice.

Ever since the Libyan Government agreed to pay compensation to the families of those killed in the Lockerbie bombing there have been calls for similar compensation to be paid to the victims of IRA violence carried out using weapons supplied by the Gaddafi regime. The calls for compensation have not been heeded, but the FAIR group based in Markethill have now launched a new petition which is being carried in the Newsletter calling for an apology from the Libyan Government.The … Read more

Sinn Fein not the only MPs not to take oath

The ever informative Guy Fawkes’ blog has a little snippet that there might be another MP not taking the oath to Her Majesty. Not this time an objection to the ‘British Queen’ but the erstwhile “Member for Baghdad Central & Bethnal Green” is off in America defending himself against allegations and will not be back in time to take his oath. He therefore faces a £500 fine and the vacation of his seat should he set foot in the Commons. … Read more

Why the problems wont just go away.

Many in the Ulster Unionist Party are valiantly optimistic about the future of their Party while they survey the electoral wreckage left after last week. While the pro and anti-Agreement battle raged, developing into a pro and anti-Trimble argument, is the next battle the liberal vs conservative wings clashing over the future?Sylvia Hermon is now the sole UUP MP at Westminster and over the next few years she will be doing more interviews like this one than she has done … Read more

Dirty Tricks Department Caught Out?

The Belfast Telegraph this morning reports that the Alliance Party have reported the UUP to the Electoral Commission over accusaions of dirty tricks surrounding a leaflet recently distributed in key Alliance Party areas. This is the leaflet which Roy Beggs recently denied any UUP involvement in during the recent UTV Insight election debate.The leaflet (front and back) purports to have been produced by ‘Concerned Citizens for a Shared Future’ which uses a PO Box as its contact address. However, suspicion … Read more

Any Insight from Larne?

UTV tonight aired the first of its two election specials. In Larne tonight we had Sammy Wilson, Roy Beggs, David Ford, Alban Maginnis and Mitchel McLaughlin. While the debate inevitably had a particular focus on the inter-unionist battle there was also a particularly spirited performance from David Ford who challenged Roy Beggs to rule out any UUP involvement in a leaflet being circulated in East Antrim and North Down which accuses the Alliance party of vote shredding. Clive McFarland

Never mind Troops – get the postboxes out?

Sinn Fein have been given a quick and not so positive response from An Post in the Republic over their call to have post boxes closed. The post boxes in question happen to have been used from the pre-partition period and have Royal Insigia on them. – Update: In something of a disparity with their southern colleagues (not the first time – don’t mention the Euro), Sinn Fein in Omagh dont mind postboxes with Royal Insignia on them so long … Read more

Bad, but who is to blame?

Its probably fair to say that the Ulster Unionist Party hasnt had the ideal campaign so far in the election. Some lows can be attributed to the Party themselves, but have the ad men had a part to play too?The UUP has come under fire from both the Alliance Party and the DUP for their “Decent People Vote Ulster Unionist” slogan. Liam Clarke also gave his views on the UUP campaign in the Sunday Times. Maybe all the problems were … Read more

McNarry in the bookies camp?

There’s an interesting quote carried today in the Newsletter from David McNarry (no online version yet), where he seems to somewhat differ from David Trimble’s prediction of UUP gains at the General Election.The quote reads: “At first sight, it is not great news because the bookies are usually better at these predictions than the pollsters”, said UUP man David McNarry who has been in close contact with bookmaker Barney Eastwood. “But the up side is that the bookies are really … Read more

Not one, not two, but many Manifestos.

The DUP this morning launched its manifeso, taking the unveiling to a golf club in the heart of Upper Bann. As well as the current manifesto available to download, Peter Robinson was quick to point out at the press launch this morning that, possibly unlike some other parties, previous manifestos are still easily available to check on promises kept.As well as the expected sections on the future of devolution and the political process, with quotes from political commentators and political … Read more

‘Blair Babe’ the real rebel?

Lady Sylvia Hermon has responded to Peter Weir’s charge of being Labour’s favourite MP. She doesnt try to dismiss the fact that she has voted with Labour over 250 times, often while the rest of her colleagues have been going through the other lobby alongside the Conservatives. Indeed, an investigation of her voting record makes you wonder, is Sylvia the only real rebel left in the UUP? Peter Weir is obviously trying to get a few Tory votes in his … Read more

The last Hurdle

The last area where the DUP are currently behind the UUP in representation is Local Government. With that in mind, it is interesting to note that this election is the first ever where the DUP are running more candidates for Local Government than the UUP. Is the sign of a growing party a growing number of candidates?My count has the party totals running at the DUP on 215 and the UUP on 186. The DUP will be fielding more candidates … Read more