What’s happening to our health service?

Director of Communications for the health and social care system David Gordon shares his thoughts after six months in the job So where do you start when describing health and social care here? Serious problems are in the news almost every day. It would be wrong to ever downplay those problems. And yet they are not the full story. Great care is still being delivered by great staff every single day. The most recent Health Survey showed compliments from the … Read more

George Osborne in a Twitter wilderness: “That all you got George? You disappointing me.”

“I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody.” Are those famous Marlon Brando lines from ‘On The Waterfront’ swirling round George Osborne’s head? Bitterness towards Theresa May and the world in general, is the most obvious explanation for the ex-Chancellor’s behaviour. There must be a certain degree of enjoyment for him – using Evening Standard editorials to add to the Prime Minister’s many woes, touring the studios to deliver well-rehearsed soundbites. “Dead woman walking” was … Read more

Five questions over the future of Unionism after Mike Nesbitt steps down

History is unlikely to be very kind to Mike Nesbitt’s tenure as Ulster Unionist leader. The 2017 Assembly election looked to many observers like the UUP’s long-awaited big chance. It was not to be. To be fair, the UUP was struggling long before Nesbitt took over at the top. It can also be said that he tried pretty much everything. He led them firstly as an Executive party and then into Opposition. When he first entered politics, it was at … Read more

Are MLA’s £70k a year expenses just entrenching an already privileged incumbency?

BBCNI’s Spotlight programme tackles the issue of public money tonight. The focus will be on the money politicians get for renting and running their constituency offices. I have little knowledge of the content, although I may make a fleeting appearance on the programme – talking about a case I previously reported on. But aside from individual controversies over particular claims, there’s a wider issue about MLA office expenses that is worth considering. Does the taxpayer-funded system hand an unfair advantage to sitting … Read more

After the election: A Unionist game that is shaken rather than stirred…

In a special article for Slugger O’Toole, David Gordon examines the General Election fall-out for unionism – with a couple of quotes from his newly-updated book, The Fall of the House of Paisley. Released over Easter, it has a new final chapter entitled The Fall of the House of Robinson? Cometh the hour, here comes Arlene? If Peter Robinson goes as DUP leader, the smart money seems to be on Nigel Dodds as party leader, with Arlene Foster as First … Read more