Full text of Peter Robinson address to British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body

Then formal presentation by DUP Deputy Leader Peter Robinson to the British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body in Killarney on Monday went down very well. One member told me it was very statesmanlike. Many agreed that it was very clear and courteous. It repays full study and the entire text is here too. Gary Kent Peter Robinson address. We are unionists – by birth, by desire, by conviction – unapologetically, unflinchingly and unalterably. We are not nationalists who have lost our way. We … Read more

DUP to travel south for British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body

This is a major breakthrough for the work of the British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body, which brings together Irish, British and other parliamentarians twice a year to discuss matters of mutual interest in these islands. The Body has been boycotted by unionists since its inception 16 years ago but the next meeting of the Body in Killarney from April 23-24 will be attended by four leading members of the Democratic Unionist Party. The high-powered DUP delegation will be led by the party’s … Read more

The fall and rise of the SDLP?

The SDLP is down on its uppers. It defied those who predicted complete meltdown under the hammer blows of Sinn Fein and retained three Westminster seats. It’s often overshadowed by Sinn Fein’s superior party machine which some say has a certain military discipline, better fundraising and high profile visits to Downing Street as well as often criticised side deals to keep the party in the limelight. Yet there is a feeling that Sinn Fein have overplayed their hand and could … Read more

Be old, and be smart

People were puzzled by Lord Laird’s question on older drivers but this Laird question and answer is more obviously useful. He wanted to know how many senior citizens have taken up Translink smart cards since their introduction in May 2002. The minister published a league table comparing take up with eligible population, in June 2004. There are some striking gaps in, for example, Mid Ulster and in Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Any explanations? Belfast East, 13,604/14,981. Belfast North, 12,840/14,290. Belfast … Read more

Be afraid, be very afraid?

You can learn a lot from written answers in the Lords where Ulster Unionist Lord Laird is a regular interrogator of government ministers. He has uncovered how many less than sprightly drivers there are in Northern Ireland. Now, I’m not too far from being able to get cheaper insurance from Saga myself and don’t therefore believe in ageism but the answer may make you a little queasy when you next take the wheel. There are: 20,603 licenced drivers aged 76 … Read more