Author Archive | Mick Fealty

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Brexit (in the short term) re-engineers the environment around Scotland’s political trilemma

Brexit is changing the terms under which the UK’s internal politics are played. If you thought it could only drive Scotland out of the UK let me re-introduce Dani Rodrik‘s Political Trilemma: …economic globalization, political democracy, and the nation-state are mutually irreconcilable. We can have at most two at one time. Democracy is compatible with national more…

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“The peace process always has to be broken down, has to be in a state of crisis for it to be protected.”

Sinn Fein continue to throw every last stick of furniture at the wall in order to keep attention. Declan Kearney had this to say about the DUP and the British Government: …both want the political institutions back up again, of course; but they don’t want to have to tackle institutionalised bigotry, sectarianism or intolerance within the more…

KANDY, CENTRAL PROVINCE, SRI LANKA - 2004/12/01: A cup of Lipton Tea steeps at a cafe in downtown Kandy.


Sir Thomas Lipton himself set up tea plantations in Sri Lanka in the late 1800s.. (Photo by Jerry Redfern/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Effects of #Brexit are likely to challenge every single party in Britain, bar the Tories…

Now, take this British Election Survey with a modicum of salt. Particularly the visual graphics which, if you read them too directly, can be misleading. It’s complex, but the detail tells an interesting story. This is the tenth wave of a big survey with massive sample sizes that go way beyond the average polls. According to the notes: 7,351 more…

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Northern Ireland still languishing at political ground zero and far from “self-actualisation”…

For all the protests from Colum Eastwood and Michelle O’Neill over the calling of this election, Theresa May is not ignoring Northern Ireland. She’s merely taking care of business according to her own political version of Maslow’s pyramid of needs. So where does Northern Ireland (our periodical losses of political power and will largely spring from more…

Here comes the NI Assembly Ministerial Appointments Bill… [Eh? – Ed]

What on earth is this? What does the Northern Ireland Ministerial Appointments and Regional Rates bill do? https://t.co/sYEOGovx1B — Akash Paun (@AkashPaun) April 20, 2017 The second bit we knew about. The first bit though looks like a product or consequence of the talks. NIO say all will be revealed tomorrow. ADDS: @mickfealty It extends more…

#GE2017: So why did Theresa May go for an election now?

Chris Deerin writing for CapEx on what this election will mean in GB for the Conservatives (if they win)… There is, of course, base political calculation at the heart of Mrs May’s proposal – she is confronted with the fierce urgency of now. The 20-point polling gap between her Conservatives and Labour is staggering, sustained more…

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Interview with Prof Rob Ford on the Ins and Outs of the UK’s #GE17

I spoke to Rob Ford, Professor of Political Science at the University of Manchester, about the upcoming Westminster election this afternoon.  I asked him how the government could get around the terms of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act: There are two likely options. The first and, given the statement of Jeremy Corbyn already, the more more…

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Will we now get a second Assembly election?

It’s very likely. We have a drifting budget and a UK government that will very shortly be going into Purdah. Simply put, there’s no time for negotiations anymore. It’s hard to argue with Colum Eastwood’s statement about Mrs May’s disdain for NI in: …calling a snap Westminster election in the middle of intense efforts to more…

New Westminster election coming on June 8th…

Extraordinary. Looks like we are heading for a new election, but in Westminster not Stormont. Effectively this is a England/Wales election with Scotland as well as Northern Ireland now effectively out of the Westminster picture. At home, it should have some interesting corollaries too (more of which later from me in tomorrow’s Irish Independent). Sinn more…

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How “Othering” contributed to the collapse of Stormont, just when NI needs it most…

Nice piece from Cathal McManus on the problems arising from ‘othering’ in Northern Ireland politics over at Eamonn’s place, which he describes as: …the inability of both groups to confront the processes of Othering that have helped to generate and sustain political division over long periods of time and which continue to prevent progress on outstanding issues contained within the various more…

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Arlene’s statement on Irish may be crucial to the defusing of the nasty culture bomb that is blocking NI democracy 

One of the most depressing milestones in the pre Christmas crisis was Paul Given’s pointless and counterproductive cutting of the tiny Liofa bursary fund for funding poorer kids to attend Gaeltacht courses in the summer colleges in Donegal (predominantly attended by kids from NI). Even for those of us determined to resist the casual vilification more…

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A centrist alternative to the UK Labour Party?

It’s worth reading this first… …being an equidistant centre party is good for winning votes and terrible at winning seats. That’s three questions anyone wanting to set up a new centre party has to answer, just as a preliminary: What does your proposed party stand for? How are you going to build an actual party, more…