Author Archive | Soapbox

Murphy: Does continued Partition or Irish unity offer better future

In the aftermath of the Scottish referendum, Sinn Fein have renewed their push for a border poll here. The party’s MP for Newry and Armagh, Conor Muprhy writes for Slugger making the case for holding a poll and Irish unity. On the 18th of September the people of Scotland exercised their democratic voice on the more…

Lisa McElherron: Why Northern Ireland needs a living wage

NICVA has recently published some important research into the benefits of introducing a minimum wage in Northern Ireland. Writing for Slugger O’Toole, NICVA’s Head of Public Affairs, Lisa McElherron makes the case for its introduction Fifteen years ago the New Labour government introduced the National Minimum Wage (NMW). Critics vehemently argued that it would impose more…

.@BlairJenkinsYes : How would an independent Scotland succeed? #indyref

With the Scottish referendum just one week away, we now have a post from the Yes side of the argument. Writing exclusively for Slugger O’Toole, Yes Chief Executive, Blair Jenkins tells us why people should vote Yes next Thursday. In just a few days’ time, the people of Scotland have the opportunity to change their more…

Israeli Ambassador Daniel Taub: A Battle for the Future of Gaza

Writing exclusively for Slugger O’Toole the Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Daniel Taub writes about his views about the recent conflict in Gaza and the prospects for the future. As I write this article, after a fortnight of quiet, hopes are high that the latest ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has brought two months more…

Wilfred Mitchell: We need to expand Belfast City Airport

A RECENT snap poll conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses for Northern Ireland (FSB NI) has confirmed that the majority of local small businesses would like to see an increase in destination routes, as well as airline providers, from George Best Belfast City Airport, conveying evident support for expansion at the airport. Due to more…

John McTernan: For Labour hope needs to beat fear

Next up in our 2015 general election series is former advisor John McTernan on what Labour needs to do to win next year.   There is no real secret to winning elections. Be united, have popular ideas and connect to the public. As Ronald Reagan used to say, ‘It’s not easy, but it is simple.’ more…

Lord Ashcroft: The Tories need to show that it matters who wins.

As we approach the general election next May, Slugger will be hosting a series of articles looking at the chances of each of the main parties next year. Writing for us on the Conservatives is the former Deputy Chairman and pollster, Lord Ashcroft. Since I stepped down as the Conservatives’ Deputy Chairman in 2010 my more…

Why does the arts still matter in this digital world…

From: Guy Barriscale, General Manager, Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival Mick asked me to write a piece on ‘Why the arts matter in this digital world?’ Nice easy one that, really simple: shouldn’t take more than a dozen words… So where to start? The Tate Gallery, London and the Turner collection. I took my more…

Democracy is fine, but ‘quis custodiet ipsos custodes’ in Northern Ireland?

reminded us some time ago, that the defining features of a functioning democracy extend beyond free and fair elections. The increasingly kleptocratic regime in Turkey is a perfect example of a democracy sliding away from the tenets of liberal democracy on the basis of a ruler’s belief that winning elections provides him with the unfettered right more…

Kennaway: Resolving the Parading Conflict

Brian Kennaway served on the Parades Commission from 2011-13-an essay similar to this has also been published in the Newsletter POLITICS Politics in Northern Ireland does not reflect any real understanding of what it means to be a political representative in a democratic society. When any politician is elected to represent a particular parliamentary constituency more…

Art of the Troubles: Culture and Conflict

Dr Stefanie Lehner (Queen’s University Belfast); Dr Laura McAtackney (University College Dublin); Dr Cillian McGrattan (University of Ulster) The importance of culture in Northern Irish political life was reinforced in the events surrounding Pastor McConnell over the past week. It is clear that within Northern Ireland, the effects of fear, judgment, prejudice, hate and intimidation more…

Gordon Gillespie-Why Sunningdale was never going to work

As it is the 40th anniversary of the UWC Strike we asked Dr.Gordon Gillespie who completed his doctoral research on the strike to write up a piece on why he feels that Sunningdale was always doomed to failure. Forty years ago this month the first attempt to create a cross community executive in Northern Ireland more…

Derek Mooney-Fianna Fáil and the long road to recovery.

Continuing on our series of articles of elections in the South, former Fianna Fail advisor Derek Mooney writes about the current campaign, Fianna Fail’s recovery and what it has to do next. While there are worse jobs in the world: the worst job in politics is certainly leader of the opposition. If he didn’t already more…

Sinn Féin to make new councils work for you

In our latest installment of our series from the various political parties, Sinn Fein tell us why they deserve your vote in the upcoming elections On May 22nd we will elect people to 11 new super councils in what is the biggest shake-up in local government for over 40 years. Powers will be devolved to more…

Women candidates and Political Parties in the 2014 Republic of Ireland local elections by Claire McGing

Claire McGing currently lectures political geography at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. She has published research nationally and internationally on gender in Irish politics, north and south. She can be contacted at claire.mcging@nuim.ie. Local elections are due to be held in the Republic of Ireland on Friday, May 23rd. Compared to the last contest more…