Author Archive | Soapbox

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Could the Tories Save Northern Ireland’s Squeezed Middle?

There are no two ways of looking at last week’s Assembly election results: mission accomplished for Sinn Féin. Manners have been put on Arlene Foster. Foster called the unionist faithful to rally around her to ward off the nationalist crocodile, the bastard child of Papism and the IRA, but in doing so she built a more…

dialogue-day

Dialogue Day – Is it time for the public to engage in dialogue?

We are what we talk. Going by what we read today in social media in Northern Ireland and everywhere else – all that commentary by ordinary people and celebrities: we are fairly outraged people and willing to let loose on each other. This is related to distance and anonymity and clearly not the case when more…

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Time to bring Northern Irish Elections under international standards…

I was an observer in only one polling station last Thursday, but anecdotal evidence from candidates and activists at the Belfast count suggest that some of the abuses mentioned below were widespread. Furthermore, election results confirm that which should be an antithesis of democracy: “vote management was good,” to quote the words of one teller. more…

vote ballot

It is important for young people to vote in this election

D.Reid writes for us on why young people should vote today Important is a huge understatement. It is vital and not doing so is hypocrisy. When I walked into school the day after EU referendum, everyone was talking about what this meant and what would happen next. Classes had been debating for weeks about whether more…

Stormont

Soapbox: In all of this Unionist voters have a choice to make.

In 2013 Arlene Foster told the BBC that the DUP was considering holding a border poll in order to consolidate Northern Ireland’s place in the UK. Yet that confidence has since evaporated with Mrs Foster this week pointing to Scotland and claiming that a border poll would be divisive and destabilising. Indeed she has spent more…

04 Peter Robinson

Robinson “step back, take a breath and ensure there is sufficient space for an agreement to be reached in the calmer times that follow the hustings”

Former First Minister, Peter Robinson has taken to Facebook to give his views on the most recent election. He has allowed us to re-post his views on Slugger Over the past few weeks many of you have sent me messages asking for my views on recent events. When I retired as First Minister and Party more…

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Crime and punishment (beatings)…

It was a hellish scene. The shaky video taken on someone’s phone showed a stolen car speeding up and down the Falls Road, doing hand brake turns at brake neck speed. Tyres and onlookers squealed; smoke filled the air. Terrified road users attempted to make it by without getting written off and pedestrians fled from more…

UTV Vote17 studio

A Women’s election?

Andrée Murphy is a Columnist with the Andersonstown News Sitting in my living room on Thursday night seeing three women leaders of the local parties and two male leaders on the two fringes made me chuckle. I tweeted it was hard to believe that it was Michelle O’Neill’s first time in the spot as leader, more…

Large print version of manifesto

#AE17 Platform: People have moved on and their politicians need to move with them.

Clare Bailey is the Deputy Leader of the Green Party and a candidate for South Belfast I’ve been struck by the ramping up of regressive rhetoric since the traditional parties “launched” their election campaigns. The Irish language, soldiers in the dock, orange halls and border patrols. I became interested and active in politics as a mature student at more…

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Cannabis Oil; An idiot’s guide

Patrick, 84 this year, is nothing short of a minor miracle.  A bright, intelligent and curious man, had he not been such a heavy and committed drinker, his life might have been very different.  He has always lived in the street where he grew up in the pitiful poverty of the 1930s.  In spite of more…

Gemma Weir WP

Gemma Weir: We Need A Socialist Alternative

Gemma Weir is the Workers Party candidate for North Belfast This election is unnecessary and will solve absolutely nothing unless people use it to pass judgement on all the parties in Stormont. The two Executive parties in particular – the DUP and Sinn Fein – have been irresponsible, arrogant and contemptuous. Returning them to power to do more…

foyle-free-trade-area

The Case for a ‘Foyle Free Trade Zone’.

Derry’s days as a regional transport hub appear to be largely behind it. In better times the city has served as a hub for shipbuilding, an international naval base, a thriving export centre and a key departure point for emigrants. Nowadays, the sole legacy of that is a small but important port facility at Lisahally.  more…

stranmillis

Spring into Lifelong Learning at Stranmillis University College           

This week Stranmillis University College rolls out its new Lifelong Learning courses –both daytime and evening- from History to Ethics and Wine-tasting. In sync with the ongoing ‘Decade of Centenaries’ resident historian, Dr Éamon Phoenix is offering ‘The Terrible Beauty 1916-23’ exploring the Irish Revolution and Partition. His regular Irish History morning discussion class looks at more…

DUP

I’m not angry, I’m furious with the DUP…

I’m furious.  Sinn Fein’s election slogan ‘Don’t get angry, get even’, doesn’t do it for me on two counts.  Being angry while voting is no bad thing and anyway I am beyond anger with Northern Ireland’s political system and one party in particular. I remember one of my editors talking to me in the mid more…