If Arlene Foster Goes, Who Steers The DUP Ship?

Rumours circulating on social media today, as well as reporting by The News Letter’s Sam McBride, indicate that Arlene Foster’s time at the helm of the DUP, and as First Minister, is coming to a close. If rumours are to be believed (and we all need a big dash of salt these days) then this is something outside of the First Minister’s immediate control. With plummeting polling numbers showing the DUP to drop below Sinn Fein in next year’s Assembly …

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The UUP have no idea what their message is…

It’s almost bizarre to think that at one point the Ulster Unionist Party ruled the roost in Northern Ireland, indeed up until relatively recently they were the largest Unionist party on the island. But the days of an Ulster Unionist First Minister, with MPs in Westminster and domination over local Government are long gone. With a succession of party leaders, splits, defections and bloody noses at the polls I have often wondered what the future is for the UUP in …

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Unionism’s Approach To The NI Protocol Is Disappointing But Not Surprising…

I’m not going to pretend to understand the legal minutiae of the Northern Ireland Protocol, Article 16, or the ins and outs of the Brexit agreement struck between the UK and the EU, but what I do understand is the reaction from mainstream Unionism, and that’s what I’m going to talk about.  Before I get into it I just want to put out there that I voted Remain, my husband voted Leave. I live in a working class, predominantly Protestant …

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Where did it all go wrong for the DUP?

Last Thursday’s general election was certainly a shock to the system for the DUP, and Unionists in general, with not a single Unionist party gaining any seats. The DUP lost the formerly safe seat of North Belfast to Sinn Fein’s John Finucane and Emma Little-Pengelly lost South Belfast to the SDLP’s Claire Hanna. It’s not hard to paint a picture that Unionism had a terrible night, even if the Ulster Unionists benefitted from a modest boost of nearly ten thousand …

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Change Is Coming, And The DUP Can’t Do Anything About It…

It still doesn’t feel real, the prospect that marriage equality and abortion reform will become legal realities on Monday the 21st October, but here we are. I’m not counting my chickens before they hatch but as someone who has been at the forefront of the marriage equality campaign for the guts of a decade, it’s strange to see the culmination of the work you’ve been doing with fellow travellers for the last eight years come to fruition. I remember that …

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Any New Ireland Would Need to Accommodate Unionists…

Over twenty years since the Good Friday Agreement and we haven’t had an Assembly for over two years, and Brexit threatens to fundamentally reshape the tone of the entire political landscape on this island for at least a generation. Talk of a border poll is once again in the news as Boris Johnson makes a spectacle of the UK, and his Government, during the ongoing Brexit saga. The idea that somehow the NI Assembly will be responsible for agreeing to …

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Is the LGBT community about to be thrown under the bus again?

If any of you are like me and are a massive political nerd, then the current round of talks aimed at restoring the Northern Ireland Executive have probably been as exciting and enthralling as washing the dishes. I’m not for a moment insinuating that the talks process isn’t important. But much like washing the dishes, it’s now become routine, benign and banal. Karen Bradley continues to underwhelm and underperform at the most basic level, as both the Alliance Party and …

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Sinn Féin are the Greatest Advocates for a United Ireland but are they the Biggest Barrier to it?

In the wake of the local and European elections, North & South of Ireland, a number of things have become clear for both Unionism and Nationalism in Northern Ireland, and significantly, questions will be asked of Sinn Féin after a hammering at the ballot box. Sinn Féin have been the most vocal and vociferous advocates for a United Ireland, since their inception. It is their raison d’être and has dictated everything for them from policy to electoral strategy to fundraising …

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