Economics of blogging

It may become more effective at reaching young wealthy audiences than traditional paper media, but as primary activity blogging doesn’t pay. One of the leading lights of the form, Andrew Sullivan: “…we may have, I think, what one Internet writer recently called an air and gold problem. Air is much more vital to human beings more…

BBC; suspension report

Lots of interesting background on the crisis and the Loyalist feud.

Business needs delivery now!

An eloquant and politically literate case for getting on with it, from Tom Kelly of DCL Media in the subscription only Irish News: “…each political party seems to be obsessed with the role they think they should have either in a society that is yet to come or a society set in the good old more…

Reid hopes for a short period of suspension

The Secretary of State believes is possible to bring about an agreement fairly swiftly. There is a revealing interview with David Trimble’s election agent, George Savage: “. many of his constituents recognised that they were part of a time of historic change. ‘Farmers have long recognised this change. They have to compete directly with farmers more…

Suspension; eye witness

In the subscription only Irish News Newton Emerson, editor of the satirical website Portadown News was in Stormont on the last day of business. One thing that consistently erks the reasonable middle ground parties is the way that most commentators rarely talk to them: “The Women’s Coalition are first to brave the spotlight. Cruelly, several more…

Securocrats turn tables on Sinn Fein?

Dissident Republican Anthony McIntyre, in the wake of charges against four Sinn Fein members, writes in the last week for Fortnight magazine : “…the real difficulty faced by the party is not one that can be deferred by seeking refuge in sub judice. It is not that in the court of public opinion Donaldson may more…

Resident racism at England matches?

“No surrender to the IRA” continues to be a popular chant at English football matches. According to the Daily Telegraph, the English FA doesn’t like it. “Any political or racial chanting, including the well-known ‘No Surrender’, has no place around the England team,” their spokesman, Adrian Bevington, commented. “The FA and pro-active individuals in supporters’ more…

The 'cooling off' begins

And suddenly, it was all quiet up at Stomont, despite the front page headline from last night’s Belfast Telegraph. Gerry Moriarty believes that Blair and Ahern are jointly flagging the necessity of the IRA to disarm before the Assembly can re-commence it’s business. There are signs that the broad inconsistency in Unionist condemnation of paramilitaries, more…

Suspension; not good for business

Excellent piece in the FT on the likely effects on business. For however long it lasts, NI will return to ‘anomaly’ status. Nigel Smith, economist with Confederation of British Industry, “A month or two is all right. It’s not critical in the short term. But our concern is direct rule ministers will not want to more…

Suspension; winners and losers

Malachi O’Doherty is the first one I’ve seen to evaluate the gains and losses made by each of four main parties through the events of the last fortnight. It’s an interesting exercise, but one that may prove misleading in a process that has become more long term, where many expected early closure. Indeed it is more…

Sinn Fein getting too easy a ride; a view from Britain

The blogger at British Spin is in a bit of a spin over the easy treatment he believes the British media has given Sinn Fein. He starts: “I’ve always resisted talking about Northern Ireland. It’s too complex, to tough, too mired in historical hatred. It’s also a topic an Englishman ought to avoid if possible. more…

Why Northern Ireland needs Big Bird

But can Big Bird handle Northern Ireland’s four year olds? Sesame Street is doing its homework before producing a local version of the Award winning children’s programme. “In a recent study, conducted by the University of Ulster, children were shown pictures and objects relating to different communities and asked what they thought of them. Almost more…

Suspension; another way round the block?

Brendan O’Leary, now a professor at the University of Pennslyvannia, takes another view of the governments’ actions, and lays out three reasons why he thinks the agreement has failed to deliver a lasting settlement: “First, the British government has not fully implemented police reform. That, together with loyalist paramilitary violence, has made demands for the more…

Suspension; other reports

ABC News picks it up as Britain to Run Northern Ireland: “Britain has successfully shut down and revived the Catholic-Protestant administration before. But analysts predict this crisis will be the toughest yet to resolve because of rising Protestant hostility to sharing power with Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican Army-linked party that has grown increasingly popular more…

Ervine believes agreement will arise

Despite a fairly full frontal attack on the poltical integrity of Sinn Fein, David Ervine believes that both the DUP and the main Republican party are at bottom pragmatists who will both eventually agree to work together within an agreed Northern Ireland.

Stormont suspension; reactions

A full round up of words from Assembly parties at the Guardian. Also they produce their own Q&A on what it means in practice.

Suspension; more details

As we expected here on the Letter, most of the institutions will be preserved, but stood down until there is wide enough support for them to be started again. The exception to this is the Policing Board. John Reid has invited it’s current members to reapply for membership, most are expected to accept. Indications are more…

Is the argument about to change?

Malachi O’Doherty yesterday: “The question for Gerry Adams now is whether he still has a political hand to play. He has. He will make the case that the Agreement failed because Unionists could not commit to it. In that case, the British government must make them commit to it. “It takes some gall to advance more…

Less than an hour to go…

John Reid has spoken to all the main political leaders and announced that the Assembly is to be suspended at 10am this morning. The FT writes, as we suggested here, on Friday: “Mr Reid is also expected to announce the appointment of two additional ministers to support him in the running of the province. He more…