Ouch!

Rumour has reached us that one of the assailants in a recent gun attack also managed to put himself into hospital by shooting himself in the ‘privates’ during the get away! For those less familiar with recent events in Belfast, there has been a low level conflict rising between rival Loyalist paramilitaries over the last more…

Short Strand protestants..

Suzanne Breen talks to protestant women in the troubled area in East Belfast, kindly reproduced by Newshound. The three women all live right on the peaceline in the Clandeboye Estate. Jean grew up in the staunchly unionist Newtownards Road area. She has five children and moved into the Short Strand 30 years ago. “Since May more…

Politician’s weblog

Interesting weblog by Westminster MP Harry Barnes. This piece is intriguingly titled; IRA plc and Loyalist Limited. Harry is a member of the House of Commons Northern Ireland Select Committee.

Economics.

James Kelly in the subscription only Irish News, is getting fed up with the seemingly endless series of constitutional crises, and suggests that NI Plc is being seriously neglected in all the furore. Meantime, out in the real world away from the political hothouse, voices are being heard protesting about the political stranglehold which is more…

More on the UUC meeting…

The Guardian editoralises boldly: The immediate villains of the piece are anti-agreement campaigners inside the Ulster Unionists, led by two MPs, Jeffrey Donaldson and David Burnside. They hold out the unacceptable and un realistic prospect of devolution without Sinn Fein. Unionists should recognise that by rejecting Mr Trimble, they would also be rejecting Northern Ireland’s more…

Unionist backroom

As the weekend meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council approaches, more and more journalists turn their attention to the expected showdown between David Trimble and the hardliners in his party, a group who in the Assembly at least can be expected to have greater influence than in the past. Rosie Cowan describes one of the more…

Thanks..

Thanks to the refreshingly poetic Carisenda for the positive mention (seems to have a bit of a Robert Frost thing going at the moment). I was interested to see such a disparate crew as Hawkgirl, the Badger, Malachi O’Doherty, and myself all described as members of the Unionist intelligensia. Terry over at Fenian Ramblings will more…

Realignment; past lessons

There has been some speculation recently about the realignment of political parties in Northern Ireland; for instance the SDLP merging with Fianna Fail, or the UUP reintegrating with the Conservatives in Britain. It’s always interesting to look at how such ‘separate development’ came about in the first place, so here’s an interesting dialogue between James more…

Adams on Blair’s vision…

In an interview with Andrew Cawthorne, Gerry Adams praises Tony Blair’s vision: The strategic vision, I think, which marked Tony Blair’s involvement in this process some years ago and which was part of bringing about the Good Friday agreement, part of all of the changes which have flowed, has not been reflected in the actions more…

Nationalist backroom

The SDLP rarely get a share of the headlines, but Mark Durkan’s visit to the Shankill has certainly bought him plenty of column inches, here, here and here. However he followed up with an attack on Jeffrey Donaldson’s article (see here), saying: If Ulster Unionists give Jeffrey Donaldson a role in Agreement politics, it “would more…

Unionist backroom

Public insults are part of the stock in trade of all NI political parties, with the possible exception of the SDLP the Alliance party, and the Women’s Coalition. Steven King’s extraordinary headline in last night’s Belfast Telegraph, Scumbaggery feeling squeeze, should be read within that context. In fact the message within the article is much more…

Policing drama

John Reid confirms the creation of a ceasefire monitor. Richard Haass agrees. Sinn Fein dismiss it as a stunt to help David Trimble out of a sticky situation. Suzanne Breen agrees, but takes an opportunity to excoriate the quality of NI politicians in general. Brian Cowen adds his voice to the pressure for Sinn Fein more…

Weblogs

For more on weblogs and how they’re used, there are several good articles on the net, here, here and here. For a glossary of weblogging try this. And welcome back to the new, more stylish Brendan O’Neill.

Adams: let’s hear it for the Union

Gerry Adams calls for dialogue on the advantages of the Union. It’s hard to gauge how well such a proposal has gone down with Unionists themselves, though some have suggested that this is part of a ‘good cop – bad cop’ strategy, with Adams being good and others playing it tough.

Unionist backroom

The public conversation within Unionism (see here) continues in the Belfast Telegraph. This time it’s Jeffrey Donaldson. He asserts, in apparent agreement with David Trimble, that this crisis is entirely of Sinn Fein’s making. Like the Trimblite academic Paul Bew yesterday, he highlights violence as a point of concern: Levels of violence on our streets more…

Loyalist feud?

Speculation grows of a major feud, this time primarily between the LVF and the UDA. Rosie Cowan suggests that Johnny Adair may also be getting drawn off-side of his own organisation, which may lead to a serious split in that organisation.

Nationalist backroom

Danny Morrison on Unionist speculation over the exclusion of Sinn Fein. “When the first IRA cessation was announced in August 1994 loyalists jubilantly painted on gable walls that the IRA had surrendered. Unionists, such as Sir Reg Empey, claimed that the cessation represented a major defeat for republicans and that in the Good Friday Agreement more…

Unionist dilemma

Paul Bew in the FT today says: “Mr Trimble’s critics have one big weakness: they do not have a clue what to do next. They dream about a form of devolution that denies Sinn Féin a place in the administration of the province. That was always implausible. It became inconceivable as soon as Sinn Féin more…