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…

Policing drama

It seems that all parties have accepted the legitimacy of the policing board, all but for Sinn Fein. Even implacable opponents like the GAA have lifted their ban on Northern security forces from playing the game, and it is to be symbolically swept away in style next month in a competitive match between the Garda more…

Ceasefire monitor

Henry McDonald reports that Sinn Fein were on board for the introduction of the proposed new post, until the IRA finally vetoed it.

Unionist backroom

Despite Duncan Shipley Dalton’s decision to quit politics, Ronan Fanning notes there are passionate and strident voices within the UUP willing to sell the benefits of the Belfast Agreement but that Trimble may not have the stomach for such strident advocacy. In the short term, Trimble seems confident of getting a positive outcome to next more…

Bertie bowl

Looks like the GAA might be in danger of losing €60million, because of the failure to build a national stadium for the proposed joint Irish-Scottish bid for the soccer European Championship: “..the GAA’s chances of still getting the money have not been helped by the association’s outright rejection of the Taoiseach’s request that Croke Park more…

Policing drama

Alex Attwood launches an offensive against Sinn Fein. Blair says Policing levels are crucial. Anthony McIntyre highlights the dilemma one man finds himself in; under threat from Loyalists and Republicans over what appears to be a dispute between families and cannot, on principle, go to the police.

Ceasefire monitor

Despite the rejection of the Alliance party proposal for a ceasefire monitor by the IRA, it looks like it might go ahead regards of the thoughts of the Republican movement. Though as the Examiner points out, “Whatever transpires, it is highly unlikely that anybody other than the Northern Secretary will have the ultimate decision on more…

The trouble with interfaces

Interesting piece from from BBC correspondent Brian Walker. The meeting in question is a yearly coming together of politicians, community workers and various classes of academics and is held under confidentiality rules. He highlights one particularly interesting thought: “…community workers on both sides of the west Belfast peaceline believed that ever higher peace walls, now more…

Unionist backroom

Unionist commentator Steven King, who has had an interesting, if very indirect, public tennis match with Peter Robinson in the last few weeks (see here and here), raises some important points in last night’s Belfast Telegraph. Addressing the dissidents in the UUP, he suggests that they as a party have to play a winable game, more…