North Belfast by Numbers: Finucane & Dodds set for battle

There are good reasons to believe that, even with a solitary Unionist candidate in North Belfast, there is a possibility of John Finucane pulling off a shock and taking the seat from the DUP’s Nigel Dodds in next month’s Westminster election. The DUP MP’s vote lead in 2015 over Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly was substantial. more…

Fake News and False Balance undermine Victims’ Human Rights

Last weekend was the second anniversary of the rightsinfo.org website. To mark the event, a panel discussion took place during which the site’s founder Adam Wagner stated that “fake news was old news in human rights” and that people “have been convinced by newspapers for years and years that human rights are a villain.” He more…

Tony Blair assures EU that May is sincere about a frictionless border; sees need for small amendment to the GFA

Am I on my own in becoming weary of  yet another of the great and  good  speaking in general terms about the future of the Border?  Tony Blair, addressing a European People’s Party gathering in Co Wicklow  was at pains to  declare his confidence in Theresa May’s sincerity over wanting a “ frictionless “border, even more…

hERMON

UUP standing aside in North Down in favour of Lady Hermon

Sylvia Hermon is one of the most successful independent candidates in our local history at a Westminster Level. She won the North Down seat in 2001, held the seat against a DUP surge in 2005, crushed her UCUNF opponent by double digits in 2010 and was safely re-elected in 2015. In 2017, she will continue more…

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Elections becoming a big business for Facebook

Social media is increasingly becoming more important in the fighting of elections. Political parties can post videos or short picture messages with slogans and then, for a price, insert that on the newsfeed of groups according to location, age, gender, etc. If candidates hit the right nerve with the public they can crowd source enough more…

Candidates for #GE2017

Alliance Party (18 candidates) East Antrim – Stewart Dickson East Belfast – Naomi Long East Londonderry – Chris McCaw Fermanagh and South Tyrone – Noreen Campbell Foyle – John Doherty Lagan Valley – Aaron McIntyre Mid Ulster – Fay Watson Newry and Armagh – Jackie Coade North Antrim – Patricia O’Lynn North Belfast – Sam more…

embodiedpeacebuilding

Review of Embodied Peacebuilding by Leah Robinson – A Theology of Reconciliation that is not Practical is not Reconciliation at all

In Northern Ireland, ‘reconciliation’ can be a divisive word – so much so that the very use of the term accomplishes the opposite of its meaning. A prominent study led by Prof John Brewer concluded that ‘reconciliation’ was so contested that the term should be avoided altogether. My own surveys of clergy and churchgoers revealed more…

Couple of items which strain the credence of the casual reader…

Eh? Couple of odd things coming up today and yesterday. One is the startling revelation that Jim Shannon is an Irish speaker. (We’ve sent the Slugger verification bots off to check the truth or otherwise of that one). What the Gaeilgeoir Strangford MP actually has to say on the subject is less surprising: Strangford candidate more…

The soft Theresa is no more forthcoming than the hard Theresa

So there is a hard Theresa and a soft Theresa. The hard Theresa has been subject to some searching assessment today. First, Janan Ganesh in the FT (£), on her claim that Brussels bureaucrats were interfering in the British general election by leaking a derogatory account of her dinner with EU Commission president Junker.  To more…

‘The Fearghal McKinney effect’

There obviously won’t be any pact between the SDLP and Sinn Féin anytime soon and the latest comments from Michelle O’Neill and Colum Eastwood reaffirm their party positions. Eastwood is keeping one eye to the unionist voters in Foyle and especially South Down that will be considering voting strategically for his party to keep Sinn more…

Finding your ladder; A story about anxiety

Today is the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, were some very brave individuals will be telling their stories about how they deal with important issues and for the readers of this website who might be struggling I thought it would useful to share my own experiences. I suffer from an Anxiety disorder. Since 2011, more…