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Bringing Northern Ireland’s political process in line with the UK

It’s exactly a year to the day since Jo Cox was murdered. The Labour MP, who represented the Yorkshire constituency of Batley and Spen, was shot and stabbed in the village of Birstall. People in many areas are marking this day, not by remembering her killer, but by holding events to celebrate her life. Whatever more…

Happy Bloomsday, intolerable Joyceans everywhere!

If you don’t know by now, it’s tradition!  [We know… – Ed]. Those of a sensitive disposition are duly warned, once again, that James Joyce enjoys the language in all its fecund nuttiness. And a reminder of a brief history of the day, from the Guardian last year, which includes this great 1924 quote from Joyce on more…

New momentum expected in the Stormont talks as both premiers engage

So Theresa averted a crash after all. She may even have been taking part  in a piece of theatre typical of the old peace process days.  The intervention of not just one but both prime ministers in succession suggests more momentum will be injected into the Stormont talks, spurred ironically by the prospect  of a more…

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Some thoughts on running an award winning blog for 15 years…

15 years ago, near the start of June, I started Slugger. It was one of two or three blogs I started that year. One was an Irish language blog, another on theatre-in-the-round, but Slugger was the one that endured and found its focus and purpose first. It started as a Letter to Slugger O’Toole the more…

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What if #AE17b happens ?

It’s been a tumultuous week, to say the least, at the end of what had been a very boring election, with a number of historic and fascinating political developments going on. There’s been plenty of analysis of the wider political configuration on Slugger for the past while, so I thought I’d have a look at more…

“The DUP deal is in danger”

As many suspected… Sam McBride in the Newsletter reflects unease at the delay as well as DUP surface optimism that a deal is still on course.  Ken Reid of UTV tweets that a deal this week is unlikely. The delay can hardly be only out of respect for the still unknown number of victims of more…

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Time for unity among those advocating Unity

Matt Carthy is a Sinn Fein MEP for the Ireland Midlands-North West constituency  Something big is happening. Brexit has simply accelerated a debate on Irish Unity that was inevitably going to happen anyway. Irish Unity featured during the recent Westminster election campaign in a way in which it hasn’t in living memory. That is simply more…

New Sinn Féin MLA Director of Group that Discriminated against Job Applicant because of his Political Opinion

The Irish News today highlights details of the newly-appointed Sinn Féin MLA for Foyle Karen Mullan’s relevant experience for the job, mentioned in Eamonn McCann’s excellent post on the case, that illuminates David’s, somewhat limited, subsequent description of her as a “community worker in the city of Derry”. Karen Mullan is a director of Waterside Neighbourhood more…

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SDLP’s ‘unprecedented’ conversations begin

The Belfast Telegraph today reports on the first of what will presumably be a number of “unprecedented” conversations within the SDLP. The SDLP’s Mid Ulster constituency council will discuss a possible merger with Fianna Fáil at a meeting in Maghera. Local Councillor Martin Kearney said “These are normal discussions which happen after every election, “We’ve more…

Fears of a side deal with the DUP on the peace agenda are exaggerated. It requires cross community consent

So the DUP confidence and supply deal with the minority government will be delayed out of respect for the victims of the horrific North Kensington fire.  Mark Devenport has a credible analysis of the state of play. This leaves out saying anything definite about legacy matters that so spooked the political class over here when more…

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Election breakdown – where now for progressive politics?

It can be argued that last week’s General Election marks a turning point: a shift away from neoliberalism and towards – or rather back to – social democracy. There is talk that the age of austerity is over. The initial focus on Brexit was replaced by a genuine policy debate, based around the Labour and more…

Gerry Adams lodges a cheap “10p Each Way Double” on Arlene bringing home the DUP bacon…

There’s some serious guff coming out of London journalism at the moment with, surprisingly to me Matthew D’Acona being one of the worst offenders. But Stephen Bush has seen what most of his colleagues have blatantly missed: Thanks to the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, “confidence votes” have been explicitly drawn to exclude votes on the more…

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‘DUP Facts’: An opportunity for education

Meghan Rice holds an MA in Early Modern History with a specialism in Irish and British History from King’s College London. She is passionate about both Gaelige and Ulster Scots and has worked with various groups and individuals from both communities in Northern Ireland to help foster a better understanding of the peace process among more…

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Round-the-clock DUP-bashing is not going to make them go away…

Okay. My many devoted readers will be delighted to learn I’m nearly done here. I know a lost cause when I see it. Liberal opinion will cheer on the anti-DUP lynch mob all the way. Facts won’t come into it. Every bit of fake news will get retweeted and applauded. Myths become truth. Even Channel more…