Region Archives: UK

“In the Autumn, Northern Ireland must have a proper Budget in place…”

As the only adult (politician) left in the room, the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, has intervened, for a second time, on NI Executive business and reallocated £131 million in funding to local departments [pdf file (216kb)].  From the BBC report Health and education are the major beneficiaries of £131m in additional money for more…

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Bigger parties running for cover as services come under the knife…

Northern Ireland’s most vulnerable people are the real casualties of the current Stormont impasse. Funding cuts and restrictions across the board are causing chaos in voluntary organisations and educational institutions across the country. But seemingly the main political parties aren’t in the least bit concerned. Despite polarised politics being the cause of the problem the more…

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Review of One Man, One God: The Peace Ministry of Fr Alec Reid

For many years the labours that constituted Fr Alec Reid’s (1931-2013) life work remained behind closed doors. It had to be that way: what he was doing was much too sensitive to be public knowledge. We have known for some time that Reid instigated secret talks that helped kick-start the Northern Ireland peace process. He more…

Ireland top of the Agenda in Today’s Brexit Negotiations

Today sees Ireland take centre stage in the Brexit negotiations.  The border, along with the UK’s divorce bill and the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, are the three headline areas where significant progress must be made before negotiations move towards a free trade agreement. Although Brexit Secretary David Davis has headed back more…

Detail from the book cover to John Lloyd's book.

Now might be a good time to start a ‘slow journalism’ movement…?

Interesting spat over the media and politics, between Denis Bradley and Stephen Nolan. My own thoughts fall into two parts: one, this is not new nor specific to Northern Ireland; and two, in insisting Nolan carry the can, the abject nature of the general news cycle gets off the hook. Any opportunity to reference John Lloyd’s more…

Question for the NI Justice Minister…

Here’s something for an incoming Northern Ireland Justice Minister to grapple with…  It’s a question that arises following the UK Government’s decision to provide access for women from Northern Ireland to abortion services in England free on the NHS. From yesterday’s written answers in Parliament. Abortion: Northern Ireland Diana Johnson: [2513]To ask the Minister for more…

“it is tempting to conclude that SF has no strategy…”

From yesterday’s Irish News, Patrick Murphy, once again, making direct contact with the head of the nail. While the DUP’s future role in Westminster is far from predictable, it is easy to understand. Sinn Féin’s strategy, however, is less clear. Indeed it is tempting to conclude that SF has no strategy, other than to prolong more…

“What a load of rubbish”: The week in Irish politics

“What a load of rubbish!” – This is a common refrain from many a voter when listening to politicians rattle on. This week though, there was no denying that their assessment was on the money, literally. Talk of waste charges dominated the political dialogue in and around Dáil Éireann in recent days. Talks of increased more…

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Should the Republic of Ireland Stay in the EU?

Former Irish ambassador Ray Bassett has written a detailed report for the UK think-tank Policy Exchange entitled After Brexit, Will Ireland be Next to Exit? He argues that Ireland should seriously consider whether or not it stays in the European Union, and he appears to favour an Irish exit. The issues raised by Bassett certainly deserve serious deliberation. more…

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If you want to see how the poor die, come see Grenfell Tower…

It has a tragic few months with the horrendous terror attacks Westminster, Manchester and London. These were shocking terror attacks. We were then all stunned by the images from Grenfell, nearly three weeks ago. – sadly this time a man-made disaster We all watched in horror as the fire engulfed so many families in their homes, we more…

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End of donor secrecy (flick of a legislative wand and NI ‘dark money’ is a thing of the past)…

So an end to donation secrecy in Northern Ireland. It’s been long awaited, but today James Brokenshire made good his party’s promise in their Northern Irish manifesto… From Hansard: James Brokenshire: “The hon. Lady highlights the issue of political donations and transparency. We conducted a consultation with all the political parties in Northern Ireland to more…

“six months later nothing seems to have replaced that philosophy beyond aggressively taking on the DUP…”

Ahead of the likely suspension of open party political hostilities briefings to the media for the summer, the News Letter’s Sam McBride has an interesting piece in search of a Sinn Féin strategy.  [There’s a strategy?! – Ed]  Just tactics… From the News Letter Long forgotten are the days when Martin McGuinness warmly recalled how more…

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Lessons from Scotland: “Helplessness, not independence, is the false dream… “

If you’ve read nothing else about Scottish politics (or more precisely, Scottish political culture), Neil Ascherton in the Sunday Herald yesterday reveals what underwrites the appeal of the discourse around Scottish independence: Some people now let themselves hope that the “independence dream is dead” or at least dying. In that Tuesday debate, Ruth Davidson and Kezia Dugdale more…

A new approach to deadlock in Northern Ireland

  A unique coincidence of events Standing back, it’s easy enough to see why the latest Assembly crisis is the longest and most intractable for over a decade. Unusually in recent times and in sharp contrast to the heady days of the Good Friday Agreement, this breakdown is set against background of momentous upheaval which more…