Region Archives: UK

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Decent government will sort the Constitutional question…

I’ve a piece in Saturday’s News Letter, as part of that paper’s focus on Unionism in 2021. At its core, I argue that Unionists, and Nationalists for that matter, in Northern Ireland have been living vicariously off the virtues of their own ideas of their mother state for years, but that: Increasingly, our politics will more…

“The panel [] is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public from serious harm that Mr McCartney be confined.”

The Irish News reports today that the Life Sentence Review Commission has released Máirtín’s mate, Ronald McCartney, despite the then Secretary of State Shaun Woodward having revoked his release licence in 2008 “as a result of information received from police that he presented a serious risk to the public.” The Irish News report includes references from Maghaberry more…

“His position remains that the evidence of efficacy and the scientific basis of homeopathy is highly questionable”

‘His position’ in the title would be that of the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser.  But, as we know, the scientific illiteracy that prevails in the House of Commons is legendary.  And, regardless of their Chief Scientific Adviser’s position, the UK Government have published their response [pdf file] to the Commons Science and Technology Committee’s Report, Evidence Check on Homeopathy. Here are the main more…

“MPs set to cut Sinn Fein money”

Mark Devenport is back in the office.  And he’s pointing to a prediction by Newsnight’s Michael Crick following the Speaker of the House of Commons’ response to a point of order yesterday on the issue of the payment of allowances expenses to MPs who do not take their seats.  Here’s what Michael Crick posted The Speaker more…

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How will the Executive pay for £1.2 Billion of cuts?

Today’s report for NICVA by the Economic Research Institute, Northern Ireland and Oxford Economics (or rather their local operation, which was formerly known as Regional Forecasts) not only makes for grim reading, it also begs the question, is the Northern Irish public ready for cuts in its  governmental services of the scale likely to be sent more…

Lord Carlile: “paramount need for continuous vigilance in Northern Ireland”

As the BBC notes, the independent reviewer of government anti-terrorist legislation, Lord Carlile, has published his latest report [pdf file].  From the BBC report The relevant [Northern Ireland] section states: “2009 and early 2010 have demonstrated that there is a paramount need for continuous vigilance in Northern Ireland, despite the progress of recent years. “The number of terrorism more…

“We are fully aware of the urgency of this matter…”

The BBC reports on a meeting today chaired by Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, and attended by NI First and Deputy First Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, Finance Minister Sammy Wilson, Northern Ireland Minister Hugo Swire and Mark Hoban, financial secretary to the Treasury. The topic?  The troubled Presbyterian Mutual Society. From the more…

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Derry/Londonderry will be UK City of Culture 2013

From the BBC report Londonderry has been chosen as the UK’s inaugural City of Culture. The announcement was broadcast live from Liverpool on the BBC’s The One Show on Thursday night. Derry, which was short-listed alongside Birmingham, Sheffield and Norwich, will take the mantle in 2013.

Decision time for the Derry/Londonderry City of Culture bid…

Over at Listenderry, Mark’s calling for volunteers to cover the unveiling of the winner of UK City of Culture… Whether you are in Derry/Londonderry or just plain old London get in touch with him via email or the Listenderry Facebook group… As Brian noted on Monday the Mail says they are favourites (but it wouldn’t more…

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Lost opportunities the common theme of Labour, past and present

Blair looking back and David Miliband .looking in both directions- it’s been a week of contemplation for Labour in unfamiliar opposition, as the coalition absorbs the pressures of government. Ironically the common theme of the former and the most likely future leader was lost opportunities, under Blair and under Brown. From Blair a confession; from Miliband more…

PSNI stop-and-searches to stop?

A BBC report is predicting that The PSNI is to suspend the use of the powers which allowed them to search people suspected of being involved in terrorist activity. It follows the recent European Court rejection of the UK government’s appeal against a January 2010 ruling that section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 violated the more…

Unionist can add to the UK by commanding ‘respect’…

Given we are now heading into the decade of Centenaries, this is a nicely provocative piece from Arthur Aughey in the News Letter today, in which he gently teases some Republicans who seemed ‘convinced’ there would be United Ireland by 2016. More likely, claims Aughey that Northern Ireland will still firmly be part of the UK: more…

Londonderry SF councillor still confused

Sinn Féin councillor, Maeve McLaughlin, who doesn’t believe Londonderry [And Northern Ireland? – Ed] is still part of the UK, is now complaining that she can’t search the National Archives of Ireland for ‘Derry’.  As the Derry Journal reports Sinn Féin councillor Maeve McLaughlin said a number of local people had raised concerns about the website. more…

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Vote often, vote often?

Just how many ticks and crosses might you be asked to make in May 2011? Council elections (for 26 councils) NI Assembly elections Electoral reform (Alternative Vote) referendum All of these opportunities to exercise your democratic right are pencilled in for Thursday 5 May next year. The Welsh Assembly elections were also expected to be more…

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Slugger’s comment thread rebuild – redux

You may recall that – a few weeks ago – I posted an idea on how we can add value to Slugger’s comments thread. It met with a mixed reaction, and while some of you liked the idea and saw possibilities in it, there were also some extremely perceptive objections. As a result, we have more…

“And then there was Arthur Morgan…”

An RTÉ report notes that a couple of TDs have been disciplined by their parties following yesterday’s vote in the Dáil which resulted in a ban on stag hunting, but not stalking.  And Harry McGee makes a sharp observation at his Irish Times blog And then there was Arthur Morgan. Like the Labour Party, Sinn Fein has done more…