Region Archives: UK

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Channel  4’s decision not to broadcast the Marie Stopes ‘Are you late?’ TV advert in Northern Ireland raises questions about what information it is criminal to distribute here.  The Chief Executive of Marie Stopes International told the Guardian that ‘the advertising of abortion facilities, their contact numbers or addresses is against the law in Northern more…

“the start of a period of classic left-right debates”?

BBC NI political editor Mark Devenport with a slightly different take on the message delivered to the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers by the new Prime Minister than Brian noted. By telling our ministers they can take the pain now or take it in the next financial year, the Prime Minister has posed the more…

Police to get more discretion on charging suspects (in England and Wales)

At The Guardian‘s Law blog Afua Hirsch assesses the Home Secretary Theresa May’s announcement that police officers in England and Wales are to get more power to decide whether crime suspects should be charged for minor offences The Conservatives believe that the current system is inefficient. The police have to prepare a “pre-trial file” for prosecutors anyway, but more…

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Euro crisis: “We all know what to do, but we don’t know how to get re-elected once we have done it.”

In the Irish Times, Arthur Beesley identifies “one of the fundamental dilemmas in political leadership” being faced by eurozone politicians caught in a manifestation of  “the political trilemma of the world economy” This presents a cocktail of nasty choices for EU leaders, many of whom seem more comfortable in the local arena than in the European amphitheatre. more…

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After the election: Did the Internet make any substantial difference?

Mark Pack from the LibDem voice blog spoke at an RSA event last week which discussed the degree to which the Internet influenced the outcome of the election. In terms of its basic promise, ie to make politics less hierarchical, he notes just how quickly scale and structure form themselves around what are essentially egalitarian more…

After the election: Why a coalition is good for the UK…

In passing, last week’s editorial from the Economist (who had backed the Tories) on the nature of the UK’s new coalition government is worth noting: The parties will share responsibility for unpopular fiscal decisions, which should make them easier to take. The fact that, together, they have 59% of the vote will help persuade the more…

Conservatives considering their options in Northern Ireland?

Interesting news from Jeff Peel on status of the Conservative party staffers in Northern Ireland. Slugger cannot confirm whether it is true or not, but we understand the Conservatives did indeed expend a great deal of time, money and energy on trying to help get Ulster Unionist (as well as their own) candidates elected in more…

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Euro crisis: The shrinkage of politics?

Via a post by Crooked Timber’s Chris Bertram.  Here’s a point worth considering from Dani Rodrik on the growing crisis in the Eurozone. Deep down, the crisis is yet another manifestation of what I call “the political trilemma of the world economy”: economic globalization, political democracy, and the nation-state are mutually irreconcilable. We can have at most more…

After the election: Has unionism the courage to debate a united vision?

Another great piece from Open Unionism, this time from David Vance, fresh from the streets of East Belfast who argues the time has come and gone for a single unionist party. He observes: Seduced by the Stormont Assembly they are relatively disinterested in traditional unionist values and even recoil from that which is branded Conservative. more…

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Award winning Ulster Museum renovation short-listed for Art Fund Prize

No doubt assisted by our own modest support [*ahem* – Ed], the recently renovated Ulster Museum in Belfast, which re-opened in October 2009, has been shortlisted for UK’s largest single arts prize – the £100,000 Art Fund Prize.  From the BBC report. Dr Jim McGreevy of National Museums Northern Ireland, said the museum had attracted “fabulous support from more…

DUP/Sinn Fein’s 37 day plan for public protest..

Interesting that just as a coalition between the Lib Dems and Conservatives with civil liberties being one of the key issues takes power in Westminster the joint DUP/Sinn Fein committee report on what replaces the current parades commission, is being chewed over in public (the report was delivered during the election campaign period). Eamonn McCann: more…

The ash is back

No-fly zones have been re-imposed over parts of the UK, including Northern Ireland, and some Irish airports are also affected.  The Met Office will be updated its observations of the volcanic ash cloud on a regular basis. Adds The Guardian has more. Including this footage of the culprit, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, erupting.

Cameron’s bold bids to keep ahead of coalition sceptics

Accidentally perhaps, the test paper for the success of the Lib Con coalition has just been set by the centre left commentator Will Hutton in the Observer. Why should a comment piece be so significant? Because Cameron has just announced the dramatic appointments of Hutton to head up a commission on public sector pay and maverick more…

Jim Fitzpatrick: “let’s call it local madness for ease”

In his weekly Politics Show dispatch, Jim Fitzpatrick picks up on the new Foreign Secretary William Hague’s comparison between the workings of the voluntary coalition at Westminster and the mandatory one at Stormont. Asked on BBC Radio Four’s Today programme if the arrangement at Downing Street would work something like the one in Stormont Castle with more…

After the Election: The Hung Parliament Party

Perhaps it’s time for another prediction competition: How long before this embedded video shows the message ‘This video has been removed by the author’ when you click ‘play’? Catch it while you can…

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After the election: The Conservatives’ big liberal gamble

So is it game and set and match to Mr Cameron? Although, judging by an exceptionally peppery editorial in the Spectator today, not everyone on the Tory benches is happy with arrangement. Still, it seems that the two Edwardian gentlemen agree in principle as early as Saturday night, over Pizza, that cohabitation would be a more…

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Why the big fuss over fixed term parliaments?

About a month before the election Radio 4 broadcast a fascinating programme narrated by the BBC’s Scottish political editor Brian Taylor. Over half an hour he explained how the Scottish Parliament differs from its Westminster counterpart. It’s fixed term. Every piece of legislation is a new act of coalition. While some parties will support each more…