Region Archives: UK

Phone tapping: No new Guardian facts to dent NoW rebuttal

As Mick has just offered a shrewd review of the political vibes, I’ll go on today’s press stand-off. Certainly, you can never fault the News of the World for lack of chutzpah. The great phone tapping scandal centres on two questions: were the News of the World Goodman and Mulcaire convictions in 2007 for phone more…

Murdochgate: A scandal that’s only just beginning…

If you were watching closely enough yesterday you’ll have noticed that there was a buzz all around Westminster and associated media ports over the revelation that two of Rupert Murdoch’s papers have been conducting regular fishing trips against public figures (some political, some not), and that they had settled with three ‘victims’ for £1 million more…

Hacking row widens as Yates of the Yard investigates.

The very idea of a gagging out of court settlement in the News of the World hacking case is highly dubious in this age of trumpeted accountability. That a media group should seek such a settlement is typical hypocrisy of a high order. That a court should grant it and that the police and the more…

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Still bloggin’ after all these years..?

Before the time for thanks moves on, thanks to Shane Hegarty in the Irish Times for mentioning Slugger as one of Ireland’s must read blogs… He calls us “The granddaddy of Northern Ireland’s politics and culture blogs…” Now I mind the time (as my Uncle Seamus might say) when there was no such partition in more…

“This was the biggest irritant between us and the Northern Ireland Office..”

Just a quick point about The Observer’s extracts from Henry McDonald’s recently published book Gunsmoke and Mirrors – How Sinn Féin dressed up defeat as victory. Mary Alice Clancy’s study of the Bush administration’s Northern Ireland policy between 2001 and 2006 may have been under-reported, but it wasn’t un-reported – as John Ware would confirm more…

US politics outpaced by media/blogs combo?

A couple of months ago, I took part in a Spectator even that asked: Is our politics big enough for the net? (write-up here) It looks like we’re getting an early answer from the US. Last week the Republican party pulled a fast one on the US press and got a reaction it may not more…

Undercover Diplomat – “addicted to negotiations”

Jonathan Powell’s surprisingly interesting TV version of his diary, the hour long The Undercover Diplomat, is still available on the BBC’s iPlayer – but not for long. But, courtesy of Typhoo, I can post a few clips of interest. The first one is Powell’s record of hearing about the Northern Bank robbery in 2004 whilst more…

When the Chuckles had to stop (Part 1)…

The Watchman is a keen observer of Ulster politics for many years now and one who has written extensively on Unionist politics. Now, in two parts written especially for Slugger, he exams in detail the nature of the party that gave rise to Paisley, and now post Paisleyism.By the Watchman “Then the angel of the more…

A united archipelago..

A united archipelago..

With the number of countries implementing the Schengen agreement now increased to 24, the Irish Times tries, once again, to start a reasoned debate on whether the Republic of Ireland should also join. From Monday’s editorial [subs req] “On the map of the Schengen area Ireland and Britain are conspicuous absentees on the west of more…

So sign up to Schengen…

The most interesting point to emerge from today’s optically orientated 9th meeting of the British Irish Council wasn’t the quibbling about the financial package – it ain’t going to change significantly – it was the mention of gaps in security, which Dermot Ahern stated was referring to the Schengen Agreement.. and Gordon Brown agrees. The more…

Paisley, the greatest disrupter…

This essay appears in this month’s edition of Prospect magazine. In it I’ve tried to chart the lengthy political career of Ian Paisley, Northern Ireland’s single most enduring political figure whose career spans the period before during and after the Troubles.

On the importance of melancholy [in political journalism]…

“Cheeky” Piers Morgan’s acerbic interviewing style misses only one of the qualities recommended by Ken Tynan (and lauded in the leader page of the Guardian on Monday). It was light, certainly. Stinging yes. Insolent, without a doubt. But the part he left out of his interrogation of that paper’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, was melancholy. I more…

About that Daily Mail interview…

This article appeared in the Daily Mail last week… It’s an interview with Peter Hain, as you may never have seen him before… with one Petronella Wyatt… (I’d be scared in the unlikely event she asked me for an interview)… Much to the delight of one blogging supporter of one his rivals for the Deputy more…

Political cryonics anyone?

As the BBC have reported, the Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, has made his “the future of Northern Ireland” statement to the House of Commons. Announcing his intention to bring forward an emergency Bill on 20 April, with only a half a dozen clauses, to recall the Assembly on 15 more…

London shuts down…

Given I was in London only yesterday (thus the pacity of blogging from me) this morning’s news has a greater shock value. Now it seems the tube network is effectively closing down. The death toll is likely to rise during the day, but current estimates are about 20. It appears at least one bus has more…

US election: the net changed politics if not the president

Last Tuesday night the Grand Committee Room in Westminster played host to an impressive range of speakers, each reflecting on the role of the Internet in the recent US Presidential campaign. Slugger was there to cover it… Who uses the net for politics? Professor Stephen Coleman of the Oxford Internet Institute, drew from research he’d more…

Robinson’s plan:summary

In conversation with Frank Millar, Peter Robinson outlined the conditions for his party’s willing engagement with the peace process. He outlined what he believes to be fundamental flaws of the current Agreement. He returned to a theme his colleague Sammy Wilson outlined in more detail a few weeks back – the unaccountability of the institutions. more…

Blair speech: Completion

This may be the sound bite that outlasts the rest when the time and the place of this speech are long forgotten. Blair calls for decisive action: It’s time for acts of completion. We will do our best to carry on implementing the Agreement in any event. But, should real change occur, we can implement more…