Brexit will strengthen the Union

Brexit will strengthen the Union, not weaken it. The vast majority of Scottish & Ulster trade is far and away with the rest of the UK. Scottish trade with the EU is down 20% in the last year with the USA being Scotland’s single biggest export country. The Republic of Ireland accounts for only just over 4% of Northern Ireland sales (which is more than Northern Ireland sales to the rest of the EU put together) A report from Barclays …

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Why I Left My Job and My Favourite Place in the World

Emma Canavan is a former journalist with BBC Northern Ireland and is currently travelling around the world this is her story from her blog and we wanted to share her story with you. When I was younger, through my teens and university life, I had high expectations of what life has to offer. I wanted to be a journalist and a presenter. I wanted to travel the world, see amazing places, meet amazing people and, somehow, help make the world …

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Politicians read out mean tweets

Politicians in Australia have taken to Youtube to put some humour on the cruel tweets they recieve. Here is New South Wales Premier, Mike Baird reading out some gems he recieves from the punters On the opposite side of the fence, Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young read out some gems she recieves from the voters Just goes to show some the abuse politicians recieve online, but it’s interesting to see some of them Down Under turn it to their advantage David …

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The curious case of Tony Abbott #auspol

Tony Abbott, the man who helped defeat the republican referendum in 1999, the man who Paul Keating referred to as the Liberal party’s “resident nutter” and most importantly Australia’s current Prime Minister. Throughout his political career Abbott had been known to make gaffes. As Health Minister in 2004 he made the statement that “Abortion is the easy way out.” In 2007, he was heard swearing at his opposition counterpart Nicola Roxon during a debate and even as late as 2013 …

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Essay: Gough Whitlam and the fragility of parliamentary democracy

However over-quoted a historical figure he may be, Winston Churchill certainly gave his global audience plenty to ponder over whenever he opened his mouth or put pen to paper.  His dictum that ‘democracy is the worst form of government, except for the all the other forms that have been tried’ still strikes ringing chords, five decades after his demise.  Then again, he also said that ‘The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter’, though whether …

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Scotland, Canada, #Indyref and all that jazz……

“Vive le Scotland Libre!” If I could twist a phrase from the former French President, Charles de Gaulle about the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence this according to the polls is apparently what nearly half of the Scottish people will be chanting on the 18th September. It is hard to believe that just two months ago the No side enjoyed a 22% lead in the majority of the opinion polls. With a media largely hostile to their cause, the resources …

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There is nothing like a Dame-Australia re-introduces Royal Honours #auspol

When I first heard this story I must admit the song that kept going through my head was that famous Morecambe and Wise sketch ‘There is nothing like a Dame’ Last week, the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott re-introduced the Knights and Dames system that was abolished by the Hawke Labor government in the 80s. This decision has been met with ridicule and general disapproval within Australia as event Abbott’s predecessor and avowed Monarchist, John Howard spoke of his belief …

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New Australian PM swears an oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II.

Tony Abbott was officially sworn in as the 28th Prime Minister of Australia on Wednesday. While he grabbed headlines for appointing just one woman to his cabinet, there was another subtle change that caught my eye as he was sworn in. Under Prime Minister’s Paul Keating, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, the oath of allegience for ministers was changed from swearing an oath to Queen Elizabeth to; I, (Insert name), do swear that I will well and truly serve the …

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With less than 1% of first preference vote, two candidates still won seats in Australian senate!

Nicholas Whyte blogged on From the Heart of Europe about a couple of remarkable victories where candidates with a minuscule proportion of first preference votes – less than 1% – went on to win seats in the Senate. The most stunning results of these is in Victoria, where the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party got a mere 11,232 first preferences, 0.52% of the total vote, 0.036 of a quota, less than twelve other parties contesting the election. But they appear to …

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Update-#Ausvotes Tomorrow is election day in Australia-ABC projects Coalition Victory!

We are sending enough our people there, so I thought I’d do up a blog post on the election that is happening tomorrow. Australia came to the attention of people here back in June when Kevin Rudd ousted Julia Gillard as Prime Minister. Well actually she ousted him first in June 2010 but anyway I shall not bore you with the intrigues of Australian Labor politics. Rudd was brought back to help raise Labor’s dire position in the polls. Under …

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Australian Labor ditch Barry girl..

Oh well it’s been eventful…but Julia’s out (from the BBC). Wednesday’s leadership test was the third faced by Ms Gillard since she took office in 2010. She herself ousted Mr Rudd as prime minister in 2010. The BBC’s Nick Bryant in Sydney says Mr Rudd has exacted his revenge, after three years of him and his supporters mounting a destabilisation campaign targeted very much at her. Australian politics is a pretty brutal business… Rudd has 100 days to a general election …

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The Lions Test Team – how were our predictions?

Here’s the team: Leigh Halfpenny (Wales),Alex Cuthbert (Wales),  Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)  Jonathan Davies (Wales), George North (Wales), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Mike Phillips (Wales); Alex Corbisiero (England), Tom Youngs (England), Adam Jones (Wales), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Paul O’Connell (Ireland), Tom Croft (England), Sam Warburton (Wales, capt), Jamie Heaslip (Ireland). Subs: Richard Hibbard (Wales), Mako Vunipola (England), Dan Cole (England), Geoff Parling (England), Dan Lydiate (Wales), Ben Youngs (England), Owen Farrell (England), Sean Maitland (Scotland). Astonished at Maitland as sub, very strange. …

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“Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics…” – Redux

US President Barack Obama is on a 9 day trip to the Pacific region, beginning in Australia where, as the Guardian reports The president is expected to announce the US is expanding its military presence in Australia – putting more equipment in place, increasing its access to bases and conducting more joint exercises and training. This is in response to an increasingly aggressive China, which claims dominion over vast areas of the Pacific that the US considers international waters, and …

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RWC: Semi Final Day…Make History Wales…please!!

2 Fairly big games this weekend in Auckland. On Sunday New Zealand face Australia. Is McCaw fit? Will the all Blacks risk Cruden or play Weepu first five eighth? (Where on earth does “first five eighth” come from?) Here’s the NZ Herald – Graham Henry will be trying to stay awake…it’s a 9pm start in New Zealand – which is a bit different for the players. In Australia they are working on those Sonny Bill Williams voodoo dolls…might be working – …

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Magnificent Ireland at the RWC

15-6 v Australia in their half of the world. 2 words I think: Professional and fearless. If you were not going to face Wales in the quarters I think you’d win this…. DewiWelsh Nationalist. Rugby Fan. Know a bit about History and Railways…

A St Patrick’s Day Blogburst…

Okay, here’s my response to Mark’s call… – I was at the Irish Embassy in London last night, at a gathering addressed by Joan Burton. Not sure many in the room shared Joan’s optimism. So, we kick off with some grim Scots Tory realism from Alex Massie: …growth is Ireland’s only chance. That means wholesale reform of the public sector to assist deficit reduction but that won’t be enough either. Many of the things that the French and Germans most …

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At last from Australia

Apologies for the profligacy of posts but just in case anyone is staying up for Australia…… Looks like the Welsh girl’s got it… The Australian says Labor’s great escape. Worth a browse…..oh and they are still counting. AV a wonderful system…mmm. Anyway now we’ve won Australia I await an Alliance surge with you – after all David Ford is Welsh… DewiWelsh Nationalist. Rugby Fan. Know a bit about History and Railways…

Australia decides..

What the campaign lacked in lustre the count is making up for it in excitement. Watch it live here. Could be a tie and maybe a Green MP…… DewiWelsh Nationalist. Rugby Fan. Know a bit about History and Railways…

Of Water….

Firstly, unless you get valleys drowned by evil Saxon neighbours I don’t think you have that serious an issue……

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