Tag Archives | Britain

Ruth Davidson’s breath of fresh air

Ruth Davidson, the leader of the reviving Scottish Conservatives, is a Tory of a different hue from the stereotype. The Unherd website she has written for has attracted the attention of the mainstream media. You don’t have to be a conservative  to feel  the hint of a breath of fresh air blowing through our troubled more…

Shock horror EXCLUSIVE! MI5 had Jeremy Corbyn under surveillance into the 1990s, for “links to the IRA”

Billed as  “Exclusive, MI5”, the Daily Telegraph  splashes with a predictable twist on an ancient theme, that Jeremy Corbyn had been under surveillance for having “ links” to the IRA. This is the flip side of the super-patriotic  coin that supports army veterans in their campaign, backed by Theresa May, against prosecutions for illegal actions more…

How will Ireland square the circle of close relations with Brexit Britain and continuing loyalty to the EU?

An Irish government official said to me a few weeks ago: “ we’re with the other guys now.” That arresting comment  meant that Ireland was making a necessary shift further away from Britain and towards the continuing relationship with the EU. A binary choice  is in prospect, goes the argument, depending on the Brexit outcomes. more…

neale-and-nicola

Where now for Scotland?

In an historic and stirring address to Seanad Éireann this week, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon refused to set out a timeline for when she might ask the Scottish people to vote once again on Independence. She repeated her view that the Scottish people had not voted to stay within a United Kingdon outside of more…

David & Donld

After Greece – where now for Cameron’s negotiating?

Donald Tusk has improved his English lately, which may have something to do with his employing of an Ulster-born speech-writer. The former Prime Minister of Poland took-over from Herman “damp-rag” Van Rompuy as the President of the Council of the EU last year, this was the job once sought by Tony Blair, but no British more…

EU Referendum: Is this a chance to break Nationalist malaise?

It was one of the main developments that people took away from the General Election and that was the decline in the Nationalist vote. It is true that no matter how much Sinn Fein and the SDLP attempt to kid themselves to the contrary, Unionism has it seems stemmed the tide of apathy and now more…

Look over there…a view of the UK election from Ireland

I have never made a secret of the fact that I am no expert on politics outside of Ireland.  I watch elections in other countries in a disinterested fashion.  The systems are strange and I find it gives you an insight into just how bizarre politics can look when you are not involved.  The UK more…

Mr Cameron, The Tories & ‘compassionate’ conservatism: compelled to justify neoliberal politics at #ge2015?

As the 2015 British general election campaign gathers momentum, the prospect of a hung parliament looms large. Concerning Scotland, the 2014 Scottish Referendum may have produced a result that was to the satisfaction of supporters of the ‘no’ campaign, but the Scottish National Party’s subsequent rise as an extremely decisive contender in national-level politics could more…

Amedee Forestier's 1914 painting of diplomats in Ghent in 1814.

Two centuries on, how Special has this Relationship been?

It must rank as one of the most spectacular early Christmas presents ever.  Exactly two hundred years ago, representatives of the British and American governments met in the Flemish city of Ghent to agree a Peace Treaty, ending the increasingly-misnamed War of 1812.  OK, it did not mean that all the fighting was yet over: more…

Mackenzie King (1874-1950), Canadian Prime Minister 1921-6, 1926-30, 1935-48

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 more…

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Cartoon – Brits [values] OUT!

  Of all the ink and wind spilt over Pastorgate, surely Alex Kane has it best (The View, BBC, 29.5.14): “[Peter] Robinson is the leader of unionism in Northern Ireland. His primary job in that role alone is simply to promote the values of a multi-cultural, multi-national state. He makes people living here feel like more…

HERALD SCOTS IND PIC

The Scottish independence debate goes colourful…

        The Herald on Sunday is the first Scottish newspaper to come out clearly in favour of independence. The front page designed by the artist Alasdair Gray makes quite a splash and the editorial arguments are balanced and reasonable. (The case for independence) seems to us to be a more exciting, imaginative and more…

After the Visit, the greater epiphany?

What we saw in Windsor Castle this week was a delayed act of official reconciliation that should have taken place fifty years ago but was held up by the Troubles. It was in reality the unfinished business of closing a sequence of turmoil that began over a century ago, whose shadow is finally lifting only more…

McGuinness WILL attend events during Pres Higgins state visit to GB

Statement released by Sinn Fein tonight We also seek an agreed, united Ireland which accommodates those who define themselves as British. It is within this context that I can confirm that deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will accept an invitation to attend all events as part of the State visit. This decision by a confident more…

The Maze is part of a shared past

Malachi O’Doherty is magnificently right.  The best result for the Maze project would have been/ still should be  to provide  an unsparing and comprehensive account of the Troubles, murders, conspiracies and weasel politics, including the narratives without which it is a meaningless recitation of horror. Conflict resolution could come in the last gallery just before the more…

Leadership That’s Working?

48, 48, and 48 – those are the nightmare numbers for Unionism. Not necessarily for the Union, but for Unionism the political ideology as we have understood it for the past century or so. In the 2011 Assembly election, only 48% of the population voted for Unionist candidates, interpreting that term as generously as possible. more…