Trading Partners Wanted: Looking at Canada

As it stands, Ireland’s largest trading partner is the United Kingdom. This has been the case since Independence although the balance has shifted greatly since Ireland entered the EEC in 1973 with the UK no longer wholly dominant although our reliance for trade with the UK continues in certain sectors such as beef, timber, pork and much more. As Ireland’s reliance on the UK as a trading partner has diminished, it has been able to look to a wider market …

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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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Trudeaumania mark two as Liberals sweep to power

Nearly a decade of Tory rule in Canada has come to an end as the Liberals under Justin Trudeau swept to power. This will be his second time living in 24 Sussex Drive as he grew up there when his father, Pierre was Prime Minister during the 1970s and early 80s. The trend began in Atlantic Canada and just kept rolling into Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. The coalition of suburban Ontario and the West that sustained the Conservatives in …

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Could Stephen Harper’s reign as Canadian PM be coming to an end?

Tomorrow Canadians will be going to the polls to vote in their 42nd federal election. At more than two months in length it is the longest in Canadian history. Whilst the long campaign was supposed to be to the benefit of the better organised and funded Conservatives, it now appears that the Liberals under Justin Trudeau have been the real beneficiaries as they have over the past month been steadily gaining in the polls and enter tomorrow ahead by roughly …

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Canada votes 2015

The Conservative Prime Minister, Stephen Harper has taken the plunge today and called a long 78 day election campaign with a vote on October 19th. The latest polls show a real three way between the with NDP on 31%, Tories on 30%, Liberals on 29%. However this is a long campaign and it’s worth remember that during the 2006 campaign, the Liberals led going into it and lost the election. Also remember the NDP surge in 2011 that came on …

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‘People are not clubbable any more’: A South Yorkshire Orangeman speaks

You don’t often hear much these days from the Orange Order in England. It is there, though – there are lodges all over the country, and not just in Liverpool. There is even one in my native city of Sheffield: the John E Bingham Loyal Orange Lodge 844 (established 1913). Richard Harvey has been a member of the Lodge for 36 years, and is the Grand Orange Lodge of England’s Grand Chaplain. It was only with some difficulty that I …

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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: the two countries’ armies would meet in one final battle in New Orleans just over two weeks later, in which the Americans comprehensively thrashed their …

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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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Toronto’s Tory bull Mayor is stripped of 60% of his budget…

Well, if you thought it was impossible to get rid of our politicians, Canada trumps it. Toronto’s city council decided their mayor Rob Ford could be got rid of so the council is taking a big chunk of his mayoral budget away from him… Ford’s folksy mix of tea party conservatism makes him very popular with his base, though his eccentric behaviour comprises admission that he smoked crack cocaine, and last night taking a lunge at the press gallery (knocking …

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The long march in Quebec.

The PQ are back in power.  A terribly tragic victory rally  shadowed the victory. Maybe another decade before the next vote but: Another generation are taking up the fight. DewiWelsh Nationalist. Rugby Fan. Know a bit about History and Railways…