Your lockdown political documentary/film recommendations

A few weeks ago I did this segment with William Crawley on Talkback but a few of you have been in touch with me to ask for a written copy.Here you go. The Killing Season-The Killing Season is a 2015 Australian television three-part documentary series which analyses the events of the Rudd–Gillard Government of 2007–2013, a turbulent period of Australian political history. You don’t need to have a great knowledge of Australian politics to watch this. Labour-The Wilderness Years which …

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The Conservatives are failing to make headway in the Brexit supporting North and Midlands

At the next general election, the Conservatives’ hopes of regaining the overall majority in the House of Commons will rest on winning a substantial number of seats from Labour in Brexit supporting areas in the North and Midlands of England. This is especially true given that they can expect to lose seats in Remain voting areas in London, the South East and Scotland. The map above compares the results of the 2016 EU referendum on a constituency basis (with seats …

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A new British centrist party would likely benefit the Tories, just like the last time

An unpopular Conservative government, a left-wing Labour leader with poor favourability ratings, and a breakaway faction of centrist Labour MPs joined by a Conservative defection a short while afterwards. The parallels between the formation of the Independent Group of MPs in February 2019, and that of the Social Democratic Party in 1981, are clearly apparent. Could a new centrist force make a breakthrough in a Westminster general election, as the alliance between the Liberals and the SDP famously failed to …

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Theresa May claims to be a proponent of gay rights, and no doubt she is, in other parts of the UK. In Northern Ireland, however, she is countenance to their denial

By Eoin Tennyson A British Government survey of 108,000 LGBT individuals has affirmed that discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity is still alive and kicking across the UK. Two-thirds of those surveyed fear holding their partner’s hand in public while five percent have been offered controversial “conversion” therapy. These results may shock some in England, Scotland and Wales; but they are all too recognisable for those of us here in Northern Ireland. The Tories’ LGBT Action Plan …

Read more…Theresa May claims to be a proponent of gay rights, and no doubt she is, in other parts of the UK. In Northern Ireland, however, she is countenance to their denial

Slugger TV: Episode 3

Slugger TV Episode Three aired tonight on NVTV Our panelists this week were Irish News Security Correspondent, Allison Morris and Slugger Contributor, Jeffrey Peel. We discussed the Tory/DUP Deal and the future of Theresa May as Prime Minister.   David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Tory-DUP deal reached

Very briefly… source for all information is the Guardian as that was the first place I could find with the detailed documents! The agreement The short version is that the DUP will vote with the Government on the Queen’s Speech, the budget, all finance and money bills, supply and appropriation legislation and Estimates. In return, the Government agreed: No change to pensions triple lock and Winter Fuel Payment 2% of GDP on armed forces as per NATO commitment Implementation of …

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Six reasons why the DUP must be considered on its merits rather than its faults…

One, Labour should approach any NI issue with some considerable caution and given the party leader’s record some humility too. It is not viable to defend John McDonnell’s kneecapping remarks one minute and then suggest the DUP is beyond the political Pale. Particularly if you have a credible ambition to run the UK. If, not then you can say what you bloody well like and ignore the following advice. Two, you have to ask yourself what forces have driven so …

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Our Friends in the North? The DUP and the Tories aren’t ideologically close

Following the shock result of Thursday’s General Election, the Prime Minister has announced her intention to form a government with the help with her “friends and allies in the DUP”. The DUP and the Conservatives are aligned in their commitment to Brexit and Northern Ireland’s place in the union, but they are far from ideological twins with regards to other issues. Much has been made of the incompatibilities between the DUP’s hard-line stance on same sex marriage and the Conservatives, …

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A Tory landslide may prove bitter-sweet for Unionists

On the eve of what has been a disastrous Westminster election campaign for the Tories it seems that the Conservatives are set to be returned as the main political party in Britain once again. The election here in the north has been somewhat dull, certainly in comparison to the Assembly poll in March  so hopefully we will have some dramatic results in the wee small hours of Friday morning to make up for that. By the weekend the DUP should emerge …

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Does the Tory manifesto contain bits of hope for the DUP?

As the current polls are pointing to the Conservatives being returned to office with an enhanced majority and the DUP’s influence is likely to evaporate. However, reading the Conservative Manifesto I wondered whether some of this might be premature as I focused on the Northern Ireland section. Here is where I must put the health warning that proof will be in the eating. But I have highlighted some key passages from the manifesto. Let’s start off with Devolution as the …

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Theresa May’s local victories are good for the Union cause but give no comfort to special status fans

  A note of caution is needed about  talk of a Tory landslide on 8 June. Although UKIP was obliterated in the GB local elections,  Labour might have done even worse. Michael Thrasher’s projections of the local results to the general election “ for a bit of fun” on Sky News   works out a majority of  48 seats, up a respectable 36 but well short of a landslide and barely worth  the trouble of calling a snap election. John Curtice, election …

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Candidates running in #ae17 Part 2

In my first installment I focused on the parties running across Northern Ireland, here are some of the other parties running in a few constituencies. People Before Profit (6 candidates) West Belfast- Gerry Carroll, Michael Collins North Belfast- Fiona Ferguson Foyle-Eamonn McCann South Belfast- Pádraigín Mervyn South Antrim- Ivanka Antova Workers Party (4 candidates) North Belfast-Gemma Weir South Belfast- Lily Kerr West Belfast- Conor Campbell Mid Ulster-Hugh Scullion Traditional Unionist Voice (13 candidates) North Antrim-Jim Allister, Timothy Gaston Lagan Valley-Sammy …

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Fixed-Term Parliaments Act – on the chopping block ?

One or two eagle-eyed observers on social media noted a development in the House of Lords which has apparently escaped the notice of the media – a new bill which, if enacted, would abolish the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act. It’s worth a quick recap on the background. Until 2011, the power to dissolve Parliament was by the Queen’s prerogative, exercised on the advice of the Prime Minister. It has always been significant as it is, in effect, the power to choose a strategically optimal time to hold …

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A modern fable: Goldilocks and the three Labour leaders

Nobody expected Jeremy Corbyn to win the leadership contest in 2015, I’m not sure even he expected it. Actually, nobody expected Jeremy Corbyn to even be part of the leadership contest in 2015 – he was put on the ballot, as history now tells us, to widen the discussion, to broaden the range of candidates on offer. Well that worked out well. It may however have served a purpose in the long run. “Once upon a time, there was a Parliamentary …

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“it all may prove as tough as anything Cameron has faced before”

Good piece from Danny Finklestein in the Times of London today, which gives you as good a view of what Cameron and Osborne have planned for the next two years: In 2015 the Tories got their timing right. In 2012 George Osborne may have been booed at the Paralympics and criticised for his taxation of Cornish pasties. But in 2015 he was re-elected. Informed by this experience, the Conservatives are deliberately making difficult decisions now. Yet the combination of this …

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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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Now Westminster is settled, here’s all the other unsettling business NI politicians need to get back to

It’s back to work on Monday for our local politicians. There’ll be no commission on the union (though David Cameron should now outright reject the idea), no extra £1 billion of cash, and no immediate possibility of bargaining for the 45 ideas in the DUP’s plan. Though over the next parliamentary term there are sure to be plenty of tight votes in which The Northern Ireland Plan can come out of Nigel Dodds’ back pocket and be used as bargaining …

Read more…Now Westminster is settled, here’s all the other unsettling business NI politicians need to get back to

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 election is probably the most interesting one in my lifetime.  Up until now all I have ever seen is a strange and undemocratic voting system …

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SNP surge dominates Scottish Labour

As the race for the Scottish leadership gets underway two new polls indicate that the SNP could take 20 plus from Labour at next years Westminster election basically imploding Miliband’s 35% strategy. (This is to basically win off the back of disaffected Lib Dems). The latest polls put the SNP in a commanding lead over Labour IPSOS/MORI SNP on 52% Labour on just 23%, the Scottish Conservatives on 10% Liberal Democrats and Scottish Greens both on 6%. YouGov SNP-43% Labour-27% …

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John McTernan: For Labour hope needs to beat fear

Next up in our 2015 general election series is former advisor John McTernan on what Labour needs to do to win next year.   There is no real secret to winning elections. Be united, have popular ideas and connect to the public. As Ronald Reagan used to say, ‘It’s not easy, but it is simple.’   Against the odds, Ed Miliband has achieved the first, and done it effortlessly. After a lengthy and divisive leadership campaign – which he won …

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