Essay: ‘All political careers end in failure’ – the legacy of Enoch Powell

My assumption is that it must have been quite an election.  I can only assume, as I had not even been conceived, let alone born, then, but the contest around the UK had far-reaching implications for both Britain and Ireland.  Polling exactly forty years ago today – barely eight months after the previous general election – resulted in Harold Wilson and the Labour Party being re-elected (though only just), and Tory leader Ted Heath’s political career being effectively over.  Heath …

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The Robinson Allister spat in the context of the Hass talks

Last week’s spat between Peter Robinson and Jim Allister has been analysed in some detail. One of the best contributions has been by Sam McBride pointing to how it demonstrates the difference that it makes allowing ministers to be questioned without knowing the questions in advance. Prior to that as McBride says: “For years, question time at Stormont has been a fairly turgid affair, with questions submitted weeks in advance so that civil servants could draft vast replies for ministers …

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How the Civil Service (Special Advisers) Bill divides the interests of NI’s two Irish national parties

Whatever you think of it as a bill, the proposed new legislation could be the first blow struck successfully by an opposition voice in Stormont. Although that will depend on which way the SDLP votes. Sam McBride provides the key background to the bill: The legislation introduced by TUV leader Jim Allister was drafted in response to the public outcry over the appointment of Mary McArdle as adviser to Sinn Fein culture minister Caral Ni Chuilin in 2011. The debate …

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