Hearts and Minds: Starting a conversation about having a conversation?

This exchange from Hearts and Minds last night has two, what I’d call, very very weird moments. One is when Mike Nesbitt tells Noel Thompson to ‘go and talk to his producer’ about the conditions under which he has agreed to do the interviewer. And two is really just the way he stumps Declan Kearney (who holds only a party office in Sinn Fein). This comes at the end of repeated attempts by Nesbitt to get Kearney to start the …

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Maltreating victims may condemn us to the folly of repeating the past

So here I am seven months on from the appointment of Mary McArdle as Special Advisor to the then new Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín . That appointment – of the only person convicted of my sister Mary’s murder – caused untold stress both to me and my family. While Sinn Fein seemed not to see a problem with it, it sent us a strong signal that what our family felt didn’t matter, just as it didn’t matter to them that …

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David Latimer’s speech: if an opportunity; one he missed completely

Following on from Mark’s blog with Rev. David Latimer’s speech to the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis, I thought an analysis of the speech from a unionist perspective was maybe worthwhile. I have already suggested some possible motives for why Latimer said what he said. However, leaving aside the poor delivery, the preening, the media chasing and anything which might though accurate be described as man playing: why was it nonsense and incorrect? The first reason is simple whataboutery. Whataboutery is …

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Claudy: forgotten no longer

When the Claudy Report by the Police Ombudsman was unveiled last week it looked very much as if it would be a one or at most a two day wonder. This was one of the forgotten atrocities of the troubles, like so many others. There seemed little in the way of an organised victims’ group and few politicians apart from the local UUP councillor and Gregory Campbell pushing the issue: Campbell is an extremely busy man and Mary Hamilton is …

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Saville: Catalyst for the future or anchor to the past?

The political reaction to the Saville Report has been largely predictable, entrenching already well established opinions on the single most notorious day in the history of this region. Bloody Sunday was the sleeping elephant of Northern Ireland politics, it was discussed, argued over, examined and influenced all subsequent events due to its presence. The problem in awaking this elephant, as the Saville Report has done by addressing it officially and definitively, is to cause a stampede which threatens to trample all …

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