Alliance: Now (or never) is the time to move beyond sound bite success to real world delivery…

In earlier articles I’ve written that as someone still fundamentally pro-union. To recap, I’ve felt electorally disenfranchised for quite a long time by two unionist parties that have refused to reflect my general social outlook. Apart from a vote for David Ervine in East Belfast in 1997, I voted UUP. They lost me post-Trimble. So, I’m politically homeless. Like many on either side of the community. The Alliance Party should fill that void. But it doesn’t. Not because it is …

Read more…Alliance: Now (or never) is the time to move beyond sound bite success to real world delivery…

Alliance conference in party mood despite leader’s absence #APNI2020

Alliance delegates gathered again in the Stormont Hotel for their annual conference, marking the 50th anniversary of the party’s formation and celebrating a year of growing success at three successive elections (local, European and Westminster). The mood was upbeat, attendance was strong, yellow clothing was prevalent, and while there are no elections just around the corner to fire up the crowd, there was a sense of achievement and satisfaction at the party’s fortunes.

Three figures were notably absent including party leader Naomi Long who had been diagnosed with a severe respiratory infection and was on bed rest and fluids under doctor’s orders. Deputy leader Stephen Farry delivered the conference main speech which also held from PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne, former Secretary of State Julian Smith, and young councillors.

New way of consulting with civic society is part of the talks negotiations, discloses Naomi Long

Creating a new mechanism for consulting with civic society is part of the talks negotiations aimed at getting Stormont back, Alliance Party leader Naomi Long has disclosed.  Naomi is a newly elected MEP, former MP and has just resigned her role as an MLA.  She was interviewed in the latest Forward Together podcast. “We need to find a role for engaging with civil society,” suggests Naomi.  “I think there is a lot of good work that goes on in our …

Read more…New way of consulting with civic society is part of the talks negotiations, discloses Naomi Long

#EP2019-Tell them again: Northern Ireland voted Remain

There are certainties in Northern Ireland. Everyone goes on holiday in July. A single crash on the Westlink will halt traffic across the country. An Ulster Fry is the best breakfast. The final truth: politics follows a script, the same story over and over again. We have our moments but we tell people that nothing ever really changes. May has been an extraordinary month for Northern Irish politics. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the past few …

Read more…#EP2019-Tell them again: Northern Ireland voted Remain

Long says she is the candidate who can gain transfers to win the third seat

The Alliance Party launched their European Manifesto today in Belfast with their candidate and party leader, Naomi Long leading the event. The Alliance Leader was keen to stress the recent surge in support for the party at the recent local government elections with a pitch about the “forward momentum” that her party was enjoying in comparison to her main rivals whom she argued where either stagnating or falling backwards. In her remarks she said; Brexit has not happened yet but …

Read more…Long says she is the candidate who can gain transfers to win the third seat

Alliance demands better from parties, politicians and the Secretary of State #apni19

READ AND LISTEN BACK to the main speeches at today’s Alliance Party Conference on the second anniversary of the last NI Assembly election and exactly two months before the next local government poll. Naomi Long pulled no punches in her criticism of Secretary of State’s “appalling dereliction of duty” to restore the Stormont institutions.

Naomi Long: Alliance still believes a positive vision, bold ideas and strong leadership is the only way to move forward and respect the spirit of the GFA

Naomi Long is the Leader of the Alliance Party, ahead of her party conference she writes for Slugger about ways to break the current deadlock at Stormont Twenty years ago, nearly three out of four people in Northern Ireland stepped forward to support the Good Friday Agreement (GFA). Despite the huge challenges and deep divisions within society, and acknowledging the GFA was not perfect, it was recognised then the next steps forward could be positive for our community. People were …

Read more…Naomi Long: Alliance still believes a positive vision, bold ideas and strong leadership is the only way to move forward and respect the spirit of the GFA

A Year Without Government Series: Part II

This article makes up the second part of a series that takes a satirical look back on the last year and a bit of Northern Irish Politics. The following was written entirely tongue in cheek and none of it should be taken very seriously. Find Part I here. The Assembly Election Debate It is a time honoured tradition of the Assembly election cycle that the BBC and UTV bring representatives from the five largest parties into a room together to shout …

Read more…A Year Without Government Series: Part II

Long: “a battle of hope over expectation [but] good work is never wasted” #NWAP17

In her speech to the party’s autumn conference held in Derry, Alliance leader Naomi Long this afternoon called for a way to be found through the current political impasse to “[demonstrate] through words and actions, mutual respect for both British and Irish Identity and our commitment to share this space together, in co-operation rather than conflict”.

A century since Markievicz MP – are we much further on?

In the lead-up to the Assembly election I looked at the potential gender representation of the cohort returning to the Hill. A record 27 out of 90 Assembly members (30%) were returned. From looking at the 18 constituencies there are 12 seats that will be not be filled by female candidates. This is due, in most cases, to the almost certain re-election of incumbents or that the nearest challenger is another man. Countess Markievicz was of course the first woman …

Read more…A century since Markievicz MP – are we much further on?

UTV Leaders’ Debate #vote17 – squabbling politicians talk in clichés #ae17

If there was a winner of tonight’s debate it was Cliché. Though Lothario might be a close runner up. There were no knock out blows. Few punches caused any leader to wobble towards the ropes. Instead they parried them away with relative ease. While the lack of a studio audience eliminated oohs and ahs and mischievous clapping, it did also mean that the questions could be crisply delivered by Marc Mallett who kept the rough and tumble in the playground as well-behaved as could be expected.

Naomi Long officially takes over as party leader telling the public “Vote Alliance and get Alliance”

No real surprises here but Naomi Long was officially endorsed by her party colleagues tonight as the leader of the Alliance Party. Long has previously served as the party’s deputy leader under David Ford and was the MP for East Belfast from 2010-2015. She has been credited for her work in building the Alliance party in her East Belfast constituency since she was elected to the Assembly in 2003. Speaking about her vision for the party she said; I am …

Read more…Naomi Long officially takes over as party leader telling the public “Vote Alliance and get Alliance”

Since Naomi Long’s is the only hat in the Alliance party leadership ring…

Deputy leader Naomi Long MP addressing Alliance Conference 2012

And as she does so it becomes clear there are no other candidates. No long damaging and divisive leadership race, and an opportunity to reset the tone and the politics of the party which traded off the competent tenure of David Ford as Justice Minister. But whither now for NI’s middle ground party? In East Belfast she has displaced and relegated the UUPs from second rank to almost nowhere. But where does the middle ground prepare for seat crunch and …

Read more…Since Naomi Long’s is the only hat in the Alliance party leadership ring…

Theresa Villiers: “ultimately it is parliament’s decision whether we repeal the 1972 European Communities Act or whether we don’t.”

Andy’s valiant attempt at providing clarity on the role of the devolved institutions in the UK’s withdrawal from the EU doesn’t appear to have worked for some of our local representatives. The Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, couldn’t have been clearer. “In the weeks and months ahead we will be working with both the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive on all these matters,” [Theresa Villiers] told BBC’s Sunday Politics show. “But ultimately it is parliament’s decision whether we …

Read more…Theresa Villiers: “ultimately it is parliament’s decision whether we repeal the 1972 European Communities Act or whether we don’t.”

Cartoon – The Northern Irish Open

Rory McIlroy may have triumphed at the weekend but can Marlene win the Justice Minister Challenge?   Brian SpencerBrian is a writer, artist, political cartoonist and legal blogger. Actively tweeting from @brianjohnspencr. More information here: http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/ www.brianjohnspencer.com/

Who is Topping the Social Media Poll

Peter Purcell works in Marketing and writes a platform for us on politicians who used social media particularly well during the recent election campaign. As campaigning is now over lets leave politics to one side and take a look at who is winning on social media and leading the way for their party colleagues to follow. I have picked out three candidates that have caught my attention, but would be keen to hear who has impressed you. Naomi Long In …

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East Belfast: where the progressives met their Waterloo

It is the two hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. These days, however, the French seem to celebrate it as a victory rather than a defeat. So finally we can celebrate after five horrible years as the bastion of awfulness finally fell: oh yes and it was VE day as well. Excitement amongst unionists over the defeat of Naomi Long is tempered by the fact that she was hardly a terrorist cheerleader in chief. Rather much of the pleasure …

Read more…East Belfast: where the progressives met their Waterloo