Gavin Robinson accused of ‘ungracious’ acceptance speech…

Gavin Robinson is getting a lot of flak for his acceptance speech. Watch it below: Here is an extract: The last 5 long years are over. A new day has dawned in East Belfast. when people were offered the choice to go forward or back, they choose forward. And they choose to go forward with someone they can trust. The comments did not go down well on twitter: https://twitter.com/NewtonEmerson/status/596505194357207040 https://twitter.com/neildalzell/status/596496073885122561 Even more damning is this tweet from Naomi Long: @tomfromireland …

Read more…Gavin Robinson accused of ‘ungracious’ acceptance speech…

Rating female politicians’ appearance is demeaning sexism from Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland has some of the lowest levels of female participation in politics of anywhere in Western Europe. Anyone who read a copy of this morning’s morning the Belfast Telegraph can be in no doubt as to why. The newspaper has dedicated a double page spread to commenting on and rating the appearances of female election candidates in lurid detail. It reads more like the salivating sexism of a teenage boy ranking girls at school, than a piece of journalism …

Read more…Rating female politicians’ appearance is demeaning sexism from Belfast Telegraph

Jim Wells: Has he damaged the DUP? UPDATED

Any hopes that the DUP had that last night’s ill-judged comments by Health Minister Jim Wells would be quickly forgotten appear to be fast receding. If anything the ‘apology’ by Mr. Wells betrays ignorance on the part of the Health Minister more than anything else. Sadly the PSNI have now confirmed that they are now investigating comments made by Mr. Wells’  –  perhaps the new laws suggested by the Ulster Fry would be more appropriate. UPDATE: Tonight (Sunday April 26th, 2015) …

Read more…Jim Wells: Has he damaged the DUP? UPDATED

#EBDebate: The Robinson/Long debate (updated with video)

Slugger O’Toole (in partnership with Chambré Public Affairs and LucidTalk) hosted our first ever election debate at the Strand Art Centre last night between Gavin Robinson and Naomi Long. For some this debate was controversial as it was a head to head between the two main contenders. [Ed – though they are the only candidates from parties who didn’t lose their deposit in 2010 who are standing this year, if you factor in the polling from previous and subsequent elections …

Read more…#EBDebate: The Robinson/Long debate (updated with video)

Follow tonight’s East Belfast Debate at #EBdebate

A handful of NI constituencies are heading towards tight and keenly fought races. Tonight sees Slugger O’Toole’s first ever election debate, with candidates Naomi Long and Gavin Robinson getting the opportunity to answer questions, explain their distinctive policies and visions for the Belfast East constituency. There’s clearly a strong local interest in the East Belfast election. Last night’s five-candidate hustings in Willowfield Parish Church (organised by Evangelical Alliance/CARE) was attended by around 250 people and ran slightly over two hours. …

Read more…Follow tonight’s East Belfast Debate at #EBdebate

Kincora: The heart of darkness

Last night’s powerful Channel 4 news report has led to fresh calls for Kincora to be included in the Westminster paedophile inquiry. Richard Kerr, a victim of abuse at Kincora told Channel 4 News that he was taken from the east Belfast home to London where he was molested by members of a VIP paedophile ring. Mr. Kerr alleges that he was abused by “very powerful people” at Elm Guest House and Dolphin Square – locations at the centre of the ongoing inquiry …

Read more…Kincora: The heart of darkness

Using Lemons to make some Lemonade: Naomi Long reads out mean tweets

On Sunday I blogged about Aussie politicians who have taken to You Tube to read out mean tweets that they have been getting from the public and it always pleases me to see politicians try something new on social media. Well, closer to home, one of our local MPs, Naomi Long has decided to share with us some of the gems she has been recieving from the general public on social media. For all of our readers here with all …

Read more…Using Lemons to make some Lemonade: Naomi Long reads out mean tweets

David Ford: we are more committed to transforming Northern Ireland than you, Mr Robinson #ap2015

This year’s Alliance Party conference was focussed on party members and supporters rather than reaching out to the public at large. Delegates were reminded about the core party values and principles. There were no visiting clerics or representatives of loyalist band forums. No one from the Syriza Greek government. Instead, Alliance heard from friends in the victims, integrated education, science, arts and environment sectors. While Peter Robinson was criticised for making DUP victory in East Belfast his number one priority, …

Read more…David Ford: we are more committed to transforming Northern Ireland than you, Mr Robinson #ap2015

The dirtiest words in politics

The petition of concern was designed to protect minority rights in the Stormont Assembly. As former SDLP leader Mark Durkan explained “the petition of concern facility was put into the agreement to safeguard communal sensitivities and specifically to protect equality and human rights considerations”. Alliance MP Naomi Long pointed out that “the petition of concern was designed to offer protection to minorities within the assembly, where decisions of a sensitive nature risked being imposed upon them against their will.” Unfortunately …

Read more…The dirtiest words in politics

East Belfast: Is this the start of the Long goodbye for Naomi?

Today LucidTalk published their East Belfast poll in the Belfast Telegraph. The poll found that the DUP holds a  6% lead over the Alliance party in the constituency making them the favorites as we go into the final three months of the election campaign. When you exclude undecideds the result is DUP-34.4% to Alliance- 28.7%. When you include don’t know/Non voters you get this; DUP- 21.2% APNI- 17.7% UUP- 9% PUP- 4% TUV- 1.7% SF- 1.1% UKIP- 1% Greens- 0.9% …

Read more…East Belfast: Is this the start of the Long goodbye for Naomi?

Robinson: Ready for the election, planning a positive campaign and plans to end five frustratingly Long years in East Belfast.

At the next election one of most hotly contested battles will be East Belfast as the DUP attempt to take back the seat that they lost to Naomi Long in 2010. At the DUP conference, the party named their candidate to take on Long this May and he is former Lord Mayor of Belfast, Gavin Robinson. As we prepare for the election, I caught up with the newly minted DUP candidate to get his views on the campaign ahead and …

Read more…Robinson: Ready for the election, planning a positive campaign and plans to end five frustratingly Long years in East Belfast.

McCann meets….Naomi Long MP #AP2014

On Saturday afternoon I caught up with the MP for East Belfast and Deputy Leader of the Alliance party, Naomi Long. We discussed a range of issues from her background growing up in East Belfast to her future as an MP and a possible leader of the Alliance party. The full audio of the interview is at the bottom of the post but here are some noteworthy quotes that I found interesting. I began by asking her about how much …

Read more…McCann meets….Naomi Long MP #AP2014

Alliance Party urges society to step forward … while it deals with past week’s comments by Anna Lo #AP2014

Today’s Alliance Party conference came just days after Anna Lo’s perfectly valid – though politically thoughtless – comments about her personal views on Irish unification were reported as part of her interview with John Manley in the Irish News. It was hard to avoid the annual party member get-together being seen through an Anna Lo lens. It was the topic of conversation amongst delegates. I talked to no one who was upset by Anna’s aspiration. No matter whether accused of …

Read more…Alliance Party urges society to step forward … while it deals with past week’s comments by Anna Lo #AP2014

London using financial levers to remind Executive of its responsibility to address sectarian divides

East Belfast MP Naomi Long asked a long question [Q7] during Prime Minster’s Questions on Wednesday 13 March. She wanted to know what role he saw for the British and Irish governments “as joint custodians of the agreement” in progressing the outstanding issues of “reconciliation, unequivocal support for the rule of law, and to deal comprehensively with the past and its legacy”. David Cameron answered: I think there is of course a responsibility for the Taoiseach and the British Prime …

Read more…London using financial levers to remind Executive of its responsibility to address sectarian divides

Alliance Party Conference preview #apc13

The Alliance Party returns to La Mon Hotel on Saturday for its annual conference. Back at the beginning of December, Alliance’s role in the Belfast City Hall flag decision – and the subsequent intimidation of elected representatives and damage to property – perversely looked like overall it might boost the party’s support. However as the protests dragged on over Christmas and into January and February, Alliance are less and less associated with the story; instead unionist fora, unionist unity and …

Read more…Alliance Party Conference preview #apc13

Our Time? Our Place?

Your captions are welcomed. 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/

“delivering a shared future [for] those who issued death threats [and] attacked home of colleagues”

An interesting debate on Sunday Sequence this morning. Just after the nine o’clock news, William Crawley chaired a discussion between Naomi Long, Alex Kane and Danny Morrison. [Debate starts 34 minutes into the programme.] Points raised about the kind of parties that did not emerge following the Good Friday Agreement, whether there was a lack of political imagination, what moving on can feel like. The conversation finished with Naomi Long being asked about the personal impact of the last week. …

Read more…“delivering a shared future [for] those who issued death threats [and] attacked home of colleagues”

East Belfast at the next General Election?

Naomi Long - Lord Mayor

There are a lot of issues external to the Alliance party and Naomi Long that will impact the next result. How many people used their vote as a protest? Will the TUV implode? Will UCUNF collapse? Will Peter Robinson stand again? Unionist unity candidate? Or will the East Belfast electorate will decide to give their new MP a second chance?