Dissident threat makes FT take arguments for public spending seriously

It’s worth noting that the influential Financial Times has homed in on whether there is an economic dimension to the rise of dissident repulbican violence. T he timing is interesting, coming in the midst of the NI budget wrangle and on the eve of the Irish general election. The paper’s excellent Ireland correspondent John Murray Brown has been to the Kilwilkie estate, a centre of dissidence. The paper also carries an overview which is sympathetic to the view that for …

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Talking to Terrorists

On BBC Radio 4 Owen Paterson began down the well trodden road of disingenuous double speak so beloved of Shaun Woodward, Peter Hain and numerous Conservative Secretaries of State of old and avoided completely denying contacts with the terrorists. This has yielded the predictable response of fury from Gregory Campbell and Jim Allister. About the only possible benefit of talking to dissidents and the reason suggested as McGuinness’s motivation for breaking the story in the first place was to discredit …

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By playing politics, local parties show they are not ready to deal with serious security threats

 Is SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie right? “There is no evidence that MI5 puts a high priority on the dissident threat beyond providing some signals and background intelligence, which may amount to nothing more than listening to gossip and monitoring a few dodgy websites,” Yet this case is  one of several  that show MI5 have a reach that the PSNI by itself can hardly match. And arrests after the Strand Road bomb while not of course conclusive, have been  pretty prompt. …

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