Remain must look to more trusted and well-regarded figures to get #EURef over the line

Shortly before polling day in last year’s Marriage Equality referendum one of the Irish national daily newspapers ran an opinion piece by a marketing/messaging expert evaluating the Yes and No campaigns to that point. Though he had several criticisms of those of us on Yes side and even suggested that the Yes campaign was putting the outcome in unnecessary doubt, the subtext to his article seemed to be: this would have been a whole lot better if he had been … Read more

PJ Mara – The Man, The Myth, and my Friend…

END OF AN ERA: PJ Mara is probably the greatest political strategist the country has known. This won him many friends and just as many enemies. While others puffed and panted and hovered around a subject, PJ walked in and cut through all the guff to tell it like it is and make people face reality.

Updated with Audio: Fracas in Fermanagh: Adams and the term “bas***ds”

So, Rodney Edwards decided to go along to a Sinn Fein public meeting tonight in Fermanagh where the Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams TD was speaking. Social media was set ablaze tonight when he tweeted these comments from Adams . @GerryAdamsSF on “bigotry” in unionism: “The point is to break these bastards – break them with equality. That’s the republican strategy.” listen to ‘Gerry Adams on "bigotry" in unionism: 'the point is to break these b****rds'’ on audioBoom — Rodney … Read more

“…ridiculous for Sinn Fein to tell people they have a strategy but it’s, y’know, nod, nod, wink, wink?”

Brian Feeney is on form today in the Irish News (£). He’s taken the time to read Micheal Martin’s long (and policy detailed) speech at the Merriman School. His conclusions are less than complimentary… At various times Sinn Fein ministers have been in a position to present an agenda for all Ireland development and they haven’t even tried. They claim they have plans but what are they. It’s like the strategy they claim to have for achieving a united Ireland. … Read more

Has the new media revolution changed anything about the way we do politics?

FitzJamesHorse has some provocative thoughts on politics and the internet – not to mention the continuing ridicule of Loyalism. He comes to the ‘sage’ conclusion (again) that bloggers don’t matter. But Facebook and Twitter and YouTube do, he says. Actually, these are all, in whichever form, micro blogging platforms. In all cases, the primacy of conversation and the capacity to network information and comment are the main shifts from older ‘one to one’ or ‘one to many’ forms of communication. Has the … Read more

Increasing numbers of passengers let the train take the strain … apart from a 10 year decline on the Enterprise

Monday morning’s Belfast Telegraph splashed with the front page story that passengers numbers have fallen by 22% on the Belfast-Dublin Enterprise train over the last decade. The ‘exclusive’ – based on figures in DRD’s Future Railways Investment consultation document [pdf] that was published in January – was picked up by Talkback at lunchtime as well as other news programmes. The actual consultation ended in April, though this isn’t mentioned in the paper! And in some ways, it’s never too late … Read more

“…what that did was to make telling lies an excusable and acceptable tactic”

Ed Moloney traces Sinn Fein’s failure to meet its own targets in the race for the Aras to the attempt to re write history viz a viz Martin McGuinness’s career with the IRA. In particular he is puzzled as to why something that started as tactic has been elevated to the level of strategic template: I don’t know why the two men embarked on their lies in the first place. I could never see any advantage to it and so … Read more

Sinn Fein haven’t ruled out a McGuinness victory, but…

One of the more revealing pieces of journalism on the Aras race this week was in Irish, and quoted in our latest round up… It’s provides a brief insight into Sinn Fein’s thinking re the election: Nil sé as an cheist go mbainfeadh Martin Mc Guinness toghchán na hUachtaránachta ach tá siad sin cheana féin ag iarraidh a bheith cinnte de go rachaidh an dul chun cinn atá ag titim amach anois chun tairbhe an pháirtí sa chéad olltoghchán eile. … Read more

“Ulster Unionists have never been adept at gauging the public mood…”

An English friend who knows more than the average Englishman about Northern Irish politics asked me in all seriousness, just a few days before the last election, whether the UUP was now anti Agreement. Well, I explained, not exactly and yet it  looked that way if you were taking seriously anything Reg said (which was not a lot) on politics in the run up to the election.  Davy Adams goes a little further than my English friend (or I would) … Read more