Council elections 2019 – all you need to know Part I

The nominations for the 2019 local government election are in and a total of 819 candidates are running for 462 council seats across eleven different council areas – a decrease from the 893 candidates who sought election in 2014. The DUP was the largest party in 2014 and this remains but the total number of candidates they are running has decreased, from 189 to 172. There has been a slight increase in the number of candidates that Sinn Féin are …

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Theresa May’s local victories are good for the Union cause but give no comfort to special status fans

  A note of caution is needed about  talk of a Tory landslide on 8 June. Although UKIP was obliterated in the GB local elections,  Labour might have done even worse. Michael Thrasher’s projections of the local results to the general election “ for a bit of fun” on Sky News   works out a majority of  48 seats, up a respectable 36 but well short of a landslide and barely worth  the trouble of calling a snap election. John Curtice, election …

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Nigel Farage argues that the EU is stoking Irish Nationalism

The former UKIP Leader, Nigel Farage thinks that the EU is stoking Irish Nationalism EU are stoking Irish nationalism to make Brexit negotiations difficult. Their behaviour is contemptible. pic.twitter.com/0FFjuEnlS7 — Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) May 2, 2017 David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Cartoon – Life after #brexit

Farage has left the stage. The “most important” and “most successful” politician of the last decade, says Rod Liddle. That’s up for debate.  Christoph Waltz likened his exit to a rat disembarking a sinking ship.  I’m struck by how he said he wants his life back. I’m sure there are a great many million and more people who think the same, except they don’t have a golden life raft to jump in to… Brian SpencerBrian is a writer, artist, political …

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So what comes after Farage for UKIP? Labour’s northern base?

So he’s gone [Has he? Really? Gone, I mean? Like for good? – Ed] Who knows. But for now, Nigel Farage is planning to edge out the rest of his free Belgian beer time in his job quietly in Brussels. What comes after that? Well, the Telegraph is pitching Paul Nuttall and Steven Woolfe, two working class lads from Livepool and Manchester respectively. Nuttall in particular, has been instrumental in the growth of the party in working class areas in the …

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Brexit and foreign doctors (parking fines and other things)

David McNarry’s latest foray into controversy has been to float – and then retract the suggestion that foreign workers (specifically a hypothetical Polish surgeon) be deported for minor crimes such as parking tickets. Although this may play well with a few it seems something of a gaffe: maybe UKIP’s leadership will not be too sorry to lose their sole NI MLA when McNarry stands down at the Assembly elections (to be fair retiring at 67 seems pretty reasonable). It also …

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Does the EU have a referendum problem?

Eurosceptic hearts were gladdened last week, when they claimed victory in the referendum. Of course I’m referring to the Dutch referendum on the free-trade deal between the EU and the Ukraine, in which a majority of the minority who voted in the Netherlands on Wednesday, chose to reject the deal. Despite insisting that neither Dublin, Washington or anywhere else should tell you how to vote, on Europe, Nigel Farage even went and campaigned for a ‘No’ vote in the Netherlands …

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#Brexit Northern Ireland

The debate on EU membership in Northern Ireland has recently kicked off.  On Saturday Northern Ireland born Labour MP Kate Hoey laid out the Vote Leave & Labour Leave case from leaving the EU at the TUV conference at the Hilton Hotel in Templepatrick (UKIP`s Paul Nuttall addressed their conference in 2012 on the same issue). Irish Foreign Minister @CharlieFlanagan recently addressed Queens University Belfast on implications for Northern Ireland of Brexit.  Both Labours Kate Hoey MP & UKIP`s David McNarry …

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#EURef Leave campaigns at the UKIP Northern Ireland conference #UKIPNI15

UKIP NI: David McNarry challenged the DUP & UUP to come off the fence one way or the other and state their position on the EU referendum. He also called for a victims charter with a proper definition of a victim and criticised the DUP & Sinn Fein – querying what sort of devolved government hands powers back to the Tories in Westminster.

Cllr Henry Reilly joins the TUV

Cllr Henry Reilly (formerly of UKIP) announced today that he was joining the TUV. Speaking about his decision to join Reilly said; In joining TUV I know I am doing the right thing, because this is the only unionist party still standing unapologetically for the traditional unionist principles in which I believe. It is also a party wholly committed to re-establishing the national sovereignty of the UK by taking the essential step of leaving the EU. Thus, it is my …

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EU adopts bad net neutrality laws

The idea that data should be ferried from place to place as quickly as possible, regardless of what it is, is how most people assume the internet works. That’s the essence of net neutrality. Yesterday the EU voted through a report on the `European single market for electronic communications`.  Most headlines centred on the proposed scrapping of mobile roaming charges including the press release from the DUP. However the future of how the internet works in Europe was also in …

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As UKIP turns its own immigration policy on its head, something has changed…

I’ll preface this #SluggerReport with a link to a personal story from an old friend Bernie Duffy (whose personal adventures in migration I suspect would fill several volumes over and over… It illustrates very well on a personal level the unexpected comprehensiveness of the migrant/refugee crisis, and how it has caught public discourse (in the UK and to a lesser extent Ireland) severely on the hop… And not just David Cameron, but the case of UKIP (a party capable of …

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After #GE2015… UKIP “We are legion…”

One way to think of UKIP is as a bunch of Elizabethan freebooting privateers, who are now revelling  after having sailed into northern and Midland ports and lain waste to Labour‘s formerly secure golden hoard of working class voters. As Gerry Lynch spotted on election night, the figure which gives you a real indication of what has happened to UK politics is that the combined percentages of Conservatives and UKIP add up to 49.5. The broad assumption always was that UKIP was a right wing affair …

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Look over there…a view of the UK election from Ireland

I have never made a secret of the fact that I am no expert on politics outside of Ireland.  I watch elections in other countries in a disinterested fashion.  The systems are strange and I find it gives you an insight into just how bizarre politics can look when you are not involved.  The UK election is probably the most interesting one in my lifetime.  Up until now all I have ever seen is a strange and undemocratic voting system …

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Sinn Fein discombobulated over the European Union

Sinn Fein continues their schizophrenic approach to the EU: Michelle O`Neill has stated that The European Fisheries Fund has made a significant contribution to our commercial fishing and coastal communities… She failed to mention that the UK  has almost 70 per cent of Europe’s fishing grounds but only 13 per cent percent of its fishing quota. The Common Fisheries Policy opened up the UK’s fish to all EU member states. Now we must import fish species such as cod, haddock and …

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LGBT issues: Northern Ireland party views – UPDATED

(Updated to include responses from the Ulster Unionist Party and People Before Profit) Research conducted by Ruth McCarthy highlights some stark differences between the parties contesting this years Westminster elections in Northern Ireland on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues. A series of questions were asked: 1a Does your party visibly support LGBTQ equality issues in your party manifesto, on your website and in election campaigning materials? If YES, please give examples. If NO, please state why. 1b Please give …

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UKIP appeals to disaffected lower middle class…

I’m not sure this is such a surprise, but the British election study has looked at UKIP’s support in Britain and discovered that it doesn’t have such an appeal to the working class as many thought: “The idea that many Ukip voters are working class and that they therefore pose a threat to Labour’s support in the election has gained considerable currency ….But we find this is wrong; the working class basis of Ukip has been strongly overstated.The Party’s strongest …

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