This week marks the 39th anniversary of Bobby Sands death, the first and most infamous of the ten IRA men who perished in the 1981 hunger strike. These fatal protests were a dramatic inflexion point in the Troubles with immense consequences – both accelerating the brutal violence and, through the election of Sands as a British MP, sowing the seeds for Sinn Féin’s successful entry into politics. The events sharply divide opinions, now as then, but whatever your view, most …
It may prove easier to maintain coordination when imposing the rules than easing them, especially if regional variegation is called for.
Also: Welsh Labour demand less alignment with London on coronavirus policy; and Sinn Fein isolated in objecting to Army support in Northern Ireland.
Sinn Fein’s recent criticism of Stormont’s Health Minister Robin Swann was a curious occurrence in even more curious times. The UUP MLA’s decision to utilise the UK military to support logistic functions like distribution of PPE and construction of a NI Nightingale facility, was layered with realism, a sense of urgency and for once, relative political neutrality. And yet, Michelle O’Neill criticised the decision, based not on the intended use of the UK military, but on the lack of consultation that … Read more
The Republic are doing things a little differently: joining an EU initiative to procure much needed ventilators, sending an Aer Lingus plane to China for hospital workers’ PPE; the Gardai Commissioner calling for people in the streets to produce IDs, off licences to stay open in contrast with GB. The North at first followed the GB rules but has now fallen into line with the south. The consequences if the northern ban remained in force if a hard Prohibition border … Read more
The situation is replete with irony. In the absence of the Assembly a formerly inert Westminster sprung into life to enact three controversial reforms; on same sex marriage, victims’ pensions (pending) and most controversially of all, abortion. Sinn Fein which only acknowledges any legal British authority over Northern Ireland with the greatest reluctance warmly welcomed Westminster’s imposition of the most radical shift possible from the most restrictive to the most sweeping abortion regulations in these islands; while the defenders of … Read more
To respect devolution, the UK Government must not impose such a drastic development on the Province. Is this a test run for England?
It’s deeply disturbing for many that a modern European democracy might shortly be led by a party that continues to have its strategy overseen by an Army Council.
The lack of an agreed border with Ireland makes “an Australian-style settlement” more unlikely than would otherwise be the case.
Here we go again. Just a bit of cross posting here to draw attention m to a special edition of The Detail, about a border poll. The comment is based a Lucid Talk opinion poll conducted north and south, showing opinion “ on a knife edge” – 46.8% to stay in the UK and 45.4 % for a United Ireland. The disparity now among three polls in succession can partly be accounted for by different methodology, this one on line, … Read more
We’re told it’s the most thorough survey of political attitudes in years (what, more than the NI Life and Times surveys?). It shows the graph has tilted over a just a little more in favour of united Ireland, confirming that those who Don’t Know or declined to answer – an odd description of the middle ground – hold the balance. I’m caught between concern about growing tension as the day … Read more
Leo Varadkar was attacked by some Brexiters for ‘anti-British’ rhetoric. Patrick Holden (University of Plymouth) finds that Varadkar’s language was no more emotional than that of his predecessor, Enda Kenny, though he was more outspoken about the contradictions of the British position. If Sinn Féin now enter the Irish government, Anglo-Irish tensions may continue to rise. … Continued
I still remember the first time I visited a GP in the UK. He was a cheerful doctor, an Asian Arsenal fan, who spoke in glowing terms of David O’Leary as a defender, glad to big up an Irish player to an Irishman. After the consultation, I had to get som…
As long as their activists call them “colonialists” and candidates glorify the IRA, the idea is as convincing as a Hannukah greeting from Jeremy Corbyn.
There is no ‘anti-English’ sentiment in Ireland in the wake of Brexit. The success of Sinn Fein in the recent Irish general election was built on a deep-seated public dissatisfaction with the quality of social provision in health, housing, childcare and other ‘quality of life’ issues at a time of a booming economy. The party’s traditional … Continued
Their negotiating stance is often very aggressive and unyielding. They will seek to cause maximum damage at a critical time.
Change. Such a simple word, yet if we could sum up this election, it really was about change, not just for its own sake but ambitious change. A sense that the country was heading in the wrong direction and despite record growth rates, a large section of the electorate opted to take a punt. Fed up of paying high rents, having their children living with them and the cost of everything rising, they looked at who embodied that ambitious change … Read more
Let’s stand back. With just one seat fewer than Fianna Fail but with quotas to spare, Sinn Fein’s claim to have gained the moral advantage has credibility in spades. Another reading is just possible. The two centrist parties outnumber them by rather less than 2 to 1. Twice in France the right and left united to defeat the far right, once by joining together and last time by forming a new political party to achieve the desired result. But France … Read more
Last week the Irish Independent printed an opinion by Phillip Ryan. He charged Mary Lou McDonald with the title of ‘Ireland’s Donald Trump’ which prima facie is a confusing argument but I decided to persevere through such arguments and it made me think more broadly about the idea of Sinn Féin being a left-wing populist party. Has populism finally arrived in Ireland? Populism or elitism are nebulous terms, but in the modern usage they imply a party that presents easy … Read more
Of course we think that the result is a bad one. But we encourage the party to co-govern in Northern Ireland, so can scarcely object if now does so too in the Irish Republic.
The post Rich’s Monday Morning View appeared first on Guido Fawkes.
An extremist party is gaining support – from those wishing to protest housing shortages and hospital overcrowding.
Ulster’s major parties are failing to adapt to a changing electoral landscape, creating an opportunity for a new, more practical politics.
Also: Spotlight on the literal handful of MPs providing Stormont’s entire opposition; and Scottish Tories offer a budget deal to the SNP.
The Prime Minister pledged to defend those who defended us. I believe him.
A compromise deal agreed Friday night ended three years of deadlock.
Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin agree to deal that avoids the need for an election.
Have we got a deal that the DUP and Sinn Fein sign up to or not? By Thursday midnight, it wasn’t clear. Will all parties turn up to the reconvened Assembly? By the time you read this we should know. In the meantime we have – a document .. But Arlene Foster’s verdict looks favourable.. “On balance we believe there is a basis upon which the Assembly and Executive can re-established in a fair and balanced way… This is not … Read more
How will the parties as they say “reflect” on their stance towards Assembly restoration during the Christmas lull? Will it be peace on earth, good will to all or only a Christmas truce? The finger of fate is pointed at the DUP. Will their resentment spill over into resistance? How dare the secretary of state break precedent and single them out for blame just because all the other parties seem to have supported a deal? Even that is the wrong … Read more
Slugger TV: Episode 33 from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo.
This month, Chris Donnelly and Alan Meban look at the recent general election.
Photo by mounsey is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA