Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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Politically Articulate & Energised Youth

Mick Hall @ Organized Rage believes young people to be:

far more articulate and energised politically than my own generation were at that age.

Monday, June 26, 2017

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Back To Basics - SDLP

In this special five-part series, Political Commentator Dr John Coulter, outlines the way forward for the five main political parties in Northern Ireland. In the opening two articles, he examines the crisis facing both the SDLP and UUP as they stare at electoral oblivion. In Part One, Dr Coulter deals with the SDLP.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

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Threat or Fret?

Anthony McIntyre is not persuaded that a substantial threat to the peace process is likely to emerge from any Tory-DUP pact.

SOS
Save Our Stormont


The old alarmist mast of the peace process being endangered (again) has this week been hoist one more time, in the hope that it might lay another golden egg before it is finally flogged to death. One for the road ... the endless road ... to peace. There is hardly anything new in this. Gerry Adams has taken to reiterating what he has asserted since the peace process began such a long time ago: that there is a threat to it.

Nothing Sinn Fein is prone to fretting over more than this. But this time the party cannot be accused of being Ourselves Also. The new Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Dail (“foreign” helps ensure those black northerners that it really is a place apart), Simon Coveney too has swallowed the peace process poppers and is now singing from the same hymn sheet.

Although Adams in seeking to keep the political tension on the simmer - as omnipresent a feature of his political career as honesty has been an omniabsent -  has said it might undermine the Good Friday Agreement, the suggestion has been rubbished by Mark Durkan, who is said to be "encyclopaedic" on that Agreement.

If there is any credence to the claim of a genuine crisis as distinct from the multitude of ersatz ones that have preceded the latest, it must overcome the question posed by Pete Trumbore a few days ago: from whom?

At worst, there is some potential for instability. There is no threat to the peace, just the process which churns out gravy in the same copious amounts that Willy Wonka's factory churned out chocolate. The peace will survive. The process is no longer a necessary condition of peace, but a cloak of legitimacy whose bearer can always hope for a brownie point to fall their way.

What is it that the Tory Party has done that makes it such a risk to the peace process, other than take leaf out of the SF handbook for forming coalitions? The supposed gap between Sinn Fein and the DUP when they merged forces to subcontract on behalf of the British in the North was vast compared to what it is between the DUP and the Tories. And If Sinn Fein can join hands with the DUP, why not the Tories?

Adams described it as a coalition of chaos. Not all that different from the coalition of crisis his party is more at ease with in the North, where some crisis or other is invariably waved as a stick at the peace process. The peace process works something like a protection racket where those offering the service hint at its withholding if citizens don’t cough up and meet the requisite demands. 

Sinn Fein’s very long nose is out of joint at the promiscuity of the DUP, behaving like a “gangster’s moll”, jumping from one seedy bed to another. Whatever the outcome, no one will be charged with a breach of the peace.