Robinson calls on Unionists to prepare for a potential border poll

The News Letter has a new columnist, former First Minister, Peter Robinson. In his first column for the paper he writes about a border poll and why unionism should be ready for one. He writes; Advocating for the Union should be the routine duty of those who cherish our link with Great Britain, but beyond the routine lies a much greater task in preparing for the predictable showdown. I know there are border poll deniers who think such a referendum …

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What is a shared island?

I am but a mere local political commentator who occasionally gets asked to do TV and radio. Occasionally I regurgitate my annoying opinions in written form. Thanks to my involvement with an upcoming Institute of Irish Studies project, I got the opportunity to ask the Taoiseach about the new Shared Island Unit. There were scenes on Whatsapp when I told my mum what I was doing. “Martin or Wee Higgins?” she texted, getting mixed up. In his speech, Micheál Martin …

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If Unionism is going to defend the Union it needs to firmly separate church and state

Covid restrictions have drawbacks but afford time to clear out old materials stored for much-delayed future use. Amongst old photographs, marked electoral registers indicative of older practices – or are they – newspaper cuttings, reports and publications by various parties and individuals, I come across fading copies of the Protestant Telegraph Vol 11 from the mid-1970s: ‘THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE’ is writ large under the title. One copy from 1976 perused and the tone and tenor of the …

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Micheál Martin offers a hand to shift us from “post conflict island” to “a shared home place”…

Here’s a simple question. What was Dublin’s northern policy before Micheál doubled its budget from €500,000,000 to €1 billion <strike>pa</strike> over the next five years? I asked a unionist friend that question earlier today, after I’d sent on a copy of his speech launching the Shared Island Unit. His reply, “nothing”. Harsh, but hardly unfair. The original sum was not nothing, but, what was it for? How had policy changed after Fianna Fáil left in 2011? It’s hard to see …

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Department of Health release evidence bank for COVID 19 decisions

The Department of Health have released some of the evidence bank showing how they have made some of the decisions around lockdowns. You can read it here and it’s important to note that other aspects of it have not been released. There was a good debate about this on todays first hour of Talkback which is worth listening to. Some of the evidence bases that caught my eye were; Second Lockdown I cite these as the first one has gotten …

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Rant I – Handbrake Turn Tourism and Visitor Centres…

This is the first in the series of posts regarding tourism, its under-exploited potential and the wider implications of our current strategy, these posts are effectively bit-sized rants from one epic length, foamy-mouthed, ganshing session. To the best of my knowledge Handbrake Turn Tourism was coined by my late uncle, anyway, what it pertains to is the type of tourism where tourists flock to a must-see spot (usually a visitor centre), take a few selfies and then head off to …

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#TheReset: NI’s opportunity lies in attracting new people as well as new jobs

Today I spoke with my old friend and Lagan College alumnus Shane Greer, who now owns and publishes Campaigns and Elections Magazine and lives and works in Washington DC about whether in order for Northern Ireland to get a good reset we need to think more globally, not to mention bigly. The main impetus for the start of the discussion was his recent Reset essay on what he sees as a live opportunity to exploit the new home working arrangements …

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Whether from Poots or Sinn Féin simplifying populism is useless in fight against Covid…

On Thursday I’ll be part of a panel hosted by the Clinton Centre at UCD, which will be looking at Populism in the US and Europe. Quite aside from the considerable wooliness of the term, it will be an opportunity to look at what it means in contemporary use and what it probably doesn’t. Register here for our upcoming webinar in collaboration w/ @_PiAP: https://t.co/ibLYEGnXqU Speakers:@mickfealty @ScottLucas_EA @DrAlbertazziUK @halikiopoulou @ProfTimBale pic.twitter.com/VKj27LfqCb — Clinton InstituteUCD (@Clinton_InstUCD) October 13, 2020 In Northern …

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It’s strictly dancing up to the Brexit deadline. Meanwhile “the border in the Irish Sea” takes shape in Northern Ireland

Archbishops’ letter image. FT  The  off- on- off again  dance around the final stages of Brexit negotiations is taking place against  a mounting clamour of confusion and anger over the crazy politics  including the real implications of the threatened No Deal, about which the UK government postures so insouciantly. UK in a Changing Europe think tank says their modelling with the LSE of the impact of a no-deal Brexit suggests the total cost to the UK economy over the longer …

Read more…It’s strictly dancing up to the Brexit deadline. Meanwhile “the border in the Irish Sea” takes shape in Northern Ireland

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