Northern Ireland

Elections, Northern Ireland

Haven’t we tired of the annual Sham Fight yet?

Haven’t we tired of the annual Sham Fight yet?

If you’re familiar with Northern Irish culture then you’ll no doubt have heard of the Sham Fight. Each 13th July, those of a sober disposition, and whose Twelfth is therefore enjoyed with ice cream and the like, join those who can manage a third consecutive day on the drink in […]

by × February 7, 2017 ×

Northern Ireland

Whatever government touches…RHI through a different lens

DUP strategists hoping that the arrival of Christmas would bring them a gift in the form of a petering out of the RHI saga will have been disappointed when the affair re-erupted after a brief interlude over the holiday. On Thursday evening, a letter to the bosses of local banks, […]

by × December 30, 2016 ×

Law & Order, News, Northern Ireland

HMP Maghaberry is a national disgrace

Maghaberry is a place where every prison cliché comes to life. Set in the bleak countryside atop a former RAF airfield about twenty miles from Belfast, you can’t help but be filled with a great sense of foreboding as you approach. Walking from the visitors’ car park the full complex […]

by × December 21, 2016 ×

Northern Ireland

The Ashers case – how everybody missed the point completely

The Ashers case – how everybody missed the point completely

I had a very revealing conversation this morning. While browsing the three main regional newspapers a colleague asked me, as colleagues do, if there was anything in the news today? Quiet, I said, but the Asher’s verdict is due later and that will generate days of headlines. “Ah”, they replied, […]

by × October 24, 2016 ×

Northern Ireland

It’s time for Northern Ireland to equalise marriage

It’s time for Northern Ireland to equalise marriage

As I was making preparations to go to my first ever Party Conference, I stumbled upon an advertisement for a fringe event that took me by surprise. It was a DUP champagne reception at our party conference. My shock gave way to antipathy. I could not comprehend why a political […]

by × October 19, 2016 ×

Northern Ireland

Why as a working class Unionist, I cannot vote for the DUP

Why as a working class Unionist,
I cannot vote for the DUP

I turned 18 just in time to cast my first ever vote on June 23rd – to leave the EU. I then joined the Conservative Party in Northern Ireland. Part of my reason for joining was that the DUP, which styles itself as the party of the working class Unionist, […]

by × August 1, 2016 ×

Leftwatch, Northern Ireland

The circle virt over Loyalist bonfires
is wholly counterproductive

To those of us who sit on the right of the political spectrum the raging, aggressive, hostile and inherently leftist consensus that seems to exist across social media is the source of considerable amusement. Online unanimity, or onimity, if you’re the sort of person who likes a buzzword, can take […]

by × July 16, 2016 ×

Liberty, Northern Ireland

Doubling down: More government to solve bad government…

Doubling down: More government to solve bad government…

Two polls were released by YouGov recently which paint an interesting picture of the public perception on Governance; these claimed that 31% of the public do not believe that the Government regulates business to an adequate amount, whilst only 19% doubted the effectiveness of this interference, arguing it is pursued […]

by × June 6, 2016 ×

Liberty, Northern Ireland

Even bigots have rights

Even bigots have rights

For anybody unaware already, a Belfast bakery is appealing a court decision which has ruled that they broke the law by failing to bake a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan on it. The bakers were ordered to pay £500 in damages. Gareth Lee, member of LGBT advocacy group Queer […]

by × May 11, 2016 ×

Europe, Northern Ireland

Being in the UK doesn’t make me feel less  Irish. Leaving the EU won’t make people  feel less European.

Being in the UK doesn’t make me feel less
Irish. Leaving the EU won’t make people
feel less European.

The general argument I have come across from opposition is that there is too much uncertainty in leaving the European Union, with many believing it is better to stick with the devil you know than the one you don’t. This to me is akin telling an abused spouse that they […]

by × April 17, 2016 ×

Liberty, Northern Ireland

Make a change in Northern Ireland:
Think Big, Vote Small!

My greatest political nightmare is one in which the 2016 Stormont Elections return the Government. And only the Government. Within the majority of democracies this dystopian vision would be brushed aside as the ramblings of a madman. But in Northern Ireland the scenario, although unlikely, is not entirely improbable. Within […]

by × February 23, 2016 ×

Capitalism, Liberty, Northern Ireland

Uber meets its match – Belfast.

Uber meets its match – Belfast.

William, I’d guess, was about 50.  In the 10  minutes we spent together our conversation was essentially limited to one subject – but I gathered that he had driven taxis for a good few years. He owned his own taxi and the business that went with it, and knew everything […]

by × January 19, 2016 ×