Bypass Stormont and empower Councils to help those most in need…

https://breakyourboundaries.tv/seeking-human-kindness-print - Prints Available - 25 % proceeds goes to supporting homelessness - I met Michael in a Boston subway station. I told him I liked his sign. “What matters is what it means to you,” he told me.I asked what it meant to him. “Doing a deed or expressing kindness to another person without expecting anything in return,” Michael said.I love approaching strangers wherever I go. Listening and talking to them teaches you about people and how similar we all are to one another. Just like Michael, we’re all seeking human kindness.

Despite Liz Truss’s announcement that the UK government will introduce a new bill to change the post-Brexit trade deal for Northern Ireland, there is absolutely no certainty about how long the current disruption and chaos at Stormont will last. As our devolved government lurches from one crisis to the next there is a necessity to reform the Assembly but there is also a need to keep the wheels on the track and deliver for those most in need. On Monday …

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Are the DUP the new abstentionists of Northern Irish politics?

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson’s announcement this week that the DUP will not go back into government in Northern Ireland until the NI Protocol is removed will not come as a shock, but it will come as a hammer blow to many ordinary people who rely on the support from Stormont. Throughout the Assembly elections Sir Jeffrey, and his colleagues in the DUP, made it crystal-clear that unless the British Government took decisive action on the protocol there would be dire consequences …

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Fears of Societal Split over the NI Protocol have been Overblown according to New Survey…

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There is inter-community consensus for the NI Protocol mitigations proposed by the EU and UK government according to a new survey undertaken by the University of Liverpool. Indeed, the survey completed in mid to late October 2021 and comprising over 1000 participants across all council areas, not only showed wide-ranging agreement for pragmatic solutions, it indicated that the Protocol is simply not a top priority for most people in Northern Ireland. This will be sobering reading for those who have …

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Would radical reform of Council’s powers restore political stability?

argory, armagh, irish

The novelist Edward G. Bulwer Lytton once said, ‘A reform is a correction of abuses; a revolution is a transfer of power.’ The continuing instability at Stormont, the extremely long hospital waiting lists and despair at the state of our local infrastructure should challenge us to decide who is best placed to deliver our public services. Like a performance in a Greek tragedy, we have witnessed Stormont’s collapse, threats to bring down the structures, and constant stalemates. The protagonists include …

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Failed candidates, don’t give up on your Assembly dream…

northern ireland, stormont, parliament

Selecting an Assembly candidate can be a fraught and tense business for many local associations but what does it feel like to be an unsuccessful contender? On Tuesday last I had the pleasure of putting my name forward to be the next Alliance Party candidate for the forthcoming Assembly elections. It turned out to be a hugely rewarding experience even though the result did not necessarily go my way. More generally, I believe that we should explore how unsuccessful candidates …

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Who Should Run Belfast?

Jim Allister, Simon Hamilton and I all attended the same school in Newtownards, but it’s Simon’s report on Belfast that really caught my eye this week. ‘Empowering Belfast’ is Belfast Chamber’s answer to dealing with the economic fallout from the pandemic and a sense that Belfast is falling behind similarly-sized cities. Behind the glossy cover and upbeat aspirations, there is an impression that the city may have been let down by successive Northern Irish Executives. Rather than focus on the …

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Confidence, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and the NI Protocol…

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has threatened to pull down Stormont and said the NI Protocol is undermining confidence in devolution, but how can we define this confidence? Confidence, in general, is a mysterious commodity. One minute we seem to have it in abundance and the next – just when we need it the most – seems to melt away like a Mr Whippy on a scorching hot day. If we want to increase our self-confidence we might want to obtain some …

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