An unprecedented 3 years in UK politics and where is the gravitas?

photo of black metal framed glass street post near gray concrete building during daytime

We tend to look at national government in the context of it’s usually 4 to 5 year terms of government between general elections. The first Blair administration,1997 to 2001, ushered in devolution, the minimum wage and repeal of Tory anti trade union laws. Our memory of later Blair administrations is tainted by war. John Major will be remembered for the National Lottery, though some credit him with starting NI devolution – by bringing in the SDLP under John Hume. Cameron …

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The Irish Constitution – referenda coming up…

There are a number of amendments to the written Constitution of Ireland currently being proposed, some of which will impact the North. This OP examines 4. It is possible that all 4 could be put to the electorate on a single ballot to take place within the lifetime of the current Dáil. Probably the keenest interest in the North would be on extending the franchise for election of the President of Ireland to the Irish diaspora. The current coalition seems …

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“Sinn Fein’s path to government in the South is fraught with difficulty”

There is a feeling of inevitability in social media, political commentary and even amongst many in the Dáil who fear losing their seats, that Sinn Fein will become the lead Party of Government in the next General Election in the Republic, which must be held on or before March 2025. The problem for Sinn Fein is the numbers. There are currently 160 Teachta Dála in the 33rd Dáil. The total number varies with each election as it’s range is set …

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Productivity in NI is 40% lower than the Republic

man holding smartphone looking at productivity wall decor

The Irish Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) was commissioned by the Shared Ireland Initiative in the Department of the Taoiseach, to report on relative productivity between the North and the South. Previous ESRI reports have looked at comparisons on health and education delivery and cross-border trade. Historically, most reports circulating in NI tend to compare NI with GB for obvious reasons and this report on productivity is thought to be the first to attempt an island-wide analysis. The results …

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Are we creeping towards a harder border?

The Nationality and Borders Act achieved Royal Assent in April 2022. A period of consultation is under way on the implications for immigration tribunals etc. The mainstream GB media focus has been on issues like detention in Rwanda whilst asylum applications are considered, but of interest here is the controversial requirement for non British and Irish citizens to need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) to enter Northern Ireland from the Republic. In this OP I explore why …

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Economic crisis – a tale of two Irelands?

closeup photo of two bubbles

Few will doubt we are entering a storm. Prof Nouriel Roubini of New York talks of interconnecting “megathreats” that may combine to make life difficult. From cold war to real war, debt and climate crisis – even a potential collapse of the eurozone fueled by Italian debt. He’s labeled Dr Doom by the Alt-right but he has a good track record at forecasting. My question is this. Will both jurisdictions on this island come through the crisis in the same …

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