Why A Single Unionist Party May Not Be A Panacea…

The Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2022 has fundamentally changed Northern Ireland politics: Sinn Fein has emerged as the largest party, allowing it the right to nominate a republican First Minister for the first time; the Alliance Party has more than doubled its representation in seats to become the third-largest party representing the Other bloc; the SDLP has lost a third of its seats, dropping to fifth place; and the Green Party lost its only two seats. As for unionism: the …

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In Response to Jamie Bryson: What a Union of People Means…

uk, united kingdom, 3d

I read Jamie Bryson’s article entitled: ‘The UUP’s Union of the People argument is loose ground upon which nothing permanent can be built’, published on Slugger O’Toole on 21 March 2022. Jamie and I hold different views on various political issues, though I cannot help but notice we do share some similarities, being that we are both unionists from Ards and North Down around the same age with probably a similar experience of growing up within our predominantly unionist borough. …

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Russian Invasion of Ukraine: International Relations Theory…

soldiers, war, gun

In trying to understand the grave, current political times the world finds itself in regards to the totally amoral Russian invasion of Ukraine, I often think back to what I had learnt in my International Relations classes as part of my Politics degree that I studied many years ago. One theory of international relations that I have always referred to for my understanding of global politics is the theory of realism. Put simply, realism assumes that states behave like humans …

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Loyalist Engagement Survey: What It Means for Unionism/Loyalism…

Let’s Talk Loyalism (LTL) recently published their survey examining a defined segment of loyalist opinion on the Northern Ireland Protocol, Policing and Politics. The full report, its methodology and its key findings can be found on its website. As the survey was only completed by 1,020 respondents, most of whom as LTL has acknowledged are “middle-aged, male and either from County Antrim, County Armagh or County Down,” it cannot be taken as a representative survey of loyalist opinion in its …

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Loyalism’s Response to the Northern Ireland Protocol…

We have seen media coverage of the banners, posters and murals being put up rejecting the Irish Sea Border, the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol and even in some cases withdrawing support from the Good Friday Agreement and calling for the collapse of Stormont. However, behind this disapproval and anger, we have not seen analysis of why specifically loyalists are rejecting the Northern Ireland Protocol; their understanding of recent political events relating to it and what they propose to …

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Final US Presidential Debate 2020: Trump v Biden…

The final presidential debate was a lot more moderate in tone and controlled than the previous one. Both candidates were mostly respectful towards each other and largely adhered to the debating rules. We actually got to hear them speaking without the other continually interrupting. However, will their views on the issues make any difference to voting intention at this late stage in the 2020 presidential election? Below, I have covered the issues discussed that would be of interest to an …

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Vice Presidential Debate 2020: Pence v Harris…

The Vice Presidential Debate 2020 was a welcome return to debating normality from the insults and shouting of the Presidential debate between Trump and Biden in the previous week. Both Mike Pence and Kamala Harris were respectful towards each other and kept the debate focused on policy, where many key differences between them were explored. I thought both candidates were actually better than their respective presidential running mates, making them worthy successors to Trump or Biden should either have to …

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US Presidential Debate 2020: Policy Differences…

If you watched the US Presidential Debate 2020 between Donald Trump and Joe Biden hoping for a detailed policy discussion, you would be very disappointed. The debate largely descended into trash-talking, insults and wild accusations. There was some policy discussion to be had, of which I have salvaged from an hour-and-a-half of headache-inducing yelling – and interestingly, the debate segment on climate change was probably the most productive and civil: Supreme Court Trump defended his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett …

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Speech Wars: Trump v Biden…

Both speeches of the two US presidential candidates at their respective party’s national convention accepting their party’s nomination are very different, only sharing a few similarities. Both Trump and Biden believe the upcoming US presidential election will be the most important of all – though don’t all candidates say that? They say this for different reasons, though: For Trump, “this election will decide if we save the American dream or whether we allow a socialist agenda to demolish our cherished …

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Loyalism: The Enduring Perception of Loss…

Background My university dissertation that I began researching and writing in Summer 2013 to eventually submit in Spring 2014 asked the question ‘Why do Northern Ireland loyalists feel they have lost out from the peace process and current political settlement?’ This was a question that I genuinely was curious about during the 2012-2013 flag protests resulting from the vote in December 2012 in Belfast City Council to reduce the number of days the union flag flew atop Belfast City Hall. …

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Our New Class System During The Coronavirus Pandemic…

The coronavirus pandemic has completely reordered the world as we know it. Simple, everyday things that we took for granted such as shopping or going to the gym or bars have either been taken or been severely restricted for the good of public health. In these restrictions that have become the new normal has emerged a new class system in all societies all over the world: Essential Workers and Shielders. A third group are those who fall somewhere in between. …

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