Smaller parties Are In Government not Opposition

In January there was a huge push for the parties to form a local government in the wake of pressure from health workers. It seemed that the issues keeping the parties apart were reduced as pressures to have a locally accountable health minister became urgent. In rode then Secretary of State Julien Smith and the…

An Appalling Constitutional Vista

The statement by British Secretary of State Brandon Lewis that the British government’s intentions are to break international law as part of their reneging on the EU Withdrawal Agreement is a Rubicon crossed. A Rubicon that divides Britain from a place of law, scrutiny and accountability to Pariah state. A state where no rules any…

Reimagine Belfast – Urgently

Office workers are being told to go back to offices, irrespective of workers’ or organisational remote working efficiency or productivity. All in order to keep the city centre alive. It’s like dismissing the diesel train because steam trains need men to shovel coal. This long out of date thinking ignores a modern population’s realities and…

Where have the Peacemakers Gone

The 20th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement seems a long time ago now. While it was a jovial affair there was also concern regarding institutions which been down a year and there was advice from the older men of local politics to the younger women of local politics to get Stormont…

Victims Payment Scheme Issues Not Resolved

The letter of Westminster Law has meant that Michelle O’Neill must accede to designating a Stormont department to administrate the injured victims’ payment scheme. She had delayed doing this due to issues of eligibility to and financing of the scheme, issues which remain unresolved. Any nuance or argument were for the most part lost in…

Police Ombudsman Needs Powers of Compellability

The new Police Ombudsman is a woman of substance. In her former role as the Public Services Ombudsman she was renowned as a tough cookie, being fastidious about due process. She also held the statutory offices of Local Government Commissioner for Standards and Judicial Appointments Ombudsman. She knows about processes of accountability, and she knows…

Staycation – horrible term for great memory making

The Covid culture has brought words into our vocabularies that this time last year we could never have imagined we would use so frequently, or easily. Some terms have grated me inside out. “New Normal” bugs the little patience a 49-year-old mother five might have clean out of me and tramples on it. Lads there…

Decommission the Victims Commission

The news that Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson will not have her contract extended caused a mild flurry of media attention when announced last week. Of course, even a cursory look at the teacup’s storm would have recognised that Ms Thompson had already had her four-year term extended and another extension was unlikely. But what’s the…