February 8, 2011 • 11:18 am
I’ve nearly finished the new blog site (more explanation here too). This wasn’t a ‘plug in and play’ type of theme by any means so it’s taken me a while longer than I thought it would. Admittedly there are still a few odds and ends to get right but I think we’re nearly there.
I’m going to map the domains together so anyone typing in this wordpress.com address should get sent the new site. However, my main concern is that the RSS feeds won’t transfer so I’ve registered the new blog on feedburner. Paste this url into your reader http://feeds.feedburner.com/OpenUnionism to get all the new updates.
I’ll aim to make the switch on Wednesday afternoon. And as before, please do let me know if any feedback on the new site. All comments welcomed…
Filed under: Uncategorized, admin, new blog site
February 6, 2011 • 10:47 am
The Daily Telegraph has been running the next chapter of WikiLeaks, this one detailing a cable from the US Embassy in London to Washington deals with the NIO’s analysis of Ian Paisley’s resignation in 2008.
It doesn’t supply us with that much we didn’t know before. The NIO reckoned Paisley’s departure wouldn’t “destabilize Northern Ireland” and that his “final, grand gesture”, his attendance at the Investment Conference, would probably stimulate interest in the event as invitees would be curious to see the old boy deliver his swansong.
This section did read a bit strange though:
It would be up to the DUP to pick its new leader, said Todd (John Todd, Political Advisor in the Northern Ireland Office). Both Peter Robinson and Nigel Dodds were names being considered for the leadership, according to Todd, with many suggesting Robinson may become the successor in a “Blair to Brown-type” deal. Todd said the choice was up to the DUP; the NIO was uninvolved and agnostic as to who should lead the party.
So, the NIO would play no part in choosing the leader, they were leaving it entirely up to the DUP.
Why was it felt necessary to point that (what I would have thought) rather obvious fact out twice?
Were the Americans under the impression that HMG was running the DUP?
Filed under: Uncategorized
February 5, 2011 • 1:21 am
Nigel Dodds has produced a speech of real substance in relation to Israel.
The speech was made recently at the House of Commons to members of the Zionist Federation and the Christian Friends of Israel (amongst others). It has been reproduced in The Jerusalem Post.
The speech is direct, succinct and powerfully argued. I wrote a column in the News Letter today where I reflected the low esteem in which many politicians are held by bloggers and media. In my view, this is a speech that counters this view.
The intro and contextualising is very sharp – the link is worth reading in full. But on the substance, Dodds draws upon Northern Ireland’s peace agreement and warns against ‘constructive ambiguities’.
His conclusion – and words of advice to Israel – is that a deal which lionises individuals ahead of the best interests of the people of that country is a failed product. Strength in the face of external pressure lies at the core of Dodds’ message.
Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: DUP, Israel, Nigel Dodds
February 3, 2011 • 9:13 pm
On Hearts & Minds this evening, Noel Thompson asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland:
“The election of Martin McGuinness as First Minister should mean no difference [to unionists] and is in no way a setback?”
The Secretary of State’s response:
“I think the election of Martin McGuinness would be an extraordinary endorsement of the progress that has been made here.”
This concludes the relationship between the Tories and the Ulster Unionist Party.
The hesitation he showed during the answer makes me feel that he immediately regretted his choice of words. This will no doubt damage his relationship with unionist politicians.
*UPDATE: Here’s the H&M programme from last night at the point from which I’ve quoted.
One UUP response is a demand for the SoS to step down. Here’s a BBC report which includes the TUV position.
Here’s O’Neill’s take on things, and here’s a local Tory response to the interview.
Filed under: Conservatives, UUP, Hearts and Mind, Secretary of State