It ain’t me, babe.

Apparently there is a new unionist group which calls itself 'These Islands'. Imitation is, of course, the sincerest form of flattery, but this new group has no connection with this website. If their intention is to explore potential new constitutional relationships between the nations of these islands, we wish them well. The difference between us … Continue reading It ain’t me, babe.

Sinn Fein and the prospect of a hard Brexit: time to drop Abstentionism

The achievement of peace in Northern Ireland cannot be understood simply in terms of the signing of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. Peace was not an event: it was a process. That process was long and complex, but certain events were central to it. One such event was a speech given in November 1990 by … Continue reading Sinn Fein and the prospect of a hard Brexit: time to drop Abstentionism

Sinn Fein won’t drop its abstentionist policy over Brexit – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Polly Toynbee recently urged Sinn Fein to drop its abstentionist policy and attend Westminster in order to help defeat Brexit. She wrote of how ‘all red lines may be up for reconsideration – even one fixed since 1917, the question of Sinn Féin’s seats in parliament.’ Her reference was to Sinn Fein adopting a republican … Continue reading Sinn Fein won’t drop its abstentionist policy over Brexit – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Northern Ireland for English Cabinet Ministers and other beginners

Given the importance of the Irish border in the Brexit negotiations, the lack of knowledge about Northern Ireland displayed by senior English politicians is depressing. Perhaps the ultimate example of this was when Northern Ireland secretary, Karen Bradley, admitted that she: didn’t understand things like when elections are fought, for example, in Northern Ireland – … Continue reading Northern Ireland for English Cabinet Ministers and other beginners

Civil Rights: A Retrospective!

(The Irish Political Review is published by 'Athol Books', which is a survival of the B&ICO. The driving intellectual force behind both was/is Brendan Clifford) From: Irish Political Review: Editorials Date: November, 2018 By: Editorial Civil Rights: A Retrospective! The 50th anniversary of the start of the Northern 'Troubles' is upon us. Radio Ulster celebrated … Continue reading Civil Rights: A Retrospective!

Scotland and the Myth of the ‘Corbyn Bounce’

What explains the SNP’s performance in the 2017 general election? Although recent focus has been on the ‘Corbyn factor’ theory, Sean Swan writes that many factors were at play. Too much focus on Corbyn is not going to be productive for the SNP. The SNP, or at least sections of it, have been dissecting the … Continue reading Scotland and the Myth of the ‘Corbyn Bounce’

The Real SNP ‘Peak’ is yet to come – if…

The cleavages created by Labour’s 2017 electoral performance and by Brexit have made the political landscape more challenging for the SNP. But if the party are able to tack successfully into the new political winds, these challenges can be met, writes Sean Swan, making the forthcoming conference decisive for the party’s future. The SNP annual … Continue reading The Real SNP ‘Peak’ is yet to come – if…

After the Judgement, Whither Scotland?

The Supreme Court ruling in relation to Brexit was a thing of paradox. Many people who might normally be assumed to favour popular sovereignty went into ecstasy over a ruling which was a Diceyan reassertion of the sovereignty of Parliament as the guiding principle of the British constitution. It was a stark demonstration of the … Continue reading After the Judgement, Whither Scotland?

Brexit, Scotland, and the Dog that didn’t Bark.

During the Brexit referendum campaign, David Cameron argued that a ‘Leave’ vote would result in Scotland leaving the UK. Voting ‘Remain’ was, he claimed, the ‘patriotic’ thing to do. Following the referendum, in which England voted Leave but Scotland voted Remain by almost two to one, Nicola Sturgeon, who no doubt hoped that Cameron’s warning … Continue reading Brexit, Scotland, and the Dog that didn’t Bark.

After the Judgement, Whither Scotland?

After the Judgement, Whither Scotland? The Supreme Court ruling in relation to Brexit has brought a certain grim constitutional clarity. It was a reassertion of one of the guiding principles of the British constitution: the sovereignty of Parliament. Even Dicey got a mention in its support (para 43). And let there be no doubt in … Continue reading After the Judgement, Whither Scotland?