Ireland’s abortion referendum – What a great result

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-44265492

The BBC has the detail on its web site – see link above

This leaves just Northern Ireland living in the dark ages as the DUP partners of our present Tory Government seek to keep the Province in those dark ages.

This is of course another step, if a small one, towards a united Ireland if the younger generations can move forward and break free from the shackles of religious and inter-community hatred of their past.

Who would have thought that the deeply Catholic Irish Republic of not so many years ago could change so progressively and so quickly. A great result indeed.

NHS v DUP – it’s a no brainer to anyone outside Teresa May’s circle

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/sarah-wollaston-democratic-unionist-party-dup-tories-deal-prime-minister-austerity-a7842476.html

The Independent has the story on its web site – see link above

It seems there is a wing of the Tory Party, if only a small one, that still has some grip on reality. Makes you wonder though how MP’s like Sarah Woolaston can remain within a party that seems to lurch further towards fascism each day.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

May’s creationist, climate change denying, anti-abortion wing!

Well who would have thought it, the Conservatives being kept in office by a political party who seem to have some significant sectarian issues together with other human rights prejudices that are a real worry.

Firstly, I was somewhat amused by this Northern Ireland Poster, which may well come back to haunt the DUP. Yes it’s from a previous election but you get my drift:-

But of course the DUP are allegedly the reason why the NI Assembly fell apart and is still dysfunctional. The issue? Bizarrely it was not not a sectarian or human rights issue, as you might expect, but a green energy one.

This short perspective on the DUP by New Scientist is an eye opener:-

www.newscientist.com/article/2134162-five-things-you-need-to-know-about-dup-politicians-and-science/

Looks like the DUP are about as far away from progressive politicians as you can find, indeed some of their views will be an embarrassment to even the Tories as they come more and more under the spotlight.

Unionists are doing Ulster no favours

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-21200389

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-34206728

The BBC has the story – see link above

No good will come from the unionist parties in Northern Ireland playing this dangerous brinkmanship game.

Let’s be honest there must still be folks on both sides of this great religious and nationalist divide who have sadly not renounced violence to achieve/defend their aims. The politicians in Stormont have to rise above such challenges in their communities otherwise they will sow the seeds for the troubles to restart and that is in no ones interest. But is there another reason for this latest leadership crisis?

Here is a recent statement made by Lord Alderdice (the former Leader of Northern Ireland’s non-sectarian Alliance Party and now a Lib Dem member of the House of Lords) in the Lords.

Lord Alderdice (LD):

My Lords, for a number of years when I was on the IMC I focused a great deal on the monitoring of paramilitary organisations. Is the Minister aware that the balance and order of things in this Statement could potentially be misleading? It focuses heavily on the question of whether there has been IRA activity, as though that was the real primary cause of the current crisis, when in truth this crisis has been developing for months and months over the failure of the political parties—particularly the two leading political parties—to work together in a proper governmental way. This recent event is important, but it should not be allowed to distract us from the fact that if it were magicked away tomorrow morning, the problems would remain.

Secondly, is the Minister aware that even if welfare reform were taken back to Westminster—and if it has to be so, I certainly would not oppose it—that would still leave a complete breakdown in the relationship between the Democratic Unionist Party leadership and the Sinn Fein leadership? Without a working relationship together, the devolved structures will not be able to continue, whether or not they have a problem of welfare and whether or not there is any indication of IRA activity. One must say that Sinn Fein has said the kind of things that many people wanted it to say for years on the IRA: that this was criminal activity; that people should go to the police with information; and that there was absolutely no justification. The Statement refers to “politically motivated violence”, but I have the sense that everything we know about this incident means that it was personally motivated violence rather than for the purpose of destabilising Northern Ireland.

Therefore, will the Minister take back to his colleagues who are engaged in this process that we do not need another monitoring commission or another short-term political fix but a change in the kind of relationships there are between the senior leaderships of the DUP and Sinn Fein? If not, we will be faced, as the noble Lord, Lord McAvoy, has suggested, with legislation in this place to take back powers, which would be a disaster