NI Politics comes to England but is it a Trick or a Treat?

Introduction Growing up in Dublin, Halloween (Oíche Shamhna – the night before Samhain 1st Nov.) was a significant event, particularly for children. Dressing up in ghoulish costumes, making turnip lanterns, playing particular games, going around neighbour’s houses asking “help the Halloween party” was all part of the fun. Fireworks, in particular, “bangers” were set off…. Read more

Westminster: Most Similar Country Ireland? – A new EU Regional Productivity Analysis

Introduction An interesting paper “The big European sort? The diverging fortunes of Europe’s regions” has been published by the Centre for European Reform (CER). Such papers are of great interest at PP. The paper analyses regional productivity. As a single metric productivity is one of the best, but as Charles Adams says, in order to… Read more

The European Elections: the UK Electoral Map and Parties

Introduction Previous posts discussed the UK European election voting systems and the make up of the European Parliament. Here the UK situation is discussed, in terms of constituencies and parties. Parties that have been included have a likelihood (or a decent possibility) of gaining seats in the election. The Constituencies   Figure 1 from Democratic… Read more

Lessons from the Local Election results

English Results   The English election results were disastrous for the Tories, loosing 1,334 seats. Expectation management was that they may loose 1000 seats, which was considered the worse case scenario. UKIP also had a terrible night, loosing 145 seats. The main beneficiaries were the Lib Dems gaining 703 seats, the Greens 194 seats and… Read more

Three Reasons for Brexit?

I have heard only three arguments which carry some weight in going ahead with Brexit. All from private conversations but there are echoes elsewhere. The first was a senior criminal lawyer, who dealt in fraud cases such as motor accident claims. Deliberately causing crashes, by for example slamming on brakes without any notice, so that… Read more

Freedom of Movement – Cultural Attitudes and comparison with Ireland

Introduction UK politics has been for many years split on a Left/Right – Labour/Tory axis, but over Brexit this is breaking down. Prof. Richard Murphy gives a succinct definition that difference between Left and Right is how widely ‘us’ is defined. Left wing people cast the definition of ‘us’ very widely; ideally incorporating the whole… Read more

Scotland and Ireland the Road to Independence (part II)

Introduction As discussed in Part I, Scotland and Ireland are very similar countries with a largely shared people: the Scots. Ireland is now independent apart from the NE corner. Many in Scotland hope to follow Ireland’s example. Are there lessons that might be learned from Ireland? The countries have had contrasting fortunes over the past… Read more