Backstops and Broomsticks

Introduction Coming up to the Halloween deadline has Boris Johnson (BJ) managed to sweep all before him, pull a fast one on the EU and pull a unicorn out of a pumpkin? Has he finally understood that the Irish border was the wicked problem in the Withdrawal Agreement? The one that couldn’t be finessed or… Read more

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

Are there are more Cultural Catholics or Protestants in Northern Ireland?

Introduction On my recent blog on the Lord Ashcroft poll I made a statement that there were now almost certainly more Cultural Catholics than Protestants in Northern Ireland. There have been a number of queries, on Twitter, questioning whether this is true. This blog is not a proper statistical study,  a full analysis would use… Read more

Will Virtual Liffey Gunboats Work?

A Historical Prequel A major tipping point in the Turmoil of 1914-1922 as discussed in my recent blog, was the 1916 Easter Rising centred in Dublin. At the time there was a heart and soul struggle between constitutional Nationalists led by John Redmond of the Irish Parliamentary Party, who were still hoping for Home Rule… Read more

Is No Deal is vastly Under Priced and will the Johnson Government Ditch the Backstop?

Introduction The Johnson premiership has begun. The tortuously negotiated Withdrawal Agreement (WA) is hated by the new government. There are contradictory signals, and it is unsure what changes could be made to make the WA acceptable to HMG. We seem to have moved from a time limit on the Backstop to no Backstop. Even if… Read more