In an article on 13th September Liam Clarke has set forward his ideas of the ways forward for NI in 10 points. These are on the news section here. The article is worth downloading here as it will reveal not only several ideas on ways forward but also by default it will show the current perceived weaknesses in NI Government
So can Nick Clegg manage to reignite the passion in a disillusioned and battered Liberal Democrat party. It has been an annus horribillus to borrow the phrase. The LD's have been in coalition with the true Blue Tories. They have had to concede drastic public service cuts which desperately hurt their main traditional supporters and they have also deeply offended young voters by the agreement to increase student fees. It is not a good week to be Nick Clegg!
In another surprise move Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has thrown his hat into the Irish Presidential race. This means a couple of things:
1) He may have to temporarily step down as Deputy First Minister. (while any campaigning goes on)
2) If he wins he will have to step down and be replaced - who will replace him?
3) If he wins he will also have to meet other heads of state - including Queen Elizabeth II. Remember Sinn Fein refused to meet the Queen when she visited Ireland (apart from one SF member in Cashel)
4) It would also mark a huge move forward for the party. Remember it took them a few years to gain a mark of 'legitimacy' in Northern Ireland amongst Unionists and Nationalists. In the Republic Sinn Fein are still a small party. Voters in the Republic still view them as a 'Northern and tainted party' out of touch with mainstream Irish politics. They have a small and devoted working class and border vote. This may be changed fundamentally if Martin McGuinness gets elected.
5) This will also enhance SFs claim to be an all Ireland Republican party - battling to win a united Ireland by peaceful democratic means.
Watch this space!!!
Sinn Fein has had a ground breaking Ard Fheis (party conference) this weekend. Not only was a Royal Charity - the Princes Trust - on display but a Protestant clergyman addressed the gathering even going so far as to call Martin McGuinness ' a Great Leader'
This was one of the first times the Ard Fheis has met outside Dublin and the event attracted some media interest. Sinn Fein have also announced their intention to perhaps field a candidate for the upcoming Irish Presidency.
Keep your eyes on this one!!! A party in retreat and in need of rejuvenation is once again seeking a new leader after Margaret Ritchie has agreed to step down. This has thrown the contest wide open with candidates including Patsy McClone and possibly Connall McDevitt, Alex Atwood and
Mr John Wishart -