A:I know I should be sorry but the truth is I’m glad. B: Glad about what? A: Glad that no unionist leader has sent his/her congratulations to Mary Lou McDonald on having been made Sinn Féin president-elect. B: Why are you glad about such a negative thing? A: Because for one it’ll show how far unionist […]
Five thoughts about president-elect Mary Lou
I’ve met Mary Lou McDonald on a number of occasions. I’ve done an interview with her at least three times – most recently for my forthcoming book on Martin McGuinness – and at this point the Hello-Mary-Lou /Hey Jude exchange is getting threadbare. I still wouldn’t say I know her, but I can give you a few thoughts on qualities […]
John O’Dowd and Edwin Poots: a lesson in how to make nice?
So – was the civilized exchange on The View between John O’Dowd and Edwin Poots a harbinger of a wider warming of relations between Sinn Féin and the DUP? Before you get excited, maybe have a think back. Can you ever remember seeing John O’Dowd in a debate with unionists where he didn’t behave in […]
Sammy: it’s the way he tells ’em.
Sometimes things just slip out. You’re not concentrating – operating on a kind of autopilot – and next minute you’ve said something that, after reflection, you realize you shouldn’t have said, because it’s not appropriate or because it’s ill-thought-through or because it reveals a nasty side of you. It can happen to an of us. […]
Liberal unionism and the IRA
What would the academic world have done without the Troubles? I can think of a number of university profs (well, they weren’t profs when they started out but they soon became same when they got going on the Troubles) who made a comfortable, sometimes star-quality career out of the Troubles. Writing papers, organising Peace Studies departments, […]
Answering that kindly letter
Dear Arlene, Thank you for your letter of advice, which I received yesterday. It was a thought-provoking correspondence, and I’d like to address a number of the issues which you’ve been good enough to raise. Firstly, I’d prefer if you addressed me as ‘Michelle’ rather than “Blondie”. Michelle is the name I was given, so […]
A kindly letter from one party leader to another
Dear Blondie, (That greeting, by the way, is just a little joke. Actually, I’ve always thought that as a politician you’ve got lovely hair. And I mean that sincerely.) But to business. I thought I’d write to you personally and give you the benefit of my more mature experience of politics here and how you can perhaps […]
Five questions about the McElduff affair
Did Barry McElduff set out to mock the Kingsmills families? I have from the start been convinced that Barry McElduff didn’t intend to inflict hurt on the victims by his antics. That’s because I’ve known the man for some time now and I’ve never heard him say or in any way indicate prejudice or dislike of people, […]
Killarney: the Ice Maiden melts all hearts. Or maybe not.
“Little darling, its been a long cold lonely winter Little darling, it feels like yeas since it’s been here Here comes the sun, here comes the sun And I say it’s all right” That Beatles’s song seems to have been the theme for Arlene Foster’s visit to Killarney yesterday. In what was described as “a […]
Saturday pic of the week
Pic 1 is by Perkin Warbeck “St. Paul brought Christianity to Malta. The Devil, alas, is still in the detail. […]