Northern Ireland

Outsider status

Robert Philpot  |  15 April 2013

While hardly of the same historical significance, it was somehow appropriate that Margaret Thatcher’s death and Tony Blair’s first major intervention into British politics since leaving office both occurred in the same week. When asked about her most important legacy, the former prime minister is alleged to have responded: ‘New Labour’. The degree to which …

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Stormont, Northern Ireland

Happy birthday Bert Ward

Gary Kent  |  20 September 2012

Northern Ireland is one of the biggest achievements of the last Labour government and it is easy to forget how controversial it used to be and the hard work that enabled Labour to play a constructive role. Troops Out Now was always a minority pastime but the idea that the British could deliver reluctant Protestants …

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Lessons in building democracy

Peter Hain  |  27 April 2012

The 2012 Lord Merlyn-Rees Lecture Thursday, 26 April 2012 South Africa and Northern Ireland: Lessons in Building Democracy. University of Glamorgan. Today we take for granted Nelson Mandela’s ‘rainbow democracy’. Yet the defeat of apartheid was painful, bitter and long, until finally once evil oppressors settled into government with those they had imprisoned or tortured. …

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The budget that won’t go away

Kevin Peel  |  18 April 2012

Who won? Who would have thought one month on that we’d still be debating the budget? Yet Ed’s questions today focused on the tax cut for millionaires paid for by millions of pensioners and families up and down the country and the potentially massive hit that charities will face if the government goes ahead with …

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Consider Callaghan

Rob Newman  |  28 February 2012

Despite the fact that the 20th century was dominated by Conservative victories at the ballot box, there is an embarrassment of riches for those seeking to make the case for their choice for Labour’s greatest leader. Arguments for Attlee, Gaitskell and, of course, the electorally unmatched Blair, have already been made – and each is …

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Supporting the Basque peace process

George Howarth MP  |  21 November 2011

Last Sunday’s elections ran to form with the return to power of the People’s Party ushering in a new prime minister, Mariano Rajoy. Just as the momentous events of the European financial crisis have helped the PP back to power, so there were seismic events of an entirely different kind that contributed to the PP’s …

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A time of challenge and opportunity

Jim Murphy MP  |  7 November 2011

Speech to Labour North-West conference, 5 November 2011 We meet at a time of challenge and opportunity for the Labour party, and at a time of anxiety and frustration for the country. We are still bruised by our defeat, but more importantly the public are hurting as a consequence of our election loss. Today I …

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Ireland’s Labour president

Gary Kent  |  1 November 2011

The Irish presidency began in 1938 and became a comfortable sinecure for party warhorses who were kicked upstairs until the spectacular success of the outsider Mary Robinson in 1990. She was catapulted into the largely ceremonial position by the Irish left – the Labour party and the then Workers’ party. Here’s to Mrs Robinson, who …

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Out of mind?

Gary Kent  |  26 October 2011

Northern Ireland once more seems to be out of sight and out of mind. Many feel that the Troubles are over and it can just get on with things without the daily, detailed and deep attention of premiers and presidents. This will please those for whom Northern and Ireland are the two most boring words …

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Boring up North

Paul Hagan  |  24 May 2011

The Northern Ireland assembly election may have been 'boring' - a relief in some ways - with the smaller centrist parties still struggling to find their voice and Peter Robinson back reigning supreme.

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