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Everything posted by BrendanT1993

  1. Martin McGuinness - a personal memory Recalling this morning a meeting in his office at Stormont Castle in the summer of 2009. I can only speak personally about that, and not about his past in the IRA. At the time a number of us in the LGBT Sector requested a meeting with the then Joint Ministers. It was Martin McGuinness who readily agreed to meet us. It was a good meeting with a special advisor from the First Minister, then Peter Robinson, attending to take notes. I was struck by Martin's personal warmth and also his quick grasp of facts, information and opinions. As the subject matter was somewhat sensitive involving homophobic remarks made by the First Minister's wife, I was struck by his careful and respectful engagement with us that day. As we were leaving, he shook hands with each of us and when my turn came, he said, "Brendan, it was good meeting you" accompanied by a scratch to the head and a chuckle as he recalled my real name. Incidently, I had my first encounter with that special advisor who then went on to become an MLA, and because of a conversation on the stairs of Stormont Castle, we have been friends ever since. I'm sad this morning at his passing. I know and do appreciate the feelings of those affected by his earlier years, but I must recall how I found him, and that was as a warm and charismatic politician whose leadership in these peaceful times will have left a strong and lasting impression.
  2. Alliance Leader Naomi Long has described as "surreal" the Prime Minister's plans to visit Northern Ireland but not get involved in ongoing talks designed to restore powersharing. Theresa May will visit Northern Ireland ahead of the triggering of Article 50, which will start the formal process of removing the UK from the EU. However, Mrs Long said it is almost unbelievable she would do so during the current devolution crisis and seek to remain outside of the ongoing talks. "Brexit is without doubt the biggest political, economic and social challenge to face Europe and the UK in a generation. It has also divided the UK deeply in terms not only of support for Brexit, but also the challenges it presents in each region. "The Prime Minister ought therefore to seek to discuss the matter with the devolved regions and be sensitive in seeking to represent their concerns, however, this whistle stop tour, far from demonstrating a willingness to engage and listen, seems to typify the lack of sensitivity to the particular challenges facing Northern Ireland, not least by the collapse of devolution. "It is quite surreal to think Theresa May would visit Northern Ireland at a time when the very future of powersharing hangs in the balance, yet not feel compelled to actively participate in the current talks process. It suggests a Prime Minister who is either oblivious to the perilous state of devolution or simply doesn't care. "At what is a critical time in the negotiations and in the Brexit process, I think it is important the Prime Minister considers carefully the message such non-engagement will send to the people of Northern Ireland regarding the importance of devolution and Northern Ireland's interests to her Government. Otherwise, what is intended to reassure people of her interest could spectacularly backfire."
  3. Love her!!!!! I might well understand how she feels about Theresa May's hard Brexit. After all it looks as if it will have profound negative repercussions on both sides of a border the significance of which has diminished over the years. But the conversations, need to be calmer and less aggressive, on all sides. Neither side has the monopoly on the use of language which alienates those with a different vision. Talk of "holding your nose" and "crocodiles" do the opposite of providing conditions whereby each can sit around a table and work towards getting this place functioning. "This place", now means all parts of this island, though immediate attention should be focused on avoiding Direct Rule. I do anticipate that as a result of the Assembly election, the case is now stronger for a border poll. However, the EU Referendum should teach us to prepare the electorate better by providing them with verifiable economic information and visions as what a united Ireland would look like, from both Republican and Loyalist perspectives.
  4. N.Ireland - between a rock and a hard place? Peter Hain, the last Secretary of State under Direct Rule said again last night very firmly and clearly that we need to avoid Direct Rule, and yet Arlene Foster's body language and poor eye contact showing lack of confidence as contrasted by Michelle O'Neill's confidence in asking for a border poll as if that was a priority, demonstrates how far apart these two major parties really are. Then, the unwanted complications caused by Nichola Sturgeon asking for a fresh border poll in Scotland has further added confusion to our future in the UK. Tricky, would you say? There's a lot riding on Arlene's leadership to get the Assembly and government up and running. She'd need to soften a lot, but can she keep her party together? One thing you can be sure of is that Sinn Fein will be strategising, and taking advantage of the DUP's weaknesses and divisions. That's not a criticism of Sinn Fein: after all, what party doesn't seek to gain advantage?
  5. Theresa May will literally tear the kitchen sink out when it comes to pissing off Scotland over the next year or two, then if they vote for independence, she won't understand why.
  6. An excellent article. There is another element in the complex and diverse loyalties and aspirations of people in the North, and it is the danger posed by the half hearted and poorly informed attitude of the Westminster government. The Secretary of State, James Brokenshire has shown a lack of courage in asserting the importance of the Union. Weakness in maintaining the Union with Northern Ireland as a constituent part could confirm to the Scots that Westminster too has little interest also in their future. Theresa May should not be surprised if her lack of will to cogently argue for the maintainance of the Union ends with the Scots leaving and many more in Northern Ireland questioning whether their future might not be better served in a newly united Ireland. Ironically for the DUP, arguing for Brexit, even notwithstanding its particular challenges here, is likely to demonstrate how isolationist and utterly devoid of vision they are. Brexit for us on this island is potentially the most important challenge of the next 20 years. While the article talks about the new identity of Northern Irish, which sounds like some disengagement from the Union, it is a transitory 'status'. Personally, due to family North and South, and my lack of identity as Unionist, Republican or Northern Irish, I'm very content to be Irish/European.
  7. Gerry Adams and a United Ireland. Unhelpful as usual. Of course he would say that. I don't share his optimism that 'a united Ireland is achievable', no matter what my personal aspirations might be. This election result demonstrated (rightly) a protest vote against DUP aggressive language during the past 2 months. But it's playing into the hands of a paranoid DUP and a besieged Arlene Foster. Statements like this, at this time and in this place are premature, unhelpful and likely to impede discourse at various levels on resolution of this unresolved place, but particularly during sensitive and challenging discussions at Stormont.
  8. The Lords on BBC2 Am enjoying this , one is always curious to learn how the laws of the UK have come into being. Also really interested in Lord Dubs amendment to allow unaccompanied refugee children into the UK. Great to see Lord Trimble several times during the programme. He was instrumental in bring peace to Northern Ireland in the 1990's
  9. Ah Madonna fans. First complaining "we don't have news about the DVD! Will it ever be released? :'( ". Madonna: "Good news! It's coming in August!" Fans: "oh no, not August, I can't wait anymore! :'( " Talk about never satisfied ;)
  10. maybe there is a "larger project" behind this.
  11. maybe they decieded to spend more time making sure it's perfect after the MDNA World Tour fiasco
  12. Arlene and the DUP. She has proved herself to be a poor strategist. Undoubtedly she will go, perhaps not immediately, but go she will. Looking back, at a political inquest if you wish, it might just dawn on the party that it was her inappropriate language, objuracy over standing aside, blaming the media for unbalanced reporting in the face of her own lack of balance, and her cold public persona, which effectively lost her party this election. I will always feel some empathy, even pity for someone who finds themselves in situations such as this. There are these deeply humbling moments, which if handled properly can actually make us much more empathetic, ready to admit that others might just do a better job. Mike Nesbitt did it and did it well. I've always liked Mike, and his reputation for generosity, fairness, honesty and, above all, humility. How the DUP proceed now is anyone's guess. Can I suggest a huge serving of humility, learning the language of respect, learning and living the ethos within the Belfast Agreement, and, practicing the art of negotiation face to face with Republicans as equals, and not as government partners 'on sufferance' or as less than Equal? This is a seismic shift; are we even post Belfast Agreement? I would say for the time being let's make the Agreement work. Brexit will be the biggest challenge of the next few years, especially here. Arlene's answer was "Martin and I wrote to Theresa May, and got a reply". Sorry, but not sorry, this was a rubbish answer. Don't get me started on this, money emerging from the shadows and some of it being pocketed by the party, presumably as unrestricted funds. The next few weeks are time for reflection, open conversation, not just up the Hill but down it too, and for lots of swallowing of pride and feeling of superiority. Only then can we get on with workable political solutions for all our futures. I am surprised at the result. Years ago I would've been shocked and appalled by the thought of a Sinn Fein majority in the assembly. But not anymore. These days it is the DUP that appals me. They are arrogant, pious, disrespectful and dismissive of others, corrupt and plain anti-women, anti-LGBT, anti-anything they perceive as 'different'. Plus the new leader of Sinn Fein is impressive and seems to be motivated by positive emotions and values.
  13. When the story of this election is told, and I'm sure there's more time to run before we're ready to write it, it'll be shown what a poor strategist Arlene has been compared with Former First Minister Peter Robinson. In fact, was there any strategy except procrastination over announcing an Inquiry and when finally it was, it was by a Sinn Fein minister, and then claiming that she wanted one all the time. Then there's the failure to give roles in the election to her more liberal colleagues. And then name calling and renaming her partners in government as Gerry Adams/Sinn Fein over and over again despite ridicule. I'm really intrigued by Peter feeling he should write at this time. Like a lot of people, I'd quite forgotten about him. Now the article has raised the comparison in a number of our minds. This breakdown and snap election would never have happened under his watch.
  14. Things aren't good here, tomorrow I have to go to the polls after college to vote for one of the five main parties, Alliance Sinn Féin SDLP Ulster Unionist DUP There was a debate on tv last night and while some good points were made, there was no killer blow struck by anyone and they all reverted back to cheap political point scoring, Also one DUP MLA in seeking re-election posted an Facebook that the the party opposite, Sinn Fein were only in government with them "on sufferance", and because of their previous links to the IRA, could never be seen as equals to the DUP. This was a big mistake, and realising that he'd been rumbled, he took the post down and unfriended me as I had challenged him. There is too much bitterness in the older generation here and as a young person I want to see change and moving away from the orange and green politics that have formed our "governement" over the past 10 years Please watch this video and tell me who you would vote for,
  15. The House of Lords proves its worth as a revising chamber and also as a place to challenge decisions made by the Commons which can have a deleterious impact on those people who have settled here with the expectation of making the UK their home. A strong majority.
  16. if you want to correct them please i'm all ears
  17. I watched this at the time, and frankly was horrified! At the height of the flegs protests in 2012, we had various assorted public representatives uttering the mantra, "This we will maintain!" - a reference to Unionist ascendency. Sorry, we've moved away from this notion of ascendency. But some haven't and it's that culture of trying to maintain the historical culture of feeling superior which has damaged our democracy here. That is why I plead To my fellow friends for the forthcoming Northern Ireland Assembly Election on Thursday, 2 March 2017: Use your vote to choose those parties which support human rights and equality as result of Brexit. Your voting is very crucial this time as we choose 90 MLAs instead of previously 108. You should maximize your vote by using all 5 preference vote from the first to the fifth preference in order to facilitate transfer vote to those parties that support human rights and equality after Brexit. Some of the seat might count to the last preference vote. Your vote will make a big differences this time as each preference vote will count in the elimination transfer processes. Come out and vote on this Thursday! Spread this post to your family, friends and working colleagues and anyone else from here!
  18. Nice analysisFull Article @'When do we get the tour DVD?'Source: Mad-Eyes - 26 Feb. 2017 Everything you need to know about the recordings for Rebel Heart Tour, Re-Invention Tour and Blond AmbitionIt's the number 1 question on many Madonna fans' minds, especially now that we have no other Madonna projects going on. When will we finally get the DVD for the Rebel Heart Tour? And while we're on the subject, how about the DVD's of Re-Invention and Blond Ambition?While we wait for official news, we wish to clarify a few things about these DVD's. Many fans think it's enough to say they want it and don't understand the technical or business reasons that are sometimes behind the decision of such a release. So let's take a look at why we have DVD releases for 'only' six of her tours so far.Rebel Heart TourLet's start with the most recent one. The Rebel Heart Tour wrapped up in March 2016, but almost a year later we still don't have a DVD. The good news is: we know there IS a recording. Danny B. Tull and Nathan Rissman recorded the shows in Sydney, as well as several other tour stops. The result has been broadcast on American cable channel Showtime on December 9, 2016. Since then, we've had no more news. At the time of the broadcast, we received the news that the broadcast would be shorter than the DVD version, because Showtime only allowed a broadcast of maximum 2 hours. The actual recording is about 2h15 long, so it also includes the request songs and the Love Don't Live Here Anymore performance. The Tears of a Clown performance in Melbourne is said to be part of the DVD extra's.So why don't we have the DVD yet? Some fans fear it's cancelled because it's been taking to long. That seems very unlikely, because the costs of the recording surely were not made only for the broadcast. Most likely Showtime required the release to be at least a few months after the broadcast. The Sticky & Sweet Tour was broadcast on EPIX in October 2009 and the DVD release followed only on March 30, 2010. So that was almost 6 months after the broadcast. If Showtime also demanded a 6 month buffer, the DVD would follow in May or June of 2017, but that's just speculation at this point.Other possible reasons might be that Madonna wants something changed, although that seems unlikely so many months later. Possibly she wants to tie the release to another project, or maybe she's just too busy with the adoption of the twins to spend time on the release.Verdict: this DVD is most likely to see the light of day. A recording was made specifically for this release and there's no reason why this release wouldn't happen. So it's rather a question of WHEN, not IF. Stay tuned!
  19. Jazzy, I'm interested in a united Ireland, it's the only way I can see Northern Ireland surviving brexit, but the mechanics of achieving it trouble me, not least the deeply held and divided loyalities of many in the North/Northern Ireland. plus there would probably be a hard border and that frightens me, donald trumps mentality of keeping people out has been here ever since the brexit vote it seems
  20. Just thought I would update everyone on the goings on in Northern Ireland, if anyone even cares apart from me We're heading for an election. yaaaaay for being canvassed by politicians i despise No matter what result occurs from the forthcoming election, without extensive structural reform we will be back again with the same mess, but next time, it will be harder to build any trust not only between members, but between Ministers and all working within the machinery of government. Have also just been listening to Edwin Poots denying that his party signed up at St Andrews Agreement to the provision of an Irish Language Act. He Failed repeatedly to answer the question. Stephen Nolan, a broadcaster and journalist gave up in the end as he couldn't get a straight answer! Poots said that Gerry Adams and Tony Blair did a side deal on the Language Act. It's in the fucking Agreement and Edwin's party signed up to it at the time. Can or does anyone know about the the Renewable Heating Initiative (RHI) Scheme in England and if it is so flawed like here? Northern Ireland has officially gone to the dogs but the blame also lies with the British and Irish governments for investing in the Northern Ireland peace process yet over the past few years they haven't offered any support. It appears Mummy and Daddy took the stabilizers off the bike before checking if we could ride the bike solo, we're now heading for the ditch
  21. we have the same problem in Northern Ireland, hospital waiting times are 12 hours+ what a horrible time we live in
  22. so this is my first topic here and as someone from Northern Ireland am curious to see what everyone in England thinks about this and the RHI scandal in general, do you guys know about it. Is it being reported in the papers there? Letter Part 1 Letter Part 2 I don't blame Martin for resigning. Whatever his past, he has served well, with dignity, charm, attentiveness and great patience. I suspect that he has regarded this present phase of his life with some pride, but his past with some regret. We are all entitled to grow, to have pasts, presents and futures accordingly to what moves us, what experiences we encounter and what hopes we have for a better time and place. He has been treated shabbily by the First Minister. The big problem has been with the DUP failing to buy into the ethos behind the Belfast Agreement/Good Friday Agreement. They have always seen this place as theirs to the exclusion of others. They might deny that, but this episode is illustrative of that fact. I've been posting about the dated notions they have about Ascendancy, and failing to recognise that Ascendancy is over, done, dead! In this instance, it was led to them wanting everything their own way, failing to share vital information with their Executive colleagues, and failing to admit to mistakes they have made and compounded. I don't know why anyone would vote for them, but people do. I've good friends within that party who would like to see it change, but at this time, I believe they are losing the battle. My sympathies lie with them. They feel they have to support Arlene, but fail to recognise that she has become a liability to the future of her party, and possibly to the stability of this unresolved place. I despair.
  23. because i don't know which thread to follow, merge both of them
  25. I wonder if she's putting together something to go with the RH DVD