Blogs: Call for new Northern Ireland flag flies in the face of reason
What is there in common between the Ulster flag, the RUC badge and the Irish Tricolour?
What is there in common between the Ulster flag, the RUC badge and the Irish Tricolour?
DebateNI is that most valuable of things – a home to the ideas and the critiques, the disagreements and the brain-storming that is the foundation stone of any democracy.
Sinn Féin's questionable treatment of victims and their attitude towards the search for the truth has been starkly highlighted in their reaction to the Smithwick Tribunal report.
With publication of the White Paper 'Scotland's Future', new momentum was injected into the discussion on Scottish independence last week. It sets out a comprehensive blueprint for independence and addresses, in detail, fiscal governance and the economy, as well as all relevant policy areas.
The transformation of 'peace' walls and the regeneration of interface areas is complex.
Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights states that "everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion" and goes on to say that this includes the right to "manifest one's religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance”.
Most of us aspire to be fabulously wealthy, like Strabane's £27m EuroMillions jackpot winner Margaret Loughrey. But many rags-to-riches stories end up in misery or even tragedy, writes Michael Wolsey...
What we watched on Saturday was not a 'stand on' but 'stand back' policing operation.
Recently the chairman of the Conservative Party, Grant Shapps, came to Bangor to launch the NI Conservatives’ European election campaign. Our candidate for the poll, which takes place next May, will be Mark Brotherston, a commissioned Major in the army, who teaches engineering at Belfast Metropolitan College and specialises in European Project Management.
Is it time to say goodbye to Gerry Adams as president of Sinn Fein? Can the party's chief strategist, who guided violent republicanism along the road to peaceful politics, take it one stage further by departing the leadership?
Academics are strange creatures. They are particularly difficult for journalists to understand. Though both do the same basic thing, looking at the world and writing up their findings, neither quite respects the way the other does that.
The good ship Northern Ireland is setting sail for strong currents, leading to eventual success, according to the latest maritime economic forecasting. But the pirate numpties (stupid people for those not versed in Ulster Scots street-talk) are threatening its safe passage.
An Executive minister said his fears over one of the firms involved in building the long-delayed new Police Training College near Cookstown have been allayed – despite the fact it is £6.7bn in debt.
Westminster should remove the Northern Ireland Assembly's powers over welfare benefits, former first minister Lord Trimble has said.
Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness are in Japan for a four-day drive to attract new investment and jobs into Northern Ireland.
Abandoning prosecutions of Troubles-related murders would cause the wounds of Northern Ireland's past to fester even further, Labour has warned.
The DUP – which voted against only flying the Union flag on designated days in Belfast – has voted in favour of the policy in another council.
The threat to the future of the Union is at the heart of Stormont parties' views of the Scottish independence referendum.
Nigel Dodds has pronounced the IRA defeated – but pledged to fight "a political battle" against republican and nationalist influence on such issues as flags, parading and the definition of victims.
How would John Larkin's proposals work if the politicians decided to run with them?
John Larkin is speaking at the moment of maximum impact, when Richard Haass and Meghan O'Sullivan are in Belfast gathering opinions for their review of flags, parading and the past.
Not for the first time Peter Robinson shot the messenger when addressing his party conference last weekend.
The Assembly's main blocking mechanism – the 'petition of concern' – has now been used more than 60 times.
Finance Minister Simon Hamilton has been urged to insist no more branches or staff numbers in Ulster Bank are 'butchered'.
Attorney General John Larkin will know the old legal adage: "The greater the truth, the greater the libel." In Mr Larkin's case, the greater the truth he has expressed about bringing down the legal shutters on the past, the greater the libel he has committed against those who have suffered most in the past 40 years.
Lest we forget. On this the 11th day of the 11th month the world recalls war, but in relation to Northern Ireland 'Lest we forget' can be applied appropriately to our own deeply divided past.
Will you vote in the next election in Northern Ireland? If not why not?
As if Simon Hamilton didn't have enough problems as Stormont's finance minister, English councils are now crying foul over their share of Treasury funds...and they want some of that money taken away from Scotland, Wales and....us!
Sometimes when we take a look back through the top stories, news items and political life in Norn Iron it is as if Alice’s Wonderland has been transplanted to here, and we live in a surreal, parallel dimension of the real lives the rest of the world experience.
Northern Ireland Executive meetings are set to become even more fun! Yes, the usually dull round of “he said, that you said, that he said” disputes about future constitutional issues, flags in the wind or the size of ministerial allowances is now set to burgeon with ‘interesting’ issues.
NI21 had a successful conference last Saturday. Plenty of new faces, enthusiasm, and a good turnout from the crucial 18 to 24 age group. They now have a momentum, but can they keep it going?
Northern Ireland is too insular, looks inward, and doesn’t connect with the ‘real world’, whatever that is! You hear these comments frequently, and some people say this could be changed by having the choice at NI elections to vote for UK national parties and/or mainsteam Irish political parties.
I WAS at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester last week as an observer.
Should we be surprised at the flag question posed by the Haass Team?
Critical all-party talks on flags, parades and Northern Ireland's violent past have arrived at the "calm before the storm" moment.
The few words sent to me in a tweet yesterday afternoon said a lot about the mood out there.
With publication of the White Paper 'Scotland's Future', new momentum was injected into the discussion on Scottish independence last week.
Over the last week there has been an attempt by small groups of republican militarists to step up violent attacks against the peace and political processes.
Mike Penning, former Tory NIO minister, and now Work and Pensions Minister flew briefly into Belfast last week on a mission.
Over the last few months, Belfast has been a tale not so much of two cities but of one city and two perspectives.
The recent LucidTalk poll published in the Belfast Telegraph showed that, of those who expressed an opinion, 57% of people believe that the same or more information on donations to political parties should be made public in Northern Ireland as in Great Britain.
The news that an Irish Government Bill will extend the university constituency in the Seanad Éireann elections to include, not only the National University of Ireland (NUI) and Trinity, but all third level graduates of Irish universities and institutes of technology presents a real opportunity for the extension of the vote to the north.
The list of figures detailing those on the common waiting list for each district Housing Executive just released is a clinical assessment of multiple stories of human misery, deprivation, insecurity and instability.
I was delighted my party leader Alasdair McDonnell included a call to reconvene the Civic Forum in his speech to our Party Conference at the weekend.
Over 10% of primary school places in South Belfast are now filled by children for whom English is not their first language. This is a testing process but teachers, parents and fellow pupils are handling it well.
"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there," wrote LP Hartley at the beginning of his novel ‘The Go-Between,’ set just before the First World War.
I have an uncle and a cousin buried in the same war cemetery in Libya near Benghazi. They were killed months apart although I don’t know if either knew the other was nearby. Both were at my parents’ wedding in 1939 and were to be dead three years later.
It is anticipated thousands will descend on Belfast city centre on Saturday to protest last year's decision to fly the Union Flag at Belfast City Hall only on designated days.
In response to an Assembly oral question on homosexuality, Edwin Poots stated: "Whether one believes in God, or in evolution, the natural order is for a man and a woman to have a child."
Symbols can be very powerful in politics, particularly in Northern Ireland. Another Remembrance Sunday has passed and the wearing (or not wearing) of a poppy remains divisive for many.
The political response to last week's proposals from Attorney General John Larkin on how we should deal with the past does not bode well for Northern Ireland.
Devo-plus. I admit it's not a catchy term, but following the successful NI21 conference last weekend, it has the potential to become the debate in Northern Ireland politics.
Northern Ireland hits the news headlines for quite a few things. You can guess that it is mostly negative - police officers attacked, street violence, divided communities.
On Saturday, UKIP Northern Ireland held its first ever autumn conference. As well as planning ahead for upcoming elections, we took stock of where we are as a party in Northern Ireland.
UKIP will oppose any attempt by the Northern Ireland attorney general John Larkin to declare a amnesty for those involved the terrorism in Northern Ireland - it was sickening to hear comparisons being made to what happened here with what happened in South Africa and other troubled regions of the world.
UKIP is a party that understands the needs of business and wants a system that takes big government out of the way and allows business a freer path to create the local jobs and wealth that Northern Ireland so desperately needs.
The chancellor and the Conservative led government have managed to turn the economy around at a national level.
A review has just been launched into the operations of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. It's unfortunate that, at a time when we're trying to increase visitor numbers, the NITB's budget has been reduced and now it is being threatened with having functions merged with Invest NI.
Over these days of remembrance, many of us will have taken the opportunity to mark the sacrifice of our war dead and injured in two world wars and a succession of conflicts since.
Just over a week ago, members of the European Parliament voted to end the ongoing waste of money that sees each MEP pack away all their files in to boxes and move down the road to Strasbourg for one week in every month.
If the European Union was a private company, the shareholders would be hammering at the door of the head office demanding the instant resignation of the Directors and the Board on the grounds of serious financial impropriety.
This week we learned that the European Commission will shortly outline its proposals to standardise the flush on toilets across Europe.
Some weeks ago I wrote about the need of an opposition at Stormont. That begs the question of how we are going to achieve one, a topic I will return to in the future.
John Larkin’s call for an end to prosecutions for Troubles-related crimes has understandably been met with outrage by those who still hold on to the belief that the murderers of their loved ones could face a day in court.
This week millions of people across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth marked Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day.