Alliance Party conference: Naomi fights flu, but Alliance in good health
"This is real flu," said Naomi Long, "not man flu."
"This is real flu," said Naomi Long, "not man flu."
We are greatly concerned with equality these days, but many inequalities remain, and I wonder if some of them will always prevail. For example, can two people be friends if their status, rank and, especially, income are noticeably different?
I first met Martin McGuinness in 1996. I lived in London and had come late to political journalism, having written my first article in 1994 because I was horrified at the mostly wimpish coverage of the IRA in the Republic.
The Studio Symphony Orchestra in Belfast will celebrate its 70th anniversary at the Ulster Hall today with a concert filled with European classics.
Now the dust has settled on Assembly election '17, like all polling companies, pundits, and commentators, we review what we said - or rather our polls said - before the vote to what actually ended up happening.
On November 21, 2016, Martin McGuinness and Arlene Foster agreed a joint statement. Here is the opening paragraph: "Day by day, slowly but surely, politics here is changing. And it's for the better. The focus is increasingly now on policies and delivery - on finding the best...
In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about the past and it is one of the issues in the current political talks. There have been demands for greater transparency by the British Government, with some critics demanding that they open up all, or almost all, of their...
Have you stopped buying stuff because of Brexit? No, me neither. I think, anyway... who can say for sure? It's not as if I've been keeping tabs on any dip in my household importation of baked beans and soft furnishings.
There are many, many people who on hearing the news of the death of Martin McGuinness this week will have shed many, many tears.
Now we are once more in the aftermath of the annual Holyland disorder, coinciding with university holidays and the feast of Ireland's patron saint - the one who drove all sober people into the sea - it may or may not come as a surprise to discover that, according to...
Well, I’ve had another look at Martina Anderson’s performance in the European Parliament on Monday night, and when I stopped laughing I tried to take it seriously.
Honestly, I do wish Prince Harry would hurry up and get married. I'm not that fussy who he marries - this Meghan lass seems to be his heartfelt choice - just so long as he provides the world at large with the general spectacle of a royal wedding.
A new fashion trend is doing the rounds for Spring/Summer '17 which, as fashion commentator for the Belfast Telegraph, I feel it is my duty to bring to your attention. Jeans with windows. Yes, you read that correctly: Jeans with windows.
By the time you read this I will hopefully be celebrating St Patrick's weekend in bright sunshine some 2,000 miles from home, but my thoughts will still be on our patron saint.
Northern Ireland has an odd relationship with the law. Some people seem to be permitted to flout it openly. Others are treated severely, held to account for suspected breaches and subjected to stringent enforcement. Whatever the reality, it often looks like one set of...
Nowadays, I often listen to BBC Radio 4 in the morning (sorry, Stephen Nolan). I find it very informative and recently I came across discussion about a report that had been published by the Adam Smith Institute.
Donald Trump may go down in history as the first and only American President whom Ireland - north or south - didn't try to claim. The identification of the President's Irish Roots is one of the rites of passage that traditionally marks the swearing in of any new US leader.
Day seven of the talks and, so far, little sign of progress.
There were hugs and handshakes as Northern Ireland’s Assembly members met for the first time since the election.
The congregation of St Canice's in Eglinton were rocked - both literally and metaphorically - when Elvis impersonator Andy Rodgers led the worship with a show featuring a number of Presley's most famous hits including Blue Suede Shoes and All Shook Up as well as gospel...
Our St Patrick's Day duties in the Republic could be more onerous this year: a personal failte is surely due to the many individuals who have chosen to become Irish over the past nine months. I'm talking about those people who seldom previously thought of themselves as Irish...
I watched Gerry Adams dissembling on the BBC's Andrew Marr show on Sunday morning and then I read his weekly sermon. The sacrifices I make for Northern Ireland! Here are a few of the questions a watching Martian trying to get to grips with British politics might have asked...
Far be it from me to take pleasure in criticising our Church leaders who have a difficult job to do, but I think that they have misjudged the public mood in their statement on the Stormont talks.
The giant black letters scrawled on an immaculate expanse of white freshly-painted wall were stark in the spring sunshine. 'Taigs Out', they said. And then the same slogan again a couple of feet along. 'Taigs Out'. Just in case anyone didn't get the foul and filthy message the...
LucidTalk carried out extensive pre-Northern Ireland Assembly election polling including two full NI-wide ‘Tracker’ polls in January and late February and the results turned out to be very accurate compared to the final results.
Last Thursday was a black day for Ulster and for unionism, and many unionists were shocked by the result of what had been a brutal election. Over the weekend, I spoke to quite a number of unionists, who are not members of any political party, and there was a...
One of the things that I admired most about Diana, Princess of Wales was that, despite her rumoured flakiness and tendency towards manipulative behaviour and her often dubious decision making, at times of great personal crisis (and there were many) especially when the...
There was a time when it was all so much simpler. Feminists were against what they called the exploitation of women's bodies in newspapers, like Page Three, and in, ahem, special interest magazines for chaps. They were bracketed with those dreadful fusty...
On September 28, 1912 Edward Carson led a procession to Belfast City Hall. At the main entrance, in front of a crowd of tens of thousands, he leaned over a Union flag-draped table and became the first person to sign Ulster's Solemn League and Covenant.
Here's a blinding flash of the obvious: a study carried out at the University of Edinburgh has found that people change over the course of their lives. Between the ages of 14 and 77, profound shifts of personality occur: individuals alter "beyond recognition", according...
Last week I was on Talkback discussing nationalism with the eminently reasonable Dr David McCann. The topic had hit the headlines because the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan had said there was “no difference between those who try to divide us on the basis of whether we’re...
The favourite catch-all, slap-down phrase for anyone seeking to silence others is "that's not appropriate". It sounds better than "shut up" or "I don't like what you're saying" - though that's often what it means - because it carries the implication that the accused person is...
Michaella McCollum - she's certainly got some cheek. The Dungannon drugs mule was recently featured in the national media in a series of posed-looking 'paparazzi' pictures wearing an ill-fitting, thong-style bikini which showcased her fairly hefty posterior.
The DUP and Sinn Fein continue to be joined at the hip in the polls, with support marginally increasing for both parties, the latest opinion poll suggests.
Hearty laughs have not exactly been easy to come by during our short, sharp Assembly election campaign.
Rory McIlroy is getting it in the neck again. This time it's not from Irish nationalists or Ulster unionists who want him to be 'their' pet project for the next five or ten years. Remember the clamour over which country he would opt to represent in the Rio Olympics? As it turned out, of...
In Irish tradition, it used to be said that old age was the time for "telling your beads" (saying the Rosary in preparation for the next world) but now, we are informed, it's time for a renewal of sexual activity. The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing reports, cheerily,...
Party is following the template of Orwell's 1984 in 'drive against bigotry', writes Ruth Dudley Edwards.
Have you succumbed to pre-election fatigue yet? I know I have. The symptoms are unmistakeable.
It’s not every day the Alliance Party leader makes a point of bolstering her DUP counterpart.
When MP Diane Abbott appeared on Sky TV at the weekend she looked immaculate. Make-up subtle and professional, the hair newly-styled with that glossy shine that only hairdressers ever seem able to achieve.
Sometimes, it's not the grand gestures or the 'big talk' that restores faith in the human race, but the very smallest things instead. Amid all the gloom of the season and the despair of the headlines of local and international tragedy, there are still stories subtle enough and...
Like many commentators, I’ve been humbled by recent failures as a political forecaster. I’d bragged about accurately predicting the result of the 2015 UK general election, but was brought down to size by getting both the Brexit referendum and the US Presidential election...
Jasmine works in a supermarket where she has the responsible job of checking that the items are always correctly priced. She is in her 30s and has been living with her boyfriend for a few years now and, to her great delight, in May of this year they'll be getting married.
We had a party recently in Preston to celebrate 50 years since the Burscoughs moved into the family homestead on Black Bull Lane. At one stage, 10 of us had lived there simultaneously — mum, dad, John, Louise, Chris, Jim, Me, Marie, Rachel and Lucy — but now it’s just dad (who’s suffering from Alzheimers) and whoever is staying there to look after him. We decided to make it a fancy dress party, and...
This week the subject of sex and gender raised its head again when the Church of England General Synod narrowly rejected a bishops' report affirming the Christian teaching that marriage is a union between a man and a woman and not between the same sex.
Did you hear about the mentally ill man found freezing, naked and covered in cuts, at the bottom of a 10-foot ditch? Absolutely hilarious story - or so the cops seemed to think. In a Facebook post, PSNI Bangor described the incident as an "unusual call that gave us a chuckle".
Just around the time of the signing of the Belfast Agreement and the Yes vote that endorsed it in the ensuing referendum, I remember seeing a sweet picture in the papers of a little baby girl, just born.
A lot of the current debate about an Irish Language Act is both futile and sterile.
Lots of little, and some not so little, decisions by our politicians will be coming to light over the weeks ahead.