UTV Election Debate: A win for Eastwood with Long and Robinson taking aim at one another

Representatives from the five main parties gathered at UTV today in the first local debate ahead of the General Election on July 4th. John Finucane for Sinn Fein, Colum Eastwood for the SDLP, Naomi Long for the Alliance Party, Robbie Butler for the UUP, and Gavin Robinson for the DUP. The debate was divided into three themes: influence at Westminster, Executive finances and a border poll. An interesting aspect of the debate was some of the participants’ different and laid-back …

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Slugger Podcast: Looking at the boundaries for #GE24

David McCann and Peter Donaghy look at how the proposed new constituency boundaries could impact the next election results in Northern Ireland David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

I simply will not allow Northern Ireland to become, or be viewed, as a failed part of the United Kingdom

Doug Beattie is the Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party  As we move into the second week of September and Westminster have a week under their belt, following recess, the problems facing Northern Ireland mount. Education is facing major problems, our health and social care lurches from crisis to crisis and the Police Service of Northern Ireland is in turmoil. Politicians must take their fair share of responsibility for the mess we find ourselves in. In just one month the …

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Slugger TV talks with Doug Beatte

Slugger TV 14th July 2023 from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo UUP Leader, Doug Beattie chats with me about pacts, unionism and the future of the UUP. David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Slugger TV looks at #LE23

Slugger TV 26th May 2023 from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo. Slugger TV looks at LE23 with Brendan Hughes and Sarah Creighton David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

And the winner is………….Slugger reviews the PEBs of #LE23

We are back! The Slugger Party Election Broadcast Review has returned to give its assessment of the party election broadcasts of the 2023 local elections. A valuable public service to election nerds and people who have devoted hours and days of effort to create these three minute wonders. A bit like the Eurovision Song Contest, high scores aren’t any indication of likely success at the ballot box. It’s a somewhat tongue-in-cheek look at the aesthetics and impact of one aspect …

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#BBCRedlines looks at Unionism ahead of #LE23

Sam McBride, Gareth Gordon, Mark Carruthers and myself looked at the battle within Unionism for the upcoming Local Elections. You can watch the segment from The View last night but to listen to the full thing visit the BBC Red Lines website.  David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Slugger TV: reflections on local government #imaginebelfast

Councillors Brian Heading (SDLP) and John Kyle (UUP)

Slugger TV escaped the studio again this month and ventured into the Imagine! Belfast Festival Of Ideas And Politics to chat to two local politicians who are stepping down at the upcoming local elections. Councillors Brian Heading (SDLP) and John Kyle (UUP, formerly PUP) spoke to David McCann about their careers in local government and offered insights into how parties work with one another on councils. You can catch on NvTv on the tellybox from 8pm on Saturday (Freeview channel …

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In Reply to Choyaa: The UUP in 2023…

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I read Choyaa’s article on Slugger O’Toole published on 23rd February 2023 entitled ‘Is the UUP really in its end-of-life phase or is there a way back for it from the political doldrums?’ I don’t deny there are challenges for my party the Ulster Unionist Party. These challenges however can be our greatest opportunities for a political revival. Choyaa has put a lot of effort into writing that article and as a member of the Ulster Unionist Party, I believe …

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Is the UUP really in its end-of-life phase or is there a way back for it from the political doldrums?

The UUP for many years now has been drifting well below the radar, only periodically appearing within scope, usually as the result of a self-inflicted misadventure. Last week was another such example, the Belfast Telegraph ran a story citing how the UUP was on a “life support machine, waiting to be turned off”, such criticism of the UUP is nothing new but this time it came from a party member via a leaked document. Is the UUP really in its …

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Making the UUP relevant again…

please wait here until you are useful thank you signage on multicolored wall

On the 13th.  of October 2021, the European Commission issued proposals to resolve the impasse around the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol following discussions with political leaders, businesses, civil society, and other stakeholders in Northern Ireland. The proposals seek to differentiate between goods intended to stay in Northern Ireland and those going on to the Republic of Ireland or the EU by providing an “express lane” with an 80% reduction in official checks and vastly simplified procedures for phytosanitary certification. …

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Doug Beattie – The only path for unionism is for it to come in from the cold…

Ulster Unionist Party leader, Doug Beattie MC MLA The stark reality about politics here in Northern Ireland was exposed by Michelle O’Neill`s comments last week that attempted to justify the IRA`s indefensible terrorist campaign. This is a slap in the face for victims, survivors and those who lived through those dark years. Selective condemnation and glorification of past atrocities really does stop Northern Ireland, and its people, from moving forward. In fact it fortifies the division that has blighted this …

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Slugger TV looks at the political year ahead

Slugger TV 01/07/22 from Northern Visions NvTv on Vimeo. This months guest as Alan Meban and Allison Morris David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Slugger TV looks at the main parties after #AE22

Slugger TV is five years old! This month Anna Mercer from Stratagem and Chris Donnelly look at the state of the parties following the Assembly Election. David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

Choyaa: Unionism continues to decline and decay…

Close-up of dahlias using focus stacking. Ont their final days.

On February 28th, 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was dominating the news and any segments left on the schedules were being devoted to the cost-of-living crisis that was gripping the world. At this time in Northern Ireland, the main item on Radio Ulster’s Nolan Show was a 60 minutes interview with UUP leader Doug Beattie about a failed attempt to get Jeffery Donaldson to re-join the party in May of 2021. The initial story broke on February 23rd when …

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UTV Leaders Debate-Low key campaigns don’t drop their guards

The leaders of the five main parties gathered in South Belfast today for the UTV Leaders Debate, which is the first of two of these debates in the 2022 Assembly Election campaign. Marc Mallett as usual was the moderator and there were two new faces with Doug Beattie and Jeffrey Donaldson taking part for the first time. The experienced debaters returning from 2017 were Colum Eastwood, Naomi Long and Michelle O’Neill. The debate was divided into three main themes, Executive …

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And the winner is … ranking the PEBs: Slugger’s verdict on the party broadcasts of #AE22

It’s back! The Slugger review of the Party Election Broadcasts. Starting all the way back in 2014, we are returning to award the best party election broadcast of the 2022 Assembly campaign. This year we are assembling the same judges as in 2019 to help us decide who won the battle on TV. We have our own Alan Meban, the Belfast Telegraph Crime Correspondent, Allison Morris and Director of Brown O’Connor Communications, Chris Brown. How does it work? Each of …

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Unionism and a Leap of Faith…

achieve, woman, girl

For this article to work we all need to suspend disbelief and all work on the assumption that in real terms Stormont is ineffective, worthless and has no real positive day to day impact on our lives. That whoever is First Minister has no significance other than symbolism and bragging rights, and that we can all get through the intense period of gloating and recrimination if Sinn Fein emerge the biggest party in May. Do you think we can do …

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In Response to Jamie Bryson: What a Union of People Means…

uk, united kingdom, 3d

I read Jamie Bryson’s article entitled: ‘The UUP’s Union of the People argument is loose ground upon which nothing permanent can be built’, published on Slugger O’Toole on 21 March 2022. Jamie and I hold different views on various political issues, though I cannot help but notice we do share some similarities, being that we are both unionists from Ards and North Down around the same age with probably a similar experience of growing up within our predominantly unionist borough. …

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Jeffrey Donaldson was approached with an offer to rejoin the UUP…

The Nolan Show has discovered that after losing the DUP leadership election to Edwin Poots Jeffrey Donaldson was approached by Doug Beattie to rejoin the UUP. On @BBCNolan today – More on the story #NolanLIVE broke last night when we revealed Sir Jeffrey Donaldson engaged in talks with the UUP, when he was asked by Doug Beattie to join the party 📻 @bbcradioulster 🎧 @BBCSounds 📞 03030805555 | 📲 81771 pic.twitter.com/izVJcCG42w — Stephen Nolan (@StephenNolan) February 24, 2022 Jeffrey does …

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