“The arguments put forward today by the 26 county state in favor of surrendering Liam Campbell for extradition to Lithuania should come as no surprise to anyone, let alone Irish Republicans. The fact the prison that he will more than likely be held awaiting trial is a former Concentration Camp will not impact on their thinking considering that the Free State will happily evict families with children from their homes to exist in sheltered accommodation or worse, have to live on the streets in door ways and tents.
For the Barristers and Solicitors of the 26 county administration, being an Irish Republican is evidence enough for conviction, jail, extradition and incarceration.
Should Liam Campbell be extradited he will not be the first Irish Republican to be sent to foreign jurisdictions, be held for weeks, months and even years only to be released due to a lack…
There’s a plausible report by Dara Doyle on the business and current affairs website, Bloomberg, claiming that the Fine Gael-led government is seeking an explicit commitment from the United Kingdom ruling out any hardening of the soft border around the UK-administered Six Counties. The article suggests that the guarantee is Dublin’s price for allowing London’s exit negotiations from the European Union to proceed unhindered.
Irish authorities are keen to use their leverage in the first part of the negotiations to extract maximum concessions on the border issue, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the deliberations are ongoing.
Such wording would effectively commit the U.K. and the EU to the idea of a bespoke deal for Northern Ireland, should the two sides fail to reach the type of a free-trade accord that would eliminate the need for a border.
TAKING my customary quick flick through this newspaper one morning last week, I found myself stopped mid-riffle by ann odd headline. It made just as little sense the second time.
This, I feel contractually obliged to add, was not because of any error in the wording or spelling. Further investigation revealed that it accurately reflected the content of the story it related to. ” Satisfaction rating high for secretary of state ” it read. Some mistake, surely? “Dissatisfaction” would be more like it, I thought. But no; according to the story, Conservative Party members reckon that secretary of shire James Brokenstate is doing such a great job that he has the sixth highest approval rating of all its cabinet members and senior elected representives. Let that sink in for a moment.
Mr Brokenshire, the covert secretary of state who has made zero impact during his time in the North of Ireland, is the sixth best-regarded Conservative politician on the planet. Given the three-ring circus that the Conservative Party has become, this is a bit like coming sixth in a height competition contested by the Seven Dwarfs. However, Mr Brokenshire still managed to find himself placed ahead of people you may have even heard of, like Boris Johnson, Philip Hammond and Theresa May.
Each of them would at least stand a chance of being recognized by the average punter on Royal Avenue. But how many people would be able to identify Mr Brokenshire? An image of an empty car stopping at the kerb to allow the secretary of state to get out comes to mind. The secretary of state’s approval rating is yet more evidence that the Conservative Party has not a clue, and cares even less, about the North of Ireland. How else can you rationalise anyone finding satisfaction in Mr Brokenshire’s performance?
To say it has been lacklustre is unfair to both lack and lustre. At least when they are conjoined they make sense, unlike, say, ‘glide’ and ‘path’, a favoured aphorism of the secretary of shire. But we live in times when nothing makes any sense, at least in the logical way you might try to explain things to a primary school child. The North of Ireland has, for example, assembly members but no assembly. And even though there is no assembly, Stormont somehow still needs a speaker to run its proceedings. As anything more modest would be regarded as an insult, being speaker to a non-existent assembly attracts an annual salary of £87,000. Naturally. Current holder of this value-for-money post is a DUP gentleman called Robin Newton.
Having risen without trace to the office of speaker, Mr Newton has gone on to prove himself to be a brass-necked casuist hairsplitter in the finest tradition of his party.
You had probably never heard of Mr Newton before recent, erm, controversies. He was, for a time, a junior minister in the Office of Deputy First Minister and First Minister – ah, halcyon days… – but that is the political equivalent of going on a witness protection scheme. Having risen without trace to the office of speaker, Mr Newton has gone on to prove himself to be a brass-necked casuist hairsplitter in finest tradition of his party. Last year he found himself mixed up in an inconvenient row. Questions were being asked about his role in lobbying for funding on behalf of the UDA-linked community group Charter NI. Charter NI, you may recall, is the Social Investment Fund (SIF) wing of the ‘homeland security’ unit run by alleged UDA suit Dee Stitt. Mr Newton had failed to officially declare the extent of his involvement in Charter NI and, in the best North Korean spirit of the DUP, he decided to use his powers as speaker to block questions about the groups funding.
He also explained that while he had indeed offered advice to Charter NI, this in no way amounted to him being an advisor to the group. This was patent nonsense then and looks doubly ridiculous now. Charter NI documents, put into the public domain by BBC Spotlight last week, repeatedly refer to Mr Newton’s significant role in the group. Mr Newton now stands accused of misleading the assembly over the extent of his association with Charter NI. His position was already untenable. He had made a hames of assembly proceedings last December when he allowed Arlene Foster, then first minister, to make a statement about the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme (RHI) without the support of deputy first minister Martin McGuiness. But making a bigger hames out of a small hames is Stormont’s stock in trade. Mr Newton’s difficulties are simply symptomatic of the malaise that already lay at the heart of Stormont before it all went belly up.
It is tempting to lay all this at the door of the DUP alone. And while there is something uniquely boorish, entitled and obnoxious about the DUP – as I’ve observed before, it is the crocodile-baiting, yoghurt-currying, yo-hoing. Arlen’s-on-fire chanting. RHI-denying. Red Sky’s-all-right-Nelson’s-delight. Nama-mia-here-I-go-again, buck eejitistical. Spad-tastic, FOI-dodging and Sif-it-makes-you-happy party – it has been matched stride-for-stride by Sinn Féin. The DUP and Sinn Féin duopoly has consistently shown itself incapable of working for the good of all. Never mind, then, who the speaker is – why should we even care whether Stormont can stir itself back into existence?
With many thanks to: William Scholes The Irish News for the original story.
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A female officer has been accused of having sex on a nuclear submarine. Sub-Lieutenant Rebecca Edwards, in her 20s, is alleged to have had an ‘inappropriate relationship’ with a crew member on board the HMS Vigilant when it was stationed in the North Atlantic.
Commander Stuart Armstrong, 41, who is divorced, was relieved of his duty last month after some of his crew revolted over the alleged incident.
The submarine had been headed to the United States to retrieve new Trident nuclear warheads when the initial reports emerged.
Sub-Lieutenant Rebecca Edwards, Assistant Weapons Engineering Officer on HMS Vigilant
A source told the Sun: ‘An investigation is ongoing but this is not good for either of them.
‘Something seriously wrong happened on HMS Vigilant and we are trying to the the bottom of it.’
The submarine’s second-in-charge, Lt Cdr Michael Seal, is also alleged to have had sexual relations with another unnamed female officer.
All the crew involved have been taken off the submarine while the alleged incidents are being investigated.
There is currently a ban on senior officers having relationships with subordinates and there is also a ‘no touching’ policy on UK submarines.
Women were only permitted to serve on the vessels in 2011 when a ban was lifted.
A spokesman for MoD said: ‘We can confirm the Royal Navy is undertaking an investigation.
‘While this is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to discuss further.’
With many thanks to: Metro.Co.Uk for the original story.