Blog Profile / The Devenport Diaries

Filed Under:Politics / UK Politics
Posts on Regator:893
Posts / Week:2.6
Archived Since:September 10, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Devenport Diaries R.I.P

As some of you may know, the BBC has conducted a review of its many sites, with a view to streamlining its web offering. I don't know exactly which tests were applied, although I can imagine (does the blog host regularly split his or...Show More Summary

"Brick bandits" and mini manifestoes

I spent this morning at Belfast's Waterfront Hall with a confident looking DUP. The party is attempting the hard sell on peace and power sharing that the UUP was unable to embark on a decade ago (although as UUP types have pointed out...Show More Summary

Off air

I'm just off air after this week's Inside Politics. Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness wouldn't give away his party's exact pecking order when it comes to departments, preferring to play his cards close to his chest rather than confirm speculation...Show More Summary

Where was I?

The sun shone on the campaign today, which turned out to be especially good news for me as the BBC news channel had booked me in for a series of outside broadcasts from Belfast City Hall. We have been talking to academics, the Consumer...Show More Summary

Purdah or P.E.P?

Bit of a fuss yesterday over whether the SDLP's housing announcement broke the so-called "purdah" rules, under which civil servants and government departments try to steer clear of anything party political or agenda grabbing during a...Show More Summary

Rory and the DUP

A DUP politician, whose blushes I shall spare, jokingly messaged on Sunday "McDowell wins US Open last year. McIlroy leading the Masters this year. The DUP delivering for Ulster!" Today after young Mr McIlroy's disastrous final round he updated with "McIlroy crashes out at US Masters golf. Show More Summary

Unionism's Bermuda Triangle

The corner of the Belmont and Holywood Roads in East Belfast is the equivalent of unionism's Bermuda Triangle. A journalist or a candidate could get sucked in there and never come out. The same small area includes the DUP HQ, the UUP office where all election news conferences are held and Jim Allister's campaign base. Show More Summary

Tweet Wars

This has been Northern Ireland's first real twitter election and generally I've been sceptical about how much of a difference that makes, other than having politicians tell us they've just completed an excellent canvass. But there are exceptions that prove the rule. Show More Summary

Beragh's Powerful Symbolism

For anyone who remembers the days of Rule 21, the GAA regulation which prevented members of the security forces playing Gaelic sports, or the long term arguments over the army's occupation of part of Crossmaglen's ground, the image of...Show More Summary

Animated Alliance

I went to the Waterfront Hall this morning, where Alliance held their first formal election event. They previewed an animated Party Election Broadcast narrated by Naomi Long. The mood seemed upbeat - Alliance believes that the UUP'sShow More Summary

Deja Vu

It felt almost like a reconstruction of the events two years ago. Then, outside Stormont Castle, the First and Deputy First Ministers had appeared alongside Hugh Orde and Martin McGuinness delivered his memorable line describing dissidents as "traitors to the people of Ireland". Today the rain meant the show of solidarity took place indoors. Show More Summary

Gerry refreshes the town hall meetings other TDs cannot reach

I spent last night at Sinn Fein's first town hall meeting which took place, not in a town hall, but in the Roddy McCorley social club in West Belfast. Around 200 republican supporters gathered there and waited...and waited...and waited...Show More Summary

West Tyrone Double Act

So when is an independent not an independent? How about when they are half of a double act? Eugene McMenamin,who quit the SDLP today, to enter the race in West Tyrone says he's working in tandem with the Omagh councillor Paddy McGowan- who left the SDLP back in the 1990s. Show More Summary

The Departmental "Lucky Dip"

Thursday turned out to be a busy day for independents. In Foyle, the former radio presenter Paul McFadden threw his hat into the ring claiming local people were disillusioned about the failure of Stormont to deliver. Then in neighbouring West Tyrone Eugene McMenamin quit the SDLP to confirm he would stand as an independent. Show More Summary

Alliance TV Highlights

These days it's so much taken as read that all the parties are using web technology that to point out that this candidate is tweeting or that candidate has posted some video frankly exposes you as an old crusty has been tapping out your...Show More Summary

Alternative Ulster

Peter Robinson was talking about how much Northern Ireland has changed at this morning's DUP event at Belfast's Ormeau Baths. He portrayed this campaign as the first in which the main issues are those that face people in their everyday...Show More Summary

Getting to Grips With the Election

Recently I awarded an Ulster Unionist politician a prize for most extended metaphor in a press release. Today I indulge in much the same myself - taking to Queen's University's climbing wall in an attempt to illustrate the DUP and Sinn Fein's scramble towards the Stormont summit. Show More Summary

Beating "Purdah"

First we had a rush to get legislation through the Assembly before it dissolves for the election. Now we have a rush for ministers to get out announcements before the formal dissolution kicks in at a minute past midnight tonight. The Executive Information Service reckons it has sent out more than 90 press releases in the last 48 hours. Show More Summary

Black Thursday for UUP

By rights the Ulster Unionists should have been claiming some credit today for their efforts in encouraging the government to push ahead with its consultation paper on devolving Corporation Tax. The UUP leader Tom Elliott took his place...Show More Summary

St. Carmel

By his own admission, the DUP's Jim Wells isn't an expert on Catholic doctrine. So maybe he can be forgiven for skipping a few of the basic requirements (such as not being on this planet) in proposing the former SDLP MLA Carmel Hanna for beatification as a saint. Show More Summary

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