Mike Vickers' Blog

April 26, 2019

The Good Friday Agreement resurrected – we can only hope on this Friday one week on

The British and Irish governments have reached an agreement to establish a new round of talks involving all the main political parties in Northern Ireland, starting on 7 May.

Theresa May and the taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, credited the public response to the killing of Lyra McKee with the announcement on Friday of a fresh attempt to restore power sharing in Northern Ireland.

But see the small print

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/26/northern-ireland-fresh-attempt-to-restore-power-sharing

April 24, 2019

Nancy Pelosi on Brexit: why Irish-US diplomacy is a powerful force in border talks – Liam Kennedy

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, Good Friday Agreement, Ireland, Politics, USA — derryvickers @ 6:00 pm

Nancy Pelosi on Brexit: why Irish-US diplomacy is a powerful force in border talks – Liam Kennedy

““Let me be clear, if the Brexit deal undermines the Good Friday Accord, there will be no chance of a US-UK trade agreement.”

For the full article

https://flipboard.com/topic/nancypelosi/nancy-pelosi-on-brexit%3A-why-irish-us-diplomacy-is-a-powerful-force-in-border-tal/a-w_Ey6CIET_CQgimrtlY0Vw%3Aa%3A2815871887-ff4a09e83f/scotsman.com

Lyra McKee, A Funeral and the Good Friday Agreement for Hope in Ireland

Filed under: Brexit, Good Friday Agreement, Ireland, Politics, The Troubles — derryvickers @ 1:55 pm

One can but hope for Northern Ireland

Remember the Good Friday Agreement 22 May 1996

A catholic reporter’s funeral service in a protestant church

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/apr/24/theresa-may-to-attend-lyra-mckee-funeral

“Northern Ireland’s political parties have called a de facto truce in the region’s toxic, dysfunctional politicking. Sinn Féin and DUP leaders appeared together in Derry after the killing, drawing praise and encouragement to start talks on restoring power-sharing.”

Let’s just hope it’s a stimulus for Power Staring to begin again on 22 May 2019.

You can find more of a eulogy to Lyra McKee and the Good Friday Agreement at

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/21/killing-lyra-mckee-derry-shows-how-hard-it-is-for-wars-to-end-sinead-oshea

April 21, 2019

To Focus on a Brexit Resolution

Filed under: Europe, Good Friday Agreement, Ireland, Jeremy Corbyn, Politics, Yeats — derryvickers @ 9:45 am

I did not know how to comment on the murder of Lyra McKee in Derry last Thursday but Brian Wilson showed the way in Saturday’s Scotsman.

https://www.scotsman.com/lyra-mckee-s-murder-shows-danger-of-no-deal-brexit-in-n-ireland-brian-wilson-1-4911924

I particularly welcome: “This is not just “one issue among many” but – as I have repeatedly argued over the past couple of years – the one that must condition the whole negotiation. You cannot have a hard border within Ireland. Full stop.”

And his conclusion: “While there is no ideal solution to Brexit, there are certainly lessers of evil. There are many good reasons for real leaders to act on that principle and Irish peace is one of them.”

I am repeated reminded of Yeats ‘A Second Coming’

Let’s hope that the Good Friday Agreement remains intact.

March 31, 2019

Need to rebuild the Westminster Parliament

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, Good Friday Agreement, Left Politics, Politics, UK Parliament, Westminster — derryvickers @ 7:07 pm

Will Hutton

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/23/labour-leadership-is-at-rock-bottom-wont-be-forgiven-for-conniving-in-rightwing-brexit

The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/22/corbyn-faces-furious-backlash-over-backing-brexit

Both main UK parties are in chaos. The UK Parliament itself is in chaos.

‘Once I built a Parliament: Now it’s Gone

Brother can you spare a dime’

Take Back Control and then what?

A calm clear statement from Margaret Beckett.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/31/margaret-beckett-brexit-public-vote-dangerous-theresa-may

Gordon Brown (that forgotten leader) starts to make sense

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/30/uk-year-extension-brexit-take-back-control

The MPs are having to leave the Palace of Westminster as it is structurally falling down. Perhaps a period in the sticks will allow structural rebuilding in more senses than one.

March 18, 2019

DUP, Brexit and The Good Friday Agreement

Filed under: Good Friday Agreement, Ireland, Politics, War — derryvickers @ 11:58 am

Following on from my Blog: Derry Girls, Bloody Sunday and the Border

I consider it a deplorable situation where a party in Northern Ireland, the DUP, is determining whether the whole UK is leaving or remining in the EU. The DUP, although the major party in Northern Ireland, JUST, has no formal political power in that country as the Northern Ireland Parliament has not met for 2 years over an issue that was at least in part due to the First Minister’s (Arlene Foster) dealings on electricity.

I state straight away that I feel that the UK leaving the EU is a disaster and am biased. During the last 50 years, Europe has been war free; not being an historian I don’t know when this occurred before, but I suspect it is quite long ago.

Oddly, some 20 years ago, I was on a plane back from Germany and I spent the whole fight defending Ian Paisley and the feeling that the protectants in Northern Ireland felt uncomfortable with the dominant catholic population in Southern Ireland next door.

So, I was elated when the Good Friday Agreement was signed, and I can still remember the photo of the Chuckle Brothers: Ian Paisley (DUP) and Martin McGuiness (Sinn Fein), (see in the article below)

Not only is the DUP now threatening the UK that they may only support Theresa May’s EU Deal if they are doled out more cash, they are, in practice at least, threatening the Good Friday Agreement itself.

For a more substantive argument than mine on the DUP’s intransigence see Patrick Cockburn’s article in today’s Independent.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/brexit-latest-northern-ireland-backstop-vote-a8822836.html

Incidentally while Tony Blair has been much criticized since leaving office, he did, as Cockburn’s article states. reach agreement with Southern Irelands Prime Minister on the Good Friday Agreement.

Blog at WordPress.com.