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Alex Kane

Alex Kane

The Irish News

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Election humiliation inevitable for divided Tories

Sometimes even atheists feel the need to look skywards and yell, ‘Thank God!’ That’s what I was doing on Wednesday evening when Rishi Sunak...

previous day 10

The Irish News

Alex Kane

If anyone in unionism has a cunning plan, now’s the time to produce it

Writing in this column on February 5, just after the assembly had been rebooted and the Command Paper published, I wrote: “The biggest headache for...

19.05.2024 50

The Irish News

Alex Kane

The Conservatives were stuffed last week

Rishi Sunak must have bought his electoral sat nav from Del Boy Trotter. There is, in fact, no possible route from last Thursday’s polling meltdown...

11.05.2024 40

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Maybe now the Irish Government will accept that the UK and unionists had a point about open borders

It suits Rishi Sunak to have a row with the Irish Government right now, particularly on the subject of immigration policy – a policy on which he has...

04.05.2024 40

The Irish Times

Alex Kane

Is dysfunction Stormont’s factory setting?

I got quite excited when the phrase ‘dysfunctional b*****ds’ flashed across my timeline on Tuesday. So excited, in fact, that I didn’t bother...

03.05.2024 30

The Irish News

Alex Kane

East Belfast shows that the era of safe unionist seats is over

“If unionists have trouble holding a constituency like East Belfast, then it won’t be long until they’re having problems in places like North...

01.05.2024 20

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Please, Stormont, just give us a reason to believe

Let me begin with three tweets which arrived on my timeline this week. “Why does it look like every facet of government-run services here are just...

26.04.2024 20

The Irish News

Alex Kane

The more I hear about a border poll, the further away I think it might be

The more I hear the border poll lobby talk about the need for a border poll, the more I’m persuaded it will probably take much longer to call than...

19.04.2024 10

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Emotion and identity will always trump cost in united Ireland debate

What is now the Republic of Ireland will become different – quite different – if it includes what was Northern Ireland. And it will become...

12.04.2024 6

The Irish News

Alex Kane

50 years on, has anti-agreement unionism come up with an alternative?

Fifty years ago today, loyalists in the Assembly opposed to the Sunningdale Agreement formed themselves into the United Ulster Unionist Assembly...

05.04.2024 10

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Shock Donaldson news leaves DUP facing big, unexpected problems

The DUP had begun to hope that the deal to restore the assembly a few weeks ago had bedded in well enough to secure it from serious...

31.03.2024 9

The Irish News

Alex Kane

The DUP can appoint a new leader, but it can’t change how voters associate the party with Jeffrey Donaldson

There is, usually, a game plan for a political crisis. But there wasn’t one for the crisis which engulfed the DUP in the early hours of Good Friday,...

31.03.2024 8

The Irish Times

Alex Kane

Here’s a job for you Leo – leading a broad-based campaign for Irish unity

As soon as Leo Varadkar announced his resignation, the debate immediately shifted to what he would do next. He’s only 45, after all, which is,...

29.03.2024 10

The Irish News

Alex Kane

What do unionists do when your friends have abandoned you?

I fully understand Jim Allister’s concerns about the NI Protocol and Windsor Framework. Indeed, I share some of those concerns. And while I accept...

23.03.2024 10

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Chuckles over spades and sliotars will only get first and deputy first ministers so far

Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley got on perfectly well for a year. So well, in fact, that the DUP toppled him and replaced him with Peter Robinson....

15.03.2024 10

The Irish News

Alex Kane

The future of the union is in Alliance supporters’ hands

When Alliance was founded in April 1970 it was an unambiguously pro-union party. Not a unionist party as such, even though most of its original...

08.03.2024 50

The Irish News

Alex Kane

How Britain learned the lessons of the collapse of Sunningdale in 1974

The result, said Brian Faulkner, “represents the fears of the unionists of Northern Ireland: fears about the unknown and the unknown expressed in...

01.03.2024 20

The Irish News

Alex Kane

How far will the British government go to protect the union?

Annex B of the command paper (Strengthening Northern Ireland’s Place In The Union) begins with an unambiguous statement: “The government is...

23.02.2024 40

The Irish News

Alex Kane

The flatpack Stormont Assembly has been glued back together. I don’t expect it to last

Flatpack assembly can be a bit of a nightmare. No matter how good you think you are at it, it is often the case that when you’re “finished”,...

19.02.2024 9

The Irish Times

Alex Kane

Whoever becomes the next president, America will be the loser

One man has difficulty remembering names and events. The other tends to make up names and events. One is 81. The other is 77. Neither of them, albeit...

16.02.2024 10

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Is there a sweet spot where SF and DUP could work together?

I wonder, Brian, if there is a sweet spot in the middle at which all of the parties could meet and agree to govern in common cause? It seems a fair...

09.02.2024 10

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Jeffrey’s troubles have not gone away

Last Monday was – so far – the most important day in Jeffrey Donaldson’s political career. I don’t think there was ever much doubt that he...

05.02.2024 20

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Michelle O’Neill as first minister shows change is unstoppable

“What do the rules say?” That was my reply to an anti-deal loyalist I was speaking to on Wednesday morning, when he asked me if I was bothered by...

03.02.2024 40

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Donaldson has pulled off a remarkable victory, but it’s too soon to abandon pessimism

I’ve seen far too many “breakthroughs” come and go in Northern Ireland to abandon my usual pessimism just yet. Just because we seem to have a...

30.01.2024 20

The Irish Times

Alex Kane

It’s Groundhog Day with latest deadline for Stormont deal

My immediate reaction, on hearing that Chris Heaton-Harris had chosen February 8 as his latest deadline (I wonder how many minutes have passed since...

26.01.2024 40

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Neither DUP nor SF will decommission their Stormont veto

On the basis that it’s never a wise move to disturb your electoral opponents while they’re making life easy for you and difficult for themselves,...

19.01.2024 10

The Irish News

Alex Kane

If people really want change, they need to vote for it

This time 50 years ago the United Kingdom was preparing for a general election, called by Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath on the issue of...

12.01.2024 7

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Who learned most from January 7, 1974?

Almost fifty years ago to the day, Monday January 7, 1974, Brian Faulkner resigned as leader of the UUP. It followed a meeting of the Ulster Unionist...

08.01.2024 6

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Why betrayal is unionism's greatest fear

Brian, it wasn’t just Ian Paisley — always in an “Ulster says snow” frame of mind back in the day — who was angered by Lemass’s visit....

05.01.2024 30

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Jeffrey Donaldson destroyed David Trimble. Is he about to do the same to himself?

On April 10th, 1998, just hours before the Ulster Unionist Party endorsed the Belfast Agreement, Jeffrey Donaldson left the party’s negotiating...

04.01.2024 7

The Irish Times

Alex Kane

Bah humbug... Optimism is a waste of time when it comes to Northern Ireland politics – Alex Kane

At the beginning of 2023 I made a resolution. Rather than my usual relentless negativity about political progress, I would look for even the smallest...

29.12.2023 9

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Alan was my fixed point, my best and perfect friend – Alex Kane

Christmas, even for atheists, is a time for reflection. So, let me tell you something about my friend Alan, who died a few weeks ago. Apart from my...

22.12.2023 9

The Irish News

Alex Kane

The brutal truth for unionists is that no-one at Westminster cares – Alex Kane

It’s almost Christmas in Northern Ireland, which means that the ghosts of politics past, present and future have been bumping into each other at...

15.12.2023 20

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Unionists no longer dominate the battlefield and shouldn't pick a fight they cannot win – Alex Kane

FIFTY years ago – almost to the day – the Sunningdale Agreement was published.

08.12.2023 30

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Unionists shouldn't pick a fight they can't win – Alex Kane

FIFTY years ago – almost to the day – the Sunningdale Agreement was published.

08.12.2023 30

The Irish News

Alex Kane

The DUP and Sinn Féin are both to blame for killing off power-sharing – Alex Kane

DUP and Sinn Féin leaders and representatives, along with the bulk of their party members and voters, are very keen to blame the ‘other...

01.12.2023 10

The Irish News

Alex Kane

The DUP and Sinn Féin are both to blame for killing off power-sharing – Alex Kane

DUP and Sinn Féin leaders and representatives, along with the bulk of their party members and voters, are very keen to blame the ‘other...

01.12.2023 9

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Deal or no deal: Just put us out of our misery, Jeffrey – Alex Kane

THE fevered pace of events right now means that in the gap between writing this, on Wednesday afternoon, and it being published, on Friday morning,...

25.11.2023 9

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Just put us out of our misery, Jeffrey – Alex Kane

THE fevered pace of events right now means that in the gap between writing this, on Wednesday afternoon, and it being published, on Friday morning,...

24.11.2023 30

The Irish News

Alex Kane

What purpose does loyalist paramilitarism serve? - Alex Kane

IN a column on November 3, I mentioned the academic Dr Aaron Edwards, describing him as one of the sharpest observers of loyalist paramilitarism.

17.11.2023 9

The Irish News

Alex Kane

What purpose does loyalist paramilitarism serve? - Alex Kane

IN a column on November 3, I mentioned the academic Dr Aaron Edwards, describing him as one of the sharpest observers of loyalist paramilitarism.

17.11.2023 10

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Direct rule would be calamitous for unionism and Northern Ireland

IT has become fashionable in some unionist and loyalist circles to talk up the need to reboot direct rule.

10.11.2023 8

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Alex Kane: Direct rule would be calamitous for unionism and Northern Ireland

Due to the technical or legal reasons, readability mode is not available for this article. Thank you for your kind understanding.

10.11.2023 7

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Is a return to Stormont at last on the cards for Jeffrey Donaldson and the DUP?

There is, to paraphrase Sherlock Holmes, nothing so instructive as the unexpectedly significant. So, when DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson wrote in the...

06.11.2023 10

The Irish Times

Alex Kane

This is why loyalist paramilitaries still influence mainstream unionist thinking

Giving evidence to the NI Affairs Committee on October 18, Dr Aaron Edwards (one of the sharpest observers of loyalist paramilitarism) made two...

03.11.2023 8

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Alex Kane: This is why loyalist paramilitaries still influence mainstream unionist thinking

Giving evidence to the NI Affairs Committee on October 18, Dr Aaron Edwards (one of the sharpest observers of loyalist paramilitarism) made two...

03.11.2023 8

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Alex Kane: Northern Ireland is no longer fully in the UK... and it concerns me greatly

A hardening of the land border between NI and the Republic (which had also become the land border between the EU and UK in June 2016) might, as Leo...

27.10.2023 4

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Northern Ireland is no longer fully in the UK... and it concerns me greatly

A hardening of the land border between NI and the Republic (which had also become the land border between the EU and UK in June 2016) might, as Leo...

27.10.2023 10

The Irish News

Alex Kane

Jeffrey Donaldson’s admission about direct rule reflects unionism’s tough choices

Time hasn’t been kind to political/electoral unionism. In the election to the first powersharing Assembly in June 1973, the unionist vote accounted...

23.10.2023 5

The Irish Times

Alex Kane

Alex Kane: Jamie Bryson and Jeffrey Donaldson episodes show Westminster has lost interest in unionism

Have a think about these two comments.

21.10.2023 9

The Irish News

Alex Kane

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