Category Archives: Politics

Humphrey Atkins’ brief from 1979

Peter Cheney examines the brief for Mrs Thatcher’s first Secretary of State, Humphrey Atkins, who arrived in 1979. Despite the serious difficulties, officials believed that a stable political solution could eventually be...

Encouraging compromise in 1979

Financial pressure and public opinion could help to persuade the UUP and SDLP to compromise on power-sharing, according to the NIO files from 1979. Five years after direct rule resumed, many people...

Assembly scrutinises welfare reform

A special Assembly committee on the Welfare Reform Bill is working to a deadline of 22 January as MLAs consider how to adapt the legislation to Northern Ireland’s specific needs. The Bill...

Autumn Statement: austerity extended

Deeper cuts in public spending and social security are on the way but extra capital funding should provide a boost for infrastructure projects. Peter Cheney analyses the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. The UK...

DECC publishes gas strategy

The UK Government has re-affirmed the role of gas in supporting the decarbonisation of the electricity generation sector by 2030 in its new gas generation strategy.  The strategy, which mainly covers Great...