Britain’s prime minister David Cameron chatting with Royal Navy personnel in London on Monday. Britain will invest an extra £12 billion in defence equipment over the next 10 years. Photograph: Reuters/Justin Tallis/pool

This week you are invited to believe in the strategic prowess of government. Yesterday, prime minister David Cameron announced Britain’s most anticipa(...)

Arlene Foster with  Peter Robinson at the DUP conference, where her speech received a prolonged standing ovation. Photograph:  Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Years ago, at a Fermanagh Ulster Unionist party function, a journalist from the Impartial Reporter asked a young Arlene Foster about her political amb(...)

Daniel Craig  as James Bond in the film Spectre.

If you want to drop a plumb line into the soul of England today, you could do worse than to watch the two biggest-grossing films in Britain last weeke(...)

Loyalist protestor outside Hillsborough during the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement

1972 Under pressure both from Westminster and nationalists, and in the face of escalating violence, the Conservative British government ended the Stor(...)

Ian Paisley and Jim Molyneaux address the 250,000 crowd at the anti Anglo-Irish rally in Belfast in 1985 where he made in infamous Never Never Never speach.

Probably the most memorable footage capturing the visceral depth of unionism’s antagonism to the Anglo-Irish Agreement is of Ian Paisley at Belfast Ci(...)

 Belfast loyalists clash with RUC officers at the gates of Maryfield in 1985

Now 65, John Doogan was one of those who stood in the throng outside Belfast City Hall 30 years ago, cheering loudly with every other unionist in the (...)

Harold McCusker: “I felt desolate because as I stood in the cold outside Hillsborough Castle everything that I held dear turned to ashes in my mouth.”

The signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement on the November 15th, 1985 , was a defining moment for unionism and for Northern Ireland. We had just come t(...)

The scene outside Hillsborough courthouse while the Anglo-Irish Agreement was being signed in Hillsborough Castle. Photograph: Dermot O’Shea.
Intense rivalry extended north

Charles Haughey’s trenchant opposition to the Anglo-Irish Agreement was undoubtedly a mistake, which had negative political consequences, but it also (...)

 Margaret Thatcher, flanked by Sir Geoffrey Howe and Tom King, waving goodbye after the signing of the agreement. Photograph: Pat Langan

I have a vivid recollection of what it felt like that day as I watched the prime minister and the taoiseach put their signatures to an agreement betwe(...)

The Rev Ian Paisley and James Molyneaux speaking to supporters in Hillsborough prior to the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Photograph: Dermot O’Shea

The hall was full. Every chair in the building had been brought in from other rooms, yet there were still dozens of people huddled in the hallway and (...)