Colum Eastwood wins the SDLP leadership contest with new deputy leader Fearghal McKinney during the Party Conference last Saturday. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Colum Eastwood, the 32-year-old new leader of the SDLP, has a mountain to climb to make his party relevant. On BBC this week, a Spotlight programme lo(...)

Former first minister and leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party Alex Salmond: “I think it would be very difficult for any Irish government, of any political persuasion, to run counter to Scottish nationalism.” Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

For a man who just returned to Westminster last May after an eight-year absence, Alex Salmond moves through the Houses of Parliament as if he had neve(...)

 David Cameron: The prime minister’s hopes of winning a Commons majority for his new war were enhanced yesterday by Labour’s growing disarray over defence. Photograph: PA Wire

There was a dark whiff of 2003 and the prelude to the Iraq War around the Commons chamber yesterday as prime minister David Cameron sharply upped the (...)

A man attaches a banne to a statue at Place de la Republique near sites of the deadly attacks in Paris on Sunday. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters 1:54

Two themes have emerged from the horrific slaughter of at least 129 people in Paris on Friday night: that France is engaged in an all-out war with Isl(...)

Jeremy Corbyn: Was accused by Gen Sir Nicholas Houghton of undermining “the credibility of deterrence”. Photograph: PA

General Sir John Hackett once put me right about the meaning of nuclear deterrence. As far as the military was concerned, the concept of “mutually ass(...)

Peter Barry, Dick Spring, Garret FitzGerald, Margaret Thatcher, Geoffrey Howe and Tom King at the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985

The Anglo-Irish Agreement of November 15th, 1985 was formally abjured by the British and Irish governments on April 10th, 1998 as a key concession to (...)

Daniel Craig as James Bond in the lateat Bond movie, Spectre, which ‘fires dud lines at you for 148 minutes you will never get back’. Photograph: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc/PA Wire

The latest Bond film fires dud lines at you for 148 minutes you will never get back, but one really slices through. C, Spectre’s pantomime villain, wh(...)

We all live under the long shadow of T.K. Whitaker. Photograph: The Irish Times

One of the consequences of being a small country is that in many areas we have the same fixed running costs as a large one. Having a National Opera Ho(...)

Former Northern Ireland secretary of state Peter Brooke MP, right, chats with fellow MP Peter Temple-Morris in  Killarney at the 22nd British-Irish Inter Parliamentary conference which is taking place in 2001. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

This book is about events in the life of a politician. It is not an an autobiography but a selection of events of interest to a reader, ranging fro(...)

File photograph of Tony Blair and former US president George Bush in the Azores in 2003. Photograaph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Former British prime minister Tony Blair has apologised for aspects of the Iraq War, sparking claims of attempted “spin” ahead of the Chilcot Inquiry (...)