European leaders have no place stirring up old troubles in Northern Ireland

It is a disgrace that the European Union is using the tragedy of Northern Ireland to try to split Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom. Worse still that the inexperienced Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar is allowing himself and the prosperity of the Irish people as sacrificial lambs on the altar of European Union ambition.

David Coburn MEP said, “Of course we can have a soft border between the two parts of Ireland by mutual consent and reasonable behaviour which the EU does not seem inclined to do through reasons of bitterness and arrogance.

“The European Union has no business trying to interfere in the internal arrangements of the United Kingdom in either Northern Ireland nor Scotland.

“Great Britain has not tried to exacerbate or exploit the EU’s problems regarding Spain and Catalonia for political advantage over Brexit as the EU has done.

“The EU should respect our territorial integrity.

“I discussed these matters in a private meeting with President Juncker who told me it would be improper for him and the EU to interfere in the internal affairs of nation states  in regard to both Scotland and Catalonia. This should also apply to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

“Perhaps Monsieurs Barnier and Verhofstadt have failed or do not care to understand this concept.  They seem particularly bitter Euro enthusiasts with an axe to grind and the last people to be conducting negotiations.”

David Coburn meets Jean-Claude Juncker


Public realm work dumped

Following what appears to have been an accident at the Post Office roundabout in Bangor the highly prized railings have been unceremoniously dumped in the adjacent flower beds.

Wouldn’t you think, given the no doubt considerable cost of the fittings, someone in authority would have taken the railing into storage whilst the damaged barrier was being repaired.

As we see with the pavement lighting, which seems to almost constantly in need of attention, the public realm works appears very high maintenance.

FIFA Precedent is clear – Northern Ireland should get replay

On 12th November 2016, South Africa beat Senegal 2-1 due to the awarding of a penalty for a non-existent handball. After reviewing the incident, the referee admitted afterwards that an error was made.

The immediate FIFA response to the public outcry was to investigate, then ban the referee. A ruling was also made that the tie in question should be replayed as soon as possible.

Northern Ireland suffered an almost identical fate when this poor decision was made by the match official in the home tie of their World Cup playoff with Switzerland.

Other senior referees and officials, current players, former players, experts, journalists and the vast majority of neutral observers managed to spot that this penalty should never have been awarded in the first place.

Crucially, the match referee himself has now admitted that he made an error in awarding this penalty. Cruelly, this poor penalty decision was ultimately the deciding factor in the fixture and has cost Northern Ireland dearly.

Given there is a clear precedent for reviewing such a contentious decision; we fully endorse the petition and the calls for an investigation into the match official’s handling of this decision – and we support calls for a replay of this tie to take place as soon as possible.

The petition can be found at this link:

How to use Twitter effectively

NDDO is hosting a workshop in conjunction with SRH Design on how to use Twitter Effectively, please see below for more details – we would love to see you there!

If you are interested in attending, please contact Gail or myself at NDDO offices to secure your place

Emma Pearson

Business Development Manager

North Down Development Organisation Limited
Enterprise House
2-4 Balloo Avenue
Balloo Industrial Estate
Co. Down
BT19 7QT

Tel:         028 9127 1525

E Mail:


Help Stop The Great Brexit Betrayal of our Fishing Communities

In our update yesterday, we gave details of a press release by our Assistant Deputy Leader, Mike Hookem MEP. You can see the full release below.

Mike has been working tirelessly to support out beleaguered fishing communities and now,  those communities have received another slap in the face after George Eustice announced in the House of Commons that ‘technical measures’ of the Common Fisheries Policy will be included in Theresa May’s flagship Repeal Bill.


Mike will continue to give his full commitment to supporting our fishing communities, to ensure they get the 200-mile exclusive economic zone that we are entitled to under international law

This petition has been launched specifically to force the Government to remove fisheries from Theresa May’s ‘Great Repeal Bill’,

Play your part now in helping to give our fishing communities the future they deserve. Sign the petition below  and encourage anybody you can to do the same thing. If we achieve 100,000 signatures then the Government have to consider the petition for debate. Let’s get them dancing to our tune again!

Sign the petition by following this link:

We must stop the betrayal of Brexit

Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire MEP, Mike Hookem, has launched a petition to force the Government to remove fisheries from Theresa May’s ‘Great Repeal Bill’, saying, “the inclusion of the Common Fisheries Policy into UK law is an abject betrayal of Brexit.”

Mr Hookem, UKIP’s fisheries spokesman, launched his crusade after George Eustice announced in the House of Commons that ‘technical measures’ of the CFP will be included in Theresa May’s flagship Repeal Bill.

Speaking from Brussels, Mr Hookem said, “the response to the petition has been amazing so far, with over 6,000 signatures in the first 48 hours. However, we still have a long way to go if we are going to get the 100,000 signatures we need to force a Commons debate.

“Throughout the referendum, the fishing community of Great Britain was one of the loudest voices in the Leave camp, as they have seen first-hand how disastrous EU policy can be to our country.

“The fishing communities simply want the right to make a living through reclaiming the 200-mile exclusive economic zone we are entitled to under international law and repatriating the 70% of the total allowable catch in British waters that are currently taken by EU vessels.

“I for one will support our fishing communities all the way, as I believe, post-Brexit we can achieve the £6.3 Billion boost to the UK economy that the fishing industry is estimated to be worth.

“Fishing means skilled jobs; income into coastal communities; and a huge boost to the national economy.

“However, by taking the CFP into British law using the Great Repeal Bill, the Tories risk handing the EU the opportunity to take the UK to court under the Vienna Convention, citing continuity of rights in the post-transition era.

“This Brexit betrayal must not be allowed to happen, and I urge the whole country to get behind our fishing communities and sign my petition.”

Analytical Problem Solving and Decision Making

Analytical Problem Solving and Decision Making

Event: Know-How Module – all Day Session
Date: Wednesday 22 November 2017
Time: 9.30am-4.30pm
Location: Signal Centre, Balloo Road, Bangor, BT19 7PD
Cost: £45

This one day course is designed to equip business owners and managers with the necessary rational and critical thinking skills that become the foundation of effective leadership and issue-resolution management.

Discover ‘Clear Thinking’ processes which can provide you with the capability to think rationally and constructively, enabling you to cut through the clutter of business complexity.

By getting to the heart of an issue, business owners can address the most complex challenges confronting their organisation.

Join us for this enlightening session and discover how to:
• Assess situations completely and dispassionately
• Identify the highest priorities to resolve first
• Solve difficult problems, separating facts from assumptions
• Make complex decisions aligned with the organisation’s strategic and operational priorities

This programme will be specifically designed for business owners, managers, supervisors and team leaders who wish to explore techniques which will allow them to investigate problems and identify solutions in a structured and methodical manner.


OPINION: The Usurping Of The Majority

It was reading David Kurten’s statement that broke me. I was trying to be objective and see the positive side of this story but to say I was struggling was an understatement. I couldn’t think of a positive angle to take and I still cant – the statement is dignified, respectful and just plain nice. The facts in Mr Kurtens statement are the incontrovertible truth. He was promised the position of Deputy Leader. The video is out there and it exists. I should know. I spent a whole evening spooling through videos of the hustings in question to defend on Facebook the story as it appeared on Kipper Central. This promise has now been broken in what I believe to be a grievous error of judgment made by Henry Bolton. Trust is a scarce commodity for any politician and it has now been thoughtlessly and needlessly squandered.

However, there is a wider point which adds insult to the injury. It is my belief that the leadership election results showed a clearly socially conservative majority among those who voted. Of course, Mr Kurtens 2,000+ votes are in that mix as were a substantial proportion of the votes cast for John Rees-Evans and Anne Marie Waters. The most overtly socially liberal platform put forward was by UKIP United and they scraped a mere 600 odd votes. Indeed, many of Mr Bolton’s own votes were cast for him on the explicit understanding that Mr Kurten would be Deputy, had Henry been honest and stated that he was not going to appoint Mr Kurten then his number of votes would be reduced. I am not saying it would have been by enough to lose to Ms Waters but it certainly would have been reduced. So, to add to the affront to common decency, the sense that loyalty should be rewarded, we have another, deeper insult to democracy.

I understand that Mr Bolton has his reasons but those reasons from what can be heard on the grapevine basically amount to a capitulation to the extremist behaviour of the LGBT In UKIP group. This group is a minority and in a democracy, a minority should yes, have their rights protected but those rights do not include the right to usurp the settled will of the majority and as I have just demonstrated that is the core of what has happened here. The minority has been allowed to hold a gun to the head of the leadership and instead of a Deputy Leader who represents the settled will of the majority we have a Deputy Leader who looks suspiciously like a social liberal. I will give Margot Parker the benefit of the doubt, for now, and indeed the treatment of Mr Kurten can scarcely be said to be her fault even if she is the immediate beneficiary of its consequences.  Maybe she will step-up and give the newly disenfranchised a voice at the top table. I hope so and I hope the above assumption is proved wrong.

However, this is all spilled milk now. What of the future? Mr Kurten himself has stated he intends to start a “new venture” to “rally the forces of conservatism” This sounds to me like a new movement, not a new Party. Good. I look down the leadership list and while it is a conservative list, with little radical change, I look in vain for a serious voice of social conservatism. No doubt this is why Breitbart vented its spleen all over the leadership damming Mr Bolton’s choice of “establishment allies”. Democratically speaking social conservatives are morally entitled to representation at the top table but we have none. It is not just Mr Kurten who was disenfranchised but every single social conservative within UKIP.  So, let me be the first to suggest this solution. If we are to be excluded from the appointed leadership then let us fight the democratic fight. NEC elections are imminent and it is my sincere belief that Mr Kurten should put himself forward as a candidate for the NEC and were he to so do it is my belief that he would win that election and give us, the majority, a voice at the highest level of the Party. We cannot allow this Party to be held hostage by a terroristic, and in the words of others extremist, minority within the Party and must recognise that the majority has the right to democratically assert itself. It did in the leadership election and Mr Bolton was the beneficiary, however, this time, it will, hopefully, right a serious wrong that he has done against Mr Kurten and indeed many of his own supporters.
Author: Darrell Goodliffe Kipper Central

Northern Ireland Politics 2017 – UKIP Conference Speech


Since the election on the 7th March this year the NI Assembly has met for 46 mins and to date it has cost the taxpayer, yes that’s you and I, £6 million to cover MLAs’ salaries and expenses. No provision has been made for an non-operative Assembly. In fact this week the Independent Financial Review Panel determined that they should receive an additional £500 now and a similar increase in 6 months time. Money well spent I hear you cry. If we had the equivalent in my Nottinghamshire County, NI would be governed by 80 County Councillors on approx £20k including expenses.


Meanwhile, there are cuts in care packages, waiting lists for hospital appointments are getting longer and Mental Health funding is curtailed. Road safety has always been a major issue in NI. Did you know that more people were killed due to road accidents than during the horrific unrest during the Troubles?


Excessive speed on rural roads, an investment in road expansions is urgently needed and potholes abound. A common phrase you can hear is; We used to drive on the left of the road. Now we drive on what is left of the road.

Over 25% are employed in the public sector, the highest region throughout the UK and young people not in Education, Employment or Training sits at approx. 20%. Job losses are announced far too frequently and this week the manufacturing sector in East Belfast has been dealt a significant blow.


The names of the Parties may be different but many people vote not for a party, but to ensure that the “other side” don’t get elected. It’s politics of fear and in the NI case it’s largely down to tribal voting patterns on constitutional matters. That’s why I joined UKIP in NI. It offered a non-sectarian Unionist alternative with a UK National party who believe that Direct Democracy through Referendums should resolve issues when politicians cannot agree.


The latest stumbling block preventing a return to the Assembly is the demand from Sein Fein for a standalone Irish Language Act.

The Irish language received official recognition and funding under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and for 20 years in Government SF seemed content to channel their efforts through the Irish medium education sector. There certainly hasn’t been desire to legislate for a bilingual public sector with preferential recruitment of Irish speakers. According to the 2011 census, only 4,045 people claimed Irish as their main language.


Language should threaten no one – however when language is used as a cultural weapon by political republicanism it clearly becomes a threat to British identity. Stormont has invested £171m in the past five years to promote the Irish language. However, SF has driven more people away from ever cultivating a genuine interest in the Irish language than any of these publicly funded incentives can ever hope to attract. Any legislation, no matter what it’s called or how its packaged, which underpins the Irish language in a legal framework will have massive implications for local government, the courts, the civil service, schools and everyday life in Northern Ireland. Legislative intervention will be used as an employment driver for Irish speakers and will open-up the potential for endless legal challenges on a range of related issues.


The parochial Unionist Parties wish to promote Ulster Scots and Nationalists advocate the Irish language. Maybe it’s time to discover the common language spoken throughout the North of Ireland for centuries, Ulster Gaelic. NI politicians should be focussing on that which should unite society – the need to tackle waiting-lists, the crisis in school budgets, and the need to create new and better jobs



On 23rd June 2016 the electorate in the United Kingdom of GB and NI voted to leave the EU together. We are united on this matter. No ifs, No buts, No fudge. Leave means Leave. Northern Ireland is not for sale to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union as proposed by the EU. This crazy idea breaches the Belfast Agreement. Northern Ireland is British. Carving up the UK is not on the agenda, not an inch.


Relations between Ireland and the UK have never been better. Ties of language, family, free trade and free travel bind us together. We regard the Irish as our “Kith and Kin”. All of these ties precede the formation of the EU. Irish farmers and small businesses export €1 billion with the UK every week. So you can see that it’s mutually beneficial for this situation to continue. Following the 2009-12 boom and bust in Ireland’s economy it was the UK who rose to the occasion with an offer of an interest free loan. The EU’s response, a € 64 billion Franco – German bank debt imposed on the Irish taxpayer.


100 years on from Ireland’s Independence we voted to regain our Independence because we want to make our own laws, spend our own money, act in our interest and determine our own destiny. With Brexit, Ireland has an even greater financial incentive to leave the EU and agree a free trade agreement with the UK. What we are witnessing is the EU’s provocation by interfering in our good relations, fanning the flames of political violence over the Border issue. A recent EU commission ruling on Ireland’s corporation taxation rate has also come as a shock leaving multi-nationals watching Apple Computer’s appeal very closely on the billions the EU says it owes the Irish Government.  But we all know that the EU isn’t about freedom, it’s about enslavement of nations and peoples. You cannot be a sovereign, independent self-governing country while being a member of the EU. To paraphrase Patrick Pearce, “Ireland unfree from the EU shall never be at peace”. Is it now time for the people of Ireland to demand a Referendum to determine whether they want to remain a member of the political EU or be granted Special Status within the EU? Let’s hope commonsense prevails and that our good relationship will continue to flourish and maybe the people of Ireland will join us one day as members of the Commonwealth.


Signal Centre – Digital Masterclass

Date 1: Wednesday 4 October, 8.00am–10.30am 
Date 2: 
Wednesday 18 October, 8.00am–10.30am 
Date 3: 
Wednesday 1 November, 8.00am-10.30am
Venue: The Marine Court Hotel, Bangor
£45 (for the series)
Due to popular demand we are delighted to host, for the first time, the Digital Seminar Series. Three Masterclass events will be held over three sessions on current Digital themes.
During each themed event you will hear a panel discussion and a live pitch from leading experts on a variety of business related digital topics, and then you select which speaker/topic to join for their Masterclass session.—3-Workshops/Masterclass—The-Digital-Seminar-Series.aspx