Following politics @StormontCircles

Political images

Political images

IF a picture is worth a thousand words, then surely the same can be said of a Venn diagram?

That was the thinking behind a politics project launched by The Detail six months ago.

It was a new Twitter account called: @StormontCircles

The idea was to use Venn diagrams to make points about politics, whether that be analysing events, busting-myths or challenging political policies.

By distilling complex issues into simple images, we wanted to make meaningful observations at a glance: political commentary for the digital age.

Here, we review some of the most popular Venns from the first six months of the project, from September 2014 to February 2015, with explanations of the context at the time of their publication.

THE PEACE PROCESS

When @StormontCircles was launched, political debate around the Northern Ireland Assembly was dominated by rows over budgets and policies. But was the real logjam the inability of unionist and nationalist politicians to work together?

Reconciliation

Reconciliation

A deeper crisis existed in the peace process, fuelled by poor relations between parties at Stormont, poor oversight by the UK government, plus the Conservative Party’s courting of the DUP:

Stalled

Stalled

Debates over Stormont’s problems focused on financial matters, but was this ignoring a wider crisis? Had we lost focus?

Peace Process

Peace Process

POLITICAL NEGOTIATIONS

When the British and Irish governments launched negotiations to prevent a collapse of the Assembly, public confidence in the talks was rock bottom:

Pestilence

Pestilence

As the political negotiations carried on into the Christmas period, hopes were not high:

Turkey

Turkey

But Prime Minister David Cameron and Taoiseach Enda Kenny promised some seasonal cheer:

Christmas

Christmas

STORMONT GOES TO THE MOVIES:

Mr Cameron and Mr Kenny left the talks without a deal. It was also the day that the new Hobbit movie was released:

The Hobbit

The Hobbit

Public cynicism grew. And again, in the wider world, the talk was of movies and the promise of a new Star Wars film:

Star Wars

Star Wars

When a political deal was eventually announced, it emerged that rather than getting new money, Stormont had merely secured greater borrowing powers:

Game of Loans

Game of Loans

SOCIAL ISSUES

Politics impacts on wider society and the plight of victims of the Troubles needed to be highlighted:

Victims

Victims

Racist and homophobic attacks hit the headlines. @StormontCircles produced a Venn diagram on homophobia following attacks on a gay man who was mourning the death of his husband:

Homophobia

Homophobia

On the reform of the welfare system, there were questions over a new Stormont safety net that promised to protect the most vulnerable from cuts:

Welfare net

Welfare net

THE POLITICAL PARTIES

With the Sinn Féin President now based in Dublin, unionists complained that Gerry Adams was too often leaning in to influence events at Stormont:

Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin

The continuing battle between the DUP and Sinn Féin was overshadowing other important work:

DUP Vs Sinn Féin

DUP Vs Sinn Féin

But when tensions emerged inside the ranks of the DUP – after the party leader Peter Robinson was challenged by some of his senior colleagues – that Venn diagram had to be amended:

DUP Vs DUP

DUP Vs DUP

As the party conference season started, internal tensions emerged in the SDLP over its efforts to position itself as a critic of government policy, while also being a member of the government:

SDLP

SDLP

The Ulster Unionist Party declared it opposed the old ‘binary politics’ of `orange Vs green’, but then promptly called for an election pact with the DUP to win Westminster seats from nationalists:

UUP

UUP

And while the DUP declared its desire for a Northern Ireland for everyone, it complicated this message by opposing issues important to some sections of society, including Irish language legislation and marriage rights for same sex couples:

DUP

DUP

We’ll keep the Venns coming, as politics here continues to go round in circles.

Follow the Stormont Circles account today by going to Twitter @StormontCircles