Duplicity over parading scuppered graduated response

In Saturday’s edition of the News Letter Sammy Wilson MP MLA took a swipe at the ‘whingers’ who have dared question the duplicity that led to the withdrawal of TUV, PUP and UKIP from the ‘graduated response’. Back in July TUV set down a marker for our involvement, so it should come as no surprise more…

#SluggerSoapBox: In praise of Bob Purdie 1940 – 2014…

From Stephen Howe who is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, having previously taught for many years at Ruskin College Oxford and worked at the New Statesman.  Irish writings include the 2000 book Ireland and Empire, and contributions to Irish Political Studies, Irish Historical Studies, and the new Oxford Handbook of Modern more…

What Stormont must do to convince Cameron to up his offer

Are the political parties still hoping that David Cameron will turn into a White Knight and Save Ulster from Austerity?  What does Stormont have to do to persuade him to answer  their pleas to up his offer? Among the elements are: devising a proper three year  plan for the first time so as the world more…

Is it the end of the line for Queen Elizabeth?

indexaad

Earlier today the bookmaker Coral closed the market on bets around whether the Queen would announce in her Christmas broadcast this year that she was to step down. This would follow the practice of other European Monarch’s who have annouced their abidications in favour of a younger generation. There was a flurry of bets in more…

Soapbox – My Arts Journey #13pForTheArts

13pforthearts

A ‘Soapbox’ piece from Karen O’Rawe, reposted from her blog. – – – When I was a young single mum living in a small house, struggling to hold down a job and make ends meet, the Arts believed in me and gave me a chance. A job, a life, non-judgmental colleagues and a new view more…

Belfast Telegraph and City Centre bus lanes

And I thought I’d stopped commenting on transport for a wee while.  Hey ho. Jim Rodgers is quoted in today’s Belfast Telegraph as calling for a formal review of city centre bus lanes, backed by Gavin Robinson.  I’m not going to retread ground I covered on Friday and Saturday, but I do want to make more…

Assembly reform without real change in political outlook means little

The reform ideas for  the beleaguered  Stormont Assembly  disclosed by the BBC are well intentioned.  but they’re the wrong treatment on the wrong diagnosis, as the disease is the failure of our politicians to  work together effectively.  Note that they’re being put forward by the British government five months ahead of the deadline of May more…

Cartoon – Spencer on Tuesday

Robinson, McGuinness cartoon, Brian John Spencer

In response to the Cameron-Kenny talks exit the Telegraph wrote, “It is astonishing how money can conquer ancient sectarian divides.” The divided became the united and money was the lubricant and the bridge. The only problem, Cameron wants the money back with interest. The divide now is between Cameron and the common money front of DUP-SF.

There Is No Alternative! (to Casement Park development plan) – Redux

Belfast High Court has ruled that the decision to grant planning permission for the controversial £70million redevelopment of Casement Park in west Belfast was “fundamentally flawed”.  However, Mr Justice Horner did not quash the decision, and will take further submissions from lawyers for the Department of the Environment, the GAA and the residents group who mounted the more…

Wuz Rory really robbed of glory?

Just like the politicians, outrage seems to be the default position  if we don’t get our way, this time over  sporting prizes,  judging from the Belfast Telegraph’s reaction to Rory McIroy, the bookie’s favourite,   pipped  by Lewis Hamilton for BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Angry Northern Ireland sports fans last night slammed the shock more…

“Can Scottish Labour, under Murphy, learn to think big?”

So Jim Murphy, a machine politician from his very earliest days in the NUS, takes over the helm at Scottish Labour. He has an unenviable task ahead of him. The Yes campaign may have won the #IndyRef battle but the unionist parties now show every sign of terminal weakness in their war for the future of the Union. more…

Education: Did Signature Deliver A GCSE Breakthrough?

The publication of the latest examination performance results provided a positive news story amidst the gloom of the ongoing debacle that is the political talks process. The headline figure is the news that just over 65% of year 12 pupils achieved the baseline academic threshold of 5 ‘good’ GCSEs (ie A*-C grades including Maths and more…

My Battle with Anxiety and How I Beat It

This is a soapbox from a person who wishes to remain anonymous, but wanted to share their story about how they dealt with and recovered from an Anxiety Disorder. This is their story I suffer from an anxiety disorder, there I said it. Anxiety can be a difficult thing to admit to. After all, who more…

CitizenFour – humanising the whistleblower Edward Snowden while letting his secrets speak for themselves #nihrf

Edward Snowden CitizenFour

When reaching out to journalists prior to leaving the NSA along with gigabytes of secret documentation, Edward Snowden signed off his emails as ‘CitizenFour’. It’s also the name chosen by Laura Poitras for the third film in her post-9/11 surveillance trilogy. We are building the greatest weapon for oppression in the history of man, yet more…

Time to embrace true integrated education?

education

Dave Thompson has been a teacher in Forge Integrated Primary School for over 18 years.  Here are two facts about myself. I firmly believe in the importance of Integrated education. I also like irony; I frequently have a wry smile on my face. Sometimes these facts merge. For example, when local opinion polls show overwhelming more…