Archive | June, 2014

@LADFLEG: “We are pro-Union and pro Loyalist”

Last week I sat down with two of the brains behind Loyalists Against Democracy (LAD), Billy and Ron. I was interested to catch up with the guys since we last spoke in February about the group’s foundation and how they approach certain issues. This time, however, I was interested to speak to them about some more…

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Xchange Summer School – changing the conversation about … the arts #xss14

It turns out that it doesn’t always rain in Enniskillen! From Thursday to Saturday, Xchange’s inaugural summer school enjoyed balmy weather in and around the Ardhowen theatre as delegates chatted, ate, drank, debated and challenged each other’s views on the arts, the media, liberties and history. Chaired by Denzil McDaniel, the opening session asked whether more…

Cameron’s EU defeat: maybe De Gaulle was right all along

David Cameron’s failure to defeat the candidature of Jean-Claude Juncker has been variously described as a humiliation, a catastrophe for Britain, and an example of Cameron’s principle and European leaders cowardice. The Guardian’s Toby Helm has possibly the best analysis of what actually happened, why and how. It seems relatively few EU leaders were keen more…

Graduation time: What comes next?

So, you’ve completed your degree and have been awarded (hopefully) a good classification. When I was receiving my degree four years ago, I remember reading an awful article in the Telegraph telling me that my year was about to go into the worst job market for 20 years with three hundred thousand graduates competing for more…

If polluting the environment is bad, what about polluting young minds?

The Ballymena Times is reporting that loyalist leaders and Unionist political representatives have met to agree a code of conduct for bonfires in the greater Ballymena area. One Protestant clergyman in the Ballymena area, John F.A. Bond, the Dean of Connor and Rector of St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Broughshane,has written to the Grand Lodge more…

World Cup stats for our football aficionados

The five World Cups since 1998 (including 2014) have involved 32 international teams who qualified through their respective confederations. Examining the performances of the representatives of the differing international continent-based confederations allows us to look at how competitive the differing regions have been. Key Statistics: Escaping the Group Stage Europe (UEFA) has seen only 6 more…

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Sarajevo, 28 June 1914

These are two photographs, taken in roughly 1914, of the building known to history as Schiller's bakery (which was really more of a delicatessen) on the corner of what are now Green Berets Street and Prince Kulin Quay in Sarajevo, formerly Franz Josef Street and Appel Quay (43.85791 N, 18.42892 E if you want to more…

OFMdFM “operating on a day-to-day basis, in the same way a chameleon changes its colour, reacting to its environment…”

Dr Cathy Gormley-Heenan on the View last night, description of the two old Crumlin Road lags currently in possession of the Scottish Baronial splendor that is Stormont Castle (that’s OFMdFM to you and me): “They are very reactive to the temperature, the environment, the circumstances in which they are operating on a day-to-day basis, in more…

#Baggott: PSNI should *no longer* be accountable

Matt Baggott is pretty much leaving the PSNI in the same way as he joined in 2009. At that time, he was being pressed by the Coroner John Leckey to release files on shoot-to-kill cases from 1982 so that inquests could be held. His predecessor, Hugh Orde had been ignoring a similar request since 2007. more…

ni21 qub exec resign

A blow for Basil as Lagan Valley NI21 Executive hand in their badges + NI21’s QUB Exec too

Basil McCrea will once again be without an effective constituency organisation in Lagan Valley. This evening the executive of his local NI21 constituency group have all resigned from the faltering party. [David Cairns, chair of the LV Exec remains.] It’s a pretty bad show of confidence when the party leader’s local group desert him … more…

The problem is not a weak parades commission, it’s our politics..

Fascinating. Liam Clarke nails something vital here: ….the only way through the marching season is for Parades Commission decisions to be honoured and enforced by the police. That is the message we need from politicians and, if they don’t like the situation, the answer is in their own hands. They have spent years trying to more…

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Scotland’s Choice: Reshaping Relationships #qubindyref … and a Federal UK pitch from Tory MSP Murdo Fraser

Whatever the outcome, the referendum on Scottish independence on 18 September will have a profound significance for relationships spanning Britain and Ireland. That was the assertion at a one-day conference organised through the Political Studies Association and Queen’s University Belfast today. In his opening lecture “Tangled Histories” Prof Graham Walker (QUB) unravelled some of the more…

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“We need a politics of recognition not identities”: Professor Rick Wilford

“We need a politics of recognition not identities”: Professor Rick Wilford Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings 17 June 2014 As part of his retirement from Queen’s University Belfast, Professor Rick Wilford was invited to present a lecture: “Two cheers for consociational democracy?” The Senate Chamber of Parliament Buildings provided a most appropriate setting for his review more…

“Now meetings seem almost routine and we have dispensed with the fig leaf…”

Like boiling a frog…  After the party’s opposition to her first truly historic official visit to Ireland, this week, on the third occasion of the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Fein’s forgetful Martin McGuinness, being presented to the UK Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II, the earlier pretence has finally been dropped.  As Liam Clarke notes more…