Greece: bitter pills & ill-wills

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Of the grand, ambitious projects embarked-upon on the European continent over the last three decades two highly visible examples were recalled today in Brussels: football’s Champions League and the Single European Currency. Whatever they have in common there is one crucial difference in joining either of these prestigious clubs, in the Euro one can gain more…

“For those who can’t read Greekdebtspeak, well, you’re on your own”

Greek Referendum Question 5 July 2015

With European leaders, including Syriza’s erstwhile ally the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, warning Greek voters that they will be, effectively, deciding whether or not they want to stay in the eurozone, the BBC takes a side-ways look at the wording of the controversial 5 July referendum the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras suddenly announced at more…

Jim Allister sets sights on SpAd excesses

Today, TUV Leader and North Antrim MLA, Jim Allister has set his sights firmly back on the Special Advisers at Stormont. Having already succeeded in getting one of only two Private Members Bills onto the statute book in the lifetime of this Assembly (the other being Lord Morrow’s Human Trafficking Bill) and the only Bill more…

Using data for public good – launch of Detail Data

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NICVA’s relationship with investigative journalism website The Detail began with the reporting on the umbrella organisation’s research paper on The Impact of Welfare Reform on Northern Ireland. Lisa McElherron said she was thrilled to launch the Detail Data project. NICVA had been keen (1) to better tell the stories of the sector they represent; (2) more…

Blogging: Why I bother doing it.

Guide to Blogosphere 2010

Blogging, why the hell do you bother? This is the question that bloggers of all stripes get asked A LOT and in the past week I have been getting this question more often than I usually do. It’s a fair enough question I suppose. There is no secure income from it, it is generally looked more…

High Time Media Moved on from Indulging Pseudo-Controversy Surrounding James McClean and “Poppy Issue”

James McClean (Michael Kranewitter, Wikimedia Commons, CC-by-sa 3.0/at)

The media don’t half like flogging dead horses. Right on cue, James McClean‘s move to West Bromwich Albion last week prompted talk in the Belfast Telegraph (not for the first time) of his repeated eschewing of the wearing of a political poppy on his various past clubs’ football jerseys around Britain’s celebration of its Remembrance Sunday each more…

My trip to the Orange Museum

I paid a visit to the new Museum of Orange Heritage in Belfast’s Schomberg House on Thursday. I was given a guided tour by David Scott, a very articulate and clearly passionate advocate of the Order. The tour featured in a BBC Good Morning Ulster story on Friday (1hr 16 mins in.) The tour took more…

“The exact location of the international boundary between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland through Loughs Carlingford and Foyle remains an issue for determination…”

In January 2012 I suggested there might be some cause for optimism that the unresolved issue of the delimitation of the territorial water boundary between the UK and the Republic of Ireland could be, erm, resolved.  As the then Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD, said at the time. Recently the two Governments agreed to address more…

More Greek gamesmanship…

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With the Greek Parliament, and Greece’s creditors in Europe and elsewhere, discussing the latest sudden manoeuvre by the game theory academics in the Syriza-led Greek Government, via the Guardian’s live-blog, here’s a reminder of Alexis Tspiras’ criticism of ex-PM George Papandreou’s, failed, attempt to hold a similar referendum in 2011. @graemewearden A transcript of @atsipras‘s scathing more…

Cartoon – Martin Varoufakis

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Yesterday Theresa Villiers hosted the Stormont House Agreement Implementation Review meeting with the 5 Executive parties and Irish Government. Word has it Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness fired a verbal volley at Secretary of State. Very Varoufakis.

First do no harm – smoking and the ethics of vaping…

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  Michael McBride is crystal clear; our Chief Medical Officer believes too many people are vaping and this is a bad thing.  In a recent TV interview he was unambiguous in his discouragement of e-cigarettes.    The views of CMO are important, people listen and people take note.  He’s not alone; the British Medical Association, WHO, more…

Northern Ireland gets a new electricity company

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Northern Ireland will have a new electricity supplier from this August. Open Electric pledges to be the most “socially aware” power company with promises to reward its customers with a share in any profits made. The company will be run by local entrepreneur Marc Norris who set out his rationale for wanting to set up more…

Orange Order open new museum without the Tricolour.

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A big deal or a storm in a tea cup? As journalists went to the opening of a new museum to commeorate important events involving Orange culture they noticed something missing on the outside of the building USA, Canada, Togo.. so why no Irish tricolour? Orange Order defends flag omission from museum display @irish_news pic.twitter.com/8K9cQ10Vpw more…

Sinn Féin’s little local difficulty in East Cork rumbles on… [And on…]

In the aftermath of the Sinn Féin party hierarchy’s expelling of Cllr Kieran McCarthy from the party, and suspending Cllr Melissa Mullane, there’s been reports of more “uncomradely behaviour” in East Cork.  The Irish Times reports The members of a Sinn Féin cumann in Fermoy, Co Cork have resigned from the party after one of its local more…

Bus lane cameras: the first three weeks (UPDATED)

There is one authorised vehicular route into the restricted part of Belfast city centre – via High Street.  Donegall Place has been one way for several years, but it and Royal Avenue only ever permitted buses to enter.  The signs at the junction with Bridge Street ban all traffic from passing except buses, permit holders, more…

Time for a level playing field for sports funding in Northern Ireland…

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In a country where sports / cultural funding is generally split along sectarian Lines, the 3,000 people who participated in the Gran Fondo yet again tells us loud and clear that sports participation in Northern Ireland bears no resemblance to the way our politicians allocate funding for sporting capital projects in Northern Ireland. Our politicians more…