Bonfire fleggers still #Winning (this time in Derry)…

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One of the blinding stupidities of burning another nation’s national flag on your bonfire, is the near certainty that it will encourage someone else to burn yours, which in turn… Alliance has condemned the actions of republicans who placed Union flags on a bonfire in Londonderry on Friday night. The Fire Service was called in more…

Corporation Tax powers finally set to be devolved?

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The Belfast Telegraph has a number of articles about the devolution of control over Corporation Tax: with a timeline here. From the Belfast Telegraph: Finance Minister Simon Hamilton said: “I am optimistic that we will get a positive answer from the Prime Minister. “I think that the Government wants to do this and we have more…

Labour’s difficulty pulling ahead

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The latest opinion polls show Labour’s small lead seems fairly consistent but it remains too small for them to have any confidence in achieving a majority. Ironically despite their currently pathetic level of support the most likely scenario remains the Liberal Democrats holding the balance of power. At one level this failure of the Labour more…

Much can be learned from comparing Salmond and Redmond’s destinies

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  One month away from Scotland’s Moment of Truth, it is worth reflecting how eerie the symmetries and coincidences of history can sometimes be.  Followers of Irish and Scottish affairs know this to be a bumper year for anniversaries in both countries.  A millennium ago the celebrated Battle of Clontarf was fought just north of Dublin – a crucial more…

Stopping Islamic State in Iraq: parallels with Vietnam

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The ongoing disaster that is Iraq continues. When the Americans (with British help) invaded Iraq in 2003 I must confess to feeling it has the potential to become another Vietnam. As time has gone on that appearance has strengthened centrally in that like Vietnam the Americans would have been wiser not to invade and having more…

A-levels: How to make some lemonade when you get handed a lemon

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This is the time of year when students either celebrate success or drown their sorrows as the standard debate takes place about are these exams getting easier? And did Northern Ireland come first? Are you getting into the University of your first choice? It was August 2007 when it my turn to open up that more…

Edinburgh Orange Order pro Union parade illegal?

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Interesting one from `Cybernat` (his term) Craig Murray regarding the proposed Orange Order demo in Edinburgh shortly before the Independence referendum. The proposed Orange for No march appears plainly to be in contravention of the Public Order Act 1936. This act makes it illegal to wear a uniform to promote a political cause: Section 1 (i) more…

Scars

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It’s still there if you look closely. Just under my chin. Can you see it? Just zoom in a bit.                         Ten years ago I was at the top of my game. Money was great, family was great, loved my job, loads of good more…

Robin Williams, a compassionate story teller…

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Sad news in the passing of Robin Williams. I was a quiet fan, not least for his almost medieval approach to comedy and drama. The Fisher King almost a perfect depiction of his own internal struggles… My own personal favourite was his portrayal of ‘Sean’ in Good Will Hunting…” He was despite all his struggles, more…

“Two lesbians living together are not a family. They are sexual perverts playing let’s pretend”

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UPDATED Much was said of Belfast ‘Pastor’ James McConnell’s recent anti-Islamic comments: The story was picked up around the world and McConnell was subsequently questioned by the PSNI. First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson was drawn into the row when he gave his backing to the Pastor’s remarks and said he would not trust more…

“The only thing terrifying about Belfast are the beer prices”

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These days Matthew Collins is a leading anti-fascist campaigner and a Researcher/Northern Ireland correspondent  for the organisation HOPE not hate. But this wasn’t always the case. Back in 1987, aged 15, he was a Mein Kampf-reading Nazi, flogging copies of National Front Newspaper ‘The Flag’ around south London housing estates before becoming a party organiser more…