Region Archives: Global

Paper trail: from Northern Ireland’s hooded men to CIA’s global torture

Letter from Home Secretary Merlyn Rees to Prime Minister Jim Callaghan in 1977, when the UK was (successfully)arguing in Strasbourg that the techniques used were not torture

In August 1971 the UK authorities arrested and interned hundreds of men in Northern Ireland. Fourteen of them were selected for “special treatment” – torture in a specially-built interrogation centre at a British Army camp. The men were subjected to the soon-to-be infamous “five techniques” of hooding, stress positions, white noise, sleep deprivation and deprivation more…

Calling for more Unionist writers and/or bloggers?

The last few weeks and months have seen a great inflow of new talent. I’m particularly pleased that we have made a start on flipping the dominance of the male voice in Slugger’s blogging team.  Earlier in the year in her lecture for the London Review of Books Mary Beard noted that the sidelining of the more…

With DEL cuts of 10.8% NI Executive will be encouraging local talent to leave Northern Ireland

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 22.55.50

Professor Deirdre Heenan is Pro Vice Chancellor for Communications and Provost of Coleraine and Magee in the Ulster Univerity. She writes here on the long term depressive effect of proposed cuts to the funding of the two major universities in Northern Ireland. Relevant, accessible skills, innovation, new technology and productivity; these are factors that underpin more…

“vices and follies of the powerful are much less despised than the poverty and weakness of the innocent.”

This is soooo good, I’m just going to post a big chunk of it below. It’s Chris Dillow nailing a key problem with the UK media’s obsession with bringing celebrity to the big politics table… He cites an experiment (pdf) by James Andreoni and Justin Rao involving a constructed roleplay scenario involving a ‘dictator': There more…

On Open Government: “Everything good proceeds from enthusiasm…”

Kellden big machine smells

Brian Eno in interview. However cynical views of the increasingly visible shortcomings of our democratic systems, people remain passionate as ever about the ‘wetware’ of politics itself, even if the democratic institutions struggle to retain a respectful place in their public affections. And we are not just talking about Stormont. Steven McCaffrey’s profile of the launch more…

Remembrance: Could we ‘hack’ a common purpose from our shared and bloody history?

‘Traditions’ which appear or claim to be old are often quite recent in origin and sometimes invented. Eric Hobsbawm In his introduction to a 1983 collection of essays Eric Hobsbawm notes not only that traditions are by definition ‘unchanging and invariant’, but that they are themselves created or invented as a response to rapid technological more…

CNBC: Ireland we hardly knew ye!

I know we like to think that our wee island packs a punch beyond its size, but any illusion that we are a household name kind of comes crashing down with one interview on one of America’s most respected financial networks CNBC. If you have not been following this story, the Chief Executive of the more…

Open Government in Practice 2 – Open Policy Making

BCT logo square

Paul Braithwaite has been leading the Building Change Trust’s work exploring the issue of open government over the past year, focusing on the international Open Government Partnership initiative and its potential in Northern Ireland.  Last week the topic in focus was open budgets, this week it’s the turn of open policy making.   A new more…

The Suit (Lyric until 31 Oct) – enchanting theatre examining the effect of a violent society #belfest

BelFest Belfast Festival 2014 logo

Recent revelations and the steady stream of new people coming forward to access Victims & Survivors Services remind us that Northern Ireland is still coming to terms with the deeper consequences of how the Troubles affected society and in particular family life. The Suit is a play from Théâtre Des Bouffes Du Nord that looks more…

#SluggerTalks on the future potential of Northern Ireland

So today, we bring back the #digitallunch video format only this time we are calling it #SluggerTalks. Tomorrow’s will be the first in a series of two handers between myself and Shane Greer discussing some of the points raised in response to his post last week on what we might do to unlock Northern Ireland’s Tremendous more…

How do we unlock Northern Ireland’s tremendous potential?

sceconomyfinal8_tcm77-354487-2

I still remember the spring of 2001. The palpable excitement I felt about something I’d dreamed of since my adolescence and, with sixth form drawing to a close, was finally in a position to realise: leaving Northern Ireland. I was one of the almost 18,000 who emigrated that year, a number that rose to just more…