Region Archives: UK

(Over) Prescribing for the Masses?

Prevention, they say, is better than cure. Public health strategies have focussed on the provision of safe drinking water, safe sewage disposal and mass vaccination. These have greatly reduced death and illness from infectious diseases. Preventative strategies are now being taken further; your GP will ask ‘screening’ questions, and you might get an invitation for more…

Stormont: Let’s Keep it Closed

No money, no power

There’s a wonderful, fascinating irony developing – for political anoraks at least – in the devolved regions of this United Kingdom. Just a few days after David Cameron’s initial talks with Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP about devo-max for Scotland it appears that devolution in Northern Ireland is about to be handed back. Devolved institutions more…

What’s that got to do with the price of fish? The growing gap between inflation and the perception of inflation

Various Inflation Measures v2

Last week’s news that the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of UK inflation has dipped below zero for the first time since official records began in 1996, and for the first time since 1960 based on equivalent historical estimates, caused a range of reactions amongst commentators and politicians. The Chancellor, George Osborne, was keen to more…

Should MLAs merely serve the pure technology of the law, or seek to change it?

Ashers Bakery

Following on from yesterday’s, here’s some additional thoughts, in which I argue that we all may be getting a little too comfortable with letting judges frame law instead of our elected “Lawmakers” at Stormont… listen to ‘Is law taking primacy over democracy in NI?’ on audioBoom Most recently there has been the recent Asher’s cake row, of more…

Government of Ireland’s Plans for 2016 Commemorations

easterproclamation

The School of History and Anthropology at Queen’s and the Community Relations Council, in conjunction with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Community relations, today hosted a briefing on the Government of Ireland’s plans for commemorations in 2016:  Ireland 2016: Centenary Programme, presented by John Concannon, Director of the 2016 Programme. The programme, which more…

In Prince Charles’ visit there is richer significance than a handshake with Gerry Adams

It was probably inevitable but the UK coverage of Prince Charles’ handshake with Gerry Adams  exaggerated its significance.  The heavy lifting for reconciliation was done by the royals when the Queen and Prince Philip shook hands with Martin McGuiness in the Lyric Theatre, opening the door to a filmed audience as DFM last year. Prince Philip’s more…

Antimicrobial (antibiotic) resistance

The control of infectious disease in the 20th century was very largely due to public health measures, such as vaccination programmes in the population, and to the use of antibiotics in the individual. In the past, lobar pneumonia was a major killer of otherwise healthy you adults; and the progression of this illness was often more…

Electors, Prisoners and the ECHR

There are complicated rules about who can and can’t vote, and who can and can’t be a candidate in UK elections. It also depends on the type of election, local, for Westminster or for the EU. I’ve put up a short and incomplete summary here—it’s already quite turgid enough, and I’m not going to repeat more…

Labour’s defeat: the future is rarely as bleak as it seems

One of the advantages of reaching middle age is that, provided one has a good memory, one can see lots of things happening again. I have never been interested in betting: partly a good Calvinist upbringing but also the fact that aged 9 or 10 on a Sunday School outing I put money into gaming more…

The Contested Identities of Ulster Protestants, edited by Burgess and Mulvenna – Book Review

contested identities

Edited academic collections are often technical and specialized – appealing to academics, but offering little to other readers interested in the topic. The Contested Identities of Ulster Protestants (Palgrave 2015), edited by Thomas Paul Burgess (UCC) and Gareth Mulvenna (Queen’s) is an exception to this trend, as it draws in an eclectic range of contributors more…

Gerry Kelly: “The letter with the figures said it all because it dealt with anti-sectarianism and that’s the way I am…”

Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly is still squirming on the sectarian hook the party hoisted him on during his failed campaign in North Belfast during the UK parliamentary election. [Petard? – Ed]  Pardon you… After his party colleague, Carál Ní Chuilín, MLA, [Good heavens, you’re the Culture Minister?! – Ed], tried, and failed, to blame the Electoral more…

Cross Currents in British & Irish Working Class Life: a day of talks, debate, performance & song #workingclasslife

Cross Currents in British and Irish Working Class Life

A research group at the Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities at QUB has spent a year organising public-academic engagements posing and interrogating new research questions relating to working class history, politics, culture, literature and music. They’ve been asking … How has working-class life been created in Northern Ireland’s imagined and material worlds? Have more…