Region Archives: UK

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…

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…

“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…

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…

Can the next Labour leader act as a bridge between politics and people?

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As it happens I seem to have acquired an irregular slot on Jonathan Lampon’s ‘Behind the Headlines’ slot on Radio Leicester to talk about UK politics. After a heads up from Jonathan’s team yesterday I found myself as one of an elite few watching the Labour leadership last night… Here’s the resulting discussion from this more…

European Nature Directives may be the best tool we have to protect NI’s natural environment

Colum Delaney, Conservation Officer, Policy Advocacy RSPB NI. Just before Christmas I wrote an article for Slugger on the unprecedented cuts to the Department of the Environment’s budget, and in turn, the devastating affect that this would have across the environmental sector with the removal of the Natural Heritage Grants Programme. Whilst the exact ramifications more…

Northern Ireland & TTIP: Is it Deal or No Deal?

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While nowhere does acronyms like Brussels, one four-letter word has had everyone talking: TTIP, and now in public conscience like few others before it. For clarification TTIP stands for Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which is basically Brussels-speak for Free Trade treaty between the USA and all 28 EU countries. Free trade is nothing new more…

Why marriage equality should not become yet another expensive (and hysterical) NI drama

Siobhan O’Neill is a health psychologist and professor of mental health sciences at Ulster University. She is currently leading several studies on mental health and suicide in Northern Ireland and teaches on several of Ulster’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in psychology.  The obsession with the “naturalness” or otherwise, of particular sexual practices between consenting adults, more…

“A Battle A Day” Is Creating A Political Wasteland

“It will always be a battle a day between those who want maximum change and those who want to maintain the status quo”. Recognise the quote? It came from Gerry Adams’ speech calling for the IRA to permanently abandon violence in 2005. Just a few days before the 2007 Assembly Elections that restored devolved government, more…

On Charlie Kennedy

Charles Kennedy in Glasgow, 2009. (C) "Moniker42" on Wikimedia Commons under CC 3.0.

There’s lots of talk about Charlie Kennedy’s talents and his ‘flaws’, often a euphemistic way of talking about his alcoholism. Alistair Campbell has blogged movingly and directly about their shared illness. It was never exactly a secret. I remember canvassing a man in the 2004 European election campaign, a rather grand chap in a very more…

Panorama on collusion: Does Trevor Ringland support coverup?

Trevor Ringland’s criticism of Darragh MacIntyre’s Panorama on collusion for rewriting history with a political slant is misguided.  The documentary  gave examples of  a spectrum of collusion ranging from loose handling of informers to covering up agents who were multiple repeat killers, sometimes with the foreknowledge of their  handlers.  Much of the material is in the de Silva more…

Experiences of bus privatisation in GB

As threatened a number of times, I’ve finally pulled together this piece on why bus privatisation isn’t all it’s made out to be (cross-posted to my own site, where I’ve included a bibliography) I simply want to walk through the scenarios for privatisation we have seen in GB since 1986 and their pitfalls. Deregulation The more…

Nationalist Parties need to shift away from the “blame the Tories” narrative and embrace the Welfare Reform debate

Nationalism needs a new economic narrative and if you didn’t believe that before, the complete debacle over Welfare Reform is proof positive of the inability to construct a proper narrative on our current economic situation or a long term strategy for fiscal rectitude and a prosperous economy. We are faced at the moment with a more…

(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…