Region Archives: UK

Meningitis B vaccine and the cost of life

The BBC reports today (here) that agreement has been reached between the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt (the one-time ‘Hulture’ Secretary, as James Naughtie nearly described him) and the suppliers of the Meningitis B vaccine. No exact date has been set for the introduction of the vaccine, though it will be added to the schedule of more…

Irish Churches Peace Project Conference featuring Terry Waite – Questions and Reflections

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The Irish Churches Peace Project (ICPP) held a major conference to mark the closing stages of its programme, 26-27 March at the Hilton in Templepatrick. The conference featured as keynote speakers former hostage Terry Waite, Rev Emmanuel Murangira of Rwanda, and Rev Dr Johnston McMaster of the Junction’s Ethical and Shared Remembering Project. Waite, reflecting more…

What the ‘Battle for Number 10′ Tells Us

Last night’s ‘Battle for Number 10′ TV event wasn’t a debate. Channel 4 and Sky News were at pains to tell us that in advance. It was a Q&A apparently – with some of the Qs delivered by Jeremy Paxman (in typical curmudgeon fashion) and others under-arm bowled by members of the public. Oh and more…

Paisley: hundreds of millions…that would ease burdens in Northern Ireland (updated with Donaldson’s comments on Daily Politics)

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This morning’s Independent [not printed in NI, but article available online] carries an interview by David McKittrick with Ian Paisley Jnr on its front page. The DUP’s shopping list has got longer … On the fifth day of electioneering the DUP said to me: stronger controls on immigration and border security, no more bedroom tax, more…

Apathy about politics is the new politics of Northern Ireland, it seems.

Liam Clarke has been raiding the University of Edinburgh’s Academy of Government recent survey for insight on Northern Ireland, and he’s come up with what on the face of it are some surprising figures: The latest figures to show the decline in our political dynamic is a survey from the University of Edinburgh. It showed more…

Gerry Adams: “It is no skin off my nose not to meet the [US] State Department.”

Did the US State Department cancel a planned meeting by a “high-level US state department official” with the Sinn Féin President, Gerry Adams, TD,  after Sinn Féin withdrew support for the welfare reform bill, as the BBC, and others, have been reporting?  Gerry Adams’ latest statement would tend to suggest that they did.  Here’s what the Sinn Féin more…

Clarkson: Yorkshire hotels, dales and lightening conductors

The saga of Jeremy Clarkson’s “fracas” in a Yorkshire hotel seems to be dying down temporarily no doubt to rise again after the BBC makes its decision. It is important not to prejudge what did or did not happen and wait for an investigation result. That said I am always somewhat dubious about any organisation’s more…

Can Faith & Politics Enrich Each Other? Discussion at the Festival of Ideas and Politics

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Last night’s Faith and Politics discussion at the Duncairn Centre for Culture and the Arts, part of the Imagine!2015 Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics asked panellists to reflect on times when faith and politics had enriched each other. While conversation (inevitably?) slipped into examples of times when religion had exerted a divisive or violent influence on more…

Votes for the SNP bind them closer into the Union

Votes for the SNP in the general election would bind the SNP closer into the Union especially if Labour  form the government. This was becoming even clearer from the analysis of the gap between Labour’s and the SNP’s austerity plans by Paul Johnson of the Institute of Fiscal Studies. ( Times £) What is clear is that more…

Donate to charity and the UK government will match your donation…

UK Aid are running a great scheme whereby they will match your donation to select charities. Eg you give £10 the government gives £10 and the charity gets £20. If you are feeling generous this lent here is the list of eligible charities. CAFOD – donations doubled until 17 May 2015 Lent 2015 The Lent campaign focuses on more…

“Now it seems that Sinn Fein is realising how badly exposed its negotiators left it to accusations of a sell-out.”

In today’s Irish News John Manley does everyone a favour by identifying Sinn Fein’s problem with the agreement they signed up to in December. The nub of the problem appears to lie in the figures contained in the Stormont Castle Agreement, an agreement within an agreement negotiated between the five parties days before the final more…