Tag Archives | Society

Happy Christmas, intolerable Joyceans everywhere!

If you don’t know by now, it’s tradition!  And Brendan’s cryptic crossword in today’s Guardian nods in the general direction… Those of a sensitive disposition are duly warned, once again, that James Joyce enjoys the language in all its fecund nuttiness. Adds I should have also noted this brief history of the day that it’s in, also from the more…

Operation Kenova: “I do not underestimate the huge task of establishing the circumstances behind how and why these murders occurred during those dark days.”

In a recent post Brian mentioned briefly the launch of the investigation into the activities of ‘Steaknife’ – the alleged British Army’s highest ranking informant within the Provisional IRA.  Named in the media as Freddie Scappaticci, originally from west Belfast, Scappaticci has denied the allegations. Operation Kenova, as it’s been named, will be headed by Chief Constable Jon more…

Bilderberg 2016: “If I were a member of a technocratic elite that wanted its influence on public policy kept under wraps…”

It’s that time again!  The 64th Annual Bilderberg Meeting, “like a corporate cross between Santa Claus and a big friendly squid“, has just ended in Dresden, Germany.  Charlie Skelton was there again for the Guardian, and his post on Bilderberg 2016 is well worth reading in full.  It’s a “tickle under the chin of the more…

Can we finally wind up the paramilitaries by consent? The panel report has been delivered

Mural depicting UVF uncertainty as to the direction of the peace process. Mount Vernon, North Belfast.

Striking a balance between recognising where local power lies and the aim of bringing paramilitarism to an end is the fiendishly tricky approach of the report to the two governments and the Executive of the three- person panel headed by John Alderdice. In the jargon the strategy is about Demilitarisation, Disbandment and Integration (DDR). The panel more…

“‘New language’, my arse!”

At his Broken Elbow blog Ed Moloney has some fun with the same Detail report that Brian noted in his recent post – “another important waypoint in SF’s bewildering, extraordinary journey“. I have read this piece several times. It is based on a speech given by SF MEP Matt Carthy and no matter how I hold it – more…

The Ultimate Eurovision Song Contest Winner…

With Russia discovering the joys of the politics of the Eurovision Song Contest this year, here’s the undoubted highlight from Saturday’s Grand Final in Stockholm – the interval act!  Just in case anyone from the BBC, or from RTÉ, are looking for any tips for next year.  Let’s face it, on recent form they could more…

Martin McGuinness: “We now wait to see if SDLP will stand by the principles of the Good Friday Agreement or follow the UUP into opposition…”

The response of Sinn Féin’s new MLA for Foyle, Martin McGuinness, to being upstaged – at the moment of his re-appointment as Northern Ireland deputy First Minister – by the UUP leader Mike Nesbitt’s announcement that his party had unanimously agreed to go into official opposition in the NI Assembly, betrayed a confused, or forgetful, party more…

Mercury in motion

Mercury Transit 2016 via SDO

If you missed yesterday’s rare Mercury transit across the Sun – the last was in 2006, the next in 2019 – then where were you! [Busy… – Ed]  But even if you were paying attention you’re unlikely to have had as wondrous a view as that of Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. They’ve helpfully released a stunning time-lapse video more…

Sinn Féin’s partitionist approach to united Ireland referendum(s)…

… or an attempt to avoid ‘stupid’ questions about the party’s stated commitment to campaign against the fundamental principle of consent – that it is for the people of Northern Ireland to exercise their right of self-determination.  Those are the options from a comparison between the commitments on Irish unity Sinn Féin presented to the people more…

President Obama jumps the Sinn Féin shark…

One of the benefits of being a US President in your final year in office, as well as getting to decide who can and can’t come to your party, is the freedom to say what you really think – even if President Obama continues to appear to be mis-briefed on shared, as opposed to integrated, education more…

Mark Cousins: “In the middle of the joy, modernity and new tolerance that we have, we have to allow a bit of space to acknowledge that creature from the Black Lagoon, that sense of, ‘Wow, did we really do that? Were we that inhuman?’ Yes, we were.”

The Guardian’s eminent film critic Peter Bradshaw, briefly and favourably, reviews film-maker Mark Cousins’ “meditative tribute” to his hometown, “I am Belfast”- a “valuable, heartfelt tribute to a city”. …there is much food for thought. He notes the fact that images of the Titanic, created at Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard, are everywhere in the city since more…

“as head of British intelligence, you would be derelict in your duty if you did not do everything in your power to assist that process…”

Via the Pensive Quill.  In this transcript of a discussion on Radio Free Éireann in New York, with John McDonagh (JM) and Martin Galvin (MG), veteran journalist Ed Moloney (EM) has some “stupid” questions for the leadership of Sinn Féin, British Intelligence Services, and the local media.  From the transcript EM: There’s a whole untold story of more…

Former Sinn Féin Cllr Sorcha McAnespy: “There’s too much nepotism and misogyny present in the party locally. It’s jobs for the boys. It is not open and transparent.”

Omagh Councillor Sorcha McAnespy launched a broadside against Sinn Féin in West Tyrone after her sudden resignation from the party on Thursday, and announced her intention to stand as an independent candidate in the forthcoming Northern Ireland Assembly election. The Ulster Herald appears to have broken the story on Thursday. The former vice-chair of Omagh District more…

“The report’s Canadian authors made their numbers add up by using a ‘Tory island’ model of small government, low taxes, free markets and no debt…”

In the Irish News, Newton Emerson has fun with the recent Sinn Féin re-launch [and re-re-launch! – Ed] of the report they commissioned, under cover of the “Knights of the Red Branch Inc”,  of the benefits of an economically right-wing united Ireland. From the Irish News An academic study showing Northern Ireland would be better off more…

“Would you favour a united Ireland?”

With Sinn Féin trying, again, to drum up interest in the report they commissioned of an ‘independent’ modelling of the benefits of an economically right-wing united Ireland, TheJournal.ie reports on the responses of the RTÉ Claire Byrne Live / Amarách Research Panel to the question, “Would you favour a united Ireland?”. From TheJournal.ie report The question was posed “Would you favour more…

Gerry Adams’ White House ‘controversy’: “Quite apart from being bumptious, paranoid and absurdly self-pitying…”

In the Irish News Newton Emerson highlights the unintended consequences of Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams’ intemperate outburst following his recent misunderstanding with security at the White House.  From the Irish News GERRY Adams could have been pragmatic and diplomatic about being locked out of President Obama’s St Patrick’s Day reception and simply laughed it off. more…