Topic Archives: Economy

NI Tourism Minister: “I recently had discussions with the chief executive of Tourism Ireland and expressed my disappointment about how the promotion of the Wild Atlantic Way stops at the border.”

Irelands Ancient East Map

Without wishing to undermine historian Hiram Morgan’s call for Irish Government action to preserve the cultural heritage in the seas off the Wild Atlantic Way, it’s worth noting the stated objective of that tourism initiative… The overall aim of the project is to develop a route that will achieve greater visibility for the west coast of more…

NI Conservatives Try Viral

DUPSinnFein

The local version of the Conservative Party, the NI Conservatives (formerly the Conservatives in NI), have come up with an “infographic” that presents Martin and Peter as Laurel and Hardy. The two hapless leaders, the image suggests, have caused the population of Northern Ireland to be £864 per head worse off than people in the rest more…

Defence Spending: an orphan subject at the election – with a mad uncle

Defence after a few days in the spotlight a couple of weeks ago has settled back to being one of the Cinderella subjects in the General Election campaign. It is maybe fairer to call it an orphan rather than a Cinderella subject: orphan because very few serious politicians pay it anything more than lip service more…

Kit Harington on Belfast: “It’s wonderful for two or three days…”

As I said of similar comments by HBO’s Michael Lombardo last year, With so much of some Northern Ireland Executive ministers‘ time and effort [and other people’s money! – Ed] focused on exploiting the international success of HBO’s Game of Thrones to promote Northern Ireland overseas, it’s perhaps unfortunate, but refreshing, that HBO’s director of programming, Michael Lombardo, more…

Iceland: “but people ask why can’t I pay my mortgage? Why is my salary not going up?”

Whilst everyone else is focused on the tribulations of Greece, I would heartily recommend that if you don’t read anything else today, read this Reykjavik Letter (€) from Peter Geoghegan in today’s Irish Times: visions of Iceland as a Nordic Nirvana – burnt bondholders, jailed bankers, a crowd-sourced constitution – often clash with reality here. The Icelandic more…

So, what place a possible Brexit in Northern Ireland’s elections?

UK Book Launch

There was a time when Europe had a popular political champion in Northern Ireland. John Hume made a successful pitch for one of Northern Ireland’s three European seats in the first directly elected European Parliament, based as much on his personal commitment to developing NI PLC as to any sectarian pitch to nationalist voters. Since then more…

DLA, mental health, and the legacy of the Troubles

NI DLA & Troubles Deaths

The debate surrounding welfare reform in Northern Ireland has gradually seen opinion divide into one of two camps; those who decry any reform of the system as “ruthless Tory cuts”, and those on the other hand who see the swelling ranks of those claiming DLA as evidence that the feckless and workshy are gaining a more…

‘E’s a stiff! Bereft of life … Rethinking the Public University (Prof John Brewer) #ImagineBelfast15

Rethinking the Public University

The public university is dead … a slow and lingering death, … and its corpse lies lifeless in every senior managers’ meeting, in every classroom and every tutorial venue … in every boarded up common room and every closed bookshop. QUB’s Prof John Brewer argued over lunchtime that neo-liberalisation and a marketisation of higher education more…

Inattention to the deficit syndrome – how Northern Ireland spends more than it earns

Deficit Comparison

Today’s public sector strike reflects widespread antipathy towards what was agreed in the Stormont House Agreement. Traditionally trade unions have been supportive of agreements made between local parties, and as Eamonn McCann points out, this is the first time that trade unions have opposed a deal. There is certainly a lot of anger on issues 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…

In the teeth of an election is Germany finally relenting on domestic austerity?

So, having finally balanced its own budget in 2014, Schaeuble finally seems ready to start re-investing in Germany’s ‘crumbling’ infrastructure: German federal government said on Tuesday that it would spend an additional 5 billion euros (about 5.59 billion U.S. dollars) in the next three years to help local communities improve infrastructure and boost investment. The more…

Austerity and Health

D_Dorling_01 1

For the last 30-plus years, the dominant politico-economic theory in the West has been ‘neo-liberalisation’. Roughly, this believes in the pre-eminence of the market, that the market is always right, that government should be small and not provide services. The response of neo-liberalism to bad times is austerity. A retrenchment of state services, and an more…