Topic Archives: Society and Culture

Remain campaign a victim of it’s own left liberal conceits?

A couple of thoughtful pieces to throw into the melee post-referendum. First Tim Harford in today’s FT… Here are four tenets of the trendy centre-left of British politics: first, soaring inequality means that ordinary people haven’t shared in the benefits of economic growth; second, rich people and big companies don’t pay taxes; third, gross domestic more…

Calm down, dears…

Wilful or otherwise, there’s been a degree of misrepresentation of Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s apparently unscripted, and qualified, comments at the MacGill Summer School yesterday – you can read the official version of his speech here. As the initial reported quote demonstrated, his focus was not on preparing for the prospect of referendums on a united more…

Film review – Bobby Sands: 66 Days

Bobby Sands 66 Days poster

BOBBY SANDS: 66 DAYS is a documentary film that weaves together the story of 1970s and 1980s republicanism with day by day updates on Sands’ condition and diary entries throughout his hunger strike. It’s neither an apologetic nor a rose-tinted documentary. The film sets events firmly in context but the critique of the hunger strike, more…

Bonfire Porn and Our Contempt of the Working Class…

samhainbonfire-243x300

While the last pallets were gathered and stacked in estates around the country yesterday, moralising social media pundits were already unleashing patronising vitriol. It grows in vigour as the sky-scraping pyres rise ever higher across the province, the self-assertion of Northern Ireland’s armchair intelligentsia whose smug classist intolerance is as easy and cheap as the more…

An insider’s view of the latest problems with the Belfast Ambulance service

South Western Ambulance WA07RYP 612

With the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) in the news once again, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some insight into the ongoing internal problems within the service. This time the spotlight has been shone on staffing shortages after it was revealed that 25 shifts lay vacant last Saturday night, the equivalent of more…

US Consulate: “We anticipate that a US trade and investment delegation will visit Northern Ireland in the first half of 2017”

The Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, has, in effect, called ‘bullshit’ on Martin McGuinness‘ claim that a proposed US investment delegation to Northern Ireland has been postponed “directly as a result of the vote” in the UK-wide EU membership referendum. Unlike the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, echoed by his party colleague, Conor Murphy, more…

“If he had, he would know that I voted for Corbyn last year…”

Labour NI AGM table goodies

It’s worth sharing this experience of one Labour Party member who voted in favour of Jeremy Corbyn last year attending a meeting of her local Bristol Labour Party last night. It’s getting very rough in there. To the point at which the Labour party no longer looks like a going concern: Labour’s problem is that it more…

Wales now experiencing a mild dose of ‘buyer’s regret’?

Fascinating results from the Welsh Political Barometer poll. I doubt it was the taunting by Northern Ireland fans… More likely a post ref reminder that large parts of the post-industrial economy in Wales is sustained by EU structural funds now hang by a wafer thin Tory (neo-Thatcherite?) thread. Or just plain old morning after blues. Here’s the headline figures: Remain: more…

21 flavours of ice-cream. The murder of Constable John Larmour…

murdered RUC constable George Larmour

I came across this video browsing Brian John Spencers Youtube channel. Here is some background to the story from the Irish News and the Belfast Telegraph: Constable John Larmour was off-duty and helping out at his brother’s ice-cream parlour in south Belfast when he was shot dead by the IRA in 1988. Two men entered, unmasked, more…

French President Francois Hollande :”The negotiations will be conducted with the United Kingdom, not with a part of the United Kingdom”

With the UK Parliament sovereign, and Sinn Féin’s calls for a border poll dismissed as an unwelcome distraction, quite where the “very special place” Martin McGuinness thinks Northern Ireland is in isn’t entirely clear.  Nor whom he thinks he can press that “case” with in his attempt to ignore the UK-wide referendum result.  He should remember, however, that neither he more…