Topic Archives: Society and Culture

Jean-Claude Juncker: “[Tsipras] must explain that some of the promises upon which he was elected will not be honoured…”

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As Mick has noted, at the weekend the under-pressure new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took undiplomatic aim at the governments of Spain and Portugal [But not Ireland! – Ed] in an attempt to explain the outcome of European negotiations to his Syriza party coalition. The European Commission has been quick to step in to act as a “mediator” more…

SF’s latest “Trojan Horse of Equality” spotted in Mid Ulster…

Here’s Sinn Fein Councillor Sean McGuigan explaining his party’s decision in the new Mid Ulster supercouncil to ban the sale of the poppy on council premises: “We wanted to create an environment of equality and neutrality in council-owned facilities.  This interim arrangement will cover the sale and display of all symbols, including poppies and Easter more…

Big Politics Pub Quiz – anagram round!

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Ten days to go until the return of the Great Big Politics Quiz – a night to find the champions of all-things-balloty, this year as part of the all-new Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics. So, if you’re a politician, press officer, policy wonk, journalist, lobbyist, psephologist, academic, student, blogger, tweeter, House of Cards more…

Friday Thread: The dangers of ‘willful blindness’…

Margaret Heffernan speaking at a TedX in March 2013 put her finger on a fundamental problem which is found all over the world. Willful blindness is a legal concept which means, if there’s information that you could know and you should know but you somehow manage not to know, the law deems that you’re willfully more…

Sex Ed: Just Ask Oprah

Sex Education is a topic that is hotly debated in Northern Ireland. Writing about her experiences the former Alliance party candidate, Kate Nicholl argues for a different approach to the issue. I went to a conservative, religious, rural Zimbabwean primary school, where extra-curricular classes for girls included Young Ladies Club – a place where you more…

What is National Reconciliation? Stephen Hopkins Analyses Sinn Féin’s ‘Politics of Reconciliation’

Over the last few years, Sinn Féin has adopted a discourse advocating ‘national reconciliation,’ which has met with mixed responses from unionist political parties, nationalists, the Protestant churches, the wider PUL community, the media, etc. In the latest edition of the journal Irish Political Studies (March 2015), Stephen Hopkins from the University of Leicester offers more…

Do we have a media capable of ‘capturing the conscience of a king’?

The play’s the thing Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.  Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2 I’ve been waiting for something to emerge from MediaLens on the Oborne resignation. They tend take a rather puritanical view of what’s ailing the corporate media, nevertheless, this passage in particular is well worth sharing I think… The deeper more…

Presbyterian Church stops short of endorsing but supports principle of “conscience” bill, calls for reasonable accommodation & debate

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Yesterday, Catholic Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor was part of a delegation that met Paul Givan and others in the DUP to discuss the “Conscience Clause” Private Members Bill. Tonight the Presbyterian Church’s Council for Church in Society (the body within the denomination authorised to deliberate and speak on matters of public policy) more…

NI Obesity Epidemic: Media Shock Tactics

This week is Eating Disorder Awareness Week and it seems timely to reflect on issues around obesity, media coverage and eating disorders as well. Northern Ireland is, apparently, in the grips of an “obesity epidemic“. We have a ten year obesity strategy, courtesy of Edwin Poots. The Public Health Agency launched a campaign last year to more…

“…the platform on which Syriza won the recent general election has been significantly reconstructed.”

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What now for “the Syriza experiment“?  The Irish Times reports that the Eurogroup of finance ministers have deemed the Greek government’s list of proposed reforms to be “sufficiently comprehensive” for a four-month extension of the Greek bailout programme which was due to expire on Saturday. In an official statement released after today’s conference call between more…

Gerry Adams ‘tweets’ and that “streak of sentimentality that marks the totalitarian mind”?

Awright, I’m not really sure to do with this, except to say this oddly narcissistic video from The Journal has gone somewhat viral… In lieu of any coherent response from me, here’s Henry McDonald with his take on the general phenomenon… …like every other move Adams has made both inside and outside the republican movement, more…