Topic Archives: Society and Culture

Another view…

Vote… don’t vote…  In the meantime, here’s another in an occasional series of wondrous views from the International Space Station, via the Nasa Crew Earth Observations videos – Sunglint over the Ocean.  [Video courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center] This video was taken by the Expedition 47 crew more…

Bertie Ahern and Arlene Foster Headline Spring Festival at Queen’s Institute for Conflict Transformation

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  Bertie Ahern and Arlene Foster are among the highlights at the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice’s Spring Festival of Events at Queen’s. Former Taoiseach Ahern speaks on ‘Reflections on Peace in a Changed Ireland’ on Tuesday 31 May, 5-7 pm; while First Minister Foster delivers the Harri Holkeri Lecture 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…

Brussels, one month later

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This morning I got off the metro at Maalbeek station, it’s not the closest one to my office in Brussels, but today was the first day it was open since last month’s attacks and I felt as I owed to it the city to say I wasn’t afraid. Its cleaned platform and white panels seemed 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…

New Dail will be all about who can tag whom with legislative responsibility…

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Brilliant from Jason O’Mahony, on the awkward situation Fine Gael now find themselves in. If you still struggle with understanding the difference between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail (and despite all guff being written recently there definitely is one: it’s just not ideological), read this: Someone once said to me that the problem with Fine Gael more…

Soapbox: Music Unite – Celebrating Culture

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MUSIC CAN UNITE people, cultures, traditions and communities. It is the start of a new flow, a new rhythm that brings people together says CDPB director Jeffrey Donaldson about the ‘Music Unite’ project run jointly with Beyond Skin.

Abandonment of policy and a growing ‘cult of managerialism’ in education…

Interesting piece by Frank Furedi in the Times Educational Supplement this week. It’s a well-aimed dig at managerialisation within education. It highlights a broader degradation of policy-making in England, courtesy of several generations of activist politicians. Yet some knock-on effects are evident elsewhere too (not least in devolved regions where there’s a dearth of policy more…

Brexit and foreign doctors (parking fines and other things)

David McNarry’s latest foray into controversy has been to float – and then retract the suggestion that foreign workers (specifically a hypothetical Polish surgeon) be deported for minor crimes such as parking tickets. Although this may play well with a few it seems something of a gaffe: maybe UKIP’s leadership will not be too sorry more…

The many faces of North Belfast. A series of talks on Thursday nights At the Duncairn Centre for culture and the arts…

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These talks look well worth attending.  The program will run as follows – 28TH April 2016 – Harry Midgely was a maverick in Northern Ireland politics, making a long journey from socialist activist to Minister for Education in the Stormont government. This talk is by the historian, Jim McDermott. 5th May 2016 – Winifred Carney 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…