Topic Archives: Society and Culture

Lord Steel: “Belligerence and stridency are now the order of the day in Edinburgh …”

Lord Steel of Aikwood

The deterioration of Prime Minister’s Questions to a weekly exchange of insults isn’t the only negative aspect of UK political life that Lord Steel has noticed. Belligerence and stridency are now the order of the day in Edinburgh as well. [Ed – Slugger readers might recognise those traits in Stormont too?] Lord Steel of Aikwood more…

Raking up “London”again is dead against modern Derry’s practical interests

Sinn Fein recently produced a round- up of Uncomfortable Conversations intended by promote reconciliation. With that in mind, is dropping the “London” prefix from the official name of the traditional city within the boundaries of the newly expanded local government district, really one we need to have again? Particularly as it’s doomed to failure. In a more…

We need a national conversation

A deep and wide process of engagement with citizens to co-create a future vision for N(n)orthern Ireland could help jolt our peace process and our politicians out of the stalemate we find ourselves in.   I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in a few far-flung places, including Pakistan, DRC and Rwanda – each more…

Féile an Phobail – Jeremy Corbyn, Mairia Cahill … and the 1916 Proclamation for Prods

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Left-wing Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn joins the West Belfast Talks Back panel for the annual political knockabout in St Louise’s Comprehensive College. Noel Thompson will keep the peace and chair the panel that includes Sinn Féin South Dublin councillor Eoin Ó Broin, PUP councillor Julie-Anne Corr Johnston and DUP MP Gavin Robinson. Wednesday 5 more…

NI Public Appointments Commissioner: “Despite all the supportive talk in principle I don’t see any change in the public appointment process.”

When the previous Commissioner for Public Appointments in Northern Ireland, Felicity Huston, stepped down from the role in 2011 she, pointedly, wished whoever her successor would be “the best of luck”, noting that She said there were difficulties asserting her role as a regulator at Stormont. “People recruit people who look like them, sound like more…

“future banknote designs, starting with the new polymer £5 note, will explicitly represent all four nations of the UK.”

As mentioned in this BBC report focused on the first Bank of England polymer banknote – a £5 note featuring Sir Winston Churchill which will be issued in 2016. Banknotes will feature images from all four nations of the UK starting with the new £5 note entering circulation in 2016. [Timing, eh? – Ed]  Eh?  more…

Tim Farron’s religious belief and two distinct strains of secular liberalism…

First, Nick Cohen… The media complain about ‘career politicians’. Yet when politicians come along who aren’t Oxford PPEists, who have progressed via think tanks and spadships to safe seats without their feet touching the ground, journalists are shocked by their failure to conform to contemporary mores. Then, “His Grace”… …when Jeremy Vine asked questions of more…

“Sinn Féin were not in court today. Councillor Kelly was, and he was acquitted of all charges.”

Entirely unrelated to Sinn Féin’s opposition to welfare reform… Last week a Deputy District Magistrate in Londonderry acquitted Sinn Féin Councillor Colin Kelly on charges of fraudulently claiming over £19,000 in Housing Benefit and Job Seekers Allowance between November 2010 and March 2014 – when he was a member of Derry City Council.  He is currently a councillor on more…

A modest proposal (to abandon public service broadcasting

When some propose a massive change in the way the BBC is structured and run, you have to ask ‘what problem are they trying to solve’? This advocacy piece on Political Betting betrays a profound thoughtlessness behind scrapping the licence fee for a subscription service: In the beginning, the licence fee was entirely justifiable. It more…

When Terror Gets Old: an insight into ex-combatants

Corinne Purtill Mark Oltmanns When Terror Gets Old screenshot 2

One of the legacies of any conflict are men and women who took part and survived. In the case of Northern Ireland, some of those players are now reaching pension age. Many ex-combatants from the Troubles are publicity shy; only a minority speak out publicly about their experiences. Corinne Purtill is senior correspondent in the more…

“No politician, nor any relative of any politician in Northern Ireland, was ever to receive any monies in any way”

Nama

So after the utter feverishness of last week, which finished with a flat denial by the First Minister, Ian Coulter speaks pretty plainly about the Project Eagle deal… The concept of a Northern Ireland NAMA deal was developed and significant work leading up to this deal was done by other business people in Northern Ireland, more…

“À la Bastille!” – Redux

Once again, with apologies to Pierre Ranger… [It’s a tradition, we know… – Ed]  Indeed!  Sadly, no French winner in the Tour de France today.  Nor will there be in Paris.  Play La Marseillaise!