Topic Archives: Society and Culture

#SluggerSoapbox: The impact of Stormont’s cuts on young people

Cuts being made at Executive level have not been thought through to community level – and the consequences could be significantly worse than Ministers anticipate argues Paul Smyth, Chief Executive of the youth focused charity Public Achievement. According to DETI, the unemployment figure in Northern Ireland (August to October 2014) was 6.3%. However the youth more…

#SluggerSoapBox: In praise of Bob Purdie 1940 – 2014…

From Stephen Howe who is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, having previously taught for many years at Ruskin College Oxford and worked at the New Statesman.  Irish writings include the 2000 book Ireland and Empire, and contributions to Irish Political Studies, Irish Historical Studies, and the new Oxford Handbook of Modern more…

Soapbox – My Arts Journey #13pForTheArts

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A ‘Soapbox’ piece from Karen O’Rawe, reposted from her blog. – – – When I was a young single mum living in a small house, struggling to hold down a job and make ends meet, the Arts believed in me and gave me a chance. A job, a life, non-judgmental colleagues and a new view more…

There Is No Alternative! (to Casement Park development plan) – Redux

Belfast High Court has ruled that the decision to grant planning permission for the controversial £70million redevelopment of Casement Park in west Belfast was “fundamentally flawed”.  However, Mr Justice Horner did not quash the decision, and will take further submissions from lawyers for the Department of the Environment, the GAA and the residents group who mounted the more…

“Can Scottish Labour, under Murphy, learn to think big?”

So Jim Murphy, a machine politician from his very earliest days in the NUS, takes over the helm at Scottish Labour. He has an unenviable task ahead of him. The Yes campaign may have won the #IndyRef battle but the unionist parties now show every sign of terminal weakness in their war for the future of the Union. more…

My Battle with Anxiety and How I Beat It

This is a soapbox from a person who wishes to remain anonymous, but wanted to share their story about how they dealt with and recovered from an Anxiety Disorder. This is their story I suffer from an anxiety disorder, there I said it. Anxiety can be a difficult thing to admit to. After all, who more…

CitizenFour – humanising the whistleblower Edward Snowden while letting his secrets speak for themselves #nihrf

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When reaching out to journalists prior to leaving the NSA along with gigabytes of secret documentation, Edward Snowden signed off his emails as ‘CitizenFour’. It’s also the name chosen by Laura Poitras for the third film in her post-9/11 surveillance trilogy. We are building the greatest weapon for oppression in the history of man, yet more…

Time to embrace true integrated education?

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Dave Thompson has been a teacher in Forge Integrated Primary School for over 18 years.  Here are two facts about myself. I firmly believe in the importance of Integrated education. I also like irony; I frequently have a wry smile on my face. Sometimes these facts merge. For example, when local opinion polls show overwhelming more…

Transport options for Belfast. Who gets priority on our roads?

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Andy Boal explores the transport options for Belfast It’s been interesting to read the responses to Brian’s post, but I’ve had a good look at the DRD’s proposed budget cuts and the consequences for public transport. It’s grim reading. Before we get into that, let’s start with a few principles. First of all, there is limited more…

#SluggerSoapbox: Who speaks for poor children in Northern Ireland?

Professor Paddy Hillyard occupies the chair in Social Policy at Queens University in Belfast. His most research has focused on poverty, conflict and inequality in Northern Ireland, and the range of the social harms which people experience from the cradle to the grave. A draft budget has been circulated for consultation. The heads of some of our more…

Ireland you’re exceptional, we should act like it.

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Ireland is an exceptional country, well so I think anyway. I know this is the easiest plug that any person can give a home town crowd “there’s nowhere like …..” and you get your applause. The concept of exceptionalism is more commonly identified with the United States, were the notion of this being a special more…

Photo of the day – brakes!

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Photo by James Hislop. Taken on May 16, 2014 Dan Kneen fails to control his bike during the Thursday practice session at the NW200

Dear Mr Prime Minister come to take a walk with me

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Writing for the first time on Slugger is recently married PUP Belfast City Cllr Julie-Anne Corr Johnston One of the major local headlines last week was that British Prime Minister David Cameron and Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny had “cleared their diaries” to lend their support to the inter-party talks at Stormont. It seems that no Stormont more…

Here are the final details for our end of year review show

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So this Monday the 15th brings our end of year review. Doors open at 7pm for a start at 7.30 sharp. The intimate venue has very kindly been given to us free of charge by the Duke of York pub likely to be very full, so we recommend that you get there early if you want more…

How can we fix the Belfast traffic gridlock?

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If you were one of the poor sods stuck in yesterday massive traffic jams  in Belfast you have my sympathies. It took the wife an hour to move 2 miles on the Westlink. A quick recap. A suspicious object was discovered about 3pm close to the M1 at Lisburn’s Saintfield Road junction. The country-bound section more…