Archive | January, 2012

New Tories, old Tories, what’s the difference?

Everyone seems to be talking about the headline of Lord Feldman’s press release today, and no one is talking about what he actually said. Let’s be clear, there is to be no “new party” in Northern Ireland. They are not farming off their existing branch, they are attempting to tart it up a bit. And more…

Sarkozy: “I did not know she voted in France…”

At the Guardian’s Politics Blog, Michael White has some fun with reports that Nicolas Sarkozy has enlisted Frau Bundeskanzlerin in his French presidential re-election campaign.  Although this post’s title quote, from the Wall Street Journal blogs, suggests he may already be having second thoughts…  ANYhoo…  From Michael White’s post We can assume that pollsters have advised more…

“and it is all taking place during the 400th anniversary of the city being granted its Royal Charter…”

A UTV report acknowledging the contribution of PSNI Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin in Londonderry’s successful bid, against Sligo, to host the All-Ireland Fleadh during the UK City of Culture year notes another reason for denizens of the city to celebrate in 2013.  From the UTV report The addition of the Fleadh means 2013 is shaping more…

Torture technique used in the 1800s ...and the 1980s

Haiti: ‘Baby Doc’ escapes justice for past abuses

Given the Slugger community’s interest in Haiti, I thought it worthwhile to note the regrettable decision by a Haitian court not to charge the country’s former dictator,  Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier, over allegations of torture and murder. Duvalier returned to Haiti this time last year after 25 years in exile in France. Since then, he has more…

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RBS bonus: Obscene or a nice piece of business?

One thing, I think, that is better, or at least more widely, understood in the Republic than in the UK is that the credit crunch is still screwing up almost every other well intentioned effort to get our economies moving again. This is because the banks still haven’t owned up to the extent of their more…

Has McGuinness Breached the Good Friday Agreement?

The Deputy First Minister seems to have changed the Sinn Fein position of achieving a United Ireland by 2016,  amending their pledge to that of referendum in 2016 or shortly after, in an article in today’s Irish Examiner Martin states  “It just seems to me to be a sensible timing. It would be on the question of whether or more…

“Last January, the vast majority of families decided that the 39th Anniversary would be the last march”

Despite the declaration by the organising committee last year following the publication of the Saville Inquiry report, and the absence of endorsement by the Bloody Sunday Trust this year, a sizeable number of people took part in the 40th anniversary Bloody Sunday march in Londonderry yesterday.  Estimates range from several hundred to almost 3000. And, more…

Where are the dynamic people in the Irish Border region?

Four years ago I wrote a ‘Note from the Next Door Neighbours’ called ‘Can we become the best border region in Europe?’ in which I listed some of  the distinguished people from the Irish border region over the past 20-30 years and appealed to some of them to come together to promote, develop and celebrate more…

Creative Class cover

The Creative Class and Northern Ireland

As part of NICVA’s series of masterclasses from its Centre for Economic Empowerment project, there was a morning seminar on the topic of the “creative class” (as popularised by Richard Florida) and its applicability to Northern Ireland. The agenda was to: Explain Richard Florida’s idea of the “creative class” and the link between economic outcomes more…

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‘Derry is a better place’

  This little quote may not be the answer to everything but is part of a quite uplifting overview in the Guardian from a Derry women of the younger generation, Jeananne Craig, “a Derry journalist now living and working in London.” Bloody Sunday was not a talking point when I, a Catholic, moved on to more…

Referendum demands may be catching

  In that interview trailed by Pete below, the Examiner itself highlights the DPM’s soft voiced approach to an early referendum on unity. Have Alex Salmond’s  tactics found their Irish imitator? The deputy first minister believes the Democratic Unionist Party can be persuaded to agree to such a dramatic move.      

East Belfast Speaks Out 2012 leaflet

East Belfast Speaks Out on Thursday evening (reminder)

Quick reminder to East Belfast readers that they have a chance to put their questions to local representatives as well as the minister of education at Thursday evening’s East Belfast Speaks Out event. The general theme of the evening is still: How responsive is the Assembly to the real concerns of the electorate? John O’Dowd more…

Retiring His Voice? Never!

Retiring His Voice? Never!

Having produced illustrated commentary to slugger for over a year now I’ve decided to experiment with the idea of giving my cartoons a voice through a written accompaniment. Perhaps this is a bold move and certainly the thought of breaking out of my cartooning-comfort zone and assembly words and sentences together instead of ink, tones more…

Martin McGuinness: “as far as I was concerned she apologised for her behaviour…”

That’s according to the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, in an interview to be published in the Irish Examiner tomorrow.  He’s referring to RTÉ presenter Miriam O’Callaghan and her questioning of his version of his past during a televised debate with candidates in the Irish Presidential election last year.  From the more…