Archive | April, 2012

EU flag

Euro crisis: April is the cruellest month…

Apart from all the others…  And it doesn’t matter how big your umbrella is.  BBC Europe editor, Gavin Hewitt, on springtime in Europe What is being exposed is a major flaw with Mrs Merkel’s fiscal pact. It is undemocratic. It ties the hands of future governments – and that, of course, was its intention but more…

Farewell to Education for Reconciliation

Earlier this month I attended the final teachers conference in Derry of the Education for Reconciliation project, to join them in celebrating what I believe to be one of the most important cross-border education projects of the post Belfast Agreement period. 13 years ago a visionary Dublin educationalist, Aidan Clifford, director of the Curriculum Development Unit more…

Belated admissions from both of Northern Ireland’s top politicians…

Things I thought I’d never hear in public… 1, Peter Robinson admitting that unionists were too slow on accepting power sharing; and Martin McGuinness admitting that he and his party dobbed Trimble in with those unfulfilled promises to decommission IRA weapons before the November 2003 Assembly election… Nice to hear it, finally, from the horses’ more…

Where are our MLAs?

On a sunny Saturday over 70 young people from across the country came together to discuss transport. Many of these young people had travelled long distances to get there because they felt passionately about this issue in their area. A look at the #transportNI timeline will show the strength of feeling over the issue of more…

Yes, Ireland can apply to the IMF for money, but…

If you want proof that SF dropped the ball on the anti case last week by putting partial quotes from Karl Whelan and two other eminent economists, it’s the fact that they have lent their own authority to an economist who is way off base from their own anti Fiscal Compact position. On Morning Ireland more…

The End of the Northern Ireland Model of Peace Processing?

Even with the recent apparent spike in terrorist activity, including a large car bomb abandoned near Newry, and public paramilitary displays, it’s probably premature to talk of “the IRA’s resurgence”.  But that’s the reference used in this article by Michael Rubin Perhaps the most important fact I learned was that British security officials believe that their pact with more…

Ending co-terminosity

One of the less frequently used buzz-words in Northern Irish politics is “co-terminosity”, which is shorthand for the fact that members of the Northern Ireland Assembly are elected from constituencies with the same boundaries as those used for Westminster elections. It seems to me that co-terminosity has had its day, and if the long-postponed local more…

Last week at Smithwick: nothing to see here

The revelations last week from the Smithwick Enquiry that Martin McGuinness allegedly authorised the murders of Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan as well as the use of human proxy bombs have made few enough political waves. In most western democratic societies the claim in a judicial setting that the Deputy First Minister more…

“Pa bryd y cawn fyned i Seion” – the forgotten history of Welsh Mormonism

It’s a fairly remarkable fact that the place outside these islands with the largest percentage population of Welsh descent isn’t Scranton (from the Western Mail), Gaiman (From the Argentina Independent), or the Welsh Tract of Pennsylvania (from Wiki). The winner is Malad City in Idaho. The link is to this year’s Malad Valley Welsh Festival. Here’s Malad City’s Wiki with an more…

RegionalHomeLogo2011

Local papers well represented in the Society of Editors’ Regional Press Awards shortlists

Some local newspapers and journalists appear in the shortlists for the Society of Editors’ Regional Press Awards that celebrate the best of UK regional newspaper journalism in 2011. Good to see the local weekly The Ulster Herald making the list alongside Belfast Telegraph, Irish News and Sunday Life success. Given the entrance fee, some local more…

The omni shambles and Labour’s difficulty capatilising

The omni shambles which is the current government seems to continue. I mentioned the disaster which was the budget and the spin surrounding it recently. Jeremy Hunt and his special advisor have yet again shone a spotlight on the relationship between Rupert Murdock’s media empire and politicians (though of course the Tories were far from more…

May 2012 front page An Phoblacht

The misunderstood Lord Mayor shuffle – timing, facts & Sinn Féin tying themselves in knots over friendship

Once a month, the postie delivers a bulging A5 envelope. Stuffed inside is a twice-folded copy of An Phoblacht, Sinn Féin’s 32 page monthly newspaper. The May edition’s back page is devoted to a story that broke in the Belfast Telegraph last Monday. Niall Ó Donnghaile is “leaving his post a few days early to more…

The need for a Bigger Picture

There is a time in life when one must stand up and be counted. A time when people cry out for a saviour to come and rescue them from their peril. A time to take your place as a leader of men. Then there are other times. Times when people are really happy enough, not more…

26 / 11 = 438,000,000 – 150,000,000 / 25

On Tuesday in the assembly the Minister of Environment laid down the “ 2012 Local Government (Boundaries) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012”, why he calls it “2012” twice I don’t knows as the current proposals won’t take effect till 2015, were drawn up in 2009, based on information gathered in 2008, from a process began by more…