Archive | October, 2012

The Blue Ridge Mountains

Know Your Battleground States 3/9: North Carolina

North Carolina’s most important moment in world history was back in 1903 when the Wright Brothers achieved the first ever controlled, powered, flight by a heavier-than-air vehicle out on the strange barrier reef of islands known as the Outer Banks. The Tarheel State’s fascination with technology and transport continues to this day, in the world more…

Rangers’ Downfall and long tail journalism…

I’m always wary of any maximalist claims about big (or in the jargon, wicked) problems. One is that the internet spells the end of newspapers. The smarter operators are using the advantage of their smaller size and diversifying (BMG for instance is making TV for TG4 these days). But there’s a few awkward and difficult more…

An Incredible Achievement for Teacher Education

As a rule I try to avoid using this column as a way to blow the Centre for Cross Border Studies’ trumpet. But given the Irish and Northern Irish media’s almost total lack of interest in things cross-border, I sometimes can’t resist the temptation to tell a particular success story that the Centre is involved more…

Gaelscéal na seachtaine seo

Gaelscéal : Gaeldom heads for Letterkenny as Oireachtas na Samhna 2012 comes to town

Otv/Gaelscéal i láthair ag an Oireachtas Beidh físeáin ag dul in airde ar an chainéal teilifíse ar líne, Otv Gaelscéal (Oireachtas tv), agus scéalta uile Oireachtas na Samhna 2012 á léiriú inniu go ceann seachtaine. Déanfaidh Otv, i gcomhpháirtíocht le Gaelscéal, tuairisciú ar scéalta le linn fhéile an Oireachtais agus rachaidh físeáin in airde gach more…

The Las Vegas Strip

Know Your Battleground States 2/9: Nevada

Some American states are little known and less understood outside the country (think Nebraska). Some are iconic. Nevada is sort of iconic. The state’s reputation is largely driven by that bizarre shrine to gambling, money and decadence in the desert, Las Vegas. So are its elections. Just over two thirds of votes cast in the more…

StoneWall: Playing the man rather than the ball?

StoneWall: Playing the man rather than the ball?

I have to say that for a while back in the day, I had to ban three words on Slugger. They were in order of their frequency: bigot; vermin; and scum. They are not banned now. Things have settled in Northern Ireland to the extent that old enemies now make dull policy together on the more…

#DigitalLunch: Barriers to Social Innovation…

Today’s #DigitalLunch asks what are the barriers to innovation? Not just in Northern Ireland, but generically. We go live at 1pm, with a rolling panel to discuss not just what the barriers but also how they may be got around. As ever, we’re looking for your questions for the panel to chew over. We already more…

“When an elected official is less able to act on the public will the motivation for the public to vote declines.”

Interesting from Jeffrey Donaldson in which he cuts to the real existential problem for all politicians in Northern Ireland: Despite the cuts handed down by the Tory government, we prioritised action that will deliver real change on the ground. We have just launched a £27m package of special initiatives to tackle the deep-seated problems in more…

Sinn Fein and the permanent process

Declan Kearney has been at it again, this time in Westminster. Alex Kane is out quickly in the News Letter today, rounding on Kearney: “Here’s my other difficulty with Sinn Fein’s reconciliation project: described by Mr Kearney as “calling for an all-inclusive national discussion on reconciliation leading to the development of a national reconciliation strategy”. more…

BCT logo rgb

Lessons in Social Innovation and what it actually means…

So after two great online conversations on Social Innovation with the Building Change Trust we’ve had some useful insights into what social innovation might or could look like. In the first session Michael Kelly from Grow It Yourself Ireland (GIY, Ireland) noted that their network had grown to cover the whole island in just three more…

The sad tale of tolerating torture that hangs over us today

Ian Cobain a  senior reporter on the Guardian is on Radio 4’s Start the Week ( listen on  BBCiPlayer or RadioPlayer after 10 a.m. or the repeat at 2100 live tonight).  I strongly recommend a listen. The author of Cruel Britannia: a secret history of British torture, he gives a calm and convincing account of more…

Bangor born David Montgomery plans return to regional newspapers

 Sky News’ City Editor has “ an exclusive” which on the face of it promises new investment in hard pressed regional papers under Bangor boy and staunch Unionist David Montgomery.   Iliffe News & Media, owner of the Cambridge News and Hertfordshire Mercury, and Northcliffe Media, the regionals arm of Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT), more…

Northern powersharing is faring better than the southern version, says Emerson. Can this be right?

In the Sunday Times,(£) Newton Emerson, apparently unabashed at being dropped by the BBC,  strikes a counterintuitive note by offering a few words of  support to the powersharing Executive at the expense of that other coalition in Dublin. Ignoring the recent Kearney-Robinson dingdong, he bounces his critique off Micheal Martin’s Bodenstown speech deploring the southern coalition’s more…

Steven Agnew Green Party NI

Two Es in Green – Education and Economy – and a pot-shot at Minister Poots

Today’s Green Party NI conference at Stranmillis College was dominated by education and the economy rather than environmental matters. Party leader Steven Agnew reckoned that the party’s policies on environmental matters were well established. In a series of motions during the morning private session, party delegates voted in favour of motions that called for “a more…

DERRY ARENA

UK City of Culture launched with confidence and flair

    Aside from our own unique brand of cynicism, there is bound to be angst on a smaller scale to that which foreshadowed the London 2012 Olympics. For Derry, the word “transformational “ is already familiar and will soon be overworked.  But transformed  already is what will become the main events venue, the old Ebrington Barracks more…