Archive | November, 2013

Peace Journalism workshop

Little support for the phrase “Peace journalism” & different ways of seeing facts, justice & public interest

The phrase “peace journalism” was found wanting by organisers and delegates alike at today’s workshop in Belfast. Partly because the journalistic ethics that apply to conflict equally apply to peace (and every other situation), and also because Northern Ireland may be on a transition between conflict and peace, but it’s definitely not yet altogether post-conflict. more…

On Ireland’s strange romance with ‘Euronationalism’….

Ever wondered why nearly all our Northern Ireland MEPs have been Eurosceptic (with the exception of the SDLP) whilst those in the south have been almost universally Europhile? John Coakley on the remarkably protean nature of Irish identity, and it’s willingness to engage with wider notions of European identity… It may well be the case more…

“Everyone has a human right to his or her memories…”

I see Arkiv are going for the Economist model of naming the writing staff (or founding team) but eschewing bylines… Anyhoo, I suspect, given the thoughtfulness of the output on their blog, their submission to Haass is well worth the time to read. In the meantime, with the vexed issue of local troubles related historiography more…

East Belfast Speaks Out Nov 2013 poster

East Belfast Speaks Out – a low key audience asked politicians about a wide range of issues #ebso

Back for the fourth time, the hustings event in East Belfast offered the local community (and hangers on from further afield) the opportunity to stick up their hand and put any question to the political panel. Stephen Farry (Alliance, standing in for David Ford); Alex Attwood (SDLP); Deirdre Heenan (UU); Mark Devenport (chair); Mike Nesbitt more…

McCann meets….Edwin Poots MLA

 The final instalment of my series of interviews is with the Health minister, Edwin Poots. I must admit this was the interview I was most nervous about doing but when you meet him in person he is actually a very affable person. What struck me was how relaxed he was for a person in his more…

Is there a viable single political life for Sinn Fein beyond Gerry Adams?

Another good piece of political analysis from Jennifer O’Leary on Spotlight last night. I’ve roughly clipped what I think are the most telling pieces of analysis, which will be available later. But you should try to watch the whole lot. There’s an disjunct between those who feel betrayed by Gerry Adams like Marie McKee, and more…

Scotlands Future cover

Scotland’s Future … an introductory guide (that shouldn’t be ignored by NI)

The Scottish Government’s 670 page long white paper Scotland’s Future was published today. The document reads like a cross between a party manifesto and a giant FAQ. It’s tone is of modernity and a progressive Scotland. Issues around independence are opportunities not challenges – and derivations of “opportunity” appear four times more often than “challenge”. more…

A touch of state collusion with the Provisionals for the greater good?

Useful insight from Ed Moloney who discloses one of no doubt many secrets of the clandestine peace process. This one concerns the late Father Alec Reid, on the day the two corporals were murdered at Casement Park, and an interesting take on the collusion of the state in the ‘interests of the peace process’: Knowing more…

Workers Party SECT ARIA NISM election poster

Workers Party NI Conference – The Left Response #wp13

The smaller party conferences are often more unpredictable and less stage managed. Contributions from the platform and the floor tend to be much more forthright. The social scene at many of the party conferences – particularly the SDLP – trumps the business in the hall. With the smaller groups, the social and political are combined, more…

“must at the very least include a mechanism that makes the broadcasting companies accountable and answerable to this Assembly…”

Speaking of making the media accountable…  The Northern Ireland Minister for Culture, Sinn Fein’s Carál Ní Chuilín, has declared that she is “considering options such as appointing a panel of experts to review broadcasting in the North and devolution of responsibility locally with a view to bringing proposals forward for cross-party support”.  Here’s a couple more…

Peter Robinson - 'Kittens', Brian John Spencer

Peter Robinson, keeping the press accountable – Caption Competition

Never mind the “unpleasant odour” rising from Northern Ireland’s libel law (and the urge to censor), there’s something a little stinky coming from Peter Robinson’s call for the media to show more support for Stormont. As Orwell said, “journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” Surely we more…