Author Archive | Aaron&Brian

68939_10151493540558260_1472972413_n

The Welfare Mission

When George Osborne became Shadow Chancellor he made Welfare Reform one of his primary issues to focus on when in Government. Along with Iain Duncan-Smith, they worked on what would become Universal Credit which has had a difficult birth as a Government policy. The past week, more so than ever, with Osborne pointing towards the more…

604066_10151482479743260_658562988_n

Obama Reflects on Northern Ireland at a Crossroads

As we approach the 15th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement we’re engaging in what has become an annual tradition: a reflection on how far Northern Ireland has come. This comes with the usual back patting. Then there’s a bit of critical analysis – people talking about how we must do better – from the commentariat more…

576764_10151471009808260_430362165_n

Budget 2013: A missed opportunity

George Osborne for the first time appeared nervous. No Chancellor in recent memory, apart from perhaps Gordon Brown, in the early years of New Labour appeared so cocksure. For three years Osborne has had to dress up bad news as good news. He cherry picked the statistics that suited him best, of course all Chancellors more…

image

Cameron’s Dunkirk?

So at last David Cameron delivered his long awaited speech on Europe. Arguably the most important speech, by a British Prime Minister, since Tony Blair’s speech proposing the case for war in Iraq. British politics, it seems, has entered the era of the referendum arguably started with the referendum on the voting system in 2011 more…

image

The end of the High Street as we know it…

Since the financial crisis of 2008 many firms have closed down or have turned into one of the many so called zombie companies occupying the high street. However, the high street as we know it has been changing since the start of Internet shopping and its popular growth over the last ten years. The rise more…

image

A troubling relationship

The ever fractious relationship between the UK and European Union seems to be at breaking point, or so it seems if you listened to the Eurosceptic’s of the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party has come a long way from the days of Sir Winston Churchill, who is held up in Europe as one of the more…

image

Fiscal Cliff Averted

So the fiscal cliff saga between the Republicans and President Obama had all the drama of the West Wing and even ended with resolution like an actual West Wing episode. The only fear is that this drama is set to re-appear in the future with both sides already highlighting the need for more debate around more…

black on black

An English Guinness?

This time of year is always interesting for the release of state papers under the thirty year rule. The release of these papers bring fresh light on a period of our past and often reveal tensions we thought were there as well as unearthing stories we didn’t even expect.The one story that struck me and more…

NI 2012

Review of the Year: Top 5 stories

  President Obama’s Re-Election This has to be one of the major stories of this year, President Obama was under immense pressure from all quarters and pulled off a great victory. He now faces the long road of securing his legacy as a President, which, could be decided over the issue of the economy. He more…

the third identity

Aaron & Brian’s Sunday View: the Census

  The Irish Times led with, ‘There are just 54,000 more people from a Protestant background than from a Catholic one in Northern Ireland’. The headline figure, that most papers and the media noticed, was that the gap between Protestants and Catholics had narrowed to 3 per cent in the recent statistics released from the more…

Ez5vKegm

The Leveson Report: The End of The Free Press??

  “Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.” This week’s news was dominated by one issue: the publication of the Leveson Report. The report, which is 1988 pages long – I must admit that I have only made my way through the executive summary so far – is more…