The myth of trickle down justice

If wealthy people win battles to secure their rights, is it likely the benefits will eventually filter down to those without the same clout? I ask the question because while it’s a given that high earning women at the BBC are entitled to the same rate of pay as men doing similar work, it’s not necessarily going to do very much for their poorly paid counterparts within the media industry. Similarly if Hollywood cleans up its act and ensures that … Read more

Flower Power

  When I was a boy living in Cushendun, every November a neighbour came round selling poppies to raise money for the British Legion. Each year my mother made a contribution and took a poppy. It was the sort of cross community exchange, though we didn’t think of it as such, that helped make the Glens of Antrim a welcoming place for everyone. There were limits however to the gesture. The poppy sat where it was placed. I don’t remember … Read more

When super is better than simple in a border poll

Sometime in the future I foresee the birth of a baby fated to change the course of Irish history. At the time its nationalist parents won’t be aware of how special their child is. In fact its identity may never be known. It’s not that the young person is destined to perform some heroic action. All he or she has to do is put an X on a ballot paper. But the impact of that will be profound. Here’s the … Read more

Irishness before and after nationalism

  In the early part of the seventh century a monk got out his parchment and quill and wrote a letter to the Pope about one of the theological disputes of the day. What he said about the debate need not concern us. The modern reader is more likely to be struck about how the holy man describes himself. He goes out of his way to make it clear he is Irish. Another letter to Frankish bishops emphasises the point. … Read more