What a southern default would mean

Following the thread the other day, just a link to something I wrote elsewhere, but here’s the gist: There are two broad schools of thought on a default. One says it will result in savings being decimated, cash machines freezing-up and capital flight. The other says it will be less painful and quicker than the current situation, if performed in an orderly fashion. The evidence appears to favour the latter. [Newswhip.ie] Jason WalshJason Walsh is a journalist. http://jasonwalsh.ie

Japan’s export-led funk

Japan and Ireland’s economies are so different in character that I have never once read a comparison of the two, other than a nod to the concept of zombie banks. That said, a recent article in Foreign Policy that looks at Japan’s perpetual slump caught my attention. Ireland’s path out of recession, we are told, lies in export-led growth. Precisely what we are to export is unclear but, leaving that aside for the moment, there is also the question of … Read more

Cross posting: No platform for liberals

This is behind the paywall on forth but I’ve reproduced it here in full, in case anyone’s interested: No platform for liberals Precious pieties never solved anything, says JASON WALSH THE GREAT and the good, or at least the nice and the acceptable, of Northern society have come together once more to demand more niceness and less nastiness. Meet the Platform for Change. Officially launched today, the Platform for Change seeks to have the North’s politicians address pressing issues, such … Read more

On (some) newspapers

The future of newspapers comes up from time-to-time here on Slugger. Here’s my take on a tangential issue: relgious papers. Humanity’s press Atheist and correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, JASON WALSH considers religious newspapers a real blessing We all know churches have deep pockets but why have humanists failed to produce a paper of the quality of the CS Monitor? If every humanist in Ireland paid €5 or €10 a month to a fund… Dream on. Jason WalshJason Walsh … Read more

Exchanging ideology for identity

Over at… no, wait! (Oh, the in-jokes)… Three responses to the Belfast Salon debate held as part of Exchange Mechanism at the Belfast Exposed gallery are now online at forth Freeloaders rejoice, it’s not behind the paywall. Yet. Jason WalshJason Walsh is a journalist. http://jasonwalsh.ie

Exchange mechanism

As previously mentioned on Slugger, last night was the Belfast Salon’s attempt to make sense of Northern politics – and, indeed, the wider question of what politics mean. Speakers were Owen Polley, Malachi O’Doherty, Liam O’Dowd and myself. As a panellist I’m not in much of a position to judge how things went but the audience certainly raised some interesting points. Audience members questioned the existence of civil society, the role of the press in the peace process, made tentative … Read more

Debate: A House Divided?

Northern Ireland – democratic future or peace at any price? Tuesday 16 February, 7-9 pm (doors open 6’45) Belfast Exposed gallery, 23 Donegall Street, Belfast BT1 Amidst rumour, scandal and in fighting, as the NI Assembly lurches from one crisis to the next, the Belfast Salon considers alternatives to the existing political stalemate. Is perpetual crisis the price we pay for peace? Can devolution deliver on democracy? How do we move on from the past to address the economic and … Read more

The first item on the agenda: the split

As far as alternative histories go, Philip K. Dick’s ‘The Man in the High Castle’ is my favourite, but how about an alternative history of the IRA? Specifically, if what the late Tómas Mac Giolla claimed about the 1969 split is true, would the conflict have ended a lot earlier – 1970s? 1980s? – without the intervention of just one man? 1969 and all that An interview published today lays the blame for the IRA split of 1969 at the … Read more

INLA disarms

The BBC reports the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) has decommissioned its weapons. Presumably the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) will now seek realignment with the wider political left, as the party has indicated during an interview. Will it be accepted? And has there ever been a worse time for the left which, despite the economic crisis, still appears to have no weight? In an interesting aside, the Irish Daily Mail published an interview with the recently late Tómas Mac … Read more

Brown’s speech

Just listening to Brown and Cowen speaking at Hillsborough and something strikes me: Brown’s language is all about the “people of Northern Ireland”. Standard issue political rhetoric, of course, but it reminds that in 1997 the prospect of a permanent end to conflict did create a genuine public enthusiasm, perhaps euphoric, but popular nonetheless. Of course, today people still want peace and are perhaps used to having at least no conflict. On the other hand, it seems to me that … Read more

New Ireland

I don’t speak for anyone other than myself so this isn’t quite an exercise in kite-flying, but… Isn’t it time we had a new Ireland? Not ‘agreed Ireland’ as defined by boring peace processery but a real discussion about what we want the country to look like. There has never been a better time ֠after all, the institutions from the Church to the political parties and the bodies of the Belfast Agreement are all on their knees, staggering-on more out … Read more

New political party due in South

OK, so it’s single sourced and unattributed… but I know who the guy is and I never said forth was a newspaper anyway. New Irish political party seeks to make impact before 2012 Socially and economically liberal political group to launch before election hopes to avoid making the PDs’ errors all over again Here’s the interesting question, though: is there room for such a party? Clearly there are large sections of social and economic thought that are unserved in Ireland, … Read more

Nuclear options

We’re not at this point yet – not even close, truth be told- but shall we have a natter about the nuclear options?Previously unionists have been threatened with Joint Authority, effectively co-rule by London and Dublin. It’s extremely unlikely that Gordon Brown would pursue such a strategy so close to a general election. If it happened David “Call-me-prime-minister” Cameron would make a lot of Labour-destroyed-the-union hay and the SNP would, presumably, be cook-a-hoop. Still, it’s worth talking about, isn’t it? … Read more

Mionlach Gaeilge?

While Sluggerites are all waiting for my first proper contribution of the year (cough), here’s something else that may be of some interest: Is once-maligned Irish language the marker of a new Ireland elite? A new study finds the Irish language, once seen as the tongue of the poorer and less-educated even in Ireland, is a marker of an economic elite. Note: it’s a two-pager, which isn’t always immediately obvious. So, is this good news for Irish speakers? Presumably yes, … Read more

Questions that need to be answered. Maybe.

– Will there be a last minute deal on the devolution of policing and justice? – Aren’t the Tories unionists anyway? – Will the Assembly fall again? – Do I care? Don’t know. Yes. Maybe. No. My vote for the It-Really-is-of-No-Consequence party, over at the Guardian’s CIF. Jason WalshJason Walsh is a journalist. http://jasonwalsh.ie

Division in Ukraine election is an overstated concern

Apologies for the shameless plug for forth but this story may be of interest to Sluggerites: Western ‘Russophobia’ distorts understanding of Ukraine election As the Ukrainian presidential election goes to round two, candidates’ “pro-Western” or “anti-Western” leanings are not what actually matters, says NATALIA ANTONOVA reporting from Ukraine Jason WalshJason Walsh is a journalist. http://jasonwalsh.ie

Controversial terrorism law used to arrest British man for ill-advised joke

I became aware of this story on Wednesday but have been unable to mention it until today due to some promises: Doncaster man Paul Chambers, 26, was arrested by police under the provisions of the Terrorism Act (2006) ֠for making a joke on the social networking site Twitter. Chambers, who has no connections to any extremist organisations, made an ill-advised remark after flights being grounded by recent icy conditions. Some days later he was arrested in his workplace. Now suspended … Read more