Author Archive | Samuel Thompson

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The Rocky Road to Dublin for Northern Nationalists…

Back in March my article ‘Why Unionism Has a Problem’ seemed to strike a chord with the Slugger readership, so it is natural to follow the intrinsic problems of Unionism with another article that reflects the inherent problems facing Nationalism. There is little doubt that recent elections have reinvigorated the idea of Irish unity that more…

LEWEB 2014 - CONFERENCE - LEWEB TRENDS - IN CONVERSATION WITH EMMANUEL MACRON (FRENCH MINISTER FOR ECONOMY INDUSTRY AND DIGITAL AFFAIRS) - PULLMAN STAGE

The French Elections and the Macron phenomenon…

‘Brenda from Bristol’ probably summed up the mood to this year’s general election when stopped in the street by a TV reporter. ‘Oh no, not another one!’ [i] In Northern Ireland we are used to annual or even bi-annual elections but even our electoral activity pales in comparison to the poor people of France who more…

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Why Unionism has a problem…

Nothing in life is inevitable so the old saying goes, other than death and taxes and maybe Arsenal finishing fourth in the Premier League, so the recent old news that the Catholic population of Northern Ireland may soon reach a voting majority might cause sleepless nights. Of course, Unionists will be quick to point out more…

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Notional 90 seat 2016 Assembly Compared with 2017 results

*Whyte, Nicholas (22 December 2016). “If the 2016 Assembly election had had five seats per constituency…”. AE17 without the background noise As Northern Ireland’s turbulent history takes another turn there is a widespread feeling that AE17 has changed the local political situation profoundly. It was a good result for Sinn Féin, there is no doubt more…

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President Trump – Welcome to the post-truth world

 WARNING: the following article may contain elements of truth. The gongs of Big Ben that welcome 2017 will be greeted not but the clinking of glasses and a chorus of Auld Lang Sang, but rather a huge sigh of relief. 2016, the year from hell will finally be behind us. It brought a cull of more…

Neither liberty, equality, nor fraternity

Imagine a woman on a beach on a hot day, perhaps your mother, sister, girlfriend or wife. She doesn’t take the sun well so she doesn’t wear a bathing suit and covers her head with a cloth and her shoulders with a shawl while she sleeps. Imagine four police officers approach her, waken her up, more…

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The past, present and future of Tony Blair

He could have gone down as one of the great Prime Ministers of all time, a man who took over a fractured and beaten political party, won three consecutive elections and as the Prime Minister that brought peace to Northern Ireland. These are enormous achievements for any politician but instead he will be damned as more…

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A day in the life of a Northern Ireland political junkie…

  The radio alarm goes off – Sonny and Cher are singing, ‘I’ve Got You Babe’. I’ll have none of that cheery Frank Mitchell malarkey and switch the station to Radio Ulster. In Ormeau Avenue, Connor Bradford sits in bow tie and tails – reading the news for the BBC is a serious business after more…

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Fairness and Fear in the alternate universe of the Orange Order…

I’ve heard some bizarre things on the Nolan show but the recent interview with Drew Nelson, Grand Secretary of the Orange Order, has got to be in the top five. The discussion centered round a recent Orange Order report, ‘Fairness and Fear’ that outlined the horrors Protestants face in the workplace. As an atheist I more…

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This time next year we could have Trump in the White House, Boris in Downing Street and be on our way out of the EU…

Closer to home, the border could be reinvigorated providing a bonanza for ‘good’ Republicans to make fortunes out of fuel-smuggling and dumping toxic waste, while not-so good Republicans will celebrate the centenary of the Easter Rising by blowing up as many people as possible. Some of these nightmare scenarios may be the result of self-inflicted more…

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A wry view of the US presidential candidates….

It seems to have been going on for ever but the truth is, it hasn’t even started yet. I am of course, referring to the greatest political show on earth, the US presidential election. This year’s crop of hopefuls contains demonstrates once again the diversity of America’s millionaire class. In addition to middle-aged white guys, more…

Burned out cars and buildings still litter the remains of the original village of Oradour-sur-Glane

From Bannisters To The Iron Harvest. 1916 and all that…

I saw an unusual tweet a few weeks ago. Someone had posted a picture of a bannister. That seemed strange until I read the caption and discovered the bannister was in a house where James Connolly had once lived. The tweeter expressed pleasure, perhaps awe, at sliding his hand along an object his hero had more…