Author Archive | Soapbox

Steven Agnew gpni16

Soapbox: Steven Agnew argues it’s time to look at voluntary coalition

Soapbox: Steven Agnew argues that it’s time to look at voluntary coalition. He says “no party should have the power to tear the devolved institutions down and leave the electorate in Northern Ireland powerless”, adding “that’s why a voluntary coalition can usher in an era of fresh politics and politicians that put people first”.

MarriageEquality graphic

What the High Court Decision on Marriage Equality Means

Like many people, my first reaction to the August 17 High Court decision regarding Marriage Equality in Northern Ireland was deep disappointment. I saw many friends’ expressions of frustration and heartbreak given the political impasse at Stormont and the current marginalization of LGBT people throughout Northern Ireland not just in policy but in society as more…

Surgery

Until we deal with the REAL reasons for our long hospital waiting lists we are just throwing good money after bad…

The problems in Northern Ireland’s health service (and in particular our constantly lengthening waiting lists) have been a recurrent topic on Slugger. Reference has been made to successive reports recommending transformation and hospital rationalization and the absence of any effective resulting action. As many of those reports have pointed out, the service here gets much more…

Belfast_City_Hall_2

Editing the Past

David Capener is a writer based in Belfast, an Editorial contributor at Archinet and a reporter for World Architecure Community. He blogs at www.futurecrowds.com All history is biography. It is the story we tell ourselves to make sense of the world; our place in it, and, those we share it with. Stories shape our world and more…

“Redeveloping the area for future decay”

David Capener is  a contributing editor for Archinet a global online architecture website/magazine. As fingers point towards the Markets community of Belfast they do so perpetuating a forty year long narrative that began, in the name of ‘regeneration’, with the unpicking of the grid street system, that since the 19th century had knitted the inner more…

South Western Ambulance WA07RYP 612

Not enough time to clean. The ambulance services dirty little secret…

It seems such a shame that after the much-anticipated launch of Northern Ireland’s new Air Ambulance this month the service should find itself the subject of yet another negative article in the Irish News, this time regarding the condition of our road ambulances and stations. The article reports on how a surprise visit by the more…

STEPS 1

Beyond a Spin of the Wheel – GPs and mental health care

The crisis facing GP services in Northern Ireland has been well documented, including in previous posts on Slugger O’Toole.  Increasing patient lists, ‘red tape’, underfunding, an ageing workforce and the compounding of health issues in deprived communities due to austerity policies, are only some of the problems faced by the service. The British Medical Association more…

Looking at the York Street Interchange

David Capener is  a contributing editor for Archinet a global online architecture website/magazine. On the face of it even the hardest critics of the DUP’s deal with the Conservative party would find it difficult to argue against an extra £1bn investment for Northern Ireland. Even if it is only a small ripple of 0.12% in more…

Grenfell_Tower_fire_(wider_view)

If you want to see how the poor die, come see Grenfell Tower…

It has a tragic few months with the horrendous terror attacks Westminster, Manchester and London. These were shocking terror attacks. We were then all stunned by the images from Grenfell, nearly three weeks ago. – sadly this time a man-made disaster We all watched in horror as the fire engulfed so many families in their homes, we more…

From Mixed Marriage to Same Sex Marriage

When will our Church leaders learn from their past mistakes? I was a teenager in the early 1980s when the fear of the Church leaders was of mixed marriage. As a young Catholic in 1989 in Belfast I fell in love with a Protestant. I knew not to expect support from either my parents or more…

MAP 5 : Infrastructure compared to Westminster election results.

The £400m for Infrastructure in the Conservative-DUP agreement will only exacerbate Northern Ireland’s east-west divide

Northern Ireland’s infrastructure has drawn the prize ticket from the £1bn of new money in the Conservative-DUP deal – securing £400m, or 40% of the entire fund. This has been greeted with criticism elsewhere in the UK, but can be justified on two grounds. Firstly – Northern Ireland arguably has the worst infrastructure of any more…

Steven Agnew

The collapse of the Executive, two Assembly elections, a General Election, a new Taoiseach, Trump and the decimation of the Conservative Commons majority.

Steven Agnew is the Leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland. It’s a year to the day since the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. It’s been remarkable but often disconcerting. The Green Party campaigned to Remain within the EU with great effort and energy. A year later, we haven’t shifted more…