Region Archives: UK

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What is the future of the NHS in the 21st century?

In his 1942 Report, Sir William Beveridge, a Liberal patrician, identified five ‘giant evils’ — Want, Ignorance, Squalor, Disease and Idleness. The Welfare State was founded in the immediate post-war period to improve the social conditions in the UK. The country was then bankrupt from war exertions; despite warnings, mainly from Conservatives, that the Welfare State more…

Three things we know about Brexit..

Nicholas Whyte reports on three things we now know about Brexit: According to Barnier the British are talking about a Canada type model, no sector by sector deals and no passporting for the financial sector. The Irish border issue is serious and as yet has no solution (which is why the Taoiseach has been upping more…

The government need to come clean urgently on their bungled proposal for a security forces amnesty

After Sinn Fein held their meeting with Theresa May this afternoon,  Gerry Adams diverted from the apparent failure to make progress on restoring Stormont with a genuine issue: a potential amnesty from prosecution for security force members who served in the Troubles is to be floated by the British government. The Irish News carries the fullest more…

Brexit and the border is widening the gap between London and Dublin and depressing further the chances of a return to Stormont

It has started to happen. Will it continue?  Can it be reversed? The politics of Brexit  is openly dividing the UK and Irish governments and further polarising the DUP and Sinn Fein,  making a return to the Executive less likely than ever.  Predictably Brexit is increasingly becoming domesticated as the new big theme  in a more…

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“Even if we could clean up our own murky waters, and not be seen as a chasm of dysfunction and smuggling”

So back in the real world, there’s Brexit. Newton Emerson’s piece from last week’s Irish Times is well worth reading into the Slugger record (whilst so much that gets written about Brexit these days is not): In Northern Ireland, some business and political figures have expressed the hope of becoming a post-Brexit bridge between the UK and more…

Gerry Adams and Robert Mugabe have something in common

How ironic that the eras of Mugabe and Adams are drawing to a close at roughly the same time. Both are men of blood. Both remained in office for unhealthily long periods of time, reflecting the essentially undemocratic nature of their political machines and their origins in armed insurgency. It now turns out that neither more…

A crunch on the border is not in Ireland’s interests

“What we want to take off the table, before we even talk about trade, is any idea that there would be a hard Border, a physical Border, or a Border resembling the past . . . Then we’d be happy to move on to phase two.” “The UK insists that the issue cannot be tackled more…

Quote of the week…

The DUP’s 10 MPs are increasingly driving the party – apart from Ian Paisley, whose increasingly entertaining media appearances suggest he has been locked in the boot. Newton Emerson in the Irish News

The reception for the Loughinisland documentary No Stone Unturned shows that legacy issues will stay marginalised

The low key reception given to the documentary No Stone Unturned, the film documentary on the UVF  murders  of six  randomly selected Catholics in their local Loughinisland  pub in 1994 which is currently being  given a brief screening at the Queen’s Film Theatre, is the latest example of how presumed familiarity with the underlying problems more…

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For Westminster, Northern Ireland still isn’t a priority.

Patrick Thompson is a postgraduate student at Queen’s University, specialising in Northern Irish and Labour politics Last week a strange piece appeared on the news agency Bloomberg’s website about the Irish dimension of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. It was titled ‘Irish Border Throws Unexpected Hurdle to Brexit’. The notion that there is an more…

Brexit is in a mess, but not irretrievably

Want to know where we really are on Brexit? In  three words, in a mess. Can we get out of it?   Possibly at the eleventh hour, 10 pm on Friday 19 March 2019, just like the Good Friday Agreement in fact. Nothing  is agreed until everything is agreed. As so often – like the Stormont more…

From Betty TVGONE TO POT
Coming soon to ITVPictured: (l-r) John Fashanu,Pam St Clements, Christopher Biggins, Bobby George and Linda RobsonCELEBRITY LINE-UP CONFIRMED FOR NEW ITV SERIES GONE TO POT
All aboard for the trip of a lifetime. The celebrity line-up for new ITV documentary series Gone to Pot has been unveiled and includes Birds of a Feather actress and Loose Women panelist Linda Robson, ex-EastEnders actress Pam St Clement, actor Christopher Biggins, retired footballer and TV presenter John Fashanu and darts supremo Bobby George.
The group of well-known celebrities will be hitting the road together for a new three-part series, to embark on the ultimate trip across the US on board a magical mystery bus.  They will explore the locals use of marijuana, for both medicinal and recreational purposes and meet some truly extraordinary characters along the way.
Each of the personalities is motivated by a personal desire to find out more about the issues involved and the series follows their journey of discovery.  They travel to states where medicinal and recreational use has been legalised, meeting people who have experienced both the benefits and downsides of medical and recreational use.
The issue of legislation has long been a subject of debate in the UK with marijuana having been reported to ease symptoms of arthritis, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and several other conditions. However, it remains the most commonly used and trafficked illicit drug in the world and evidence suggests that frequent and prolonged use can be detrimental to both mental and physical health.
This unique, immersive series will lift the lid on some surprising stories and provide a balanced look at the use of marijuana, whilst promising to take viewers along on a road trip like no other. Does cannabis legalisation work? It’s high time we found out!(c) ITVFor further information please contact Peter Gray
0207 157 3046 peter.gray@itv.comThis photograph is © ITV and c

ITV has gone to pot…

Imagine a producer at Al Jazeera, the Qatari TV channel, pitching a program idea to his managers which goes something like this.   We select a group of overweight elderly Doha Residents, people with a certain celebrity in our beloved Kingdom – we want the audience to like them but they need to be men of more…

Enniskillen 30 Years On: Geraldine Smyth on Forgiveness and Mercy in the Public Square

An article by Joe Humphreys in today’s Irish Times marking the 30th anniversary of the Enniskillen bomb bears the headline: ‘Thirty years after Enniskillen: Can forgiveness transcend terrorist atrocities?’ Humphreys highlights the well-known words of forgiveness offered in the bomb’s immediate aftermath by Gordon Wilson, whose daughter Marie died in the atrocity. He also recognizes the words of more…

Real work to restore the Executive has yet to begin. For the public to make an impact, proposals and pressure from the governments are essential

As a comparative outsider I’m struck by how most commentators are obsessed with speculating about political positioning and identity narratives. This has produced numbing negativism and  despair  rather than the energy needed to approach the daunting but practical problem of trying to restore the Executive.  Being case hardened and calloused, they endlessly refine their own explanations for more…

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Prescription Medicines in the Dock – Who is to blame for the increasing drug deaths in our society?

Ireland bucks the UK trend in drug overdose deaths; here they are more likely to result from “prescription medicines” than “illegal drugs”. Coroners locally implicate; tramadol, oxycodone or fentanyl in overdose more frequently than in England, Scotland or Wales where deaths are mainly linked to; heroin or cocaine. One implication is that prescription medicines are more…