Tag Archives | Conflict

LRB 1987 cover Paisley

Paisley: Relic of the Past or Harbinger of the Future?

I recently chanced upon this 1987 review by Charles Townshend in the LRB of Steve Bruce’s God Save Ulster: The Religion and Politics of Paisleyism. It now reads as a fascinating period piece. Just the previous month, Paisley had performed the first of his major protests at the European Parliament, heckling Margaret Thatcher. She was more…

Nearly two decades of sectarian politics have produced increasing indifference to politics, which is progress of a kind. Age, education and income are now the great dividing lines.

The Guardian’s Henry McDonald  reports an advance of the findings of a  complex opinion survey carried out by Social Market Research Belfast for four universities and coordinated by a team including Professor Peter Shirlow, now at Liverpool.  In common with the NI Life and Times opinion  surveys the poll confirms a much more complex state more…

Threatening the existence of the Assembly is a victory for terrorism

Oh God, not another fundamental breakpoint founded on the highest principles, whether they’re about welfare or the IRA! Come on, get real. This kerfuffle over “IRA structures” will pass. For all their simulated outrage over the IRA or welfare, no politician – none of the leaders anyway – want to close Stormont down.  Electoral politics more…

Monica McWilliams

Monica McWilliams – What difference does conflict or peace make for women? #feile15

Power works through dominion, but it also works through dependence … [yet] power can be changed. Wearing DDP Barra McGrory’s glasses until her own were located, Prof Monica McWilliams delivered a lecture this evening in St Mary’s University College on Conflict or Peace: What difference does it make for women? as part of Féile an more…

Conversations about the future require candour, not platitudes

Because of a clash of commitments I’m having to miss out on the Westminster launch on Tuesday of  Uncomfortable Conversations: An Initiative for Dialogue Towards Reconciliation  edited by the Sinn Fein chair Declan Kearney.  It will follow a similar launch in the Linenhall Library in Belfast  which Sinn Fein covered on YouTube in April. It more…

Roy Mason, the last to believe in outright IRA defeat

Roy Mason who has died aged 91 was  Northern Ireland Secretary of State  from 1976 to the end of the Labour government in 1979. He was  “short in stature and long in self confidence “ as David McKittrick  rightly described him. He even designed his own peculiarly vented and lapelled tight fitting light khaki suits. When I last more…

DLA: The Numbers

I was on BBC Talkback earlier to comment on the Belfast Telegraph lead-story today about DLA claimant levels. I thought Slugger readers may like to see the stats behind the headlines. The stats detailed in this written answer show the change in the average number of people in receipt of Disability Living Allowance between 2010 and more…

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Ulrich Beck and developing the art of co-existence and constitutional tolerance…

Towards the end of the last millennium, an intellectual fad infected the Anglo-American academy, whose ivory towers can be vulnerable to fast-spreading exotica. Against the backdrop of the fall of the Wall in Germany and the cul-de-sac into which French ‘structuralist’ philosophies had fallen, ‘post-modernism’ announced the end of the ‘grand narratives’ of modernity, deriving more…

Is This What A United Ireland Would Be?

[Originally posted on my own site, but I thought given the…interest shown yesterday in my status as pro union, that the sluggerverse might get a kick out of this…]   I regularly wonder what “a united ireland” would be. Many people call for it, but would the reality be what they expected? Very few people more…

Friday Thread: The Struggle for Esteem?

Can we make ourselves feel good without making others feel bad? Political philosopher, Cillian McBride, explores this question with people from Tiger’s Bay, a Loyalist community in North Belfast. He talks to them about bonfires, flags and parading, and the challenges posed by cultural practices that neighbouring communities can experience as hostile gestures. He suggests more…

Ceasefires and moving on from the political beachheads of 1994…

The trick is to keep moving. If you stop, if you start thinking, you lose your focus. You lose your concentration. You’ll be a casualty. The idea, the perfect idea, is to keep moving. – Dwight D Eisenhower, June 1944 The primary locus of last night’s documentary was the IRA‘s ceasefire of September 1994. Although it only lasted more…

Art of the Troubles: Culture and Conflict

Dr Stefanie Lehner (Queen’s University Belfast); Dr Laura McAtackney (University College Dublin); Dr Cillian McGrattan (University of Ulster) The importance of culture in Northern Irish political life was reinforced in the events surrounding Pastor McConnell over the past week. It is clear that within Northern Ireland, the effects of fear, judgment, prejudice, hate and intimidation more…

The British goverment must set a better example before the case for an amnesty is properly heard

Adrian Guelke a  South African a  Queen’s academic and a leading authority on post-conflict resolution joins the growing list of reputable figures calling for an amnesty. He criticises the two governments for lack of involvement (although the unfortunate  Eamon Gilmore can’t be faulted for trying almost right up  to the moment of his resignation as Labour more…

Government shambles revealed over details of OTR links to murder

After republican outrage over Gerry Adams’ interrogation, it’s high time to revive unionist fury over the OTR comfort letters with the revelation that 95 out of 228 beneficiaries were linked by the police to murder. From the tortuous accounts by the Chief Constable Matt Baggott and ACC Drew Harris before the NI Select Committee of more…