Personal memories of Sunningdale and the UWC strike – the lost opportunity for a generation

Although I couldn’t attend the conferences they’ve sparked off vivid memories. This was a time when not only Northern Ireland seemed ungovernable but Britain too. At the Sunningdale civil service college in Berkshire we in the media were stuck in the conference annex for days because of the difficulty of getting taxis during the three day week, then in full force.  TV had  to close down at 10 o’clock each night – it was  that bad. In spite of the atmosphere of crisis in England hopes …

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“Lacking genuine political competition, public administration in newly pacified nations is often a mess.”

The Economist has an interesting article about civil conflicts. It doesn’t mention NI, but one paragraph in particular caught my eye: One reason for backsliding is that peace often fails to bring the prosperity that might give it lasting value to all sides. Power-sharing creates weak governments; nobody trusts anyone else enough to grant them real power. Poor administration hobbles business. Ethnic mafias become entrenched. Integration is postponed indefinitely. Lacking genuine political competition, with no possibility of decisive electoral victories, …

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Where is the joint Team GB, Team Ireland celebration ?

The Belfast Telegraph lead surely has it right. If ever there’s a time for a joint full-hearted, full throated public celebration this is it. Separate cheering by itself is nto enough and is a reproach to the  powersharing establishment.  Why has it not been planned already? Is sectarian reluctance lurking in the background, trying  to calculete the percentage from their own side ?   Brian WalkerFormer BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; …

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The Rising of the Undead

Disparate republican militant groups have announced a coming together under a single leadership that has breathed new life into the IRA, promising to bring murder, anarchy and terrorism back to Northern Ireland. Here’s my illustration. Brian SpencerBrian is a writer, artist, political cartoonist and legal blogger. Actively tweeting from @brianjohnspencr. More information here: http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/ www.brianjohnspencer.com/