Imagine you are shipwrecked and come ashore on a land you don't know. You are taken in by some kind people. You are naturally curious about where you are. So you start asking your hosts about the their country. Sooner or later you get round to politics. The conversation could go like this:
One family's history over two centuries in Scotland and Ireland through tumultuous times from ploughs to poppies and to a shattering of old beliefs.
In January 1974, while the institutions of the Sunningdale Agreement were newly formed, co-founder of the Democratic Unionist Party, close friend of Ian Paisley and leading barrister, Desmond Boal QC, announced his support for an end to the union with Britain and the creation of a federal Ireland. At the time unionism was badly divided … Continue reading Loyalist proposals to end the union
Our politics and society in Northern Ireland may have changed in many ways over the last fifty years, but through the RHI Inquiry we see that the machinery of state has not moved with the times. The state remains employing, at huge public expense, highly educated and highly paid placemen and women who have extremely secure and well pensioned jobs, without much attention paid to what they actually do and contribute to the public good.
I remember October 5th 1968 well. I was 14. I wrote an essay on the events in Derry in school. I wish I had kept it. No, on second thought maybe I don't. In my boy's mind events in Derry in October 1968 are always connected to the assassination of Bobby Kennedy in America three … Continue reading Educated ignorance
Fifteen to twenty years ago many old hippies like me got very vexed about something called 'Peak Oil'. Many 'oil experts', geologists and environmental pundits were telling us that the planet was rapidly running out of oil and within ten to twenty years our access to the stuff would be greatly restricted, if not non-existent. What happened?
If you accept that we increasingly live in a topsy-turvy world where many things are inverted - injustice is rewarded, might is right, good is bad and incompetence is competence - then you will also understand that we mistake words for actions. Politicians and spin merchants of all creeds use these twisted illusions of … Continue reading Who and what are the DUP?