20150612-155041.jpg

In Defence of Jamie – and Others like him: by Sophie Long

I have watched, with interest, the ongoing exchange on Eamonn Mallie’s site, between Jamie Bryson and Brian John Spencer. The two figures represent two, opposing camps, within ‘Unionism’, in its loosest sense. Spencer, the spokesman for the “silent majority”, is emblematic of liberal Unionism, or, as they are often called, ‘garden centre Prods’. Bryson, on…

20150611-141243.jpg

‘My Planter’s Burden’ – by Brian Spencer

The Irish government recently published the ‘Global Irish – Ireland’s Diaspora Policy‘ . This is an important and innovative document. It poses a question and perplexes. The question is this: what can we learn and apply from Ireland’s diaspora to Northern Ireland? Here’s what perplexes. The people of this our shared archipelago are so much…

20150603-130926.jpg

Fury Road – review by Dan McGinn

Earlier this year, several newspapers had stories about Britain’s first proper 4D cinema. The Mirror and the Daily Mail were among those that reported Cineworld in Milton Keynes will offer audiences 3D visuals but will enhance their film going experience by spraying them with water, shaking their seats and recreating the scent of explosions and coffee. God help…

20150603-123848.jpg

‘Political Football’ by Kyle Paisley

  Poor old Sepp Blatter has had to give up, That big job at FIFA he couldn’t keep up. Scandal, bad feeling and talk of corruption, Would sooner or later have caused an eruption Of tempers and trouble – what awful division Was sure to have come without his resignation! Some rivals in football are…

20150602-164102.jpg

Jamie Bryson, more narcissist, less unionist

Jamie Bryson adores the Union but advocates everything against which the modern Union stands. The man from Donaghadee can call for Union Flags on every lampost, call for a return to “biblical based Protestantism” for loyalism, and call on other retrogrades, then without the slightest sense of contradiction or inconsistency, call for liberal and distant…

20150601-230122.jpg

‘Being a middle-class suburban Protestant is a lonely vigil’ argues Brian Spencer

We read to know we’re not alone. The moment when words mirror life and lived experience is stirring and emotive, even numinous. Being a middle-class suburban Protestant is a lonely thing. You’re unionist without being “Unionist Forum”-style unionist. When pro-Union sentiment is universally bellicose, belligerent and flag-flappy you can feel like Franz Kafka’s character who…

20150601-132452.jpg

Is it moral to recruit people already with blood on their hands and put them on the payroll of the state? – Asks Kyle Paisley

Britain’s Secret Terror Deals was compelling viewing, and an excellent piece of investigative journalism by Darragh McIntyre. It was thorough. It was convincing. Although people in Northern Ireland are well acquainted with the controversial issue of collusion, it can do no harm to keep the matter before them. Fresh revelations will strengthen the desire and…

20150526-174240.jpg

“I think it takes an awful lot for granted if we are to assume we’ll be even breathing” – Peter Robinson on fickleness of office

Rodney Edwards of the The Impartial Reporter interviewed the First Minister Peter Robinson back in March of this year. The Fermanagh journalist asked the DUP leader if he intended to step down after the next term of the Assembly. Here’s Robinson responded to Edwards: “I don’t think that any of us can answer that and…