Theresa Villiers waits outside Stormont House.

DUP/Tory spectre hangs over Talks

In recent weeks Theresa Villiers has issued several statements positively “pumping up” the Stormont talks.  Last night she introduced a sudden caution, suggesting “the chances of clinching a final deal look slim”. At no time during the last seven weeks has either a credible process, or any political momentum been introduced to these talks.  It…

Rethinking dealing with the past for victims

It seems that despite the breakdown in the all-party talks last year, there is new impetuous to tackle the outstanding contentious issues (see Brian Rowan’s piece). The Haass-O’Sullivan proposals from last year seem to be starting point of this year’s discussions. There were some progressive proposals in last year’s talks, including a truth recovery process…

Glenn Bradley standing up for ‘the white poppy’

      It’s that time of the year again when the little poppy, that beautiful flower that toils in fields across Europe and further a-field, in a variety of colours when in bloom is used as a symbol of solemn Remembrance or as a marketing tool for Charities or as a glorifying rallying call…

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Battle Hardened

      The Second World War movie has evolved since the star-studded extravaganzas of the 1950s and 60s about deeds of daring do. Sam Peckinpah’s ‘Cross of Iron’ in 1977, Samuel Fuller’s ‘The Big Red One’ in 1980 and Steven Spielberg’s ‘Saving Private Ryan’ in 1998 did not pull their punches in their depictions…

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Disappearing Act

      There is a phrase my wife and I often use about TV shows, movies and books whose plots go terribly awry. “It’s a bit Scooby Doo,” is our equivalent of “jumping the shark”. ‘Homeland’ and ‘Lost’ are good examples of TV dramas that went a bit Scooby Doo after promising first seasons.…