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August 2008 (18)
Aug 31 2008 1:22PM
Dealing with the past: postponed until further notice

Looks like the Observer's Henry McDonald has been hearing the same rumours around Belfast as I have – namely, that the report by the Eames-Bradley Consultative Group on the Past is to be postponed (yet again) until the end of the year...

Aug 28 2008 5:11PM
I have a dream (45 years on, still unfulfilled)

Today is the 45th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech, delivered to a crowd of more than 250,000 people from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. It is undoubtedly one of the finest...

Aug 27 2008 9:37PM
Mary Robinson: human rights hero

Mary Robinson, former President of the Republic of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (wiki biography here) received an enthusiastic tribute from columnist Susan McKay in the pages of today's Irish News (And here...

Aug 27 2008 1:05AM
From Beijing to Denver: guarding the Party

If the Chinese government provided a masterclass in how to prevent unwelcome protests at the Beijing Olympics, it looks like the Denver authorities may have been paying attention in time for this week's Democratic Party National...

Aug 26 2008 10:37PM
Torture allegations return to haunt legal process

"300 Irish republican ex-prisoners are to attempt to have their convictions overturned" according to Henry McDonald in a story in yesterday's Guardian and repeated extensively elsewhere (Daily Telegraph for instance) today. According...

Aug 23 2008 1:40AM
Martin McGuinness: next stop Philippines?

He may not even know it himself yet, but Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness may soon be on a plane to the Philippines as the latest stop in his blossoming (and occasionally satirised) career as one of the world's...

Aug 22 2008 10:24PM
Tasers: shocks and secrets

As the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) deliver their first Taser shock, it's been announced that an application has been made for a judicial review into the decision-making process which led to the deployment of the...

Aug 22 2008 11:42AM
Sandard Operating Procedure Mark 2

Standard Operating Procedure William Crawley wrote a very comprehensive analysis of Standard Operating Procedure on his blog Will and Testament, and many of these themes were discussed on last Sunday’s Sunday Sequence. But I will add...

Aug 20 2008 9:53PM
Standard Operating Procedure

My colleague Fionna is far to modest to blog it herself, but she was a guest on BBC Radio Ulster's Sunday Sequence programme a couple of days ago to discuss new film, Standard Operating Procedure, which deals with the torture meted out...

Aug 19 2008 8:49PM
UN criticises UK human rights record

Benjamin Zephaniah, the Rastafarian dub poet, was recently talking on Radio 4 about the focus on China's human rights record during the Olympics. The gist of what Zephaniah said was: how would the UK react when London holds the...

Aug 16 2008 12:28AM
Omagh remembered: still no justice

I am too young to remember where I was when I heard Kennedy was shot, but I will never forget the growing horror with which I listened to the car radio ten years ago today as I headed south on holidays with Rachel, my then girlfriend...

Aug 11 2008 10:42PM
Slugger Awards: political blogger of the year

Mick Fealty at Slugger O'Toole (the daddy of 'em all, in NI blog terms) has asked for help in spreading the word about the 'political blogger' category in the new Slugger Awards. So here goes. The Slugger Awards are in their first year...

Aug 10 2008 10:52PM
MPs call for UK Bill of Rights

As reported by the BBC, Westminster's Joint Committee on Human Rights has published the report of its year-long inquiry into proposals for a UK Bill of Rights and has come out firmly in support of the idea. So far I have only speed...

Aug 9 2008 8:06PM
'Zugzwang' - a metaphor for our times?

Ronan Bennett gave an inspiring lecture as part of Feile an Phobail. The former Long Kesh prisoner, author and now writer of his first hundred million dollar movie starring Johnny Depp, gave fascinating insights into the writer's world...

Aug 8 2008 11:31AM
Should IOC ban Beijing Olympic opening ceremony?

Should this afternoon's opening ceremony to the Beijing Olympics be banned? That, surely, is the shocking logical conclusion of the Beijing Olympic rules being bandied about at the moment to justify the banning of flags from the likes...

Aug 3 2008 12:00AM
Politicians on parade at Belfast Pride

There were more politicians at today's Belfast Pride parade than you could shake a stick at. Or at least an Amnesty placard which, once again, was the hottest item in town. In the wake of the now infamous series of anti-gay comments...

Aug 2 2008 10:34AM
Unionists to attend Belfast Pride

Today, for the first time ever, unionist politicians will attend the Belfast Pride parade – and not as anti-gay protestors. In the wake of a row started by the homophobic comments of DUP MP Iris Robinson and heightened this week by a...

Aug 2 2008 12:47AM
Death penalty: America considers

The US (or at least parts of it) continues to wrestle with its conscience, not to mention its pocket-book, in the matter of the continued use of the death penalty. Maryland is just one of the States currently examining the future of...