Europe made me

It was 45 years ago that I left Britain for the first time, to hitch-hike around Western Europe.  I was a different person and the continent was a different place.  Today, Europe is about to become a different place again.  Brexit – assuming it goes ahead – will change the EU, as well as changing […]

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Funding the arts

Harvey Weinstein promised $5m to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts as an endowment for women filmmakers.  As allegations surfaced about the Hollywood producer’s sexual abuse of women, the University decided this was a gift they could do without. Charitable donations may reflect a desire to do good in the world.  But for

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Stalled progress

Twenty one years on from the Good Friday Agreement it is clear that Northern Ireland does not have the settled and just peace that we expected.  This was clear before the terrible killing of Lyra McKee, but it is even more clear now.  That tragedy has amplified the sense in which progress has stalled or

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Brexit blog: Ever the same

The killing of young journalist Lyra McKee on the streets of Creggan overshadows everything in Derry at present.  And there has been widespread speculation that dissident republicans have been energised by Brexit. Certainly dissident republicans supported Brexit.  They believed it created opportunities for them, including making a united Ireland more likely.  (The actions of the

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Podcasts are a useful medium, even though listener numbers are not always massive.  But if considered as an alternative to a series of public meetings, their value is significant.  They can be cheaper and gain more listeners than would be attracted to a meeting.  They can be a way of collecting together different voices, without

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Cyprus Co-operative Bank

The collapse of the Cyprus Co-operative Bank was neither the largest nor the most famous of the banking failures that domino-ed across Europe in the wake of the ‘great recession’.  But it carried many of the same characteristics – and illustrated that mutual banks are just as capable as plcs of being ruined by mismanagement

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