Category Archives: Society and Culture

Scotland’s Unstated Writers

Unstated – an edited collection on the theme of Scottish independence – has already caused what Scots would call a stramash. The uproar began in December, just days before the volume was published, when excerpts of Alasdair Gray’s contribution, ‘Settlers and … Continue reading

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From Dream Home to Living Hell: Life on Ireland’s Ghost Estates

Noelle McHale bought her “dream home” in a new estate in Ireland’s midlands in 2006 for €175,000 (£142,000 today). But her dream has turned to nightmare with her semi-detached worth only a fraction of that price, and the unfinished estate … Continue reading

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TED — A Strange Way to Talk About Openness

IF you had wanted to see the movers and shakers in Edinburgh this week, it would have cost you £3,850, writes Peter Geoghegan If you did find yourself with just shy of four grand burning a hole in your pocket, … Continue reading

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Local Currencies: The Road to Financial Safety

As small businesses struggle to find support from the banks, Peter Geoghegan suggests now is the time to look at an alternative way to finance retail firms It’s official: the UK is back in recession. On the day Rupert Murdoch … Continue reading

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Beyond the Walls of North Belfast

Limestone Road, north Belfast, calls to mind novelist Robert McLiam Wilson’s description of his native city as a place in which ‘the stories are jumbled and jangled. The narratives meet’. During Belfast’s early twentieth century heyday, Limestone Road was an … Continue reading

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Local Currencies

My latest blog on the London Review of Books site, on local currencies, runny Spanish omelettes and ‘the Miracle of Worgl’: Death to the Euro.’ The handmade sign was pinned to the wall of a community centre in San Luis, … Continue reading

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Seville Youth Bear Brunt of Economic Collapse

A middle-aged man with a Che Guevara beard and a black and white keffiyeh smiles down from an election poster attached to a lamppost in Gines, a middle class suburb on the outskirts of Seville. Below the photograph a single … Continue reading

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Solving Ireland’s Youth Unemployment Crisis

A recently published survey of students should make sobering reading for Ireland’s politicians. The poll, conducted by international research firm Trendence, asked 6,000 students in Irish universities if they intend to leave the country after graduation to secure a job … Continue reading

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Between the Lines

In 1971, a parliamentary Working Group criticised the speed with which walls, gates and fences were being put up to separate Catholic and Protestant communities in Northern Ireland. The ‘peace lines’, constructed mainly by the British army, were creating an … Continue reading

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Olympic Spirit Comes to East London

‘Is that a rollercoaster, daddy?’ a young boy, his face pressed firm against the plate glass, points in the direction of a towering, twisting hulk of clay-red metal in the middle distance. ‘No son, it says here it’s a piece … Continue reading

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