Society and Culture

Ireland’s tough road back

It doesn’t feel like a country in the grip of a lost decade, writes Peter Geoghegan, but beyond Dublin’s corporate office blocks and crowded city-centre bars lies another Ireland Last weekend more than 50,000 people – many of them Scottish rugby fans – packed into the Aviva Stadium in Dublin to watch Ireland triumph over […]

Paul Mason – Kicking Off the Revolution

On a bright Saturday morning early last year, a bleary-eyed Paul Mason sat down to pen a blog for Newsnight, the BBC current affairs programme on which he is economics editor. The previous evening he had delivered a lecture on the 1871 Paris Commune to a collective of free thinkers and radical students in a […]

The Maze and dealing with the past in Northern Ireland

If ever a country was defined by a punctuation mark, it’s Northern Ireland and the forward-slash. A history of conflict has produced some awkward semantic contortions: Catholic/Protestant, Nationalist/Unionist, and, of course, Derry/Londonderry, that waggish ‘Stroke City’. Less celebrated, but no less contentious, is another double take, the Maze/Long Kesh. Last week it was revealed that […]

Irish Emigration is No Lifestyle Choice

Every St Stephen’s Day I play soccer with a group of school friends in Longford, my hometown. It’s not a pretty sight – 22 over-fed men, their prime fast disappearing over the horizon, huffing and puffing on the local Gaelic pitch – but it’s been a tradition for well over a decade, and old traditions […]

Zizek, Bankers Bonuses and Capitalism after Industry

In 2010, it was politicians’ expenses. More recently public ire was – rather fairly – targeted at tabloid journalists and their nimble telecommunications skills. Now it’s bankers and their egregious bonuses. RBS and Stephen Hestor has dominated the news agenda for the last few days and, given State stakes in a number of high-street lenders […]

Review: Why It’s All Kicking Off Everywhere by Paul Mason

‘It is easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism,’ Fredric Jameson, a leading theorist of post-modernism, wrote in 2003. Not anymore it isn’t. If the culmination of Francis Fukuyama’s Whiggish ‘End of History’ was the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 – scuttling liberal democracy’s […]

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court

Supporters of Occupy Edinburgh were thin on the ground at the city’s sheriff court on Wednesday, 25 January, Robert Burns Day. Only 15 or so activists went to protest against their eviction from St Andrews Square, outside the headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland (whose chief executive has just received a £963,000 bonus). ‘Oh, […]

A New Dalriada?

My thoughts on what Scottish Independence campaign – and independence itself – might mean for Northern Ireland, from Scotsman January 11. ‘Do you want Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom?’ Doubtless it’s the kind of phrasing David Cameron had in mind when he demanded a ‘fair, clear and decisive question’ on Scottish independence […]

Zambia's young people want to work

My article on joblessness among young Zambians, which was commissioned for the Guardian development journalism competition 2011. Dickson Kakoma has been sober for 10 months – ever since the night he almost lost his family, and his life. “I went drinking with a friend. He was driving us home when we started arguing. I grabbed […]

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