Saturday, 21 May 2011

Stephen's Six for Saturday Episode 1

I'm going to bring you best of the Northern Irish blogs from the past week in sort of a Saturday blog review going forward. Here is my first weekly offering of the best Norn Iron had to give.

The first two posts reflect on the Queen's visit to the Republic during the week.

Conall McDevitt MLA has recounted a poem by Percy French about the last Queen's speech in Dublin, Victoria in 1900, and gives us a poem along the same lines as it by Seamus Murphy to mark the latest one.

A hUactaráin, sez she
And everyone, sez she
It’s great to be here, sez she
I mBaile Átha Cliath, sez she
After 800 years, sez she
And it is a fair city, sez she
More bustling than pretty, sez she
As for traffic, well please, sez she

read more
 Gerry Adams TD reflects on some of the events disrupted by Her Majesty's visit to look at why it is for the people of Ireland to decide their own future

"no matter how we shape our society, the new Ireland must embrace our islands diversity in its fullest sense. This includes English and Scottish influences, the sense of Britishness felt by many unionists, as well as indigenous and traditional Irish culture and the cultures of people who have come to Ireland in recent times.

"Ireland and England are not strangers to each other. We should build on what we have in common while at the same time respecting each other’s sovereignty and independence." read more

Another big story of the week was Ken Clarke's comments about rape, I'll leave it to Paula Bradshaw to give a reasoned response.

"Kenneth Clarke’s attempted explanation of his comments about ‘serious rape‘ have only made an already bad situation worse. His line today was: ‘I phrased it very, very badly because I upset a lot of people who want to give more priority to rape‘ – a line which strikes me immediately as insincere and disparaging towards people who justifiably lobby on single issues with reference particularly to women."  read more

Michael over at Lib Dems NI looked at the IDAHO events here in Northern Ireland and beyond.

Today we’re all in IDAHO. No, we’re not in the United States for the day, we’re commemorating International Day Against Homophobia. For a number of us, this started at the weekend when we attended the IDAHO service in St George’s Parish Church, in Belfast’s High Street on Sunday afternoon.
Those of us in church on Sunday heard from The Rev’d Brian Stewart, Rector of St George’s that
at this time each year we join with brothers and sisters throughout the world who are concerned that Christian conscience cannot accept that God’s love embraces only heterosexuals. read more

On an environmental note here is an account of the Rethink Waste Event held at the Europa last weekend.

"the event was a fantastic opportunity to shares ideas and to get feedback from how other parents, grandparents and individuals go green in the home. It was also an great means of getting some professional insight from those who work in waste management" read more
Finally here is Ed Simpson's take on Melanie Phillips comments on Question Time on Thursday.

"As ever, she was on her usual form, making statements of certainty backed up by anecdotal evidence. This time, she was absolutely sure that Overseas Aid was not actually doing any good, rather it was only serving to  make matters worse. Her solution to this was simple - stop all overseas aid immediately. " read more

That's it for this week. I'll bring you another six next Saturday, I hope to bring as diverse a spectrum of opinion every week.

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