Opinion

The Roma are yet again scapegoats for society’s ills

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Lurid claims of child sexual abuse have emerged just as they are becoming free of the grip of predatory landlords Kevin McKenna The Guardian In Govanhill, a little network of streets and avenues on Glasgow’s South Side, the besmirching of another immigrant community is in full spate. A century ago, it was the poor Irish, fleeing famine and persecution by the British government, who were being demonised. Now it’s the turn of the Roma people. Britain’s largest concentration of Roma ... Read More »

Why we must broaden the Brexit debate

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This is the type of moment that gave rise to the cliché – every crisis is an opportunity Denis Bradley The Irish Times It is foolish for Irish politicians to patronise Ulster unionists by claiming that the union is not endangered by Brexit negotiations. Keir Starmer, Labour’s spokesman on Brexit, took an opposite position in Westminster when saying “if the price of the prime minister’s approach is the break-up of the union and the reopening of bitter divide in Northern Ireland, then ... Read More »

Political funding rules should not curb civil society bodies

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Law incorrectly classifies certain bodies as ‘third parties’ to election campaigns Deirdre Garvey The Irish Times As anyone paying attention to current affairs will be aware, there are very good reasons why we should all be concerned about the issue of outside parties seeking to influence the democratic election processes that we hold dear. However, it is increasingly clear to us in The Wheel that there is now a real risk that existing laws, designed to prevent such abuse in ... Read More »

Poorest men in Scotland die 10 years before richest, report finds

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Men living in Scotland’s poorest areas can expect to die 10 years before those living in more well-off places, official statistics have confirmed. CHRIS MCCALL The Scotsman The life expectancy gap between the 20 per cent most and least deprived areas of Scotland was 10.5 years for males and 7.8 years for females, a report by the National Records of Scotland found. The country has one of the lowest life expectancies in western Europe for both genders, at 77.1 years ... Read More »

Kathy Sheridan: Finns show Ireland what small country can be

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State aged 100 near top of world rankings for education, innovation and quality of life Kathy Sheridan How was it for you? The Irish Times Did we not man that “bearna baoil” and get the upper hand on “the Saxon foe”? For the first time in 800 years. Without a squeak of a cannon’s roar or rifles’ peal. So how do we feel? Will this do: “Stunning victory for Irish diplomacy: drew the concession from May, split her coalition, kept ... Read More »

Ed Sheeran means well but this poverty porn has to stop

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Aid adverts featuring ‘white saviours’ may bring in cash but they remove all dignity from those who are suffering Afua Hirsch  The Guardian It was almost exactly five years ago that I realised something was changing A video landed on my phone – I was living in Ghana then – raising awareness of “this time of need for Norway”. This “need” was winter, and the video was hilarious. Amid scenes of blizzards, vehicles overturned in snow, and children battling through ... Read More »

Yes, the President Can Obstruct Justice

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You know you have a problem when you’ve been president for less than 11 months and you’re already relying on Richard Nixon’s definition of what’s legal. The Editorial Board The New York Times On Monday morning, Axios reported that Mr. Trump’s top personal lawyer, John Dowd, said in an interview that the “president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer” under the Constitution and “has every right to express his view of any case.” This will come as news ... Read More »

State home-building scheme only way to tackle crisis

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Housing crisis: Time ripe for cost-rental plan in the interests of all our Republic’s citizens Nessa Ní Chasaide The Irish Times Budget 2018 confirmed the continuation of the Government’s failing housing strategy: that of supporting private developers and landlords as the main providers of housing. How so? Significant funding in Budget 2018 will not go toward new builds but be channeled to subsidising escalating rents to private landlords through the Housing Assistance Payment. Where the Government is establishing loan funds ... Read More »

The Cost of Devaluing Women

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My first job out of college in the late 1980s was at Salomon Brothers, a trading house of cigar-smoking, expletive-spewing strivers. SALLIE KRAWCHECK The New York Times One day, I leaned over a colleague’s desk to work on a spreadsheet, and heard loud laughter from behind me; one of the guys was pretending to perform a sex act on me. Almost every day, I found a Xerox copy of male genitalia on my desk. I was not alone in being ... Read More »

We MPs do our best – I can sympathise with Tulip Siddiq’s lapse of judgment

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I have asked questions in parliament about Bangladeshi human rights, but local MPs can’t be expected to resolve complex issues on the hoof Rupa Huq is Labour MP for Ealing Central and Acton The Guardian With the long hours, the public nature of the job and the advent of online abuse, MPs can sometimes lose their rag. Like many people, I was taken aback to see the skirmish on Channel 4 news this week in which my friend and colleague Tulip ... Read More »

Ehud Barak: We Must Save Israel From Its Government

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For anyone who cares about Israel, this is no time for niceties. Ehud Barak * What we need now is plain speaking, even pained speaking — and action. The New York Times For all of Israel’s great achievements in its seven decades of statehood, our country now finds its very future, identity and security severely threatened by the whims and illusions of the ultranationalist government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In its more than three years in power, this government has ... Read More »

Come back David Cameron

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We don’t hear much from David Cameron these days. James Kirkup  He’s generally too busy. The Spectator He fills his time in many ways: writing a book; making bundles of cash; playing tennis; not taking the blame for Brexit. But he’s given an interview to the Financial Times about Alzheimer’s disease and the search for a cure. It’s worth a read, and not just because it’s an important subject. It’s also a reminder of what was lost when Cameron fled Parliament last ... Read More »

Noel Whelan: Nightmare scenario for Ireland is a Border fudging game

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Government has gambled a lot on EU solidarity and UK concessions over next seven days Noel Whelan The Irish Times After a wasted week of convulsions during which the politics of stampede brought us precariously close to an early election, our Government and Opposition now have quickly to refocus on the Brexit challenges. The next seven days are arguably the most critical in the politics of this Island since Easter week 1998. The days between now and a European Council ... Read More »

The president of the United States is unwell

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Scott Gilmore on the increasingly erratic behaviour and bizarre lies of Donald Trump. And why this is no longer a laughing matter. Scott Gilmore MACLEAN’S It is an easy joke to make. “The president has lost his mind.” In fact, I suspect not a week has passed in the last 50 years when one wag or another didn’t suggest the leader of the day is nuts, or insane or crazy. The joke is even easier to make with the current U.S. ... Read More »

France is now the testing ground for Europe’s labor policies

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ROME — In September, French President Emmanuel Macron’s government launched its controversial reform of the French labor market, having won support in the French Parliament to pass these reforms by decree. Matt Browne The Washington Post With these reforms, Macron seeks to boost the competitiveness of the French economy and address unemployment, which has hovered persistently at just around 10 percent for years — almost twice the level of many other major European economies. Many believe that France’s existing labor ... Read More »

Is this Israel’s “most hated” man?

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Author and commentator Gideon Levy has been called both “the most hated man in Israel” and “the most heroic.” ABC LateLine While he describes himself as a “patriotic Israeli”, he’s highly critical of what he calls his country’s ‘moral blindness’ to its acts of war and occupation. Emma Alberici spoke to Gideon Levy ahead of his talk at the University of Sydney this week. Transcript Read More »