Student Activism on the Rise?

February 20, 2009
I posted a few months ago about a Student protest on the issue of top up fees. In Monday’s Times, Hugo Rifkind writes an article on Student Activism which is worth a read.


Blurring Lines

February 12, 2009

The line between Atheism and Christianity is getting blurry! Couple of interesting articles have been brought to my attention

The first is simply the news that the Vatican have made public their belief that Darwin’s theory of evolution is compatible with Biblical teaching. Evolution (long associated with – and hijacked by – Atheism) and Christianity have long been at loggerheads, and with this revelation, along with this being the 150th year since The Origin of the Species was published, there should be calls made for open debate and more teaching on the matter.

The second is an article by Times columist Matthew Parry written just after Christmas- An Atheist who sees a need for God in Africa. A really fascinating read.

Todays News: Mistakes – Making them, and learning from them

February 9, 2009

The theme of today’s local news has been mistakes.

First we see the University of Ulster learning from their mistake of the late 60s to locate a University in Coleraine and not Londonderry with news of £250m worth of investment, equating to room for 2,000 more students. Derry is a thriving city, and one which has a much greater capacity to offer graduate opportunities. Coleraine meanwhile has never made the most of the opportunity on it’s doorstep either in terms of the entertainment facilities on offer, or in persuading businesses to set up in the area offering jobs to Media, Journalism, Business and IT graduates.

In other news, Minister of Environment Sammy Wilson has once more proved himself to be fully incompetent, misguided and – in a nutshell – a numpty. His decision to ban a Government advert on Climate Change on the grounds of it being nonsensical propaganda beggars belief, especially when you consider his portfolio. It would be like Nigel Dodds (finance minister) denying the Credit Crunch. Other leaders have rightly spoke out against him, and I fully condemn his decision. This is only the tip of the iceberg, and one must wonder what exactly an environment minister who doesn’t think the environment needs fixing does with himself all day? Skimpy holidays in France?

In time, the current executive will learn from these mistakes, but I only hope it isn’t too late. It pains me to say it, but we must let America lead the way, and follow suit.

Forget the credit crunch, it’s snowing!

February 5, 2009

With people in Belfast waking up to snow today, Northern Ireland continues it’s tradition of always being behind the times compared with Britain. Following Monday’s heavy snowfall in large parts of England and Scotland, I was struck when I read the Editorial in The Times the following day. It begins:

The first thing to say about snow is not that it disrupts our travel. It is not
that the economy suffers. It is not that the country cannot cope. It is not that
it started in Russia and then spread to the rest of Europe. The first thing to
say about the snow is that it is extraordinarily beautiful.

What? No griping about the £1.3 billion the snowfall is predicted to have cost us? No gurning about the complete lack of buses, the gritters who were unprepared? The article continues;

There is a joy to trampling through unspoilt snow that some children enjoyed
yesterday morning for the first time in their lives. Some children built their
first snowman and rolled their first gigantic snowball. The scene out of every
domestic window was a Christmas card from the fables of Dickens, five weeks too
late. Dull would he be of soul who would not look out of his own window and note
a scene touching in its majesty.

Did the editor nip out to the toilet and Santa Claus nipped in to change his leading article? Why all this sympathetic imagery, this optimism? I really was struck with a sense of disbelief as I continued to read the article. Such appreciation for the simple things in life looked totally out of place in a newspaper.
Yet there it was, pushing aside our obsession with money, work, complaining and stopping – if only for a minute – to ponder the beauty of snow.