Brian John Spencer
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Brian is a former-unemployed law graduate. Now a writer, artist and legal blogger. Brian can be found at www.brianjohnspencer.com. Brian is editor of The Ideas Workshop and Media Law Northern Ireland.

Entries by Brian John Spencer

The Creed-Crazed Cleric that Backwardised Northern Ireland

(0) Comments | Posted 15 September 2014 | (20:51)

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The Free Presbyterian Tsar Ian Paisley makes Edmund Burke's argument: that democracy is weak on the point that demagogues can seduce and co-opt the electorate. The Bannside demagogue did this. Paisley radicalised, backwardised and brutalised the unionist electorate with his brutal mob-Calvinism of...

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Peter Robinson: 'No Longer Fit for Purpose'

(0) Comments | Posted 11 September 2014 | (01:22)

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It's him who's "no longer fit for purpose", not the Northern Ireland
Assembly. Peter Robinson, the Pentecostal rabble-rouser turned commander-in-chief of Britain's six counties in Ireland.

This is what Northern Ireland has to show for itself. A DUP-Sinn Fein...

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Northern Ireland Needs London and Dublin and Its Emigré

(0) Comments | Posted 16 April 2014 | (16:32)

The State Visit of Michael D. Higgins has shown that the British and Irish can get on very well. Mature politicians, British and Irish, working together and doing deals, conscious of their common values and shared destiny.

Contrast this with Northern Ireland. Backward, bickering, bigoted and niggardly little politicians,...

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Hey Irish America! Arthur Guinness was a Protestant, a Unionist and Irish and British

(0) Comments | Posted 19 March 2014 | (17:27)

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The 'England get out of Ireland' banner in St. Patrick's Day Parade 2014, via Long Island Catholic Examiner, Deirdre Haggerty here.

Irish America needs to go buy a book and learn some history. They don't have a baldy notion. Here's...

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University Is Now an Ethical Question

(0) Comments | Posted 12 March 2014 | (17:37)

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ONS data which shows that nearly 50% of recent graduates are in non-graduate work.

Is it ethical to let a young person go to university in the full knowledge that a degree will serve then with no hope of employment?...

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I'm a Cartoonist, It's My Job to Be Offensive

(0) Comments | Posted 4 February 2014 | (15:15)

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Cartoon by Martin Rowson (@MartinRowson) on the Danish cartoon scandal, the only time that a cartoon of his had to be approved by Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger (@arusbridger)

For 13 years I listened to a Labour government tell...

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A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Adults of Northern Ireland From Wrecking Things for the Children

(0) Comments | Posted 3 January 2014 | (18:07)

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This was our fiscal cliff. The Haass talks. We needed maturity, moderation and conciliation. Make a deal on the past, parades and flags, save face and show the world markets that Northern Ireland means business.

We got immaturity,...

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While the US Law School Bubble Bursts, the UK Law School Bubble Grows

(0) Comments | Posted 19 December 2013 | (14:35)

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At some stage in their life, everyone thinks they should go to law school. I call this the law school complex. The "default career choice." A pathological and congenital societal obsession with the legal profession. (Research shows...

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Dear George Michael, Please Can We Have the Song Back?

(0) Comments | Posted 13 December 2013 | (18:47)

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'Last December', a Wham! parody song for charity by satirists Loyalists Against Democracy (LAD) axed after duress by loyalists.

Northern Ireland's Loyalist community say they're offended by Loyalists Against Democracy. That their feelings are hurt. That they...

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Northern Ireland Parody Group is Aiming for Christmas Number One

(0) Comments | Posted 9 December 2013 | (17:04)

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They walk with a sword of satire. Stalk with a breastplate of parody and a shield of jaded irony and wield a blade of cutting wit. They balk at sectarianism and bigotry. That is their enemy and they make no sectarian exemption. Against...

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Northern Ireland Loyalists Aren't British, They're Brutish

(0) Comments | Posted 28 November 2013 | (12:01)

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Full acknowledgements to Peter Brookes, illustrator of the image above

I'm part of a long tradition in Northern Ireland. Of a people who have got on with life and put up and shut up with mindless violence.

For the...

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Northern Ireland Politicians Use Past Pain for Political Gain

(1) Comments | Posted 21 November 2013 | (12:53)

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Illustration by Ian Knox

The Attorney-General for Northern Ireland recently called for an end to the Troubles-related prosecutions. He was roundly and summarily dismissed. David Aaronovitch (@DAaronovitch) in The Times was among them here. I agree...

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The Inevitability of Gay-Marriage Equality

(0) Comments | Posted 19 November 2013 | (13:48)

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Not that long ago Catholics were denied equal treatment before the law. Jews were institutionally discriminated. Black people were regarded as racially inferior. Women could not vote for fear that they would become masculinised. Black people couldn't marry white people because it was...

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Am I Living in Ireland or Iran?

(0) Comments | Posted 4 November 2013 | (14:00)

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Because I'm from Northern Ireland, support the Union with Great Britain and identify myself as a cultural Protestant, I can't be a proper Irish person. That my friend is racism, jingoism and xenophobia - defined.

Rarified celtic nationalism has made Irishness and...

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An Open Letter from Northern Ireland

(3) Comments | Posted 31 October 2013 | (23:00)

Dear interested parties,

I'm contacting you about the continuing unrest and uncertainty in Northern Ireland.

The context is this. The most cynical and sinister elements in NI society have been very violent and vocal over the last year, at huge cost to the local economy and at huge damage to...

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John Armitt - Remaking Education To Make Young People Work-Ready

(0) Comments | Posted 17 October 2013 | (11:52)

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The economy has changed beyond all description in recent years. Unfortunately schools and the university curricula haven't. This has caused massive problems. The main being that our young people don't have the skills, knowledge or awareness to properly participate in the high-tech, high-skill economy...

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Stand Up for Northern Ireland's Tahrir Square

(0) Comments | Posted 9 October 2013 | (13:53)

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We don't have a political opposition in Northern Ireland. We have one giant, self-serving, autocratic, aberrant sectarian mill. Young people don't have jobs or a meaningful future and talking-clock politicians debate the tribal politics of Protestant versus Catholic. A remarkable historical anachronism in these...

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Northern Ireland - No Satire, No Hope

(0) Comments | Posted 8 October 2013 | (19:09)

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We don't have a political opposition in Northern Ireland. We have one giant, self-serving, aberrant sectarian mill. Young people don't have jobs or a meaningful future and talking-clock politicians debating the tribal politics of Protestant versus Catholic. A remarkable historical anachronism in these days...

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Dear GCSE and A-Level Students, Beware the Cult of University

(0) Comments | Posted 23 August 2013 | (15:45)

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Cartoon by Morten Morland.

University occupies a hallowed place in society and the popular psyche. It is the darling of the middle classes and the promised land for the socially aspirational. So in love are we with the university model that...

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Northern Ireland's Shame - Not In My Name

(0) Comments | Posted 12 August 2013 | (00:43)

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Northern Ireland is a diverse, tolerant and cosmopolitan country. The modern generation - ambitious, well-educated, internationalist and outward looking - have made it this way. But we in Northern Ireland are not truly free. Like James Joyce said 100 years ago, history is the...

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