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 Brian is editor of The Ideas Workshop and Media Law Northern Ireland.

Entries by Brian John Spencer

Save Ulster From Obloquy

(0) Comments | Posted 26 June 2015 | (09:21)


Cartoon by Ian Knox.

On May 22 2015 Ireland voted YES. Overwhelming, both as a spectacle and an act, all but one Irish county endorsed the plebiscite. Ireland won itself the affection of the world.

This is...

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Nobody Knew How Welfare Reform Was Resolved, Now Nobody Knows How It's Unravelling in Northern Ireland

(0) Comments | Posted 12 March 2015 | (18:29)


The Stormont House Agreement materialised on December 23 2015.

It was Haass 2.0 striding deep in extra time. The crowd, the press, the bookies saw no deal. The ever bullish Newton Emerson, albeit of the cynically bullish kind, was

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Save Ulster from Self-Lobotomy

(0) Comments | Posted 1 March 2015 | (23:33)


My fellow protestant Irishman George Bernard Shaw said history teaches us that we learn nothing from history.

History tells us that many practices the present considers perfectly conscionable, the past deemed profoundly unconscionable. History shows that...

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We're Not Donetsk, We're Northern Ireland

(2) Comments | Posted 16 February 2015 | (23:11)


Northern Ireland, that benighted pene-exclave, has been barraged by depredations in recent months. We got it from Paxman, Emma Bricknell, slandered by an HBO executive, Douglas Murray and we remembered Reginald...

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Journalism in the Age of Sticks and Swill Buckets

(0) Comments | Posted 13 February 2015 | (17:44)

Me mourning Sully

We're in the age of swill buckets and sticks. Advertising is not just that thing which has taken over journalism, but which aspiring journalists have taken to. Declaiming their robbed inheritance.

I scripted something along those...

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What Would Hitchens Do

(3) Comments | Posted 1 February 2015 | (22:35)

In times like this we ache in his absence. "One of the joys of living in a world filled with stupidity and hypocrisy was to see Hitch respond. That pleasure is now denied us." As Sam Harris said.

In the aftermath of the slaughter of satirists forceful...

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Brutal, Bilious, Offensive Cartooning Is What We Do and Have Done for Centuries

(1) Comments | Posted 14 January 2015 | (18:17)


#JeSuisCharlie in Belfast

Charlie Hebdo was categorically correct to publish the prophet on its front cover. To ask cartoonists not to draw Mohammed would be like cartoonists to ask Muslims to give up their prophet. That's what they do -...

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You Can't Disappear Those You Disagree With

(0) Comments | Posted 21 November 2014 | (18:52)

My cartoon: The new censor - The Sneering Metropolitan

It's a national pass-time. Laughing at Daily Mail readers. It get's me, big time. I don't read the rag; but my parents do. And lots of other people I respect dearly. There's a...

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The Union Has Changed, But Northern Ireland Remains Unchanged as the Pork-Barrel Sectarian Principality

(0) Comments | Posted 24 September 2014 | (00:14)


The Union abides. Change is afoot, utterly. Scotland gets more power. England evolves. Wales will do its thing. Change is afoot - Except in Northern Ireland.

In the pork-barrel principality of Northern Ireland unchange is coming. Monism and orthodox, religio-politics abides. Despite...

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A No, a No, Our Kingdom Needs a No!

(0) Comments | Posted 17 September 2014 | (23:56)

If it's Scotland's pound, it's the people's Scotland. There's a hidden Scotland in anyone who speaks the Northern Ireland speech. Seamus Heaney said that. Hibernia colonised Caledonia through the Scotti, then Scottish planters re-colonised Ireland. Now I'm here in Northern Ireland - a demi-Scot, an Ulster-Scot, a Scots-Irish - living...

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The Creed-Crazed Cleric that Backwardised Northern Ireland

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


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)


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)

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)

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)

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)


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)


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)

'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)


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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