The working class enclaves in inner-city Belfast have soaring poverty and joblessness rates. Once the voice of hardline unionism, the DUP has become increasingly mainstream and is seen to represent these communities less and less, with a similar process happening on the other side of the political divide.
Politics in Northern Ireland needs to address the real issues. We've practiced and mastered whataboutery for too long. The result is a flailing economy, unaided by friendly fire from within and a divided political shambles, completely devoid of consensus.
If you have ten quid to spend on a bottle of wine, you could do far worse than to invest in one from Chile. Has the BBFC finally succumbed to product placement? No chance! The thought was planted in my mind by a mysterious juxtaposition of Chile's Atacama Desert, the least humid place on earth, and Belfast City Centre...of which the same cannot exactly be said.
Last Friday's solution to the latest hand shake dilemma has laid the path for Wednesday 27 June 2012 to behold to the world a monumental handshake between Martin McGuinness and the Queen. A watershed event that will unequivocally change minds and lay an indelible landmark on Northern Ireland's long and winding avenue that has been the peace process.
An interface barrier which has divided north Belfast for 20 years is to be opened today. The metal and concrete structure was put up following sect...