Colm Bryce

Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History

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The first few episodes of this seven-part series, tracing the 30 years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, lean heavily on sensational claims, such as Ian Paisley financing loyalist bombings in the late 1960s and rare film footage of Martin McGuinness handling weapons, not all of which are as dramatic as the filmmakers would like to suggest. A large part of the second episode was taken up with evidence that Gerry Adams was in the IRA, which will come as news to no-one.

‘We need a different vision of Ireland both sides of the border’

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The challenge of what to do about border arrangements in Ireland has haunted the Brexit process. In the week that the British parliament was prorogued, there was intense speculation that the Tories might return to the Northern Ireland-only backstop arrangements in order to get a Brexit deal with the EU.

Boris Johnson appeared to be backtracking on his absolute commitment to “no backstop”. As with all the manoeuvres of recent weeks, however, there is no guarantee that he is not simply bluffing in order to blame the EU for the chaos of a “no deal” Brexit.

A Simple Man

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This is a devastating account of the rise of Jacob Zuma to the presidency of South Africa, despite the obvious evidence of Zuma’s political corruption. More than this, it is a book which is an extended reflection on what has happened to the promise of the African National Congress (ANC) after the fall of apartheid; on how and why so little has changed for the majority of black South Africans and how characters like Zuma have come to dominate.

People power in Stormont

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People Before Profit won two seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections last month, with Eamonn McCann winning a seat in Derry and Gerry Carroll topping the poll in West Belfast. How big an impact will two revolutionary socialists in the Assembly have, asks Colm Bryce.

The election of Gerry Carroll and Eamonn McCann from the radical left People Before Profit Alliance to the Stormont Assembly on 5 May has shaken the political establishment in Northern Ireland.

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