The Irish Slave Mind

Native African workers in the Belgian Congo, men, women and children with their hands cut off by their European masters

Given some recent conversations on ASF I thought this article might be of interest to a number of readers. It discusses the much vexed issue of the Irish “slave mentality”, the aberrant mindset found in a significant number of people on this island nation who place no value in their own linguistic, cultural or national identity but who instead wish to emulate the identity … Continue reading

Europe’s Democratic Tide

Quick post to highlight a couple of interesting articles touching upon Scotland’s independence campaign, the first from Conn Hallinan at Foreign Policy In Focus examining the rise of national self-determination across Europe, while Paul J. Carnegie looks specifically at the Scottish case for CounterPunch. Both are well worth reading.

Eurocracy – The ECB’s Billion Euro Palace

From Der Spiegel: “Rain was falling on Frankfurt’s Ostend neighborhood as financial managers and local officials drove past dark corner bars, betting offices and the Amor sex shop to the site of the future headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB). It was May 19, 2010. Jean-Claude Trichet, the ECB’s president at the time, had … Continue reading

The Two Belgiums

Every now and again I have a look at news and current affairs from Belgium, that most interesting of artificial nation-states. Sometimes it is hard to believe that the country exists at all such is the degree of extreme separation that exists between the French-speaking Walloons and Dutch-speaking Flemish. With two national communities sharing one … Continue reading

Enclaves And Exclaves. Why A Europe With Borders Is (Sometimes) More Fun

I love maps and the things one can learn from maps (you can probably blame J.R.R. Tolkien and Frank Herbert for that one). Imaginary maps, real maps, historical maps, all fascinate me. As I child I drew my own in complex and intricate detail (much to the chagrin of my father and grandmother who added it to the many … Continue reading

Belgium, A State But Not A Nation

Some time ago I carried out a whirlwind round-up of news relating to the political fortunes of progressive nationalist movements in Europe and North America, from the Basque Country to Québec. I retuned to Québec this week and looked at the possible lessons for our own divided province of nine-county Ulster. But my original round-trip began with Belgium, and … Continue reading

Plucky Little Belgium – Or Why Artificial States Fail

The Irish Times reports on the continued deadlock in Belgium – and why one way or another something is going to give… ‘In the metro stations of Brussels they pipe old pop hits for commuters. Songs in English, Spanish and Italian can be heard. They no longer play songs in French, the city’s main language, because Dutch-speakers took … Continue reading

  • blog awards ireland Nominated 2013: Best Politics, Personal Blog Categories; Best Blog Post
  • blog awards ireland

    Nominated 2014: Best News, Current Affairs, Politics, Mobile Blog Categories; Best Blog Post


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