The surveillance society

By Paul McElhinney

In recent years, technology and security requirements have coalesced to produce the very scenario predicted in fiction by writers such as George Orwell: the surveillance society. Recent events surrounding the News of the World phone hacking scandal have brought into sharp relief the many legal and ethical challenges of this new surveillance society.

Julian Assange - hero or charlatan?

Paul McElhinney sees similarities between the case of Julian Assange and the Dreyfus Affair.

As the dust has settled (at least, temporarily) on the events surrounding the Wikileaks revelations of earlier in the year, it is probably a good time to stand back and try and draw some overall meaning from those events.

Sinn Féin - moving to the centre

Granny never liked Ian Paisley.  Be it radio or television, we could never hear him in full because Granny would squeal, “Waff, waff, waff, that fella!”  Not that she was overtly political; it was more his demeanour, his teeth, his accent.  Her hand slapping down in his direction said more of her perhaps, than it did of him.

Remembering Garret Fitzgerald

By Paul McElhinney

He had been seriously ill for some time, but his eventual passing came as quite a shock. You somehow felt that the irrepressible force that was Garret would bounce back one more time. The timing of his death, in between the visit to Ireland of Queen Elizabeth and that of President Obama, was apocryphal. The Queen’s visit was, in so many ways, the crowning glory of all Garret had striven to achieve in his lifetime in the field of Anglo-Irish relations. The fact that he was not well enough to meet her on her visit was sad in retrospect.