This article was written on 21 February 2004 after a number of racist attacks against ethnic minorities at the end of 2003 and beginning of 2004.
Over December and January a spate of racist attacks against members of ethnic minority communities living in Belfast received international media attention. In an article on 10 January, The Guardian labelled Northern Ireland "the race-hate capital of Europe".
ACCORDING TO the headlines, Britain is on course to a green future based on renewable energy. The National Grid, which organises electricity distribution, has just produced a report claiming that 15% of the country’s energy will be generated by renewable sources by 2020. At the same time, the renewable sector is expanding currently by 25-30% per year internationally and some leading companies in wind energy have announced new investment recently in the UK. For example, GE, Siemens and Gamesa say they are going to invest £300 million in the next three to four years. So, should we stop worrying about global warming since everything seems to be moving in the right direction?
A recent report by the Northern Ireland Audit Office (“School Design and Delivery”) has revealed further mismanagement in Caitriona Ruane’s Department of Education. In the five years up to April 2010, there was massive under-spending on the maintenance and improvement of school buildings and grounds. Out of a budget of £1.21 billion over this period, £353 million was simply sent back to the Treasury.