As part of the Brexit process, the Northern Ireland Protocol – which came into force on 1st January – has put a regulatory border down the Irish Sea, as the North remains aligned to the EU single market for goods. The level of disruption to supply chains has been more dramatic than most predicted. This may partially be down to ‘teething problems’. However, regulatory checks are due to become more stringent from 1st April, when the so-called ‘grace period’ ends, including for meat products and other foodstuffs.
The pitiful submission by the Tories of a 1% increase for all NHS staff to the Pay Review Board is a huge kick in the teeth to all those frontline workers. The government’s hypocritical excuse for the award is that they cannot afford it. This jaw dropping assertion has left even media commentators agog at the Tories’ complete underestimation of the mood in the workplace and the wider public. As soon as the information was made public on March 6th, nurses’ social media posts began to hum with fury and rage, as well as understandable despair. Sunak had just delivered a budget which had committed to spend another £65bn in the next 4 months and then claimed there was no money left!
The 1992 attack on the Sean Graham bookmakers on the Ormeau Road was part of a wider series of “tit-for-tat” killings carried out by loyalist and republican paramilitaries in this period. In response to these killings, time and again, workers came together through their trade unions to oppose sectarian violence and intimidation.
DUP MP Gregory Campbell is still refusing to apologise for racist remarks that he made over a recent episode of Songs of Praise. The episode in question, the final of the competition for Gospel Singer of the Year, was performed and judged by an entirely black cast of musicians – fitting for a genre which originated in black churches in the US from the descendants of slaves who adopted Christianity when their own religious beliefs were forcibly suppressed.