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TomGriffin
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Iphigenia in Tauris (Greek: Ἰφιγένεια ἐν Ταύροις) is a tragedy by Euripides probably first performed in Athens some time around 412 BC. The play's usual English title is, strictly speaking, the Latin name meaning 'Iphigenia among the Taurians'. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Tom's Learning Notes
Lewes Labour Party very kindly invited myself and Professor Mary Hickman to speak on the Twentieth Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement this week. Below is the text of my prepared remarks, which I think bears some resemblance to what... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
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The Trojan Women is a tragedy by Euripides, originally produced in Athens in 415 BC, the same year in which the Athenians captured the island of Melos, an event of often thought to have influenced the play's theme. It centres on the fate of a series of captive women during... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2018 at Tom's Learning Notes
After being moved in the Lords by Lord Hayward on Tuesday, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) (Northern Ireland) Bill passed its first hurdle in the Commons yesterday. The bill secured first reading without objections after a powerful speech by St Helens North MP Conor McGinn Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
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Conservative peer Lord Hayward will introduce a bill on equal marriage in Northern Ireland in the House of Lords on Tuesday, with Labour MP Conor McGinn set to introduce an identical bill in the Commons on Wednesday. Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
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Do the Irish in Britain have a role to play in bring about a united Ireland? That was the theme of a one-day conference hosted by Sinn Fein at the TUC in London on Saturday. Such conferences have been a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
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The Description of Greece (Greek: Ἑλλάδος Περιήγησις) by Pausanias is a guide to continental Greece written in about 160 CE. It focuses mainly on places and monuments of historical, religious and artistics interest, with observations on the natural world featuring only occasionally. Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2018 at Tom's Learning Notes
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Strabo's Geographica or Geography (Greek: Γεωγραφικά) is the most important work on its subject to survive from the ancient world, giving a comprehensive account of those parts of Europe, Asia and Africa known to the Romans. Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2018 at Tom's Learning Notes
Last year I wrote for the Pat Finucane Centre (PFC) on documents which raised questions about the role of MI5 in the handling of internees in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s. Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
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Heracles or the Madness of Heracles (Greek: Ἡρακλῆς μαινόμενος, Latin Hercules Furens) is a tragedy by Euripides which may have been produced in about 417 BC. The play opens with Heracles' wife and children at the altar of Zeus in Thebes, where they are threatened with death by the tyrant Lycus. Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2018 at Tom's Learning Notes
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Euripides' Electra (Greek: Ἠλέκτρα) is sometimes thought to have been produced in around 413 BC, around the time of the Sicilian Expedition, but may be somewhat earlier. The play gives Euripides' version of the story of the Argive princess Electra and her long-lost brother Orestes, and their murder of their mother Clytemnestra in revenge for the death of their father, Agamemnon. Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2018 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Suppliants or The Suppliant Women (Greek: Ἱκέτιδες; Latin Supplices) is a tragedy by Euripides produced in around 422 BCE, a time when it's portrayal of an alliance between Athens and Argos would have been of some contemporary relevance. Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2018 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Electoral Commission has today released its first ever figures for party donations in Northern Ireland. Thanks to the DUP-Conservative alliance in the Commons, the figures do not cover the Brexit referendum. Despite an extensive investigation by openDemocracy, we still... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
Today's Independent carries some very worrying reporting about the British Government's latest Brexit plan for the Irish border Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
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The Moral Letters to Lucilius (Latin: Ad Lucilium epistulae morales) were composed by the Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca ('The Younger'), during his retirement from the Imperial court in 62-65 AD, a period which ended with his suicide on the orders of the emperor Nero. Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2018 at Tom's Learning Notes
In my last post, I discussed the circumstances in which MI6 provided the first intelligence chief at the Northern Ireland Office in 1972. I now want to add a little bit of what we know about the officer who filled... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
The official history of MI5 by Christopher Andrew tells us that when direct rule began in Northern Ireland in 1972, the post of Director and Co-ordinator of intelligence was offered to MI6 because nobody senior enough was available in MI5,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
A couple of extracts below from my latest subscriber article on British intelligence in Ireland, a profile of MI5 officer Harold Doyne-Ditmas. This is one of a series on the intelligence chiefs, or DCIs, at the Northern Ireland Office, which... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
The publication of a draft withdrawal agreement today will confirm once again the central role which Ireland has assumed in the debate about Brexit. Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
The BBC is today reporting important developments in relation to Fred Holroyd, a key British Army whistleblower on covert activities in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. Holroyd is suing the Ministry of Defence over allegations that he was falsely diagnosed... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
In a couple of posts last week I noted that the Conservative campaign to link Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to Eastern bloc espionage had long-standing precedents in British politics. Tonight, however, we have entered a phase more reminiscent of events on the continent. Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
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Theresa May at the December summit. Via Flickr. There have been darker moments in British-Irish relations over the last century. Yet it's hard to think of a time when the Irish question has been such a complex factor in British... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
RTÉ Northern Editor Tommie Gorman on what went wrong and what happens next for Northern Ireland pic.twitter.com/hVUaT7PoJE — RTÉ News (@rtenews) February 14, 2018 At a debate in Hammersmith earlier this month, the Belfast Newsletter's Sam McBride predicted there would... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
Tonight's Sun doubles down on allegations this morning's attempt to link Jeremy Corbyn to Czech intelligence. I examined the initial story here. There's also a useful account of one of the Sun's sources, Professor Anthony Glees, at Political Scrapbook. The new element in the follow-up is an intervention from former MI6 chief, Sir Richard Dearlove, arguing that Corbyn was the subject of a 'classic cultivation.' Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2018 at The Green Ribbon
This morning's Sun leads with a rather odd front page splash claiming Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn met Czech intelligence agents in the mid-1980s. Professor Anthony Glees told the paper that "These files show there was contact between Corbyn and a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2018 at The Green Ribbon