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TomGriffin
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Ian Paisley Jr is one of ten DUP MPs one whom the survival of Theresa May's Government now depends, so it is not surprising he is coming under increasing media scrutiny in the new Parliament. On Friday, the Daily Telegraph reported that he had failed to declare £100,000 in holiday expenses paid for by the Sri Lankan Government. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The Green Ribbon
In recent months, the Pat Finucane Centre has uncovered an array of new evidence pointing to the use of waterboarding and electric shock treatment by army and RUC interrogators in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at The Green Ribbon
In the course of researching the Irish Troubles at the National Archives, I've come across a fair few stray references to the intelligence services, and I've compiled this document for my Patreon subscribers (currently 2,885 words) while trying to make... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2017 at The Green Ribbon
Electra (Greek: Ἠλέκτρα) is a tragedy by Sophocles produced probably between 41 and 410 BC, a similar date to Euripides' play of the same name, so that it is uncertain which of the two is earlier. Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
In my recent post on Maxwell Knight's unionist connections, I noted how his links to the far-right had led some to suggest the term collusion could be applied to MI5 in the 1930s. I've since been re-reading Christopher Andrew's official history of MI5, as part of my research. Not a promising source on collusion, you might think but while Andrew covers relatively little ground in relation to MI5 in Ireland before the Troubles, he does include one particularly damning piece of evidence from the very earliest history of the organisation. Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2017 at The Green Ribbon
From my latest post at Patreon: The DUP-Conservative alliance that emerged from the 2017 election might seem like a natural one given the long history of the 'Orange card' as a Tory expedient at Westminster. There is however an equally... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2017 at The Green Ribbon
My latest piece at openDemocracy: British forces in Northern Ireland used waterboarding and electric shock treatment on detainees during the 1970s, newly uncovered files show. Witness statements and internal Whitehall correspondence released for the first time last month could have... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2017 at The Green Ribbon
Originally posted on Patreon on 21 July 2017. The DUP undoubtedly achieved a major political coup when it signed a confidence and supply deal with the Conservatives in the wake of the June general election. The existence of an alternative... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2017 at The Green Ribbon
A cross-post from Patreon. Labour's line on Brexit has hardened perceptibly in recent days, but only yesterday Jeremy Corbyn was still keeping his options open on the customs union. However, Labourlist reports that Shadow Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner has now... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2017 at The Green Ribbon
The Guardian this week reviewed an important new biography of Maxwell Knight, MI5's key agent runner in the 1930s and 40s. As the review notes, Knight had remarkably close personal links to the far right, having been director of intelligence for the British fascisti in the 1920s. Like previous writers, Henry Hemming concludes that Knight was ultimately a hardline conservative whose British nationalism distinguished him from those who looked to the continental fascist powers. There is no doubt that his knowledge of the latter milieu was valuable to Britain during the Second World War. Nevertheless, others have seen a measure of collusion in the relationship between MI5 and the far-right at this time. John G. Hope has suggested that Knight used the fascists as ‘a means for pursuing MI5’s anti-socialist agenda'. There was certainly a trend of agents recruited on the right being run into the left, rather than vice-versa. Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2017 at The Green Ribbon
Originally posted on Patreon on 6 July 2017. The London-based think-tank Policy Exchange this week published a paper by Ray Bassett,the former Irish ambassador to Canada, arguing that Ireland should follow the UK out of the European Union. This is... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2017 at The Green Ribbon
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Philoctetes (Ancient Greek: Φιλοκτήτης) is a Greek tragedy by Sophocles, originally produced in 409 BC. The title character was abandoned by Ulysses on the island of Lemnos at the outset of the Trojan War. Many years later, a prophecy makes clear that the war cannot be brought to a successful conclusion without Philoctetes' presence. Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Ajax ( Ancient Greek: Αἴας) is a Greek tragedy by Sophocles, thought to be amongst the earliest of his extant plays, and probably produced before 441 BC. Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Theban Plays is a term often used for three tragedies by Sophocles; Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone; all of which deal with the legendary matter of Thebes and its King Oedipus. Although often regarded as a trilogy, the plays were not originally intended as such, being written at widely different times, as part of sequences now lost, and featuring different, sometimes incompatible, versions of the underling myth. Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
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As many people expected, the election campaign has brought rigorous scrutiny of Jeremy Corbyn's past statements on Ireland, as well as those of his shadow chancellor, John McDonnell. Both are London MPs with close links to the Irish community in the city, particularly significant in Corbyn's constituency of Islington North. Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2017 at The Green Ribbon
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Antigone (Greek: Ἀντιγόνη) is a tragedy by the Athenian playwright Sophocles, probably composed around 441 BCE. It is therefore the earliest of the so-called 'Theban Plays' in which Sophocles draws on the cycle of myth centred on the story of Oedipus. Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
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Early Greek Philosophy by John Burnet, first published in 1982, is a survey of Presocratic Greek thinkers. Individuals and schools covered include Thales and the Milesians, Heraclitus, Parmenides and the Eleatics, the Pythagoreans, Anaxagoras, Empedocles and Leucippus. Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
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Oedipus at Colonus (Greek: Οἰδίπους ἐπὶ Κολωνῷ, Oidipous epi Kolōnō, Latin: Oedipus Coloneus) is a tragedy by Sophocles, written shortly before his death in 406/405 BCE. It was produced at Athens by his grandson Sophocles the Younger in 401 BC. Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
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Oedipus the King (Greek: Οἰδίπους Τύραννος Oidipous Tyrannos, Latin: Oedipus Rex) is a tragedy by Sophocles. Although it is said to have come second in the dramatic competition in Athens at its original production, sometime after 430 BC, it is now widely regarded as Sophocles' masterpiece. Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Tragic Drama of the Greeks (1896) by the Oxford classicist Arthur Elam Haigh is a comprehensive study of the evolution of the tragic form, covering its origins in the hymns to Dionysus, known as dithyrambs, the activities of the major tragedians of the 5th Century BCE, and later Hellenistic developments at Alexandria and Rome. Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Oresteia (Ancient Greek: Ὀρέστεια) is series of plays by Aeschylus which won the dramatic competition in Athens at their original production in 458 BC. Together, the component plays; the Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides; constitute the only surviving trilogy from Classical Attic Tragedy. Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Eumenides sometimes known as The Furies, is the final play of the Oresteia, a sequence by Aeschylus, original produced at Athens in 458 BC, when it won that year's dramatic competition. Along with its precursors, Agamemnon and The Libation Bearers, it forms the only trilogy from classical Attic tragedy to survive in full, although an accompanying satyr-play, the Proteus is lost. Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Libation Bearers, or Choephoroi, is the second play in the Oresteia, a sequence by Aeschylus, which won the dramatic competition at Athens in its original production of 458 BC. Together with its precursor Agamemnon, and the succeeding Eumenides, it forms the only surviving trilogy from Attic tragedy. Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
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The Agamemnon (Ancient Greek: Ἀγαμέμνων) is a tragedy by Aeschylus, the first play of the Oresteia, a sequence which won the dramatic competition at Athens in its original production of 458 BC. Together with its sequels, The Libation Bearers (Choephoroi) and the Eumenides, it forms the only trilogy from classical Attic drama to survive intact. Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Suppliant Maidens or The Suppliants (Greek: Ἱκέτιδες, Hiketides; Latin Supplices) is an ancient Greek tragedy by Aeschylus, the first part of a trilogy along with the lost tragedies Aegyptii and Danaides, and the satyr play Amymone. Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2017 at Tom's Learning Notes