Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

I inadvertently offended someone online recently. It can be hard to avoid. Twitter allows you a 140-character limit. Within those parameters it is al(...)

Brendan Smyth: told doctor after his arrest he may have abused 50-100 children, and that ‘number could even be double or perhaps even more’. Photograph: Pacemaker

Even before he was ordained in 1951 there were serious concerns about Fr Brendan Smyth’s sexual proclivities, the North’s Historical Institutional (...)

Independent women: Beyoncé asks the big question

What does it mean to be a feminist these days? The centuries-old battle cry for women’s freedom has been absorbed into a more general appeal for ge(...)

Queen Elizabeth II’s understated but significant words of insight on the troubled history of Anglo-Irish relations at a state dinner in Dublin in 2011 are included in the new edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations: “With the benefit of historical hindsight, we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

As Scotland goes to the polls today to decide on its independence, it is interesting to leaf through this week’s newly published eighth edition of (...)

In a word...

And today’s word is `dystopia’. Hey…..! Don’t run away. It not that awful. A simple word, really. If you know classical Greek. It means the opposite o(...)

St Patrick’s Day is an occasion of national celebration. But is the nation state itself deserving of applause? The crisis in Ukraine is just th(...)

Protesters march in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

In what has been touted as a bold move towards redressing the alarming levels of inequality in his home town, New York mayor Bill de Blasio announced (...)

The hint that the US Federal Reserve might be about to taper off its bond purchases was enough to cause tremors in financial markets.

Too much state-created money is by definition a bad thing. And so is too little. But how do we know how much is too much and how much too little? The (...)

Well-written, with his wry and arch sense of humour much in display, there is perhaps a bit too much score-settling at times in Morrissey’s Autobiography. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

First it was being published by Penguin, and then it was pulled at the last-minute; then it was being published by Penguin Classic (home to Virgil,(...)

Speaking against an extension of the electoral franchises in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the middle of the 19th century, a Tory(...)