Meeting Anne Dickson MP CBE: The quintessential ‘grand lady’ of the politics of Northern Ireland


Above: Chamindra Weerawardhana meeting Anne Dickson MP CBE, Carrick, Northern Ireland, June 2016 (©C.Weerawardhana)

In June 2016, I had the good fortune of meeting Anne Laetitia Dickson MP CBE, the first woman to lead a political party in Northern Ireland (and the second in the island of Ireland). Starting her career in active politics as the chair of the Carrick Party Executive of the Unionist Party, Anne was elected to the Newtownabbey Urban District Council in 1965, and to Stormont at the infamous 1969 Crossroads election, polling 9,529 preferential votes. Anne was the only woman to be elected to the last Stormont parliament before Direct Rule was declared in 1972 (from 1969 to 1972). At the Carrick Executive of the UUP (Anne’s home constituency), she would strongly articulate a discourse of inclusion, often critical of the discriminatory policies of the government run by her own party. Being female and a no-nonsense critical voice, Anne was popular among party members, and her positions were indeed a breath of fresh air to a party with an unmistakably patriarchal and conservative stamp. Despite being appreciated by party members, Anne’s presence in the political scene was anathema to many cis male politicians in the Unionist Party, especially those who upheld a hardline brand of unionism.

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#AnneDickson #WomenInPolitics #NorthernIreland #UlsterUnionism #UlsterUnionistParty #UPNI

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Amandine Gay : “Je n’ai pas à choisir entre être une femme et être une noire”

A regarder absolument/ an absolute must-see! Amandine is simply brilliant!

Just See Real

amandine-gay_par-enrico-bartolucci_small Amandine Gay ( Photo Enrico Bartolucci)

Elle veut ouvrir la voie aux générations suivantes, elle veut faire entendre les voix des femmes noires, avec elle, c’est sûr, on voit les couleurs.  A 32 ans,  Amandine Gay s’est fait un nom, ces dernières années, dans le milieu féministe, elle est l’une des voix  les plus audibles de l’afroféminisme hexagonal. Elle vient de finir le montage de son film documentaire « Ouvrir la voix », un film sur les afro-descendantes noires de France et de Belgique. Une aventure de plus de deux ans. Elle l’a écrit, réalisé et autoproduit selon les principes du Guerilla Filmmaking développé par Melvin Van Peebles. N’ayant eu aucune aide du Centre national du cinéma (CNC), elle a décidé de passer par le crowdfunding pour que son film puisse exister en salle.

Aujourd’hui, installée au Québec, depuis 18 mois, elle était en France, il y a quelques semaines, pour faire, en…

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The Intersectionality of Oppression for a Black B*tch in Academia

OK so check it, I have a lot of things going for me. I am young, my melanin is poppin’, I’m a smarty-pants and I am fine as f*ck. Unfortunately however, these same attributes have also been made out to be socially constructed deficits that have caused for many unwarranted bouts with oppression. In my normal daily encounters, it is not uncommon to face microaggressions, sexism, ageism and a little bit of good ol’ fashioned racism sprinkled in here and there as well. From the ignorant comments I receive from people asking if I’m mixed because my hair is so cool, employers positioning me in the front of events to greet potential donors with my womanly charms, or comments implying I’m pushing the limit on time to settle down and get married because of my age, I’m constantly ducking and dodging attacks on the demographics my body was born into.

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Pranav Jani’s Statement in Support of a Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

Very important piece, and Prof. Jani’s perspectives are extremely insightful.
When you join a march for Black Lives Matter or sign a petition against environmental destruction by the North Dakota oil pipeline, you are taking a stand against an injustice despite the fact that you may have differences of opinion on how you understand the problem, the position you take on future strategies of protest, the opinions you have on the solutions, etc.

MLA Members for Justice in Palestine

Pranav Jani is Associate Professor of English at The Ohio State University, working in postcolonial studies and US ethnic studies.  Pranav’s book, Decentering Rushdie, examined cosmopolitanism janiand nationalism in Indian English fiction; he’s currently researching the changing legacies of the Revolt of 1857 in the Indian political imagination.  Jani has published scholarly work on Marxism, historiography, nationalism, postcolonial theory and Subaltern Studies, Indian and diasporic fiction and film, and Indian revolutionaries.  His lectures and articles for activist forums can be found at, Socialist Worker, and International Socialist Review.  Pranav is a long-time member of the International Socialist Organization, and is involved in efforts in Columbus around Palestine solidarity, the Black Lives Matter movement, and academic freedom.

Sign the “Open Letter” calling on the MLA membership to endorse a resolution in support of the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Only the signatures of (former or current) MLA members will…

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#Attlee Descendents Urge Support for #Corbyn



Letter to all Labour Members 

“As Clem Attlee’s great niece and great nephew we would like to strongly endorse the continued leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

Under our great uncle as Prime Minister, the Labour Government enabled the creation of the Welfare State, inaugurated the National Health Service, implemented a major council housing building programme and achieved full employment, increased living standards and economic growth. This was done at a time of economic debt which makes any recent debt pale into insignificance. We applaud the success of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell at exposing the economic fallacy behind the doctrine of Austerity and setting both the national agenda and the course of Labour Party away from this failed economic model into one that invests both in the economic future and in all the people of this country, with no-one left behind.

We urge all members and MPs to vote for and…

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