#42 – Notes on Dunkirk

In this edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan looks at the glorious myths and gloomy realities of the real Dunkirk, and examines how accurately Christopher Nolan’s latest blockbuster addresses the bittersweet events of Operation Dynamo. Is the movie mere flag-waving or a true account of the disastrous chaos on the beaches of the French town of Dunkerque in 1940? Did the French receive fair treatment in the film? How does the script handle the German’s costly halt, which allowed so many men to make it off the beaches? If you have not yet seen the film, Aidan will signpost when to press pause to avoid the film review section of this episode. Current events, history and culture merge in this edition of the Aidan Project Podcast – enjoy the episode! Referenced in this podcast is an article Aidan wrote in December 2016. What did you think of the film? You can Tweet Aidan @theaidanproject.

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#41 – Westminster Briefing

In this edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by John Ashmore, chief reporter for PoliticsHome, to discuss the latest developments in British politics. Is Theresa May on borrowed time? How relevant is Tony Blair? Plus a look at Grenfell, Brexit, terrorism, Donald Trump potentially visiting the UK, and much more. PoliticsHome describes itself as the most viewed and valued specialist online news source in Parliament. You can find the web site at www.politicshome.com. You can find John on Twitter @smashmorePH.

You can tweet Aidan with your thoughts @theaidanproject. As noted in the podcast, ‘Notes on Mrs. May‘ serves as something of a prequel to this episode.

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#31 – Aide-Memoire: The General Election

Theresa May called an early election in an attempt to shore up support for her government’s position on Britain’s exit from the European Union. But where do the parties stand on this issue? Or on social issues? Voter apathy is alarming, but this is often the result not simply of an absence of interest in politics, but because of the confusion inherent in the abundance of mass political coverage across the various media platforms. The news outlets produce endless political news content, but how does one keep track of which party stands for which policy? Indeed, much of the coverage tends to be on the embarrassing gaffes and the way in which a candidate eats their chips or bacon sandwich, rather than the important policies themselves. Ahead of the June 8 United Kingdom General Election, this episode features a simple, non-partisan, rundown of the manifestos, along with an explanation of the election terms you may not understand but were simply too afraid to ask. Aidan also looks at the latest polling numbers and summarises the results of the 2015 election. Look out soon for a further pre-election episode, when Aidan will be joined by journalist, podcaster and activist, Joshua Thomas, to answer your questions and to examine the latest developments within the election narrative. Aidan will also be back on the day after the election, June 9, with thoughts on the results and what it means for the United Kingdom. Aidan is on Twitter (www.twitter.com/theaidanproject), Facebook (www.facebook.com/theaidanprojectblog), or visit his web site at www.aidancoughlan.org. If you found this election guide useful, please share it. Knowledge is power, after all.

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#24 – The Irish Famine: Tragedy and Propaganda

In this edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by Professor Liam Kennedy, Emeritus Professor of History at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, and a member of the Royal Irish Academy for Social Sciences. The Great Famine was the most traumatic event of modern Irish history. Professor Kennedy explains the famine and seeks to provide context to the argument, propagated by some, including a number of Irish Americans, that the Great Famine is comparable to the Holocaust that occurred in Eastern Europe. Professor Kennedy also provides some thoughts on the death of the Irish republican and Sinn Féin politician, Martin McGuinness. Professor Kennedy’s most recent book is ‘Unhappy the Land: The Most Oppressed People Ever, the Irish?’, which is available at all good bookstores and at Amazon.

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#7 – The Art of Terror

In this episode, The Art of Terror, I will be looking at the War on Terror, in addition to Edmund Clark’s thought-provoking exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, London, entitled War *of* Terror. This adapted name is quite deliberate, as will become clear within this episode. The artist-photographer, Clark, has visited Guantanamo Bay, along with the homes of persons who have been held under house arrest here in the United Kingdom. In a world in which ISIS and other groups sympathetic to the Jihadist cause are committing regular atrocities in the Middle East and, indeed, much closer to ‘home’, Western-speaking, we must surely offer strong support for robust governmental action to tackle terrorism. But – and this is the key – it needs to be effective and proportionate. Is it really a case of no pain, no gain? Is torture ever morally acceptable? Indeed, can the War on Terror ever be fought with our morals intact? This episode also looks at the West’s best options for tackling extremism; options which, frustratingly, are being suffocated by the ‘regressive left’. Furthermore, and very much linked to the work of would-be reformers, the power of belief in the supernatural is a significant factor in the War on Terror, which this episode explores in detail. Did George W. Bush’s belief in God lead to the invasion of Iraq? Thank you for tuning in. You can follow my work on Twitter @theaidanproject.