Section: World

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Peace is fragile and needs your help

Julie Ward

So in the midst of this maelstrom of testosterone-fuelled theatrics what can the genuine peace loving individual do to help avoid Armageddon? Firstly, mark the day in your diary this year and every year. Don’t let the UK forget its historic foundational role so spread the word and tell all your friends.

Give peace a chance

Peter Benson

I can’t believe that we still need to talk about peace in Ireland in September 2020. The Good Friday Agreement was signed on 10th April 1998; that’s over 22 years ago. Peace, this unique and precious commodity is being gambled with and traded in the most underhand and despicable way possible by the Westminster government. The […]

Help! Where do I go?

Peter Howarth

If you live in America, to turn the lights on you flick the light-switch up; if you live in England, you push it down. One of the first principles of ergonomics is that is you design things so that they work in the way you expect them to. This is a basic psychological, or cognitive, principle but to achieve it you first have to know what is expected. Detractors say that ergonomics is just applied common sense, and while that is a good description, it also belittles a practice that aims to provide people with what they want, need, and expect.

A Creative UK in a Creative Europe

Julie Ward

The UK government has chosen not to renew or continue its relationship with the Creative Europe programme after the end of the calendar year. This is a move that is viewed as a retrograde step on both sides of the channel and doesn’t fit with the government’s own narrative about a close relationship with our nearest neighbours nor its tub-thumping global Britain rhetoric.

Perfidious Albion?

David Taylor-Gooby

We must stress our patriotism, that we want what is best for this country. That does not mean giving in to others but instead working with them when it suits our interests. Europe is our biggest trading partner, and we have to work out ways of trading with them which suit both of us.

Working together: the 3.5% movement

Jon Johnson

I’m scared. Not for myself, although I will be soon. No, this is for my son, my friends and neighbours and the future of our country. I’m not prone to wild conspiracy theories, but since the 2016 referendum I have felt that what is happening is symptomatic of a bigger game; something like Maze Runner, […]

Putin wins again

Robin Tudge

I was working in Moscow in 1996-1997, and remember the utter destitution of the place, the old babushkas who’d won the war against the fascists stripped of their pensions and left to stand in two feet of snow, lined by the dozen outside metro stations, selling bootleg vodka.

Climate Activism via Letters To Power

Julie Ward

Years ago (in the last century) I attended a conference at Lancaster University on arts and the environment where I met ‘artivists’ from Platform, a London-based collective of artists, educators and researchers who were undertaking extraordinary projects such as ‘Unravelling the Carbon Web’, which partly consisted of Platform members walking around all BP establishments including […]

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Why I cannot leave the UK…

Sylvia Zamperini

As a kid in Italy in the late 1970s, I fell in love with a country called ‘Inghilterra’. This word translates as ‘England’, but at that age I was not aware of the four countries that make up the UK nor of the political issues amongst them. Inghilterra was the country of my favourite British […]

The Accidental Brefugees

Judi Sutherland

We didn’t set out to become Brefugees. What happened to us may well become more and more common as the UK’s Brexit recession sets in.

Cummings, Brexit and Russia Part 3

Colin Gordon

On military philosophers and mercenaries Two striking discussions of Dominic Cummings have described him as a ‘mercenary’.  The Newcastle social scientist and child poverty expert, the late John Veit-Wilson, commented in the Guardian that “it has long seemed obvious that Cummings was a highly articulate chancer and mercenary for neo-liberal US billionaires.” A reviewer of […]

Has the reopening of schools been planned well?

Giuseppe Bignardi

Schools in the UK have been totally or partially closed since 20th March. This time has not been utilised well to make realistic and sustainable plans for reopening. Boris Johnson has argued that reopening schools in September with full attendance is necessary to restart the economy. He has subsequently put more emphasis on the concept […]

John Hume RIP

Peter Benson

Meeting one’s idol at any age is momentous. I met mine when I was just 18 and deeply immersed in local politics in Ireland, during the Summer of 1981. Politics was in my blood and I was active since the age of 16, in County Kildare, Ireland. My political involvement centred around the youth wing […]

Cummings, Brexit and Russia Part 2

Colin Gordon

On independence, Russian style The House of Commons Select Committee on the Future Relationship with Europe conducted its last oral session before the summer recess interviewing experts on the future of UK foreign and security policies after Brexit, and the scope for future coordination in these areas with the EU. Professor Malcolm Chalmers, from the […]

Populism

Julie Ward

Defining populism is not easy. It is simplistic and doesn’t address complexities. Populists seem to be against everything and for nothing.

Rule Britanniagrad

David Hardman
House of Commons and Moscow montage.

Interference by Russia in our democracy must be stopped. If it isn’t, we really will become a vassal state and we will no longer rule Britannia.

RecipeUPDATED

A simple sourdough loaf

David Hardman
a sliced sourdough loaf

Sourdough produces the most fantastic bread and once started you’ll love the results so much you won’t want to stop. (Recipe)

UK OneWeb: Cummings’ space oddity?

John Jacobson

In December 2018, after a period of failed negotiations with the EU, Theresa May’s government issued a press release which confirmed that the UK would not use the European global positioning system ‘Galileo’ for defence or critical national infrastructure after Brexit. Instead, it would explore options to build its own satellite system which would help […]

Experts… Let’s phone a friend!

Kirsty McTear

A nation state and its international relations are in many ways as complicated as the workings of our modern mobile phone, perhaps even more so. The interactions of one policy may have far-reaching consequences for other branches of government not directly related to the original policy.

Farmers and tractors against No Deal

Richard Henson
Campaigner with Don't pander to low food standards placard

Prior to the 2016 referendum, the National Farmers Union (NFU) recommended their members vote to remain in the European Union. In spite of this, 53% of farmers were more swayed by the Leave campaign and voted to leave the EU. No one really knew exactly what ‘Leave’ meant at that stage.  The talk of complete separation […]

A troubled birthday for the NHS

Giuseppe Bignardi
The trade bill still includes the NHS in it. Our NHS is not for sale.

The NHS came to life on 5th July 1948. This year’s birthday celebration occurred at a difficult time, just after the first wave of coronavirus. Things are not going to get easier: there is already a huge backlog of elective and cancer care, as well as the risk of a second wave of coronavirus in […]

Stay Frosty

Neil Taylor
Ice melting by Jay mantri

We simply cannot ignore the greatest threat to us all. A lot has been said and written about humankind-generated, now often called anthropogenic, climate change. While many people are concerned about this, some are sceptical or deny its reality, preferring to think of it as a conspiracy and/or an anti-western/capitalist anarchistic plot. As an astronomer […]

Parler with trolls

Joanne Oliver
Warning Trolls sign

‘New’ Twitter gives voice to the same old bots and trolls I am interested in politics because everything we experience is political. We are living through a pandemic where each government has handled it differently, their politics and priorities determining their choices. Looking at the statistics we can see whose methods have worked well and […]

Here comes the sun….

Caroline Hoile
Man enjoying the sun.

Sunshine and warm weather undoubtedly cheer the spirits and gladden the heart; that ‘it’s great to be alive’ feeling, making everything seem alright within the world.  Gladdening the heart is sorely needed in 2020 as, to date, we have watched with horror as the Covid-19 virus has spread rapidly and stealthily around the world, infecting all […]