Author Archive
The Executive Extremists: Should We Be Surprised?

The Executive Extremists: Should We Be Surprised?

Another day, another bombing. The images of children killed by government airstrikes in rebel-held Aleppo last week were horrific to behold, but they were not surprising. Such images have become tinged with that precursor of contempt – familiarity. Like it or not, horrendous violence against the innocent is apparently such an expected part of what...
Paris: One Year On

Paris: One Year On

It has been quite a year for extremism. We have seen the expansion of Islamic State territory in Iraq and Syria, the Brexit referendum and its aftershocks, and now perhaps the greatest surprise of all – President-elect Trump. In one way or another, these events are all the result of radical shifts in worldwide public...
Austrian Elections: Day and Night

Austrian Elections: Day and Night

Even those of you who haven’t been following the ongoing turmoil of the presidential election in Austria will not be surprised to learn the details. In short, a right-wing populist party candidate and a socialist left-wing candidate are this year both enjoying greater support than ever before. Their political views are as different as chalk...
Berlin Elections

Berlin Elections

Any political analyst will tell you that predicting the outcome of national elections based on regional elections is risky at best. There are several reasons for this. First, local politics simple do not reflect the politics of a whole nation. Local issues and historical party affiliation have a lot more to do with local political...
Why We Should Remember Asad Shah

Why We Should Remember Asad Shah

In this world of blaring noise, where social media constantly shouts facts and statistics at us; where news has to be ‘breaking’ in order to be meaningful; where violent and sexual images have become so ubiquitous that people refuse to be shocked by deaths in far-off countries – in this world, it takes something very...
‘Scexit’, the Scottish Exit

‘Scexit’, the Scottish Exit

Politicians are rarely exact. They use generalities; they skirt around issues and, most importantly, they are never certain about anything. It is said that a week is a long time in politics, so it is not in any politician’s interest to make an inalterable claim, particularly a prediction, in a world that is ever-changing and...
Love Won? LGBT Rights in 2015

Love Won? LGBT Rights in 2015

‘If you all agree with the question then we’ll have nothing to discuss.’[1] Thus spoke a bemused David Dimbleby on BBC’s Question Time in Belfast in January when faced with the exceptionally rare occurrence of a studio audience applauding in support of an issue almost unanimously. The topic in question was one that even a...
Visions of the Future: a Look at the Sustainable Development Goals

Visions of the Future: a Look at the Sustainable Development Goals

Images were recently circulated on social media of paintings on cigarette cards from the year 1900 that imagined life in the year 2000. Some of the predictions managed to hit not far from the mark – for example, automated farming machines and a helicopter. Others, such as underwater civilisations and flying policemen, have yet to...
The Tactics of Trudeau

The Tactics of Trudeau

Canada, despite the international identity it possesses as the USA’s younger, less-powerful sibling, has always been more progressive than its downstairs neighbour. They were the first country in the G8 to legalise same-sex marriage. Their laws regarding the smoking of cannabis are amongst the most relaxed in the world, and it looks likely a total...
Fanning the Fire for LGBT Rights

Fanning the Fire for LGBT Rights

Regular readers of the US website Army Times will know that it recently included a small article on the nomination by President Obama of Eric Fanning as Secretary for the Army. To those of us not au fait with American military jargon, suffice to say this is one of the highest-ranking positions in Defence in...