Tag Archives: Politics

Of Tyranny and Violence

The people disappeared in Syria’s military prisons do not have graves, but they do have names. They may not have been accorded funeral rites, but they have faces and stories and their families have memories of their presence. The war which has destroyed much of Syria can be localised: to a family, to a single person, to a face. And within the wider war lurk stories of cruelty and barbarism which affect individuals but whose effects spiral outwards. These specific instances of savagery become institutionalised. Continue reading

Katie Hopkins and Nigel Farage Tell America That Britain Is Scared and Divided – We Are Not

For some people, these islands seem just too small to satisfy their ambitions. Not content with Britain, many want to be known around the world; they want to be famous in a new and different way. Continue reading

Hot Water and Higher Education

There’s meant to be something somewhat seedy about the profit motive. Perhaps this is why, in the case of education, many of us recoil in horror as soon as the prospect is introduced. This is an irrational response, but it’s not entirely unreasonable. Education is something which makes politicians misty-eyed. It makes their voices quaver. Our leaders describe with great emotion the need for the next generation to do better, to have more, to go without less. Continue reading

What to Expect From the Two Presidential Candidates

Just like that, the US presidential election is upon us. After months of campaigning – after a turbulent primary process and an increasingly excruciating general election campaign – the results will soon be known. America will go to the polls, and its next president will be chosen. Continue reading

Another Kind of Air War

Review – The Other Air Force by Matt Sienkiewicz

America, Matt Sienkiewicz asserts at the beginning of his new book The Other Air Force, ‘is not a subtle nation’. In many ways – religious, political, cultural – the United States is seen as the enemy of nuance; its values are perceived to be bold, brash and often in conflict with those of older societies and older systems, in Europe and the world over. Continue reading

Keith Vaz and Moral Decay

Keith Vaz, the Member of Parliament for Leicester East, has done something objectionable – morally, ethically, whatever you want to call it. And beyond personal taste, there’s the suggestion of real wrongdoing, and something resembling real moral decay hanging about his person. This particular characterisation could be made in reference to innumerable things the man has done. But his past is past; all that seems to matter right now are the contents of a tabloid tale or two. Continue reading

The Sieges of Syria and History

Earlier this month in Syria, a siege was broken. Rebels in Aleppo, aided by more religiously extreme elements and passively supported by humanitarians the world over, succeeded in meeting – ceremoniously shaking hands, like the Allies during the Second World War at the river Elbe in 1945 – by breaking the lines of those troops loyal to the Assad regime and its foreign backers. Continue reading