Of course I’m a European.How could I not be?You gave me language,Art, literature, poetry, music,Philosophy, science,Landscapes, food, friendships.It’s in me, all through me.The work of these EuropeansThey made me.Of course I’m a European.How could I not be? That’s not to deny the land I grew up in.The land my parents believed in, fought for,But I […]
A nation’s leaders are products of its democratic safeguards or lack of them and the historical development of that nation.
The narrative surrounding an election becomes that election itself, or at least that’s the sense I got discussing French electoral politics with Dr Aurelien Mondon, a senior lecturer at the University of Bath and expert in Comparative French politics. That is the power of the narrative. For France the choice is clear, a Centralist President […]
In my article on 16 February 2022 ‘How much Hitler is in Putin’, I argued that, regardless of all the differences between the two dictators, there is one thing in common: revanchism, the quest to rectify the situation after a lost war. Now I believe this is not enough, there is more they have in […]
Ed: Warning! This article necessarily contains a distressing image. There is a proverb: “The jug goes to the well until it breaks”. The meaning is that even though you can use something, it may contain flaws that will lead it to ultimately fail. If you have read my short article on Pravda (March 12, 2022),you […]
Russia’s war against Ukraine has not only annihilated countless human lives and completely destroyed whole cities. It has also unmasked decades-old myths, one of which concerns Germany as a ‘Trading State’ and ‘Civilian Power’. After the peaceful revolution in East Germany, the successful political process towards unification and the integration of the East into the […]
Read Symon’s Story of a Tetbury schoolteacher who had to go to the Polish border to help Ukrainian refugees.
Above is a famous painting by Ilya Repin (1844-1930) of ‘Ivan the Terrible and his Son’. The painter, one of Russia’s greatest artists, depicted the scene after the historian Nikolai Karamzin, who described how in 1581 the Tsar had hit his own son in terrible anger leading to his later death from his wounds. The […]
Embroiled in its invasion of Ukraine, the Russian army is now avoiding the formidable Ukraine armed forces and seeking to undermine Ukrainian morale by using cruise missiles and bombs to destroy civilian targets. Destroying buildings and infrastructure without putting infantry on the ground will not work. Russia’s own history in the “Great Patriotic War” 1941-1945 […]
In a widely-criticised recent speech to the Conservative Party Spring Conference in Blackpool, Johnson compared the Ukrainians bid for freedom to the British vote for Brexit. He said (Elly Blake, Evening Standard): “I know that it’s the instinct of the people of this country, like the people of Ukraine, to choose freedom, every time.I can […]
Following the disputes, division and disinformation in our national narratives, the road from the referendum of June 2016 to spring 2022 has been bumpy in the extreme. Some may find it amusing, in a dark sort of way, to enjoy politicians being exposed for illicit parties in Number 10 or finding themselves at the ‘could […]
The trees will stand together.The forest will endure.There will be peace tomorrow and the bear will be no more. The forest once stretchedfrom the sea to the sky,and the bear was its keeper.A watchman, whose eye would never be swayedfrom his greed and his gain.He dreamed that the forestcould be once again the mightiest kingdom,both brutal […]
I needed to do this mural as I felt so strongly about the injustice of what is happening. I chose an urban roundabout in Oxford that could be seen by all drivers coming in and out of the city. I use the symbol of the flower in many of my murals as it has a […]
Dear Editor, Like most people, I am shocked and appalled by what is happening in Ukraine. I have donated to the DEC Ukraine appeal but felt that I needed to do more. I sat down at my computer to try and get my thoughts on what has happened, in writing. It turned into a letter […]
I’m old enough to have witnessed life during Soviet times. In 1974, as a student of Russian language and literature, I attended a summer language course at the seaside resort of Sestroretsk, northwest of Leningrad. Our group was accompanied by a Russian ‘guide’ who, we later found out, was reporting to the authorities about our […]
Ever since the dawn of time, there have been strong men, strong groups and strong armies battering and grasping weaker ones. Roman armies laid waste to Gaul and conquered vast territories for gain. Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan did the same in Asia. Attila the Hun. The Duke of Normandy burned, raped and pillaged […]
Everybody across the world is united in the desire to live in peace with justice for all, nobody wants to see their towns and cities reduced to rubble. So how do we get justice for Ukraine? The Path to War in Ukraine After Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea in […]
Vladimir Sorokin, in an exclusive Süddeutsche Zeitung article, explains how the Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin has morphed from a beacon of hope into a monster. However Sorokin believes that the invasion of Ukraine is a step too far and presages the end of Putin’s despotic regime. Putin’s Goose is Cooked. 24 February 2022 was the […]
There are many events demonstrating solidarity with Ukraine and protesting against war. This one is in Tewkesbury at 11am on Saturday 12 March. There are many ways to donate for Ukraine but the best is to go via the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC).
The French presidential elections will take place on the 10 and 24 April, 2022. If, on the evening of the 10 April, no candidate gets an absolute majority outright – and this is the most likely scenario – the two best-placed candidates will qualify for the run-off round two weeks later. An unusual election What […]
The concept of ‘Liberal Democracy’ is perhaps the most ambitious form of government developed to date. It has, like all types of government, variations, some more directly ‘democratic’ than others. Despite their differences however, they all seek to achieve one sacred goal – to govern on behalf of their citizens rather than to govern despite […]
Fear. It’s perhaps the greatest word one could use to sum up Western foreign policy since the Second World War. It was a fear of the growing Soviet/Communist regimes throughout Eastern Europe, Asia and South America which dominated the agenda. This fear masks the fact that Britain has a responsibility to Ukraine. Since the fall […]
The invasion of Ukraine by Putin and Russian forces is not only a human tragedy caused by a desperate move by a desperate man, it has at last made Western and European democracies come together against a tyrant and totalitarian rulers such as Putin. It should remind everyone in the UK that being truly European […]
In 1932-33 there was a catastrophic famine in Ukraine, which was entirely man-made, resulting from a deliberate policy directed by Joseph Stalin, the Soviet dictator. Stalin is idolised by Vladimir Putin. Known in Ukraine as the ‘Holodomor’ or ‘Murder by Starvation’. At least 3.9 million Ukrainians died in that famine. The U.N. estimated 7 to […]
What could prevent (or could have prevented) Putin from conquering Ukraine? Unfortunately, there are only a few options – and they’re all too late or impractical. On 21 February 2022, one day after the Beijing Winter Olympics had finished, Vladimir Putin openly declared war against Ukraine. As Putin’s aggressive and murderous regime has demonstrated during […]
After my earlier articles on Electric Vehicles (EVs), reviewing the battery revolution and whether the EV market is now mature, it is worth assessing the feasibility of using hydrogen to power Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCVs). Recently the government appeared to give heavy backing to hydrogen as a vehicle power source, possibly due to heavy backing […]
This year the Irish, South and North, are celebrating four key anniversaries of events that have shaped their shared island.
Dear Sir, The recent discussions and agreement between Russia and China on Ukraine brought back memories of the infamous Stalin-Hitler pact of 1939, when the Russian leader was duped into supporting Hitler. Yet a year or so later in 1941 the massive Nazi Barbarossa invasion of the Soviet Union was launched. Russia still bears the […]
At first glance, this question seems stupid, completely out of place. And I am certainly not thinking of Hitler’s ultimate goals – conquering the Soviet Union and annihilating Europe’s Jewish population. These horrendous crimes will remain unique. However, what I am concerned with is the problem of ‘revanchism’. Germany (and its allies) had lost World […]
We’re hearing a lot about energy at the moment. The UK market is widely spoken about as “broken”. And no wonder! Brexit broke our links to the EU internal market network at a time when the UK government had allowed local storage of gas to evaporate in a mist of “market forces”. Now that world […]