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May 5, 2016 12 Comments

Politicians on phones in parliament – a turn off?

Politics has descended once again into fiddling. Not this time of MPs’ expenses, nor of the books, but with mobile phones.


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April 14, 2016 30 Comments

Accountability and the empty chair – Yes Minister, we want you!

We keep asking, but when the constant refrain of Government Department press officers is “no Minister available”, how can we hold those in power to account for their actions?

March 23, 2016 11 Comments

Saudi mosque, exports, oil and the West

The Great Mosque of Brussels is said to remain a centre of Saudi-funded Wahhabi preaching and Salafism.

January 26, 2016 38 Comments

The agony of Sri Lanka’s carapace of peace

Our return to Sri Lanka’s killing fields coincides with the President announcing that there will be no “international component” in any “investigation” of the civil war or

January 11, 2016 11 Comments

The incredible creative life force that was David Bowie

Bowie was emblematic of my generation. He was revolution, rebellion – even in a time when we all rebelled against the given order.

November 24, 2015 11 Comments

Bangladesh poised between agony and ecstasy: the choice depends on us!

If world leaders settle for modest restraints on global warming, I do not want to have to be the reporter sent to see the unfolding tragedy in Bangladesh.

November 15, 2015 4 Comments

My visit to the death scene at the Bataclan

The evidence of Friday night’s horror is still plain to see at the back door of the Bataclan concert hall. For local residents, the Paris terror attacks left psychological scars too.

November 14, 2015 41 Comments

Paris attacks: Middle East’s wars arrive in Europe

We have arrived at a crossroads. Few can have believed that the bloody killings of Charlie Hebdo’s staff would be the end of it.

October 29, 2015 8 Comments

Chilcot Inquiry: a very British farce

Who amongst us will ever read all two million words of Chilcot’s collected prose? And even if we do, will guilt, innocence, madness, patriotism, or anything else be clear enough for anyone to

September 21, 2015 7 Comments

Osborne in China: what will the UK do to get business there?

The exhibition by the great Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy is remarkable and dominated by the pressure and suffering the Chinese authorities have subjected him.

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