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Britain

Practising the art of the possible

It’s one of life’s truisms, but ultimately all human inter-relations at country-level and above are governed in their extent and effectiveness by the art of diplomacy. Diplomacy, of course, is an esoteric pastime reserved – in Britain at least – for mandarins in the Foreign and [...]

September 12, 2014 // 0 Comments

The rewards of history

Currently my son Barry and his crew are still holed up in Gosport, waiting for both weather and orders. Yesterday he rang to mention that in the afternoon they were going to visit the new Mary Rose exhibition centre at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth and on a whim I drove over to join them. As [...]

September 9, 2014 // 0 Comments

A typical television outing

Yesterday morning I watched Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne being interviewed on The Andrew Marr Show. My first comment is about his new hairstyle, allegedly an attempt by his PR and other advisers to shift his image somewhat from this traditional ‘arrogant toff who’s enjoying [...]

September 8, 2014 // 0 Comments

Has it really come to this?

As the date of the Scottish independent referendum fast approaches, it seems that the ‘No’ campaigners, not least British politicians of all political persuasions, having finally woken up and realised that there is a real possibility that Scotland will vote to go independent and begun reaching [...]

September 4, 2014 // 0 Comments

Fair exchange is no robbery

We read in the media that the government’s new minister for civil society [what on earth is that?] Brooks Newmark, in his first major speech, has caused uproar amongst the charity sector by suggesting that charities should ‘keep out of politics and stick to their knitting’. See here for a [...]

September 4, 2014 // 0 Comments

Hot air as it relates to action

This morning, watching and reading the media reports upon developments in the Ukraine and Iraq/Syria – not to mention recent events in Libya, Egypt and indeed Gaza – I was struck again by a realisation that is both blindly-obvious in one sense and yet also an eternal truth. A reasonably [...]

August 31, 2014 // 0 Comments

Plain-speaking that seemed to add up

Shortly after I awoke and rose from my bed in the wee hours this morning, I caught the tail-end of a Radio Five Live interview conducted by guest Up All Night presenter Lucy Grey with Michael Schwayer [query the spelling, I just noted it down as I heard it], a Professor from Georgetown [...]

August 22, 2014 // 0 Comments

It happens to us all

An inevitable accompaniment of living to a ripe old age is the gradual loss of one’s friends and family. A couple of years ago, my father attended the funeral of an old Fleet Air Arm chum. Chatting with the widow outside the church afterwards, when she asked him “You are coming to the drinks [...]

August 19, 2014 // 0 Comments

If the Emperor’s suit fits, must we wear it?

We learn today that Britain is now getting involved in the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) crisis in Iraq beyond the supplying of humanitarian aid to the refugees who fled – or who are still fleeing – from persecution and/or genocide. This raises many issues, not least David Cameron’s approach [...]

August 18, 2014 // 0 Comments

I never got around to it

For a while now I’ve been thinking of drafting a piece on the West’s complicated and contradictory attempts, through the UN and otherwise, to advance the causes of human rights, oppressed minorities and – well, just the world of geo-politics. This is a distinctly fraught area of human [...]

August 12, 2014 // 0 Comments

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