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World Affairs

Only saying what everyone else is thinking

At 4.00pm UK time this afternoon the Southern Hemisphere countries of Australia and New Zealand will contest the final of the 2015 Rugby World Cup at Twickenham Stadium in south-west London. As I type this I have no idea which of them will lift the William Webb Ellis trophy and in one sense it [...]

October 31, 2015 // 0 Comments

And so the world keep turning

In the world of politics, statesmanship and ‘the way things are’ two developments struck me yesterday as highlighting some of the eternal complexities that those operating power, or aspiring to do so, face in the modern world. Firstly, on the final day of its autumn conference, the British [...]

October 1, 2015 // 0 Comments

Back to Blighty

Yesterday I and three family members, one a cousin who has lived in North America for the past forty years, returned to Blighty after a four-day tour of WW1 battlefields and cemeteries for which our guide was fellow Ruster Henry Elkins. The trip served us well on two counts – firstly, the [...]

September 28, 2015 // 0 Comments

Sticking to a hard line

Just occasionally one comes across a piece in the media that makes you think, irrespective of where you stand politically and/or in terms of religious belief (or lack of it). Throughout recent history there have been continuous internal interpretation discussions/arguments going on between [...]

September 4, 2015 // 0 Comments

Don’t shoot the messenger

Sassy rock singer Chrissie Hynde – she of Pretenders and sometime marriages to the Kinks’ Ray Davies and Jim Kerr of Simple Minds fame [and by the way I don’t care a fig that the sisterhood might seek to take me to task for defining her by her marriages to well-known men – I’m solely [...]

August 31, 2015 // 0 Comments

The Olympic ideal

I was out driving yesterday – listening to Radio Five Live, natch – when the news came through that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had, by a margin of 44 votes to 40, decided to award the hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics to Beijing in China instead of Almaty in Kazakhstan. There [...]

August 1, 2015 // 0 Comments

Two Paulines In the News

My  old school St. Paul’s may not have produced 18 Prime Ministers like Eton, in fact just the one – Spencer Compton who succeeded Robert Walpole – but we have two finance ministers amongst our alumni dominating the news: George Osborne and Euclid Skalatos. The latter gave an [...]

July 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

None of this makes sense

Let’s just get this right. Yesterday in its referendum the Greek nation backed its Prime Minister and thereby rejected the latest EU-led bailout deal, which the EU claims was no longer on the table anyway. Mr Tsipras will now claim that he has a democratic mandate for ‘no more austerity’ and [...]

July 6, 2015 // 0 Comments

This one could run and run

With Greece having defaulted upon its debt by failing to pay the IMF by the deadline, we are now going to see a period of intense negotiations and daily speculations as Europe and sundry institutions try to find a way out of the crisis. Against this background the Greeks are about to hold their [...]

July 1, 2015 // 0 Comments

Beware Greeks (or anyone) bearing gifts

The United Kingdom’s relationship with the EU has been a running sore for far longer than I can remember – I’m a bit hazy about anything further back than 2004, so let’s say about forty years. Most of our electorate have an in-built suspicion about anything that involves unelected [...]

June 23, 2015 // 0 Comments

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