Archive for the ‘World current affairs’ Category


The world population of 7.7 billion forecast to reach 10.9 billion

July 11th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Today we mark World Population Day. As a recent article in the “Guardian newspaper put it: “This will be the 30th anniversary of the annual event set up by the United Nations in 1989 – when there were a mere 5 billion people on Earth – to focus attention on the urgency of our impending population crisis. […]

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Trade union rights under attack worldwide

June 19th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I spent 24 years working as a national trade union official and I regard independent trade unions as an essential component of a genuine democracy. But worldwide trade unions and trade unionists are under attack. Today in Geneva the International Trade Union Confederation is releasing to the world the results of its annual Global Rights […]

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Why are political opinion polls getting it wrong more often? (2)

June 5th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I wrote a blog posting recently about the growing difficulty for opinion pollsters in forecasting accurately the result of elections. I particularly referenced the recent failure of all the pollsters in Australia to forecast the victory of the National-Liberal coalition. I wrote: “I think that what we are seeing is more voter fluidity. Class used […]

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The European Union is a large democratic entity – but not the largest. That would be India.

May 27th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

India – with a population of 1.3 billion and an electorate of around 900 million – is the world’s largest democracy and, for all its faults and flaws, this democratic system stands in marked contrast to the democratic failures of Pakistan and Bangladesh which were part of India until 1947. Elections in a country of […]

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Why are political opinion polls getting it wrong more often? (1)

May 22nd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

It is my contention that, across the democratic world, opinion pollsters are finding it harder to forecast accurately how political parties will do in elections and, on occasions, are getting the overall result wrong. Opinion polling is a complex matter and different companies use different methodologies, but all pollsters have the same problems of reaching […]

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What is it like to visit the famous Peruvian site of Machu Picchu?

May 15th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I really enjoy visiting new countries and have now managed to see a total of 73. Foreign travel is an opportunity to experience different cultures and visit wonderful locations. But I am aware that some popular tourist locations are now becoming overwhelmed. Today there is a story in the “Guardian” about opposition the building of […]

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What’s going on in Spanish politics with three general elections in just four years?

May 11th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

For four decades, the political institutions of Spain have been fought over by two major parties that reflected the Centre-Right/Centre-Left divisions in so much of European politics – a system known in Spain as “bipartidismo”. But chronic corruption in the political system and the economic crisis of recent years following the global downturn, which saw a […]

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What do you know about the nation of Nauru?

April 29th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I am a fan of the American television series “Madam Secretary” which is broadcast in the UK on the Sky Witness channel. A strength of the series is that – as with “The West Wing” – it features very contemporary and controversial political issues. So, for instance, a recent episode highlighted the impact of climate […]

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How free is your country’s press?

April 18th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

The respected organisation Reporters Without Borders (RWB) each year publishes a review of the state of press freedom all around the world. This year, the top five are Norway, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands and Denmark. The bottom five are Vietnam, China, Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan. You can see a ranking of 180 countries and a […]

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Where now for the Palestine-Israeli problem?

March 19th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

The conflict between Palestinians and Israel seems to have fallen out of consideration by much of the world’s media. Perhaps the problem is just too intractable. But the violence in Gaza continues and there is an election coming up in Israel. My friend Eric Lee has given his sobering thoughts in this piece for “The […]

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