Archive for the ‘World current affairs’ Category


Can anyone really understand Israeli politics?

September 16th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Tomorrow Israelis go to the polls in a second general election in a mere five months. What’s going on? As the latest report in the “Guardian” newspaper explains: “Israel is due to hold its second election in five months after Netanyahu, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, was unable to form a coalition government. Facing political […]

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Today is the Mid-Autumn Festival: ‘zhongqiujie kuaile’

September 13th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

A significant proportion of the global population – including the people of China – will today celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. You can learn more about this tradition here. There are many ways to wish friends and family good fortune and a happy Mid-Autumn Festival, but one of the most simple and commonly used ones is […]

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Mamma mia! How can one understand Italian politics?

August 31st, 2019 by Roger Darlington

The General Election of 4 March 2018 produced a complex result and negotiations to form a new government – Italy’s 66th government since the Second World War – eventually took almost three months. The new governing alliance was an unlikely combination of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), which has most of its support in […]

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What is the capital of Indonesia?

August 27th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Top of my bucket list is the aspiration – so long as I have the health and wealth – to have visited as many countries as my age. I have now been to 73 countries and I am 71, so I’m currently managlng to hit the target. The most populous nation is the world that […]

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How Netanyahu could lose; how Boris could be beaten; and why voting matters

August 19th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

There’s an election going on in Israel right now and incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is widely expected to retain power, but my friend Eric Lee has written an interesting column for the “Times of Israel” explaining how Netanyahu could lose. The argument rests on the supposition that Israeli Arabs – who comprise a fifth […]

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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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