Archive for the ‘World current affairs’ Category


Which country does the most good for humanity?

November 5th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

You may not be surprised to hear that the answer – again – is Sweden. You might be surprised to learn that the UK comes in at 4th place. The USA is only 20th. Here are the top and bottom scorers: The top 5: 1. Sweden 2. Denmark 3. The Netherlands 4. United Kingdom 5. […]

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What was it like in Aleppo before the civil war?

September 15th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

There is currently a fragile ceasefire in Syria where the civil war has been raging for five long and bitter years and some 400,000 have died. The ceasefire has had a particular impact on the commercial capital of the country Aleppo where the regime holds the west and the rebels occupy the east. But Aleppo […]

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Professor Yehuda Bauer and anti-Semitism

September 10th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

Earlier this week, I went along to the London School of Economics for a session with Professor Yehuda Bauer who made some introductory remarks on anti-Semitism and then took questions. Born in what was then Czechoslovakia and partially educated in Cardiff, Bauer is a distinguished Israeli academic and historian. This amazing guy is now 90 and spoke […]

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My heart bleeds for the people of Aleppo

August 12th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

Just a couple of weeks before the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, we visited the country for a holiday. The Arab Spring had engulfed Tunisia, Libya and Egypt but, on the surface, all seems quiet in Syria. Every time I see a news item about the situation now in Syria, I remember our […]

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A review of the impressive book “Age Of Discovery”

August 8th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

There are not many books that are so wide-ranging in subject matter and optimistic about the present and future of humankind as “Age Of Discovery”. It argues that, for most people in most places on the globe, this is the best time to be alive in the whole of human history. You can read my […]

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Don’t forget Hong Kong – the only place in China with anything like genuine elections

July 31st, 2016 by Roger Darlington

“On 4th September, sandwiched between the Brexit vote and the US elections, Hong Kongers have the opportunity to vote in the four yearly LegCo [Legislative Council] elections. Hong Kong’s democratic processes are a hangover from its colonial days – the first election took place in 1995 two years before handover. UK graciously offering HK a […]

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Understanding the different branches of Islam

July 24th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

I have now attended two sessions of the City Lit course on “Global Political Islam’. Recently we have been looking at the various branches of the religious faith. Virtually from the beginning of Islam, there has been a major split. Unlike the divisions in the Christian world, the differences are not about theology and belief […]

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Trying to understand the phenomenon of global political Islam

July 16th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

We don’t yet fully understand the motivation behind the terrible attack at Nice, but it seems that the perpetrator, as well as being mentally ill, was inspired by Islamic fundamentalism. We don’t yet know the background to the attempted coup in Turkey, but it seems that sections of the military are concerned about a shift […]

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Reasons to be cheerful

July 13th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

Most of my personal and professional acquaintances voted – like me – for Britain to remain a member of the European Union and are – like me – deeply troubled by the narrow decision to leave the EU. But there are still many reasons to be cheerful that we live at this special time in […]

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Muslims and modernity: the road from jihad to Brexit

July 10th, 2016 by Roger Darlington

As a believer in lifelong learning, I regularly attend short courses at a London further education college called the City Lit. This weekend, I attended a one-day course entitled “Hope And History: A Short Introduction To Contemporary Issues In Muslim Contexts”. Our tutor was Pakistani-born Dr Farid Panjwani, a lecturer at the Institute of Education, […]

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