Archive for the ‘World current affairs’ Category


Holiday in Sri Lanka (1): introduction

May 10th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Top of my bucket list is the wish – so long as I have reasonable health and adequate wealth – to have visited as many countries as my age. I am 69 next month and my latest holiday is to my 70th country: the island of Sri Lanka. It is a two-week organised tour with […]

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Canadian trial for universal basic income

April 29th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I’m interested in the political idea for an universal basic income and, a couple of months ago, I blogged about the proposal here. Also I’m a believer in evidence-based decision-making including in the sphere of public policy, so I was pleased to see this news: “The Canadian province of Ontario will launch a trial run […]

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A short guide to the French Presidency and how it is filled

April 21st, 2017 by Roger Darlington

On Sunday, the French electorate goes to the polls to vote in the first round of elections for a new President.  Unusually four candidates are doing similarly well, so the results this weekend are very uncertain. If you want to know about the role of the French President and how he or she is elected, […]

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How do people decide how to vote in an election?

April 19th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

The calling of a snap General Election in the UK was a genuine surprise; the result is unlikely to be one though. A survey published on the day of the announcement put the Conservatives on 44% and Labour on only 23% while, when asked who would make the best Prime Minister, 50% went for Theresa […]

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Sadly the Turkish referendum result appears to confirm a worldwide trend to the era of the strongman

April 18th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

We live at a time when so many political leaders attempt to give an appearance of democracy while increasingly controlling all elements of their society. As this “Guardian” article explains: “Strongmen leaders in Angola, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, Belarus and Azerbaijan, and in central Asia and China, have all profited from “managed democracy”. Like […]

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The man who would be king: Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

April 17th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This weekend saw a narrow victory for the referendum to bring about fundamental constitutional change in Turkey, transforming the nation from notionally a parliamentary democracy into a presidential republic. The result was a personal victory for the president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, following months of repression against all form of opposition and an enormous number of arrests and […]

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North Korea: the most dangerous tripwire in the world

April 15th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

These are scary times: random acts of terrorism, an American attack on a Syrian air base, the mother of all bombs in Afghanistan, and – above all – rising tensions in the Korean Peninsula. It’s hard to know about whom one should be most fearful: the aggressive dictator in Pyongyang who has nuclear weapons and an […]

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So what is this European Union that the UK is so keen to leave?

March 29th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

On the day that the British Prime Minister Theresa May activates Article 50  of the Treaty of Lisbon to start the process of UK withdrawal from the European Union, you might like to know a little about the formation, structure and operation of the EU. You can find my brief guide here.

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The Putin paradox: how does a leader so distrusted in the West remain so popular at home?

March 27th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

In this article, Dmitri Trenin – Director of the Carnegie Moscow centre –  explains: “Putin has restored Russia’s status of a great power, lost with the Soviet Union. He first tried to fit Russia into an enlarged west, as a senior ally of the US in Nato and a close partner of the EU within a […]

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The remarkable story of a four year old Russian girl

March 14th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Think you have problems? Four year old Saglana Salchak woke up to a family crisis in freezing Siberia and trudged five miles in thick snow to reach her nearest neighbour. You can read her astonishing story here.

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