Archive for December, 2008


What’s happening in Canada?

December 6th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

Canadian politics inevitably gets overshadowed by those of its bigger neighbour the United States, but my man in Canada (Bob Chandler) sends me this message: “We’re in the midst of a “political crisis” in Canada…fallout from the economic crisis. Conservative Party Prime Minister Steven Harper introduced an “economic statement” that included a whole bunch of […]

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Remembering Mike Terry

December 6th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

When I was a university student, I took a year off my studies to serve full-time as the sabbatical President of the Students’ Union of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) which has now merged with the University of Manchester. The academic year of my office was 1969-70. This was a […]

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Forgotten World (155): Niue

December 5th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

Countries do not get much smaller than Niue. The residents of the Pacific island of Niue are far outnumbered by their compatriots who have migrated to New Zealand. Home to fewer than 2,000 islanders, the self-governing coral atoll is trying to encourage some of the 20,000 overseas Niueans – many of them New Zealand-born – […]

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Forgotten World (154): Vietnam

December 4th, 2008 by Roger Darlington

Vietnam suffered three decades of bitter independence wars, which the communists fought first against the colonial power France and then against US-backed South Vietnam. It became a unified country in 1976 after the armed forces of the communist north had seized the south of the country in the previous year. Vietnam today – a country […]

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Forgotten World (153): Dominica

December 3rd, 2008 by Roger Darlington

Dominica – not to be confused with the Dominican Republic – is an island in the Caribbean ‘discovered’ by Columbus in 1493 and it acquired its name from the day of the week (Sunday) of its discovery. For centuries, it was a French and then a British colony. Today, with few natural resources and a […]

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Obama and Clinton – a dream team?

December 2nd, 2008 by Roger Darlington

After weeks of speculation, President-elect Barack Obama has now confirmed that his Secretary of State will be his arch-rival for the Democratic nomination Hillary Clinton. Now three months ago, when Clinton gave her endorsement speech at the Democratic National Convention, I did a posting which argued: “If I was Barack Obama, I would promise that […]

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Forgotten World (152): Tanzania

December 2nd, 2008 by Roger Darlington

Tanzania assumed its present form in 1964 after a merger between the mainland Tanganyika and the island of Zanzibar which had become independent the previous year. Although it remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with many of its people living below the World Bank poverty line, the country of around 40 million […]

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The weakening of community life

December 1st, 2008 by Roger Darlington

Any doubts that our local communities are fracturing under the multiple pressures of modern life are dispelled by new research commissioned by the BBC. This shows that community life in Britain has weakened substantially over the past 30 years. Analysis of census data reveals how neighbourhoods in every part of the UK have become more […]

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Forgotten World (151): Greenland

December 1st, 2008 by Roger Darlington

It’s time to have another week of postings in my long-running series called Forgotten World – a look at parts of the world that hardly feature in our media or thoughts. You can check the previous 150 entries here. Greenland is, by area, the world’s largest island that is not a continent in its own […]

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