Archive for January, 2010

The strange state of American politics

January 31st, 2010 by Roger Darlington

A good friend of mine in Washington DC sent me an e-mail today which includes this comment: “Our politics suck now–looks like no health care reform. Premiums for private insurance went up an average 8.5% over the past year while premiums charged to retirees on our Medicare jumped more than 12%. Americans have difficulty “connecting […]

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (0)

What are consumers complaining about?

January 31st, 2010 by Roger Darlington

Consumer Direct is the Government-supported one-stop-shop for consumers to seek advice on complaints about the full range of goods and services. The organisation has just published its statistics for 2009 with details of the top 10 categories that are the subject of complaints. Second hand cars purchased from independent retailers is the No 1 category […]

Posted in Consumer matters | Comments (0)

Albinoni’s Adagio

January 30th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

I don’t know how I missed this but it was only today that I learned that Albinoni’s Adagio was not by Tomasi Albinoni. Apparently it was established in 1998 that the piece was an original composition by Remo Giazotto and not simply his arrangement of a piece from Albinoni. Besides the fact that the music […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

My 18th short story

January 29th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

My latest short story – the 18th in the canon – is called “Coming In To Land”. Please read it and let me know what you think.

Posted in My life & thoughts | Comments (0)

How much should the best paid be paid?

January 28th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

The chief executive of a company should be paid more than the average member of staff, right? But how much more? Twice? Five times? 10 times? 100 times? When I was Head of Research at the Communication Workers Union (CWU), one of my international colleagues was Philip Jennings, General Secretary of Union Network International (UNI) […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

Holocaust survivor Gena Turgel

January 27th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day – the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet Army in 1945. I have been to Auschwitz and this evening I attended a commemorative event in Harrow movingly addressed by a survivor who was in several camps including Auschwitz, 86 year old Gena Turgel. Her testimony began […]

Posted in History | Comments (0)

Two massacres in 1937

January 27th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

There were two infamous massacres in 1937, one in the West, one in the East: the bombing by the Luftwaffe of Guernica in Spain [more information here] and the rampage by the Japanese in Nanjing in China [more information here]. The death toll in both events is disputed. At the time, the Basque government reported […]

Posted in History | Comments (0)

Tourists stranded in Machu Picchu

January 26th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

My attention was drawn to the news that landslides in the Cuzco area of Peru have cut off tourists in the ancient city of Machu Picchu. This was a reminder of our trip to Machu Pichu in 2001 when we used the railway that has now been made inoperable.

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

100 days to General Election

January 26th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

Here in the UK, it’s exactly 100 days to the most likely date of the General Election: 6 May 2010. The good news for the Labour Government is that at last the recession is officially over. The bad news for the party is that, in the latest opinion poll, the Conservatives are 11% in the […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (0)

Should we have a Windrush Day?

January 25th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

I was born on 25 June 1948. I like the symmetry of the date – exactly midway between Christmases, so spreading evenly the childhood joy of receiving presents. Furthermore this was a most historic time. Domestically it was the time that the National Health Service was created (5 July 1948). Internationally it was the start […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (0)