Archive for October, 2010

The thrill of Halloween

October 31st, 2010 by Roger Darlington

When my son was young, we hardly noticed Halloween but on Bonfire Night I organised communal fireworks for our street. These days Halloween is hugely popular and I guess that it’s more fun and safer than Bonfire Night. This evening, the doorbell rang a total of 12 times for groups of young children calling ‘trick […]

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The Battle of Britain (6): the final day

October 31st, 2010 by Roger Darlington

It is a rather arbitrary designation but the Battle of Britain was said in retrospect to have concluded on 31 October 1940 – 70 years ago today. Those brave pilots of the Royal Air Force saved Britain from German invasion and changed the course of world history. The Royal Air Force roll of honour for […]

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Let’s hear it for Jon Stewart

October 30th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

Today, over in Washington DC, there’s a ‘Rally to Restore Sanity’ organised by Jon Stewart and, if I lived anywhere nearby, I’d be there. Now I’m a big fan of American comedian and presenter Jon Stewart and really enjoy his “Daily Show”.  He and the show even make an appearance in one of my short […]

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How wide should income differentials be?

October 29th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

One of my passionate concerns is over inequalities in income, wealth and power – it shapes much of my political thought and aspirations. I’ve blogged before on the wide income differentials in British society – see here and here. Of course, it would be ridiculous for all of us to be paid the same; we […]

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The siege of Leningrad

October 28th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

I’m reading a really good novel called “City Of Thieves” which is set in Leningrad in January 1942 at the time of the prolonged siege of the Russian city by the Germans. Doing a bit of background checking, I found out something I never knew: the Finnish were also involved in the siege in support […]

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My International Relations course (4)

October 28th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

It’s week 6 on my course at the City Lit in central London entitled “International Relations And World Conflict”. This week, we discussed the situation in the Middle East. In one and a half hours, we didn’t solve the problem of the Arab-Israeli conflict but it was a very interesting discussion. There was strong support […]

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Challenges to the Chinese

October 27th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

My portfolio career may be collapsing all around me as the Government moves to abolish both Consumer Focus and the Communications Consumer Panel, but yesterday I had a stimulating time in Oxford addressing a group of 24 Chinese state officials from the centrally- administered municipality of Tianjin in the north of the country. The topic […]

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Transparency in government

October 25th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

This week, I’m visiting Oxford to address a Chinese delegation from Tianjin, a city of 12 million, not far from Beijing. The subject of my presentation is “Government Communications In The UK”. Now on this blog I’ve been critical of the Coalition Government’s plans for cutting pubic expenditure, but I have to give the new […]

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It’s a funny month

October 23rd, 2010 by Roger Darlington

According to a good Chinese friend, this October – which has five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays – only happens once in every 823 years. It seems that, in feng shui terms, this is a great time for money. Tell that to the victims of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

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Forgotten World (225): Ukraine

October 22nd, 2010 by Roger Darlington

Europe’s second largest country, Ukraine gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and has since veered between seeking closer integration with Western Europe and reconciliation with Russia, which supplies most of the country’s energy. A significant minority of the population of Ukraine are Russians or use Russian as their first language. […]

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