Archive for April, 2011

Why the Arab Spring might spread south

April 30th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

The last few months have seen astonishing change in one Arab country after another – and the convulsions are far from over in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria. But, south of the Sahara, there are many other countries where democratisation is desperately needed. Could the Arab Spring spread south? Four reasons why it […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

Why is it called the Union Jack?

April 29th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

The national flag of the United Kingdom is not seen in everyday life anything like as commonly as the national flag of some other countries, most notably the star and stripes in the United States. It has been much in evidence today, however, because of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. The […]

Posted in British current affairs, History | Comments (2)

The Arab Spring is spreading

April 29th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

An unelected ruling family has brought the people of Britain out onto the streets.  Senior religious figures are stirring the masses. There have been demonstrations and arrests. Military aircraft have flown low over the crowds.There is a massive security presence and soldiers are marching through the capital. The Arab Spring is spreading! Oh wait …

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (1)

Is this the most eccentric man in Britain?

April 29th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

Britain is still such an odd, old-fashioned nation. It’s the kind of place where a royal wedding can still bring the country to a halt (oh yeh, it’s today). The British have a great tolerance for eccentricity and we embrace oddity in a rather charming way whether it is media personalities like Russell Brand or […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (4)

A view from the Arab world

April 27th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

I send out a Thought For The Week by e-mail (if you would like to receive this E-mail me). This week’s thought is:  “Just because you’re breathing doesn’t mean you’re alive.” My e-mail goes out to almost 1,700 people all around the world and I had this response from one of my Arab readers: “Yes; […]

Posted in My life & thoughts, World current affairs | Comments (0)

Could Canada have a Left PM?

April 27th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

Canadians go to the polls in  General Election on Monday but, if you live outside of Canada, you probably don’t know this. Even British and American media have neglected to cover the event. Of course, this blog mentioned the election in a posting one month ago. The election has just become particularly interesting because of […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (1)

What did Big Ben say to the Tower of Pisa?

April 27th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

“I’ve got the time if you’ve got the inclination.” Forgive my recollection of this schoolboy joke, but I’m prompted to share it with you because of the news this week that, after two decades of being covered by scaffolding for a major restoration and clean, the Leaning Tower of Pisa can now be seen in […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

25 years after the Chernobyl disaster

April 26th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

On 26 April 1986,  exactly twenty-five years ago today, reactor number four at the Chernobyl nuclear power facility in what is now Ukraine exploded.  It was – and remains – the largest civil nuclear disaster in history. I once met a trade union official who went to Chernobyl shortly after the disaster to check on […]

Posted in History | Comments (0)

The top 300 pieces of classical music

April 26th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

Each Easter, the radio station Classic FM takes four days to play the 300 top pieces of classical music as voted by its listeners in what it calls its Hall of Fame. The station is our favourite and we listen to the play-down on and off throughout the weekend. You can check out this year’s […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

Joshua’s fourth birthday party

April 26th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

Vee and I had our first holiday in China in September 2000. On the flight back from Beijing to London, we sat in a row of three seats, the third of which was occupied by a 25 year old Chinese student setting off to Oxford University to commence a PhD in biochemical engineering. It was […]

Posted in My life & thoughts | Comments (1)