Archive for January, 2012

The cost of American democracy

January 30th, 2012 by Roger Darlington

All efforts to curb or contain election spending in the United States have failed and a 2010 Supreme Court ruling effectively abolished spending limits by allowing super Political Action Committees to spend as much as they want  (as long as they do not co-ordinate their campaigns with that of an individual candidate – which is […]

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (7)

A review of “A Visit From The Good Squad”

January 29th, 2012 by Roger Darlington

If you like contemporary fiction which is different and challenging, this award-winning novel by Jennifer Egan might be for you. I’ve reviewed it here.

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A review of “The Artist”

January 29th, 2012 by Roger Darlington

It succeeded at the Golden Globes and is set to storm the Academy Awards. See it now. It’s the back and while silent movie “The Artist” which I’ve reviewed here.

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Word of the year/decade/century/millennium

January 28th, 2012 by Roger Darlington

On this blog, I have an occasional series titled “Word of the day” but today I want to do something a little different with words by drawing on the selections of the American Dialect Society. For 2011, the Society chose as word of the year ‘occupy’ – see here. For the first decade of the […]

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How many peace walls are there?

January 27th, 2012 by Roger Darlington

Peace walls developed in Northern Ireland shortly after sectarian tensions broke out into violence in 1969 but, since the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, I think that most people outside Northern ireland have assumed that the violence has ended and the peace walls have come down. In fact, dissident Republicans continue to mount violent actions […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (4)

What is the major strength of the British political system?

January 27th, 2012 by Roger Darlington

This week, I had the following e-mail from a student in Russia: “Hello! I have read your short guide to the British political system, and I wanted to ask what you think about this statement: “The capacity of the UK’s constitution to evolve is its major strength”. Do you agree with this, as I am […]

Posted in British current affairs, World current affairs | Comments (0)

A (sleeping) babe in arms

January 24th, 2012 by Roger Darlington

This afternoon, I collected my granddaughter Catrin from her nursery as I do from time to time to help out her parents. I found that she had been running a temperature because she has some sort of fever. Back at her flat, she was not her usual joyful self. She did not want to crawl […]

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How democratic is the United States?

January 24th, 2012 by Roger Darlington

On my web site, I explain the political systems of some 11 countries and these pages are very popular. I’m sometimes asked which nation is more democratic than another and, when I’ve time, I propose to write something about how to critique a political system. Some of the questions that I would ask are: How […]

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My review of “The Lady”

January 22nd, 2012 by Roger Darlington

You’ve heard of the film “The Iron Lady” about the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (which I’ve not seen yet), but you probably don’t know about the film “The Lady” about the Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi. That’s a pity because the movie is well-done and deserves a much wider audience than it is […]

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Word of the day: synurbia

January 21st, 2012 by Roger Darlington

I recently came across a word which was new to me: synurbia. According to this article, it a term describing a form of coexistence or synergy between urban living and the natural world as illustrated by the urban foxes that frequent our back garden. I like the idea.

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