Archive for April, 2017


A review of the novel “Where My Heart Used To Beat”

April 23rd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This novel by Sebastian Faulks is not a work to cheer the spirits, but it is really well-written and very thoughtful and thought-proving. I can recommend it and I’ve reviewed it here.

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A short guide to the French Presidency and how it is filled

April 21st, 2017 by Roger Darlington

On Sunday, the French electorate goes to the polls to vote in the first round of elections for a new President.  Unusually four candidates are doing similarly well, so the results this weekend are very uncertain. If you want to know about the role of the French President and how he or she is elected, […]

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A review of the new film “The Sense Of An Ending”

April 21st, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Based on the Booker Prize-winning novella by Julian Barnes (which I have read – my review here), inevitably this film adaptation is diffrent from the original work. The structure of the book was a section of the (unreliable) narrator’s time at school and university followed by the present day coming to terms with revelations of […]

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Did you know about the mass rape of Italian women by Allied troops in the Second World War?

April 20th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I’ve been reading the novel “Where My Heart Used To Beat” by Sebastian Faulks. Part of the novel is set in southern Italy in the last years of World War Two and reference is made to an incident of which I had previously been totally unaware. Apparently it has been given the term ‘Marocchinate’. ‘Marocchinate’ […]

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How do people decide how to vote in an election?

April 19th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

The calling of a snap General Election in the UK was a genuine surprise; the result is unlikely to be one though. A survey published on the day of the announcement put the Conservatives on 44% and Labour on only 23% while, when asked who would make the best Prime Minister, 50% went for Theresa […]

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Sadly the Turkish referendum result appears to confirm a worldwide trend to the era of the strongman

April 18th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

We live at a time when so many political leaders attempt to give an appearance of democracy while increasingly controlling all elements of their society. As this “Guardian” article explains: “Strongmen leaders in Angola, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, Belarus and Azerbaijan, and in central Asia and China, have all profited from “managed democracy”. Like […]

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The man who would be king: Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

April 17th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This weekend saw a narrow victory for the referendum to bring about fundamental constitutional change in Turkey, transforming the nation from notionally a parliamentary democracy into a presidential republic. The result was a personal victory for the president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, following months of repression against all form of opposition and an enormous number of arrests and […]

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A review of the new comedy film “Going In Style”

April 16th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

There are very few films that feature older characters in main roles so I suppose we should commend “Going In Style” for making the effort. Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin are all hitting or into their 80s and the three of them are very talented actors who are hardly stretched in this remake […]

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North Korea: the most dangerous tripwire in the world

April 15th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

These are scary times: random acts of terrorism, an American attack on a Syrian air base, the mother of all bombs in Afghanistan, and – above all – rising tensions in the Korean Peninsula. It’s hard to know about whom one should be most fearful: the aggressive dictator in Pyongyang who has nuclear weapons and an […]

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Word of the day: voluptuary

April 13th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I’ve recently started reading the novel “”Where My Heart Used To Beat” by Sebastian Faulks, the author best-known for his earlier work “Birdsong”. On the first page, the narrator states: “I supposed I’d say I was a voluptuary, someone who had seen it all …” The word ‘voluptuary’ was new to me, so I looked […]

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