Archive for April, 2017

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 […]

Posted in British current affairs, World current affairs | Comments (1)

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 […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

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 […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (1)

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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At last, I get to see the stage version of “Les Miserables”

April 12th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Five years ago, I saw the film version of this famous musical [my review here]. It’s quite a complicated plot but there’s a good summary here. Meanwhile the musical has been running in London for over 30 years, but only this week did I finally see it at the Queen’s Theatre. The storyline is quite […]

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An update on the United States Supreme Court

April 11th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

One of the most visited sections of my web site is my short guide to the American political system which you can read here. Following President Trump’s successful appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, I’ve updated the section of my guide relating to the court and you can access that here.

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (0)

Remembering one of the most magical days of my life

April 10th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I was saddened to read a report in today’s “Guardian” that explains that, following massive bleaching events in both 2016 and 2017, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is severely damaged along two-thirds of its length and has entered a “terminal stage”. Four years ago, I was fortunate enough to spend a day at the Great Barrier […]

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