Archive for August, 2017

Understanding the nature of the Islamic State

August 31st, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Over the past four evenings, I’ve watched recordings of the four-part television series on Channel Four called simply “The State”. Written and directed by the acclaimed Peter Kosminsky, this tells the fictional account of recruits to ISIS – one from Wembley next door to where I live – and how they are increasingly disillusioned by […]

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How far and fast should you walk each day?

August 30th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

For two years now, I’ve had an Apple Watch which prompts me to walk at least 30 minutes each day and the ‘nudge’ has worked with me consistently hitting the target. But recently my brother told me that 30 minutes normal walking is not enough. Apparently you have to do at least 10 minutes of […]

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Does Britain need a new electoral system?

August 28th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

“On 26th June 2017, a full 17 days after the results of the general election were declared, a deal was finally agreed between the minority Conservative government and the Democratic Unionist Party to enable the government, on a case by case basis, to get its legislation through parliament. The results of the 2017 general election, […]

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My first experience of London’s Notting Hill Carnival

August 27th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

The Notting Hill Carnival has been held in London every year since 1966 and I’ve lived in London since late 1971 but never previously attended the event. This weekend, though, at the venerable age of 69 I ticked off an item on my bucket list by attending the carnival for the first time. And I […]

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Do you understand how the American political system actually works?

August 27th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

On my web site, I have short guides to the political systems of 15 nations. Given the importance of the United States to the geo-politics of the world and the erratic behaviour of the current occupant of the White House, I receive most visits to my short guide to the American political system. I have […]

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A review of the novel “To Kill The President”

August 26th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Although I read the “Guardian” newspaper every day, I hadn’t realised that its political columnist Jonathan Freedland wrote political thrillers under the pseudonym Sam Bourne but, as I browsed in a bookshop, I read the blurb on the back of this novel and was seized by the ‘torn from the news headlines’ nature of the […]

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A review of the recent Portman film “Jackie”

August 25th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Israeli-born actress Natalie Portman has come a long way since her amazing performance as a young girl in the thriller “Leon”, winning an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in “Black Swan”. In this film, she portrays Jacqueline Kennedy in the days between the assassination and funeral of her husband, US President John […]

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Ever heard of the Suwalki Gap?

August 24th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I doubt that you have – but many people in the Baltic States and in the Russian military are well aware that this is a short stretch of land which is the only connection between the Baltic States and the rest of the European Union. On one side is Lithuania and on the other side […]

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A review of the documentary “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power”

August 23rd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

When the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” was issued in 2006, it took me three years before I caught up with it at home but, this summer, I made a point of viewing the sequel straightaway at the cinema. The issue of climate change has become so much more urgent and the stakes so much higher […]

Posted in Cultural issues, Environment | Comments (0)

The 15 funniest jokes of this year’s Edinburgh fringe

August 22nd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Here in Britain, we’ve been having a miserable summer with lots of cool, overcast and wet days, so we need some humour to keep us smiling. In this list, you’ll find the best jokes from this year’s Edinburgh fringe festival. And, if you want more jokes, you’ll find tons on my website here: Lots of […]

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