Archive for November, 2017

A review of the remarkable documentary “Naples ’44”

November 29th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

On Sunday evening, BBC Four broadcast an 80-minute documentary entitled “Naples ’44: A Wartime Diary” [if you’re in Britain, you can find it on iPlayer].  I recorded it and watched it last night and I’m still haunted by it. The documentary has a powerful personal resonance for me because my Italian mother was born in […]

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The rules for being human

November 27th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it but it will be yours for the entire period this time around. 2. You will learn lessons.     You’re enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You […]

Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments (0)

A review of the novel “Nutshell” by Ian McEwan

November 26th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

“Nutshell” (2016) is McEwan’s latest and 14th novel in a distinguished writing career and it is the sixth that I have read (“Atonement” was the most impressive). The word of the title never appears in the text but only in a preliminary quote from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” which makes it clear that this story is a […]

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Robert Mugabe: my son’s part in his downfall

November 25th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This week saw the departure from power of Robert Mugabe after his 37 years leading Zimbabwe and the departure from Africa of my son Richard after his two years working in the continent. His most recent blog posting for his Kenyan employer Well Told Story comments on his work in Zimbabwe and you can read […]

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A review of the new super-hero film “Justice League”

November 25th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This is a movie which has divided the professional critics and the general public with the former being hard on the work but the latter generally enjoying it. I confess that my feelings fall somewhere between the two. It seems that DC Comics just cannot replicate the success of Marvel Universe’s Avengers. Superman is dead […]

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Word of the day: decimation

November 24th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

In current usage, the word decimation has come to mean something approaching annihilation achieved by one force against an opposing force. In fact, the term originally meant the death of ‘only’ one in ten of a group and was actually a punishment imposed by the Roman army on its own soldiers for an assumed lack […]

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It it time to consider an universal basic income?

November 23rd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Nearly half of Britons would support giving all citizens a cash allowance, regardless of whether they were employed, according to a recent survey. Once considered a policy belonging firmly to the radical left, polling by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Bath found that 49 per cent of 18 to 75-year-olds supported the […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (0)

7 things you can do to reduce plastic pollution

November 22nd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I’m currently watching the wonderful new BBC series “Blue Planet II” and the latest episode highlights the issue of plastic in our oceans. Consider these facts – compiled by Plastic Oceans – on plastic pollution: The proliferation of plastic products in the last 70 years or so has been extraordinary; quite simply we cannot now […]

Posted in Environment | Comments (0)

Is it over for Germany’s Angela Merkel? Nein – not yet anyway

November 21st, 2017 by Roger Darlington

The electoral system in the German political system means that coalition governments are very common. The Social Democratic Party was in coalition with the Greens – the Red/Green coalition – from 1998-2005 and then, from 2005-2009, there was a ‘grand coalition’ between the Christian CDU/CSU and the SPD. Between 2009-2013, the CDU/CSU was in a […]

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Monaco and the crazy world of the super-rich

November 20th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

As has recently been underlined by the Paradise Papers, the super-rich live in a world of their own, financially, geographically, and morally. An example of this is Monaco.  This is one of the few European countries that I’ve never visited – it has nothing to interest me. But it attracts the super-rich big time. Less […]

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