Archive for April, 2018

British political institutions (2): the legislature (and how Berwick might be at war with Russia)

April 18th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I like to attend short courses at the City Literary Institute in central London and I’m now doing a six-week course on “British Political Institutions”.  The second session of the course was delivered by the City Lit’s Director Mark Malcolmson and covered the legislature, that is the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the […]

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Is the state of the world really as bad as we think?

April 16th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I’m currently reading a fascinating book titled “Enlightenment Now” written by the American professor of psychology Steven Pinker. The theme of the work is that, if you follow the trend lines rather than the headlines, you will see that we are making spectacular progress on every measure of human well-being. But most people don’t know […]

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A review of the new film “Isle Of Dogs”

April 15th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

If you live in London (as I do), then the Isle of Dogs is a former area of dockland bounded by a major meander in the River Thames. In this case of this move, however, it is a fictional island opposite the Japanese metropolis of Megasaki City headed by a cruel mayor who expels all […]

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A review of the new movie “Ready Player One”

April 13th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The much anticipated and hugely hyped latest directorial offering from cinematic wunderkind Steven Spielberg is visually stunning, set substantially in a fantastical virtual world of 2045 called the OASIS. An early visit to the OASIS involves a race and the experience is genuinely thrilling. The movie is also visually rich with an unbelievable number of […]

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The government’s recognised markets aren’t working — now it’s time to fix them

April 12th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This is the headline of a blog posting by Citizens Advice about the Government’s Consumer Green Paper published this week. Citizens Advice highlights four issues especially: Consulting on creating an independent consumer advocate for telecoms. Telecoms is increasingly critical to our lives and our economy and yet — unlike all other essential markets — there’s no statutory independent advocate. […]

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British political institutions (1): the constitution

April 11th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I like to attend short courses at the City Literary Institute in central London and I’ve just started a six-week course on “British Political Institutions”. I already know quite a lot about this subject and have written a website essay on the topic, but there is always more to learn. The first session of the […]

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It’s National Siblings Day

April 10th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Well, at least in most parts of the United States, its is – see here. I’m blessed with a great sister Silvia in Leicester and a great brother Ralph in Manchester and a great half brother Chris near Winchester, so today I’m going to declare publicly how much they mean to me. Siblings are very […]

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Another visit to Prague to see my Czech mates

April 5th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

One of my best friends, before his premature death, was a Czech doctor from Prague called Pavel who died in a London hospital 24 years ago. You can read my obituary for him here. I have kept in touch with his wife and three children and seen them regularly in Prague and sometimes in London. […]

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Ever heard of the African revolutionary Thomas Sankara?

April 5th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

My second granddaughter is named Kara Jo – the second name after the Labour MP Jo Cox who was murdered and the first name after the African revolutionary who was assassinated. I confess that I had not previously heard of Sankara. However, as it happens, there is currently a play in London called simply “Sankara” […]

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Could China invade Taiwan?

April 4th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

As if the world needed any more to worry about, the “Guardian” today has an article which begins: “China could do to Taiwan what Russia did to Crimea if Beijing’s relations with Washington, strained by an expanding trade war and military rivalry in the East and South China seas, deteriorate further. The warning from maritime security […]

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