Archive for September, 2019


How does the UK Supreme Court operate and what is it going to decide on prorogation?

September 18th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

The Supreme Court is a relatively new institution in the British constitutional system and few people know much about it. In my short guide to the British political system, I have provided a brief explanation of the Supreme Court here. The court really has two decisions to make. First, is the issue of prorogation “justiciable”? […]

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Can the positions of the political parties on Brexit get any weirder?

September 18th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

For three years, Brexit has been a moving picture with surprise after surprise. It’s a political soap opera that never ceases to amaze. So now we have three established political parties facing in very different directions but each with major doubts over their capacity to deliver their current position. The official Conservative view is that […]

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Can anyone really understand Israeli politics?

September 16th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Tomorrow Israelis go to the polls in a second general election in a mere five months. What’s going on? As the latest report in the “Guardian” newspaper explains: “Israel is due to hold its second election in five months after Netanyahu, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, was unable to form a coalition government. Facing political […]

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Today is the Mid-Autumn Festival: ‘zhongqiujie kuaile’

September 13th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

A significant proportion of the global population – including the people of China – will today celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. You can learn more about this tradition here. There are many ways to wish friends and family good fortune and a happy Mid-Autumn Festival, but one of the most simple and commonly used ones is […]

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A review of “Born A Crime”, the childhood memoir of Trevor Noah

September 10th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I have been a massive fan of South African born Trevor Noah since in 2015 he took over the hosting of “The Daily Show”, an American satirical look at current affairs that I view religiously. This memoir covers the first two decades of his life before he became a professional comedian and it is written […]

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When a general election is actually held, could Labour win it?

September 9th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Most recent polls do not look good for Labour with Conservative leads of between 10% (Opinium) – 14% (YouGov). But there are many variables to consider and a major one is timing. ComRes has done a survey looking at voting intention before and after 31 October on the assumption that, before that date, there is […]

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A (very) brief history of the River Thames

September 7th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

For the last five months, I’ve lived in a flat in a block which is less than one minute’s walk from the River Thames as it snakes its way through central London. So I see the river every day and, throughout the day and night, it changes level and character considerably because of the tides. […]

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Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside …

September 5th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

… and today I’m off for a day trip to Brighton before summer is completely over. Of course, here in Britain, you’re never too far from the sea. But how far from the idea is the furthest location and where is that? The answers are 70 miles and the delightfully named Coton in the Elms […]

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A review of the art house film “The Souvenir”

September 3rd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Art house films always have limited appeal and, even though this one had rave reviews from critics, some people walked out of the screening that I attended of this British work written and directed by Joanna Hogg. It is terribly slow and exceedingly opaque, yet oddly compelling, and it certainly provokes thought and discussion. It […]

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If a week is a long time in politics, this week could be one of the most extraordinary you’ll ever know

September 2nd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Former Prime Minister Harold Wilson once noted that a week is a long time in politics. But even he never experienced the kind of week that lies ahead of us in the British parliamentary scene. It is going to be constitutionally fascinating and politically turbulent and historically seismic. As the “Guardian” summary puts it: Monday: […]

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