Archive for January, 2020

While British politics has calmed down a lot, American politics remains as exciting as ever

January 31st, 2020 by Roger Darlington

By the end of today, Britain will have left the European Union after being a member for 47 years. A foreign friend asked me if there was an air of excitement. I explained that, since the decisive general election of 12 December 2019, there has been a sense of resignation. Those who supported Brexit thought […]

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

Last of the RAF’s Battle of Britain fighter aces dies – but the victory was not a wholly British effort

January 30th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The Battle of Britain in 1940 was a decisive turning point in British history and we owe an immense debt of gratitude to the 3,000 Royal Air Force pilots who defended this country against a proposed German invasion. We have just heard the news that the last of the British aces of that conflict has […]

Posted in History | Comments (0)

Could the explanation for dark energy be something called massive gravity?

January 25th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Sometimes it’s good to raise our eyes above national and global politics and think about cosmological matters. For instance, why is the universe expanding at an accelerating rate when the known laws of physics suggest that this ballooning should be slowing down? The explanation might be something to do with what scientists have called dark […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)

Who would be the Democrats’ best choice to defeat Donald Trump in the battle for the White House?

January 24th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The ‘New York Times” editorial board spent a lot of time talking with the candidates and deliberating on their preferred individual. In the end and most unusually, they decide to back two candidates: Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar. This feature is a thoughtful assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the different personalities running for the candidacy, […]

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (0)

How liberal is America’s Democratic Party?

January 21st, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Last weekend, I went on a one-day course at London’s City Literary Institute with the title “Liberalism And The Democratic Party: From FDR To Today”. The course was delivered by Brian Kennedy, a knowledgeable and eloquent American who hails from Boston. We were told that a progressive wing of American politics first developed in the […]

Posted in American current affairs, History | Comments (0)

A review of the important new film “Bombshell”

January 19th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The #MeToo movement has been a much-needed and long-overdue exposition of the scale and severity of sexual harassment especially in the workplace. This important film sets out how one powerful man – Roger Ailes, the founder of the hugely successful Fox News television network – was eventually brought down for his appalling behaviour (although his […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

How has democracy fared in the last 30 years? Some rough times, but some causes for hope.

January 18th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

If you have a bit of time for a read this weekend, this article from the “Journal of Democracy” is well worth your attention. The piece concludes: “It would be wrong to end this overview on a purely pessimistic note. Over the past century, democracy has gone through many ups and downs. The current crisis […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

Birthday greetings to Michelle (and Catrin) – and a review of “Becoming”

January 17th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Today is the birthday of former American First Lady Michelle Obama (as well as my granddaughter no 1 Catrin) and this is as good an excuse as any to reprint my review of her bestselling biography “Becoming” and to recommend it to you (if you haven’t already read it). “Becoming” by Michelle Obama Barack and Michelle […]

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (0)

Feeling cold? Try “Frozen”.

January 15th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

“Frozen” “Frozen” will always have a special place in my heart because it was the first film seen by my granddaughter Catrin (one month short of her third birthday). We saw it with her little friend James (just three months older) who was also making his first visit to the cinema. Both sat through all […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

A review of the Sam Mendes film “1917”

January 12th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Director Sam Mendes stunned cinema-goers with his opening sequence for the James Bond movie “Spectre”, set during The Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City, when it appeared to be shot in one take of seven minutes (actually done in three shots). In retrospect, we can see that this was just a trial run […]

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)