Archive for February, 2020


Thank you and farewell “Madam Secretary”

February 15th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I suppose all good things have to come to an end and I’ve just watched the last episode of the American television series “Madam Secretary”. The series began in 2014 and seasons 1-5 each had between 20-23 episodes. The sixth and last season has concluded with just 10 episodes, making 120 episodes in all. I’ve […]

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A review of the important new movie “Queen & Slim”

February 14th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

How many American films have a black woman as both writer and director and black actors in both the lead roles and in most of the support roles? But this is how it should be for a work that reflects the Black Lives Matter agenda and it is a genre-blending triumph, part thriller-cum-social commentary, part […]

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Sajid Javid has resigned as Chancellor rather than sack his Special Advisers, but who are Special Advisers?

February 13th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Special Advisers – or SpAds as they known in political circles – are a small number of political advisers appointed by each Secretary of State to serve that Cabinet Minister only for the duration of that minister being in the office. Some have specialist knowledge of the subject matter of the Government Department headed by […]

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Why has it taken so long for the UK to move on regulation of the Internet?

February 13th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

For six years (2000-2005), I was the first independent Chair of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), an industry-funded body which combats illegal content, primarily child abuse images, online. We had significant success, certainly in eliminating the hosting of child abuse images in the UK. However, I was concerned that there was other material online which, […]

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How many people have been into space?

February 12th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I was born in 1948, so I was a teenager when the so-called Space Race between the USSR and the USA was at its height. It seemed that, every few months, there was a new first: the first satellite in space, the first dog in space, the first man in space, the first woman in […]

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A review of the Academy Award-winning film “Parasite”

February 10th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I saw this South Korean work just hours before it won four Academy Awards making it the first non-English language film to win Best Picture in the 92 years of the Oscars. Impressive though “Parasite” is, I’m not sure that it’s quite¬†that¬†good. I would probably have made different choices for Best Picture (“Joker”), Best Director […]

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Here’s a wonderful toolkit for all teachers who want to inspire their students

February 10th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

“Values And Visions” is a book written to engage students between 8-16 years old and to empower the teachers of such students with a conceptual framework and no less than 130 practical exercises. This work of over 300 pages looks, feels, and reads like no other book you will have ever seen in a classroom: […]

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Now that Brexit is ‘done’, what happens next?

February 7th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

A week ago, the United Kingdom left the European Union after membership of 47 years. In a practical sense, nothing changed because we now have a transition period but, in an emotional sense, everything changed because – depending on your point of view – either we took back or control or (my view) we stupidly […]

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A review of “The Secret Commonwealth” by Philip Pullman

February 5th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

This is the second part of the trilogy “The Book Of Dust”, following the original trilogy of “His Dark Materials”. This novel is a sequel to the first three, set some 10 years after them and therefore some 20 years after “La Belle Sauvage” which was the first part of “The Book Of Dust”. The […]

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American politics in (in)action

February 4th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

They can’t impeach a president who is as guilty as hell. They can’t count caucus votes in one of the least populous states in the union. If you want to know more about the American political system, check out my guide. But we Brits can’t be smug. We couldn’t hold a clean referendum on the […]

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