Section: World

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Norky’s ramblings: episode 8

Peter Norcliffe

True stories from ‘Norky’ who comes from Scapegoat Hill, a small, isolated farming village, high on the Pennines in West Yorkshire. You can catch up on his ramblings so far via his author page. The war took a different turn for my father in 1943. He had served on the Scillonian for about a year, plying between […]

EU cheese mountain may cause lasting damage to mental health, say experts

Jimmy Andrex

So, this dream I had, it was a film like Kill Bill, but with Emily Maitlis and Kay-Burley-off-Sky-News. Basically, they get so fed up doing clickbait interviews with whining trolls like Daniel Hannan or Darren Grimes, that they go on an intellectual Kung Fu Tag Team rampage, questioning right-wing dimwits to a pulp. In early […]

Going to Europe next year?

Sue Wilson

On 18 September, the newly merged Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office launched a public information campaign for post-Brexit travellers to Europe – Going to Europe next year? The campaign is designed to “help British travellers prepare for changes when visiting Europe from 1 January 2021”. Any new government campaign usually warrants a catchy new slogan, […]

Johnson’s mysterious Russian links continue to dog him

Anthony Robinson

The prime minister seems unable to shake off his mysterious connections to Russians and their money. The BBC is now reporting an $8m transaction between a Russian politician and the husband of Lubov Chernukhin, who is famous for donating £1.7m to the Tory party and paying handsomely for the privilege of playing tennis with David […]

The inspirational RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

John Harris

It is such sad news that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died. This is obviously not going to be an obituary (there will be plenty of those for us to read); it is intended as a personal tribute by someone who never met her, never heard her speak in person, never even saw her in person; […]

Biden fires warning shot across Johnson’s law-breaking plan

Anthony Robinson

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden last night tweeted a clear warning to Boris Johnson that he will not allow the Good Friday Agreement to become a “casualty of Brexit”.  The former vice president, whose Irish roots are in Ballina Co Mayo, has strongly supported the peace process and was quick to condemn any move that […]

Excuses, weakness and mendacity: the shambolic approach to Brexit continues

Lord Newby

As the government tries desperately to limit the domestic political damage caused by its plans in the internal market bill to break international law by unilaterally tearing up the withdrawal agreement, it has used a series of excuses to justify its position. Of these, perhaps the most pathetic was the agreement could be broken because […]

Johnson never intended to stick to the withdrawal agreement

Anthony Robinson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with President of the European Parliament David Sassoli for a meeting at Downing Street.

In what may be regarded as the ultimate in bad faith, last October – as the UK and EU teams were engaged in intensive final negotiations in Brussels – Johnson is alleged to have taken legal advice about repudiating the withdrawal agreement even before the text was completed. He was never committed to keeping the […]

US election 101: everything you need to know

Jack Walker

Tuesday 3 November will see incumbent President Donald Trump of the Republican Party square off against former Vice-President Joe Biden of the Democratic Party in the 2020 presidential election. There are a number of differences between elections in the United States and those in the United Kingdom, so read on for everything you need to […]

Will the Sochi summit herald the end-game for Lukashenko and Belarus?

Stephen Davis

Russia’s President Putin and Aleksandr Lukashenko, the self-proclaimed victor of Belarus’s disputed election of 9 August are meeting today (14 September) in Sochi, in a bid to agree how closure can be brought to the accelerating demands of the Belarusian people for the incumbent president to go. Despite a campaign of intimidation and brutal violence […]

The apple of my eye

Meryl White

This has to be one of the best apple pie recipes I’ve ever tasted, so when my neighbour passed me a large bag of apples, it gave me a perfect excuse to bake it. The recipe comes from a Dutch friend of mine, Cobi, who told me that there are many different versions, but this […]

Brexit stage set for showdown, as EU vice president reads Gove the riot act

Anthony Robinson
Vice President Šefčovič

Following hard on the heels of the government’s announcement on Tuesday that it intends to break international law by allowing the UK internal market bill (UKIM) to supersede parts of the withdrawal agreement, EU Vice President Marcoš Šefčovič flew to London earlier today. In a meeting with Michael Gove, he read him the diplomatic equivalent […]

Johnson now heading for his own Suez moment

Anthony Robinson
Boris Johnson in Downing Street

In 1956, prime minister Anthony Eden conspired with France and Israel to invade Egypt and recover control of the Suez Canal, which had been seized by president Nasser. It was an act of monumental hubris and Britain was eventually forced to withdraw under pressure from the USA and Russia. It was a seminal moment and […]

How will Covid-19 affect Europe’s beloved Schengen?

Kerry Pearson

“The risk we are facing is the death of Schengen.” Emmanuel Macron to EU leaders, 26 March 2020 As if Brexit was not enough to disrupt the harmony of the EU, Covid-19 poses a huge threat to European free travel. The ‘Schengen Area’, set up thirty-five years ago, is the passport-free EU zone that spans […]

The end of democracy or the big reveal?

Juliet Lodge

Something stinks and it’s not just the fish. Britain is rotting from its heart, as its democratic institutions and processes are eroded from within. It’s not just individual things, like cutting the number of days parliament sits, and thereby cutting the time available for MPs to make the government publicly accountable (we know that if […]

Covid-19: four scenarios for our future

Jimmy Andrex

What might the future living with Covid-19 actually look like? STAT magazine, an online journal for health professionals based in Boston, Massachusetts, asked eminent epidemiologists for their best (informed) guesses as to how things might pan out: “Will it always have the capacity to make us so sick? Will our immune systems learn — and […]

Trussed up farmers

Andy Brown

You have to hand it to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss. She can voice two contradictory ideas in one speech better than almost anyone else in the Cabinet. Even when speaking to Yorkshire farmers. So the front page of the Yorkshire Post on 28 August reported her giving an absolute re-assurance to farmers and consumers […]

Brexit brings the end of an era for UK sellers on Amazon

Lisa Burton

Many may find it surprising to find out that over 50 percent of Amazon’s sales come from third-party sellers who use Amazon’s marketplaces to list and sell their products. Changes coming to Amazon’s European fulfilment services when the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December will have a significant impact on many UK and EU sellers. […]

The fight for democracy in Belarus continues

Stephen Davis

The stand-off between the official ‘winner’ of Belarus’s rigged presidential election, Aleksandr Lukashenko, and the growing coalition of opposition groups has been continuing this week in Minsk and other towns and cities throughout the country. While the opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has begun to set up a broad-based coordination council to oversee a peaceful transition […]

Assault on our food and healthcare: double whammy from the USA

Martin Brooks

With a US trade deal, the UK faces the doubly damaging prospect of the arrival of both American food and American healthcare products and services. The combination threatens the nation’s health and the NHS’s wellbeing. This is a variation of the good old American win-win, but while America wins both ways, we lose twice. The […]

Norky’s ramblings: episode 6

Peter Norcliffe

In 1890, my great grandparents Joseph and Eliza Senior took the whole family to Sagan in what was then Germany (now Żagań in Poland). This is where a Yorkshire mill owner called Oldroyd set up a textile factory (which is still running today, now in local Polish ownership). He took a skilled labour force with him fro

Escalating crisis in Belarus

Stephen Davis

One week after the election that, according to the regime, saw Aleksandr Lukashenko re-elected for a sixth term, the political crisis continues to escalate. On the morning after last Sunday’s vote, the main opposition candidate, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, lodged a complaint at the offices of the Central Electoral Commission in Minsk, challenging the result which gave […]

Brexit backing billionaire plans to open new car plant – in France

Anthony Robinson

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, founder of the chemical company Ineos and Britain’s richest man, plans to open a car plant in France to build the successor to the 4×4 Land Rover Defender which was discontinued in 2016. Ratcliffe, who was a supporter of Brexit, reportedly moved to Monaco in 2019 in order to avoid paying £4bn […]

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