Section: World

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Symbols and cynicism: Britain’s cultural war

Jacob Taylor

Symbols are the cultural and political currency of the day. From the Thursday evening clap-for-careers, rainbows in the windows, taking the knee, or toppling statues – the political battlefield in Britain is by some being turned into a cultural war in which image takes precedence over substance. Symbols are important, they allow us to represent […]

There’s no ‘I’ in the real dream

Mo Kanjilal and Susie Courtault

In the social movements of the 21st century, collaborative women are showing the way. Social movements in history have usually been centred on a charismatic male figure with a famous quote. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech is a leadership speech full of hope and inspiration on posters on many students’ walls. Think […]

Katyn: Russian war crime denial again? (updated article)

Jan Ledóchowski

On 7 May, a plaque to the victims of the Katyn massacres was removed from the wall of the former NKVD building (People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) in Tver, a city 110 miles northeast of Moscow. Victims’ families protested and the Polish community in the UK wrote to the Russian ambassador in London, but there […]

Daddy’s Girl finally faces the music

Rick Dillon

Jeffrey Epstein was not the first monster in Ghislaine Maxwell’s life. That ‘accolade’ goes to her late father Robert Maxwell, newspaper proprietor and one-time Labour MP, described by those who knew him as a confidence trickster, cheat and bully, who bamboozled corporate Britain in the late 1980s and early 1990s and swindled his way to […]


EU launches its own shock and awe campaign early

Anthony Robinson

For some weeks the British government has been planning a “shock and awe” campaign to warn British businesses that they have less than six months to prepare for Brexit; but the EU has beaten them to it.  As the latest round of talks on the future relationship finished in London yesterday, with Barnier tweeting there […]

Tasty chemicals: is your food safe?

Andy Brown

There aren’t many companies in the world that would pay out ten billion dollars in compensation if there wasn’t a problem. Yet that is how much the giant German drug company Bayer is reported to have agreed in order to settle claims made by users of products containing glyphosate in the USA who believed it […]

Covid-19: the Achilles’ heel of the world’s populist leaders

Marc Limon

The rise of populist leaders around the world, with their particularly Orwellian brand of post-truth politics, has been one of the defining geopolitical trends of the past five years. From Trump to Orban, Bolsonaro to Johnson, and Erdogan to Modi, these politicians have seemed to carry all before them. Yet perhaps they have finally met […]

EU covid response: solidarity in action

Professor Juliet Lodge

Can the UK afford to ignore what the EU is doing on Covid-19? Or will it gradually try to join in with its ambitious plans for the future? Opening pubs at 6am was another U-turn for the government. But it didn’t deflect attention from it casually letting drop that the UK would participate in EU […]

Black Lives Matter and the Benin Bronzes

Charlie McCarthy

The message to those in similar positions of influence remains simple. Be the change you want to be. Use you influence, move the British Museum into the twenty-first century. By changing the dialogue and presenting British history from the viewpoint of the colonised as well as the colonisers, you could make it an even more interesting place to visit.

Knock-knock: Amazon calling

Andrew Milson

A reader’s story. In January, one of their vans got stuck in our lawn. Properly stuck. So stuck they had to wait several hrs until a truck arrived to winch them out … Knock-knock it off Amazon. Sort out your app.

Who pays the Tory Party piper?

Charlie McCarthy

Large donations to the Conservative Party and the delayed publication of the Russia report are harming our democracy. Politics costs money, lots of it. ‘Short money’ is the UK state’s attempt to fund our politics and ensure opposition to the government exists in our democratic system. The opposition political party receive £16k per seat and […]

US healthcare: “Profit-driven corporate model is failing”

Anthony Robinson

A former vice-president of Cigna, an American health insurance company based in Bloomfield, Connecticut, has launched a stinging attack on the US private healthcare system, comparing its dire performance during the pandemic with that of Canada’s mainly publicly funded and universally available arrangements known as Medicare. Using Twitter, Wendell Potter has admitted that his company previously […]

Are you being gamed by the algorithms?

Jimmy Andrex

I can dance, I can dance in my new lockdown pants! Are your pants giving you hot, sticky torture? Looking for that ice silk feel from a unique rhombus vent design? Me neither, but Facebook appears to think I need lots of pairs of elasticated shorts. I can barely find my bubble of benign bigotry […]

Is modern factory farming any better than the slave trade?

Richard Sadler

Last Friday Regan Russell, an activist who’s been campaigning for animal rights since 1977, died when she was hit by a lorry transporting pigs to slaughter. It was a searing hot day and, like countless times before, she’d been feeding the terrified animals water through the slats in the side of the lorry trailer as […]

EU considering suing China over Hong Kong’s national security law

Clarissa Leung

The European parliament is considering taking legal action against China in the United Nations’ highest court – the International Court of Justice. This is in response to China’s decision to impose a national security law in Hong Kong and its position that the Sino-British Joint Declaration is an invalid ‘historic document’. A draft resolution on […]

Time to drop the silly shibboleths

Richard Corbett

One of the more ludicrous aspects of the ongoing standoff between the government and the EU is the announcement by Michael Gove that, for reasons of “national sovereignty”, it will not countenance the EU having an office in Northern Ireland.  Yet, the USA has a fully fledged consulate in Northern Ireland. So do China, India, Poland […]

The hypocrisy and incompetence of the US and China

Clarissa Leung

Government buildings and police stations set ablaze, multinational businesses wrecked with bricks, enraged protesters on the streets being tear-gassed and shot at by police officers. Are these the symptoms of the 2020 pandemic? I’m not talking about the coronavirus. I am referring to the contagion of incompetent, unfeeling governments who are ordering the deaths of people fighting for basic rights.

New travel quarantine rules too late for UK

Jane Dawson

Home Secretary Priti Patel, this week confirmed that almost all arrivals to the UK will be expected to isolate for 14 days. Three months into the lockdown, introducing a quarantine period now is too late. Back in March when the prospect of a UK lockdown still seemed the stuff of fiction, I was working in […]

Stop gaslighting the US protesters

Beanna Olding

Full disclosure. I am a white British woman benefiting white privilege. Ever heard of the term ‘racial tone policing’? I hadn’t until a few days ago, nose buried in Layla Saad’s fantastically eye-opening book Me and White Supremacy. Racial tone policing is the act of taking offence when a person of colour talks with emotion […]

George Floyd: one week on

Sam Slater

A man died on the streets of a major American city whilst being restrained by police officers, pleading that he ‘couldn’t breathe’. Onlookers watched, horrified and powerless until he was motionless. That man was Eric Garner, a 43-year-old accused of selling cigarettes without a tax stamp. The video of his homicide at the hands of […]

Dealing with a racist USA

Charlie McCarthy

A new challenge for the UK, an old problem for the USA. One week after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of Minneapolis Police, America is again at war with itself, with many cities resembling scenes last seen in history books recounting the civil liberties struggles of 1968. We are the […]

Johnson’s ignorance will cast a long shadow over Ireland

Anthony Robinson

The British government grudgingly published a command paper on the Northern Ireland protocol last week, in response to pressure from the EU to set out the detailed steps the UK is taking to implement the withdrawal agreement signed in January. The paper reveals just how much is still unresolved, with both sides relying on the […]

Build back better: culture after covid

Natalie Bennett

“Build back better” is a phrase, and a hashtag, that’s being increasingly used in reference to an approach to societies learning to live with the threat of coronavirus for the foreseeable future. It’s a phrase that acknowledges that going back to the old ‘normal’ is not just impossible, but actively undesirable. Our societies were racked […]