Category Archives: commentary

Communities, majorities, lobbies, and “The Taxpayers’ Alliance”

A blog hosted on The Economist site, of all places, questions the name of a particularly noisy Right-wing UK special interest group—and counterparts in the US: ONE of the many things that irritate me is people putting themselves forward as self-appointed “spokesmen”, claiming to speak on behalf of enormous masses of other people. Examples are […]

“Hugo Boss”

In Canada’s National Post, Christopher Hitchens reflects on the increasingly bizarre behaviour of the President of Venezuala, Hugo Chávez. I have embedded a link to the Washington Post article to which Hitchens refers: Recent accounts of Hugo Chavez’s politicized necrophilia may seem almost too lurid to believe, but I can testify from personal experience that […]

R2P not R2I

The latest edition of The Economist contains an excellent article about attempts to undermine the UN commitment (such as it is) to the “responsibility to protect” (R2P). It contains some important history: R2P is certainly not—to judge by a careful reading of its history—a mere ploy by rich and powerful countries to poke their noses […]

New UK Cabinet member and peer Glenys Kinnock speaks on the Responsibility To Protect

Most—almost all—of the media’s coverage of the ennoblement of Glenys Kinnock to permit her to become Europe Minister in the UK government has focused on the court politics. Glenys Kinnock was a Labour MEP and is the wife of former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, himself a former European Commissioner. Thanks to longstanding general public skepticism […]

More than the sum

Today, for the first time, the powerful Guardian Council of the Constitution, responsible for supervising the conduct of the recent disputed presidential election in Iran, acknowledged irregularities in more than 50 constituencies. The actual “irregularity” in these 50 cities is that over 100% of those eligible to vote are recorded as having done so. It […]

"Beyond Iraq: A New U.S. Strategy for the Middle East"

Richard N. Haass and Martin Indyk have an essay in the latest edition of Foreign Affairs in which they recommend policies to the new US President’s administration. Here are some of its suggestions: The improved situation in Iraq will allow the new administration to shift its focus to Iran, where the clock is ticking on a […]

Democratic Socialist: Bernard Hughes

In Independent Labour Publications’ Democratic Socialist, Bernard Hughes, a reluctant supporter, writes about the Euston Manifesto and the general phenomenon of online political blogging in Britain. He also coins the term “Eustonard”. Two questions about the Euston phenomenon arise from its life so far: first, is this a genuinely new form of political organisation that […]