America First is the Foreign Policy Equivalent of Junk Food

  Here in the U.K., we often say that when the American economy gets a cold, Britain gets flu.  Even though that phrase was originally coined decades ago, the premise is still relevant in 2018.    However,  it’s a little too simplistic for a complex world undergoing huge change not least the challenges to advanced…

Disagree by all means but please don’t be disagreeable

“In Washington, you can disagree.  But you must not be disagreeable.” Anna Chennault   How appropriate are these astute words in the current hostile political climate both domestically and globally.  And equally, how appropriate in life generally is this sentiment, not least in the anonymity of the social media swirl – surely this would be the…

Thomas Jefferson’s Ten Rules

  On this day, 22 March, more than 200 years ago, (1790) Thomas Jefferson became America’s first Secretary of State under President George Washington.  As one of the founding fathers and the author of the Declaration of Independence, he provided political and moral leadership at a critical time in America’s history. Today, amid the revolving…

David Frum on Trump’s Corruption of America

  Trumpocracy – The Corruption of the American Republic by David Frum Earlier this month, I had the good fortune to be in Washington DC visiting family while David Frum was publicising his new book, Trumpocracy – The Corruption of the American Republic.   Frum was speaking at Politics & Prose which is not simply a bookshop…

Brexit and People Like Us (PLU)

  For anyone still interested in why the British public voted for Brexit, the extract below from the Financial Times last year in a letter from Mr Keith Craig, London SW7, perfectly encapsulates a complex set of circumstances into a pithy and succinct explanation.  You would be hard pressed to find anything better. Many would…

Russia: We Drank Champagne in Vain

The American Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson met with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, a few days ago following the recent imposition of new UN sanctions on Russia.   Nevertheless, instead of closing the door on its relations with Russia, Tillerson promised to deal pragmatically with Moscow – whatever that may mean.  Perhaps similar to…

Adam Smith – Still very relevant today

The ideal economy is one that is both profitable and civilised Today marks the birthday of Adam Smith (16 June 1723) who was one of the greatest thinkers in the history of economics.   He promoted the idea of a free-market economy suggesting it as the route to the healthiest and most stable society.  In…

Terrorism

“The goal of terrorists is to instil a level of fear in the public disproportionate to the actual threat.”   Chris Murphy, American Senator, Connecticut   The British philosopher, A.C. Grayling recently said that the aim of terrorism is to frighten civilian populations into forcing their governments to concede.  “It takes only a few determined…

John F Kennedy’s 100th Birthday

Today would have been John F Kennedy’s 100th birthday. As a child born and brought up in Ireland, the photograph of John F Kennedy adorned our ‘parlour’ wall right next to the Sacred Heart lamp which supported a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  If I recall correctly, our wall decoration was no different from…

Korea – North vs South and why it matters to America

Between them, President Kim Jong Un, his father and grandfather have ruled North Korea with a firm grip for the last 85 years.  The current President is a particular worry to his neighbours and to America not because he’s partial to vast parades, massive firework displays but principally because his nuclear power ambitions, which might…