Why Trump’s Reticence on Russia?

In The Economist this week, Trump is warned that he may be outfoxed by Putin similar to the way in which the two previous American Presidents were outwitted by this fearless Russian politician. America is already on the back foot because Trump is wasting his energy either berating the media or fighting his own intelligence…

For a joyful hour or two, go see David Hockney at Tate Britain

The David Hockney exhibition opens this week at Tate Britain in London and it’s a glorious feast for the eyes, a sensorial overload not to be missed. “…. you would have to be very determined not to yield to joy and the memory of love, and youth and sheer pleasure in life”.  Philip Hensher “Inspiration…

New Leader of the Free World

Letter to my American Family 18.11.2016 Ever since that awful night last week, it’s been on my mind to send my condolences to my American family.  I stayed up till almost 2am to watch history in the making – a woman leading the free world – but sadly it was not to be.  By then,…

An Establishment Apology on Brexit

My Newspaper Article of the Year  27.1.2017 Often regarded at home and abroad as one of Britain’s leading historians, Niall Ferguson, a Stanford University professor and a regular columnist in the Sunday Times wrote this header on 11 December 2016: “Sorry I was wrong to fight Brexit to keep my friends in No. 10 and…

Philip Roth’s Take on Trump

Destitute of all Decency In an interview with the New Yorker this week, Philip Roth compares the premise of his book,  “The Plot Against America” with current political activities emanating from the White House in the wake of Trump’s installation as President.  In the plot in Roth’s book published in 2004, “victory upends not only…

Trump

During the Presidential campaign Trump’s critics and the Press took him literally but not seriously but those who voted for him took him seriously but not literally.   So say the commentators today in the wake of his shock win and imminent inauguration. That statement does not need much unpicking but it powerfully explains the…

Don’t blame Globalisation

The backlash in the West against globalisation is misplaced.  Globalisation and the free movement of goods, services and people is not new, it’s existed for centuries and it worked in our favour when we we part of an Empire but in the last decade or two it has benefitted the East to our detriment.  …

Why I stopped buying FairTrade

When you pay that little bit extra for your bunch of bananas with the Fairtrade sticker, please be aware that only a fraction of that price ends up in the hands of the farmers/producers.  Middlemen take the most of it.  And when it comes to Fairtrade coffee, the World Bank worked out that for one…

Global Economy

The system that as emerged in the past thirty years and still dominates is a system that privatises profit, nationalises losses and socialises risk.

Patriotism and its true meaning

“I realise that patriotism is not enough.  I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone”. Those are the words of the wisely courageous Edith Louisa Cavell (1865-1915).   Cavell was a British nurse who helped the Allied soldiers to escape occupied Belgium.  A monument is dedicated to her in London just opposite the entrance…