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The times are a-changin’

Following the end of the Cold War a new international political consensus quickly emerged. The collapse of the Soviet Union had shown the western model of democratic capitalism to be the superior system and that, it seemed, was that. As both the lone remaining superpower and paragon of triumphant liberal values the US would from now on serve … Continue reading The times are a-changin’

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Dealing with the devil: the paradox of nuclear weapons and world peace

The more nuclear weapons there are in the world, the greater the risk of a species-ending catastrophe involving them. That's hardly a controversial statement, at least on the face of it. After all, the grave threat nuclear warfare poses to humanity's continued survival is the very reason why the world's major powers have long been committed—in treaty … Continue reading Dealing with the devil: the paradox of nuclear weapons and world peace

Is winning everything? The Corbyn conundrum

Before last June's general election the overwhelming Westminster consensus was that a Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn stood no chance of winning. History (1983, Foot and all that), countless polls and some seemingly telling by-election results (Copeland in particular, the first gain by a governing party since 1982, in a seat Labour'd held since 1935)—all appeared to … Continue reading Is winning everything? The Corbyn conundrum

The war on drugs and the long march towards cannabis legalisation

The legalisation of cannabis and other 'soft' drugs is an issue that should be much higher up the political agenda. The so-called 'war on drugs', declared by then US president Richard Nixon in 1971, has failed in every imaginable way. Despite hundreds of billions in government spending, overflowing prisons and countless lives lost or ruined, prohibition … Continue reading The war on drugs and the long march towards cannabis legalisation

A brief note on America’s gun problem

Since the Columbine High School massacre in April 1999—where two heavily-armed students engaged in a spree of violence that left 13 dead and almost double that injured, before then turning their weapons on themselves—there have been more than 200 school shootings on American soil. Not all of these were mass shootings like the most recent tragedy (17 … Continue reading A brief note on America’s gun problem

Meat-eating in the spotlight

Over the last decade or so, what we eat has become an area of significant public interest. 21st century humans are not only interested in the question of what constitutes a balanced, nutritious diet. They're also increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of, and animal welfare issues arising from, modern agricultural practices. The underlying sentiment, utilitarian in tone, is … Continue reading Meat-eating in the spotlight

Dealing with the DPRK

North Korea is fast becoming the biggest headache in international politics. Indeed, when it comes to the question of what to do about the so-called hermit kingdom—along with the pot-bellied boy king who rules over it—the world is caught between a rock and a hard place. Between, that is, an ongoing humanitarian crisis and existential nuclear threat that … Continue reading Dealing with the DPRK