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
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
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
A delusion appears to have gripped those charged with negotiating Brexit. Egged on by the right-wing media and its jingoistic invocations of Britain's 'bulldog spirit', the Prime Minister and much of her cabinet appear to be in thrall to the idea that it will be possible for the UK to leave the EU yet nevertheless secure better … Continue reading Schrödinger’s Brexit
In Britain and beyond, 2017 has been quite the year: A surprise general election result. The ongoing saga that is Brexit, and that is the Trump presidency, too. Famine, war and ethnic cleansing across large swathes of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Terrorism, foreign and domestic, actual and virtual. The North Korean problem. Revelations about endemic tax avoidance on … Continue reading New Year, New Politics?
Of all the difficult issues (citizens' rights, existing financial obligations, future trading relationship, role of the European Court) that the ongoing Brexit negotiations present, the Irish border question is arguably turning out to be the most awkward of them all. On the one hand, as per the Good Friday Agreement there's a pressing need to retain a … Continue reading Up the proverbial: Brexit and the Irish border question
If a la Peter principle politicians, too, rise to the level of their incompetence, then in going one step further Theresa May can perhaps lay claim to the (dis)honour of being the exception that proves the rule. In her six years as Home Secretary May distinguished herself as an instinctive authoritarian who failed to meet key targets and left … Continue reading Eighteen months of May
When Donald Trump was elected president last year feminists the world over despaired. Here was a man who thought nothing of demeaning women, especially those with the temerity to stand-up to him, who'd even been caught on tape bragging about using his fame as a cover for engaging in unwanted sexual advances, genital grabbing included. Not only that, US voters had … Continue reading Enough is enough: the rise of fourth-wave feminism
After almost 40 years in power, at the ripe old age of 93, the Zimbabwean premier Robert Mugabe has finally been overthrown. In the end, it was a coup by his own generals that did for the once feted anti-colonial leader turned corrupt despot. It appears the military felt compelled to act in order to prevent Mugabe's wife … Continue reading Where next for Zimbabwe?
On 23rd June, 2016, the British public decided to plunge British politics into a period of profound uncertainty, by voting to leave the European Union. Now, this is not the place to pour over the reasons for that decision. Nor to argue for its reversal. A majority, however slender, voted in favour of Brexit—and Brexit is what … Continue reading Staring into the abyss: Brexit and British politics.