Category Archives: Politics

Using Torture properly (?) a lesson for the USA

Empirical evidence on contemporary torture is sparse. The archives of the Spanish Inquisition* provide a detailed historical source of quantitative and qualitative information about interrogational torture. The inquisition tortured brutally and systematically, willing to torment all who it deemed as … Continue reading

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Havering’s ‘Streets in the Sky’

Tower Block Residents High rise tenants and leaseholders pay for communal lighting as a separate charge. This additional to Council tax. Apart from Tower Block Residents Council tax covers street lighting, which is part of the service embedded within the … Continue reading

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British Health and Covid-19

Coronavirus is a well understood disease.* There are international strategies in place for meeting the challenges which are presented. Covid-19 is a novel sub-species of a well known disease. Public ignorance, fuelled by governments, has given it lethal qualities which, … Continue reading

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Black Lives Matter, Covid-19 and Democracy in Sydney, Australia

“As tragic as it is that we are in a situation where freedom of speech isn’t as free as we would like it to be at the moment,” [Police Minister] Mr Elliott said.* When the Sydney Black Lives Matter planned … Continue reading

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Book Review: Short Notices

Robert Dallek ~ Franklin D Roosevelt: a political life (2016) The title says everything you need to know about Roosevelt. Everything that he did was filtered through a meticulous political calculation. Sometimes the outcome was gruesome and unconscionable such as … Continue reading

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If We Must Die

If we must die, let it not be like hogs Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, Making their mock at our accursèd lot. If we must die, O let us … Continue reading

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Vladimir Putin’s favourite joke

A KGB colonel visits a Siberian youth prison , “Why are you here?” He asked the first youth. “For the past week my clock woke me up early so I got into work early. I’m convicted of being a spy … Continue reading

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Brexit, Northern Ireland and Unification

The 2016 Brexit referendum aggregated all UK votes into a single total. England’s majority swamped the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish vote, which immediately cast a doubt on the idea of a shared political identity. Brexit’s authority however depended on … Continue reading

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A J P Taylor on the Nuremberg Trials

Twenty years ago [1963] I published a book about the origins of the Second World War. At the time it was dismissed as wrong-headed and controversial. Now it has become the accepted version for most people. But there still lurks … Continue reading

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Book Review: P J O’Rourke ~ Holidays in Hell (1988)

Satire notoriously ages badly. So much of it depends on the readers knowledge of the setting and personality of what is being satirised. Once the moment is gone so has the point of the humour. Consider the cartoon below. It … Continue reading

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