Rumours of Peace.

  Few satirists could have conceived of such a scene. It was too perfect in its surreal edge. With Ariel Sharon lying entombed, Tony Blair took his position at the nearby podium and gave one of his usual performances. Sporting a yarmulke, most unnaturally, Tony oozed counterfeit solemnity “The same iron determination he took to […]

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Proxy Motivations.

The backbone of calls for intervention has long been Turkey. How may we make sense of this? The government of Erdogan has its own fantasies of neo-Ottoman glory and may want to reassert its authority and influence over the region it ran for so long. That goes hand-in-hand with the old aim of carving a […]

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When Assad was ‘Our Bastard’…

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Dubai is an autocracy built on slave labour. Why would you go on holiday there?

This week’s news that three British tourists arrested for drug possession have been tortured by Emirati police* while in custody has – understandably – been met with all the horror you’d expect from the British press, and with all the empty bleating you’d expect from Foreign Office spokespeople desperate not to upset a country that’s […]

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In defence of caring about discrimination

It may not have happened yet, but yesterday’s news of Bristol University Christian Union’s sexist policy on women speakers makes one thing practically certain. As with every other time there’s a story in the news about bigotry (especially sexism), there’ll be someone, somewhere who’ll step forward to defend it. In fact, it’ll most likely be […]

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A lawyer unto himself and his people

Unusa Karimu’s people, the Mbororo, are a marginalised semi-nomadic community of cattle herders in Cameroon. The daily persecution and exploitation they face at the hands of government and wealthy elites inspired Mr Karimu to become a lawyer so he could defend their human rights in court. Karimu talks to Salman Shaheen about his struggle against […]

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Yes, suspected terrorists should be free to walk the streets

Abu Qatada is a nasty piece of work. Probably. From yesterday evening’s coverage of his release, it’s actually surprisingly difficult to find any specifics as to what it is he’s actually supposed to have done – according to the Guardian “judges accept [he] remains a threat to national security”, and the Daily Mail quotes someone […]

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A Nuclear Meltdown Is Not A Natural Disaster

I’m sure your thoughts are with Japan. If not, read now. The death count is unbearable, the initial Hollywood-style video footage has become merely a prelude to the suffering which is happening in its wake. In Haiti last year, the earthquake brought with it artificial disasters: US imperialism. the squabbling cash divisions of NGOs, everything […]

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David Cameron, straw man slayer extraordinaire

Cameron said: “I simply don’t understand how you can’t understand how democracies have a right to defend themselves. I would have thought this argument is particularly powerful right here in Kuwait which, 20 years ago, was invaded by a thuggish bullying neighbour who disrespected your sovereignty, invaded your country and destroyed parts of your capital […]

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G20 Must End Tax Haven Secrecy

I swore I’d never write about tax in my private life, but given tax avoidance kills 1,000 children in the developing world every day since these countries lose more through multinational corporations shifting taxable profits abroad than they receive in aid, I feel the need to post this very important press release I received from Christian Aid today. Tuesday 8 […]

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