Category Archives: Blog

(Thessaloniki, 29/09/17) A Tale of Two Cities: Referenda in Catalunya and Erbil

This week began with an internationally-condemned independence referendum took place in a regional capital in an intensely strategically-important part of the world, which the national government allowed to go ahead. It is set to end with an internationally-supported (or in the least positive responses, indifferently-greeted) independence vote, which the national government has used its police forces, and has the full support of both the national and regional court, to try its hardest to prevent. In … Continue reading

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A Spectre is haunting Europe; but not the one you may think

The official end of the EU’s refugee relocation programme, begun in September 2015, came at midnight last night, 26 September 2017. Despite setting its own target – of 160,000 refugees to be moved from Greece, Italy and Turkey to other EU member states (106,000 in total from Italy and Greece: 66,400 from Greece; 39,600 from Italy) – and giving itself two years to meet the target, only 28,782 people have actually been moved from Italian … Continue reading

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Cameron’s Folly: Libya, and the importance of looking forward

  (image shows Cameron and Sarkozy on their ‘victory’ visit to Libya, 15 September 2011, and the Sirte they created, at around the same time)   ‘Your friends in Britain and France will stand with you as you build your country and build your democracy for the future.’ David Cameron, address to the Libyan people, 15 September 2011. ‘(the UK government had) no proper idea what was going to happen, no proper understanding of Libya … Continue reading

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‘Africa’s Pinochet’, Ronald Reagan and death at sea: Chad and Libya, past and present

It is 19 June 1987. In the White House, the leader of the free world, Ronald Reagan, turns, smiling, toward his guest. Hissene Habre, dictator of Chad, dressed in traditional Tebu costume and leaning back in his chair, returns the leader of the free world’s grin. Reagan is not unusual: every politician has a photo – most more than one – which can be used to damn them. But on Monday (30 May 2016), almost … Continue reading

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