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Last Thursday (24th September) saw the beginning of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim festival which celebrates the commitment of Abraham to sacrifice his son* to God (read also Yahweh and/or Allah – such is the nature of the ‘children of the book’), and the deity’s last-minute decision to grant a stay of execution. (more…)

The State(s) We’re In

It has been a long time since I wrote for this site about Libya. The summer’s ongoing refugee crisis, as well as a series of media appearances to discuss and debate it, and a recent short visit to Greece, have combined to take priority from North Africa’s failing state. (more…)

Stepping Back – Part 2

........The following morning (Thursday 3rd September) I was interviewed on Sky TV. It’s a slightly strange experience being interviewed in a different studio from the one the hosts are in because – though you are expected to keep your eyes on a camera in front of you, the screen and speakers through which you can see and hear what is going on are slightly beyond your left foot. (more…)

Stepping Back – Part 1

On Wednesday afternoon (2 September), as I travelled across London to an interview with BBC Radio Scotland, I looked across the tube carriage and read the headline on the afternoon’s Evening Standard: ‘Migrant Crisis:’ it read. ’13 Hour Eurostar Ordeal’. Setting aside the newspaper’s choice of the word ‘migrant’, ahead of the less inflammatory – and less incorrect - ‘refugee’ (more…)

Enough!

This piece was inspired by my genuine outrage – which I still feel, extremely strongly – at the firing of stun grenades by police at innocent men, women and children on the Macedonian border last Saturday (22 August). Since I completed it on Tuesday 25, seventy-one people have been found dead in the back of a lorry travelling through Austria, and yesterday (Thursday 27) around 450 people drowned in the Mediterranean when the boats they
Early in June, I wrote a piece on this site entitled ‘Drawbridges’. In it, I compared the increasing trend of governments to respond to international crises by attempting to shut themselves off from the world around them, to the Mediaeval practice of building castles, digging moats and pulling up drawbridges. This was intended as a convenient metaphor, but as I have noted several times, the actual behaviour of nations in the last couple of months

Who waits?

Last week, I contrasted the false crisis at Calais – in which 5,000 people who have been living in one-person tents for six months are presented as a threat to the UK – with a manifestation of the real international refugee crisis, in which thousands of people have drowned in the Mediterranean. Over the last seven days, sadly, the game has remained the same – only the details have changed. (more…)
While UK attention remains focussed on the situation at Calais, events closer to the homelands of the 5,000 people trapped there continue to remind us why they were forced from their homes to begin with. Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron visited the migrants perched on the edge of the Channel last week, Green Party politicians are set to follow suit this week, Songs of Praise has filmed a sequence at the makeshift church some migrants
Over the course of the last week, I have taken part in TV and radio interviews regarding the situation in Calais. As noted in my previous blog, which was written after I was interviewed by the BBC World Service and Radio 4 (28 July – you can listen here) about attempts by 2,000 people at Calais to force their way onto trains and vehicles due to travel to the UK, there is a danger of

Short-term Solutions

            Earlier last week (28 – well, technically 29 July at 1am) I was interviewed by the BBC World Service on the subject of migration. You can listen to it here: http://tinyurl.com/papbn2h (more…)

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