Answer Coming Soon

San_Giorgio_Maggiore_20070710-1 (1)Seven thousand journalists were descending on Venice for the G-7 Summit. All were ready to pounce on the tiny Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in the yawning jaw of the Grand Canal, but few would ever make it to that protected redoubt. There the principals would soon arrive, and do much of their real negotiations behind closed doors at the dining room tables, away from the glare of the public sessions and briefings. Continue reading Answer Coming Soon

An EVEL Day for Britain?

big-ben-450819_640Having just survived a bitterly-contested vote over Scottish independence, Britain is now plunging headlong into yet another identity crisis. This one is called, “English Votes for English Laws”—EVEL for short. Continue reading An EVEL Day for Britain?

Scotland Votes: the Logic and Rhetoric of the Independence Campaign

Scotland vote noScotland has voted decisively against breaking from the United Kingdom and becoming an independent country. Some thoughts on the big picture logic and rhetoric of the campaign.
Continue reading Scotland Votes: the Logic and Rhetoric of the Independence Campaign

Who will govern England if the Scots split?

Parliament All kinds of questions are being asked about what will happen if Scotland votes to leave the United Kingdom on September 18. How will the national debt and the North Sea oil and gas reserves be divided? What about fishing rights? Will Scotland be allowed to keep the pound? Where will the Royal Navy base its nuclear submarines, since they are not welcome in Scotland? What will the remainder of the United Kingdom do for a flag if the white cross of St. Andrew on a blue field is ripped from the Union Jack? Continue reading Who will govern England if the Scots split?

The Language of Deflecting Blame

David Nicholson Last week here I looked at British Prime Minister David Cameron’s verbal manoeuvrings around apologising (or not) for the massacre perpetrated by British colonial troops in Amritsar in India in 1919. Most observers concluded that he struck a respectful and appropriate tone in what he said and did.

In 2010 British Minister for Europe David Lidington had to tackle a similar but rather more recent problem: what, if anything, should the British government do now about British army complicity in massacres committed by Tito’s communists of hundreds of thousands of their fellow Yugoslav citizens back in 1945? Continue reading The Language of Deflecting Blame