Barack, Boris and Brexit

unnamedLondon mayor Boris Johnson’s criticisms of Mr. Obama’s column advocating against Brexit were intemperate. They were also rather ironic given the views he himself expressed a couple of years ago in a masterly biography of Winston Churchill. Continue reading Barack, Boris and Brexit

Borders and Identity

LE_Eithne_Operation_TritonGermany is now realising that it cannot make such an apparently open-ended offer, so is pressing hard for other EU countries to share the burden through some sort of mandatory quota system. Poland, Hungary and some other states are resisting. They have spent long decades if not centuries grappling to assert their national and linguistic identity under different imperial powers, and are determined not to see their hard-won independence eroded. Continue reading Borders and Identity

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

“We have catch’d Scotland …”

Scotland In 1707, when the Scottish parliament voted to dissolve itself and send representatives to the parliament in London, the Speaker of the English House of Commons exulted, “We have catch’d Scotland and will bind her fast.”

That boast held true for over three hundred years. But on September 18, the people of Scotland will have the chance to vote on whether they wish to remain “catch’d” or to recover their independence. Continue reading “We have catch’d Scotland …”