Delivering “Real” Free Trade?

No two political words in the English language are more misused and abused by the global political class than ‘Free Trade’.  Real free trade – as opposed to what so many claim to be ‘free trade’ – involves absolutely minimal restriction and unfettered market access. One only has to glance at the many, many pages […]

Concerning trends in Turkey

Donald Trump’s inauguration seems like a good reason to focus our attention elsewhere and your columnist has selected Turkey: that’s the country, not the Thanksgiving meal. After 11 years as Prime Minister and two as President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is proposing amendments to the constitution. He wants the position of Prime Minister abolished and its […]

French standoff

Until the 1970s, Western countries had no clear ideology of conservatism. Conservative politicians saw their role to slow down, but not actually stop, the changes advocated by the left. They wanted to adopt these “inevitable” changes at a slower pace than that advocated by liberals and socialists. Reagan and Thatcher changed that. Soon, worldwide, conservatives […]

2016: the greatest year ever

Let us begin with poverty. At the time, 2015 was an astonishing year. The global target had been to cut extreme poverty in half from the 1990 level, which was 37%. The actual level fell below 10% for the first time in history: little more than a quarter of the 1990 level. This was a […]

The “Aleppo moment”

Gary Johnson has had another “Aleppo moment”. Aleppo is the Syrian town at the centre of the three-way fight for control of the country between the Stalinist regime of Bashar Assad, some apparently fairly liberal rebels, and the medieval forces of Da’esh (Islamic State). When asked about Aleppo, Johnson replied “what is Aleppo?” He also […]

Facing facts on Iran

The deal that the international negotiating team – known as P5+1 (USA, Russia, China, UK, France and Germany) – reached with Iran could certainly go wrong. For example, freed from sanctions and flush with cash, Iran could step up its nuclear program and not get caught. The inspections regime is far from perfect. Alternatively it […]

Time for Plumbers Without Borders

Médicins Sans Frontieres – known as MSF internationally and Doctors Without Borders in the US – was founded in 1971 in the aftermath of the Biafra War, in which parts of south eastern Nigeria sought to secede from the federation. It is certainly a remarkable organization. It facilitates the work of over 34,000 volunteers, providing […]

Humans behind helmets

I’m Israeli and I can’t even work a BB gun. It’s true! I scream like the girl I am and the sight of it perturbs me. They shouldn’t let people like me anywhere near the army, but for Israeli teenagers, going to the army is a fact of life. Israeli conscription is mandatory for girls […]

Iraq’s modern woes an echo of its ancient past.

In early June this year Sunni jihadists from the Islamic State launched a blitzkrieg style attack from eastern Syria into north western Iraq. Several divisions of the poorly trained and badly led Iraqi Army collapsed after a paltry effort at halting the IS assault. Mosul, the largest city in northern Iraq, was captured as were […]

Russian involvement in Ukraine: A historic risk. 

Fierce conflict continues between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists across the eastern provinces of Ukraine. Over the past weekend the Ukrainian army launched a large-scale ground offensive. Reports indicate the separatist city of Slavyansk has been captured. However the separatists continue to fight on, with weapons allegedly supplied by the Russian Federation. On the […]