The Western Image of Order

Roosevelt in 1902 [source: Wikimedia]

The peoples of this planet desire both peace and order, but we have become gridlocked in our thinking about how to achieve this. European and North American nations have simply assumed that the world would naturally adopt westernisation as the way forward; Islam has been locked for over a thousand years in its faith that the… Continue Reading ➤

King Charles III

Prince Charles arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in the United States, 1981 [source: Wikimedia]

The great West End blockbuster of the moment is Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III. It portrays a chain of events after the unthinkable but inevitable moment when Queen Elizabeth dies. Bartlett’s story contains all the tragic drama of Shakespeare’s portrayals of hollow crowns, complete with an array of allusions to Richard II, King Lear, Macbeth… Continue Reading ➤

Oman’s Precarious Future

Qaboos in Oman, 1998 [source: Wikimedia]

Oman is an oasis of stability and moderation in the Middle East. Perhaps problematically for Western liberal democrats, this is thanks to Sheikh Qaboos bin Said al Said, Oman’s absolute monarch. He took power in 1970 in a British-supported coup against his father, the previous Sultan. It was a country only in name: a collection… Continue Reading ➤

Russia: Aggressor in the Baltics?

Московский Кремль [source: Pedro J Pacheco]

NATO’s 10-day TRIDENT JUNCTURE 14 exercise came to a close on Monday 17 November amidst growing fears that the Kremlin’s alleged military intervention in Ukraine will be followed by a campaign of intimidation and psychological diminishment in the Baltics, in what is seen as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan to reaffirm Russia’s status in its former sphere… Continue Reading ➤

What next for the Union?

[source: Wikipedia]

How fitting that last week, just when the Yes campaign looked like it might win and Westminster burst into flames of panic, J.M. W. Turner’s ‘The Burning of Parliament’ took centre stage in the Tate Britain’s new exhibition of our greatest artist’s late masterpieces. Turner witnessed the blaze at first hand in 1834, and it… Continue Reading ➤