Cat People

Source: Twitter

On 11th December 2017, The New Yorker published Kristen Roupenian’s short story, ‘Cat Person’, online. Within three days, it had become the magazine’s most read piece of the year. The story went viral, telling the fictional tale of 20-year-old Margot, and her flirtation and subsequent sexual encounter with a 34-year-old man named Robert. All seven… Continue Reading ➤

South Korea: debunking the ‘miracle’ economy

SAMSUNG CSC

South Korea’s economic development over the past 50 years offers lessons in the past, present and future, and casts light upon the injustice of economic development, and the pressing need for reform to the capitalist system in those states who have most decisively adopted it.   The Korean peninsula is a true twenty-first century paradox:… Continue Reading ➤

This is the Way the World Ends

Photo: Wikipedia

As the Syrian conflict drags on, it becomes possible to speculate about how it might end.  As the first major conflict to emerge in a world context of universal communication and limitless reproduction of the stories and imagery of war, it has cemented itself in the imagination like no other conflict of recent times.  This… Continue Reading ➤

‘Vote Leave, take control’ – the misleading promise of the Brexiteers

Photo: Ken Mayer

The assertions of the ‘Leave’ campaign that an exit from the European Union would allow Britain to regain full control of its own borders, seize back decision making from Brussels, and ‘make Britain great again’, tied immigration control and national sovereignty in a manner that resonated with enough of the population to secure a victory… Continue Reading ➤

The BDS Movement: A Help or Hindrance?

Checkpoint_near_Abu_Dis

‘Israel has no foreign policy; only domestic policy’ – Henry Kissinger. In antecedent years Kissinger’s famous aphorism has become conventional wisdom in discussing Israeli politics, a quick-witted remark made in reference to the frantic “shuttle diplomacy” of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Whilst on close examination the comment is incontestably platitudinous – every nation’s foreign… Continue Reading ➤

Why big business is better

The Business Secretary Vince Cable speaking at the Lib Dem party conference in 2011

Received wisdom tells us that small business is important. Political parties representing all shades of opinion clamber to show that they are the ones who have the interests of small businesses at heart, even if they have more mixed opinions of large corporations. The Conservatives describe small business as the “lifeblood of our economy”; Labour promise… Continue Reading ➤

Blasphemy, law and violence in Pakistan

Paul Bhatti (R), Pakistan's Minister for National Harmony, speaking at New York Encounter 2013 about his decision to continue the work of his assassinated brother Shahbaz Bhatti for universal religious freedom in Pakistan, despite threats to his life.

I was trained to believe that the law was a tool for social justice and positive change. As a law student, I viewed the law as a weapon to fight against oppression, marginalisation and discrimination. The reality, it seems, is very different. Like any other tool, the law can be manipulated into being used in… Continue Reading ➤

Western Sahara: An unreported imperialist outrage

Sahrawi refugees try to reconstruct their camp in Algeria after floods in 2006. Their was of life is on many levels destroyed

We are all familiar with the concept of self-determination: the idea that a group of people should be able to govern their own futures. Many cases of it being denied and subjugated are reported daily in the Western media. But the case of Western Sahara is not. Morocco’s illegal occupation of Western Sahara began in… Continue Reading ➤

The Lib Dems’ big problem: and how to solve it

A Lib Dem 'Facebook flashmob' in Trafalgar Square before the 2010 election, when Lib Dem fortunes were at their apex. But a failure to articulate a clear message is making this election battle significantly more difficult.

Becoming a Lib Dem was never a fashionable choice. But never in my lifetime has my party been as unpopular as it currently is. Much of the dissatisfaction arises from our decision to join – and, to some extent, our priorities during – a Coalition which our leader always said he was open to considering,… Continue Reading ➤

English: a global language, but a language nonetheless

A language laboratory in Huaihua College's Western Campus in Huaihua, Hunan, China. The rigid teaching of English in some Asian nations is hampering learners' abilities to make creative use of the language, thus harming cross-cultural communication

In the occasional but ever-growing English language fancies of South Korean TV, there is an instructional approach to answering the question “How are you?” A celebrity on a variety quiz show, a reporter interviewing an American musician or a TV character traveling through Sydney will answer all the same, verbatim, in a monotone, “I am… Continue Reading ➤