Uncovering Chernobyl, Thirty Years On

Photo: Hugh Mitton

“I personally think that Chernobyl contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union,” said Dr. Galia Ackerman, taking a sip of her café allongé. The Franco-Russian journalist and I sat in her living room in Paris on the morning of 28 April, just two days after the 30th anniversary of the catastrophic explosion at the… 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 ➤

Bubbling up: How the thawing out of Siberian permafrost spells trouble for curbing climatic meltdown

Photo: Wikipedia

With both scientific and media discourse dominated by talk of global warming, permafrost is a reminder that we are still transitioning out of an ice age that has shaped life on this planet for the past two and a half million years. Consisting primarily of a frozen mixture of frozen earth, peat, methane and water,… Continue Reading ➤

A New Dawn for an Old Party? Post-election Tanzania

Photo: GCIS South Africa

Despite a lack of change in the ruling party in Tanzania’s recent election, does the election of new blood in the top spot signify the possibility for far greater change than if the opposition had emerged victorious? Just two months into his tenure as President of Tanzania, John Magufuli has begun to implement some of the… Continue Reading ➤

Transgression: LGBT+ citizenship in a post-Soviet sphere

Photo: Maria Komarova

One Indian summer’s evening, I found myself walking towards the metro along Moscow’s Tverskaya Street. Not far ahead of me, four adolescents – three boys and one girl – appeared wholly content in one another’s company as they engaged in good-natured banter. The group, I soon understood, was composed of two couples: one heterosexual and… Continue Reading ➤

Will Bernie Sanders Leave a Lasting Legacy on American Politics, Even if He Loses?

Bernie Sanders

The current 2016 USA presidential election cycle is set to be the most exciting in living memory. Outsiders have hijacked the primary races of both major parties in stunning fashion. While Donald Trump does what he does best, stealing the spotlight with insidious pandering, his left-wing counterpart is quietly rocking established dogma. Winning 6 of… Continue Reading ➤

The significance of the Russian Soul in understanding contemporary geopolitics

Photo: Ilia Schelkanov

‘Who would grasp Russia with the mind?  For her no yardstick was created:  Her soul is of a special kind,  By faith alone appreciated.’   – Fyodor Tyutchev (trans. by John Dewey) “Wanted: Russian-speaking spies to help MI5 keep tabs on Vladimir Putin,” read a February Telegraph headline. MI5, MI6 and GCHQ had set a six week-deadline to… Continue Reading ➤

Forget the SNP: what about the DUP?

Peter Robinson at a DUP party conference. The leader of the 4th largest party after the last election may become a key presence in any coalition talks after May 7.

The next general election is less than a month away, and although everyone is as ignorant as each other about what will happen once the country goes to the polls on May 7th, everyone has their own prediction. What will Sturgeon offer? How will the Greens do? What are the chances of a Conservative-UKIP deal?… 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 ➤

The mixed picture in South America’s LGBT+ rights boom

(Source: Chris Geatch)

The progress in LGBT+ rights in South America within the last ten years has been outstanding. Uruguay stands out in particular and on paper appears more impressive than the UK, thanks to its blood donation laws regarding MSM (men who have sex with men). It has been particularly liberal in its recent legalisation of cannabis… Continue Reading ➤