UK Analysis Newswire Archive
With the inclusion of Romania and Bulgaria into the Alliance, the Black Sea has been incorporated into NATO's Article 5 (collective defense) operational zone. For two years now it has been repeatedly mentioned that Bulgarian, now joint Bulgarian-US, air bases may be used for attacks against Iran.
23-02-2009 11:28For most of the past century, Britain's secret state bugged, blacklisted and spied on leftists, trade unionists and peace campaigners, as well as Irish republicans and anyone else regarded as a "subversive" threat to the established order.
This is part 6 of a series, for parts 1-5 see:
In response to questions by Dr. Kaveh Afrasiabi, the IAEA spokesperson, Melissa Fleming, has issued a statement clarifying the IAEA's position regarding the misleading articles in the US and European press concerning Iran's production of low-enriched uranium.
22-02-2009 13:34Free Markets. That’s what we are supposed to have: free markets. Free markets are where one person can exchange something of value with another person, all without any encumbrances by the government. We have never had free markets, nor will we ever. Worse, you wouldn’t want a truly free market.
22-02-2009 02:22In the late 1990s, while he was a member of the Illinois Senate, Barack Obama was also a member of the Saguaro Seminar -- a brainstorming group organized by Robert Putnam on how to remedy the decline in social capital in the United States. Social capital refers to the collective value of social networks: when people are embedded in networks and can draw upon the norms of cooperation and reciprocity the networks embody there are a variety of measurable benefits both to them and to the community as a whole. These benefits can include more effective government, faster economic growth, improved health, and increased happiness.
On February 10, Israel held parliamentary elections for 120 seats in its 18th Knesset. The process repeats every four years unless the body calls an earlier election by majority vote. The prime minister may also ask the president to request one early that will proceed unless the Knesset blocks it. Parliamentary terms may be extended beyond four years by special majority vote. Israel has no constitution. Under Article 4 of its Basic Law: The Knesset:
"The Knesset shall be elected by general, national, direct, equal, secret and proportional elections, in accordance with the Knesset Elections Law." Every Israeli citizen 18 or older may vote, including Arabs who are nominally enfranchised, may serve in the parliament, but can't govern or in any way influence policy.
Knesset seats are assigned proportionally to each party's percentage of the total vote. A minimum total is required to win any seats. Jewish parties alone are empowered. Arab parliamentarians have no decision-making authority. They're also constrained by the 1992 Law of Political Parties and section 7A(1) of the Basic Law that prohibits candidates from denying "the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people."
21-02-2009 18:41As the same tired responses and apparently ludicrous solutions keep on being advocated for climate change, I keep thinking, 'I'm just an amateur, what do I know? It may look wrong to me, but surely there's something those in power know that I don't'. I mean, they wouldn't carry on with these schemes and saying these untrue things otherwise, right? If I've got such a point in fields like medicine and architecture, whenever I dig deep I tend to find that yes, there is indeed some serious thing I was unaware of that disabuses me of my opinion.
21-02-2009 16:18An unsentimental appraisal of our energy choices doesn’t boost your popularity. One of my favourite environmental writers, my friend Merrick Godhaven, is taking shots at me and Mark Lynas - http://bristlingbadger.blogspot.com/2009/01/nuke-mark-lynas.html. It concerns that most divisive of green topics: nuclear power. Merrick argues that if you express even qualified support for new nukes, it takes the pressure off governments to invest in renewables and reduce energy consumption. He also exposes the contradictions in the positions Mark and I have taken over the years.
21-02-2009 15:55Last week, at a relatively well-attended meeting, my branch Executive seconded a motion to support a twinning with a Palestinian university, building on existing Student Union work. A few of us decided to propose an additional note about “the increase in antisemitic atmosphere on British campuses associated with Israel’s conflicts”. We are all broadly supportive of the twinning but conscious that in our institution it has been a vehicle for intensifying calls for the ostracisation and dissolution of Israel. Our intervention was fairly puny and didn’t say what needed to be said about this twinning - in retrospect since it was almost certain to fall we should have made more amendments.
21-02-2009 14:16The Independent Primary review published its review of the curriculum in English primary schools today. It confirms what much previous research in primary schools – including from the schools inspectorate Ofsted – has shown: that a strong focus on testing ‘the basics’ of reading, writing and maths has led to a narrowing of the curriculum as experienced by primary pupils in many schools, particularly in the last couple of years of primary school. While classroom time spent on English and Maths steadily increased from 1996 to 2004, time spent on other subjects like history, geography, art and personal, social and health education dropped by as much as 20 per cent. And styles of learning in year 6 have become more like learning in the first few years of secondary school – quite the reverse of what should be happening given that we know these have always been an important factor in switching some young people off their learning once they have made the transition from primary to secondary school.
21-02-2009 08:19Demonstration against Judicial Corruption, Unlawful Imprisonments, Convention Rights Violations, Institutional Failures and unaccountability in the UK; Every Week outside HMP WORMWOOD SCRUBS, DU CANE ROAD, LONDON W12 0AE; Commencing 12pm - 3pm.
20-02-2009 22:42This is the declaration which emerged from the The London Conference on Combatting Antisemitism.
16 February 2009
This is not the piece I wanted to write! I wanted to write something short and sharp. This piece is neither of those. I wanted to write a simple piece about the new powers the police have today been given. This piece isn’t that either.
20-02-2009 21:10“Just driven at 40mph through the streets of Tangier. Crowds of people lined the route cheering, giving victory signs and waving. Amazing!” - george galloway
A fellow pilgrim adds:
“The feeling is immense peace, love, respect and humbleness. The people here are true brothers welcoming us with food, love and hospitality. When the convoy got off the ferry from Spain to Tangier the whole convoy group joined together in one big Jummat.”
"The Americans will be scrupulously careful that the confrontation with Tehran does not develop into a one-on-one battle between the US and Iran. Biden's message is the following: Every NATO country and every member of the European Union is now involved, as of today. This is the price for the new trans-Atlantic openness and cooperation."
In 1939 Europe turned a blind eye to the rise of Nazism. The British foreign minister Neville Chamberlain believed that a policy of appeasement would work with Hitler; it did not. Hitler attacked Poland, giving the world a costly lesson - a policy of appeasement does not work with fascism. The outcome is well known: Europe was ruined and around 50 million lost their lives. Yet thanks to the Norwegian "home front" resistance, Hitler was deprived of the heavy water needed for manufacturing the nuclear bomb; had he acquired enough material to do so, the history of humanity might have been dramatically different to that which we know.