Section: World

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Greece: the mother of democracy

Richard Bernden

Has democracy ever been as threatened as it is now by populist strong men, serial liars, alternative truths and the eye watering wealth, power and baleful influence of big business?
With its history of democracy discovered, developed, lost and reclaimed, Greece reminds us of what we owe the past, how we conduct ourselves in the present, and how long it takes for great ideas to come to fruition.

YOUNG WRITER

Ladies who lunch or women who work?

Charlotte Rawlinson

Where does a female belong in the 21st century? Are we women who work or ladies who lunch? As a society, the only responsibility we all have is to educate ourselves, with a critical eye, being always aware of who is telling the story and questioning why the story is being told.

YOUNG WRITER

What is trust?

Charlotte Rawlinson

Trust does not come ready-wrapped beneath the Christmas tree or in our monthly wage slip. Charlotte Rawlinson explores trust, how we take it for granted and how vital it is to our lives in 2021.

Defending the rights of citizen journalists and campaigners

Rev Susie Courtault

While citizen journalists in the UK work to combat mainstream media bias, other countries arrest and torture the brave voices who speak truth to power. Susie Courtault examines the treatment of two women journalists, in China and Saudi Arabia, and fears for the future of human rights protection in the UK.

Johnson’s Brexit deal: For richer or for poorer?

Juliet Lodge

Juliet Lodge summarises reactions on Twitter to the last-minute Brexit deal agreed between the UK and the EU. With Boris Johnson’s early promise of frictionless trade abandoned, and parliament given just one day to debate the deal, what does the future hold for Britain’s relationship with its largest trading partner?

Hungry for action − an environmental protest fast

Venetia Carter

To highlight lack of action to address the climate emergency, Extinction Rebellion activist Venetia Carter is fasting for seven days. She passionately believes that the catastrophe of climate breakdown isn’t a problem that can be solved by the people of the future; it is the responsibility of all of us – the people of the present – here and now.

Should people’s kindness excuse government from duty?

Tom Serpell

Dolly Parton; Bill Gates; Marcus Rashford, heroes all! Trussell Trust; Sussex Hospices; Help for Heroes, all saints. Or are they? Doing things for others is political activism which is as rewarding for those who do it as for those who may benefit. But much of it should not be happening.

Creative adventures in lockdown

Tamsin Shasha

Theatre maker Tamsin Shasha is passionate about the power of story-telling through live performance. Here she talks about two theatrical adventures during lockdown, in Brighton and in Berlin.

Patel’s plans for offshore asylum centres plumb new depths

Vivienne Griffiths

Increasingly outlandish and inhumane plans to deal with the migrant ‘crisis’ have emerged from the Home Office in recent days. According to the Financial Times, home secretary Priti Patel explored plans to set up asylum processing centres in the South Atlantic. The plans appear to have been dropped only because of the impracticality of shipping […]

Three little words to save democracy

Tom Serpell

Remember ‘Lock her up!’ and ‘Build the wall’? Surely not a manifesto for government yet the foundation for Trump’s victory four years ago. We live in an age of populism in which messages matter more than manifestos. Even backbench Tories are complaining that their leadership routinely bypasses them, parliament and democracy.  Rule by the people, […]

Tuning in to Your Better Nature

Viviane Doussy

This year, Global Earth Overshoot Day fell on 22 August.  This is not a fixed anniversary, but the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that calendar year.  When records began, exactly fifty years ago in 1970, Global Earth Overshoot Day was December 29. It has been […]

The tarnished crown of Spain’s reforming king

Richard Bernden

For the crowned heads of Europe, 2020 is proving a difficult year. While the Windsors fight fires here in the UK, they are as nothing compared to the turmoil that has beset the royal family of Spain. Since he abdicated the throne in 2014, the allegations of corruption and money-laundering around the former king Juan […]

My 2000-mile lockdown rescue mission

Petra Kopp

After several months of Covid-19 confinement, the prospect of an ocean passage from the Canaries to Plymouth might seem like a rather extreme choice of escape. And to be honest, back on 3 August 2020, as I set off to meet up with two fellow sailors at Gatwick, it felt that way to me as […]

Is democracy a sham?

Tom Serpell

In the centuries since the English Civil War and the Putney Debates it has become customary that democracy is seen and promoted as the most desirable basis for governance, whether at state or local level. Rooted in the concept of human rights, democracy seeks active engagement of all qualifying citizens in selection of policies and […]

Don’t blame Covid-19: educational testing has been broken for years

Vivienne Griffiths

The recent A-level debacle, which hit students from disadvantaged areas hardest, has been presented as an unprecedented set of circumstances because of Covid-19. But a report just published shows that the gap in educational attainment in terms of class and ethnic background has been growing steadily since well before the pandemic, largely because of poverty. […]

Our Covid safe haven in France can’t last

Jill Stevens

When President Macron introduced lockdown in March, with barely 48 hours’ notice, the spring sun was hot, the boulevards of Paris overflowing. Many may have expected discord, the return of rioting gilets jaunes. But it was just a weekend of disobedience. And in the days and weeks that followed the message got across.  In France, […]

More power to the pushers in solar revolution

Maya Evans

Solar power has brought with it many benefits – though perhaps not the current flood of cheap high-quality heroin to our shores. Today, Afghan opium production has seen a sharp rise with the arrival of solar power and the ability to pump water from depths of 100m. Being able to irrigate barren deserts has turned […]

Hang on, I think I can hear the future

Rod Watson

As a child, I remember the telephone in our house. It was a wooden box, screwed to the wall and big enough to hold a pair of shoes. The handset consisted of a corinthian column, a bakelite mouth flute at one end and a hearing piece at the other. To make a call, you lifted […]

Hong Kong ‘welcome’ stops short at Calais

Ginny Foster

The UK government has moved swiftly to offer a safe haven to millions of Hong Kong Chinese following Beijing’s introduction of a new security law. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has spoken of our ‘duty of care’ and boldly challenged China on this draconian legislation.  Indeed, the UK is leading its allies in offering those with […]