March 2008 (13)
Mar 28 2008 12:02PM
Asylum policy - fit for purpose yet?

The Independent Asylum Commission has published an interim report on whether the UK's policy on asylum is "Fit for Purpose Yet". Asylum seekers expelled from the UK to Iraq say that they were beaten on arrival.

Mar 28 2008 11:39AM
The Orwell Prize for political writing

I have written before about George Orwell and some of his books on this blog. He aimed to write in a clear and powerful way and he had political ideas that he wanted to communicate in books such as 1984. That book was published in 1949...

Mar 27 2008 10:30PM
Congo's forgotten war

Channel 4 News this evening had a report from Congo about a war that the world has forgotten. It is killing about 45 000 people a month.

Mar 27 2008 10:09PM
Channel 4 goes undercover in Tibet

Undercover in Tibet is a Channel 4 Dispatches programme shown at 8 pm on Monday 31 March 2008. A couple of brief clips from it can be seen on the internet. I watched the programme "Undercover in Tibet" earlier this evening. Tash Despa...

Mar 26 2008 12:09PM
Democracy in the Himalayan region

Bhutan has had its first ever election. The royal family in the small Himalayan kingdom decided that it was time for the people to vote in a general election. Moving from an absolute monarchy to a democracy could take some time but the...

Mar 26 2008 11:51AM
Iraq War five years on

Anniversaries are a time for taking stock. Five years into the Iraq War there has been a great deal of comment. Seamas Milne in the Guardian wrote: "Most Iraqis believe the presence of foreign troops is the main cause of violence and...

Mar 25 2008 4:56PM
An insight into the Chinese leadership?

The Tiananmen Papers is a book that claims to reveal some of the policy debates in the leadership of China at the time of the protests by students leading up to the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Its authenticity has been questioned. If it...

Mar 24 2008 1:09PM
Tom Lehrer, songwriter and satirist

If you think of protest songs then you may think back to the 1960s. Here is a link to a Wikipedia entry on Tom Lehrer. He had retired from touring by the early 60s and was then songwriter for the American version of "That was the Week...

Mar 24 2008 12:53PM
The journey of the Olympic torch

The Olympic torch has been lit in Olympia in Greece and the flame will be carried through many countries on five continents before the Olympics begin in Beijing in August. Protesters were there as they will be along many parts of the...

Mar 16 2008 8:49PM
Protests in Tibet

I was listening to BBC World Service during the night when I could not sleep – one of headlines was about violent protest in Tibet with at least ten people killed. Ten was the number according to the Chinese government news agency but...

Mar 12 2008 11:02PM
Bob Dylan lyrics

I have been singing a Bob Dylan song again, Blowing in the Wind. It has some powerful questions about why some things that need to change take so long, such as: How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry? How many...

Mar 9 2008 8:26PM
Olympics in Beijing

Prince Charles has announced that he will not be attending the Olympic Games in China. He did not state explicitly why he made this decision but is known to be a supporter of the Tibetan cause. Steven Spielberg says that his conscience...

Mar 9 2008 7:58PM
Europe versus the super-rich

An article by Sean O'Grady in the Independent, Europe versus the super-rich, looks at the EU's efforts to bring tax havens under control. Tax havens and centres of secretive banking such as Monaco and Switzerland are ideal for...