Europe
Hating David Cameron

Hating David Cameron

For many outside her blessed shores, Britain is a cold, little enigma where some muddied twist of history has permitted a hereditary monarchy to continue existing alongside the Internet. If the British Isles were the USS Enterprise, someone would have declared we had been drawn into a tear in the space-time continuum decades ago.  More»

Putin and the Jews

Putin and the Jews

It was early May in the Russian city of Volgograd. Vladislav Tornovoi, a 23-year-old man, was drinking with a couple of other guys when he made a fatal mistake. He told his drinking buddies that he was gay. By the end of that night, Tornovoi had been brutally beaten, sexually tortured and, finally, killed. More»

Dear Ex-Nazis

Dear Ex-Nazis

You may have seen these posters plastered all over Germany. ‘Operation Last Chance’ is a witch hunt calling for all those who were Nazis and have yet gone unpunished. To be imprisoned and to rot. The organisation behind it says they have never met a Nazi who showed any remorse. This begs many questions. Is this true?  More»

Berlin Childhood

Berlin Childhood

Ten minutes off a flight from Tel Aviv, the television monitors were running a story on terrorism. “Big raids against Islamists,” the caption declared in German, beneath a photo of Muslims knelt in prayer. Security forces had just raided sixteen separate locations in the north, searching for wanted Salafists, from a banned organization. More»

Closed Circuit Britain

Closed Circuit Britain

It was, and likely remains, standard practice for troops deploying to our current theatres of war to be briefed by an official from the British equivalent of the NSA, known as GCHQ. Our man was a rather dusty-looking character, who seemed more like an academic than a spook, as he ambled out onto a stage to give us a briefing on information security. More»

The Fred Perry Murder

The Fred Perry Murder

The fight, in which Clément Meric died, apparently started over some shirts. An 18-year-old student at Paris’ prestigious Sciences Po, Meric was headed to a clothing shop in the 9th Arrondissement when he encountered a group of skinheads headed to the same store. His killer, Esteban Morillo, is alleged to have been associated with the rightist Jeune Nationaliste Révolutionnaire, the largest organized skinhead group in France. More»

Istanbul Gets Angry

Istanbul Gets Angry

Instead of covering the Gezi Park protests, CNN Turki chose to show a documentary on penguins. So Tweeted Aaron Stein, from Istanbul, last week.  It would have been one thing if it was just another Turkish broadcaster. Noted for their self-censorship, domestic news agencies had imposed a blackout on the uprising, one of the largest in the country’s history. More»

Britain's Populist Insurgency

Britain’s Populist Insurgency

The English climate is lamentable at the best of times. No. Not the weather. The political climate.  But today we seem to be dealing with something more profound than the perfunctory shenanigans of  Great Britain’s political aristocracy. More»

Don't Forget the Falklands

Don’t Forget the Falklands

Downing Street took everyone by surprise. Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, it stated on April 10th, will be thematically linked to the 1982 British-Argentinian war in the Falkland Islands. British soldiers who had key roles in the conflict will play an integral part of the ceremony. Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was purposefully not invited. More»

Send in the Clowns

Send in the Clowns

Modern politics is so often the preserve of spin, of carefully shaped, focus group-tested utterances, that it can be shocking when someone says what they mean. So it was, when Peer Steinbrück, a leading German socialist politician, and his party’s presumptive nominee for Federal Chancellor in the fall elections, spoke with frankness about the results of the recent parliamentary elections in Italy. More»

Tarrying With Fascism

Tarrying With Fascism

“Fascisti Carogne,” (Fascist Bastards) the graffiti read, in bold blood red. An anarchist A placed to its right, it wasn’t hard to surmise its source. Situated underneath four municipal billboards designated for political posters, the slogan is a denunciation of Italy’s political class. Left or right, they’re all the same, including Unione del Centro party chief Pier Ferdinando Casini, whose advert takes up three of the spaces. More»

Unpacking Cameron's Euroscepticism

Unpacking Cameron’s Euroscepticism

Britain’s eternally uneasy political relationship with Europe is fast deteriorating, a rueful fact that Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech last week in Bloomberg’s London HQ will confirm. From the inescapable symbolism of the corporate setting to Cameron’s awkward affectations of sincerity, this was a particularly painful piece of theatre. More»