Aug 2, 2012

The Olympic extravaganza

London has Olympics mania. The newspapers are devoting more than half their pages to the games while the airwaves are dominated at all hours by coverage of Olympic events. Even cynical oldies can’t avoid catching some of the fever. The Brits were determined that ...

Jul 17, 2012

Britain's endangered breed

British parliamentary democracy has developed over the centuries and is often seen as a model for other countries. At its best, the system works for the public good, curbs corruption and prevents tyranny by the executive. But it is not without faults. The division ...

Jul 6, 2012

Culture of greedy hypocrites

One of the causes of the present crisis in the eurozone has been the failure of European government to collect all taxes levied on citizens and companies. In Greece, Italy and Spain, tax avoidance became notorious. Rich Greek shipowners managed their businesses to minimize ...

Jun 21, 2012

What can be done about Syria?

The indiscriminate killing of civilians including women and children in Syria continues. All we seem able to do is wring our hands and denounce the perpetrators. The “peace plan” proposed by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, involving a ceasefire by both government and ...

Jun 9, 2012

Jubilee a very British occasion

Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee is over. It was a very British occasion, including the weather. British people enjoy pomp and color. They had plenty of both over the long weekend of the Jubilee celebrations. The press and television covered the events fully and ...

May 16, 2012

The corruption and hypocrisy of China's Communist Party

Some 3,000 young Chinese “princelings” have apparently been placed in prestigious British “public schools” (meaning fee paying and private!) and at universities including Oxford and Cambridge. The Chinese princelings seem little different from the scions of the Russian oligarchs who have been buying up ...

May 9, 2012

Discontent with politicians

Voters in democratic countries are increasingly disenchanted with traditional party politics and regard most politicians with skepticism at best and as generally untrustworthy. In Europe, fringe parties are attracting increasing support. The principal focus of disillusioned voters is the austerity regimes that, the malcontents ...

Apr 25, 2012

Reining in rich tax dodgers

British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has declared his intention of cracking down on the ways in which rich people in Britain avoid paying their fair share of taxes. He regards tax avoidance by rich people as immoral. British voters will generally back ...

Apr 5, 2012

The stubborn stench of money politics

The co-treasurer of the British Conservative Party, Peter Cruddas, a wealthy self-made businessman, made some revealing and highly embarrassing comments recently to journalists from The Sunday Times posing as potential donors to the Tories. He suggested that donors who wanted to be in the ...

Mar 21, 2012

Nearing the end of tyranny?

President Vladimir Putin in Russia, President Bashar Assad in Syria and President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe are detested by many of their fellow countrymen who would like to see them overthrown and tried for human rights abuses. They depend on a close coterie of ...