Regions

Uk riots

The UK Riots: What Should Be Done?

By Roland Bensted

It is easy, when confronted by the news that groups of mostly young people have been rioting in London and other parts of the country, to dismiss the people involved as feckless opportunists, intent on causing destruction to property and stealing goods from looted shops. It is easy, but simplistic. Likewise, it is too simplistic for those on the left who attribute the serious criminal damage, destruction and threat to life wreaked by the rioters as symptomatic only of government economic policy and welfare cuts, as if the people involved had no agency in the matter.

AP Photo/News International

Putting the Phone-Hacking Scandal into Perspective

By Andrew Gawthorpe

We are now several weeks removed from the unusual, almost mob-driven mentality that gripped the UK at the height of furore over phone hacking. It progressed like a wrecking ball through the pillars of the British establishment, first claiming the country’s most popular Sunday newspaper, then its most prominent policemen, and finally putting a dent in the Prime Minister’s credibility. There was an unpredictable air about the whole affair, with no-one able to foresee what revelations would come next as – ironically enough – the media itself controlled the drip, drip of information and whipped up the frenzy. 

AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

Broken Promises Amongst the Debris of London’s Riots

By Tom Wein

We were all shocked by the level of violence on London’s streets this week. I am proud to be a Londoner – and this is not the city I recognise. For many of us, the first question we have had to ask ourselves is: what is a safe route home? But once there, watching TV blazes and hearing real life sirens, the next question emerges: why? Why have the city’s youth suddenly decided to act as extras in our own production of A Clockwork Orange?

Lukasenko

Quo Vadis Belarus?

By Vasile Rotaru

After the December 2010 elections, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko lost legitimacy, both within Belarus and externally. His regime, based on a massive security apparatus, a propaganda machine and the guarantee of a job - albeit with low pay - is now in trouble. Belarus is facing serious economic problems and Lukashenko needs to regain popular support. The Belarusian leader is blackmailing the West with a new turn towards Russia. Lukashenko is bluffing, though. He is aware that relations with Moscow cannot be the same as before 2008 and that he is no longer perceived as a reliable ally for Russia.

Budget_Cuts

Will the Eagle’s Loss Be the Dragon’s Gain?

By Harry Kazianis

With the world exhaling a collective sigh of relief, lawmakers in Washington, D.C. have agreed to a budget deal that will cut US government spending and raise the debt ceiling. An outline has been given of where cuts will come from that may pose multiple challenges for current US defence priorities around the world. Cuts would total USD$917 billion dollars over ten years in defence and non-defence spending. A congressional committee will gather to enact larger cuts totaling USD$1,5 trillion dollars over ten years. If this second round of cuts were not enacted, a set of “triggers” would automatically make large cuts.

Breivik

Hate Is Hate

By Arthur Hayes

The terrible events in Oslo, perpetrated by Anders Breivik, a lone and deranged right wing extremist, are sadly reminiscent of similar tragic events that occurred in the UK in 1999 at the hands of another deluded neo Nazi, David Copeland. This, however, has not been the only recent burst of extremist behaviour within the public domain; a UK-based Islamic extremist group has begun a campaign to create an Islamic Emirate within the UK. This article will highlight similarities between not only Breivik and Copeland, but also between their campaigns and that of the supporters of the Islamic Emirate.

Bouteflika

Algeria’s Season of Uncertainty

By Andrea Dessi

The Algerian government is walking a tightrope. With Libya engulfed in conflict, Tunisia and Egypt in the midst of uncertain political transitions and the monarchy in Morocco seemingly intent on relinquishing some its executive powers, Algeria is the only North African country not been directly affected by the Arab Spring. Popular protests did erupt in Algeria at precisely the same time as they were enveloping neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, but the demands of the protesters never coalesced into a unified movement calling for the demise of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power since 1999.