Liz Truss: three areas where the new foreign secretary will have the most influence

Jamie Gaskarth, The Open University In naming her as the new foreign secretary, Boris Johnson has handed Liz Truss a bewildering array of global problems and relationships to manage. Foreign secretary is a difficult role, quite distinct from other posts in government. Many occupants are criticised for a lack of vision – which comes partly from a lack of control over events. Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger described diplomacy as “the patient accumulation of partial successes”. It is difficult for a minister to point to specific achievements and in any case the prime minister will often steal their … Continue reading Liz Truss: three areas where the new foreign secretary will have the most influence

North Korea, nuclear proliferation and why the ‘madman theory’ is wrong about Kim Jong-un

Colin Alexander, Nottingham Trent University The two missile tests conducted by North Korea in recent days have reopened discussions about the country, its leadership, its foreign policy, its perception around the world and the use (and usefulness) of nuclear weapons as an option within global politics. North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency announced on September 12 that it had test-fired a new long-range cruise missile, believed by analysts to be the country’s first missile with the capacity to carry a nuclear warhead. Three days later the South Korean military said the North had launched “two unidentified ballistic missiles” into … Continue reading North Korea, nuclear proliferation and why the ‘madman theory’ is wrong about Kim Jong-un

Grammar still matters

But teachers are struggling to teach it Willem Hollmann, Lancaster University Do you know what a suffix is, or how to distinguish adjectives from adverbs? If you have a six or seven-year-old, the chances are they do. Or at least, the UK government now says they should – by the end of year 2, to be specific. In year 3, primary schoolers turn their attention to prefixes and conjunctions. By the time pupils head to secondary school, they are expected to know what determiners and adverbials are. They should be able to recognise a relative clause as a special type of … Continue reading Grammar still matters

The British and Pakistani Armies: Sharing Both a Personal and Institutional Future

The long relationship between the British and Pakistani armies is transforming, from one based mostly on pomp, ceremony and personal friendships, to one based on shared strategic interests. The Pakistan Army can sometimes be more British than the British Army, at least when it comes to pomp and ceremony. Its cavalry officers have the best horses, and they play in the top polo competitions in Argentina and England; many of their sons go to Britain’s top boarding schools; and they even fashion their moustaches in the same manner as Field Marshal Herbert Kitchener. According to Carey Schofield in her book … Continue reading The British and Pakistani Armies: Sharing Both a Personal and Institutional Future

Is UK going to ban The Muslim Brotherhood?

David Cameron orders inquiry into activities of Muslim Brotherhood Review to look into party’s alleged links to extremism amid speculation group could be banned in Britain A young boy holds a photo of Mohamed Morsi at a London protest in support of the Brotherhood. Photograph: Will Oliver/AFP/Getty Images David Cameron has ordered Whitehall officials to launch an investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood – drawing on assessments by MI5 and MI6. A Downing Street source confirmed that the review would examine allegations that the Muslim Brotherhood was behind the murder of three tourists on a bus in Egypt in February and that it planned extremist activities from Britain. The source said: … Continue reading Is UK going to ban The Muslim Brotherhood?

Is Britain ruled by Islamic Shariah?

Is English law related to Muslim law? By Mukul Devichand   In London’s historic “Inns of Court”, barristers practise law in the shadow of the distinctive medieval Temple Church. But does English law really owe a debt to Muslim law? For some scholars, a historical connection to Islam is a “missing link” that explains why English common law is so different from classical Roman legal systems that hold sway across much of the rest of Europe. It’s a controversial idea. Common law has inspired legal systems across the world. What’s more, calls for the UK to accommodate Islamic Sharia law … Continue reading Is Britain ruled by Islamic Shariah?

Britain deserves better?

Labour – deserves better? Ed Miliband seriously needs to start thinking out of the box – in fact he needs to throw away the box! That if he is serious about the leadership of the UK let alone New Labour. What has Ed done to make his party representative of the people of the United Kingdom as he promised in his last conference speech? Take the example of Birmingham: Near 50% of the people and 80% of the Labour Party ‘ground troops’ are what Labour regards as ‘Black and Ethnic’ minority – then you look at the larger picture in … Continue reading Britain deserves better?

Bibi’s bluff and Pastorised Americans

Israeli experts back Bibi’s bluff By Gareth Porter  TEL AVIV – A striking feature of the Israeli political landscape in recent months has been the absence of a serious debate on the issue of the threat of war with Iran led by national security figures. It is well known that many prominent former military and intelligence officials believe an attack on Iran would be disastrous for Israel. After an initial blast at the idea of striking Iran by two former high-ranking officials last year, however, very little has been heard from such national security figures.  The reason for this silence on the … Continue reading Bibi’s bluff and Pastorised Americans