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Barack Obama goes home

Kuwait – Afghanistan – Iraq – Jordan – Israel – West Bank – Berlin – Paris – London, was the Barack Obama itinerary for the past week. The ‘celebrity tour’ element was a great success. However, the tour was part of his American electoral campaign, and the degree of its success will be seen in… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Celebrity politics

As thoughts of vacation drift before our eyes, we may perhaps be permitted a little musing. The two biggest political names in July 2008 are Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama – who meet today in Paris. The French President’s Mediterranean Union Conference was a great success; his Irish visit does not seem to have ruffled… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

There is a lull in the media battle over Tibet, as result of the tragic earthquake nearby in Sichuan province. It has taken a natural disaster to remove from Chinese and European front pages the man-made mess of the Olympic torch relay and ongoing demonstrations in support of Tibet. It is therefore a useful moment… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Three key questions arise from the Irish ‘No’: Why ‘No’? What is the solution? What can all we learn from the Irish experience? Why was the Lisbon Treaty rejected? To understand the context of the result, it is necessary to look at why the referendum was held. The answer is by no means straightforward. Conventional… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Ahead of the Democrat Presidential candidate’s current foreign trip, Barack Obama laid out his ‘national security strategy’ in Washington on 15 July. His inspiration for the renewal of the global order is George Marshall. Needed then and needed again now is “a new overarching strategy to meet the challenges of a new and dangerous world.”… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Le pays des Belges

EU politics, I find easier to understand than Belgian politics, which is one reason why this is my first post on this subject. However, the ongoing failure of the inter-communal negotiations, when the country has to cope with serious economic problems, prompts at least a brief reflection . Today’s impasse is in many ways the… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

G8: an anachronism

Now that Hokkaido island has returns to normality, we should read the lengthy communiqués very carefully, as the Japanese bill for the summit is apparently €381m. Africa: The leaders re-committed themselves to the promises made three years ago at Gleneagles. Whether or not the agreed emission targets are sufficient, what is the mechanism to ensure… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

We face the challenges and effects of globalisation in our daily lives – economic, political, social and cultural. Except, apparently, in defence. The retention of an independent nuclear capability is central to the defence strategy of both France and the UK. But what does this mean? Circumstances could perhaps be conceived when France, or even… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

“Beyond the platitudes and projects lies the germ of a brilliant idea”, said The Economist’ leader of 12 July, before the “Union for the Mediterranean” was launched yesterday in Paris. The event was a great success for Nicolas Sarkozy and French diplomacy. The atmosphere was good and the body language and informality at the final… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

What is happening in Zimbabwe is horrific and unforgivable. The proposed sanctions resolution on Zimbabwe, rejected by the UN Security Council after vetoes by Russia and China on 11 July, is the latest example of a diplomatic and economic weapon that has a distinctly mixed history of success and failure. Whatever the true reasons for… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick