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Remember Niebuhr!

Barack Obama, when leaving the Senate floor a couple of years ago, called Reinhold Niebuhr “one of [his] favourite philosophers” for his account of “compelling idea that there’s serious evil in the world”. President Obama, when grappling with the problems of Afghanistan, should again study Niebuhr, regarded as the most influential American theologian of the… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The following letter was published in the Financial Times on 28 July 2009 in response to my letter (see post of 24 July): “Sir, Stanley Crossick (Letters, July 24) claims that William Hague’s use of Pitt the Younger’s statement that “England has saved herself by her exertions and will, I trust, save Europe by her… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Following the post of 22 July, the following letter was published: on July 24 2009 in The Financial Times: From Mr Stanley Crossick. “Sir, In his speech to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London on July 21, William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, stated: “Two hundred years ago, in his most famous and… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

‘Shadow’ Foreign Minister William Hague’s speech yesterday to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, seems not to have been influenced by the débacle marking the first stage of the new Conservative policy towards Europe. The Conservatives gave up their alliance with the European Parliament election winner, the European People’s Party (EPP), in which… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The German Constitutional Court judgment is likely to provoke parliaments in other Member States to seek ways of controlling their governments when acting in the EU Council. Were they all to choose the Danish model, the consequences for Council negotiations would be dramatic. There is a need anyway for national parliaments to buy in to… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

A joint statement was issued on 26 May (but not posted until 4 June) by nine ministries and government agencies: the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the legislative office of the State Council, the ministries of industry and information, housing, railways, water resources, supervision, transport, and commerce ministries. This notice states: “Government investment projects… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Who issued a fatwa (religious decree) in 2004 against the use of nuclear weapons? Who in a subsequent sermon, declared that “developing, producing or stockpiling nuclear weapons is forbidden under Islam.”? No-one other than Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Last year Khamenei reiterated all these points after meeting with the head of the International… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

German Constitutional Court, ratification of Lisbon Treaty The German Constitutional Court cleared the way for German ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon, subject to legislation being adopted requiring parliamentary approval of EU decisions which affect core German state competences. The government plans to present the necessary bill for a first reading in August and a… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Chinese transparency

Last week, a People’s Daily editorial asserted that “Information transparency is of benefit to increasing public trust in the government.” How right this is, but unfortunately this is not being sufficiently heeded in China. This applies both to decision-making and the communication and explanation of decisions. Two recent examples: Buy Chinese A joint circular was… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick