Category: Europe, World

Page of 2

Living in a grown-up country. Spoiler alert: it’s not the UK…

Mike Zollo

When we arrived in Spain recently, we commented that it felt reassuring to be arriving in a ‘grown-up country’. It struck us as soon as we started our drive south, immediately becoming aware of the fact that everyone was wearing face-masks, as required in indoor public places; a high number of people show the same […]

A briefing note for POTUS: the United Kingdom after Afghanistan

Eric Gates

Eric Gates imagines a very necessary briefing for President Biden in the wake of the withdrawal from Afghanistan: Mr President With the main elements of the US drawdown from Afghanistan complete, it is perhaps appropriate to brief you on the impact that this has had in the United Kingdom. I appreciate that many Americans have […]

Operation Enduring Freedom becomes Operation Disastrous Farce

Des Hannigan

Operation Enduring Freedom was the code name for the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan by allied western forces, chiefly American, which was followed by Operation Enduring Sentinel, and which ended last week in Operation Disastrous Farce. There is no humour, no satire, to be drawn from this, but there is contempt for both the Taliban’s extremism […]

“You cannot coordinate an international response from a beach” Why we must challenge this government’s behaviour

Anthea Simmons

The quote is from Sir Keir Starmer in today’s debate. The Afghanistan crisis, quite aside being an unimaginable tragedy for the Afghan people, has thrown up very serious questions about the competence, integrity, honesty, trustworthiness and statesmanship of this government. We have to keep calling these abject failures out because they are failings that are […]

Anti-vax cranks and Putin’s mafia state: an unholy alliance

Tom Scott

How is it possible that thousands of people in our country are persuaded to assemble in Trafalgar Square to applaud anti-vax cranks and far-right extremists such as Piers Corbyn and Katie Hopkins? What kind of delusional mania brings people to cheer the malignant, attention-seeking narcissist Kate Shemirani as she calls for doctors and nurses to […]

James Heappey MP – an officer but not quite a gentleman

Mick Fletcher
MP James Heappey

I have disagreed with my local MP James Heappey on many issues over the years but never before had occasion to doubt his courage. After all he has seen active service in Afghanistan and Iraq and being on the front line in those areas undoubtedly took guts.  Courage is about more than fighting, however, and […]

The cruellest cut

Danny Chambers

When even Theresa May, the person responsible for the Windrush scandal and the UK’s ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy, thinks your foreign policy agenda is inhumane, it should give you pause for thought. “Fewer girls will be educated, more girls and boys will become slaves, more children will go hungry and more of the poorest people […]

El show del Brexit cumple cinco años

Mike Zollo
article in El Mundo/5 years since Brexit. Vote Leave supporters branish union flags

The Brexit Show reaches its fifth birthday Why the Spanish are so pro-EU My Spanish friends and acquaintances, all Anglophiles, have watched bemused and befuddled as the UK has shot itself in the foot in what many have called ‘an act of national suicide’. Hardly surprising that the Spanish are so puzzled by Brexit, Spain […]

Two cheers for French citizenship

James Chater

So, the official letter has arrived bearing the good news, I’ve crowed about it on Facebook and the champagne has been uncorked and drunk: I am now, at long last, joyfully, French. Yet in some ways this feels like a Pyrrhic victory, for which I can only summon two out of the three customary cheers. […]

G7 in Cornwall: greenwash, gibberish and glorious rebellion

Tom Scott
Giant globe centrepiece of climate change protest in Falmouth showing world on fire or flooded

It’s been a crazy few days here in Cornwall. The skies have been buzzing with police drones and weird-looking military aircraft, like monstrous black insects. Police with machine-guns have been hovering around the entrance to my local Tesco. And down at Carbis Bay, inside their ‘ring of steel’, world leaders concluded their deliberations on the […]

A proper G7 job

Mark Newham

Pride, amazement, exhilaration… three words that pretty much summed up initial local reaction to news of the 47th G7 summit location for 2021. “Fancy,”I heard one shopper remarking to another in my local supermarket, “the Prime Minister choosing little old Cornwall for such an important meeting. Proper job, eh?” From the comments appearing in the […]

A 93 year old’s poignant diary entries from 1971

Editor-in-chief

John Evans’s diary (courtesy of his daughter Jane Welby) Jane Welby: ”My Dad, a lifelong Tory voter and Telegraph reader, died last summer aged 93 and we have been reading through diaries we never knew existed. I found this thoughtful and prescient entry from October 1971 rather poignant:” Thursday 28 October 1971 “Tonight our Westminster […]

The UK’s shameful hostile environment is persecuting hope

Mike Zollo

“As I approached one of the drowned corpses on the beach, that of a young lad, the mobile phone in his pocket began to ring; I guess it was his mother or girlfriend ringing to ask if he had arrived safely …” The words of a Spanish Red Cross worker dealing with bodies washed up […]

Marine Le Pen: does the leopard change its spots…?

Geneviève Talon

Like most French voters over the age of 40, I will never forget the shock result of the first round of the presidential election in 2002. The two candidates to qualify for the second round were the right-wing Jacques Chirac and the extreme right-wing Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the ‘Front National’. French voters of […]

Boris Johnson IS Pinocchio! How the Italian press see our PM – and us

Mike Zollo

Remember when Johnson senior accused the British public of illiteracy, saying they would not be able to spell Pinocchio? This was the evasive response to a Tweet calling Boris Johnson ‘Pinocchio’ – a liar. Now, who else can we think of who uses that sort of evasive technique?! The Italian press is still fascinated by […]

“Fascism has never gone away…” Letters to the editor from Spain

Mike Zollo

The following is a compilation of the comments made by members of Bremain (in Spain), most of whom are Brits living in Spain or who know the country well. These comments are their reactions to the West Country Bylines article Democracy breaks up from the inside, which went online on 25 February. Lisa Ryan Burton […]

A briefing note for POTUS: time to review the UK’s ‘closest ally’ status?

Eric Gates

Eric Gates imagines a very necessary briefing for President Biden in the wake of developments on the UK side of the pond… Mr President; you were briefed after your election about the United Kingdom’s  request to acquire the next generation nuclear deterrent from us. Since then, the UK Government has published a policy paper entitled […]

Has Brexit made us less safe?

Sadie Parker

Prior to the referendum and for a few years afterwards, Sir Richard Dearlove appeared to dominate the conversation on security, at least from a pro-Brexit stance. Dearlove is a former head of MI6, the British security service responsible for countering threats from foreign sources. His omnipresence and stark opinions drowned out the voices of other […]

Remain’s favourite filmmaker: David Nicholas Wilkinson

Sadie Parker

In February the London Screenwriters’ Festival ran an inspiring online event that gave screenwriters and filmmakers a much-needed boost. The early part of the year is traditionally a low-point. This year, in the midst of lockdown number three and after the hardest-ever year for the arts (despite the clamour for content), the mood was particularly […]

From mines to vines: exchanging the seeds of destruction for the fruits of hope.

Editor-in-chief

In the ever-expanding desert of negative news come these joyous oases of compassion and positivity. Women in War and International Politics (WIWIP) at King’s College, London and Roots of Peace have collaborated to bring an exciting panel event to discuss the role of women in de-mining and post-conflict reconstruction through sustainable agriculture in Afghanistan, and […]

Global Britain – a fake ambition

Mick Fletcher
British bulldog with union flag bandana collapsed tired on decking

One of the ways in which the current government remains popular despite clear evidence of corruption and incompetence is by selling comforting illusions to its core supporters.  The idea of ‘Global Britain’ is one such fantasy. It paints a picture of a country that ‘punches above its weight’, is a ‘sovereign equal’ of a trading […]

Brace for denial

Mick Carter

Introduction This is an article inspired by the BBC podcast How They Made Us Doubt Everything. It explores the techniques used by those wanting to delay or stop action on climate change, and the disproportionate impact these have had on public opinion. I am not a climate scientist but my work has been connected with […]

Two nations divided by a common language

Eric Gates

The quotation about “two nations divided by a common language” is variously attributed to Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw, with Winston Churchill famously quoting it. For the moment, let us leave aside the assumption that the United Kingdom is only one nation, noting simply that one of the two possible originators was actually Irish. […]

“Democracy breaks up from the inside”

Mike Zollo

Officer sacked for celebrating the sins of father Wednesday 19 March 2014, The Times “Spain’s military has dismissed a senior officer for celebrating the anniversary of an attempted coup by his father in 1981 which threatened to destroy the country’s young democracy and turn it back into a dictatorship.” This report in The Times in […]