Russia: We Drank Champagne in Vain

The American Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson met with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, a few days ago following the recent imposition of new UN sanctions on Russia.   Nevertheless, instead of closing the door on its relations with Russia, Tillerson promised to deal pragmatically with Moscow – whatever that may mean.  Perhaps similar to…

Adam Smith – Still very relevant today

The ideal economy is one that is both profitable and civilised Today marks the birthday of Adam Smith (16 June 1723) who was one of the greatest thinkers in the history of economics.   He promoted the idea of a free-market economy suggesting it as the route to the healthiest and most stable society.  In…

Terrorism

“The goal of terrorists is to instil a level of fear in the public disproportionate to the actual threat.”   Chris Murphy, American Senator, Connecticut   I am currently reading” “The Better Angels of our Nature” by Steven Pinker because it was  recommended by Bill Gates and if I remember correctly he said that this…

John F Kennedy’s 100th Birthday

Today would have been John F Kennedy’s 100th birthday. As a child born and brought up in Ireland, the photograph of John F Kennedy adorned our ‘parlour’ wall right next to the Sacred Heart lamp which supported a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  If I recall correctly, our wall decoration was no different from…

Korea – North vs South and why it matters to America

Between them, President Kim Jong Un, his father and grandfather have ruled North Korea with a firm grip for the last 85 years.  The current President is a particular worry to his neighbours and to America not because he’s partial to vast parades, massive firework displays but principally because his nuclear power ambitions, which might…

Why Trump’s Reticence on Russia?

In The Economist this week, Trump is warned that he may be outfoxed by Putin similar to the way in which the two previous American Presidents were outwitted by this fearless Russian politician. America is already on the back foot because Trump is wasting his energy either berating the media or fighting his own intelligence…

For a joyful hour or two, go see David Hockney at Tate Britain

The David Hockney exhibition opens this week at Tate Britain in London and it’s a glorious feast for the eyes, a sensorial overload not to be missed. “…. you would have to be very determined not to yield to joy and the memory of love, and youth and sheer pleasure in life”.  Philip Hensher “Inspiration…

Voting Brexit with a heavy heart

Thomas Jefferson once said “eternal vigilance is the prize of liberty” where citizens and not just the powerful are required to seek the truth to be free.   29 June 2016 To the outside world, it must look as though Britain is imploding: exiting the European Union, David Cameron now a lame duck prime minister…

New Leader of the Free World

Letter to my American Family 18.11.2016 Ever since that awful night last week, it’s been on my mind to send my condolences to my American family.  I stayed up till almost 2am to watch history in the making – a woman leading the free world – but sadly it was not to be.  By then,…

An Establishment Apology on Brexit

My Newspaper Article of the Year  27.1.2017 Often regarded at home and abroad as one of Britain’s leading historians, Niall Ferguson, a Stanford University professor and a regular columnist in the Sunday Times wrote this header on 11 December 2016: “Sorry I was wrong to fight Brexit to keep my friends in No. 10 and…