Monthly Archives: May 2016

History of Sweden for Anglos (1)

I woke up this morning thoroughly depressed, as I have been since I finished my last book, with no other writing on the go, apart from the occasional review and this unread blog; when Kajsa cheered me up with a … Continue reading

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Hypothetical history (fun)

This blog is getting too political, and too serious. But History can also be fun. One way is to imagine ‘hypothetical histories’ – how we (or they) might have turned out if a key event in the past had not … Continue reading

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Party Splits (Boring Historical)

All the talk in the Westminster Bubble these days – according to my reading of the metropolitan press, which of course is part of the Bubble itself – is about what damage the current Conservative divisions over Europe will do to … Continue reading

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We told you so

Now the IMF – the IMF! – admits that it was wrong all along. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/neoliberalism-is-increasing-inequality-and-stunting-economic-growth-the-imf-says-a7052416.htm. So, back again to the early 1900s, when it was first ‘discovered’ that neo-liberalism (then, of course, the old liberalism) didn’t work. One of the ‘lessons … Continue reading

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Fiddling the Facts

If it’s true that the main division in almost every nation’s politics just now, cutting across the traditional left-right one, is between ‘establishments’ on the one hand and those who are disillusioned with conventional parties and politics on the other, … Continue reading

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EUMPERIALISM

Many of the difficulties besetting our very imperfect European Union have arisen from its territorial expansion, especially to the east and south-east, taking in states that used to be under the aegis of the Soviet bloc. The next on the … Continue reading

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Boris and the Swedes

So far as I can gather, and after only a few hours back in Utopia, the Swedes really don’t know what to make of Boris Johnson. Here’s a short recent local television news item on him: http://www.svt.se/nyheter/utrikes/populare-boris-jamfor-eu-med-illasittande-kalsonger. (‘Kalsonger’ are men’s underpants, and refers … Continue reading

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Assange – Recap

En route back to Stockholm. I notice on the Guardian website that the Julian Assange case has popped into the news again, albeit marginally: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/may/25/swedish-court-upholds-julian-assange-arrest-warrant-wikileaks. I’ve written on this before, drawing from my expertise in counter-espionage history, and my residence in Sweden. My … Continue reading

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Ken Loach

The Cannes Film Festival’s award of its Palme d’Or to Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake is a significant event politically as well as culturally. Loach is the last of our genuinely radical film directors who is not a ‘Luvvie’, making … Continue reading

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Why not a referendum on TTIP?

If we can have a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, why can’t we have one on TTIP? The latter may well pose a far greater threat to our democracy than the former, although exactly how much of a … Continue reading

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