Tehran 1979 or Berlin 1989?

The core issue in Egypt can be boiled down to this: are we witnessing Tehran 1979 or Berlin 1989? Is this a broad uprising against dictatorship whose goal of democratic freedom will be usurped by organized Islamists, as in the Iranian revolution? Or is this the end of the Arab Jurassic Park where, from Yemen […]

Civil Society in 1989 and 2011

At the Munich Security Conference, David Cameron announced the end of multi-culturalism and the need to confront those who oppose British values – democracy, integration and equality of the sexes. Yet the crowds in Tahrir Square are proving that these values are not the preserve of the British, far from it. Like the crowds in […]

‘Development' vs Environment

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s observation that enforcement of environmental regulatory standards should not lead to a throwback to the days of the licence-permit raj strikes a jarring note in an era of enlightened, science-based conservation. By projecting regulation as a threat to economic development, he has brought needless pressure to bear on the nascent efforts […]

Dignity, Bread and Liberty; the start of peak food revolutions

"What has changed the placid Egyptian population into a boiling mass of revolt?" Goes the not-so-subtle sub-text of much corporate media coverage. First the supposed quietism of the Egyptian people is over-stated, there have been other strikes and protests in recent years. As recently as 2008 Egyptians rioted over bread prices. Second they are hardly […]

The religious crisis of American liberalism

During his campaign in 2008, Barack Obama seemed to be doing more than getting himself elected president. He seemed to be launching a revival of liberal idealism, shifting the United States’s political landscape in the process. This impression hardly lasted beyond his inauguration as president on 20 January 2009. Never has a national mood of […]

Strive For A High Rank In God’s Army

While the modern Church persists in copying the rudiments of the world, God is raising His people up His true standard of righteousness wherein His people can be made to walk in the freedom and true holiness of the Living God. More and more so called "believers" are getting on the band wagon, mimicking our […]

Arundhati Roy: India’s bold & brilliant daughter

Arundhati Roy will turn 50 this year. I hope to be excused of sexism (would one write this of a man?) when I say that she looks no more than 35 at most. Her vitality has always been striking. I remember her from one of her early visits to London as a slight, supple woman […]

MMR vaccine & science fraud

A 1998 paper linking a measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine with a ‘new syndrome’ of autism and bowel disease was retracted by The Lancet in February 2010. The retraction came after the U.K. General Medical Council’s Fitness to Practise Panel conducted a 217-day hearing and found Andrew J. Wakefield, the lead author of the paper, […]

Let’s not forget them in our prayers

Lend a voice to the untold story of abandon and discrimination of HIV positive children among us while focus should also be given on a range of social, political and economic issues including the struggles of migrant workers, sex workers and the helplessness and denial of rights that the children face every day. However, special […]

The man who would be President

Man of the moment? Of course Mohamed ElBaradei is. But man of the people, I have my doubts. He doesn’t claim to be, of course, and sitting in his garden easy chair near an impossibly blue but rather small swimming pool, he sometimes appears – even wearing his baseball hat – like a very friendly, […]

The new middle east: intellectuals & democracy

Whatever the outcome of the tumultuous events in Egypt and elsewhere in the middle east, it is clear that the region is entering a new phase in its history. This era of change, a century after some Arabs started thinking of their independence from Ottoman and European rule, is also a defining moment of intellectual […]

Spike in world food prices: It's more than bad weather

Of all the world headlines that Sen. Richard Lugar could have highlighted this week – the visit of China’s president in Washington, for instance, or the revolt in Arab Tunisia – the most burning issue for him was … alfalfa. The plant, used for animal feed, was the surprising topic of the senator’s opening remarks […]