The Twin Causes of ‘Brexit’ – Migration & Asylum: In 2015, David Cameron and the Conservatives surprisingly won an overall majority of MPs and were able to form a government by themselves. In their Manifesto, they had promised to conduct a renegotiation of the terms of Britain’s membership in the EU, and then ask theContinue reading “Majesty & A Fall from Grace: The Lives & Times of the Latter-Day Windsors – Part Two: Borders, Brexit & Bombings, 2002-17.”
Another Royal Fairy Tale Begins – William & Kate, 2002-2011: The sun was coming up over Westminster Abbey on Friday 29th April 2011, and on the Mall, some of the visitors were sleeping on chairs near the road, and others were standing and talking. They came from all over the capital city, as well asContinue reading “Majesty & A Fall from Grace: The Lives & Times of the Latter-Day Windsors – Part One: Big Days, Budgets & Bigotry 2002-17”
Britain at the End of the Cold War World: Britain had retreated from most of its empire by 1970. The only remaining colony was Rhodesia, which had been ruled by a white minority government, illegally, since 1967 and through the seventies. Britain resumed control in 1980 and the country became independent as Zimbabwe later thatContinue reading “Majesty & Grace X: The Reign of Elizabeth Windsor – Winter of Discontent to Golden Jubilee, 1979-2002; Part 1 – Wars & Paupers.”
Above: British propaganda poster, ‘On to Japan!’, 1945 (The Bridgeman Art Library). Fighting Back in Malaya & Singapore: The State Opening of Parliament, which took place on 15th August 1945, saw a return to the pomp of pre-war years, with thousands of people lining the streets of London as the King and Queen travelled toContinue reading “Majesty & Grace VI: The Life & Times of the Windsors, 1945-1952; George VI & The People’s Peace.”
Picture: The Battle of Jutland in the North Sea in 1916. Neither side won the battle, but the German fleet was forced to shelter in harbour until 1918. George V’s second son, Albert George (Bertie), Duke of York from 1920, future George VI and the father of the late Queen Elizabeth II, was an officer on board HMS Collingwood.
Springtime in Brussels and Budapest, 1999: In 1999, during the first government of Viktor Orbán, when Hungary became a member of NATO, his foreign minister, János Martonyi wrote of the change in the country’s system of government that had begun with the mandate received from the first free elections, which had replaced the one-party-state system.Continue reading “Orbán’s Hungary – a member of NATO or Putin’s Fifth Column?: Hungarian Foreign Policy and Euro-Atlantic Integration, 1989-2019.”
The Road to Kabul: Recent developments in Afghanistan, particularly over the past fortnight, together with this week’s (18th August) emergency debate in the House of Commons, have prompted me to write further on the question of Afghanistan, taking an even longer view of the key issues of the past quarter century. In my last postContinue reading “How the Taliban Began – Afghanistan 1994-97 – John Simpson’s Journal (and how different are they now, really?)”
The BBC Journalist John Simpson had won the Richard Dimbleby award in 1991 and the News and Current Affairs award in 2000 for his coverage, with the BBC News team, of the Kosovo conflict, when he was asked to meet the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, in a hotel car park in Islamabad in SeptemberContinue reading “Afghanistan – ‘An Anatomy of Reporting’; Twenty-Five Years On: 1996-2021.”