Monday, December 22, 2014

Australia’s interventionist foreign policy- time for a rethink

My latest OpEdge piece for RT.com

The tragic Sydney café siege of earlier this week, which resulted in the death of three people, raises quite a few serious questions.
Why on earth was Man Haron Monis, the hostage taker who faced more than 40 sexual assault and indecency charges, and who had been charged with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, still at liberty? Why did the Australian authorities refuse to send Monis back to Iran, his home country, who it has been reported, repeatedly requested his extradition via Interpol to answer charges of fraud? And why wasn‘t a man who had sent hate mail to the grieving families of members of the Australian armed forces who had been killed in action and who had publicly pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State, under any form of monitoring by Australia‘s security services?
These questions are very important and need to be answered pretty quickly, but there‘s something else we ought to be discussing too...

You can read the whole article here.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

What could Ukraine learn from South Africa?



My latest piece for RT.com OpEdge

One year on from the death of Madiba - Nelson Mandela - South Africa still has lessons for other countries about political reconciliation, and particularly for right-wing anti-Russian nationalists in Ukraine.

It’s a warm and sunny day in Cape Town and we’re standing in front of the statue of Jan Smuts, the former Prime Minister of South Africa

Smuts is a controversial figure among South Africans, our guide Errol tells us. On the one hand he was a racialist who believed in the superiority of white people and who supported segregation. On the other hand, he was a nature lover and conservationist who did much to protect and preserve South Africa’s amazing flora.

You can read the whole piece here.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The True Scandal- Tony Blair still awaits the Nobel Peace Prize



My parody piece for Sputnik News...

The usual hysterical 'anti-war' voices are attacking the Global Legacy award given by Save the Children to Tony Blair. We should ignore them. The scandal is not that his great humanitarian work has finally been recognised, but that Mr Blair has not yet been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
It’s a baffling omission for no man on this planet — save perhaps George W. Bush or Benjamin Netanyahu — deserves it more...

You can read the whole piece here.

Monday, December 08, 2014

From Democracy to Autonocracy: How Dr Who's Nightmare Came True in Britain



My new piece for Sputnik News.

In a recent episode of Dr Who Jon Pertwee successfully foils a dastardly plan of the Nestene - a non-physical alien intelligence - to replace leading political and public figures in Britain with plastic replicas.
The Nestene take over a toy factory in Epping, where they manufacture the plastic 'Autons'- who will help them take over the country.
That Dr Who story 'Spearhead from Space' got me thinking. When it was first broadcast in 1970 we could easily have told the difference between our leading politicians and a bunch of automatons. You could agree or disagree with them, but no one could accuse Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, Tony Benn or Enoch Powell of being robotic...

You can read the whole piece here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Stranger than Fiction- the extraordinary story of Edgar Wallace



You can listen to an interview with me on BBC Radio Oxford, talking about my new book 'Stranger than Fiction- The Life of Edgar Wallace'- here. The interview starts at 2hrs 6mins.

I'm confused, can anyone help me? (Part Three)



Guess what- I'm still confused. The latest in my series for RT.com OpEdge.

I’m confused. The first thing I’m confused about is democratic legitimacy after elections are held in war-torn countries.

You can read the whole piece here
 

Let's make Public Ownership the election deal breaker


My latest Public Ownership column for the Morning Star.


NEIL CLARK assesses the insurgent parties’ policies on nationalisation – and offers a voting strategy to strike fear into every MP





 
 
 
IN the Morning Star last month I looked at what the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Labour and Ukip had to offer us in relation to public ownership. Or to be more accurate, what they didn’t have to offer us.

Another five years of the present coalition — or a Conservative majority government — will mean the end of the NHS and see the sell-off of the remaining assets in public ownership, including Britain’s main trunk roads.

So, if you do want to see Richard Branson or some other billionaire capitalist in charge of the M1, as well as rail routes, hospital services and the Met Office), our publicly owned woodlands flogged off to the highest bidder and our libraries either closed or run by US multinationals, then simply vote Conservative or Lib Dem.

You can read the whole piece here.







 


 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Heatwave at Halloween

My new piece for Sputnik UK- the new site of Voice of Russia

During one of the warmest British autumns on record, with the temperature touching 24C on Halloween day politicians from the country’s main parties conspicuously dropped all talk about climate change and the environment.
It's Christmas Day 2035 in Britain and the temperature is a balmy 22 degrees Celcius. The evening news shows pictures of people sunbathing on the beach in Bournemouth. Christmas barbecues are held throughout the country. People attend church services in short-sleeves. Sounds a bit fetched? Perhaps. But then, twenty-odd years ago, so too would the prospect of people enjoying a day on the beach in temperatures of over 20C on Halloween.

You can read the whole of the piece here.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Vladimir Putin- demonised for thwarting the neocon plan for global domination.

My latest piece for RT.com OpEdge- on why western elites are demonising the Russian President- and want you to hate him too.

The continuing attacks on Vladimir Putin and Russia by members of the western political, military and journalistic elite tell us one thing – the Russian President is doing a good job both for the people of his country and in the international arena.
For it is a rule which invariably holds true – if the Western elites praise the leader of a foreign country it means he is doing something which is good for those elites and bad for his country. If he’s demonized, as Putin is, it’s the other way round.

You can read the whole piece here.

The Bullying of Hungary- the country that dared to disobey the EU and US



My new piece for RT.com OpEdge on the bullying of Hungary.

25 years ago, Hungary was being toasted in the West for opening its border with Austria to East Germans, in a move which led to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now the Western elites are not happy with Budapest which they consider far too independent.
The refusal of Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his ruling Fidesz party to join the new US and EU Cold War against Russia, which has seen the Hungarian parliament approving a law to build the South Stream gas pipeline without the approval of the European Union, in addition to the populist economic policies Fidesz has adopted against the largely foreign owned banks and energy companies, has been met with an angry response from Washington and Brussels.

The whole of the piece can be read here.  

Tally ho! The elite's new bloodsport: Russell Brand-hunting



My piece for RT.Com OpEdge on the attacks by members of the Elite Journos Club on Russell Brand.

Fox hunting is no longer legal in Britain. But there’s a new blood sport this autumn - Russell Brand hunting.
Members of the ‘hegemonic consensus’ supporting Elite Journos Club have been competing with one another to see who can write the most condescending and ‘eviscerating’ reviews/articles on Brand and his new book ‘Revolution’.
Brand was acceptable when he was doing stand-up comedy and keeping off the politics, but now that he’s dissing the British system of parliamentary democracy and calling for radical change it’s open season on him. It’s a case of “Set the hounds on that bearded ‘semi-literate’ hippy! Tally ho!”

You can read the whole article  here.

The Glory that was Crossroads....

This new piece of mine on the classic soap opera Crossroads, from the  Daily Express. 

It was the soap opera set in a Midlands motel than ran for 24 years and in its heyday was more popular than Coronation Street.
Crossroads may have disappeared from our television screens but the much-loved and often much-derided series is far from forgotten.
This week sees the 50th anniversary of the broadcasting of the first ever episode and to mark the occasion the surviving stars of the soap will be reunited on the Paul O’Grady Show on BBC Radio 2.

You can read the whole piece here.