Tag: democracy

The debate about Mytilene: a short footnote on Brexit

July 16, 2016 2 Comments
The debate about Mytilene: a short footnote on Brexit

In 428 BC, three years into the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta and their respective allies, the city of Mytilene on the Aegean island of Lesbos decides to secede from the Athenian empire. The oligarchic rulers of Mytilene fear that what independence they still have – unlike other states they had retained their navy […]

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Parliament: a Martian sends a postcard home

September 22, 2014 6 Comments
Parliament: a Martian sends a postcard home

My dearest brothers and sisters, You have dispatched me to London at an opportune time. The North Britons have but lately decided in a plebiscite not to withdraw themselves from their ancient yoking or ‘union’ with the South Britons – but only by a hair’s breadth. What contagion can possibly have taken hold of almost […]

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Diffyg gwybodaeth, diffyg democratiaeth

June 14, 2014 0 Comments
Diffyg gwybodaeth, diffyg democratiaeth

Am sawl rheswm leiciwn i ddim bod yn sgidiau Mark Drakeford, y Gweinidog Iechyd yng Nghymru. Yr wythnos hon mae ‘na reswm arall: arolwg cyhoeddus a gynhaliwyd gan ICM ar ran y BBC sy’n dangos bod 48% yn unig o oedolion yn y wlad yn gwybod taw e sy’n gyfrifol am y Gwasanaeth Iechyd yma. […]

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Barbarians and idiots

April 20, 2014 0 Comments
Barbarians and idiots

It’s Saturday evening, and the three of us are sitting round the kitchen table after a meal, with the remains of a bottle of cheap but perfectly good red wine from Bulgaria.  Its label says, ‘from the Thracian lowlands’. A. recalls that he went to Bulgaria on holiday, many years ago, in communist times.  All […]

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Weddings, town halls and local democracy

February 20, 2014 2 Comments
Weddings, town halls and local democracy

Last weekend our daughter Catrin got married, in Islington Town Hall. It was a fine choice for a wedding.  The Town Hall is a large neoclassical building facing the main street, opened in the mid-1920s.  The exterior is plain and conventional enough, though its unusually large, long windows suggest an open and welcoming attitude.  It’s […]

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