Diana’s bad bargain and her enduring mythology

While popular opinion may cast her as a victim, it’s hard to imagine that she’d have given Charles a second thought if he wasn’t the Prince of Wales

Diana’s bad bargain and her enduring mythologyPeople remember where they were at notable moments, such as when they first heard that someone famous died. And if that death was unexpected, the memory is likely to be clearer. If you’re a certain age, John F. Kennedy’s murder is a perfect example. So, too, is the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in…

Out of the closet, slowly and cautiously

Britain’s 1957 Wolfenden Report was the first step towards changing legal and social perspectives on homosexuality in the English-speaking world

Out of the closet, slowly and cautiouslyIn August 1954, the British government tasked a committee to look into the law on both homosexual offences and prostitution. Chaired by Sir John Wolfenden, the committee set to work on Sept. 15, 1954, and its recommendations were published just under three years later. Known to history as the Wolfenden Report, it’s remembered as an…

Political “wobbles” prove politics really is a blood sport

Theresa May's recent political "wobble" brings to mind Margaret Thatcher and the 1987 British election, which she won in spite of herself

Political “wobbles” prove politics really is a blood sportBritish Prime Minister Theresa May’s hapless performance in the recent United Kingdom election brought to mind another British prime minister’s voting travails. Although her ultimately decisive victory pushed the unpleasantness into the shadows, Margaret Thatcher – the Iron Lady, no less – had a serious wobble en route to winning a third consecutive mandate in…

Quick answers needed into Grenfell Tower disaster

Unfortunately, history demonstrates that the powerful are not above gerrymandering terms of reference to deliver verdicts advantageous to themselves

Understanding what went wrong at London's Grenfell Tower, where as many as 80 people perished in a devastating fire on June 14, will require a wide-ranging, informed investigation that examines systems and takes into account all pertinent social, economic and political factors. Prime Minister Theresa May announced a public inquiry into the fire on June…

The U.K. general election’s lessons for Canadian politicians

A big lead in the polls doesn’t necessarily mean a bigger majority in Parliament. You must ensure the leader is prepared and your policies have meat on the bone

Last week’s general election in the United Kingdom provided some important lessons for western democracies, including Canada. When Theresa May was elected to replace David Cameron as Conservative leader and U.K. prime minister last July, many political observers had high hopes. They promoted her as the second coming of the late Margaret Thatcher, even though…

King Edward’s sorry path to abdication

Scandalous episode that rocked U.K. seems unbelievable today

King Edward’s sorry path to abdicationTORONTO, Ont. Dec. 8, 2016/ Troy Media/ - The details seem quaint now, but in December 1936 – just 80 years ago – the big news concerned the abdication of King Edward VIII. And what makes the affair incomprehensible to modern sensibilities is that it was driven by his choice of a bride. Neither of…

October 1066 changed England forever

The Norman Conquest annihilated England’s ruling class, physically and genetically

October 1066 changed England foreverTORONTO, Ont. Oct. 23, 2016/ Troy Media/ - English history was fundamentally changed within a period of three weeks in the autumn of 1066. Two battles – Stamford Bridge on September 25 and Hastings on October 14 – swept away the English ruling class while simultaneously shifting the country’s external orientation from Scandinavia to France.…

The liberating power of Brexit

Britain has shown there is a path out of the European Union, and it's a notion that other member states should embrace

The liberating power of BrexitGreat Britain’s Brexit decision in June is the first major, painful defeat for the German-control European Union. More will follow, to the general benefit of the people of Europe. The decision shook both the British and European political and economic systems, but the British are proud people from a great country. The nation, steeped in an empire's history,…

Leadership amid the flames of the Great Fire of London

Charles II's leadership during the Great fire of London was the kind of performance that gives kings a good name

Leadership amid the flames of the Great Fire of LondonTORONTO, Ont. Sept. 2, 2016 / Troy Media/ – In the early hours of Sept. 2, 1666, 350 years ago, the Great Fire of London ignited in a baker’s shop in a little street called Pudding Lane. It spread havoc over the next four days, laying waste to the old walled city at the centre of…

‘Radical Joe’ Chamberlain inspires new British PM

The new British prime minister is apparently an admirer of the Victorian-era urban reforming Radical Joe

‘Radical Joe’ Chamberlain inspires new British PMTORONTO, Ont. Aug. 14, 2016/ Troy Media/ - Think of the name Chamberlain and the person who springs to mind is the hapless Neville Chamberlain, the man who is – perhaps unfairly – remembered as the appeaser of Adolf Hitler. But he wasn’t the first Chamberlain to make his mark on British politics. A generation…