Clean, timely Brexit good for Britain and Canada

It’s time to open up trade. Even the EU accepts that 90% of global growth will take place outside its group over the next 15 years

Clean, timely Brexit good for Britain and CanadaNo other time in the recent history of British politics has been so turbulent. But the United Kingdom needs to stay the Brexit course. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been accused of lying to the Queen by a Scottish court, the Conservative government has lost its majority and kicked out 21 rebel Tory MPs, opposition…

With war on the doorstep, The Singing Cowboy came calling

His tour of the U.K. and Ireland just before the Second World War was a huge success. But prudence meant his entourage came home early to avoid any danger

With war on the doorstep, The Singing Cowboy came callingThe summer of 1939 was nerve-wracking for Europe. As July slid into August, it became increasingly clear that – barring a miracle – war was on its way. And there were no miracles to be had. There was, however, a distraction that delighted tens of thousands. Gene Autry, The Singing Cowboy, came calling across the…

No, Boris Johnson isn’t another Donald Trump

When these two world leaders hold their first summit, the Boris and Donald Show will be a meeting of two unique and different political minds

No, Boris Johnson isn’t another Donald TrumpThe United Kingdom has had many impressive individuals serve as prime minister, including Robert Peel, Benjamin Disraeli, William Gladstone, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. One of the most intriguing political figures to enter 10 Downing St. in decades, Boris Johnson, has now joined this illustrious group. Johnson, a Conservative MP and former cabinet minister, has…

Is Independents Day coming in Canadian politics?

A growing number of Canadians are tired of the traditional parties and politics as usual. Wilson-Raybould and Philpott could offer a choice

Is Independents Day coming in Canadian politics?Every July 4, millions of Americans celebrate Independence Day. If two members of Parliament are successful this fall, millions of Canadian voters could one day celebrate Independents Day. Former Liberal ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott were at the centre of the SNC-Lavalin controversy earlier this year that turned the federal government upside down. Prime…

A political party that ignores its base jeopardizes its future

Examples can be found around the world – including in Canada – and the scenario is being played out again in the U.K.

A political party that ignores its base jeopardizes its futureRunning for the United Kingdom Conservative leadership, Boris Johnson claims that his party faces “extinction” if it fails to deliver Brexit. Political rhetoric being what it is, this could be dismissed as self-interested hyperbole. But while Johnson may exaggerate, the threat he envisages isn’t conjured out of thin air. There’s ample evidence that many habitual…

A magnificent Cornish pub dinner to top off a day of discovery

We walked back to our lodgings simply wondering if a better day could be had – anywhere. And already tomorrow was beckoning

A magnificent Cornish pub dinner to top off a day of discoveryWe crossed over the stone causeway connecting the mainland to St. Michael’s Mount, just as the tide waters were beginning to lap at its seaward foot. We decided to walk along the beachfront to Penzance. It looked about five km on our map. All along the beach, as far as we could see, there were…

Budget deficits can increase social inequality

The burden of the debt financing falls on the whole population, and low-income Canadians can least afford to contribute

Budget deficits can increase social inequalityThere’s been much talk about the federal government’s attempts to enact redistributive policies to reduce income inequality in Canada. But the way these measures are funded could increase inequality. One think-tank in Quebec surveyed a panel of 70 policy experts who noted that the latest federal budget would, on the whole, reduce inequality. I contributed…

The unexpected rise of Margaret Thatcher

Into the U.K.’s Winter of Discontent came a woman of sharp edges and a clear mind about how change would be managed

The unexpected rise of Margaret ThatcherOn May 3, 1979, United Kingdom voters trooped to the polls and produced a result that nobody would have countenanced a mere five years earlier. Defeating the sitting Labour government, Margaret Thatcher led the Conservatives into a lengthy sojourn in office. The novelty derived from the U.K. never having had a female prime minister, let…

The echoing calls for reconciliation and sound social architecture

In Ireland, in South Africa, in Canada the desire for stability, resolution and trust runs deep

The echoing calls for reconciliation and sound social architectureRose Conway-Walsh identifies as a confidently progressive left-of-centre leader of Sinn Féin in the Irish Senate. She’s equally confident, however, that many of Ireland’s pressing, implacable existential problems could be resolved by turning the clock back to April 24, 1916. “Everything is rooted in the Proclamation. If we only had fulfilled the ideals laid out…

Ireland’s greatest mythical hero

The story of Cuchulainn is one of heroism. But it has also become a cultural touchstone and a political rallying cry

Ireland’s greatest mythical heroWith St. Patrick’s Day almost upon us, it’s appropriate to write something with an Irish theme. And what better subject than the greatest hero of Ireland’s mythical past – Cuchulainn. As the word is derived from old Irish, a bit of phonetic assistance would help. The variation familiar from my childhood is “Coo Cullen.” It…
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