Thursday, 29 May 2014

Obama signals new direction in American foreign policy

So President Obama announces a major foreign policy shift at West Point on Tuesday. Arguably he has been moving towards this for some time. A useful starting point for the debate around this apparent shift can be found here: However this is put in place, it is remarkable to think that just over twenty years ago Charles Krauthammer was suggesting that the end of the Cold War had witnessed the world moving into a unipolar moment that might last for up to 30-40 years. Welcome to the world of multipolarity.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Oklahoma botched execution

A useful link on the botched execution in Oklahoma and the debate it has created:

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Governor Jay Inslee suspends the death penalty in the state of Washington

On 11th February, the Governor of the state of Washington, Jay Inslee, announced that he would issue a reprieve for any death penalty case that reaches his desk. He does not intend to commute the sentences of the nine men on the state's death row, but his action will ensure that no executions occur while he is governor. In his press conference announcing the decision, Inslee said, "Equal justice under the law is the state's primary responsibility. And in death penalty cases, I'm not convinced equal justice is being served. The use of the death penalty in this state is unequally applied, sometimes dependent on the budget of the county where the crime occurred." He also questioned the deterrent effect of the death penalty and said that it was unnecessary when the state has the sentencing option of life without parole. In making his decision, Inslee consulted with victims' family members, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials. The governor said he hoped his action will prompt a deeper discussion of capital punishment in the state. Last year, Maryland abolished the death penalty, the 18th state to do so, and the sixth in the last six years.

Friday, 11 January 2013

The American Fiscal Cliff

Here is a link you might find useful to a 30 minute programme I took part in on "Voice of Russia" radio. The subject was the highly topical US fiscal cliff and the country's on-going debt problems. Happy listening! The link is:

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Nick who? Some relationships are not that special...

In recognition of David Cameron's visit to the US, "The Washington Post" website had a link to "Ten Things You Need to Know About David Cameron". One discusses the coalition government. Nice picture of Cameron with ..... Danny Alexander. Not only was Nick Clegg shunned by his own party at the weekend over unpopular reforms to the NHS, but now he would appear to be unrecognised by a major news outlet in the USA. Draw your own conclusions...

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Election fever

I am sad to say at this time of year my wife begins to become an election widow. For years I have been absolutely fascinated by the US presidential elections. The twists, turns, money, campaigning techniques, Rick Perry's memory loss - who could not be interested in this? If you are in to predictions and polling there is really only one place worth going, and that is to Larrry Sabato's website. Prof. Sabato, at the University of Virginia, has been accurately predicting election outcomes for years. So, visit the site if you get the chance - particularly as to day he is predicting an Obama victory. The link is You can even subscribe to a regular newsletter full of election facts, statistics, and predictions.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Surface and Substance - Ed Milliband

Here is a link to a letter I had published in The Guardian today on Ed Milliband.