March 04, 2016
TV Interview on living in Argentina
June 29, 2015
Greece; Deathplace of Democracy
The word Referendum comes from the Latin referre (to bring back) and demos is Greek for the people as a political unit; demos is the root of the word Democracy; so a referendum brings a decision back to the people. As representative democracies European States hold elections to choose their governments giving elected representatives a mandate to represent their political choices. The Greek people chose Syriza to represent them in the broken institutions of a European Union in crisis; the Greeks chose to end Austerity. If representatives can't make a political decision, because it is contrary to their mandate, the decision can be brought back to the demos in a referendum; or at least that is how things used to work.
Welcome to post-crisis EU democracy.
January 20, 2015
Prosecutor Nisman Suicide?
O juremos con gloria morir ...
O juremos con gloria morir ...
Da-da da-da da-Daaaaaa …
The temperature of the October Argentine presidential elections just rose quite a few notches in this summertime heat in Buenos Aires. Alberto Nisman was the prosecutor for one of the largest murders in Argentina in the last two decades, when a small Renalt van crashed into the Mutual Israelite Association of Argentina (AMIA in Spanish) in 1994 with 275 kilos of explosives destroying the building and killing 85 victims and one suicide attacker and injuring more than 300 people inside. This attack may have been anti-semitic in nature and most probably anti-Israeli (as the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires was also attacked). Only a decade back, Nisman (also Jewish) was said to be on good terms with the presidential couple: former president Nestor Kirchner (RIP) and his widow, current president, Christina Fernandez de Kirchner. This relationship has since soured with the prosecutor Nisman accusing Christina Fernandez de Kirchner's government of whitewashing -- via what Nisman described as an "accord for the impunity” -- of certain persons accused of the AMIA attack, some of whom are now members of the Iranian government.
October 09, 2014
All hands on deck; this planet's on fire
September 23, 2014
Disruption Sept 21st 2014 and beyond
September 12, 2014
EUROPE on the BRINK Debt Crisis and Dissent in the European Periphery
July 18, 2014
From Financial crisis to a crisis of Legitimacy; Europe on the Brink
“This book is a thoughtful reflection on the way in which policies of monetary constipation have created the worst crisis in Europe since the 1930s, and the way in which that crisis has created crises of democracy and political economy in Europe. The agenda for the renewal of that democracy and political economy starts with this book and its young authors.”
(Professor Jan Toporowski, SOAS, University of London)
July 17, 2014
My London Book Launch
In the London N1 area? Don't forget to swing by our open house from 6pm for drinks, nibbles & 'Europe on the Brink' http://t.co/ZgfKmxPzt9— Zed Books (@ZedBooks) July 17, 2014
May 26, 2014
European elections; 2020 hindsight
Paris, France: May 26th, 2014
The results of the European Union’s Parliamentary elections are just in. They are twofold: first, there is a clear disinterest in the European Parliament as expressed by very low voting turnouts and second, of the few Europeans that did bother to vote, many have decided that it is time for a change.
Non-voters in the European Parliamentary elections are the majority in those nations without compulsory voting. The European turnout was 43% with 57% not voting or spoiling their vote. In Germany 48% voted, 46% voted in France, 36% in the UK and 35% in Portugal. There was extreme disinterest in the European elections in much of Eastern Europe: with 24% turnout in Croatia; 23% in Poland, 19% in The Czech Republic; and the Slovakians with a 13% turnout.
February 10, 2014
Best comment on FT.COM or personalisation?
December 09, 2013
An open Letter to Minister Shatter
On Monday this week I received a surprise email from The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence. Signed “Best Wishes, Alan”, minister Shatter’s email was no Christmas greeting. It acknowledged a November online Contact.ie campaign to "Destroy the Anglo Bonds" in which I had participated along with an estimated 100,000 others.
The timing of Alan’s missal was unorthodox, as the vote (on the bonds measure) had already taken place. All other email's I had received from TD's were in favour of the motion (which failed to pass the Oireachtas) and had been sent before the debate. None of these were from any of the three major parties. In contrast to Alan’s letter they were strongly in favour of removing the Anglo 'socialised' debt of €25,000 Million, first created by Fianna Fáil as promissory notes, then consecrated by Fine Gael & Labour into sovereign bonds.
I can only surmise that Alan felt a need to explain himself.
November 12, 2013
UN Climate conference (COP 19) begins in the Eye of the Storm
Super Typhoon Yolanda has rolled across the Philippines last weekend, a densely populated chain of islands in the eastern Pacific, taking the lives of between five and six thousand people, leaving millions homeless. Meteorological statisticians argued this weekend whether Yolanda’s wind speeds might have broken World records with gusts of 390Km per hour being reported by the Japanese meteorological service. The same statisticians have however, reached a solid consensus working with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) who released their fifth Assessment Report on Climate Change (AR5) over the last few weeks. The AR5 report can be downloaded from the IPCC site http://ipcc.ch/ .