International Women’s Day

Last week – a week that included International Women’s Day – appropriately enough saw the role of women in our society making the headlines.  Sadly, those headlines highlighted again the way that women are treated in a male-dominated society – less a matter of celebration than of shame. First, we learned that the perennial and […]

Does the Rule of Law Matter?

Most people in Western countries, one would like to think, see great value in the democracy they enjoy.  Rather fewer, perhaps, attach similar importance to the rule of law under which they live. Yet the rule of law is a central element of the ordered, yet free, society which we have succeeded in creating.  It […]

Presidential L-Plates

Donald Trump is by no means the first US President to take office without any previous experience of holding political office.  Dwight D. (Ike) Eisenhower, for example, became President after a stellar career in the military, though his military service no doubt gave him some familiarity with the concept of public service. Trump, however, is […]

Brexiteers Should Be Treated with Respect

I have been a devoted reader of the Guardian for more than fifty years, and an occasional contributor to its pages over the same period.  It has been my preferred guide to understanding the complexities of the modern world and has helped to shape my view of how solutions to some of those complexities can […]

The Implications of Trump

Americans are a funny lot.  For them, it seems, celebrity trumps all.  They have elected as President someone whose personal qualities and attitudes would disqualify him, in most democracies, from membership of a school board. But that is too simple a message.  The Trump victory conveys a wider and deeper message – because Donald Trump […]

An Open Letter

An Open Letter to American Voters   When Barack Obama was elected to the US Presidency in 2008, millions of Americans celebrated, and there were millions of others – mainly in the countries comprising what used to be called in Cold War times the ‘free world’ – who cheered as well. Americans – or most […]

“Real” Men

Being the son of a famous person, and as a consequence finding oneself in the limelight, cannot be easy – especially if that famous person is the Prime Minister, who will inevitably attract approval and dissent in roughly equal measure and whose family and other relationships will always attract close scrutiny. What are we to […]

Should we Worry About the Trump Phenomenon?

Donald Trump has evidently never bothered with a portrait in the attic.  We can learn all we need to know about him by simply looking at him – the story of a lifetime’s self-indulgence and misdeeds can be read in his face.  His body language, his facial expressions, his gestures all speak to a persona […]

What More Can Labour Do?

The recent poll showing that Labour is losing rather than gaining ground will have been very disappointing to the Labour leadership – particularly because their improved performance across the board might have been expected to produce a lift in popular support. The Labour party seems, after all, to have put behind it most of the […]

Is There Something Wrong With Aussie Sport?

Is There Something Wrong with Aussie Sport? The news that Australian Olympians returning from Rio have been given a hard time by the Australian media and public for the alleged paucity of their medal haul will, sadly, have come as little surprise to Kiwi sports fans.  It is further evidence that there may be something […]