No-one wants to be "judgmental" these days. But let's put sects such as the Amish, Hasidim and Salafis, not into simplistic little boxes based on prejudice and lack of understanding, but along a spectrum of conviviality and civility.
In these dim, dark days, there are many things to enjoy about Tony Blair's non-affair with Rupert Murdoch's ex, Wendi Deng. Wendi and Tony have contributed greatly not just to the national merriment but to the merriment of the world. Thank you! A grateful globe salutes you!
On Sunday, Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair wrote an opinion piece for British newspaper The Observer. In it, he asserts that the wars of the 21st century are "less likely to be the product of extreme political ideology - like those of the 20th century - but they could easily be fought around the questions of cultural or religious difference".
Another jam-packed Davos has come to an end, and with it, numerous business deals secured - it is understood that AT&T CEO, Randall Stephenson, has discussed potential European acquisitions with the region's top telecommunications official, Neelie Kroes - as well as policy ideas between governments thrashed out behind closed doors...
Last week, I attended my sixth Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, Switzerland. I attended many of the sessions in and out of the forum and there was no shortage of women's faces. But appearances can be deceptive. Many women attending did so, not as delegates but as staffers or spouses of the delegates. Sadly this year among the 2,500 delegates, only 16% were female, down from 17% in 2013 - its highest ever. Yet, despite this, there was a real feeling that it was time to get serious about ensuring that 50% of the world's population get their fair share of the world's resources.
Tony Blair said yesterday that the battles of the coming century may no longer be centred around 'extreme political ideology' but 'questions of cultural or religious difference'. He's almost right.
When Tony Blair claims it is religious or cultural difference that will fuel 21st century wars, not the ideologies that caused past wars (The Observer, January 26, 2014) he shows only a skewed notion of religion's place in society and history. He projects a narrow idea of what it means to be religious, and diverts attention from other, more systemic problems.
Do you want my alternative take on the Lib Dem sex scandals, the attempt to arrest Tony Blair, Ed 'The Arsonist' Miliband and the Ukip weather forecast? Here it is in 60 seconds...
Last weekend, a former UK Prime Minister was ambushed and verbally berated by a brazen bar worker (Mr. Garcia). Whilst serving the former PM as he dined in an east London restaurant, Mr. Garcia believed it appropriate to perform "a citizen's arrest for a crime against peace...". A few days after this extraordinary episode took place, the UK national newspapers gave front page honour to the incident.
Why is it that so many of our political giants, from Obama to Blair, let us down? And what is it about Mandela that made him somehow immune to the public image damage that is the standard bi-product of political office?
Politicians and journalists are falling over themselves to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela. Alas, the curse of having a good memory means recalling when the same politicians and journalists condemned the ANC leader as a terrorist.
Rather than remember and mourn for Nelson Mandela only as a saint, we should remember and celebrate him as a radical. To do otherwise is to do a disservice to his struggle for freedom and justice beyond South Africa's borders.
The Middle East is a key region of interest because although increasing numbers of women are receiving a good standard of education, the region still lags behind on the core issue of economic equality. On a global scale, the latest figures from the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report show that although the gender gap in education is 93% closed, the gap in economic equality has closed by only 60%.
Last week I visited the Domiz refugee camp for the third time in six months and saw many children at school and play. Once again, I was struck by their cheeriness and resilience. I wanted to find some of the children I met in June but the camp has mushroomed since then from 50,000 to 75,000 so it would have been difficult.
It is bandied about by the press that the 2015 general election will be competitive. Naturally, sustaining such a narrative sells papers. However, when observing the statistics with an impassive and unpartisan mindset, one realises that not only is the general election Labour's to lose; it is almost inconceivable that the party could lose it.
In the last fortnight a number of media commentators accused Russell Brand of naivete and political ignorance for his criticisms of the democratic system and the limitations of the right to vote. This week, however, the British public were presented with further evidence of how hollowed-out the democratic process has become, when the Chilcot Inquiry revealed that it was being denied access to 25 notes sent by Tony Blair to George Bush, and 130 documents relating to conversations between the two architects of the Iraq War, in addition to dozens of records of cabinet meetings.