Robin Lustig
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Former presenter of The World Tonight on BBC Radio 4 and Newshour on BBC World Service.

Entries by Robin Lustig

The Saudi Royals: Not People to Do Business With

(16) Comments | Posted 31 January 2015 | (00:00)

I wonder what was going through David Cameron's mind as he cleared his diary to rush off to the funeral of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. (I'm not too bothered about what went through Prince Charles's mind - going to foreign funerals is what he's paid for.)

By most people's...

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A Test That Europe Must Not Fail

(6) Comments | Posted 24 January 2015 | (00:00)

It looks as if 2015 could turn out to be Europe's Year of the Insurgents. It's going to be a rough ride, and the rise of the insurgents is only one of three major challenges that the continent now faces.

In Greece's elections this Sunday, the left-wing, anti-austerity Syriza party...

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A Warning for the Windsors

(31) Comments | Posted 17 January 2015 | (00:00)

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is a very lucky man. If it hadn't been for the appalling events in Paris last week, he would still be all over the front pages.

Perhaps you've already forgotten why. It's because of a lawsuit brought in Florida by a woman who alleges...

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Je Suis Charlie

(19) Comments | Posted 8 January 2015 | (00:00)

In the aftermath of an atrocity as horrifying as the Paris murders on Wednesday, it is more important than ever to be crystal clear about the freedoms that we hold most dearly.

Freedom of expression, which must always include the freedom to offend and to ridicule. Satire is an essential...

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Peshawar: Lost for Words

(15) Comments | Posted 20 December 2014 | (00:00)

Being at a loss for words is never ideal for a journalist, yet the mind-numbing massacre of 132 schoolchildren in Peshawar has left me struggling.

I can think of only three occasions during more than four decades as a journalist when I've experienced a similar inability to find the appropriate...

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Osborne's World: He Should Get Out More

(19) Comments | Posted 13 December 2014 | (00:00)

Our text today is taken from the Book According to Osborne: "The chancellor addressed the multitudes and he spake thus. 'Has the world fallen in? No, it has not.' And the multitudes pondered upon his words and were perplexed."

You may remember the occasion. It was the morning after Mr...

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Is It Time to Leave Planet Earth?

(26) Comments | Posted 5 December 2014 | (16:22)

I'm wondering if I should start packing my bags. Not for Christmas - for good. Apparently, we're on course for 2014 to be declared the hottest year ever, both globally and for the UK.

So if we go on like this, at some point Mother Earth will become...

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Please, No More Awards for Tony Blair

(36) Comments | Posted 29 November 2014 | (00:00)

I have a proposal for an urgent new UN security council resolution: that it shall be deemed contrary to the spirit of the United Nations charter to give any more awards to Tony Blair.

The US would probably veto it. But surely it's still worth making the point: enough already....

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It's Time for Israelis to Wake Up

(178) Comments | Posted 22 November 2014 | (00:00)

The worshippers were slaughtered as they prayed. Their killers stopped only when they themselves were killed. And then some of their co-religionists praised them to the skies, as heroes and martyrs.

I'm describing the appalling, sickening scenes at the Kehilat Bnai Torah synagogue in Jerusalem last Tuesday, when four rabbis...

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In Defence of Ed Miliband

(17) Comments | Posted 14 November 2014 | (16:36)

Perhaps I'm the last person in the country - but I still like Ed Miliband. More than that, I think he could be a pretty good prime minister. Yes, I know there aren't many of us left, and I want to try to analyse why.

Let's leave aside all those...

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The Fall of the Wall, Russell Brand and the 89ers

(0) Comments | Posted 8 November 2014 | (00:00)

Twenty-five years ago, on 9 November 1989, I was on shift at The World Tonight as a newly-arrived presenter. It was the night the Berlin Wall was breached and history was made.

I don't need to try to remember what I felt that night because I kept a recording...

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This Immoral Government

(96) Comments | Posted 3 November 2014 | (00:00)

I have rarely felt so ashamed, or so angry. David Cameron, it seems, regards it as a "moral duty" to cut taxes - but not to save desperate migrants from drowning in the Mediterranean. By comparison, Marie Antoinette ("let them eat cake") was compassion incarnate.

Sometimes, it's a real disadvantage...

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Journey's End: Migrants, Then and Now

(6) Comments | Posted 25 October 2014 | (01:00)

A little over three months ago, together with a like-minded American journalist friend, I set out on a journey that we called In The Footsteps of Our Families. The idea was to retrace the journeys made by our immigrant forebears, from eastern and central Europe to the UK...

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Iraq and Syria: A Better Way

(2) Comments | Posted 4 October 2014 | (01:00)

In May of last year, President Obama announced that future US air strikes against suspected al-Qaeda targets in Pakistan and Afghanistan would be authorised only when there was a "near certainty" that civilians wouldn't be harmed.

The new policy was in response to growing hostility to the strikes, especially in...

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Iraq: War Without End?

(6) Comments | Posted 27 September 2014 | (01:00)

By the time you read these words, RAF Tornados will either have started, or will be about to start, bombing targets in Iraq. Here we go again ...

Six weeks ago, I wrote: "We should be in no doubt: we, the West, are back in Iraq." And so it has...

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Time for a New Start

(1) Comments | Posted 19 September 2014 | (09:53)

Phew!

Those of us who were desperately hoping that the Union would remain united are surely entitled to a sigh of relief. But there's already another battle looming: who's going to take control of what happens next?

David Cameron, in his early morning, post-referendum statement, suggested that a...

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Why I'd Vote No - With a Passion

(74) Comments | Posted 12 September 2014 | (17:20)

I am not Scottish, and I don't live in Scotland, so I don't have a vote in next week's independence referendum. But if I were, and if I did, I would unhesitatingly vote a great big No.

Here's why:

I am a passionate believer in multiculturalism and multinationalism. I believe...

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A World Without a Globo-Cop

(11) Comments | Posted 5 September 2014 | (16:54)

I can't think of anywhere that would have been less appropriate as a venue for this week's Nato summit than the UK.

A United Kingdom that within the next couple of weeks may become shatteringly disunited. A once middle-ranking European power that now has no idea what sort of international...

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A Widening War: We're Back in Iraq

(6) Comments | Posted 16 August 2014 | (01:00)

I fear that it is no longer fanciful to see the conflagration that has engulfed Syria and Iraq as the Middle East's version of the First World War. Big power rivalries are sucking the region inexorably into the vortex, with incalculable consequences.

When the history books come to be written,...

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A Grandfather's Grave

(0) Comments | Posted 2 August 2014 | (01:00)

In a far corner of the "new" Jewish cemetery (opened 1902) in the Polish city of Wrocław, Piotr Gotowicki is hacking away at the thick ivy that has grown over a gravestone lying flat on the ground.

It's not just any old gravestone, as Piotr knows full well. He has...

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