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

Entries by Robin Lustig

Syria: Why I Am a Reluctant Bomber

(11) Comments | Posted 28 November 2015 | (00:00)

In the interests of taste and decency, let us look away from the gruesome spectacle of the civil war that has engulfed the Labour party and concentrate instead on the far more serious conflict in Syria. So here are some questions that you might like to ask yourself (with my...

Read Post

Paris: A Few Home Truths

(28) Comments | Posted 21 November 2015 | (00:00)

Why do we insist on ignoring what stares us in the face? The suicidal fanatics who threaten to kill us in the name of their perverted brand of Islam are not refugees from Syria, or deranged zealots from the mountains of Pakistan: they are, with only very few exceptions, men...

Read Post

A Win for Sisi

(8) Comments | Posted 7 November 2015 | (00:00)

In considering the visit to London of the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, I can do no better than to quote the words of Amnesty International in its most recent report on Egypt:

"The [past] year saw a continued dramatic deterioration in human rights following the ousting of...

Read Post

A Question of Incompetence

(3) Comments | Posted 31 October 2015 | (00:00)

Has there ever been a Cabinet minister more inept than Chris Grayling, the leader of the House of Commons? He is a man who can be utterly relied upon to get things wrong, a man whose lack of judgement and staggering incompetence defy belief.

John Crace put it...

Read Post

China: A Prosperity Agenda?

(5) Comments | Posted 24 October 2015 | (01:00)

I chose to mark the State visit of President Xi Jinping of China this week by spending some time at a wonderful art exhibition that somehow our honoured guest couldn't fit in to his crowded schedule.

Whether by coincidence or not, the Royal Academy in London is currently...

Read Post

The New Politics: Principles? I Can Change Them

(1) Comments | Posted 19 October 2015 | (01:00)

Have you noticed the new political fashion? Marxism is back - Groucho, not Karl. "Those are my principles," goes the quote, "and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

As with so many of the best quotations, no one seems sure that he actually said it, but for...

Read Post

David Cameron: Once a PR Man, Always a PR Man

(11) Comments | Posted 10 October 2015 | (01:00)

Here's a little riddle for you: which left-wing extremist said this: "Bin Laden should be put on trial... because a trial would be the profoundest and most eloquent statement of the difference between our values and his."

And who said this: "[There was] no attempt whatsoever that I can see...

Read Post

Just What Syria Needs: More Bombs

(14) Comments | Posted 3 October 2015 | (01:00)

It's obvious, isn't it: what Syria really, really wants, after four years of war, an estimated 250,000 deaths and 12million people forced to flee from their homes, is more foreigners dropping bombs.

Well, lucky Syria - because within the last few days, both France and Russia have joined in, which...

Read Post

Migration and the EU: An Institution Crumbling?

(11) Comments | Posted 26 September 2015 | (01:00)

The bonds that bind the European Union are fraying. And the looser they become, the easier it will be for the UK to slip those bonds entirely and make its escape.

Or, to put it another way: the EU's migration crisis could well hasten Britain's exit. If you're in the...

Read Post

Corbynism: A Farewell to Power

(92) Comments | Posted 19 September 2015 | (01:00)

Only one thing matters for the future of the Labour party: does Jeremy Corbyn have any ideas about how to woo back the voters Labour lost to the Tories last May?

We know the Left love him; what we don't know is whether he has any idea how to win...

Read Post

It Is Time to Talk to Assad

(13) Comments | Posted 12 September 2015 | (01:00)

It is one of the great mysteries of modern political life that our leaders seem so reluctant to learn from their mistakes.

You would have thought, after the dismal experience of the recent past, that they would have learned by now that when you put the words "military intervention" in...

Read Post

Europe's Shame

(32) Comments | Posted 5 September 2015 | (01:00)

Here is a message for the political leaders of Europe: read what follows and be ashamed. Be very ashamed.

Last weekend, German football fans hoisted huge banners in their stadiums - the message said: "Refugees welcome".

In Vienna last Monday, trains packed with people arriving from Hungary were welcomed...

Read Post

The Answer Lies on the Golf Course

(14) Comments | Posted 15 August 2015 | (01:00)

I think I have the answer to two of Britain's biggest problems: shortage of housing and concern over immigration.

Golf courses.

No, not build more of them. Build on them: affordable homes for those who need them, and temporary accommodation units for refugees and asylum-seekers. Oh yes, and then...

Read Post

My Father Was an Illegal Immigrant

(24) Comments | Posted 8 August 2015 | (01:00)

I know a man who was granted permission to enter the UK on condition that he stayed for no more than 12 months. He was 20 years old, single, and unskilled.

He was, in modern parlance, an asylum-seeker, fleeing from a regime that threatened him and his family - and...

Read Post

Is It Time for Some Facts About Those Migrants?

(827) Comments | Posted 1 August 2015 | (01:00)

Perhaps you'll think I'm naïve, but I still believe that when you have a debate, it's a good idea to have some facts readily to hand.

So here are some facts that you might find useful next time you're thinking about that "swarm" (David Cameron's word, not mine) of migrants...

Read Post

Leave Labour Alone to Grieve

(3) Comments | Posted 25 July 2015 | (01:00)

As you may have noticed, the commentariat has had a bad attack of the cobble-wobbles over the past few days: the idea that Jeremy Corbyn, a - gasp! - left-winger, might be regarded by party members as a credible potential leader has left the pundits reaching in panic for their...

Read Post

The Future of the BBC: It's Up to You

(50) Comments | Posted 18 July 2015 | (01:00)

Who do you think said this? "The BBC is at the very heart of Britain. It is one of this nation's most treasured institutions - playing a role in almost all of our lives."

Or this: "The BBC remains much-loved by audiences, a valuable engine of growth

Read Post

Whatever Happened to Sharing?

(4) Comments | Posted 11 July 2015 | (01:00)

When I was growing up, I was taught to share what I had. I still think it's one of the most important attributes of a decent human being - and, by extension, of a decent society.

So when did it go out of fashion? When did those people who have...

Read Post

What's in a Name?

(5) Comments | Posted 4 July 2015 | (01:00)

If it weren't so tragic, it would be laughable. Within a week of 30 British holidaymakers being shot dead in Tunisia, David Cameron is complaining about the name by which the BBC refers to the group that is alleged to have been behind the attack.

Islamic State, he says, is...

Read Post

Cameron in Europe: Not a Good Place to Be

(7) Comments | Posted 27 June 2015 | (01:00)

As that wily old fox Harold Macmillan once said, the most difficult thing about being prime minister is: "Events, dear boy, events."

Which is why, at last night's EU summit dinner in Brussels, David Cameron's long-awaited presentation on the UK's renegotiation demands was reduced to the status of a TV...

Read Post