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

Not a Good Day at the Office for Cameron

(22) Comments | Posted 26 March 2015 | (23:00)

I suspect Thursday wasn't the best day of David Cameron's political life: first the Supreme Court ruled against him on his attempt to block publication of Prince Charles's private letters to government ministers (three cheers for the Supreme Court); then MPs voted against his attempt to change the rules to...

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Israel: The Millwall of the Middle East

(52) Comments | Posted 20 March 2015 | (16:40)

Imagine it's election day, and the prime minister posts a video message on his Facebook page. "The government is in danger," he says. "The blacks are voting in droves."

I imagine you'd be shocked. I know I would be. Yet that, with just one word changed, is what the Israeli...

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Those TV Debates: Who, Whom?

(9) Comments | Posted 13 March 2015 | (23:00)

Michael Grade ought to know a thing or two about broadcasting - after all, he has been chairman of both the BBC and ITV in his time, as well as chief executive of Channel 4.

So when he asked the other day: "Who do the broadcasters think...

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India's Daughter, India's Shame

(7) Comments | Posted 8 March 2015 | (08:16)

The gang rape and murder of 23-year-old Jyoti Singh in Delhi in December 2012 caused massive national and international outrage. How sad, therefore, that the Indian government has decided to ban the showing of an extraordinary television documentary about the case that was shown on BBC4 last night.

Here was...

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Politics 101: Be Clear, Be Brief, Shut Up

(3) Comments | Posted 27 February 2015 | (23:00)

This has not exactly been a good week for politicians -- so I've decided to make the first ever Lustig Politician of the Week award.

And it goes - fanfare, please - to the former deputy prime minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese. He issued a press release on Thursday in...

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Russia: The Enemy?

(19) Comments | Posted 20 February 2015 | (23:00)

It's been exactly a year since President Putin started moving in to Ukraine - yet we're still scratching our heads and asking what exactly he's up to.

My fear is that by the time we've worked it out, it'll be too late. Mouthful by mouthful, he and his proxies...

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Some Questions for the Uber Rich

(6) Comments | Posted 13 February 2015 | (23:00)

How I wish I could sit down in front of a microphone with one of HSBC's "ultra wealthy" Swiss banking clients. How I'd love an opportunity to discuss with them the way they look after their money - and dodge paying taxes.

Perhaps you remember Leona Helmsley, an American business...

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In the Name of Morality

(9) Comments | Posted 6 February 2015 | (14:55)

Two of the grimmest places I have ever visited are the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Choeung Ek killing fields in Cambodia, dedicated to the memory of the hundreds of thousands of victims of the Khmer Rouge. They have been much in my mind this week.

So, too, has...

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The Saudi Royals: Not People to Do Business With

(26) Comments | Posted 30 January 2015 | (23:00)

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 23 January 2015 | (23:00)

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 16 January 2015 | (23:00)

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 7 January 2015 | (23:00)

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 19 December 2014 | (23:00)

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 12 December 2014 | (23:00)

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 | (15:22)

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 28 November 2014 | (23:00)

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 21 November 2014 | (23:00)

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 | (15:36)

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 7 November 2014 | (23:00)

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 2 November 2014 | (23:00)

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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