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

Entries by Robin Lustig

Just What Syria Needs: More Bombs

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

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...

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Migration and the EU: An Institution Crumbling?

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

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...

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Corbynism: A Farewell to Power

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

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...

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It Is Time to Talk to Assad

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

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...

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Europe's Shame

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

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...

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The Answer Lies on the Golf Course

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

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...

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My Father Was an Illegal Immigrant

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

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...

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Is It Time for Some Facts About Those Migrants?

(829) Comments | Posted 1 August 2015 | (00:00)

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...

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Leave Labour Alone to Grieve

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

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...

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

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

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

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Whatever Happened to Sharing?

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

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...

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What's in a Name?

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

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...

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Cameron in Europe: Not a Good Place to Be

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

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...

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In Praise of Journalists

(1) Comments | Posted 6 June 2015 | (00:00)

I don't often get the chance to say this, so I'll seize the opportunity when it presents itself: I am proud to call myself a journalist.

Why this week of all weeks? Because if it hadn't been for journalists - and one journalist in particular, of whom more later -...

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Dear Mr Cameron: Beware Murphy's Law

(18) Comments | Posted 29 May 2015 | (09:22)

It took exactly 50 words for the Queen to set Britain on course for a moment in history that will define it for the forseeable future.

This is what she said: "My government will renegotiate the United Kingdom's relationship with the European Union and pursue reform of...

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Palmyra: A Lament

(6) Comments | Posted 22 May 2015 | (09:10)

What matters most: the loss of 200,000 lives or the threatened destruction of some ancient ruins?

The answer should be obvious, I know - and yet ...

Perhaps it's because I have visited the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, and have marvelled at the breath-taking beauty of its historic...

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A Very Political Prince

(12) Comments | Posted 16 May 2015 | (00:00)

I have a suggestion for Prince Charles: why not register yourself as a professional political lobbyist? You could set up your own company: HRH Political Consultants.

You clearly enjoy writing to ministers, trying to influence policy, and backing the causes you favour. On the evidence of the handful of your...

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A New Era, A New Country

(3) Comments | Posted 8 May 2015 | (06:47)

You have woken up this morning in a new country. It is a country divided as never before, with two major political parties facing existential crises after a brutal election night.

I am writing at dawn on Friday morning, in the expectation that by the time you read these words,...

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The Big Tory Lie About Labour and the SNP

(25) Comments | Posted 2 May 2015 | (00:00)

Contrary to popular belief, it wasn't Hitler's propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, who said: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

It might have been Lenin, who is often quoted as saying (although I can find no reliable source): "A...

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An Unfair Election

(29) Comments | Posted 24 April 2015 | (17:11)

Although no one has any idea who'll win the election on 7 May, if indeed anyone wins, there is one absolute certainty: our voting system stinks.

Correction: the system we use for electing Westminster MPs stinks. Elections to the Scottish parliament, the Welsh and northern Ireland assemblies, the European parliament,...

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