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

Entries by Robin Lustig

Refugees? Or Referendum?

(11) Comments | Posted 6 February 2016 | (00:00)

Ten billion dollars? That's an impressive-sounding sum of money to be spent on helping Syrian refugees - until you compare it to the $9 billion that, according to The Economist, Germans spend on chocolate every year.

Beware of big numbers. Yesterday's London donor conference on Syria made...

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Nudes and Niqabs: Drawing the Line

(44) Comments | Posted 30 January 2016 | (00:00)

So, President Rouhani of Iran, how did you like those big white boxes they showed you on your visit this week to Rome's Capitoline Museum?

You knew, of course, that they had been put there to spare your blushes, to hide the - gasp! - nude statues on display....

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Cameron on Muslim Women: Shoddy and Shameful

(35) Comments | Posted 23 January 2016 | (00:00)

Compare and contrast:

"If you're not able to speak English, you're not able to integrate. You may find, therefore, that you have challenges understanding what your identity is and you could be more susceptible to the extremist message that comes from Daesh." - David Cameron, speaking on the

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In Defence of Liberalism

(5) Comments | Posted 16 January 2016 | (00:00)

This is not an easy time to be a liberal. A belief in freedom and equality for all is being sorely tested by those who are only too happy to abuse the freedoms that are available in a liberal society.

Some abuse those freedoms so that they can organise mass...

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2015: A Year of Terror

(4) Comments | Posted 21 December 2015 | (00:00)

How quickly we forget. Just a year ago, 132 children in Pakistan were killed in an attack by jihadi gunmen on a school in Peshawar. We recoiled in horror - and then we moved on.

Just as we did after the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket attacks in Paris last...

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People Together: Against Fear and Bigotry

(5) Comments | Posted 12 December 2015 | (00:00)

It is time to take a stand.

Against bigotry. Against fear. Against lies.

It is time to take a stand against those who seek to divide us and turn us against our neighbours. And to stand up to those who seek to terrorise us into submission.

From the moment when...

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A Day Is a Long Time ...

(2) Comments | Posted 4 December 2015 | (08:23)

What a difference 24 hours make. On Thursday morning, after an unexpectedly powerful speech from Hilary Benn, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was reeling. The look on his face as Benn was applauded - applauded! - in the Commons chamber said it all. Not a good day at the office.

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Syria: Why I Am a Reluctant Bomber

(19) 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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Corbynism: A Farewell to Power

(91) 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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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