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

Is It Time for Some Facts About Those Migrants?

(524) 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
and...

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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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Has Miliband Called the SNP's Bluff?

(65) Comments | Posted 18 April 2015 | (00:00)

Something very unusual happened towards the end of the TV debate between the five main opposition party leaders: I learned something I didn't already know.

Perhaps I haven't been paying close enough attention, but when Ed Miliband and the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon were clashing noisily over hypothetical post-election cooperation...

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The Agony of the Tactical Voter

(11) Comments | Posted 11 April 2015 | (00:00)

I have a friend who would very much welcome your help. She lives in a marginal constituency and is agonising over how to cast her vote next month.

My friend describes herself as a left-of-centre progressive, and she has tended in the past to vote for the Lib Dems rather...

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Iran: the New Chapter

(2) Comments | Posted 6 April 2015 | (00:00)

It's a deal. Or, to be strictly accurate, it's a framework deal, which means that Iran and the six major powers with whom it's been negotiating over its nuclear research programme still have a few i's to dot and t's to cross.

Even so, it's definitely worth celebrating. Not so...

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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

(53) 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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