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Posts tagged " EU "

Migration : a very personal view

October 1st, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized 2 comments

Migration – Then and Now: A Personal Response to Today’s Crisis

Earlier this year a relative of mine was going through the possessions of my late German grandfather. She found a curious document, folded and slightly faded. As she unfurled it, the faces of more than 50 men stared out at her. (more…)

In Response to Robin Lustig’s Piece: “My Father Was An Illegal Immigrant”

August 10th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized 2 comments

It’s good to see so many people engaging in the debate – although some seem to have as much of a problem with the BBC as with the issue of Immigration!

The subject of immigration has been much on my mind too, not least as, somewhat akin to Robin, I too have a parent who came to Britain in search of refuge.

My father is an ethnic German. (more…)

“Nous Sommes Charlie”

January 12th, 2015 Posted by Charlie Hebdo 1 comment

There’s never been anything like Paris

Place de la République

In more than twenty years as a journalist I’ve covered many major stories and witnessed many large rallies – but nothing like yesterday in Paris.

I’ve seen angry crowds; defiant crowds; violent crowds: but yesterday in Paris was a day like no other. It was dignified, warm, uplifting – it was French.

I have spent the last few days reading many varying views on what the recent violence in Paris means and where it will lead. (more…)

Merkel in London: January 2015

January 7th, 2015 Posted by EU Politics No Comment yet



The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, made her first visit of 2015 to Britain today as the UK election campaign – some may say, for now at least, a phoney campaign – swings into action. As so many times in the past Europe, and Britain’s ongoing membership of the EU, is in full focus. Initially Downing Street and the German Chancellory had emphasised that the main reason for today’s visit was for the German Chancellor to discuss G7 matters with Prime Minister David Cameron. But whatever the pretext, it soon became clear that the two leaders would discuss the European Union and calls by Britain and others for its reform. (more…)

Clacton By-Election (#2)

October 11th, 2014 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment

Seismic Activity in British Politics: How Strong Will the Aftershocks Be Across Europe?

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 12.49.17

First UKIP MP, Douglas Carswell, with UKIP leader, Nigel Farage

A political drama was played out in a small theatre in an English seaside town in the early hours of Friday morning. No doubt Shakespeare, Goethe or even Molière might have been tempted to pen a work as UKIP – Britain’s eurosceptic party – won its first seat in the House of Commons and thereby made British political history.


Clacton By-Election (#1)

October 9th, 2014 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

The Unhappy Birthday Present


Clacton by-election candidates from the Liberal Democrats, UK Independence Party, Labour, Conservatives and the Green Party (picture courtesy of BBC News website)

It’s been a blustery and sunny day in Clacton-on-Sea.

The small town, on the east coast of the UK, peers out from its promenade across a dirty grey sea towards dozens of wind turbines just off the coast, lined up as if ready to invade. And then it’s a straight, 150-mile (250-km) line southeast across the English Channel and the fields of Flanders – to Brussels.

This Thursday (9 October) a small and relatively deprived district of coastal Essex, with 69,000 people eligible to vote, is holding a parliamentary by-election. Advance copies of the local paper – the Gazette – are already predicting an historic day, one on which “British politics [will be changed] forever”.


Scottish Referendum (#3)

September 19th, 2014 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Europe wakes up to Scottish Non/Nein/No/Ez/Nee/Nei/Nincs

I’m sitting in an arts venue just off Edinburgh’s Royal Mile beneath portraits of three key figures in Scottish political life:

– Johann Lamont is the leader of the Scottish Labour Party – a NO supporter;

– Ruth Davidson is her Conservative counterpart – also a NO supporter;

– and Nicola Sturgeon was the number two in the YES campaign – and is, at time of writing, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister.