With the disappointment of resolutions already unfulfilled coupled with the inescapable bathos that sets in around a week into any new year, as you realise that the world is largely the same as it was before, I’ve returned to my small corner of German obscurity. In an attempt to further my so far inauspicious career … Continue reading Snowy Sunday in Saarbrücken
Another day, another bombing. The images of children killed by government airstrikes in rebel-held Aleppo last week were horrific to behold, but they were not surprising. Such images have become tinged with that precursor of contempt – familiarity. Like it or not, horrendous violence against the innocent is apparently such an expected part of what … Continue reading The Executive Extremists: Should We Be Surprised?
It has been quite a year for extremism. We have seen the expansion of Islamic State territory in Iraq and Syria, the Brexit referendum and its aftershocks, and now perhaps the greatest surprise of all – President-elect Trump. In one way or another, these events are all the result of radical shifts in worldwide public … Continue reading Paris: One Year On
Most of us in the English-speaking world do not learn foreign languages. After all, why should we? We can get by almost everywhere in the world with English and most foreigners, the younger generation at least, have a basic grasp of the language. There is a well-known statistic that there are more people in China … Continue reading The Sound of German
It's bucketing down and the sun is setting, and in my book that is enough to scupper my attempts (albeit not very enthusiastic ones) to go for a run. So instead, I've made a cup of tea, grabbed a handful of the brownies I made in post-Trump baking hysteria and have sat down to write … Continue reading Auslandsjahr Anfang
Even those of you who haven’t been following the ongoing turmoil of the presidential election in Austria will not be surprised to learn the details. In short, a right-wing populist party candidate and a socialist left-wing candidate are this year both enjoying greater support than ever before. Their political views are as different as chalk … Continue reading Day and Night: Austrian Presidential Elections
Any political analyst will tell you that predicting the outcome of national elections based on regional elections is risky at best. There are several reasons for this. First, local politics simple do not reflect the politics of a whole nation. Local issues and historical party affiliation have a lot more to do with local political … Continue reading Berlin Elections