Jaw Jaw is Better than War War

Churchill said “Jaw Jaw is better than war war” and he was right about that. Today we see, amongst all the war and killing that is being perpetrated on a global scale, green shoots of possible peace springing up in nations that have been traditional enemies for many years. Continue reading

Justice and the Rule of Law

Justice, as the Greeks knew, is very close to morality and righteousness. It is the glue that holds the individual in society, for without justice the individual has no business being in society. The rule of law is the concept that everyone, particularly governments and their officials, are not above the law, but are subject to the laws they make and that those laws provide certainty and enable people to live reasonably in society. Continue reading

Did you enjoy your Prawn Sandwich?

 

What we in Britain call prawns are known as shrimp in the USA. They are a popular food, enjoyed by millions and many of these crustaceans (which I shall call “prawns” in the rest of this essay) are farmed off the coast of Thailand. It is a massive industry. The chances of you buying a wild prawn in a supermarket are very remote. The prawn farms are fed with fish meal and then the prawns are harvested in vessels bearing the Thai flag. So far the prawn industry does not appear to be very dissimilar  to other fish farming industries and no doubt causes its fair share of environmental damage to enable us to enjoy prawn cocktails and prawn sandwiches. Continue reading

I am sorry we killed all those people

Mr Corbyn, who from all accounts is likely to be the next leader of the United Kingdom’s Labour Party, has promised to formally apologise on behalf of the Labour Party for taking the United Kingdom into the Iraq war. Continue reading

Good News: Life in the Thames

It is good to see that the Thames is now supporting plenty of marine life, When I was a child growing up in Poplar access to the river was difficult. It was a dangerous and poisonous place.According the legend at the time those who fell into the Thames had their stomachs pumped as a matter of routine. The Thames was then a watery desert of pollution and chemicals that flowed through our great city. Continue reading

Building Walls and Fences

Walls and fences are being built around many places in the world. When the wall separating East Berlin from West Berlin was pulled down people were jubilant and celebrated that a restriction on their freedom was being demolished. Today many walls and barbed wire fences are being built, either for the express purpose of keeping some people away from a place, or for the purpose of keeping people in certain places. Continue reading

The Rule of Law Does Not Exist

The rule of law is an inconvenient concept for rulers. King Charles II thought that he was above the law, as did King Henry VIII. Dictators often pay lip service to the rule of law, and act as if they were to law. However the concept of law being a force which limits rulers powers is an old concept and was developed in what are now the Western Democracies as a means of controlling the excesses of tyrants and making them accountable to those they rule. Unfortunately in most western democracies the rule of law is ignored from time to time when law and justice proves and obstacle in achieving political aims. Continue reading