So how did England become Number One?

This summer England became the world's number one test cricket team. They achieved this, much to the rapturous delight of English cricket fans, by giving India, the holders, a four to nil drubbing in a series of test matches. I am sure it seemed to...

Intelligent Design

The Discovery Institute is really pushing this Intelligent Design notion. They apparently believe that the Intelligent Designer is their god. But they are making a serious error. I guess it stems from their penchant for seeing what they believe,...

England - moving right?

During the recent riots, Roger Helmer, posted a tweet. It read: 'Time to get tough. Bring in the army. Shoot rioters and looters.' Just some fearful person, over-reacting? That is one interpretation. However, Mr Helmer is an elected Member of the...

Kan stands down

So Japan has lost yet another prime minister. The spin is that Naoto Kan's resignation is a result of the poor handling of the disaster caused by the tsunami. And this is perfectly plausible. The government's response to the disaster has indeed been...

Smarter than ever

Well it's that time of year again. All those examination results. And, once more, they are better than ever. This has been going on for the past three decades. Each year, more and more young people get better grades than ever before. And every year,...

Modern myths

Generally one associates the word myth with tales of old. Yet modern societies are saturated in myths. One I came across here on thoughts.com is the assertion that human beings only use ten percent of their brains. When I asked my interlocutor why...

On the road to fascism

The ruling right wing Fidesz party seems determined to institute a coup d'etat and transform Hungary into a fascist regime. The party has introduced reform after reform, and they all point in precisely the same direction. Freedom of the media has...

Historians and veracity

Since the latter part of the nineteenth century, historians have considered factual accuracy to be a basic and fundamental duty. Thus, when reading works by serious historical scholars, one can generally feel confident that factual statements will be...

Dalian: the future of China?

After three decades of state directed capitalism, China's increasingly wealthy middle class is growing in confidence and becoming increasingly frustrated with the constraints of one party 'democracy' and more vocal and assertive. Last week in Dalian,...

Riots and Revenge

In a fit of collective hysteria, the English ruling elite is taking its revenge on the rioters. And, as is unsurprising, given the emotive rhetoric of the politicians and the media, it is a pretty indiscriminate display of vengeful anger. Two...

The far right in Russia

The collapse of the former Soviet Union brought social chaos and poverty and economic insecurity to Russia on an unprecedented scale. The social dislocation brought about by the shock therapy of imposed neoliberal capitalism tore Russia apart,...

Roma and the far right

There is a long history of discrimination against Romany peoples in Europe. However, this racism has not been consigned to the history books. On the contrary, anti-Roma feeling is alive and well. Indeed, in Hungary, the Jobbik party have been able to...

Reproducing neo-Nazis

So how do the far right maintain their numbers? It is an interesting question. It is particularly puzzling when one thinks about such movements surviving in environments that are unfavourable or even hostile to their ideologies. The three decade long...

Far right rising

Not since the 1930s have circumstances been so conducive for the rise of the far right. In the thirties, the parties of the far right rose to prominence, and in some cases even dominance, by exploiting middle and upper class fears and anxieties about...

Creating gravediggers

The hypocrisy of the middle and upper classes is simply breathtaking. Members of parliament, who thought nothing of using their power and privilege to steal millions from the taxpayers, have the audacity to moralise and preach and absolutely condemn...

Biblical economics 101

The business cycle is a well known phenomenon. The economy booms and booms, until the bubble bursts and there is recession and much wailing and gnashing of teeth and renting of raiment. This has happened over and over. Yet right there in book one of...

The divisive power of fear and hate

Last week I wrote a post illustrating the middle and upper classes' fear and hatred of the working class. Since the weekend, riots have occurred in London and other cities. The responses to these events by the politicians, the media and many so called...

The Historical Jesus

Here is an interesting lecture by Yale professor Dale B Martin. In it he tries to explain what we can know about the historical Jesus. In doing this he neatly illustrates the strengths and limitations of historical knowledge and how we can use...

Religious fundamentalism is not the problem

I often hear, especially from the so called liberal, educated elite, the notion that Islam is a religion of peace. The corollary of this is, of course, that Islamic inspired violence is not Islamic at all; it is a perversion of the religion by...