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Author: CycleFree

Here We Go (Again)

Here We Go (Again)

It’s time once again to talk about a key institution: one which politicians feel it necessary to praise and support, whatever their private views, one which many feel we cannot live without, a rather dysfunctional, arrogant one, repeatedly making the same mistakes, mistakes which have caused great harm to those directly affected, repeatedly refusing to learn the lessons and change its ways, hostile to outsiders, an organisation whose senior members rarely seem to bear the consequences of the problems they…

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Home or Abroad?

Home or Abroad?

The desire (expressed by some – the WHO, for instance) for Britain to give away vaccines to other countries before we have vaccinated our own population is politically insane and, frankly, immoral. There: I’ve said it. Call me selfish, if you will. But let me explain why I say this. Let’s take the young: they may not have the same risks of dying as older people but they do face the risks of catching Covid which, as my 22 year…

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Crisis Management: EU-style

Crisis Management: EU-style

An object lesson on how not to deal with a problem The EU Commission has given us a quite astonishing master-class in the last few days of how not to deal with a problem: panic, untrue or incomplete public statements, trying to negotiate in public, invitations sounding like threats, displays of wounded amour propre, petulant complaining, shrill demands, recourse to legal arguments, followed by peremptory action taken without proper consultation with those affected, only to be withdrawn – somewhat humiliatingly –…

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The China Peril

The China Peril

The charge sheet The oppression and destruction of the Uighurs. Its methods include killing, mass imprisonment, torture, rape, medical experiments, the removal of children from their parents, destruction of mosques and burial grounds, banning the use of the Uighur language, indoctrination, oppressive surveillance, slave labour: a genocide for the 21st century. And let’s not forget Tibet. Pressurising Turkey to stop providing refuge to Uighur and Turkic Muslims fleeing China and to extradite them to countries such as Tajikistan, from where…

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Dangerous myths

Dangerous myths

What happened today was down to him – a President who has ignored his oath of office, who has for months deliberately cast doubt on the democratic process and trust in it, who has undermined its processes, who has spread lies about the result, who has abused the legal process to try and support his lies, who has deliberately woven a myth about his election victory being stolen from him and who has urged his supporters to fight. And now…

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Cyclefree’s 2020 Awards

Cyclefree’s 2020 Awards

Back by popular demand – mine. I have to do something to while away the time in my lonely barn halfway up a sheep-ridden hillside, wrapped up in scarves and mittens, pencil stub between my fingers, teeth chattering, the stormy wind howling outside, rain lashing the windows, like some minor character in Dr Zhivago or Jane Eyre with no-… (“Enough with the clichés! Get on with it!” Ed). 1. The Shami Chakrabarti Award for Trashing One’s Reputation – Of course,…

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Cyclefree gives her Predictions for 2021

Cyclefree gives her Predictions for 2021

The virus will continue to do its worst. It may well mutate further. There will be another outbreak (possibly even a serious one) in China but the Chinese government will say far less about it. Foreign journalists reporting on it will be expelled. Chinese journalists won’t report on it for fear of facing the same fate as Zhang Zhan. The government’s vaccination programme will not reach the level of daily vaccinations needed to stop its spread. By early summer the…

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Some Definitions

Some Definitions

“Democracy in Europe” by Larry Siedentop, written when the EU was trying to draft a constitution is, despite its age, worth a read. Surprising as it may seem, given the US’s own current democratic difficulties, the outsider’s analysis of what constitutions mean, how they are arrived at, different views of democracy and how these interact with a Continent’s history, culture and religions is acute. It is one which European and British politicians would have done well to consider before embarking…

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