The Russian invasion of Ukraine highlights how dependent on others we have become

As the unprovoked Russian bombardment of Ukraine’s cities, towns and civilians continues, we look on in horror at the carnage that unfolds daily in front of our eyes. In disbelief that such terrors can still be wrought in Europe in the twenty-first century. But beyond the awful human toll of this war, it highlights also the worrying extent to which we have become dependent on other nations for the food, fuel and other things that sustain us.

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Oh, Russia

I’ve long had a soft spot for Russia. Or, more specifically, for her people. Since I studied there in my youth, I’ve felt a deep-seated affection, verging on kinship, for this complex – and so frequently misunderstood – nation. Add now, as my heart goes out to the brave people of Ukraine, I cry also for the people of Russia. For a nation whose potential seems destined to remain forever unfulfilled.

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Reclaiming the conversation

I was listening the other day to someone on a video online. He spoke about family. He spoke about personal responsibility. And he spoke about the need for a strong, resilient and just society. I can get behind all of these things. But he then segued into how abortion is evil and how anyone who thinks otherwise is going straight to hell.

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The morning after

I woke up this morning in a country that, while technically the same one in which I went to bed last night, already feels very different. Elections tend to bring change. And I’d long suspected that a majority Conservative government was a distinct possibility. But now that we have one it has hit me hard. And like many others, I’m struggling to know what to do about it. And how to feel towards those who brought us here. Continue reading

‘No deal’ planning starts here

Today I started with my preparations for a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario, in which the United Kingdom leaves the European Union and, absent an agreement setting out our future relationship with our continental neighbours, heads off into the wilderness to do its own thing. (Which is known, in the parlance, as ‘taking back control’.) But my preparations didn’t involve stockpiling food or securing a supply of medication. Oh, no. As with most things around here, it was the dogs’ fault. Continue reading