Author Archives: Ron Aitken

Opinion: Lessons learned the hard way will have to be re-learned following the riots in Tottenham

As a young research assistant I was in Northern Ireland on the day of the June 1987 General Election, campaigning for the re-election of my boss the Rev Martin Smyth, Ulster Unionist MP for South Belfast and head of the Orange Order.

Elections in Northern Ireland were always conducted in a way mindful of possible violence or terrorist attack, and an RUC patrol intercepted a car in the vicinity of a school being used as a polling station. The IRA occupants of the car were found to be armed and an explosive device was also found. Mr Smyth was in the …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 5 Comments

Opinion: Tunisia – forgotten backwater of French and US power now a basket case

Almost ten years ago the School of Oriental and African Studies, (SOAS) awarded me a small research grant to go to Tunisia with the aim of charting her growing relationship with the EU. Algeria, Morrocco, ultimately Libya joined an EU free trade deal to open markets and democratise instutions. Ten years on these initiatives have grossly failed in a hail of bloodshed and crack down. The countries of the Maghreb have been given the benefit of the doubt by France, the US and the UK because the Tunisian President Ben Ali – who took power in a coup d’etat in …

Posted in Europe / International | Tagged , and | 1 Comment
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  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 6th Dec - 1:04am
    The proposal for running a current spending surplus over the course of an economic cycle (excluding capital spending) comes from the work undertaken by the...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 6th Dec - 1:00am
    Peter Martin, Did you actually read what I wrote? – “I would hope that if we remain in the EU economic growth can get to...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 5th Dec - 11:20pm
    Matthew Huntbach, Yes, you've tried. I have tried. Quite a few others - some leaning toward "loyalist", others leaning toward "dissident", have also tried. I...
  • User AvatarRural Radical 5th Dec - 10:40pm
    This is a great article, albeit on a theme that needs wider development outside the heat of an election. From the Chartists to the Ascott...
  • User AvatarTony Greaves 5th Dec - 10:24pm
    I don't know where this nonsense about running a permanent budget surplus came from.
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 5th Dec - 10:15pm
    @ Yousuf, I didn't mention the Labour manifesto. Maybe you are confusing me with someone else? I'd just say they aren't totally free problems that...
Tue 10th Dec 2019