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 21st Aug - 7:54pm
    Innocent Bystander, Rupinder in his article is focusing on the macroeconomic impact of a no-deal Brexit. As Keynes once noted "The theory of economics does...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 21st Aug - 7:50pm
    @ Paul Barker Could you spell out for u,s Paul, your knowledge and experience of Scottish politics, and could you also tell us which particular...
  • User AvatarMartin 21st Aug - 7:19pm
    " I believe that their aim was a pact with the Tories from the time he assumed the leadership. " Your private belief is your...
  • User AvatarRichard Fox 21st Aug - 7:15pm
    This is becoming a real hot topic in the states. I think some of us should put this to conference.
  • User AvatarGeoffrey Dron 21st Aug - 6:45pm
    @MichaelBG/TCO Apropos defence, whether or not increased defence-related expenditure = LD policy, I do believe in an increase, initially to 2.5%. I do not however...
  • User AvatarRob Cannon 21st Aug - 6:35pm
    I completely agree with this perceptive piece by David Warren. Far too many people at senior levels of the LibDems are establishment creatures. Clegg was...
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