For some critics of the environmental movement, too many environmentalists behave as though they were adherents of a religious belief system. For the critics too many supporters of the environmental cause are intolerant of those who do not share their own views (Stop oil) and who do not agree with their prescriptions of how people should change their behaviour (there is no alternative). We see the same behaviour among religious fundamentalists who similarly believe that there is only one truth and only one way to live. Self-righteousness accompanies this fundamentalism and intolerance. Those who deny the religious truth are condemned to a fiery hell in the next world; those who deny the environmentalist call to change their behaviour will find themselves in hell on earth.
Confidence in democratic governments is not high. One possible explanation lies in the perceived growth of what is called ‘identity politics’. This blog looks at the possible connection in the light of the many different dimensions of identity.
‘De-Risking’ and ‘Decoupling’ have become the terms of choice for expressing relationships with China. ‘De-Risking’ is preferred by some, including in the EU, since it appears not to foreclose policy options or to assume that ‘decoupling’ is inevitable. This blog looks at what lies behind the use of these terms.
Over the last decade there have been multiple warnings that democracy is in danger. This blog looks at the warnings
It is frequently said that political opinion in today’s democracies has become more polarised than in the past. This blog takes this assertion at face value. It discusses the many possible reasons for it and questions whether it is a transient or more permanent feature of contemporary democracies.
Among the policy ideas that circulate in the EU, and in the Brussels ‘bubble’ the concept of the EU’s ‘Strategic autonomy’ has recently been receiving publicity. It was voiced in a 2016 EU paper on the EU's global strategy and has been promoted by Macron’s government. One version was on display in Macron’s recent visit to China. This blog looks at the different meanings that can be given to it.
At the end of February 2023 China announced a 12 Point Peace Plan to help bring Russia and the Ukraine to the negotiating table. It was the subject of discussion on President Xi’s visit to Putin at the end of March. It has been welcomed by Moscow but not in the Ukraine, or by Kyiv’s allies in the West. This blog looks at its provisions.
The discussion which follows takes the 12 Points in logical order of the sequence in which they apply rather than the sequence in which they appear. This makes their logic clearer.
Unless there is a military breakthrough for either the Ukraine or Russia that enables one side to claim ‘victory’, sooner or later this year, negotiations between Russia and the Ukraine to end their conflict will become necessary. Continued grinding conflict will look increasingly unappealing to them compared with the possibility of a return to some kind of normalcy. Neither do Ukraine’s allies want to run a permanent and continual risk of the war becoming an even more devastating conflict between Russia and NATO. This blog looks at some of the theoretical options.
The next British general election is expected next year (2024). The common assumption is that the Labour Party, under Keir Starmer, will win a comfortable victory. This blog looks at what might be on the campaign agenda and what will likely not be, and what should be on the agenda but also will likely not be.
This blog looks at possible scenarios for 2023. Scenarios are not predictions. They simply indicate topics that should be factored into the strategic thinking of Boards in the private sector and those with decision-making authority in government.