7. Navalny and Putin: the battle goes on
This piece was one of many disturbing analyses of the developing difficulties in Russia following the arrest of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Its author, Owen Matthews, is a historian and journalist of some distinction and a specialist in the region.
“Arrest me? Why would anyone arrest me?’ said Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny to reporters last week as he boarded a Moscow-bound plane. Four hours later he was in jail — but not before spending an hour circling above the Russian capital as riot police shut down the airport where 2,000 supporters awaited him and diverted his plane to another.” So opens a must-read article. While America worries many, so should Russia. So, very much, should Russia.
Read in Spectator.
8. Getting along with Russia
Our own excellent correspondent-at-large Alex Massie also chose Russia as the anchor for his musings this week. My old friend and I often disagree but we do so well. As well as we disagree, Alex’s fine hand writes more elegantly than most. After you have read the Spectator piece be sure not to miss this. Different perspectives are urgently required for us all, now more than ever. At Charlotte Street Partners this is part of what we exist to provide; ‘difference’ is itself one of our core values.
Read at Charlotte Street Partners.
9. Actions, not just words
This Editorial from the Guardian caught our eye this week. It chastises the chancellor for what it sees as inaction on planning for the recovery and for funding to support those in need at a time when Covid has accelerated many harms, starting with the UK’s biting problem with inequalities. Well worth reading and reflecting upon.
Read in the Guardian.
10. What if the world was one country?
What if the world was one country? Well, in many ways it already is – the earth is home to a myriad of species, with human species being just one of them.
In Imagined Communities, one of the foremost thinkers on nationalism, Benedict Anderson, describes the birth of the nation as an imaginary construct between people who cannot see each other yet feel united under common history, traits, beliefs, and attitudes.
In this article, Steve Taylor, senior lecturer in psychology, Leeds Beckett University, dissolves the concept of nationalism even further, to conclude that: “it’s impossible to override the fundamental interconnectedness of the human race. At some point, it always reasserts itself.” Well, we can but hope. My only additional thought is that, as we piece the jigsaw of humankind back together after periods of discord, populism and disintegration, it is far more sustainable if the pieces themselves feel comfortable in their shape as they conjoin.
Read in The Conversation.
And finally… The Grand Tour
Our final read comes closer to home for the ever-excellent Scottish Review’s take by Andrew Hook on ‘Frolics in the Face of Europe, Sir Walter Scott, Continental Travel and the Tradition of the Grand Tour’, by Iain Gordon Brown (published by Fonthill).
Hook is Bradley professor emeritus of English literature at the University of Glasgow and reviews a timely book in the year of the 250th anniversary of the great Sir Walter Scott’s birth.
The review will entice you to buy a book that is about a truly international Scot, as well as the whole idea of the Grand Tour itself. How good it would be if resource and politics allowed coming generations of young Scots the chance to visit, absorb and understand Europe in all its difference and history.
Read in Scottish Review.
Share this post