07.29.15 | I recommend this profile of Yanis Varoufakis by Ian Parker in the New Yorker. Parker clearly spent some time shadowing Varoufakis, yet the portrait that emerges is not wholly flattering (but not wholly disparaging either). Parker adroitly uses the personality of Varoufakis as a device to tell the dismal story of Greece's debt debacle, although - typically - there has been way too much attention on the man rather than the detail of the issue. In the vast amount of reporting on the crisis, it... more
07.15.15 | Posted on FB:   In the rush to applaud the Iran deal, one crucial issue that risks getting lost is Syria. Iran has played an entirely negative role in Syria, providing arms, men and money to the Assad regime and thereby discouraging him from negotiating an end to the war. Iran's role has arguably been much more significant than Russia which is often inaccurately portrayed as the regime's primary sponsor. The intervention of Iran-controlled (not just "Iran-backed") Hezbollah troops, in the... more
07.13.15 | ”I see the desire for decentralisation and in some cases separation as a very natural and inevitable response to globalisation, where power has not only left people’s hands but also no longer seems to belong to national governments. Just look at Greece. Everyone feels a lack of agency over the circumstances that affect them and that matter to them. That desire to reassert agency and control will be manifested in many different ways. But the paradox is that decentralisation or separation, as in... more
07.13.15 |

Europe needs a complete overhaul of the discussion about immigration, says Carne Ross of Independent Diplomat, a diplomatic advisory group. "The debate is impoverished by its reliance on the false terminology of 'illegal' or 'economic' migrants, as if wanting to escape grinding poverty is illegitimate. The evidence is very clear that immigration benefits everyone economically in the end. Cultural diversity is better and more enriching than monocultural homogeneity and narrow-mindedness."

Quote in Newsweek article by Adam leBor on Europe's immigration crisis: Europe needs a complete overhaul of the discussion about immigration, says Carne Ross of Independent Diplomat, a diplomatic advisory group. "The debate is impoverished by its reliance on the false terminology of 'illegal' or 'economic' migrants, as if wanting to escape grinding poverty is illegitimate. The evidence is very clear that immigration benefits everyone economically in the end. Cultural diversity is better and... more
05.04.15 |

A while back, I spoke at the Carnegie Council.  This is a clip comprising a short explanation of complexity theory as a means to understand what's going on.   more
04.29.15 |

 

This was a panel I took part in at the Skoll World Forum, discussing political change with film-makers and activists. more
02.12.15 | This review appeared on a Catalan website Vilaweb in 2013, but was recently and generously translated by my friend and colleague, Jan Hartman.  Please note that there are one or two inaccuracies about me in the article, including the timing of my work on Iraq at the UNSC, which in fact concluded several months before the 2003 invasion.     A rebel diplomat on the Catalans’ side   When the protagonist of this book was 12 years old they asked him what he wanted to be when he... more
01.28.15 | Published on Medium, January 28th 2015 Americans may just about have heard that Britain is to go to the polls to elect a new parliament in less than 100 days. Much about British politics is extremely obtuse and muddling, even to Brits. So here’s a short guide that may help pierce the fog. First of all, “Britain” in this case means the United Kingdom which means England, Scotland (yes, still), Wales and Northern Ireland. It does not mean “England”. This isn’t mean to be patronizing: until I... more
01.27.15 | “The Imitation Game” is a really bad film. It traduces our collective political, scientific and social history. It is fiction when the facts matter. There are three reasons why “The Imitation Game” is awful: Firstly, it caricatures the incredibly important story of Alan Turing, the brilliant — and secretly gay — British mathematician who helped decrypt Enigma, the German code machine, in World War Two. In the film, Turing is reduced into a polemical argument: a cruelly mistreated gay genius... more
01.12.15 | Published in Medium, 150111 There’s a lot to think about. Some preliminary reflections for today: Islamist terrorism is a non-state phenomenon. It is transnational, transcends borders etc.. This suggests that the most effective response may be non-state too i.e. one mounted by the enormous majority, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, who reject such violence. People not states. Today’s huge demonstrations might be a start, and may dissuade some of those who might otherwise have chosen violence. Other... more