Patrick Keiller: Robinson in London (1994)

The opening of Patrick Keiller’s London (1994) goes: Dirty old Blighty, under-educated, economically backward, bizarre. A catalogue of modern miseries with its fake traditions, its Irish war, its militarism and secrecy, its silly old judges, its hatred of intellectuals, its ill-health and bad food, its sexual repression, its hypocrisy and racism and its indolence. It’s so exotic… so home-made. Enjoy the segment on the atmosphere of the UK 1992 election results. At the time, the press foresaw a split result, possibly a minority government, or even a coalition, yet John Major prevailed. The Conservatives won a 21 seat majority, the slightest … Continue reading

Europe isn’t diverse enough

The question of diversity in Europe is a recurrent one. This is probably because Europe may be the most homogeneous place on earth. The number of European languages has dwindled to 286 compared to over 2,000 languages spoken in Africa. Yet the continent remains home to rival forms of nationalism, particularly in the EU. Despite the constant shift of borders and migrations across the region, the notion of a common European identity seems painfully elusive. The fact that French, for example, was the language of choice for many monarchs, from England to Russia, does not fit into nationalist discourse. Indeed, … Continue reading

English Answers

A high court judge has ruled that the abortion ban in Northern Ireland is incompatible with the rights of women. This ruling tells you a lot about the region and its history in the UK. Under the leadership of Roy Jenkins, the UK legalised abortion in 1967 around the same time that the government also decriminalised homosexual relations and abolished the death penalty. But all laws come with stipulations. The death penalty is still, technically, enforceable in cases of treason. Abortion remains, technically, illegal outside of a medical context and inside the Six Counties. The British government has long neglected … Continue reading