Keith Somerville on Africa’s Long Road Since Independence

As a journalist, Keith Somerville was stationed in Malawi in 1981 to monitor regional radio coverage. The BBC World Service maintained the Monitoring Service, with bases in Kenya and Malawi, to track events across southern, central and eastern Africa. The Monitoring Service worked both for the BBC and its funder, the British government, and routinely passed on information to the Ministry of Defence and, by extension, to the intelligence services. The radio networks played a vital role in Africa because of widespread illiteracy, as well as the lack of infrastructure and logistics necessary for a functioning press. Radio broadcasts offered … Continue reading

Reframing the Present: Secularisation and the Rule of Law

Francisco_de_Goya_-_Escena_de_Inquisición_-_Google_Art_Project

“God is himself law; therefore law is dear to him” Sachsenspiegel (Saxon Law) of Eike von Repgau, Early 13th Century Of all the grand narratives supposedly put to the sword during the era of post-modernity secularisation seems peculiarly resistant. While we are familiar with critiques of Western progress, cultural superiority and ethics, the narrative that would have us believe we in the West live in predominantly irreligious societies, and thus have passed through some process by the name of secularisation remains common wisdom. This idea is implicit in the way we see ourselves and how we frame our dealings with … Continue reading