Commentaries

SPD debacle shows agony of European centre-left

By Paul Taylor
September 28, 2009

sozisIt was a black night for Germany’s Social Democrats. Their catastrophic general election score of just 23 percent was by far the worst since the creation of the Federal Republic in 1949. It was more than 11 points worse than their result in 2005, and nearly 6 points worse than their poorest post-war showing in 1953.(Picture shows party activists at SPD headquarters watching first exit polls on television)

Japan takes a kinder approach to growth

August 31, 2009

The victorious Democratic Party of Japan did not put economic growth at the heart of its electoral sales pitch. The party’s manifesto mentions “growth” only once. The word “support”, by contrast, appears 19 times.

An update on Bijan Khajehpour

By Paul Taylor
August 19, 2009

bijan-2

A couple of weeks ago, I drew attention to the arrest of  respected business consultant Bijan Khajehpour as an example of the situation of hundreds of Iranians detained after the disputed presidential election on June 12. At the time, Bijan’s whereabouts, state of health and conditions, as well as any charges against him, were unknown.