The Great Debate UK

from Anatole Kaletsky:

It ain’t over yet: Last-minute promises to Scotland will scar the UK

By Anatole Kaletsky
September 26, 2014

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a speech at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre in Aberdeen, Scotland

Astonishing as it was to contemplate the breakup of Europe’s most stable nation-state threatened by last week’s Scottish referendum, we now have an even more extraordinary possibility. In the days since the Scottish voters rejected secession 55 percent to 45 percent, a new threat has suddenly appeared to blight Britain’s political and economic prospects for years ahead. It now looks like Britain may be dissolved by one rogue opinion poll.

from The Great Debate:

‘The Boss’ is now a senior citizen. His music’s stayed young.

By David R. Shumway
September 23, 2014

Bruce Springsteen performs with drummer Max Weinberg of E Street Band during the "12-12-12" benefit concert for victims of Superstorm Sandy at Madison Square Garden in New York

On Sept. 23, 2014, Bruce Springsteen turned 65. 

It should no longer be shocking to learn that a rock star has hit retirement age. Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger are all over 70, still performing and, at least in Dylan's case, releasing albums that seem to matter. It is worth recalling, however, that in the 1960s and 1970s, when these artists first made their marks, it was widely assumed that no one would remember them just a few years later. A 1975 Newsweek cover story, for example, asserted that Springsteen was a product of "hype," suggesting he would likely be forgotten once the next big thing came along.

from The Great Debate:

Humans don’t do ‘future’ well, and that could doom us if we’re not careful

By Richard Schiffman
September 23, 2014

A protester carries a sign during the "People's Climate March" in the Manhattan borough of New York

There has been some rare good news about the environment recently. One was hard to miss. On Sunday, roughly 300,000 people swelled the streets of midtown Manhattan in the People’s Climate March. It was not just the largest climate protest in history; it was the biggest U.S. political demonstration of any kind in more than a decade.

from Anatole Kaletsky:

Why this Ukraine ceasefire will stick

By Anatole Kaletsky
September 19, 2014

A boy sits on an APC as he poses for a picture during a parade in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine

The war in eastern Ukraine, which has had more impact on the European economy than any news coming out of Frankfurt or Brussels, appears to be ending. Despite the sporadic attacks that have wrecked previous ceasefire attempts.

from John Lloyd:

Ukraine’s future lies with the West, but there is much suffering ahead

By John Lloyd
September 19, 2014

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Ukraine did something very Ukrainian this week. It sued for peace with Russia, apparently confirming a centuries-old subordination to Big Brother to the east. Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister jailed by the deposed President Victor Yanukovich and now leader of the political party Batkivshchyna, called the laws implementing peace by granting autonomy to parts of eastern Ukraine “humiliating and betraying.”

from Jack Shafer:

What do Miley Cyrus, Ricky Gervais and William Shatner have in common? Quitting Twitter.

By Jack Shafer
September 18, 2014

Singer Miley Cyrus poses backstage after winning Video of the Year for "Wrecking Ball" during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards in Inglewood

Almost as much as celebrities love to tweet, they love to quit Twitter. And as much as they love to quit Twitter, they love to return to the social networking service.

The benefits of a Scottish Yes vote

September 18, 2014

'Yes' campaigners holding Scottish Saltire flags gather for a rally in George Square, GlasgowThe list of catastrophes that would befall Britain in the event of Scottish independence continues to grow. If you believe the latest reports then money is being withdrawn from cash points around Scotland at a rapid clip – the next thing will be a plague of locusts.

from The Great Debate:

As Iran talks resume, it’s time to play ‘Let’s Make a Deal’

By Daryl Kimball, Kelsey Davenport and Ali Vaez
September 18, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif speak together during the third day of closed-door nuclear talks at the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva

On Thursday, negotiators from the United States, Iran and five other world powers begin the final stretch of negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear agreement. A deal is within reach. But time is short.

from The Great Debate:

A NATO ally stays on sidelines of fight against Islamic State

By Andrew Finkel
September 18, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama listens as he hosts a bilateral meeting with Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan during the NATO Summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales, in the United Kingdom

Few countries are in a better position than Turkey to help the United States fight Islamic State. The moderate Islamic country shares a 750 mile border with Syria, is a NATO member and a long-time ally of America. But don’t hold your breath for Turkey’s support.

from The Great Debate:

In Scotland’s capital, ‘Better Together’ are fighting words

By Bill Coles
September 17, 2014

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Every major road in Scotland is now festooned with signs and billboards saying either “Yes” or the more genteel “No thanks” - but the big difference is that most of the “No thanks” signs have been vandalized.