Mr Charrington's Antique Shop

Critical notes and comment from the Big Smoke

Power Politics in the Oil Markets

For the first time in five years, one can buy a metaphorical barrel of crude oil – variant on the extraction point – for below $60. The price has been … Continue reading

December 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

Why Big Data Will Not Make Us Happy

As Alex Banayan, an American West-Coast venture capitalist, writes, ‘big data’ is fast becoming ‘comprehensive data’. What can be assumed he means by this is that, whilst previously, ‘big data’ … Continue reading

November 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Economics as the Victim of History – I

[This is the first of a two-part essay, the second half of which will publish on 28/08/2014] “Divorced from history, economics is a rudderless ship, and economists without history have … Continue reading

August 26, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Next UN Secretary-General? Part IV – John William Ashe

It has been a whole 12 months to the day since this website published the most recent in its series of candidate profiles for the potential next Secretary-General of the … Continue reading

August 19, 2014 · 3 Comments

The Rise of the Boutique Bank

Long gone are the glory days of the 1990s, when huge conglomerates in towering skyscrapers performed every financial service imaginable for an endless list of clients. Even trading rooms, like … Continue reading

August 12, 2014 · Leave a comment

What is to become of David Cameron?

The modernising discourse underlining contemporary Conservative Party politics is, perhaps, manifested most materially in its leader David Cameron: that is, populist rhetoric advocating self-determination and shared growth within a strong, … Continue reading

August 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Paradoxes in Time, Rationality and Reference

Stumbling across a hole in accepted positivist logic is a somewhat disconcerting experience; perhaps one to remain censorious towards. Such holes prove there are phenomena in this world that human … Continue reading

July 29, 2014 · Leave a comment

In Defence of Alastair Cook and English Test Cricket

English international cricket has a tendency to be dramatic. It is simply the nature of the form fluctuations that have dictated results over the last few years. There have been … Continue reading

July 22, 2014 · Leave a comment

How Not to Get Young People Voting

The TED talks came to the House of Parliament in Westminster this month, bringing a host of influential speakers to the stage to speak on general themes of democracy and … Continue reading

July 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

Education and Representation in British Politics

[This article was first published in April 2013 on Institute of Opinion] There is continuous debate as to just how representative a representative parliament should be. The UK is never realistically … Continue reading

July 8, 2014 · Leave a comment

ISIS and the Declaration of the Islamic State

This weekend just gone, on the eve of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, an ‘Islamic State’ was declared by Sunni jihadists which transcends the borders of eastern Syria and … Continue reading

July 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

Notes on the Korean War – Context and Consequence

Scholarship in both history and political science debates as to whether the Korean War was (a) a civil war between two national factions fighting for their own ideals in a … Continue reading

June 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

Does the moral character of an orgy change when its participants wear Nazi uniforms?

[This question was included on a recent Examination Fellowship paper for admission to All Souls College, University of Oxford] ‘Everything in the world is about sex, except for sex, which … Continue reading

June 17, 2014 · 1 Comment

The Myth of Free Trade

[This article was produced in answer to the question ‘Was nineteenth century free trade imperialist?’ as seen on paper ‘History II’ as part of the Examination Fellowship for All Souls … Continue reading

June 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Theoretical Perspectives on the Rise of China in International Politics

“International politics, like all politics, is a struggle for power.” – Hans Morgenthau Having always had a reasonably large military, up there with the UK and France but still a … Continue reading

June 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Sino-Russian Relations in the Aftermath of Crimea

As expected, and perhaps deserved, Russia has emerged from the intense frenzy that was the Crimean dispute – on-going and by no means resolved – isolated in the international community. … Continue reading

May 27, 2014 · Leave a comment

Lord Curzon and the Pursuit of Power

The 1919 Anglo-Persian Agreement was the product of a combination of factors – namely, the audacious personality of acting Foreign Secretary George Curzon, the continued imperial ambitions of the wider … Continue reading

May 20, 2014 · Leave a comment

Protest in the Political Economy of Qajar Iran

To historians such as Ervand Abrahamian, and certainly in comparison to regimes in power elsewhere in the nineteenth century, the Qajars seemed to be ‘despots without the tools of despotism’. … Continue reading

May 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Domination of Ottoman Foreign Relations, 1850-1900

Immanuel Wallerstein posited his world systems theory in the 1970s, suggesting that, in the age of empire and developing nations states, two levels – divisions, if one may – emerged … Continue reading

May 6, 2014 · Leave a comment

T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land': a Literary Appraisal

Published in 1922 and since heralded as a keystone of modernist literature, T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land is a poetic collection of obscure allusions with thousands of justifiable interpretations. The … Continue reading

April 29, 2014 · Leave a comment

Should the UK Regulate its Banking Industry?

Since 2008, the greatest debate between Parliament and the City in the UK has focused around regulation. That is, in light of the devastating effects of global financial meltdown, should … Continue reading

April 22, 2014 · Leave a comment

Gamal Abdul Nasser: a Profile

From the perspective of the British, Gamal Abdul Nasser, second President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, was nothing more than another post-colonial, nationalist leader, similar to politicians elsewhere at … Continue reading

April 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

ICC World Twenty20 2014 – Reviews and Reflections

Sri Lanka pulled off an overdue tournament win in the ICC World Twenty20 final on Sunday, defeating 2007 champions India by 6 wickets and with 13 balls to spare. Having … Continue reading

April 8, 2014 · Leave a comment

Lewis Carroll’s ‘Jabberwocky’ – a Literary Tribute

  ‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogroves And the mome raths outgrabe   “Beware the Jabberwock, my son! … Continue reading

April 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Republic of Venice – a Floating Return?

Italy, as we know it today, is perhaps more of a political construct that a natural entity. The Italian process of unification in the nineteenth century took the best part … Continue reading

March 25, 2014 · Leave a comment

Turkish Feminism – Fatma Aliye in the Late Ottoman Empire

“Knowledge is one of the benefits which the very magnificent God, the possessor of knowledge and superiority, granted to his slaves all together both men and women.”     Fatma Aliye Historians … Continue reading

March 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

Islamic Fundamentalism and Khomeini in Iran

“Wealth is a gift from God.” Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini The founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Leader of the Revolution, and, to some, an Imam of Shi’a Islam, … Continue reading

March 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Raphael’s Renaissance and the Deposition of Christ

Raphael, born in Urbino, Italy in 1483, was one of three artists that made up the ‘Holy Trinity’ of the Renaissance movement. The other two, Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, … Continue reading

March 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Rise and Fall of the Liberal Party

The British political faction known as the Liberal Party is all but extinct, surviving in nothing but a loosely connected name and a philosophy of self-determination. Turn back the clock … Continue reading

February 25, 2014 · Leave a comment

Does Scottish Independence Matter?

“We are bought and sold for English gold. Such a parcel of rogues in a nation.” – Robert Burns Over the last couple of weeks, debates over currency and regional … Continue reading

February 18, 2014 · 2 Comments

LGBT Rights in Russia: Legal, Social and Political Issues

An unfortunate reality for international sport was that the attention of the build up to the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi focused on social and political issues, and not on … Continue reading

February 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

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