The use of ‘advanced’ technology to suppress dissent can be seen as far back as Britain’s Licensing of the Press Act of 1662, specifically targeted at “frequent Abuses in printing seditious treasonable and unlicensed Books and Pamphlets” or German Volksempfänger radios, designed only to receive those messages pre-approved by Goebbels. However, since the widespread adoption of the internet, and more recently the smartphone, repressive authorities have increasingly had the means not just to control the message, but to stymie any activists trying to promote one.
Global public opinion surveys continue to show that China is perceived fairly favorably by large swathes of the world’s populace, from the Asia-Pacific to Africa and Europe. China has garnered cooperation from a diverse group of states in areas such as trade, tourism, education and infrastructure development, and Chinese statesmen are sure to be given a warm welcome in almost any foreign capital. These developments are both causes and effects of Chinese soft power.
Unfortunately, there is a belief among some Scots that ‘if you are English, you are bad’. This attitude is sometimes manifested through verbal, physical and emotional abuse, coupled with giving Scottish nationals preference over English nationals in the job sector. A perhaps accepted behaviour in Scottish society is to use racist language against the “English people”; and anti-English sentiment is quite openly displayed.
I remember before having a baby I thought that stories about babies born in the frontline or in the midst of disaster were stories of “triumph over tragedy”. Now I know the reality must be more nuanced. I wonder how pregnant Syrian women in Zaatari camp in Jordan cope with the summer heat and what is like to raise a child so far from your own home. The Syrian death figures reported in the media are all someone’s daughter or someone’s son. I knew that before, but now I feel it with much greater intensity.
M Murshed Haider* When I was a student of class seven or eight, in my secondary school in Bangladesh, my aim in life was exactly the same to my other classmates because we used to memorize the same essay from the same text book! Once I moved into […]
This is the first part of “The Nationalism Debate Series” and Politician’s Column. To learn more about Scottish independence please click here Martyn Geddes* In September, Scotland will go to the polls to decide on its future. The question is a simple Yes or NO to separation from […]
Peerzada Noorani* Kashmir is an extravagantly beautiful place. Its limitless awe of snow peaked mountains, roaring rivers, lush green meadows, lakes and springs enchant you with a heavenly experience as a traveller. Its people, like its landscape are beautiful. They have seen the worst of times but have […]