Blackpool F.C. avoid an onscreen banana skin but are far from where they should be

A lot has happened in the life of Blackpool Football Club since it last appeared live on BBC television. The tangerines' 3-0 defeat of now established Premier League side Southampton nearly seven years ago formed part of Ian Holloway's attempt to return to the top flight at the first time of asking, following an agonizing…

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UK: National Planning Policy Framework(NPPF) fuelling greed and environmental destruction

Lax planning laws that foster an attitude of money first, the environment a distant second, are having a devastating effect on Britain's urban and suburban tree cover. Emboldened by the National Planning Policy Framework's (NPPF) central tenet of a presumption in favour of all developments, especially those within a municipality without an adopted Local Plan,…

The Kosovo question leaves Serbia in a no-win situation

The ongoing standoff between Serbia and Kosovo shows little realistic chance of rapprochement any time soon. Propped up by international aid, wracked by swingeing levels of youth unemployment and emigration, Kosovo, two decades on, is still in effect policed by American troops without whom the embryonic nation would at best feel uneasy, at worst under…

Capitalism enslaves society through freedom of choice

The incomparable literary leviathan Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn witnessed so much evil but never stopped believing in the human spirit. Has our freedom been earned just so the world can continue to promulgate crass, tawdry capitalism that ultimately never satisfies one's soul? Was, and in the present tense, total freedom an ideal that has been sacrificed on…

Ignorance is no defence for celebrities taking money from oppressive regimes

I have said it before: what was Jack Nicklaus thinking? History is littered with autocratic regimes seeking legitimacy through celebrity endorsements, often exploiting the ignorance of those who have pitched up in good faith but only later find a wave of condemnation highlighting at best a hitherto unawareness of the firestorm such appearances create; at…

Slovenia: Sustainable tourism the only way to protect Bohinj from becoming the next Venice or Dubrovnik

Striking a precarious balance of promoting sustainable tourism that doesn't alienate those it wishes to attract to the region remains the municipality of Bohinj's greatest challenge. Increasingly swamped with primarily day tourists, Bohinj had previously been an antidote to Lake Bled - a byword itself for the grim realities of mass tourism and the negative…

Catalonia can only look on enviously at Kosovo’s independence and international recognition

A undoubted esprit de corps binds together Catalonia and Kosovo, who, despite the former's break for freedom having isolated itself from the international community and the latter still polarizing opinion since its 2008 secession from Serbia, share a singleness of purpose predicated on unshackling themselves from parents with whom they seemingly have little in common.…