On Thessaloniki

This year’s World Universities’ Debating Championships in Thessaloniki, Greece was really, really good.

12294707_1012568665448229_8967579545469609473_n

This post is part reporting, congratulations, commiserations, reflections, thanks and straight-forward record-keeping. There’s lots about this week I don’t want to forget. A warning: I have a weakness for being melodramatic, and that weakness is thoroughly indulged here.

Continue reading →

The spirit of 1989 should be guiding Europe

ss-091102-berlin-wall-22.ss_full

Angela Merkel and European leaders must not lose their nerve. Tearing down walls is the solution.

Desperate families look West for safety and prosperity, ravaged by events beyond their control. They dream of freedom, democracy, a better life. Yet razor wire fences and walls stand in their way. There is no room at the inn.

For the East Germans of 1989 and the populations of the former Soviet Union, the solution was obvious: tear down the Iron Curtain. For the Syrian, Libyan and Eritrean refugees of today, the solution should be the same: tear down the walls.

Continue reading →