© Neil Spark

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24 Apr 2018

I am writing to tell you about a new European Union law that affects you and I. The internet and the corporations it has enabled has transformed how we live. We have never had the access to as much information as we do today. It’s all at our fingertips. As you would know from recent rev...

8 May 2017

New French president Emmanuel Macron has won the election. Let’s hope he wins forthcoming challenges as convincingly. They include:

  1. Fighting apathy. Thirty percent of the electorate didn’t vote. It was the lowest turnout in more than 40 years.

  2. National Assembly elections next mo...

4 May 2017

Australia’s second biggest media company dealt a blow to democracy on World Press Freedom Day.

The next day, 4 May, Facebook announced its revenue for the quarter to 31 March rose 49% to $8.03 billion.

The sacking of 125 journalists by Fairfax Media is the latest in a plethora of edi...

17 Apr 2017

Democracy is the worst form of government, British statesman and war-time leader Winston Churchill said, “except for all the others.” Democracy died in Turkey yesterday. The yes vote in the referendum to extend presidential powers was won 51.3% to 48.6%. But it was much more than that....

22 Mar 2017

A devastating blow was dealt to Germany’s fledgling and fragile democracy on 24 March 84 years ago. The German legislature voted away its power by supporting the Law to Remedy the Distress of the People Bill (Enabling Act). The law caused devastating distress. It gave the Chancellor, Ad...

25 Feb 2017

Imagine the Capital building in Washington on fire. Or Westminster in London. Or Parliament House in Ottowa or Canberra. Imagine the enormity of it. Germans waking up on 28 February 1933 didn’t have to imagine it.

The Reichstag was on fire. That was the message the Berlin Fire Departme...

24 Feb 2017

The President of the United States’ latest threat to democracy: journalists should have to name sources. Not long before he made the comment in a speech, his staff briefed journalists on the condition of anonymity to discredit a New York Times story about contacts between Trump’s campai...

24 Feb 2017

Another step towards World War II was made when Nazi leader Adolf Hitler secretly authorised the founding of the German airforce, the Luftwaffe on 26 February 1935. The airforce contravened the Versailles Treaty that forbade a German military airforce. World War I air ace and long-term...

10 Feb 2017

I devour books about the inter-war period. There’s a plethora of non-fiction and fiction. I post my thoughts from time to time about my reading journey. Here’s my review of The Black Orchestra by JJ Toner.

When committed Nazi and Abwehr signalman Kurt Muller discovers the body of a col...

29 Jan 2017

Democracy did not end when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany on 30 January 1933. Its demise began with the legislative election of September 1930 and was hurried along by Hitler’s three predecessors.

Germany had three chancellors in 1932: academic economist Heinrich Brüning, an...

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