If the events in Ukraine are to appear as more than a series of disconnected events, you really must take the long view. So if you want to understand why it looked last night as though war was about to break out in the Crimea, perhaps take a look at this piece of analysis by Stratfor. It's a company that focuses on geography and history to explain what is happening in the world. Stratfor makes its money by signing up paying subscribers, but makes some of its work freely available. The book from which this is taken, The next hundred years, is also worth reading.
A long tradition exists of significantÂ public figures usingÂ columns in national newspapers to express outrage about public policy and, they hope, to provoke a debate that might change it. Perhaps the greatest example in European history is Emile Zola, the French novelist's, 4,000 word column publishedÂ in L'Aurore in January 1898 under the headline J'Accuse. It accused the French state of a grave miscarriage of justice in the conviction and imprisonment for treason of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish artillery officer in the French Army.Â Sir Ken MacDonald's evisceration of the government'sÂ policy on criminal justice, published this morning in The Times under the headline "Give us laws that the City will respect and fear,"Â may not be remembered a century from now. But it deserves to be read byÂ all who care about justice andÂ to have a similar impact on informed opinion. Â Go on. Read it.