By Special Request of Baroness Scott and Mark Valladares... Cicero's Songs returns: bigger, longer and uncut. October 1st marked the half way point of the
Estonian Presidency of the European Union. Perhaps for many people such an anniversary is
of passing interest at best. Yet the
conduct of the Estonian Presidency is reinforcing just how forward looking and
innovative the most northerly of the Baltic States has become. Estonia is a country that wants to live in the future, and
with its openness and innovation, that future seems a lot closer than almost
anywhere else in Europe It is not that Estonia does not “do” the past: the
picturesque cobbled streets of old Tallinn have tourist crowds a-plenty enjoying
the mediaeval architecture in an Indian summer of sunshine and blue skies. The real point is that Estonia refuses to be
a prisoner of its past. Lennart Meri, Estonia’s President in the 1990s- who spent
years of his childhood in Siberia- once told me that the country had to
It is a basic contention of this blog that Donald J Trump is not fit for office.
A crooked real estate developer with a dubious past and highly questionable finances. he has systematically lied his way into financial or other advantage. His personal qualities include vulgarity, sexual assault allegations and fraudulent statements on almost every subject.
He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.
He has, of course, been under criminal investigation practically since before he took the oath of office. The indictment of some of closest advisers is just the beginning. His track record suggests that in due course there is no action he will not take, whether illegal or unconstitutional in order to derail his own inevitable impeachment and the indictments that must surely follow the successful investigation of Robert Mueller into his connections with Russia.
However, all of that is a matter for the American people.
It is also a matter for the American people that Trump is cheating…
The last few years has seen a spate of "scandals" about the use of off-shore tax havens. The hacking and subsequent leaking of data about who does and does not hold assets in off-shore jurisdictions has become an old perennial in the British press, rather like the "COLD weather happens in winter and QUITE HOT weather happens in summer", whose alarmist capital letter laced headlines are such a lazy part of contemporary "journalism".
The increasing sophistication of the hackers, whether Russian-inspired or not, has resulted in a steady trickle of information becoming a torrent. After the relatively filleted release of data in the so-called "Panama Papers", the data release of the "Paradise Papers" is even larger. Of course, just natural curiosity dictates that the off-shore ownership, or even just "ownership", of assets is of general public interest. Celebrities, from the Royal family to the cast of Mrs Brown's Boys, are …