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Ian Birrell

Ian Birrell

Independent

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Starmer can learn from the Tory disaster – do not pander to the fringes

Already our politics feels a little bit calmer. Labour has kicked out the Tories, Sir Keir Starmer has moved into Downing Street, and the Cabinet...

08.07.2024 7

iNews

Ian Birrell

I played football with Keir Starmer for years - this is what it taught me

The reports make the game sound almost professional. Whites took the lead when a “fine, flowing movement” ended with Mark the Younger crossing for...

02.07.2024 5

iNews

Ian Birrell

Tories deserve to be kicked as hard as possible into the history books

When Rishi Sunak stood before the dwindling band of Tory faithful at their party conference last year, he spoke about the urgent need for change in...

30.06.2024 5

iNews

Ian Birrell

Nigel Farage's attempts at damage limitation aren't fooling anyone

Nigel Farage has built a brand that has won him fame and fortune based on two key pillars – that he is a fearless defender of democracy and a...

24.06.2024 7

iNews

Ian Birrell

South Africa offers Donald Trump one crucial lesson

It is 30 years since the citizens of South Africa defied doom-mongers with a largely peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy. This was a...

16.06.2024 8

iNews

Ian Birrell

There is only one way to stop Donald Trump now

One of the greatest attributes of populist politicians is their ability to drive foes into such a frenzy of fury and loathing that they end up...

03.06.2024 20

iNews

Ian Birrell

I helped the Tories get elected – I can’t wait to see the back of them

It seems strange to recall the nervous Conservative sense of hope and optimism when the party was ushered back into power 14 years ago by a hesitant...

23.05.2024 50

iNews

Ian Birrell

Slovakia is on the front line of Putin’s war to destroy our values

The day before I arrived in Bratislava, Slovakia, to report on last year’s election, Vladimir Putin admitted his beloved Soviet Union made “a...

19.05.2024 50

iNews

Ian Birrell

Books / Why are the German authorities so reluctant to believe in neo-Nazi attacks?

Enver Simsek’s life story was one familiar to many migrants. He moved from Turkey to a small town in Germany, then worked hard in a factory during...

16.05.2024 100

The Spectator

Ian Birrell

Have no doubt: we are at war with Russia

Historians will look back in bafflement at the gullibility of Western leaders in their response to Vladimir Putin. When this obscure security official...

13.05.2024 30

iNews

Ian Birrell

A further lurch to the right won't save the Tories – but Sunak doesn't want to listen

The mood was very tense as the votes were recounted in Coventry, then totted up in Sandwell. Then came the rumours, followed by the first pictures of...

05.05.2024 30

iNews

Ian Birrell

Joe Biden is facing his Vietnam moment

The students at Columbia University sat outside their tents, munching on beans and rice as they listened to one of their history professors discuss...

28.04.2024 4

iNews

Ian Birrell

Rishi Sunak's cruel and costly Rwanda gimmick gives you the measure of the man

The wily Rwandan leader Paul Kagame has shown great skill at fooling gullible Western politicians into supporting his dictatorship, whether by...

23.04.2024 10

iNews

Ian Birrell

What on earth is the point of the Lib Dems today?

The vote in Parliament last week to impose the world’s toughest smoking ban was a perfect symbol for the state of British politics. Here was a daft,...

22.04.2024 60

iNews

Ian Birrell

The deaths of three trans teens expose the state of youth mental health provision

Jason Pulman was the oldest of five children, a talented artist who ‘‘loved all the silliness in the world and using it to make all those around...

16.04.2024 9

iNews

Ian Birrell

Hope is being extinguished in the Israel-Gaza war

Six years ago, while on a reporting trip to Gaza, I met a 26-year-old man called Mohammed al-Taluli who had dared to challenge Hamas by organising...

08.04.2024 8

iNews

Ian Birrell

There is a grotesque human rights scandal happening in Britain, right under our noses

During my journalistic career I have spoken to traumatised people around the world suffering terrible consequences of war, earthquakes and torture....

25.03.2024 10

iNews

Ian Birrell

Keir Starmer will not pull off what Tony Blair did in 1997

The Tories are panicking again as they look at the polls, contemplate their looming electoral wipeout after another disastrous week at Westminster and...

18.03.2024 20

iNews

Ian Birrell

Farewell to Theresa May, the best worst Tory prime minister in British history

Theresa May has announced she is leaving the political stage at the next election while polls indicate that the party she headed for three years faces...

10.03.2024 7

iNews

Ian Birrell

Macron has revealed himself to be a hypocritcal laggard

Last week Emmanuel Macron, the French President, engaged in sabre-rattling that set nerves jangling from Moscow to Washington. Speaking at a press...

03.03.2024 10

iNews

Ian Birrell

The Tories' love affair with Trump-style politics is just getting started

Adam Kinzinger used to be a mainstream Republican. He is an evangelical Christian and former US Air Force colonel who served as a pilot in conflict...

25.02.2024 5

iNews

Ian Birrell

Ukraine must ask if Zelensky is holding them back

Volodymyr Zelensky is a bold, competitive and determined man, driven by an astonishing sense of self-belief. These personal traits took him from his...

12.02.2024 5

iNews

Ian Birrell

The disturbing saga of African Parks shows how little we have learnt from history

The scenery of lush tropical rainforest was stunning but the stories of atrocities were disturbing. One mother told me of being raped beside the road...

05.02.2024 7

iNews

Ian Birrell

Covid-19 lab leak theory is gaining ground

Dominic Cummings is far from the ideal person to deliver warnings about dangers of misinformation, given his track record. Yet last week he wrote...

22.01.2024 10

iNews

Ian Birrell

China's dictatorship has been embarrassed by the people of Taiwan

Amid so much grim global news, something to celebrate. For the biggest election year in human history, which will see more than half the planet’s...

14.01.2024 20

iNews

Ian Birrell

Books / The freedom fighters who dared to take on a communist superpower

In May 2020, as the planet grappled with the pandemic, China’s state media declared that there were ‘obvious deficiencies’ in Hong Kong law...

09.01.2024 6

The Spectator

Ian Birrell

The post office scandal confirms it, Ed Davey should quit

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey has made a busy start to 2024 with a general election looming. First came a new year message to voters, insisting...

07.01.2024 5

iNews

Ian Birrell

The world's 'war on drugs' is a disaster – and it's about to get worse

Two days after Christmas, the South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, best known for playing a wealthy patriarch in the Oscar-winning film Parasite, was...

01.01.2024 20

iNews

Ian Birrell

The Uighur refugee I met - and what he taught me about life's fragility

The artists, booksellers, musicians and writers all knew each other well, so greeted each other warmly in the restaurant, cracking jokes as...

24.12.2023 7

iNews

Ian Birrell

One woman's story should remind the West of its duty to Ukraine

The chilly winds of appeasement blow through the West as Ukrainians shed blood in their epochal battle between democracy and dictatorship. Last week,...

17.12.2023 10

iNews

Ian Birrell

The Tories are facing their biggest existential crisis yet

Rishi Sunak was right about one thing when he won the top job little more than a year ago. Declaring that his “utmost priority” was to unite a...

10.12.2023 7

iNews

Ian Birrell

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