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Mark Mardell

Mark Mardell Presenter, The World This Weekend

Come here for discussion of the big ideas and issues behind the stories dominating the world's headlines.

Is Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy about to bring back Blairism?

  • 18 December 2014
  • From the section UK
Jim Murphy
Jim Murphy has been elected to turn around Labour's fortunes in Scotland

I am agog in the Easterhouse Bridge theatre, transfixed by a simple tale.

The big, bad wolf huffs and puffs and the first little pig curls into a ball as her house of straw explodes in a crowd-pleasing burst of smoke and flames.

The kids love it. The adults love it. Let's face it - we all enjoy a vivid tale, well told.

Suddenly it is just possible Labour in Scotland has a story.

Whether the narrative works or fails could determine whether Ed Miliband becomes the UK's next prime minister. If he doesn't, there still might be lessons for the party.

Read full article Is Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy about to bring back Blairism?

Is IS on an inevitable path to destruction?

  • 11 December 2014
  • From the section UK
Kashmiri demonstrators hold up a flag of the Islamic State
IS has influence across a wide area

It was Voltaire who said that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.

Some would say the same of Islamic State (IS) - that it is neither Islamic, nor a state.

Read full article Is IS on an inevitable path to destruction?

EU change a blockbuster challenge for Cameron

  • 4 December 2014
  • From the section UK
David Cameron

To watch David Cameron in action is as thrilling and as empty an experience as watching a Hollywood blockbuster.

It seems impossible that he can survive the forces ranged against him, but he buys time, survives for a precious minute, which gives him an hour, which gives him a day.

Read full article EU change a blockbuster challenge for Cameron

Potent and provocative symbol of the flag

  • 27 November 2014
  • From the section UK
Confederate flag
The Confederate flag is loaded with potential meanings

Flags are intentional symbols, weaved to wave proudly and to rally the troops, in victory or defeat.

"Here we make our stand, come and join us," they declare.

Read full article Potent and provocative symbol of the flag

East-West conflict set to run and run

  • 20 November 2014
  • From the section UK
Tony Abbott and Vladimir Putin
Hard-nosed diplomacy?

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott threatened to "shirtfront" President Putin over Ukraine.

This is apparently an Australian expression suggesting pushing into someone's personal space, squaring off for a fight, eyeball to eyeball, shirt button to shirt button.

Read full article East-West conflict set to run and run

Time for German military to take more active role?

  • 13 November 2014
  • From the section UK
Soldier of the German armed forces plays the trumpet during a welcome ceremony
German soldiers are proud of their predecessors' sense of duty

Remembrance of the fallen, and the fall of a wall. How we remember the past defines the future.

Look at London, then at Berlin last weekend, and you will understand the intense debate in Europe's richest country - does it dare to lead again?

Read full article Time for German military to take more active role?

Disconnected generation ready to make Westminster pay

  • 6 November 2014
  • From the section UK
Voters
Many voters want to vote for "none of the above"

The ferry across the Thames ploughed a steady path, backwards and forwards, Essex to Kent, Kent to Essex, a soporific early-morning ride.

But politics, here and across the world, is perhaps moving outside familiar currents, into choppy waters, leaving mainstream politicians unsure if they are waving or drowning at the voters.

Read full article Disconnected generation ready to make Westminster pay

Is EU challenge too much for Cameron to stomach?

  • 29 October 2014
  • From the section Home
David Cameron
Europe presents David Cameron with a difficult balancing act

For a long while now I've realised that David Cameron has a porridge problem, just like Goldilocks.

But now it is becoming clear that Baby Bear may not be around to save him. Let me explain.

Read full article Is EU challenge too much for Cameron to stomach?

An ending - and a beginning

  • 7 October 2014
  • From the section Home

You might have guessed by now the gig is over, and I've left the house - sadly, my five year stint as the BBC's North America editor has come to an end so I leave the job, the blog and you in the extremely capably hands of my friend and colleague Jon Sopel.

But you can't get rid of me that easily. I've now returned to London to present The World This Weekend" on BBC Radio Four on Sunday lunchtimes and The World At One on Fridays, come high day and holiday.

Read full article An ending - and a beginning

Is Obama right over Iraq?

  • 13 June 2014
  • From the section Home
US President Barack Obama walks to the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, 28 May 2014
Not going it alone: Obama's recent foreign policy speeches have stressed regional partnerships

The Obama doctrine, set out at West Point, appears to be in tatters as Iraq falls apart. The critics have been quick to point to what's happening there as another sign of the weakness of his foreign policy.

But there is another way of looking at it. That he's right.

Read full article Is Obama right over Iraq?

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About Mark

Mark Mardell has been at the forefront of reporting and analysing major world events for radio and TV for 25 years.

Mark grew up in Surrey, was educated at Kent University in Canterbury and worked in commercial radio in Teesside, Leeds and London before joining the BBC.

As Newsnight's political editor and then chief political correspondent for the BBC's main TV and radio programmes, he reported on huge changes in British politics including the fall of Lady Thatcher, the rise of euro-scepticism, the formation of New Labour and the road to the Iraq war.

After the 2005 election Mark became the BBC's first Europe editor covering the birth of the Lisbon treaty and EU politics in all its guises. In 2009 he became BBC North America editor. He has also made radio documentaries on the relationship between China and the USA, and the future of the Republican party.

He's fascinated by the intersection of domestic and international politics and has now returned to the UK to present The World This Weekend and The World at One.

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