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3 Oct 2014
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This Sceptred Isle

Devolution, Kosovo, & the Lords
In 1999 NATO, celebrated its 50th anniversary and for the first time in its history went to war. It bombed Kosovo but failed in its announced objective of preventing Serbian ambitions towards Albanian Kosovars. The refusal of the majority of the allies to commit ground troops at the beginning of the operation meant that the Serbian forces and police were able to commit a series of atrocities without the unprecedented bombing campaign interrupting them.

What might have been a successful development of the Ulster Peace Process stalled in July when the Unionists led by the first minister, David Trimble, refused to form the Northern Ireland Assembly Executive as long as the terrorist groups refused to give up weapons. The process was "put on hold".

In Brussels a new European Commission replaced its disgraced predecessor which had been forced to resign after substantial allegations of maladministration and corruption.

The British government became less enthusiastic about publicly supporting the new currency, the Euro, after its value could not hold up against Sterling and the US dollar. By the second half of the year, the Euro began to recover, but the British government had learned its lesson and tempered any enthusiasms it once had.

As the 1900s ended much attention focused on the Millennium Dome even though as a concept it was nothing more than a version of the 1951 Festival of Britain. Whether this was a symbol of the state of public Britain at the end of the Century or a tacky sound-bite that had to be made to work is a strong debating point in the closing months of the century.

President Milosevic
President Milosevic
Slobodan Milosevic (born 1941)

  • One of the old style Serbian Communist politicians and senior activist in the Yugoslav Communist Party.
  • He became head of the Serbian Communist Party and President in 1986.
  • He was a product of Belgrade University and became popular as a Nationalist.
  • His election was on the Nationalist ticket of redressing the political and therefore the ethnic balance in Kosovo where the Serbians lived alongside ethnic Albanians in a considerable minority.
  • He is in Western eyes considered to be a political and military butcher who has been largely responsible for the recent catastrophes in the Balkans.
  • Although the general NATO assessment has been that Milosevic is a brilliant tactician but a bad strategist; thus implying that his short term successes would not result in long term gains.

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Chronology
1981 Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer
Ronald Reagan President of the USA
1982 Britain wins the Falklands War
1983 Margaret Thatcher wins landslide victory
1984 Indira Gandhi of India assassinated
Death of poet, John Betjeman
1985Mikhail Gorbachev succeeds Chernenko as Soviet leader
1986 Elizabeth II first British monarch to visit China
1987 Worst storm of the century rages over Great Britain
1988 George Bush wins US Presidential election
Bruges speech
1989Tiananmen Square massacre
1990 Tories oust Margaret Thatcher
John Major new leader
Iraqi invasion of Kuwait
1991 The Second Gulf War
1998 President Clinton is impeached
Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland
1999 Kosovo War
Good Friday agreement fails to meet mid-year deadlines for establish Assembly executive
Scottish Parliament opens
Welsh Assembly opens
August Eclipse of the Sun

Five Political Phrases At The End Of The 1990s
Sound-bite
Focus Group
Spin Doctor
Message
The People


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