Harry Raffal

Currently finishing a PhD at the University of Hull studying the role of the RAF and Luftwaffe during Operation DYNAMO, the evacuation of the Dunkirk in 1940. Other areas of research include: The online development of the Ministry of Defence and British Armed Forces after receiving a research bursary from the Institute for Historical Research as part of the 2014 ‘Big UK Domain Data for the Arts and Humanities’ research project. The force structure and capabilities of the Eritrean Air Force Internet deterrence: How to counter the weaponization of information online These research projects have formed the content of several papers including lectures to the Royal Aeronautical Society, as part of the RAF Museums Trenchard lecture series, and the 2017 Research Infrastructure for the Study of Archived Web Materials (RESAW) conference. This research has been funded through bursaries and educational grants from the Royal Historical Society, the 2014 Big UK Domain Data for the Arts and Humanities research grant, the Princess Royal Trust, the University of Hull, the Sir Richard Stapley Trust and the RAF Museum PhD bursary. Previously one of Total Politics top 100 non-aligned bloggers when posts were syndicated to the politicsontoast.com website
Harry Raffal has written 10 posts for Politics on Toast

The war of the flea: the riots and our government’s response.

riots

We must be cautious in how we respond to the riots

Listening to Theresa May’s proposal that the police should be provided with powers to implement a curfew across an area in the case of civil disobedience brought to mind an extract from Robert Taber’s excellent The War of The Flea. Taber’s argues that in response to terrorism, sabotage and insurrection in a guerrilla war “it will be a remarkable government that will not be driven to stern repressive measures – curfews, the suspension of civil liberties, a ban on popular assembly, illegal acts that can only deepen popular opposition, creating a vicious Continue reading

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Miliband and Cameron’s response to the London riots diverges

ed miliband

Ed Miliband can capitalise on the riots

David Cameron has placed the Britain’s broken society back at the top of his agenda. The riots will now probably prove the defining point of this parliament. Will it be Cameron or Ed Miliband who capitalise on the violence that has swept the country? Harry Raffal enquires. 

In the fallout from the riots that rocked London and spread north through England, David Cameron has adopted a hard-line stance Continue reading

Harry’s five of the week: Market analysis, Syria, mansion tax, Kurdish terrorism, NHS

mansion tax

The mansion tax has raised its head again

With the riots consuming most of the newsprint and dominating the airwaves, you may not be aware that Bolton are sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League. Harry Raffal brings you the other storylines that may have slipped your notice. 

With the riots in Britain and the subsequent political fallout occupying central stage this week and only broken to bring us the first week of the Premier League and England thrashing India to go 3-0 up in the series, Continue reading

The great British badger cull

A badger

A badger

With the recent government announcement of a pilot cull will occur in England and the subsequent petitions that have been launched against it what is the reality behind the calls for a general cull on badgers and the manner in which it will be implemented? Harry Raffal investigates.

Firstly I should state that I am not opposed on principle to a cull on badgers. If there is evidence there are too many of any species for the Continue reading

Riotous hyperbole

London Riots

London Riots

Someone from the government should be engaging with the agitators. And those who are just attending the riots for criminality should be dealt with harshly. Harry Raffal offers his take on this week’s biggest story…

With the latest violence being described as horrific by the police, politicians on all sides of the spectrum seizing the opportunity to Continue reading

Harry’s five of the week: Al-Shabaab, defence, Lib Dems, wind farms, MRSA

al Shabaab

al Shabaab

With the American debt crisis dominating most of the front page headlines at the beginning of the week followed by a dramatic slide in major stock markets you may have been fortunate enough to avoid stories involving Newcastle’s Joey Barton quoting Nietzsche and a Polar bear killing a school boy on an expedition in Norway but amongst this detritus, Harry Raffal reports five of issues which have been left knocking around. Continue reading

Harry’s Five Of The Week – Cyprus, Internet Surveillance, Hillsborough, DNA & MoD

Canal Du Midi

Canal Du Midi

Our intrepid Harry Rafal delves into the depths of news to bring you the week’s five (actually six, but who’s counting?) stories that you may have missed.

The events that have unfolded in Norway last week rightfully occupied the headlines at the beginning of the week, supplemented as the week progressed with news of the demise of Amy Winehouse, the sluggish growth of the British economy and the stalemate in the US debt crisis, so here are the five news stories you may have missed if you were fretting over whether Continue reading

The Libyan Stalemate: Why Libya needs a Gaddafi

Colonel Gaddafi

Colonel Gaddafi

The war against Libya is all wrong. Britain has the wrong military equipment and no understand of Libyan society. If we must get rid of Colonel Gaddafi, he must be replaced with another member of the Gaddafa tribe, namely Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. Harry Raffal reports.

The recent revelations from the foreign office that Britain would be willing to countenance an outcome in Libya which did not require Colonel Gaddafi’s exile has inevitably raised questions as to how Britain became mired in Libya.

The first mistake seems to have been to adopt the hard-line towards Gaddafi’s regime which has been missing, or was originally missing, in Continue reading

Famine and the future of Somalia

famine in Somalia

Famine declared in Somalia

The prospects for those affected by famine in the Horn of Africa are bleak. Britain is leading the way with foreign aid; other countries and their relief agencies are sitting on their hands. We must ensure the aid gets to those who need it, writes Harry Raffal.

The humanitarian crisis is worsening in the Horn of Africa after the worst drought in Africa in half a century. On the 20th of July the UN officially declared famine in two southern Somalia regions stating that “Given the combination of severity and geographic scope this Continue reading

Five news stories from the week lost in the phone-hacking scandal

The Territorial Army to be increased

With all the media smothering us in the phone-hacking scandal, other stories are being under-reported. Harry Raffal casts his eyes about the lower reaches of the newspapers to bring you five stories you may have missed.

With the fallout from the hacking scandal continuing to dominate the news, only briefly broken to inform us that a fat couple from Scotland have won over £160 million on the lottery and that the Beckams have provided a ridiculous name to their daughter (so she won’t be bullied by other celebrity kids), here are the five news stories you may have missed if you were busy fretting over who was going to win the apprentice.

One: The decision has been taken to release funds to the Libyan rebel Continue reading

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