Lit-Bel 6: Into the Government’s Arms

There is absolutely no reason to go to Borisov.  It is the Guildford of Belarus: about an hour from the capital, has a nice cathedral, but it has nothing else to recommend it.  It is plainly not a tourist destination; even the normally unflappable lady at the train station looked a little perplexed when we asked for tickets there.   It appears in precisely zero guide books.  This is exactly why we wanted to go – to get a glimpse of real Belarus. It all sounds like the most dreadful clichéd pretension.  But this is not ‘off-the-beaten-path’ mania.  In a place … Continue reading Lit-Bel 6: Into the Government’s Arms

The Itinerant Psephologist: Hungary

THE HUNGARIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, 2012  This is probably an odd way to start off what I’m hoping will become a series of articles on elections, as the election that I’m writing about is anything but standard.  It’s also something of an odd choice, given most commentators have been driven to the verge of spasm by the Egyptian presidential elections and I might very sensibly be supposed to deal with that first.  However, the Hungarian presidential election neatly encapsulates the problems the country faces at the moment, and since it’s a somewhat obscure part of the world, nobody’s talking about it.  … Continue reading The Itinerant Psephologist: Hungary