Last week marked the sixtieth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the British throne. The government has already declared a four day public holiday in June, during which Her Majesty will lead a flotilla of a thousand boats along the Thames and a chain of fiery beacons will be lit across the United Kingdom. For a country in recession and at conflict with the European Union over its right to govern its own finances, this offers us a unique opportunity to reassert confidence and historical identity.
It has been nearly a year since Syrians took to the streets en masse to protest the rule of Bashar al-Assad. In that time, government forces have responded brutally, killing some 6,000 people, but the response by the international community has been relatively muted.