For some people, these islands seem just too small to satisfy their ambitions. Not content with Britain, many want to be known around the world; they want to be famous in a new and different way. Continue reading
The Assad regime has been in peril since the beginning of the Syrian revolution.
Cities, towns and entire governorates have been free of its authority for more than half a decade. It has lost control of great tracts of the country. And many people in areas no longer within its compass would do everything they could to avoid being ruled over by the regime ever again. They would fight back. Their recapture may be impossible, or at the very least inordinately costly. Continue reading
There’s meant to be something somewhat seedy about the profit motive. Perhaps this is why, in the case of education, many of us recoil in horror as soon as the prospect is introduced. This is an irrational response, but it’s not entirely unreasonable. Education is something which makes politicians misty-eyed. It makes their voices quaver. Our leaders describe with great emotion the need for the next generation to do better, to have more, to go without less. Continue reading
For my generation, 2011 came close to being our 1968. Like the latter, it was a year of political change, change that seemed dynamic and accelerated.
The world was on the verge of being transformed. It seemed as though undemocratic regimes, for too long a regrettable fixture of the Middle East, could be overthrown and replaced. More than that, there was a sense of real optimism. It seemed the weight of history had been lifted. Continue reading
It was thought that Theresa May had played the perfect game. She managed to win the Conservative leadership election without the thing turning into an election. She managed to do it without lifting a finger. Everyone seemed very impressed. Continue reading
After the British electorate voted to leave the European Union last June, things began to change rapidly. The prime minister speedily resigned and was replaced. His successor brought in a host of ministers – some new people and some rather old ones – to take account of this dramatic shift in public opinion. Those who had been on the fringes of the governing Conservative party – for example David Davis, an archetypal antique face – are now in the cabinet. Continue reading
Keith Vaz, the Member of Parliament for Leicester East, has done something objectionable – morally, ethically, whatever you want to call it. And beyond personal taste, there’s the suggestion of real wrongdoing, and something resembling real moral decay hanging about his person. This particular characterisation could be made in reference to innumerable things the man has done. But his past is past; all that seems to matter right now are the contents of a tabloid tale or two. Continue reading