I made a mistake, in the pages of a British magazine last month, by announcing the dawning of an era in which Giuseppe Conte, then the Italian prime minister, would become an essential national figure. This was a mistake in one obvious and chastening way – Conte failed to form another government, he no longer holds office of any kind – but wrong in another sense: one which may mean that, if anything, I undersold Conte’s stock.Continue reading
It has become increasingly clear that communist China is a world-spanning empire-in-waiting. More than this, its leaders are increasingly unwilling to wait.Continue reading
It’s New Year’s Day and, as is traditional, I am laid low by ill health. I am not, to my knowledge, hungover. But no matter, when the year just gone hangs over into the new one, and does so in such an unpleasant, concerning manner.Continue reading
Reading Syrian state media, you might be left with the impression that the country’s coronavirus outbreak was wholly steady and under control.Continue reading
There’s a vulgar little thought that keeps intruding when I am trying to think about anything else.
It’s of a piece with other things that have impeded my ability to think and to sit still for many weeks. And it touches on the same themes. But it is motivated less by concern and more by spite. Continue reading