If the admiring American coverage of his death is to be believed, the lodestar of George Shultz’s life was one of trust. Shultz lived to be a hundred and, in an essay to mark the occasion of his centenary, Shultz held that ‘trust is the coin of the realm’. When trust was ‘in the room’ he wrote, ‘good things happened. When trust was not in the room, good things did not happen. Everything else is details’. He died two months later on 6 February 2021.
Sky News as today begun a campaign to make TV debates a permanent feature of future general election campaigns. The broadcaster has come up with an imperative hashtag (#MakeDebatesHappen) and an endorsement from Sir Nick Clegg himself. Continue reading →
The century just gone was, in Robert Conquest’s telling phrase, a ‘ravaged’ one. It bore witness, as did millions of people, to some of the most extreme political conditions, most devastating wars and most evil figures in the history of the world – and I believe that word is justified. But more evil, more extreme and more ravaged by war than any other state and nation was the Soviet Union, a creation of the early 20th century which did not survive its close. If anything stands to symbolise those hundred years – more so than the Nazi regime which lasted for a mere twelve – that particular entity, Ronald Reagan’s ‘evil empire’, should do it. Continue reading →