Why Easter is music to my ears

10 Apr

For Christians, this week is the most important of the year. And this year’s Holy Week is, around the world, unlike any other. With churches shut, and services either cancelled or streamed online from all-but empty buildings, people will have to find their own space for contemplation. And that goes for non-believers, and lapsed or […]

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We don’t need ‘gotcha’ journalism now

3 Apr

We live in the age of the omniscient anchor. Not that the news-frontmen and women are really omniscient, of course, but in Britain and (even more so) in America there is a type of presenter who is held up — and certainly held themselves up — as though the world and everything in it was […]

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How the EU made Salvini

27 Mar

Nobody knows what will happen after the coronavirus, but just as the crisis has been unimaginable, so could its consequences be. And although in some ways the pandemic hovers above the realm of politics, still that politics, in particular party politics and the jostle between Left and Right, will not go away. In America, question about […]

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No, ‘prejudice’ is not our greatest enemy, coronavirus is

13 Mar

One of the few positive things about terrible events is the way in which they reveal our priorities, not just as societies but as individuals. We might live our lives in the twenty-first century imagining ourselves to be reasonable, rational beings, but then something elemental is thrown at us — a natural disaster, a virus, […]

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‘Noughts + Crosses’ is an ugly work about racism

6 Mar

‘Timeless’ used to be a commonly heard term to describe great works of art. If a piece of theatre or cinema transcended the era in which it was created, then it was for the ages and could be recognised as potentially great. Its opposites are obvious: works that date, are of their time or passé. […]

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How the Sweden Democrats came in from the cold

28 Feb

One of the most difficult, unrewarding and potentially perilous tasks in modern European politics is to find an answer to the following question: can parties of the far-Right become parties of the centre or centre-Right? And if so — if they do move — can they and should they be accepted into the political fold? […]

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