Europe: United States of Amnesia

This week in his State of Union address, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, set out his vision for a United States of Europe. For an organisation which has haemorrhaged one of its most important member-states this is an ambitious vision. But with the United Kingdom now out of the Union, Juncker has … Continue reading Europe: United States of Amnesia

Enemy at the Gates

Babylon was conquered by the Persians; Rome was conquered by the Goths; Communism was conquered by Capitalism. All empires fall. All civilising projects come to an end. As our statues fall one-by-one the world over, the civilising mission ushered in by the Renaissance and the Enlightenment enters its final hour. The old guard, armed with … Continue reading Enemy at the Gates

Dunkirk and Nostalgia

It’s 1940 and the Allied forces are on the brink of collapse. More precisely, hundreds of thousands of young men, most of them belonging to the British Expeditionary Force, are stranded on the beaches at Dunkirk. Their strategy is dead in the water and their only thought is survival. Only luck can save them, and … Continue reading Dunkirk and Nostalgia

Millenials believe they will inherit the earth

A theatre company in London recently published a letter in which they openly questioned whether so-called millenials know anything about “the real world”. The answer, of course, is no. But it matters to understand why. Millenials are those who were born in the 1980s and 1990s. The term therefore denotes the proximity of this generation’s … Continue reading Millenials believe they will inherit the earth

Repeal, Reuse, Recycle

Everything is about Brexit, except Brexit, which is about power. That much was clear from the Leave Campaign’s key message in 2016: Take Back Control. What the Great Repeal Bill (published today) demonstrates is that taking back control is far more difficult than the slogan suggests. Ever since Britain joined the European Union the UK … Continue reading Repeal, Reuse, Recycle

The Health Service has become a Health Warning

Today is the 69th birthday of the National Health Service, a much-lauded institution in Britain which has become a national treasure synonymous with Westminster, the BBC and James Bond. It was established in 1948 largely thanks to the efforts of Labour Health Minister Aneurin Bevan; but it was also a hangover from experience of state-control … Continue reading The Health Service has become a Health Warning

Austerity Is Fake News

It’s 1950 and Britain is on its knees. Destroyed houses, vacant bomb sites, temporary prefabs, rationing (which did not end until 1954) and a level of income tax twice the level it is today. Natural disasters – which are now blamed on austerity – are devastating: five days of smog killed over 4000 people in … Continue reading Austerity Is Fake News

In order to declare independence, Britain must declare allegiance

Imagine this: as the Brexit negotiations reach a stalemate within the first hours of battle, David Davis bangs his fist on the table, looks Michel Barnier directly in the eye and says: ‘You are infringing upon our rights as Europeans!’  The Confederacy of the United States, the Republic of Ireland and even current designs for … Continue reading In order to declare independence, Britain must declare allegiance