Paul Barker

Paul Barker was the editor of New Society for most of its run and is now social policy editor of the Sunday Telegraph.

Diary: Bellamy’s Dream

Paul Barker, 19 May 1988

‘That you should be startled by what I shall tell you is to be expected,’ Dr Leete tells Julian West as he stirs from his slumbers. ‘Your appearance is that of a young man of barely thirty, and your bodily condition seems not too greatly different from that of one just roused from a somewhat long and profound sleep, and yet this is the tenth day of September in the year 2000, and you have slept exactly 113 years, three months and 11 days.’ Thus the sleeper awakes, and begins – in the words of Edward Bellamy’s title – ‘looking backward’. Julian West had fallen asleep in the Boston of 1887, a city riven with poverty and industrial strife. He was now in a new Boston of peace and harmony, which was ticking away like well-oiled clockwork.’

At an international conference I attended the other day someone spoke of European civilisation as the civilisation of Christendom, the Renaissance and the Welfare State. A somewhat flowery way of...

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Good Schools

Tessa Blackstone, 2 December 1982

There is probably even more ill-informed punditry around about our educational system and its contribution to Britain’s decline than there is about the trade unions, management and...

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