Bye Bye Britain

Neal Ascherson, 24 September 2020

In 2019, Boris Johnson became prime minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In 2020, he shrank into being prime minister of England. For the second time in less than seven...

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Short Cuts: Woke Conspiracies

William Davies, 24 September 2020

A British equivalent of Fox News, wherever it may come from, would have its own distinctive character – less evangelism and more Elgar, fewer guns and more poppies – but the commercial and...

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The US had other ideas: The Pipeline Project

Tom Stevenson, 10 September 2020

Europeans can gripe about having to do business with the Russian state and Russian planners may complain about being beholden to the European market, but geography conspires against them. The gas is where...

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I need money: Biden Tries Again

Christian Lorentzen, 10 September 2020

The state of Delaware has given the world three gifts: chemicals, debt and Joe Biden. Each promises great things but may deliver undesirable side effects.

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Short Cuts: Ofqual and the Algorithm

Paul Taylor, 10 September 2020

Ofqual is not an independent agency; it is a government department and acted on the instructions of the minister. The problems with the algorithm aren’t technical but a consequence of the political...

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Short Cuts: Under New Management

Rory Scothorne, 13 August 2020

In a time of crisis, the public sees governments as being like lightbulbs: when they stop working, they need to be changed, and the most important thing to consider about the new bulb is whether it will...

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One reason the EU has been so keen to tie the UK to level playing field conditions, and is so reluctant to believe the UK’s repeated assurances that it has no intention of cutting regulatory standards,...

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On some days, bad days, I wonder if our survival in spite of enslavement, lynching and mass incarceration, our refusal to be annihilated, our mere presence is perceived as a sign of contempt for and challenge...

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Reconstruction was under attack from the outset. There was never a consensus on its legitimacy, and in the end it sank under the weight of racism, indifference, fatigue, administrative weakness, economic...

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Whose century? After the Shock

Adam Tooze, 30 July 2020

One has to wonder whether the advocates of a new Cold War have taken the measure of the challenge posed by 21st-century China. For Americans, part of the appeal of allusions to Cold War 2.0 is that they...

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Short Cuts: Thanington Without

Patrick Cockburn, 30 July 2020

Thanington​ is a deprived area beside the River Stour on the western outskirts of Canterbury. Before the pandemic many people here were working on zero-hour contracts as cleaners or supermarket...

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It’s not only that cultural and political polarisation makes it harder for different ‘sides’ to understand one another, although that is no doubt true. It makes it harder to understand...

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The East India Company’s relat­ions with the British state had always been ambivalent. Its increasing territorial and military pretensions after 1750 attracted growing attention and demands for...

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Anglo-America’s dingy realities – deindustrialisation, low-wage work, underemployment, hyper-incarceration and enfeebled or exclusionary health systems – have long been evident. Nevertheless,...

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Where Bolton’s most deep-seated desire is to lay waste to America’s enemies, Trump is absorbed by the prospect of abandoning old friends, or at least extorting them with the threat of abandonment....

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He was a heretic who remained on the left, never a Cold War renegade who sang the virtues of capitalism or colonialism. Had he done so, many avenues would have opened up for him in the West. His books...

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The past decade should have taught governments to beware of hasty large-scale remodelling. But it seems only to have emboldened the Johnson apparat to go flat out for more of the same. It may still seem...

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The true significance of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s election, and of Trump’s attack on the WHO and China, may be as markers of how radically the world has changed since the WHO was founded,...

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