Long-form essay
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Ancient liberties, novel dangers

Until very recently, the British political landscape was drearily familiar: each new argument about Brexit, the dangers of populism, or the excesses of cultural liberalism seemed identical to the last. It has taken an act of nature to force us out of that rut, but here we are. Thanks to the Covid-19 outbreak, the nation not only … Continue reading Ancient liberties, novel dangers

The politics of this crisis will be grim. We should prepare now.

Last weekend, which now feels like a lifetime ago, I nervously attended what will probably be my last social gathering for several months. Despite a general mood of uneasiness, at least one of my friends was hoping that there would be a silver lining to the looming Covid-19 epidemic. Did I not think, he asked, … Continue reading The politics of this crisis will be grim. We should prepare now.

Coronavirus and the spectre of the closed network

How will the world be reshaped by coronavirus? Answers to this question have almost become a genre unto themselves. Such speculation – even if it is just speculation – can be valuable, and not just insofar as it helps us to grapple with the particular threat facing us. Moments of unexpected shock like this one, … Continue reading Coronavirus and the spectre of the closed network

The end of extraordinary politics?

I’ve been overseas for a few weeks, so I missed the election results coming in on December 12th, and most of the ensuing media frenzy. Based on the odd headline I did see, it seemed as though the British political system had just been administered an enormous quantity of laxative; though whether Boris Johnson’s breaking … Continue reading The end of extraordinary politics?