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Europe’s vaccine cooperation isn’t federalist dogma

This week, Douglas Murray argued that the on-going shambles of the European Union’s vaccination effort should be chalked up to federalist dogma. “There is no logical reason why EU countries could not have been allowed to pursue independent vaccine development, procurement and roll-out,” wrote Murray, except that “it has already been decided that an EU-wide … Continue reading Europe’s vaccine cooperation isn’t federalist dogma

Why I miss the pub

This past year of lockdowns has imposed a strange hierarchy on the world of consumerism – or at least the old fashioned, bricks-and-mortar one – by deeming some businesses “essential” and others not. This has led to some interesting decisions (I was happy the UK government thought garden centres were essential retail), but one thing … Continue reading Why I miss the pub

Europe’s empty moral gestures

The story of the Opium Wars in mid-19th century China has been told in many ways, but the account which has always stayed with me is the short one given by W.G. Sebald in The Rings of Saturn. In just a few pages, and with his novelist’s eye for arresting detail, Sebald portrays the European incursion into the … Continue reading Europe’s empty moral gestures

The age of mass timber: why we should build in wood

This article was published by The Critic on March 10th 2021. There are few more evocative images of modernity than the glittering skyscrapers of Tokyo. It’s easy to forget that Japan’s cities used to consist largely of timber structures up until the mid-twentieth century. It was only after the nightmarish final months of the Second … Continue reading The age of mass timber: why we should build in wood