Refugee Run can’t, naturally, make you experience what it’s like to be starving, or genuinely in fear of your life. But it gave this year’s Davos delegates an edifying glimpse.
Despotism is harder than it looks.
While dictators needn’t trouble themselves with public opinion, they’re still obliged to keep up some sort of false front in order to keep the whole show on the road. A regime like Iran’s, for example, is only saved from total international pariah status by its ability to depict itself as [...]
Russell Brand was doing his anti-politics thing on Jonathan Ross’s show on Saturday (about nine minutes in). “We are not properly represented,” he said.
“Something’s gone wrong” if David Cameron and George Osborne are in charge, he said. They look “porcine and bloated” and remind him of the pigs in Animal Farm.
What about the others? asked [...]
Owen Jones can rightly be described as a phenomenon. Still not even in his thirties, he has sought to remake the British left and has succeeded to an impressive extent. Without him, it’s doubtful the anti-austerity movement could have coalesced and unified so quickly, and been so single-minded. He writes with admirable clarity and punch, [...]
When I want to relax, I spend some time shooting people and things – often both at once – in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Sometimes, I even do this in a video game, namely the subtle and magisterial Fallout: New Vegas.
I could spend a whole column rhapsodising on the brilliance of the Fallout series, and may yet do [...]
Thanks to Pacificweather in the comments for spotting this, in David Remnick’s profile of Barack Obama:
The most curious character on the plane was Marvin Nicholson, a tall, rangy man in his early forties who works as the President’s trip director and ubiquitous factotum. He is six feet eight. Nicholson is the guy who is always [...]
There is a long interview with Barack Obama by David Remnick in The New Yorker, in which the President is cloudy but liberal when asked about legalising cannabis.
He repeated the common line about it being less harmful than alcohol, which, as I wrote the other day, is true, but is not the answer to the [...]
If you’re about my age and grew up in hard-left circles, Tony Blair is rather like Sauron, a figure of pure malevolence casting a baleful shadow over everything.
I welcomed Ed Miliband’s speech on the economy, for its small mercies, in The Independent on Sunday. Perhaps I was ungenerous. I should have said more forcefully that policies to foster more competition are an excellent idea. This is market socialism. Or, as Stewart Wood, Miliband’s shadow-cabinet ideas person, puts it, populist Republicanism for the little [...]
We may have invented a new opinion polling method: the “favourability rating”. For The Independent on Sunday yesterday, ComRes included a simple set of questions, asking people if they had a favourable or unfavourable view of the four parties and their leaders. We had asked this about the two main parties and their leaders last [...]
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