History: The Executioner of Bad Ideas

Death, in some cases, is justified. A death resulting from a legitimate act of self-defence, or the adoption of euthanasia by an informed mind who no longer wishes to suffer are two such examples. But the state, when no longer threatened by the incarcerated individual, has no moral justification to pull the lever or press the button to end a life.

2017: Great Expectations?

The world desperately misses Christopher Hitchens. He would have had little patience for the internecine conflict within the left and its ceaseless self-strangulation. Hitchens saw himself as a liberal, broadly defined. But he would not tie himself down to ideology. He was the Muhammad Ali of rational argument. He had swagger, for sure, but his ability to propel his arguments with energy and panache was unmatched.

Football’s Impossible Job

It is seldom that I will write about sport, but when the FA confirmed today that, as expected, Gareth Southgate has been appointed the new England football manager on a permanent basis, I had good reason to do so. You see, a painful memory returned to my consciousness, which I will endeavour to explain and, with any luck, safely exorcise.

The Collapse: Why Societies Fail

The US-born civilization scholar, Jared Diamond, says there is not a single, easy answer to the question of why seemingly stable societies collapse. Diamond, educated at Cambridge and Harvard, with an impressive background in evolutionary biology and geography, points more broadly to five common factors that, if left unchecked, precipitate a societal collapse.