Jesse Norman

Engraving of John Law in 1720, at the height of his power: adviser to the king of France and controller-general of finance

John Law: the Scottish gambler who rescued France from bankruptcy

8 September 2018 9:00 am

John Law was by any standards a quite remarkable man. At the apogee of his power in 1720, he was…

Spendthrift and slovenly, Thomas Paine was also a scrounger of epic proportions. When invited by a friend to Paris for a week, he ended up staying for five years

Thomas Paine: spendthrift, scrounger and polemicist of genius

10 March 2018 9:00 am

‘We have it in our power to begin the world over again.’ Ronald Reagan made this most unconservative of lines…

Passion, authority and the odd mini-rant: Scruton’s conservative vision

27 September 2014 8:00 am

Roger Scruton is that rarest of things: a first-rate philosopher who actually has a philosophy. Unfortunately at times for him,…

Edmund Burke (left) and Thomas Paine, caricatured by Gillray and Cruickshank respectively

Where did the Right and the Left come from? 

15 February 2014 9:00 am

What is the origin of left and right in politics? The traditional answer is that these ideas derive from the…