Peter Jones

Boris’s hero Pericles didn’t need a spokeswoman

17 October 2020 9:00 am

A spokeswoman has been appointed ‘to communicate with the nation on behalf of the Prime Minister’. He apparently needs ‘a…

How to be content

10 October 2020 9:00 am

The Covid-19 pandemic is apparently causing a large number of mental health problems. On that subject, one could do a…

The Socratic approach to Covid

3 October 2020 9:00 am

Organs of the press are filled with opinion pages. The sublime confidence about Covid with which commentators advance these opinions,…

Should a Good Citizen snitch on neighbours?

26 September 2020 9:00 am

If neighbours break whatever new Covid rules might soon emerge, it has been suggested that the Good Citizen might snitch…

Racism and the destructive power of language

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Pursuing last week’s theme, this week’s column raises the question: if there is no such thing as ‘race’ — since…

The Romans weren’t racist

12 September 2020 9:00 am

Rod Liddle has questioned whether Ms Jolly, chief librarian of the British Library, was right to say that whites invented…

Museums need wonder, not wokery

5 September 2020 9:00 am

The British Museum’s aim is to use its collection ‘for the benefit and education of humanity’. If that manifests itself…

The Romans wouldn’t have understood our exam obsession

29 August 2020 9:00 am

Many commentators have argued that the recent grading controversy indicates just how important public examinations are. Up to a point,…

The Romans welcomed migrants with open arms

22 August 2020 9:00 am

The kind of arguments raging about migrants crossing the Channel to enter Britain illegally never raged in the Ancient Roman…

How the Athenians would have handled the Lords

15 August 2020 9:00 am

Arguments about the purpose or indeed very existence of anything resembling the House of Lords would have struck classical democratic…

Mixed messages about body weight are nothing new

8 August 2020 9:00 am

Tackling obesity is the latest government initiative, universally condemned as nannying. Ask a Spartan. From an early age, Spartan children…

Will all roads soon lead to York?

25 July 2020 9:00 am

Should the PM move parliament to York? There is, of course, historical precedent for such a move, as he very…

Does classical Athens give us a clue to China’s next move?

18 July 2020 9:00 am

In 1984, China agreed a ‘one country, two systems’ treaty with the UK, designed to control the relationship between Hong…

Tiberius and the ‘phantoms of liberty’

4 July 2020 9:00 am

Word has it that ministers already do not bother to argue their corner with the government’s inner ring, while a…

What can Roman outbreaks of malaria teach us about Covid?

27 June 2020 9:00 am

When Covid-19 first appeared, its similarity to Sars made some assume it could not mount a pandemic; others that it…

Why stop at destroying statues?

20 June 2020 9:00 am

The actor John Cleese has been wondering if we should destroy Greek statues because Greeks believed ‘a cultured society was…

The ancient Greeks would not have spared Dominic Cummings

6 June 2020 9:00 am

When the PM’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, was discovered to have made his fateful journey to Durham during lockdown, there…

Plato knew that home-schooling can have benefits

23 May 2020 9:00 am

Education is cumulative. The idea that it will be lost on a generation because, for one out of 42 terms…

The Romans showed how quickly hospitals can be built

16 May 2020 9:00 am

The speed with which ‘model’ Nightingale hospitals have been designed and erected across the UK reminds one of the experts…

Cicero would have been quick to end the lockdown

9 May 2020 9:00 am

The Prime Minister recently quoted Cicero’s famous dictum salus populi suprema lex esto, translating it as ‘Let the health (salus)…

A happy hebdomaversary to The Spectator

25 April 2020 9:00 am

The Spectator’s 10,000th hebdomaversary (hebdomas, ‘a group of seven’: a weekly cannot have an anniversary) will surely be celebrated with…

Movie-makers should look to the Athenians before cashing in on this crisis

18 April 2020 9:00 am

Covid-19 has not yet reached its peak but already the moguls of the small screen are plotting how to monetise,…

How did the ancients cope in a crisis?

11 April 2020 9:00 am

When a major crisis strikes in the modern world, the state and international bodies such as the IMF and World…

Pericles would have approved of the PM’s response to the pandemic

4 April 2020 9:00 am

It must be infuriating for those who see the Prime Minister as a prisoner of a rigid elitist mindset that…

How to be self-sufficient

21 March 2020 9:00 am

Those with signs of Covid-19 are being asked to ‘self-isolate’ (Latin insula, ‘island’). But do they have the mindset for…