democracy

What on earth has happened to Simon Schama: The Romantics and Us reviewed

12 September 2020 9:00 am

‘You may think our modern world was born yesterday,’ said Simon Schama at the beginning of The Romantics and Us.…

vote

Why I won’t vote

28 August 2020 10:09 pm

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a piece titled ‘The battle cry of the politically homeless’ in which I…

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…

voter suppression

It’s voter suppression time, again — this time it’s pandemic!

17 April 2020 1:54 am

Is Trump a reckless idiot who didn’t take the coronavirus seriously and thus endangered hundreds of thousands of lives? Or…

Covid-19 shows us that virtue trumps freedom

4 April 2020 9:00 am

Look at it this way: we’re all doing Desert Island Discs nowadays, and unless you’ve got the bug, it’s a…

The director of Persepolis talks about her biopic of Marie Curie: Marjane Satrapi interviewed

21 March 2020 9:00 am

The director of Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi, talks to Sarah Ditum about her new biopic of Marie Curie, exile from Iran and her fears for the future of democracy

Let’s choose our politicians by random selection

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Athens Standing right below the Acropolis, where pure democracy began because public officials were elected by lot, I try to…

Credit: andersen_oystein

Why 1919 wasn’t the year it’s cracked up to be

12 January 2019 9:00 am

Gstaad The funny thing is that I was at school with a man called Ted Widmer, and I recently read…

Corbyn’s false democracy

6 October 2018 9:00 am

At the Labour party conference, Jeremy Corbyn said that he would do whatever his party members told him to. This,…

Put your trust in Hungarian wine (yes, really)

28 April 2018 9:00 am

The wines of Tokaji run like a golden thread through Hungarian history. There are references to their nectar-like quality in…

East vs West: the new battle for Europe

27 January 2018 9:00 am

The occasion was a central European conference on the subversive disinformation campaigns of Putin’s Russia (which, incidentally, are real, subtle,…

Animal or vegetable?

2 September 2017 9:00 am

Against by Christopher Shinn sets out to unlock the secrets of America’s spiritual malaise. Two main settings represent the wealthy…

High life

5 August 2017 9:00 am

I’ve stayed far away from the new barbarians with their choppers, tank-like cars, home theatres on board, and fridge-shaped super…

A democratic future for the 75 per cent

29 June 2016 12:29 am

You needed only to look at the headlines to realise things had not gone to plan. They were damning; Time…

A lesson from Italy on the futility of referendums

23 April 2016 9:00 am

As we prepare in Britain for our momentous referendum in June, Italy has just had one. It happened last Sunday…

Long may we Brits laugh at our absurd demagogues

23 April 2016 9:00 am

In Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke warned that ‘pure democracy’ was as dangerous as absolute monarchy. ‘Of…

Tax avoidance and the wisdom of pitchfork-waving crowds

16 April 2016 9:00 am

In a way the headline to my fellow columnist Dominic Lawson’s Sunday Times commentary on 12 April said it all.…

Whoever invented the referendum deserves a kicking

9 April 2016 9:00 am

My favourite quote of the year so far comes from the author Fay Weldon. ‘If this were an all-woman society,’…

Donald Trump's angry America

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Welcome to Trump’s America, where greed is great and viciousness beautiful

A conservative case for voting 'in'

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Europe has enjoyed an exceptional three decades of freedom and prosperity. Why risk that?

The 5 per cent of people who decide everything (and how to be one of them)

27 February 2016 9:00 am

What happens when 95 per cent of people like something, but 5 per cent of people prefer something else? You might think…

Rwanda is sliding into a new tragedy. And this time we’re funding it

9 January 2016 9:00 am

The ultimate ‘donor darling’ is becoming a dictatorship whose critics live in fear

Actors from the Belarus Free Theatre during a performance of ‘Being Harold Pinter’ at the Belvoir Street Theatre, Sydney, 2009

Theatre and transgression in Europe’s last dictatorship

7 November 2015 9:00 am

Juan Holzmann goes underground in Minsk with the Belarus Free Theatre

What Tiberius could teach Jeremy Corbyn about democracy

26 September 2015 8:00 am

The virtuous Mr Corbyn is insisting that New Old Labour should return to its traditional republican ways and take decisions…

Why the Middle East needs more kings

26 September 2015 8:00 am

What the Middle East needs is more constitutional monarchies