A defence of offence In my first year of university, I saw the stand-up comedian Jerry Sadowitz. He started his routine as follows: ‘Nelson Mandela: cunt!’. This immediately generated shouting and heckling to which he replied ‘don’t drink on an empty head’ before finishing the line as best he could against the noise ‘he [Mandela] […]Read More Offence
On Monday 26th March, the Labour Party launched its new policy paper on international development: A World for the Many not the Few. The paper aims to set out a radical and revitalised development strategy for the British government, based in five priority aims: a fairer global economy; a global movement for public services; a […]Read More A World for the Many not the Few? Modesty, policy, and the dangers of the global-liberal consensus.
The notion of a pension fund deficit is slippery. Currently, the USS pension scheme is not in deficit: in 2017, assets generated £2bn income and paid out £1.8bn to existing pensioners. This on the basis of a massive £60bn asset base. But, evaluations of the fund’s financial sustainability do not make a simple balance of […]Read More Rage against the machine
Once upon a time, there were two universities: The University of Excellence, and Knowledge University. Each one sat on a hill on different sides of the city.Read More A tale of two (univer)cities
Black Panther is an OK film. It’s not as good as Thor Ragnarok. Thor’s plotline is a bit more stable; the characters are more distinct; the script is a little more deft with the usual Marvel mixture of peril and humour. But, that’s not the point is it? Or is it?Read More Spoilers Throughout: Constructing the agonies of Black Panther
When carrying out fieldwork in Rwanda, there was a bar in Kigali I’d go to in the evenings. I was always the only white person there and I would sit outside with some nice cold beers, a cigarillo, and a book getting nicely toasted. On one occasion, a big air-conditioned vehicle drove up, stopped, and […]Read More Civilisation
The state we are in Since the early 1970s – and even then only for quite small spaces and for some people for some periods – it is difficult to portray capitalism as offering an optimistic future for humanity. Growth has been weak and unstable, there have been many economic crises, wages have been stagnant […]Read More Socialism 2049