Realities

No, Keir Starmer should not reshuffle Anneliese Dodds

Image Credit: Wiki No, Keir Starmer should not reshuffle Anneliese Dodds. This is a silly idea and you shouldn’t be considering it. Let’s begin with the most important fact on this whole thing: Dodds is a good shadow chancellor. To start with, she has the correct background to do it, something that many politicians don’t; she has experience as an MEP; she…

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, Unions

I love trade unions. I really do. I’m sure we’ve all heard the clichés: we have unions to thank for weekends, working time restrictions, maternity leave, sick pay and the minimum wage. They’re clichés because they’re true.  I’m a rep for my union branch, and it’s one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. I’ve helped win concessions from employers, defended…

Great Teachers Will Never Be Enough If Children Can’t Read

Think about a child you know. How sure are you that they can read?  As a secondary school teacher, I would regularly sit down with the parents of fourteen-year-olds at parents evening, and inform them that according to our software, their child had a reading age of eleven. “But I’ve heard her read fluently”, the parents would reply, aghast, “ her primary…

Horseshoes into Jackboots

Picture Credit: Wiki In an article supporting recent government moves to remove “anti-capitalist” literature from the school curriculum, The Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein pointed to the universal disaster which befell the dozens of countries burdened by state socialism in the 20th century. From Vietnam and Cuba through to Algeria, Angola and Yugoslavia, Finkelstein reprimands us for our failure to learn from these…

Transphobia and Antisemitism

Photo Credit: Tyler Merbler This year, accompanying Covid-19, we have witnessed a pandemic of conspiracy theories, most of them alleging the disease is a Trojan horse for an authoritarian takeover or a population-culling vaccine. Anti-lockdown protests bridge ideological divides, uniting the far-right with anti-Big Pharma types, and they exhibit how conspiracists are unlikely to believe in only one theory. A prominent Covid-19…

The Audacity of Disappointment: Barack Obama’s A Promised Land

Picture Credit: Karl-Ludwig Poggemann The President of the United States is having that recurring dream again. He finds himself on an unmarked street in an unknown neighbourhood; possibly on foot, possibly on bike, but distinctly alone regardless. The physical trappings of the office – motorcades, security details – are absent, as are the emotional weights. His decisions are no longer of consequence.…