Politics

You have to be told that you’re crossing the border. Nothing, except a change in lane-divider paint colour, marks the once-militarised line between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. (More…)

To read the press in the United States, one might as well conclude we are living through a period of flux. Hardly a day passes without some organ of the serious media publishing a paean to the passing of the nostrums that had governed American political life since time immemorial (or at least since the Kennedy administration). (More…)

It was about time. After months of internal party squabbles, Jeremy Corbyn has decided to take a much more pro-Remain position in a fresh referendum call. (More…)

When the story broke that Donald Trump intended to refashion the Fourth of July celebration in the nation’s capital into a partisan display of American military might, there was widespread concern. But the dismay was undoubtedly strongest among past and current residents of the Washington D.C. area who had participated in previous years’ festivities. How dare he break with tradition in order to promote his political agenda? (More…)

For better or worse, the Holocaust has taken on the status of a metonym in American culture, now designating not simply the attempt to exterminate the global Jewry but, at a broader level, the most horrific event in human history. (More…)

We’ve all seen it before. The parade of missiles through Tehran and the lockstep procession of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. (More…)

Last year I was moderating a panel discussion on prison writing when I heard the phrase “system-impacted people” for the first time.  The panellist objected to my use of the term “prisoners” and preferred this substitute.  The term’s shift in responsibility is striking.  It indicts society for crime rather than acknowledge any element of individual responsibility.  (More…)

The burning of Notre Dame was an unequivocal tragedy. Seeing the flames slice the spire from its roof, the blaze appealed to our millennial sense of grief for cultural patrimony. Much more than a religious emblem, the cathedral denotes archetypal Parisian romance. It is a site that has evolved with us as we have remodelled ourselves through history. (More…)

Mr. President, whoever tries to understand the Palestinian refugee problem reaches for the true nature of tragedy. For 20 years. a just resolution of this problem has defied the best efforts of the United Nations as well as the individual efforts of many nations, including the United States. (More…)

It’s hard to believe that Theresa May was once seen as Thatcher 2.0.

The British press would regularly say that May will run the country for the next 10 years. She barely made it to her third year.

On the other hand, it did feel like a decade. (More…)

For better or worse, usually the latter, there is a rule of thumb in US higher education: what happens at Harvard gets noticed. (More…)

There was a time in the long, long ago when the politics of eastern Washington were moderate and relatively civilised. People there tended to be more conservative than they were in Seattle, but that was a pretty low bar. In any case, it was generally the case that politicians from either party could get a reasonable hearing. (More…)