As of Monday 19 July, England has taken another step out of lockdown and into ‘freedom’, with nightclubs allowed to reopen, outdoor events allowed to go ahead, and all social distancing rules and national mask mandates dropped. At the same time, our daily case rate is among the highest in…


It was somewhat surprising this past week to hear the Tories announce their plan to ‘simplify’ the country’s fragmented, privatised rail system. It was even more surprising to see some on Twitter interpret this to mean that the government will ‘nationalise’ the rail system. It plans to do no such…


If the cascading scandals of the last few weeks have taught us anything, it is this: the Conservatives look out for their own.

Leader of the Opposition Keir Starmer, here pictured fighting for the working-class through the novel means of shopping — or being photographed shopping — in John Lewis.

Now, by ‘their own’, I don’t mean the ‘hard-working families’ that politicians of all parties have pitched to for the past couple of decades. I don’t mean…


Less than two weeks ago, on Wednesday 6 January 2021, fascism finally, indisputably came to the United States. …


Background

Even an extremely competent government would have struggled with the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, around the world, many competent governments did struggle, and are struggling. I am no fan of French president Emmanuel Macron (a ghoulish neoliberal) or German chancellor Angela Merkel (a joyless puritan), but neither is as…


As the US election draws nearer and the political temperature steadily increases, repeatedly passing what we would have thought were boiling points a decade ago, some on the Democratic side are allowing themselves to look beyond 3 November and consider the prospect of actually governing. No one can blame them…


Watching this week’s vice presidential debate was a strange experience. The first presidential debate, on Tuesday 29 September, was a spectacle: Biden was unimpressive, while Trump was characteristically deranged and dangerous. Compared to that, there was something almost reassuring about seeing Senator Kamala Harris face off against Vice President Mike…


‘May you live in interesting times’. Allegedly an English translation of a traditional Chinese saying, this phrase has been bandied about a lot over the last four or five years. It’s easy to see why: though it has the structure of a blessing, it is in fact a curse. Few…


Of all the negative stories spun about the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn, its leader from 2015 to early 2020, the notion that the party was ‘institutionally antisemitic’ was likely the most damaging. It was certainly the most concerning. Where failures of communication, perhaps even equivocation and indecision on the…


Cast your mind back to 2009. President Barack Obama has just been inaugurated, in front of the largest crowd ever assembled on the Washington Mall (sorry, Donald Trump). ‘Hope and change’. ‘Yes we can’, and all that. The case for change was certainly overstated, but it’s hard not to look…

Alex Ryan

Alex left Oxford University in 2015 with a degree and depression. Now he teaches, writes, and tries to play music.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store