Finally. After two million dead, 188 countries infected, $28 trillion in lost output and incalculable suffering, a team from the WHO is on the ground in Wuhan to investigate the origins of coronavirus. Police detectives refer to a “golden hour” in an investigation, when evidence is fresh. Here we are in the not-so-golden 9,487th hour and — weak “hurrah” — they’re in.
All but the most optimistic know how this will go. It’s a year since Wuhan’s wet market was closed, floors scrubbed and samples burned. Since the start of the outbreak the WHO has seemed under the Chinese thumb, reciting the Communist Party line and hailing Xi Jinping’s “rare leadership”.… Seguir leyendo »
The armies are massing, the war drums are thrumming, Nigel Farage and Tony Blair stand mouthing Gladiator-style pep talks in the mirror before the battle to come. Increasingly it feels as though another referendum is on the horizon. The hoped-for delay to Brexit points to a second vote. Changing demographics point to a second vote. Parliament’s most popular option has been a second vote. If that second vote comes, Remain must be ready to remedy the mistake made last time around: leaving all the patriotic tunes to Leave.
For more than three years Brexiteers have employed the language of patriotism very effectively.… Seguir leyendo »
Brexit fatigue: a condition in which you weep uncontrollably at the sight of members of the ERG; start twitching at the mention of meaningful votes; suffer hallucinations that you are being strangled slowly by one of Theresa May’s chunky necklaces while a waxen Michel Barnier recites the text of Article 50 like the last rites.
Goodness, we are bored with it. Bored, exhausted, sick to the back teeth. Louder grow the voices arguing that we simply need a resolution, whatever that may be. Last week various figures speaking for business said that we needed to crack on and do something — anything.… Seguir leyendo »
n 1924 Harold Macmillan became MP for Stockton-on-Tees. Witnessing brutal poverty there between the wars, he said later that he had learnt “lessons which I have never forgotten. If, in some respects, they may have left too deep an impression on my mind, the gain was greater than the loss.” The gain was a lifelong conviction that the central aim of domestic policy must be to avoid the horror of mass unemployment. Forget ideological posturing; the job of a responsible Conservative government was to keep people in work.
Almost a century and 25 miles up the A19 later, we arrive in Sunderland, where the Conservatives’ reputation for economic stewardship is dying.… Seguir leyendo »
It was your classic Silicon Valley vacuity treated as gospel. Last year Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder, described how he stays at the top of the tech tree. “You have to always be leaning in to the future. If you’re leaning away from the future, the future is going to win every time. Never, ever lean away from the future.”
Most of us want to “lean in” to the future, don’t we? So it’s clever, the way the gods of technology have co-opted a shining-city-on-a-hill vision of “the future” and elided it with the stuff they sell. To reject their products is to reject the future itself.… Seguir leyendo »