The new tribalism of the left

In the jolly rough-and-tumble of column-writing, getting few hard kicks from readers is part of the game, but I am beginning to wonder whether something rather odd has been happening in the scrum since the election. My columns in the Independent often earn me bit of heckling – usually online, invariably anonymous  –  from readers. […]

What children want, they must have

In the very funny American TV series Glee, one adult teacher of teenagers encourages another to be brutal to his charges. “They’re children,” she says. “They need to be treated rough.” It is a good line because these days the slightest hint of teacherly roughness towards pupils is unthinkable. Indeed, to judge by recent events, […]

University – the job sausage-machine of New Labour

In a conveniently neat Old Year/New Year package, the government has provided evidence as to why, on the big questions of policy, it is not to be trusted. Old year. Three days before Christmas, an excellent time to bury bad news, the business secretary Peter Mandelson proposed, in a letter  to the chair of the […]