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The Battle for Civilization

In 1969 the art historian Kenneth Clark presented TV audiences with his vision of Civilisation. In scope and ambition this documentary that explored the story of mankind from it’s prehistoric origins to the present day, was revolutionary. As a total documentary junkie myself the idea that the BBC was remaking Civilisation made me jump with…

Historical Repentance

One of the most difficult issues for any history student is the problem of context. Should we judge historical actors according to our own values, or do we need to take the views of the time into account? There are problems with both choices. If we decide who is a ‘good’ person in accordance with…

Like Mother Like Daughter

A graph published in this weeks edition of The Economist shows how a woman’s earning power is impacted by having children. It turns out that there is a strong correlation between the amount of income a woman loses by having children and the earnings her mother lost by starting a family. For example, if a mother…

NHS Number One Issue in Britain

A recent poll by YouGov suggests that the NHS is now the biggest concern for people in Britain. This is not surprising, our healthcare is in a truly desperate state. Waiting times are long, quality of service is bad and patients often end up paying for medicine themselves. The NHS has become a cause celebre…

The Casualties of Globalisation

This week’s edition of The Economist has a cover story about globalisation. The feature, entitled The Right way to Help Declining Places laments the populist movements that have recently risen to prominence. It is no secret that The Economist detests the likes of Trump, Farage and Le Pen. The article beings with a foreboding message:…