There’s a strange sense of political limbo here in the States at the moment: this is the interregnum, with one American emperor dead but yet to be interred, while his successor is still to be crowned. Barack Obama may not have assumed the purple but he’s assembling his praetorian guard around him, and it’s these appointments that are beginning to make the liberals who voted him into office uneasy about what the future may hold: will the new ruler turn his slogan “Change” into a reality, or is the ancien régime about to reassert itself?
During the heady days of the boom, I used to opine regularly that the National Lottery was a tax on stupidity, the odds of winning the jackpot being so infinitesimal. But now the lean years are upon us, and the Government’s pre-Budget report has brought home to me what I’ve always really known: all our taxes are a tax on stupidity.
Read the rest of Will’s Standard column here.
To read Will’s latest Standard column, go here.
Over the past decade, as British culture has become steeped in pop psychology, one expression has come to be bandied about with increasing abandon: “She’s in denial.” Much as I deplore such psychobabble, sometimes “in denial” is the mot juste. Since the British economy began to hit the buffers, while interest rates have been slashed and consumer demand plummeted, so people’s denial has increased. Of course, ours being an unequal society, this denial has not been spread about evenly; on the contrary, the highest concentration is among the richest and most powerful.
To read the rest of Will’s Standard column, click here.
With all the leaden predictability of an EastEnders plotline, the brouhaha over Russell Brand, Jonathan Ross, and those blindingly unfunny phone calls to septuagenarian Andrew Sachs has mutated into a good old row about nonagenarian Auntie and her uncertain future. The BBC’s director general, Mark Thompson, came out fighting on Sunday with an impassioned plea: “I do not believe the British public wants us to lose our creative nerve.” He admitted the wrongs that had been done but was forthright about the BBC’s need to nurture talent and to provide content including risqué content for all licence-fee payers.
Following the death of Daniel James, the young rugby player whose parents helped him to go to Switzerland for euthanasia, I agree with Mary Warnock: Britain should decriminalise assisted suicide. But I’m not convinced that the means should be legislation alone.
To read the rest of Will’s Standard article, go here.
If England, according to Oscar Wilde, is the native land of the hypocrite, then the contortions achieved by former Left-wing supporters of state education in order to justify sending their kids to private schools have to be some of that land’s most curious rituals. When I was a child in London my parents schooled me privately to begin with, and then when the inherited dosh ran out sent me to a state school. It was at that point that my mother began to trumpet her great belief in comprehensives. Even aged 13, I couldn’t help seeing hypocrisy in this.
Will’s Standard column from today.
Will’s Standard column focuses on the Tory plans for a new high-speed rail link.
Will’s latest Standard column is here.