A short visit to Estonia, Finland and Lithuania demonstrates that mid-size places places with a sensible identity – whether Lithuania or Lombardy; Estonia or Extremadura; Greater Helsinki or Hesse – offer a type of “right” scale and potentially the right culture for being the major intermediary mediator of global and local challenges. They are likely to be far more effective than large nation states with their own exceptionalism of delusional global ambitions based on race and (in our case Etonian) entitlement.
As someone who has spent a lot of time in and around Coventry in the last few years, I can sincerely congratulate the city on becoming Government’s designated ‘UK City of Culture 2021’. I can also predict with absolute confidence that the city will make a success of the title. However, coming in the immediate
Anyone who has ever seen me dance will know that my going to Buenos Aires to learn tango is absolutely insane. If you haven’t ever seen me dance, think May’s Brexit madness – an awful idea, atrociously executed, leading to a gratuitous infliction of massive self-harm – and you’ll more or less get the picture
A very close friend recently mused ‘is democracy in terminal decline or just past its prime?’. It is a sad, but all too apt and well-phrased reflection. It followed the election of Rodrigo “The Punisher” Duterte as President-elect of the Philippines. A candidate about whom the best the Guardian could say was “bigoted, loud-mouthed, misogynist,