On 23 June 2016, two significant events took place, for me at least. First, it was the day of Britain’s referendum on whether to remain in the European Union: I was one of the 17.4 million who voted to leave. Second, I was offered and accepted a contract from Zero Books for the publication of my novel, That Existential Leap: a crime story. Continue reading “Brexit – existential leap or crime story?”
An essay written ahead of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. Continue reading “The flimsy, fantasy politics of the Yes campaign”
An essay written ahead of the 2014 Indian general election. Continue reading “India’s election: the world’s largest question mark”
The Bible Now, by Richard Elliott Friedman and Shawna Dolansky (Oxford University Press, 2011)
Sam Harris on the science of good and evil, Intelligence Squared, London, 11 April 2011
American philosopher and neuroscientist Sam Harris, author of The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, is on a mission to break down the longstanding philosophical distinction between facts and values. Continue reading “Love your enemies… but don’t let them eat you”
Western observers with no particular knowledge of Indian politics and society tend to assume the renaming of Indian cities in the 1990s was simply a belated anti-colonialist gesture. Some might even wrongly assume as I once did that ‘Mumbai’ had been an established Indian city before its takeover and mispronunciation by the British. Gyan Prakash’s book is meant as a challenge to more sophisticated misunderstandings than these, but it is equally valuable as an introduction to many of the issues facing modern India, through the story (or rather stories) of its most glamorous city. Continue reading “Yeh hai Bambai meri jaan!”
The Return of the Public, by Dan Hind
Dan Hind’s clarion call for a return of the spirit of the radical political tradition rooted in English republicanism is compromised by his suspicion towards private interests.
Continue reading “A curious plea for a disinterested public”
Continue reading “‘These rocks are here for me, waiting for the drill’”
‘Calvinist’ has become a dirty word, used to describe especially dour people. We have forgotten that John Calvin was not only a severe Christian but also a key figure in the intellectual making of the modern world.
‘Therapeutic education’ and the human subject Continue reading “Knowing me, knowing you”