Britain’s golden age of sleaze

For many years now, the gold standard for government sleaze has been John Major’s ill-fated administration between 1992 and 97, but maybe that’s no longer the case. Maybe we’ve just been living through the true golden age. After all, the …

Populism has become a gimmick

When populist candidates started to win national elections in the 2010s, panicked establishmentarians on both sides of the Atlantic warned that they could consolidate their power and destroy democracy. On both counts, these misgivings were misplaced. From Donald Trump to …

The betrayal of Borisland

Through massed ranks of Midlanders, I can see Gregg Wallace’s head bobbing up and down. He’s making couscous and frying some sort of meat, cracking jokes about his MasterChef co-presenter’s drinking habit and flexing his biceps for the crowd. Wallace …

MeToo was no match for bunga bunga

Italy’s longest-serving post-war premier already had a vision, two decades ago, of how he wished to be memorialised. The cruise-ship-crooner-turned-property-and-media-mogul changed Italian planning law to permit the construction, in the grounds of his mansion, of a giant marble mausoleum. Decorated …

Levelling up died in Teesside

It’s Saturday night on Middlesbrough High Street and a lager-soaked man called Dave is calling the Mayor of Teesside “a fucking wanker”. It’s not an unusual sentiment in these parts, where political apathy is particularly pervasive. Dave intervention, however, has …