Peter Jones

What it really means to cross the Rubicon (Theresa May’s about to do it)

25 March 2017 9:00 am

Last week many commentators drew on the Ides (15th) of March, the anniversary of Julius Caesar’s death in 44 BC, to…

How ancient Athens made the rich love taxes

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Now that Philip Hammond is promising yet more tax hikes, he might consider how Athens managed it. During the whole…

Plutarch: the father of anti-democracy

11 March 2017 9:00 am

Hardly a week goes by without someone applauding Thomas Carlyle’s objection to democracy: ‘I do not believe in the collective…

Greek or Roman crowds would have chased the SS-GB cast off the stage

4 March 2017 9:00 am

In the audience-free world of TV, where ‘acting’ and visuals have become of far greater importance than the actual words,…

All the President’s yes-men

25 February 2017 9:00 am

Donald Trump takes it as read that any criticism of his words or actions is an assault on the truth.…

Justin Welby is the victim of some very old-fashioned dirty tricks

18 February 2017 9:00 am

Many are still questioning the enthusiasm with which newspapers have implicated Archbishop Justin Welby, as a young man, in the…

How Socrates judged experts

11 February 2017 9:00 am

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, raises his growth forecasts and suddenly everyone believes the ‘expert’. So…

Donald Trump could be America’s Nero — if we’re lucky

4 February 2017 9:00 am

A Washington Post interview with ‘senior officials’ in the Trump White House reveals that ‘Trump… feels demoralised that the public’s…

What Donald Trump doesn't get about rhetoric

28 January 2017 9:00 am

In his inaugural speech last week, the new President Trump said, among much else, the ‘American carnage’ of poverty, ignorance…

Ancient Greeks wouldn’t recognise George Osborne’s idea of democracy

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Ex-chancellor George Osborne is planning a book to be titled The Age of Unreason. He says that ‘it will be…

Post-truths with Ovid and Tacitus

31 December 2016 9:00 am

We are told we live in a ‘post-truth’ world. This appears to mean that everyone believes everything they are told…

What on earth is a 'kudo'?

10 December 2016 9:00 am

What is a ‘kudo’? According to the Taxpayers’ Alliance, it is a mark of honour, many of which should be…

Aristophanes had Donald Trump’s number

3 December 2016 9:00 am

As self-important comics fantasise about unseating Donald Trump with their wit, they should remember the great Aristophanes. In 424 BC,…

How MPs can shut the people up for good

26 November 2016 9:00 am

In the eyes of the bien-pensants, the election of Donald Trump and the vote on Brexit have brought democracy to…

What Thucydides would have thought of Donald Trump

19 November 2016 9:00 am

‘America’s journey into the great unknown’, screamed a headline greeting Donald Trump’s election as next President of the United States.…

A warning for Nigel Farage from ancient Athens

12 November 2016 9:00 am

Frenzied outrage from Leavers and comical paeans of praise from Remainers greeted the High Court’s decision to instruct government that Parliament…

Hippocrates would have hated doctors’ new approach

5 November 2016 9:00 am

Doctors are being urged not to tell patients what is best for them but to lay out the options and…

The Jeremy Corbyn of ancient Athens

29 October 2016 9:00 am

With the Labour party reduced to a cult in honour of the vain and incompetent Jeremy Corbyn, the Tory party…

How Boris Johnson is like Socrates

22 October 2016 9:00 am

In writing an article that argued both for and against the European Union, Boris Johnson was following a solidly classical…

If you’re a Christian, Theresa May, you’re a citizen of the world

15 October 2016 9:00 am

‘If you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere,’ proclaimed Theresa May in a speech…

Advice for Jeremy Corbyn from the emperor Augustus

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected leader of the Labour party not by MPs but by his teenage ‘fans’ in Momentum.…

The Romans got it right on immigration

1 October 2016 9:00 am

As the UK prepares for Brexit into the big wide world outside, it has been pointed out that the Foreign…

Who'd join a club that punishes you for leaving?

24 September 2016 9:00 am

The hopelessness of the EU is well demonstrated by the current rhetoric issuing from its inner chambers: that Britain must…

Plato and the problem with grammar school

17 September 2016 9:00 am

Theresa May wants to use grammar schools to create a meritocratic, ‘socially mobile’ society at a cost of £50 million.…

Aristotle on the collective wisdom of Brexit voters

10 September 2016 9:00 am

It comes as no surprise to find that there has recently been much talk among Brexit supporters about ‘the wisdom…