Apart from libraries and other centrally administered faculties, the University of Oxford is made up of 45 colleges and halls, all possessing a wine cellar. As a result, the wine culture of the place is immense and indelible, and a sizeable minority of dons – the term describes any fellow of a college – have built highly respectable private cellars of their own. Frequently a case of misunderstanding when a tourist asks ‘Where is the University?’, the colleges collectively comprise the university despite being self-governing, quasi-autonomous legal entities.
HarvardIt is five years since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but Western democracies have not even begun to address seriously, and in a nuanced way, the moral and intellectual challenges posed by the relatively new phenomenon of mass-casualty suicide terrorism. The traditional paradigm by which we have long confronted harmful conduct — waiting until the harm occurs and then punishing the harm-doer to deter others — cannot work with the suicide terrorist who welcomes the ultimate punishment.
The BBC’s Laura Trevelyan found others knew more about her famous ancestors than she did â” until she went in search of the great dynasty of scholars and public servantsMy introduction to the legacy of my ancestors came rather late in life. You might think I had been raised to recite the great works of George Macaulay Trevelyan, historian of England and my great-grandfather, by heart. Or to quote verbatim from the Northcoteâ“Trevelyan reforms of the Civil Service, brainchild of my great-great-great-grandfather Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan.
There were only two radio reviewers who ever ruffled the feathers of senior management within the BBC. In terms of ratings, the BBC has radio pretty much its own way; neither the competition, which is negligible, nor critical comment is liable to sway a BBC radio mandarin if he firmly believes that (to take an example) You and Yours is groundbreaking investigative journalism in the Reithian tradition.
Even the most perceptive and brilliant commentators have their blind spots. In the case of Matthew Parris, a giant of modern British journalism if ever there was one, it is an inability to appreciate the true extent of the threat posed by Islamic terrorism. This was demonstrated again by his column in these pages last week, where he attacked a recent Spectator/YouGov poll and my accompanying analysis of its findings.