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China’s quiet Christians

 Beijing A strong coffee always perks me up on a smoggy day, especially when I can drink it somewhere clandestine — like an ‘illegal’ church. Seek, and you shall find — but when it comes to Christianity in China, you’re likely to get a bit lost. Without being told where it was, I could have

An opportunity for Britain

When Britain voted to leave the European Union, the government was at pains to insist this was not a vote to leave Europe. With Donald Trump in the White House, this distinction will be crucial: the UK will suddenly become a lot more important to the security of the continent. The Donald has not bothered

The new first lady

It was a race between the first dude — Bill — and the first nude — Melania. And in the end, the first nude won, appearing next to her husband in the early hours wearing a white jumpsuit straight out of Charlie’s Angels. It may seem unfair to judge Mrs Trump so early on, but

Trump’s triumph

 Washington DC Donald J. Trump’s long, triumphant march to the White House didn’t start on 16 June 2015, when he announced his candidacy at the Trump Tower in Manhattan. It began four years ago, on 19 November 2012. On that day, days after President Barack Obama had defeated Mitt Romney, Trump filed a trademark application

Like Uber, but for hippies

On the same day I put my spare room on Airbnb I also had my first cabshare experience, courtesy of Uber. When I mentioned this to a young friend of mine, he patted me on the back and said, ‘Welcome to the sharing economy!’ The sharing economy is one of those buzz terms that everyone

In defence of post-truth politics

Donald Trump’s shock US election victory has provoked a transatlantic howl of disbelief from a cosmopolitan elite aghast that American voters have had the temerity to reject its one true liberal world-view. Hillary Clinton’s loss is seen less as the rightful humiliation of a discredited machine politician and more as proof that the masses have,

Notes on...

The Marx Memorial Library

There’s a small corner of Clerkenwell where the communist dream never died. The Marx Memorial Library has been in its big, classical 1738 building — originally a school for children of Welsh artisans living in poverty — for 83 years. The library was set up in 1933, the 50th anniversary of Karl Marx’s death. British Marxism and