Carola Binney

Carola Binney

Carola Binney is an undergraduate History student at Magdalen College, Oxford. She writes on student life.

There’s only one way to win the war on drugs

Earlier this month, I attended a family-friendly music festival in the glorious sunshine. There was stone-baked pizza, a champagne bar and paddle board yoga. There was also quite a lot of ecstasy, ketamine and cocaine. You cannot attend a music festival – even a supposedly wholesome one – without realising how normalised drugs have become

Carola Binney

Beyond the pale | 17 August 2017

Setting off to spend a year teaching English in Zhejiang province in south-eastern China, I expected plenty of surprises. But what struck me most was something they tend not to tell you about in the guidebooks: the racism. It started when I went around the classroom, asking pupils which city they were from. When I

Christmas in China

If you think capitalism has blinged up Christmas, you should see what the Communists are doing to it. At this time of year, Chinese cities are dressed up like one big Oxford Street, but with lights that put London’s in the shade. Christmas Eve has become the biggest shopping day of the year. At the

Corbyn supporters are peddling ‘fake economics’

Labour have been up-in-arms this weekend about a viral Conservative campaign video, which used some dubious editing to suggest that Corbyn said ‘No’ when asked whether he would condemn the IRA. In fact, he said ‘No, I think what you have to say is all bombing has to be condemned and you have to bring about

In defence of cultural history

Why study history? It’s a question which often gets asked, and the historian R. G. Collingwood’s answer – that history should enable us to ‘see more clearly into the situation in which we are compelled to act’- is one of the best responses. The idea that the study of the past should be applicable to the

Theresa May should beware of grammar schools

In 1960, my father failed the eleven-plus. He was lucky: his parents could afford to send him to a private school. In 1968 he went up to Cambridge, in 2000 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and last year he retired as head of Theoretical Physics at Oxford. Although it was seldom

There’s nothing safe about student ‘safe spaces’ anymore

Iranian human rights activist Maryam Namazie was harassed by members of the Goldsmiths University Islamic Society on Monday night, while speaking to the university’s Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society. Namazie, whose talk was about ‘Apostasy, blasphemy and free expression in the age of Isis’, has been branded an ‘Islamophobe’ by members of the Islamic Society

The backlash against the Stepford Students is intensifying

The Oxford University Student Union this week added another feather to its cap on free speech by banning a new student magazine called No Offence from being distributed at Freshers’ Fair next week. The ban was on the grounds that the publication might – you guessed it – ’cause offence’. No Offence was, according to its

Young people want a future, not freebies

Ed Miliband wants the youth vote enough to have spent an evening with Russell Brand earlier this week. My generation could decide the election next Thursday, and politicians seem to think there are two ways to win young voters’ hearts: celebrity endorsement and self-interest. The battle for the youth vote has hinged around promising to

History is the art of making things up. Why pretend otherwise?

In a recent interview, the celebrity historian and Tudor expert David Starkey described Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall as a ‘deliberate perversion of fact’. The novel, he said, is ‘a magnificent, wonderful fiction’. listen to ‘David Starkey on Wolf Hall’ on audioBoom But if Oxford has taught me one thing, it’s that all the best history

Does Ed Miliband think my generation is lazy, stupid – or both?

According to Ed Miliband, my generation is about to be disenfranchised by the coalition. He’s getting quite worked up about it. On Thursday, he accused David Cameron and Nick Clegg of… “sitting by and watching hundreds and thousands of young people in our country lose their sacred democratic rights.” So what’s going on? By what treachery is

Four (more) reasons to loathe Oxford

Nick Cohen observed in a recent Spectator: ‘The graduates of Oxford’s Politics, Philosophy and Economics course form the largest single component of the most despised generation of politicians since the Great Reform Act.’ Who could argue? However, Oxford does not only lead the UK in punting, prime minister production and sales of academic gowns. Here are four