Daniel Jackson

Can the liberal worldview survive?

There is a latent consensus among political scientists and highbrow columnists that the liberal era is over and that, following Brexit and Trump, we are entering a period of neo-nationalism. This consensus will develop further if, as I suspect she will, Marine Le Pen wins the French presidential election next May. Two recent editorials in the Economist

Atheists are embracing Gods and creationism

Elon Musk, the billionaire inventor and entrepreneur, the twenty-first century’s answer to Howard Hughes, believes we are living in a computer simulation. The chances that we exist in ‘base reality’ are billions to one, he says. Last week he told an audience of Silicon Valley tech evangelists: ‘Forty years ago we had Pong. Like, two

Spain has just experienced a very modern revolution

Graffiti artists have added social commentary to many of the billboard advertisements in Madrid, and election campaign posters are no exception. The improbably smooth forehead of Albert Rivera, who leads Ciudadanos, has ‘fascista’ written all over it. The would-be Banksy of the Madrid metro doesn’t elaborate, but the charge seems unlikely. Rivera’s party is, by

Big Tobacco and the smugglers: do you believe this conspiracy theory?

In an information sheet on its website, the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association draws a link between the illegal cigarette trade and prostitution, arms trafficking and terrorism. Given the number of people killed by their trade, it’s hard to believe that the TMA is motivated by altruism. So why do these companies campaign against black-market cigarettes? One answer is that

Horrible diseases are being ‘edited out’ of the human body

Some exciting news about the future of medicine was announced today. Unfortunately, you really need a degree in biochemistry – which I certainly don’t have – to understand it. But we’d better get used to that, because the eradication of nasty diseases is increasingly a project for geneticists whose findings are difficult to grasp (but

Scotland is on the verge of becoming a one-party state

My constituency is one of the SNP’s most coveted prizes. If they win in Midlothian they can win almost anywhere. This is Gladstone’s old seat, where the modern political campaign was born. He wrested it away from the Conservatives in 1880, after a series of stirring speeches on the government’s foreign policy failures. On Thursday

Why liberals want us to act like children

Have you noticed how often adults – particularly of the earnest, nagging variety who work in the public sector – are behaving like children? I don’t mean acting childishly, but literally behaving like children. Last week delegates to the NUS women’s conference were using ‘jazz-hands’ instead of clapping – in case it should trigger an anxiety attack. I can think