The year isn’t properly over until I rank a bunch of stuff. 2021 is my 6th edition, after  2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. BOOKS Books I read for the first time in 2021 1. The Five Giants by Nicholas Timmins Big, imposing, authoritative – the story of the welfare state in the UK, tracing […]


“It is excuses after excuses” thundered Roy Keane this weekend, in a damning assessment of Liverpool’s collapse over recent weeks. Having won the Premier League last year, they are all but out of the running barely halfway through the season this time around. The ferocity of Keane’s criticism is unsurprising: he has little natural affinity […]

I’ve written a piece for UnHerd, looking at whether the UK Government’s decision to subsidise restaurant meals contributed to the second wave of coronavirus infections. Here’s the nub: What we make of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme is, to some extent, dependent on how much of the government’s Covid budget it used up. […]

I’ve written a piece for the IPPR Progressive Review charting the waxing and waning of choice and competition in English public services. Here’s the introduction: For around 30 years, from the early 1980s to the early 2010s, the marketisation of public services was perhaps the most prominent and significant domestic policy trend in British politics. It […]

Just sharing a couple of pieces I’ve been working on for Justice Everywhere. The first is a collection I’ve edited of brief reflections from ten different philosophers on the ethical and political issues raised by the coronavirus crisis: What does coronavirus mean for the feasibility of social justice? What does coronavirus mean for the adoption […]

I’ve written a piece for, arguing that the possibility of the Premier League season being abandoned, and of Liverpool being robbed of a title they had all but sealed, highlights the inherent subjectivity of value. Liverpool fans, I suggest should define success and failure for themselves, regardless of the what the Premier League decides: […]

Should governments be thinking about rising taxes just now? It may seem like an odd idea at a time when we are facing a severe economic downturn, threatening the livelihoods of millions of people. But as several economists have pointed out, the economic crisis associated with coronavirus is quite unlike an ordinary recession. Unusually, the […]

In the last couple of weeks, over at Justice Everywhere, I’ve launched a series of interviews that I am editing, exploring the role of political philosophers in ‘real politics’. Here’s an excerpt from my introduction to the series: The purpose of Beyond the Ivory Tower is to speak to prominent philosophers that have, in different […]

My 4th annual list of things I enjoyed over the course of the year. Here are some of my favourite things that I experienced for the first time in 2019. You might want to read this alongside my previous posts for 2016, 2017 and 2018. BOOKS Books I read for the first time in 2019 […]

Tonight, I intend to sit each one of you down, and tell you in my own words, exactly how much you mean to me – Frasier Crane, Frasier Series 5 Episode 9 (‘Perspectives on Christmas’) This year, I think for the first time, I made a proper New Year’s resolution and stuck to it. I […]