It is 50 years since Britain’s Monty Python comedy team’s Flying Circus took off on TV and it is proving as popular as ever, with new devotees watching all four series and 45 episodes on Netflix and arguing about the best sketch — was it the Dead Parrot one or The Ministry Of Silly Walks?
Is it too much to hope that politicians and civil servants, when they’re not busy using the Leinster House internet resource for essential research on high-end sex dolls, Germany’s gay demi-monde, lingerie, horse racing, and gambling, might turn their attention to what could be at work in the mind of Dominic Cummings?
Benjamin Constant, the Swiss political philosopher active in the decades after the French Revolution, might have had Boris Johnson in mind when he wrote that “nearly all men are obsessed with demonstrating they are something more than they are”.
The family of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane has lost a Supreme Court challenge over the decision not to hold a public inquiry into his killing, but won a declaration that an effective investigation into his death has not been carried out.
The dark side of internet technology in general and Facebook — which now owns WhatsApp and Instagram — in particular have been among the many problems governments have wrestled with throughout 2018. They remain unresolved as we welcome the new year. Like the hydrogen bomb, the technology cannot be uninvented, yet legislatures around the free world struggle to find ways to curtail its destructive power.
It is not generally known whether British prime minister Theresa May is a student of Irish history. Whether or not, she could do worse than reflect on the attempt by Michael Collins to persuade the Dáil to accept the 1922 Anglo-Irish Treaty.
Democratic Unionist representative Ian Paisley has avoided the ignominy of being the first MP to lose his House of Commons seat under legislation — known as the petitions device — introduced after a parliamentary expenses scandal some years ago.
Anthony Seldon is one of Britain’s leading educationalists and social commentators. He has served as a close adviser to former leaders, including Tony Blair and David Cameron. In recent years, he has turned his attention to the ongoing impact of new technologies, in particular, artificial intelligence (AI), on education and on society, writes .
Any suggestion that the election of Donald Trump or that the 52/48 Brexit, vote could not have been achieved without the support of a cohort of ignorant, poorly educated voters would be dismissed as the kind of patronising arrogance that means Hilary Clinton can spend more time with her granddaughter Charlotte than she had anticipated and that David Cameron, at just 51, is free to write his autobiography, to give a “frank” account of his premiership.