When we outsiders see Boris Johnson stuck on a zip wire with a Union Jack in each hand or Jacob Rees-Mogg bringing his nanny along to canvass voters on his behalf, we are initially indulgent: how delightfully, comically, English. Photograph: EPA

When all of this is done – if indeed it ever is done – a question will puzzle historians. How did absurd characters like Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mog(...)

‘As far as I can tell, people are in more of a muddle than ever over what constitutes acceptable office behaviour.’ Photograph: iStock

The other day I found myself in a group training session for the Financial Times’s new online telephone system where there was an embarrassing moment (...)

Anne O'Neill: I was 50 on my last birthday. Photograph: Ciara O'Donnell

Last summer I had my 50th birthday. Fifty, which Victor Hugo called the youth of old age and is, according to George Orwell, the age at which everyone(...)

Image courtesy of the National Print Museum

A few years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Eric Hobsbawm, the late eminent left-wing historian, and took the opportunity to ask him what he belie(...)

Culture  has become uninterested in detail, nuance or generosity, and prefers the echo chamber of the angry tweet or FaceBook rant.

A little over 30 years ago, the American academic Daniel C Hallin wrote a book on media coverage of the Vietnam War, The Uncensored War. Although much(...)

Although the archaic, pejorative view that obesity represents a lack of discipline and self-control has largely been dismissed, discourse about obesity remains derogatory and misogynistic. Photograph: iStock

In a field rife with controversy and disagreement, there is strong consensus among obesity experts at home and abroad that bariatric surgery is life-s(...)

John Gray: stresses the point some atheist thinkers inherit their beliefs from western monotheism and spend very little time developing their own philosophies.

John Gray is a self-described atheist who thinks that prominent advocates of atheism have made non-belief seem intolerant, uninspiring and dull. At th(...)

Amy Chua, author of the best-selling ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’

Parenting is a tough business, not least because of the plethora of contradictory advice. Should you be a “Tiger mother”, or a “helicopter father”? Or(...)

John Stuart Mill: “If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error”.

After almost two decades, perhaps Google’s famous motto, “Don’t be evil,” is due for an update.How about, “Don’t question anything”? Or perhaps, “Don’(...)

“Stock markets suffer frequent declines, but the long-term trend has always been an upward one.” Photograph: Reuters

Stock markets don’t rise all of the time but they do gain most of the time. It generally pays to take the optimistic view, so why are so many financia(...)

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