The rise of far-right politician Giorgia Meloni has left many outside Italy asking how her brand of what many argue is fascism can achieve such prominence in a country that has experienced life under the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini. The answer can be traced back to a recent normalisation of reactionary politics.
On the wooded hill above the Stan Terg lead and zinc mine in Kosovo, there is an old concrete diving platform looming over what was once an open-air swimming pool. Before the break-up of Yugoslavia, people who worked at the mine would bring their families here to swim, sunbathe on the wide terrace with its view across the valley, and picnic among the trees. Now the pool is slowly disappearing into the forest, the view obscured by birch saplings.
Phil Tomlinson, University of Bath; Andrew Burlinson, University of East Anglia; Catherine Waddams, University of East Anglia; Donald Hirsch, Loughborough University; Jean-Philippe Serbera, Sheffield Hallam University; Jim Watson, UCL; Jonquil Lowe, The Open University, and Steven McCabe, Birmingham City University
UK chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has just launched the biggest package of tax cuts in half a century. This will involve around £45bn of reductions for people and businesses by 2027 – 50% more than anticipated before the mini-budget announcement.
The death of Queen Elizabeth II after 70 years on the throne has, of course, been met with widespread sadness and mourning. For most people in Britain, she is the only monarch they have known. Yet, inevitably, the mourning of her passing will be followed by a discussion about the future of the monarchy as an institution. After all, much has changed since 1951.
Although it may have provided the head of state for over a thousand years, in a modern democracy like Britain the monarchy will need to retain public consent if it is to survive.
Even the most devoted cat owners wonder at some point, perhaps waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, whether their cat really loves them. Dog people like to smugly point out dogs’ long history as humankind’s best friend.
But research shows cats’ reputation as a cold and aloof pet is undeserved.
A ‘network state’ is ideologically aligned but geographically decentralised. The people are spread around the world in clusters of varying size, but their hearts are in one place.
In June 2022 Balaji Srinivasan, former chief technology officer of the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange, published an ebook entitled The Network State: How To Start a New Country. It is the latest in a flurry of utopian visions by self-styled digital visionaries, crypto believers and web 3.0 evangelists who are lining up to declare the death of the traditional concept of countries and nationhood.
It’s a crime story fit for the digital era. It was recently reported that a number of restaurants in New York had been targeted by internet scammers threatening to leave unfavourable “one-star” reviews unless they received gift certificates. The same threats were made to eateries in Chicago and San Francisco and it appears that a vegan restaurant received as many as eight one-star reviews in the space of a week before being approached for money.
Boris Johnson’s time as prime minister comes to an end next week, giving us all a chance to consider what his legacy will be. More than his predecessors, Johnson owed his premiership to his reputed ability to persuade audiences other Conservatives couldn’t, through his charisma, unpredictability and energetic campaigning.