This essay was published in the March/April 2020 issue of The Idler. Shipping by sail isn’t just about cleaning up emissions, it embodies a whole different ethos and way of life. It’s slow food meets slow travel. A sense of the good life permeates my conversations with all the ship-owners, brokers and captains as they talk about journeys imbued with purpose and wonder. They’re rhapsodic about the myriad lifestyle benefits that flow from slowing down and accepting the whim of the wind, namely a deepening of our connections with our environment and each other. Following true idler philosophy, their vision for shipping begins with doing less.
In the great election giveaway, our main parties are outbidding each other to offer more free childcare, but neglecting parents who wish to care for their own young children at home. Free childcare incentivises parents to entrust their babies and toddlers to professionals and return to work. It penalises parents who would prefer to do the job of raising their children themselves. These prescriptive policies reveal a failure of imagination and threaten to skew parental choice.
Shipping is facing an environmental reckoning. Ethical entrepreneurs are once more shipping goods by sail and hope to see rising demand for clean transport.
At the start of Syria’s popular uprising in 2011, a group of young activists from Daraya, a suburb of Damascus, became known for their philosophy of non-violence. They protested with flowers and offered bottles of water to the soldiers. These men who carried roses sacrificed all for their dream of a free Syria. The story of their lives must outshine the tragedy of their deaths.
Across the country, detainees are tortured and killed in clandestine detention centres. But the political will to deal with these atrocities is woefully lacking.
A bus journey provides a window into the unbroken spirit of the Syrian revolution and one of its terrible costs: tens of thousands of people missing, disappeared by the Syrian regime.
New documentary hears from those who made it out of Assad’s prisons – and their gruesome quest to identify others who have died in custody
Anyone dissenting from the status quo may be branded a subversive or domestic extremist. Is this a waste of police time as well as an infringement of civil liberties?
Perceived pressure from the press and politicians is impacting on the BBC’s news coverage. Those working inside the corporation must fight for its core values.
The government’s immigration policy centres around one headline target: to bring annual net migration below 100,000 by the next election. However there are multiple problems with this political aim.