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Boris Johnson, I was struck by something you said in Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons this week. In relation to a question from the leader of the opposition, you said something I found extremely strange. I’m accustomed to you saying peculiar things in a defensive manner, in an attempt to distract from questions and avoid responsibility for your actions and inaction, but this was the most bizarre response I’ve seen from you, in the context of all that has happened.

Keir Starmer had said the following [the session can be read on Hansard]: “Yesterday, we passed the…

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While Trump whines incessantly about the election (which Biden won by the largest number of votes in US history), he seems oblivious to the thousands a day dying of Covid-19 in the USA. The total US death toll is about to pass 300,000. For arguably the richest country in the world, with many excellent hospitals and medical schools, this is a shocking and deranged outcome.

The US death toll, which is the largest in the world and almost a fifth of the world total, is an indictment of Trump’s ‘management’ of the situation and an indictment of a dogmatically capitalistic…

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Donald Trump, like other manipulative narcissists, is a fan of the superlative. In fact, he is a bigly fan. Few people do questionable superlatives better than Trump! The fact that they are subsequently proven to be nothing but braggadocious empty words doesn’t matter to ‘The Donald’ as they served their purpose — to whip up the cultish core of his base and divert attention from pesky things like truth and negative news coverage.

Trump is a manipulative and bullying salesman through and through. Some would say a snake oil salesman — but manipulative salesman none the less. It is possible…

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Everybody who can read these words is caught up in the culture war. You might be well aware of that and know exactly which side you are on. If you are not aware of being caught up in this war, then I would suggest that you are in an even more precarious position, as it is not just being fought around you — it is being fought over you.

The far-right (which sometimes likes to call itself ‘alt-right’ to hide its true nature, sound modern and hide its intentions) is fond of the term culture war. This is not surprising…

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In the brilliant British TV satire Absolute Power, a leading London PR consultancy is seen week after week manipulating media coverage and distorting reality for the powerful, wealthy and famous.

The partners of the agency were played by Stephen Fry and veteran satirist John Bird. In my view the venal, calculating, manipulative, greedy and narcissistic Charles Prentiss is the best performance Fry has ever delivered. Better even than the chillingly callous General Melchett in Blackadder Goes Forth, who cheerily sent his troops to certain death rather than adapt his inept strategy.

Though Prentiss and Melchett lived in very different times…

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I’ve been researching conspiracy theories since my postgraduate years at university. My first book, Beyond the End of the World, debunked a number of them — much to the fury of people who were enchanted by the notion that the world would end in 2012 and those who were so obsessed by New World Order (NWO) beliefs that it seemed they might secretly relish the idea of mass global control.

In relation to 2012 ‘apocalypse’ beliefs, which emerged from flaky and sloppy engagement with Mayan calendrics by new-agers and opportunistic drivelmongers, the most interesting thing for me was the spectrum…

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In August 2017, a two-day rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, brought together white supremacists, neo-Nazis and anti-Semites. Despite the name, Unite the Right was a coming together of the far-right, not the right in general. So-called ‘alt-right’ students rubbed shoulders with Ku Klux Klan members, Nazis and heavily armed far-right militias.

The stated aim of the rally was to protest the removal of a statue of confederate general Robert E. Lee from a park. The far-right were already outraged that the park had been renamed Emancipation Park (from ‘Lee Park’) two months before.

Lee’s statue was one of several of pro-slavery…

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Back in the carefree days of early June 2016, before Brexit, before Trump got into power and before COVID-19, right-wing British politician Michael Gove said these words: “I think the people of this country have had enough of experts from organisations with acronyms saying they know what is best, and getting it consistently wrong.”

Gove was railing at the time against a large number of experts on economics and business who had pointed out that Brexit was unlikely to be as easy and wondrous as the hard right of the Tory Party had been claiming.

The anti-expert line has been…

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As a clinician who was fortunate enough to undertake further studies that included medical anthropology and anthrozoology, I have been chilled to the bone by the bizarre stance on health that the Tories have clung onto for years, despite the sheer ignorance of medical science it reveals.

It is a policy that ignores many critical things that must be understood to properly manage a health service and keep populations safe, including the reality of new and emerging infectious diseases, such as the highly virulent zoonotic Coronavirus COVID-19.

The chilling Tory line, well-rehearsed since 2015 (when the Conservative Party won their…

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On Friday a terrorist armed with two knives and wearing what appeared to be a suicide vest, was bravely restrained by civilians. They tackled him with fire extinguishers and a whale tusk, then managed to pin him down until police officers arrived.

Those involved were a broad range of citizens, including a chef and a tour guide. An off-duty British Transport Police officer was seen in footage taking a knife from harms way.

As someone born in London who has spent much of my life living, working and socialising in the city, I felt proud of those who tackled the…

Will Black

Will is an anthropologist, journalist and former clinician. He is the author or Veneer of Civilisation, Psychopathic Cultures and Beyond the End of the World

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