The 19th-century Italian’s musings on political and economics hold surprising insights into what it is to be human

The public gallery at the House of Commons is behind bullet-proof glass. This offensive distrust of the public reflects a greater sense of detachment between MPs and the electorate

‘Two successful sharp cookies marry and bear sharp cookies: voilà, a self-sustaining upper class based not on historical injustice but merit’

The commonly held assumption that Latin and Greek are “elitist” subjects is both fallacious and damaging

The other day David Lister, arts editor at The Independent, had a good grumble about the content of programmes at the opera. You don’t need just a degree to understand them, but a doctorate, he suggests. He’d been to see Tristan und Isolde at the ROH. The column is here.

Tristan is bound to be an extreme example, but he has a good point. In an age obsessed with outreach, why doesn’t that extend to programme notes?