Episode 6: Rome and away… Italy’s ex-PM MATTEO RENZI on power, populism… and football

27th June 2018

Britain and the United States are not the only political systems to be rocked by the forces of populism. The convulsions of the past few years have left Italian politics unrecognisable. So where do we go from here? On the latest edition of ANGER MANAGEMENT, former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi – Italy’s youngest-ever PM and head of the fourth longest-lasting government in Italian history – talks to Nick about his country’s present and future. Showing a rare sense of humour in a senior politician, he recounts the experiences that shaped him, explains where anger is leading Italian politics, and tells…

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The Commission on Electoral Integrity meets in Copenhagen

26th June 2018

The first meeting of The Commission on Electoral Integrity (TCEI) took place last week (Friday 22nd June) in Copenhagen. Nick, who is a TCEI Commissioner, travelled to the Copenhagen Democracy Summit, which provides a high-level strategic forum exclusively focused on the cause of democracy. Taking part in a panel discussion exploring how best to bring together an international alliance of democracies, Nick was joined by José María Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain, Felipe Calderón, former President of Mexico, Stephen Harper, former Prime Minister of Canada, and Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former President of Estonia. You can watch a recording of the event…

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We need to stand up and defend democracy in the era of Brexit and Putin

26th June 2018

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, the United States secretly financed Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic party. In 2013, the CIA finally admitted that it had helped to orchestrate the coup against Iran’s secular prime minister, Mohammed Mosaddeq, 60 years earlier. And in Latin America US meddling in domestic elections was, for a while, almost routine. Britain, too, has been no slouch when it comes to interference in other countries’ elections. In the US elections of 1940, for example, British intelligence officers waged a campaign of fake news and political manipulation in an attempt to marginalise candidates who were opposed to US intervention in…

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March for a People’s Vote

25th June 2018

On Saturday, in Parliament Square, London, Nick was among the many thousands of people who attended the March for a People’s Vote.   Two years on since the referendum result, Nick believes that the Brexiters have “achieved nothing” and that it is ” time to give people their say” on whatever Brexit deal the government manages to secure. You can read more about the event here and find out more about the People’s Vote here.          

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Flying the Flag for Openness: why liberalism still matters

21st June 2018

On 12 June 2018, at the Sheikh Zayed Theatre, Nick gave his inaugural lecture as a visiting professor in practice at the LSE’s  School of Public Policy. The title of the lecture was “Flying the Flag for Openness: why liberalism still matters”. Battered, bruised and blamed for so many of the world’s problems, liberal values have found themselves under attack from left and right. But these values have multiple virtues and with many enduring strengths. Nick set out the case for liberal values at a time when stark social and generational divisions threaten to pull the country apart. If Open…

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Tantalising glimpse of an EU compromise on freedom of movement

18th June 2018

In April 2005, the mayor of Maubeuge, a town in northern France, sent a list of local plumbers to Frits Bolkestein, the straight-talking former Dutch EU commissioner. Mr Bolkestein was the author of a controversial EU directive that opened up local services — from hairdressing to ski lessons — to competition across the bloc. In a press conference, he had declared that he was looking forward to using the services of a “Polish plumber” because he couldn’t find a good local one for his holiday home near Maubeuge. His comments, unsurprisingly, caused outrage in France. A band of guerrilla electricians…

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Episode 5: Global Soul… writer and campaigner Elif Shafak on art vs. anger

14th June 2018

Can art defeat fascism? In the latest edition of ANGER MANAGEMENT, award-winning author, columnist and women’s rights activist Elif Shafak talks to Nick about the seductive dangers of sameness, how Western countries’ greatest weakness was our belief that we’d won all the big battles… and how we’ll never turn back the tide of anger until we understand where it comes from. “This is an age of emotions,” Elif tells Nick, “and emotions are guiding and misguiding politics. In an age of anger we need to increase our emotional intelligence.” Born in Strasbourg and raised in Ankara, Madrid, Amman and Istanbul, the self-declared “linguistic…

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Pushkin Prize Winner 2018

11th June 2018

Alexis Peri has been announced as the winner of the 2018 Pushkin Prize. The panel of judges was chaired by Nick, who helped to select the prize for the best non-fiction writing in English about Russia and the Russian-speaking world. Nick described Peri’s The War Within as “a remarkable book”, adding:  “To have unearthed such searing, and hitherto unpublished, testimonies of the agony of the Leningrad siege is achievement enough. But the spotlight that Alexis Peri casts on the way in which families, individual identity and time itself are warped by such extreme suffering is both unflinching and disturbing. The…

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The Thunderer: Pro-European MPs have a moral duty to resist Brexit

4th June 2018

If you saw someone you love repeatedly punch themselves in the head would you: a) try to stop them; or b) sit back and wait until they’d punched themselves unconscious before doing something? Your answer will provide important guidance for pro-Europeans. Should we try to alter the course of Brexit, giving people a chance to think again, or should we sit back and watch the country we love be deeply damaged? Philip Collins (“Let’s drop the pretence Brexit can be stopped”, June 1) is the latest in a growing chorus of pro-European commentators who believe there is nothing to be…

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