Tag Archives: Ruskin

Michael Gove is courageously recovering our ancient tradition of learning

IN 75 BC, when the great Roman politician and champion of liberal learning Cicero was quaestor in Sicily, he led an expedition to a neglected, overgrown jumble of funerary monuments just outside the city of Syracuse. Directing men with scythes to cut away the briars, he uncovered the tomb of Archimedes, lost for more than a century, just as he had found it described in an old manuscript.

Education secretary Michael Gove took on Cicero’s mantle this week, in a remarkable speech that sought to cut away modish assumptions and reveal Britain’s forgotten debt to liberal education – the tradition of learning for its own sake. Continue reading

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Sweden turns the page and Scandinavian noir explains why

EVERYONE knows that Sweden is a social-democratic paradise, where taxes are high, the welfare state is big and everyone enjoys the benefits. That doesn’t mean it’s true. In recent years, research like that compiled in Richard Wilkinson’s and Kate Pickett’s The Spirit Level has painted Sweden and its Scandinavian neighbours as political role models. The reality, as always, is more complicated. Thanks to a new publication from the Institute of Economic Affairs, the other side of the story is harder than ever to ignore. Continue reading

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