Take your protein pills and put your helmet on. In this #ACFM Microdose to accompany the gang’s recent Trip into space, Keir is joined by Fred Scharmen, author of Space Forces: A Critical History of Life in Outer Space. Drawing on his background in architecture and spatial design, Scharmen unpacks the desire to go into space and create new worlds from scratch.
The overwhelming takeaway from this year’s Labour party conference was one simple sentence: “Now is not the moment”. This phrase was uttered by shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves as she poured cold water on her own members’ demands for a publicly-run energy network. Pledging to take a “pragmatic” approach, Reeves refused to back a policy that the vast majority
#TyskySour returns this evening with Michael Walker, James Meadway and Dalia Gebrial.
Activist and journalist Julian Brave NoiseCat explains the importance of land rights and sovereignty in the fight against climate breakdown in an extended interview from Planet B: Everything Must Change. Speaking to Harpreet Kaur Paul, NoiseCat explores the long history of Indigenous resistance to land colonialism and argues that the Indigenous experience
One of the most striking statistics in grasping the speed at which we are transforming the planet is how China consumes more concrete every three years than the United States did in the whole of the 20th century. Alongside the acceleration of how we use resources, this fact highlights the unique role China now plays in climate change. The world’s largest country,
The British government’s long-awaited Net Zero Strategy has finally been published alongside a raft of other documents detailing its various plans for decarbonising domestic heating and, significantly, its review of the “costs” of reaching ‘net zero’. To reach net zero, the amount of greenhouse gases we put into the atmosphere
#TyskySour returns this evening with Michael Walker, Ash Sarkar and John McDonnell.
Noam Chomsky warns against a Green New Deal that would save capitalism instead of dismantling it in an extended interview from Planet B: Everything Must Change. The eminent activist and political writer talks to Dalia Gebrial about his vision of a Green New Deal and the lessons we can take from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s original political project. Chomsky
Trials have shown booster shots to be incredibly effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19. Will they be enough to get the country through winter without new restrictions? With Michael Walker and Aaron Bastani.
Tensions over the Conservative party’s economic policy have erupted just weeks before chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spending review, which will be released on 27 October. This set-piece occasion is meant to outline the government’s spending plans for the next three years, up to the general election in late 2024. But whilst Sunak has positioned himself
In the final few days before COP26 starts, there’s been a rush of policies and pronouncements from governments setting out how they aim to ‘close the gap’ between current carbon emissions and reaching net zero emissions by 2050. For the most part, campaigners and journalists alike have focused on pointing out how big this gap is. Even if new commitments and pledges
After a narrow victory in Germany’s federal elections at the end of September, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) is now the clear favourite to lead the next German coalition government. With a left-leaning manifesto and centrist candidate to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor, the party’s victory provides a useful case study for all those concerned with
Just after the bombshell revelations about the CIA plot to kidnap and assassinate WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange while he sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, the Progressive International comes to London with the first physical Belmarsh Tribunal. The intervention comes ahead of Assange’s extradition proceedings, which
Recover. Reclaim. Reoccupy. How do we make land for living, not for profit? In the second episode of Planet B: Everything Must Change, Harpreet Kaur Paul finds out how the way we’re using land is both accelerating the climate crisis and violating the rights of local communities. Expert insights come from Alex Wijeratna, campaign director at Mighty Earth,
#TyskySour returns this evening with Michael Walker and Dalia Gebrial.
10 years ago, over a bowl of ramen near Times Square, David Graeber gave me a copy of his book Debt: the first 5000 years. Inside, was a typically generous dedication: “For David Wengrow, who has gotten me excited about the past in a way no one has since I can barely remember.” It was the start of a project that would absorb us for the next 10 years, as an
Does a “Green New Deal” make sense outside of America – or even within it? Sarah Jaffe contrasts the demand for green jobs with the growing resistance to work in a extended interview from Planet B: Everything Must Change, a podcast series produced with Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung London. The author of Work Won’t Love You Back talks to Dalia Gebrial
Today, Westminster will be united in offering tributes to Southend MP Sir David Amess, who was murdered during a constituency surgery last Friday. A statement released by Amess’ family yesterday praised the 69-year-old as “a man of peace”, and highlighted his campaign for Southend to be granted city status and a funding drive for a statue of Dame Vera Lynn as
The death of David Amess has renewed debates about the safety of MPs, social media anonymity, online radicalisation & civility in politics. Where are changes needed, and where is the media missing the point? With Michael Walker and Ash Sarkar.
“This isn’t about the undercover police officer who deceived me,” says Kate Wilson, an activist who was duped into an intimate relationship with an officer for two years in the 2000s. “He’s a pawn in the operation; he isn’t the one setting the strategy, or deciding to have the undercover operation in the first place. It has always been about getting the people
Is there such a thing as a good landlord? Britain is being held hostage by a class of people whose only talent is owning stuff, and extracting money from people who don’t. Rents have doubled in the decade following the financial crisis, and the average house price is between 8 and 14 times the average annual wage. Maybe – even if you’re a nice
Can people power face down the fossil fuel lobbies? Jeremy Corbyn lays out his hopes for the global fight against climate breakdown in this bonus episode from the podcast series Planet B: Everything Must Change. The Labour MP talks to host Dalia Gebrial about environmental reparations, a just transition in the North Sea oil sector, the influence of lobbyists
For the second time in six years a British MP has been violently killed while doing their job. We discuss the circumstances of the tragic death of Sir David Amess, and why it seems Britain cannot keep its politicians safe from harm. Also on the show – Dominic Cummings Attacks Keir Starmer as an “Uber dud” – Priti Patel’s new border policy provokes psychopathic
John Major’s government exploited Angola’s need for peacekeeping support during its bloody civil war to ensure British Petroleum (BP) was awarded new operating licenses in the country, declassified documents reveal. A series of government memos held in the National Archives and made public at the start of this year show how Conservative ministers lobbied
Commute. Pollute. Repeat. What are we working for? In the first episode of Planet B: Everything Must Change, a new six-part series from Novara Media and Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung London, host Dalia Gebrial tackles the future of work. As the climate changes, what kinds of work will we find ourselves doing? Which of our jobs will be valued, and which will become
#TyskySour returns this evening with Michael Walker and Dalia Gebrial.
During the Labour party’s 2021 annual conference, delegates voted to back a series of bold policies to tackle the challenges facing Britain. Labour members voted to back a £15 minimum wage; a “socialist Green New Deal”; public ownership of energy utilities; and a proportional electoral system (though this last motion failed due to trade union opposition).
Evergrande, the world’s most heavily indebted property developer, is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Having missed two payments to its creditors last week, trading in Evergrande’s shares has been suspended, as Chinese authorities move to try and contain any potential economic damage caused by its financial woes. Meanwhile, in a sign of wider trouble
#TyskySour returns this evening with Michael Walker and Ash Sarkar.
In Thailand, a radical alliance between leftist student groups and freshly unionised gig-economy platform workers is bringing a new dimension to the battle against dictatorship, capitalism and the monarchy. In the words of one leading activist: “We want to bring socialism to the table, not just [to] be anti-dictator, but to propose something deeper.” The
Conservatives are obsessed with the idea that the left wants to erase Britain’s history. Yet that’s precisely what happened when its empire collapsed after 1945, as re-writing the past became a matter of state policy executed on an industrial scale. Here Aaron Bastani explains what was called ‘Operation Legacy’ and how those who
SATURDAY 29 AUGUST 2020 Are you going or nah? Cause I really don’t know lol I really am undecided It just doesn’t feel right to be ayying on insta story right now . . . If I go it’ll be last minute. Within a few hours of these WhatsApp exchanges, my best friend, Jere Agbaje, and I were indeed ‘ayying’ on our Instagram stories, in attendance of a Black gay housewarming
After energy shortages, benefits cuts, and a tax hike on national insurance, the public have turned against the Tories on the economy. How long will Johnson’s post-conference hangover last? With Michael Walker and Aaron Bastani.
#TyskySour returns this evening with Michael Walker and Dalia Gebrial.
In the electric summer of 2014, I took a clifftop heritage railway from Douglas to the top of Snaefell. In the café there, I had cream tea and Irn-Bru. On a clear day, which of course it wasn’t, I’d also have had vistas over Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It was the most British thing I’ve ever done. But I wasn’t in the UK. I was on the Isle of Man. A week
It was never meant to be as close-run as it was. Scottish independence had historically been a marginal cause, and the Scottish National party a fringe – even mocked – nationalist party. Even as David Cameron in 2012 signed the Edinburgh Agreement, which cemented a legally binding referendum for 2014, support for independence was hovering around the mid-20s
Back in the summer of 2017, a separatist group called the Cornish Republican Army took responsibility for catching fire to Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant on Porthleven harbourfront. The flames and smoke caused severe damage, enough to persuade the celebrity chef to close the doors for good. It was one of many acts of vandalism and arson carried out by the CRA
Something about the ‘red wall’ discourse sticks in the throat. Quickly whipped up around the 2019 general election to save political journalists the embarrassment of learning British geography, it persists whether in name or spirit. It lingers in government insistences on the existence of a ‘levelling up’ agenda, in Keir Starmer’s unconvincing flag-shagging
When Tom Nairn was assembling his book The Break-Up of Britain in 1977, the publishers were keen to add a question mark. After all, Marxists had been embarrassed by prophecy before. Nairn resisted, successfully: his point was not just that the British state seemed to be on the verge of territorial disintegration, but that the mirage of national unity which underpinned
As the curtain fell on the twentieth century, the United Kingdom was one of the most stable countries on Earth. A member of the European Union since 1973, it had seemingly emerged from its colonial era, concurrent with the very invention of Britain, as a society capable of cyclical renewal. The partition of Ireland endured – though even here a breakthrough came
Wrth i’r llen ddisgyn ar yr ugeinfed ganrif, roedd y Deyrnas Unedig yn un o’r gwledydd mwyaf sefydlog ar y Ddaear. Yn aelod o’r Undeb Ewropeaidd ers 1973, edrychai fel petai ei bod wedi codi o’i chyfnod gwladychol ar yr un pryd y crëwyd y DU fel cymdeithas a oedd yn medru adnewyddu ei hun tro ar ôl tro. Roedd Iwerddon dal wedi’i rhannu – hyd yn oed os daeth
In a Twitter post following the torrent of racist abuse after England’s defeat in the European Championships final this summer, footballer Marcus Rashford made a powerful reference to place. “I’m Marcus Rashford, 23-year-old black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that.” As with his successful campaign
On the day before the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, a friend of mine was out campaigning. He tells the story of how he met an old friend who stopped to talk about the referendum. She asked him what independence would fix. His answer was that the Westminster system was hopelessly outdated, and impervious to change. “I don’t see that,” came her reply.
In May, Wales went to the polls for the 2021 Senedd election. Notably, although the official position of Welsh Labour – the largest political party in Wales – is that Wales should remain part of the UK, in this election the party selected three candidates who openly support Welsh independence. Indeed, the question of independence is being discussed in ways
If neoliberalism really is over then what comes after? And could this new political and economic moment, where a larger state is embraced, see a turn right rather than left? Aaron Bastani speaks to sociologist Paolo Gerbaudo about his new book, ‘The Great Recoil’, examining how ideas of protection, control and state intervention are replacing
For years, Uber has fought tooth and nail to deny drivers like me many of the basic rights that no person should have to work without. Up until February this year, the company forced us to sign up on contracts that bogusly defined us as self-employed, which meant we didn’t receive a minimum wage or holiday pay. However, following a lengthy legal battle waged against
It’s May Day and Trafalgar Square is slowly filling with protesters, though from their banners – “resist mass eviction”, “decriminalise sex work”, “queer solidarity always”, “cops aren’t kosher” – it isn’t clear that they’re here together. Things start to fall into place when a pickup truck pulls on to the square carrying a sound system,
On 26 September, Berliners voted in a historic referendum to expropriate residential property owned by major corporate landlords. The referendum, which passed with more than 56% of votes in favour and 39% against, is the culmination of more than three years of work by a campaign called Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen & Co – Deutsche Wohnen is the name
At Tory party conference Boris Johnson is promising higher wages in a post-Brexit Britain. How seriously should we take the pledge? With Michael Walker, Ash Sarkar and James Meadway.
Congratulations! You made it through a pandemic, survived Gavin Williamson messing up your grades and now you’re going to university. Since almost 361,000 students rent accommodation from their university, and over 175,000 from private companies like Unite Students, this likely means you’ll spend a year living in university halls. And it most probably
Aaron Bastani meets Nina Turner, co-chair of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, to discuss the American left under the Biden Presidency, the prospect of Donald Trump running in 2024 and how American workers can build a more progressive politics.
Yesterday, Sarah Everard’s killer – serving police officer Wayne Couzens – was sentenced to a whole life order. In kidnapping her, Couzens, who was a firearms officer at the time, showed Everard his warrant card and placed her in handcuffs, having ‘arrested’ her under Covid-19 powers. The 48-year-old then drove Everard 80 miles, before raping and murdering
#TyskySour returns on Friday with Michael Walker and Aaron Bastani.
“Four years ago, we started to wonder: what would shopping look like if you could walk into a store, grab what you want and just go?” asks the voiceover in a glossy promotional video for Amazon Go, Amazon’s chain of convenience stores that launched in the US in 2017. The venture – which has since been rebranded as Amazon Fresh – launched in the
At Labour Party Conference 2021 Ash Sarkar & Zarah Sultana MP shared fish and chips by Brighton Pier. They discussed why the Labour Party is so boring, being a muslim woman of colour on the left and trans rights amongst other things. Batter not miss it!
#TyskySour returns on Wednesday with Michael Walker and Dalia Gebrial.
We’re All Alone In This Together, British rapper Dave’s recent chart-topping album, makes a compelling case for why Black British music should be treated with the same intellectual rigour as the great British guitar albums of the past. It reminds us that popular music can also provide insights into the economic and psycho-social issues of today. No cultural
A strange prospect has reared its head in recent months, its arrival so unlikely that even the most dogged of Starmer-sceptics could never have predicted it. Over the weekend, as Labour’s annual conference got underway, this previously faint suspicion suddenly came through in high definition: Keir Starmer – a man who constantly appeals to decency
On Sunday, Keir Starmer’s attempt to introduce electoral colleges for Labour leadership elections fell apart after resistance from the grassroots. Starmer’s supporters won’t mind how the battle diminished Starmer: they are willing to sacrifice both Sir Keir and the next election to their “project”. Starmer’shalf-baked coup, which would have blocked
A rule change to rig future elections for Labour party leader was passed by a narrow margin after multiple delegates were suspended. Michael Walker and Ash Sarkar discuss Starmer’s contempt for democracy and other conference news.
In 1911, chancellor David Lloyd George announced a brand new scheme: a system of “national insurance” against sickness and unemployment. Lloyd George’s idea was simple: employers, workers and the state would each contribute to an insurance fund that would pay for medical care and unemployment benefits in times of need. It was highly controversial at the
We are in a moment of epochal transition; a time when times basic assumptions about the direction of society shared across the political mainstream, are radically undermined, forcing all actors to reposition themselves. Neoliberalism, and the long-held bipartisan consensus about the power of self-regulating markets have lost credibility and appeal
For the first time since 2019, the left will be coming together at this year’s The World Transformed (TWT), the biggest leftwing multiday event in Britain. After election defeats, the decimation of the Labour party and a devastating global pandemic, the left has been rendered fragmented and incoherent. TWT offers a much-needed opportunity for us to come together
Will Keir Starmer’s rule changes pass? Will his “contribution society” make waves? Is Ed Miliband being ousted? And could Wes Streeting be Labour’s next leader?! Michael Walker and Ash Sarkar preview Labour Party conference 2021.
For five years socialists in Britain united under the project of electing a Labour government with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister. Since that project failed, Labour has been taken over by a new leader who has stripped the party of ideology and is rigging the rules so that the left will never have influence again.
This summer was a sobering reminder of the desperate need to mitigate climate change. With temperatures reaching levels ‘beyond human tolerance’ and the oceans set ablaze, the United Nations secretary-general declared a “code red for humanity”. This age of climate extremes, while obviously unsettling, isn’t unavoidable if we act decisively. Governments
This week reports emerged that Sabina Nessa, a 28-year-old primary school teacher, is thought to have been murdered on her way home in south London on Saturday. The delayed and inadequate media attention has reignited conversations around why some murders receive more attention than others. The response to Sarah Everard’s murder is being deployed as a case
The last two years of Boris Johnson’s leadership have been defined by a heady mix of disaster and triumph: Brexit, a landslide election victory, a catastrophic pandemic, by-election wins and one surprising loss. What makes Johnsonism different from the Conservatism of yesteryear, and what’s coming next?
Starmer’s attempt to rig the rules for any future leadership challenge is facing a backlash from trade unions, party activists and left-wing MPs. We speak to NEC member Lara McNeil about whether he can be stopped. With Michael Walker and Dalia Gebrial.
Last week, Labour councillors on the Tower Hamlets planning committee made history for the wrong reasons. On Tuesday, Kevin Brady and Kahar Chowdhury gave developers the green light to redevelop and extend the Old Truman Brewery site on Brick Lane, turning it into a mixed-use complex including office spaces, a mall, a restaurant and a gym. Locally, there are
It is easy to become immune to the hypocrisy of politicians. From millionaire Tory MPs calling for austerity to Boris Johnson, our serial adulterer-prime minister with an unverified number of children, warning against family breakdown, ‘do as I say not as I do’ has become a default motto for our ruling class. Yet during the fallout of the Taliban’s recapture
Yesterday, two new Northern Line stations were opened at Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms. Over half a decade in the making, it’s the first extension to the Northern line since Clapham Common to Morden was unveiled in 1926. As someone born and raised in Battersea, there’s something exciting about making it onto the Tube map; no more jokes about travelling
#TyskySour returns this evening with Michael Walker and Aaron Bastani.
I am tired. I am tired and I want to switch my brain off, it’s turning into mush anyway. I don’t know whether that’s a side effect from a year and a half of social withdrawal or if it is merely a sign of advancing age. Indeed, I wonder if that’s what happened to those women that kept disappearing from the left when they hit 30. I remember P – a
The United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan last month, and the subsequent Taliban takeover of the country, triggered a tidal wave of righteous indignation from the political establishments on both sides of the Atlantic. Their stated objections to religious fundamentalism and the denial of women’s rights need not detain us for long. Western governments
The first real Labour conference with Keir Starmer as leader will pitch party bosses against the left. Is there any hope of preventing a stitch up? With Michael Walker and Aaron Bastnai.
“Liberalism isn’t good enough for us,” wrote radical lesbian activist and writer Martha Shelly in 1969, “and we are just beginning to discover it. Your friendly smile of acceptance—from the safe position of heterosexuality—isn’t enough. As long as you cherish that secret belief that you are a little bit better because you sleep with the opposite sex, you
As soon as I was hired for my last job, a minimum-wage retail assistant role, I was added to the work WhatsApp. I quickly saw that my boss would bombard the chat at all hours, asking staff to locate customer orders, or explain emails they’d sent weeks ago. Once, when none of us replied to a Saturday late-night message, she demanded to know what we could possibly –
Leadership elections in the Green party used to be a quiet affair. Well, not anymore. Following the sudden resignation of co-leaders Jonathan Bartley and Sian Berry, the Greens are holding a snap leadership election just 13 months after their last. The field of candidates is the largest ever, and they’re promising big changes. Previous election campaigns
The good news: one bunch of malicious incompetents have been fired. The bad news: another bunch of malicious incompetents have been hired. Michael Walker and Dalia Gebrial discuss the Tory cabinet reshuffle.
Is ‘consent’ the only dividing line between good sex and bad sex? Ash Sarkar is joined by Rachel Thompson to discuss her new book Rough, and the politics of pornography, kink, and sex ambivalent feminism.
In less than a month, nearly 6 million households will lose £20 per week when the Tories revert Universal Credit to its pre-pandemic level. It will be the largest overnight cut in the history of British social security. The impact will be huge. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) estimates that it will send half a million people, including 200,000 children,
Anyone unfortunately even vaguely acquainted with the attack lines of Britain’s small but virulent transphobic movement will recognise that proclaiming you’re being ‘silenced’ is one of their favoured tactics. From the likes of writer Suzanne Moore asserting they are being censored in multiple op-eds for the Guardian, to the Times columnist Janice Turner
#TyskySour returns this evening with Michael Walker and Ash Sarkar.
It has been a year since David died and it is still hard to believe it. For the last five months of his life, he had been ill, complaining of several strange symptoms, but the doctors he’d been seeing about them had found nothing significant or life-threatening. The shock I felt that fateful afternoon, watching my husband collapse on the beach in Venice –
Jeremy Gilbert, Nadia Idle and Keir Milburn go boldly into an episode on the politics of space. What even is space – and why does it so often seem to be the domain of the political right? How does the built environment have the power to discipline or liberate us? And why do all the billionaires want to get off the planet and into outer space? With reference to Reclaim
A YouGov poll has shown Labour in front of the Conservatives for the first time since January after an unpopular hike to national insurance. Has Johnson blown it, and can Starmer take advantage? With Michael Walker and Aaron Bastani.
After six years of struggle, feminist campaigners in Uganda have overturned a law designed to criminalise pornography, but which ended up criminalising women’s sexuality. The 2014 Anti-Pornography Act (APA) criminalised any activity deemed pornographic – which included “any representation” of “explicit sexual activities” or “sexual parts
As with so much in Britain, from housing to high streets, adult social care is at breaking point – and things are set to get even worse. The principal reason for this is simple: we are getting older. While disability accounts for a significant proportion of adult social care spending, more than half goes on people over 65. In the coming decades, as people
As MPs vote on Boris Johnson’s manifesto breaking tax hike on workers, Michael Walker and Dalia Gebrial discuss why the rise is regressive, and why it won’t fix Britain’s care crisis.
The ongoing row over social care will be the first of many. As we exit the first phase of the pandemic, the question of how we fairly distribute society’s resources is coming back with a vengeance – and with it, real class politics. Workers in key industries have started to realise their bargaining power, winning the biggest pay rises for decades and threatening
What can our towns and cities become after the pandemic? Ahead of the next #ACFM on space, Nadia Idle goes down to street level to discuss spatial equality with architect and planner Pooja Agrawal. As the co-founder of Public Practice, a social enterprise bringing good design into local government, Agrawal spends a lot time thinking about how public space is
From 1996 to 2001, the Taliban held power over roughly three-quarters of Afghanistan and enforced a strict interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic, law. During that period, they oversaw the oppression of women, banning them from public life and subjecting them to violence. But this time they claim their rule will be different. Taliban spokesmen have insisted
Sharon Graham’s decisive victory in the Unite leadership election last month – defeating both the favourite, current assistant general secretary Steve Turner, and the darling of the union right, Gerard Coyne – has understandably provoked arguments amongst the left. While some have welcomed Graham’s distinctive workplace-first, ‘syndicalist’
Perhaps fittingly, I heard that David Graeber had passed away while I was chairing a panel discussion at the Anarchist Studies Network conference. The conference was being held online and I was passed a virtual note. I made the announcement to those present – many of whom had known him personally, all of whom were inspired by him politically and intellectually
Boris Johnson faces a backlash for breaking a manifesto promise as he prepares to raise national insurance. Should the move be opposed and, if so, how else should social care be funded? With Michael Walker, James Meadway and Ash Sarkar.
I really don’t know what anyone cares about anymore. A lot of people seem happy to talk almost entirely in catchphrases they’ve cribbed from Instagram infographics and Twitter threads, and adopt aggressively strident views on whatever happens to be topical this week. Some writers seem happy to write this way too, stitching together clichés and constantly
David Graeber is widely credited with having come up with the phrase, “We are the 99%”. While alive, he repeatedly corrected the mistake, insisting it was a collective creation, but no one seemed to listen. When he died, the phrase appeared once again in headlines across the world. What this demonstrates is a fundamental misunderstanding of both David’s ideas,
The JCVI has surprised parents and politicians by advising against Covid-19 vaccines for most 12 to 15 year olds. Will health secretary Sajid Javid now overrule them? With Michael Walker, Anthony Costello and Aaron Bastani.
People often ask me, “What came first for David Graeber; his anthropology or his politics?” I always find myself stumbling a bit in response, mumbling under my breath that this is almost an unanswerable question. But reflecting a year after our dear friend and colleague left us, it seems to me to be a question worth answering. Undoubtedly, by the time I met him