“Politicians of both left and right continue to march behind the banners of meritocracy and equality of opportunity as if this were all that is needed to achieve a fair society. But rewarding people for their merit is creating a new kind of largely hereditary class system in which equality of opportunity is likely to lead to greater inequality of outcomes. In the long run, meritocracy will lead not to more social mobility but to less.”
Long Read: The Merit Trap. New Internationalist, September , 2018
On Poetry (2016)
On changing attitudes towards the First World War in the poetry of 1914-18.
On why so few read contemporary poetry (three essays )
On international development
On the progress against poverty achieved in the last 40 years
(for the 40th anniversary issue of the New Internationalist.)
On Adam Fifield’s 2015 biography of Jim Grant.
On measuring progress by what happens to the poorest.
On what is still the world’s most neglected tragedy.
On poverty in rich countries