A week or two ago, I finished an interview with Nigel Farage, the right wing populist and former leader of UKIP, and wandered out into the streets of Westminster, genuinely adrift in the chaos and shapelessness of politics in late 2016. Six months earlier, I thought, I would have known how to write about Farage: an important, but not that important, figure in British political life. Now I had no idea. And worse than that — the feeling that trying to write objectively about the world, about our complicated reality, may not even be merely futile any more, there is a possibility that it could be actively harmful. The bubbles that we occupy. The labels that make me sceptical (Fox, Breitbart, The Mail) vs the ones that I write for (The Guardian, The New Yorker) with their equal and opposing associations. The year has made me sad, but it has also made me think, and that is where I am now, trying to be introspective, trying to challenge myself for the writing to come.
Stories from 2016:
“The Bouvier Affair,” The New Yorker, Feb8&15
The story of an art world insider, who took a Russian oligarch to the cleaners.
“How Uber Conquered London,” The Guardian, Apr27
The $60bn taxi firm started out in the capital with a single employee.
“Enter Left,” The New Yorker, May23
The astonishing rise of Jeremy Corbyn
“The Duo That Dominates Dressage,” The New Yorker, Aug8&15
How Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro revolutionised equestrian sport.
“The man who brought you Brexit,” The Guardian, Sept29
Daniel Hannan’s 25 year quest to leave the EU
“Nigel Farage and his friendship with Trump,” newyorker.com, Nov30
The ultimate 2016 bromance
“Alan Yentob — the last impresario,” The Guardian, Dec13
The fall of a BBC giant