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November 21,2014

Look carefully at the photos from Thursday’s by-election victory of the UK Independence party in Rochester, or those of last month’s Ukip victory in Clacton. Can you see that disembodied smile?...  read more >>>

 
 
 

November 17, 2014

I have often been puzzled why beautiful countries seem so indifferent about tourism. Italy is one: perhaps because it has combined a good climate, wonderful landscapes and extraordinary cultural and historical treasures for two thousand years,...  read more >>>

 


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Welcome

I am an independent writer and consultant on international affairs, write columns for La Stampa in Italy and Nikkei Business in Japan, am chairman of the London Library and was narrator and co-author, with the director Annalisa Piras, of a documentary film about Italy's 20-year decline, Girlfriend in a Coma, which was shown on BBC Four and other European TV channels in 2013.

Later that year Annalisa Piras and I established The Wake Up Foundation, an educational charity dedicated to raising public awareness through all forms of media, but especially film, of the dangerous trends currently under way in our affluent western societies.

From 1993 until 2006 I was editor of The Economist, the world's leading weekly on international current affairs, a publication for which I had worked since 1980 in Brussels, Tokyo and London. More biographical information can be found here.

Girlfriend in a Coma is now available on DVD from Amazon in the UK here
and in the USA here.

Or it can be found online: watch it here

Good Italy Bad Italy
My new book, "Good Italy, Bad Italy", is now out in paperback, in an edition updated to take account of the disastrously messy outcome of Italy's general election in February. It looks at why Italy is now at the centre of Europe's economic whirlwind, and at its prospects of emerging from it stronger. The truth is that Italy, which is the euro-zone's third-largest economy and has the world's third-largest government debts, has been in a political, economic and moral crisis for the past 20 years, as it never really succeeded in achieving agreement over reforms following its earlier collapse, in 1992. And the story of this book begins in 2001 when I was editor-in-chief of The Economist, and when our decision to declare on our cover that Silvio Berlusconi was "unfit to lead Italy" caused a huge political and media storm which formed the beginning of my professional engagement with that country but also of a great personal fascination and affection for it.
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The bittersweet life - FT Review

- Review by John Lloyd

A sympathetic but clear-eyed assessment of what ails and sustains Italy

Early in this lucid and thoughtful book, Bill Emmott cites Dante’s Divine Comedy, with its Hell and Paradise at opposite poles, as a way of understanding the split nature of Italian society: “a very Italian sort of a divide”, he calls it.
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A land of virtues and misdeeds - Evening Standard Review

- Review by Ian Thomson

In the 1980s, Italy surpassed Britain to become the fifth industrial power outside the Far East. Italians spoke proudly of il sorpasso — “the overtaking”. During those Thatcher years, however, Italian politics acquired a showbiz tawdriness.
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