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William Davies

Oxford, United Kingdom
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About William
I am a freelance TV reporter, video journalist and photographer with 13 years of experience. I have worked all over the world; in 2014 I reported from 15 different countries, from Gaza to Ukraine to Brazil for the World Cup.

I am just as happy behind the camera as I am in front of it, and work well on my own or as part of a bigger film crew.

I often attend sports events and am available for pre and post match interviews. I used to be a full time sports reporter and I have presented several sports shows.
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Fact Checking

This is Not Normal: The Collapse of Liberal Britain

17 Jun 2024  |  Verso
Since 2016, the UK has faced a self-inflicted crisis, not solely due to Brexit but due to broader political issues. Political parties, media, and public officials have been disrupted, leading to events like the 2017 election, Grenfell Tower, and the Windrush scandal. William Davies' book 'This Is Not Normal' examines these chaotic events, attributing them to the 2008 financial crash, the failure of British neoliberalism, the decline of the Empire, and technological changes. The book aims to make sense of the current political and social turmoil.

Institute for Human Sciences

22 Apr 2024  |  www.eurozine.com
The Institute for Human Sciences is an independent institute for advanced study in the humanities and social sciences, hosting over 1500 scholars since 1982. The article discusses various topics including pronatalism in Central and Eastern Europe, the impact of wars on Pankisi, comparisons between communist China and Czechoslovakia, and Ukraine's EU candidacy. It also highlights the institute's engagement with 'deep diversity' and the challenges facing post-revolutionary Ukrainian society.

Murder to the Minute

10 Apr 2024  |  review31.co.uk
William Davies reviews 'Tokyo Express,' a classic Japanese murder mystery by Seichō Matsumoto, translated by Jesse Kirkwood. The novel, now part of Penguin Modern Classics, is set in post-war Japan and follows detectives Torigai and Mihara as they investigate a double suicide on a beach near Fukuoka. The story delves into the minutiae of train travel, providing a procedural narrative that challenges readers to solve the mystery alongside the detectives. Matsumoto's work is noted for its political edge and commentary on post-war Japan's corruption. The review also discusses the broader context of Japanese murder mysteries and their Golden Age influences, highlighting the genre's emphasis on logic and fair play. Davies concludes by expressing hope for more translations of Matsumoto's work and recommends exploring other Japanese mystery writers.

Austerity is coming for Europe

04 Apr 2024  |  newstatesman.com
Austerity, characterized by government spending cuts and tax increases, has been a significant policy in the UK from 2010 to 2019 and from 2021 to the present. The New Statesman compiles various articles analyzing the impact of austerity on Europe, the UK's economic activity, health inequalities, local government finances, and public services. The articles discuss the political implications of austerity, the role of different political parties, and the potential for a return to austerity in Europe. The sentiment towards austerity and related Conservative policies is generally negative, with calls for investment and a shift away from punitive measures.

Balancing uncertainty and optimism: 2024 Chief Investment Officer Outlook

23 Nov 2023  |  AdvisorAnalyst.com
William Davies, Global CIO at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, discusses the investment landscape for 2024, balancing optimism with uncertainties such as interest rates, geopolitical risks, and the U.S. elections. He suggests that the expected economic slowdown may not be severe, with geopolitical risks like the Middle East tensions, the war in Ukraine, and U.S.-China relations posing greater threats. Opportunities in bonds and a broader range of stocks are highlighted, with differentiation in market valuations and policies becoming more pronounced. The most likely scenario for the economy is one of low growth, falling inflation, and high interest rates.

Eye-watering taxes are a problem for the Tories – and an even bigger one for Labour

06 Oct 2023  |  ca.news.yahoo.com
The article examines the rising tax burden in the UK, highlighting the challenges faced by both the Conservative and Labour parties. It discusses the unprecedented rise in taxation as a proportion of GDP, driven by factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, economic decline, and increased public service demands. The Conservative party faces internal pressure to reduce taxes, while Labour grapples with the ideological challenge of justifying high taxes without clear benefits. The article suggests that the new fiscal status quo, characterized by high taxes and stagnant public services, is likely to persist regardless of the outcome of the 2024 general election.

Do We Need Dress Codes?

25 Sep 2023  |  classicalwisdom.substack.com
Classical Wisdom's article discusses the relevance of dress codes by comparing ancient Roman attire regulations to recent changes in the US Senate's dress code. It questions whether dress codes are elitist or beneficial for maintaining standards and traditions. The article also explores the broader implications of societal shifts towards comfort and informality, inviting readers to consider the necessity of dress codes in various settings.

Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World by Naomi Klein review – a case of mistaken identity

09 Sep 2023  |  www.theguardian.com
Naomi Klein's book 'Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World' explores the confusion and mistaken identity between herself and Naomi Wolf, both Jewish women who gained fame from their polemical works. The book delves into the broader disorientation within the left, examining the loss of monopoly over the language of political resistance and the resulting detachment from reality. Klein reflects on the challenges of distinguishing between legitimate concerns and conspiracy theories in the digital age, questioning whether the left has failed to address everyday anxieties effectively. The book suggests that collective action and historical knowledge may offer more substantial political resources than individual reflection, advocating for engagement in real-world activism over online discourse.

8 images that prove the British countryside is stunning in Landscape Photographer of the Year competition

16 May 2023  |  www.farmersguardian.com
The article showcases stunning images of the British countryside, highlighting its rolling hills, rustic drystone walls, and unique landscapes. These photographs, part of the Landscape Photographer of the Year competition, capture the essence of rural Britain, which has been farmed for generations.

Luncheon of the Boating Party | painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

20 Apr 2023  |  Encyclopedia Britannica
Luncheon of the Boating Party, an oil painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir created in 1880–81, is celebrated as one of his finest works. Exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1882, it features a diverse group of Renoir's friends on a balcony overlooking the Seine River in Chatou, France. The painting captures a moment of leisure, symbolizing modernity through the inclusion of a railway bridge in the background. Renoir's technique involved painting the figures separately in his studio, marking a shift from traditional Impressionist methods.

Do we really need Rawls?

01 Apr 2023  |  www.newstatesman.com
The article explores the relevance of John Rawls's political philosophy in contemporary times, particularly through the lens of Daniel Chandler's new book, 'Free and Equal.' It delves into the historical context of liberal ideas, critiques from various philosophical traditions, and the challenges faced by liberalism today. Chandler's work is highlighted for its accessible analysis of Rawls's principles and their application to modern political and economic issues, advocating for policies like wealth taxes and progressive income tax. The text also touches on the broader political landscape, including the rise of communitarianism and the ongoing debates about liberalism's role in society.

Crack-Up Capitalism by Quinn Slobodian review – zoning out

30 Mar 2023  |  ca.sports.yahoo.com
Quinn Slobodian's 'Crack-Up Capitalism' is a critique of the authoritarianism and exploitation that is often associated with 'liberty' in conservative and libertarian circles. The book examines the history and geography of economic 'zones' that bypass democratic politics to serve capitalist interests, with case studies from Singapore to Honduras. It traces the intellectual history of these zones and their appeal to market fundamentalists, while also exploring libertarian visions of society that reject the liberal, democratic nation-state. The book positions the fragmentation of national sovereignty as a recent phenomenon influenced by historical accidents and violence, particularly those of empire. Slobodian's work is presented as an important historical corrective to the myths that have allowed dystopias like Dubai to be touted as models for Western societies.

What will happen next with the banks?

01 Mar 2023  |  FundsPeople España
The article discusses the recent challenges faced by the banking sector, particularly focusing on the impact of bank failures and liquidity concerns on depositors and investors. It highlights the trend of moving assets to larger, more established banks perceived as safer, and anticipates increased regulatory scrutiny for regional banks. The text also examines the implications of net interest margins (NIM) and the potential for consolidation in the banking industry. The role of regulators in maintaining financial stability, the impact of interest rate changes, and the importance of long-term investment strategies in a short-term market are also discussed.

Fascism’s liberal admirers

01 Nov 2022  |  www.newstatesman.com
The article examines the historical and contemporary implications of austerity measures, drawing parallels between early 20th-century Britain and Italy and recent political events in the UK. It critiques the role of technocrats and economic experts in enforcing austerity, highlighting the negative social and political consequences. Clara Mattei's book, 'The Capital Order,' is discussed as a key source, emphasizing the continuity between liberal technocracy and nationalist authoritarianism. The text underscores the persistent struggle between economic expertise and political authority, with a critical view of austerity's impact on democracy and social welfare.

In Britain today it seems your suffering only counts if you have a mortgage

19 Oct 2022  |  the Guardian
The article critiques the recent economic policies of the UK government under Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng, highlighting the negative impact on financial markets and homeowners. It discusses the broader implications of these policies, including the hypocrisy of technocrats and the prioritization of homeowners' economic interests over others. The piece also reflects on past economic decisions by figures like George Osborne and David Cameron, suggesting that a more transparent and humble approach to borrowing could be beneficial.

The use of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder medications in cardiac disease

01 Oct 2022  |  Frontiers
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects around 5% of the population and is treated with both stimulant and non-stimulant medications. Concerns about the cardiovascular (CV) safety of these medications have led to standard practices of CV history and examinations before treatment. The review explores the cardiovascular risks associated with ADHD medications, particularly in patients with congenital heart disease or cardiomyopathy. Stimulant drugs and atomoxetine can increase heart rate and blood pressure, while α2-agonists like clonidine and guanfacine reduce sympathetic outflow. The review concludes that while ADHD medications generally have good cardiovascular safety profiles, they should be used cautiously in patients with pro-arrhythmic cardiovascular diseases. α2-agonists are safer for those at higher risk of arrhythmias, although their abrupt withdrawal can be problematic.

The era of low interest rates is ending – its legacy is inequality and toxic politics

21 Sep 2022  |  the Guardian
The Bank of England is expected to announce a significant interest rate rise, marking the end of an era of low interest rates that began in 2008. This period, characterized by cheap credit and quantitative easing, has led to increased inequality and a toxic political environment. The policies primarily benefited asset owners, leading to rapid house price inflation and intergenerational wealth disparities. The article criticizes the economic strategies of past and current Conservative leaders, highlighting the social and political consequences of these policies.

There’s a gaping hole at the centre of British politics where ideas used to be

13 Aug 2022  |  ca.sports.yahoo.com
British politics is currently experiencing a void of new ideas amidst social, economic, and ecological crises. Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak, and Keir Starmer have failed to articulate a clear understanding or vision for the country's future. Truss's ideology is seen as outdated, Sunak's campaign has been criticized for lacking substance, and Starmer is struggling to define Labour's stance on key economic issues. The article suggests that the absence of ideas is a result of the post-policy politics exemplified by the Vote Leave campaign, which focused on identity politics and signaling rather than substantive policy proposals. The piece argues that politics without ideas may be possible but is not desirable, as it leads to aimless governance.

Where the internet went wrong – and how we can reboot it

01 May 2022  |  www.newstatesman.com
The internet's history is marked by three phases: the novelty of the early web, the rise of data-devouring platforms, and the mobile internet era with its increased surveillance capabilities. Critics like Jaron Lanier and Evgeny Morozov emerged during the third phase, challenging the tech-utopianism that arose during events like the Arab Spring. The misuse of platforms like Facebook for propaganda during the 2016 political campaigns sparked widespread criticism. Justin EH Smith and Ben Tarnoff offer historical perspectives on the internet, with Smith tracing its philosophical roots and Tarnoff critiquing its privatization. Tarnoff proposes a socialist vision for the internet, advocating for community-driven networks and public ownership, while Smith's work is more a reflection on the digital public sphere. Both authors suggest that the internet's current state is not inevitable and that alternative, more democratic models are possible.

Prince Charles sent a 'thank you' letter to Saudi billionaire at centre of 'cash for honours' row

12 Dec 2021  |  Mail Online
Prince Charles is embroiled in a 'cash for honours' scandal following revelations of his interactions with Saudi billionaire Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz. The Prince of Wales reportedly sent Mahfouz a 'thank you' letter and a carriage clock after receiving a £1million donation for his foundation. Mahfouz was also granted a private CBE investiture at Buckingham Palace, which is claimed to have been arranged in exchange for £1.5million in donations. Michael Fawcett, a former senior valet and trusted ally of Prince Charles, resigned amid allegations of promising to secure the honour and British citizenship for Mahfouz in return for donations. Prince Harry has publicly stated his previous concerns about Mahfouz's 'motives' and distanced himself from the scandal. Scotland Yard is investigating the case under the 1925 Honours (Prevention of Abuse) Act. Clarence House maintains that Prince Charles had no knowledge of the alleged 'cash-for-honours' deal.


01 Dec 2021  |  MIT Press
The book 'Unprecedented?' provides a critical and evidence-based analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic as a political-economic rupture, highlighting underlying power struggles and social injustices. It examines the UK economy during 2020-21, revealing the dynamics of contemporary capitalism and the concept of 'rentier nationalism.' The authors argue that the pandemic exposed and accelerated existing inequalities, with asset-owners and those in spacious homes prospering while others faced new hardships. The book is praised for its insightful and accessible analysis of the political and economic turbulence during the pandemic's first eighteen months.

The verdict on Keir Starmer’s vision statement for Labour, The Road Ahead

23 Sep 2021  |  the Guardian
Keir Starmer's vision statement for Labour, 'The Road Ahead,' is critiqued by various commentators. William Davies highlights Starmer's struggle to differentiate from Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, noting the lack of radical policy proposals. Rafael Behr finds the pamphlet's themes of 'security' and 'opportunity' viable but criticizes its banal declarations. Ash Sarkar argues that Starmer's lengthy essay fails to energize voters, while Caroline Molloy contends that Starmer prioritizes corporate interests over public needs. The article underscores the challenges Starmer faces in defining his leadership and Labour's future direction.

The end of facts

02 Sep 2021  |  internazionale.it
Statistics, once a tool for resolving disputes and providing a common reference point, are now fueling divisions in Western liberal democracies. Skepticism about the reliability of statistics is prevalent, with many Trump supporters distrusting government economic data and a significant portion of the UK population believing the government hides the truth about immigration numbers. The populist right has branded statistics as elitist and offensive, and politicians have largely abandoned discussing immigration in economic terms. This skepticism is part of the broader 'post-truth politics' crisis, where statistics and experts are losing authority. The article explores the historical development of statistics and their role in shaping national policies and public understanding. It also discusses the challenges posed by the new political and economic geography, which undermines national statistical indicators. The rise of big data and the shift from traditional statistical analysis to data-driven insights are highlighted, with companies like Cambridge Analytica using psychological profiling for political campaigns. This shift aligns with populist leaders' disdain for traditional experts and reliance on new, less visible elites for data analysis.

Friend or Threat

17 Jun 2021  |  lrb.co.uk
The British hospitality sector, encompassing hotels, restaurants, pubs, and related services, has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with significant economic damage and reliance on government support. The UK government's handling of the pandemic, particularly decisions to relax lockdown measures and the implementation of vaccine passports, has been controversial. The crisis has highlighted the fragility of hospitality and the tension between openness and safety. The pandemic has also underscored the importance of the National Health Service as a symbol of national solidarity and a universally available refuge. As the country emerges from lockdowns, there is a cautious optimism tempered by the reality of new variants and the potential for future restrictions.

Seven Ways to Change the World by Gordon Brown review – a restless search for answers

10 Jun 2021  |  the Guardian
Gordon Brown's book 'Seven Ways to Change the World' is a detailed exploration of global issues requiring international cooperation, including health, economic prosperity, climate change, education, humanitarianism, tax havens, and nuclear disarmament. Brown's post-political career is highlighted as morally exemplary, contrasting with other former British prime ministers. The book combines historical and moral analysis with policy solutions, though it sometimes feels overwhelming in its detail. Brown's deep moral convictions and regret over missed opportunities during his premiership are evident, offering a blend of economic and moral reasoning aimed at addressing global inequalities.

The secret of Johnson’s success lies in his break with Treasury dominance

20 May 2021  |  the Guardian
The article explores the reasons behind the Conservative Party's growing electoral dominance in non-metropolitan England, attributing it to Boris Johnson's break from traditional Treasury dominance established by Gordon Brown. It contrasts Johnson's approach with the fiscal orthodoxy of previous governments, highlighting the shift towards more discretionary and culturally focused governance. The piece also discusses the challenges faced by the Labour Party, emphasizing the need for a new political narrative that moves beyond the technocratic legacy of New Labour.

Found Tribes: In Brexitland

04 Feb 2021  |  www.lrb.co.uk
The article explores the shifting political identities in the UK, particularly in the context of Brexit. It reviews Maria Sobolewska and Robert Ford's book 'Brexitland,' which examines the demographic and attitudinal changes in British society since World War II. The book identifies three main identity groups: 'conviction liberals,' 'necessity liberals,' and 'identity conservatives,' and discusses how these groups influenced the 2016 EU referendum and subsequent political events. The analysis highlights the decline of class-based politics and the rise of identity politics, focusing on education levels and attitudes towards diversity as key factors. The article also touches on the challenges faced by the Labour and Conservative parties in adapting to these new political identities.

Only Joking?

29 Dec 2020  |  newleftreview.org
The Spectator magazine has played a significant role in shaping the political elite of Britain, particularly during the Brexit era. Its history of intertwining with the Conservative Party, despite claims of independence, reveals a culture of brash libertarianism and disdain for establishment norms. The magazine's influence extends to key political figures like Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and Dominic Cummings, who have used it as a platform for their ideologies. The Spectator's editorial stance has often been reactionary, with a history of supporting controversial views and policies. The publication's cultural and political impact is traced back to its founding in 1828, highlighting its fluctuating readership and editorial declarations of independence, which often contradict its close ties with the Conservative Party.

Only Joking?

29 Dec 2020  |  newleftreview.org
The article examines the crisis of English government since 2016, highlighting the roles of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and Dominic Cummings, who are linked by the Vote Leave campaign and a shared intellectual and journalistic milieu. It critiques the libertarian and disruptive ideology of this group, which has been influential through The Spectator magazine. The article discusses the history of The Spectator, its political stances, and its relationship with the Conservative Party, suggesting that the magazine's culture has shaped Britain's current political elite. It also explores the Spectator's ambivalence towards the Conservative Party and its role in the rise of Euroscepticism and Brexit.

Head Hand Heart by David Goodhart review – does getting a degree matter too much?

09 Sep 2020  |  the Guardian
David Goodhart's book 'Head Hand Heart' critiques the overemphasis on academic achievement in modern society, arguing that it has led to social inequality and undervaluation of manual and care-based work. The review highlights Goodhart's historical influence on political thought and his alignment with conservative ideologies. The book's timely release during the Covid-19 pandemic underscores its relevance, as essential workers gain recognition while knowledge workers face new challenges. Goodhart's arguments resonate with concerns about the graduate/non-graduate divide and the need for alternative career paths, though his conservative solutions may alienate some liberal and feminist readers.

Press the Red Button

28 Jul 2020  |  www.lrb.co.uk
William Davies and Thomas Jones explore the new political polarisation influenced by online culture, where instant feedback often precedes thorough research and administration. They delve into the ideas of Nazi theorist Carl Schmitt, the allure of referendums, and how the culture wars demand people take sides, hindering meaningful discussion.

What's wrong with WhatsApp – podcast

24 Jul 2020  |  www.theguardian.com
Social media's increasingly inhospitable nature has led to a rise in the popularity of private online groups. However, these groups come with their own set of risks for members and outsiders alike.

The Great British Battle: how the fight against coronavirus spread a new nationalism

16 May 2020  |  the Guardian
The article discusses how the COVID-19 crisis in the UK has shifted the focus from Brexit to a new form of nationalism centered around the National Health Service (NHS). It critiques the Conservative Party's handling of the pandemic, the political rhetoric of Boris Johnson, and the rise of 'Covid nationalism' promoted by certain newspapers. The NHS is portrayed as a symbol of national identity, overshadowing the actual goal of saving lives. The article also touches on the historical context of British nationalism, the role of health nationalism on the far right, and the socio-political divide highlighted by the pandemic, which mirrors the Brexit referendum results. It concludes by questioning whether a version of Britain can be imagined that avoids nationalist excesses as the death toll rises and the NHS becomes a political shield.

Is It Time We Better Understood the Tests We are Using for Return to Sport Decision Making Following ACL Reconstruction? A Critical Review of the Hop Tests

01 Mar 2020  |  ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
The article critically reviews the use of hop tests for determining readiness to return to sport following ACL reconstruction. Despite good reliability and sensitivity to change over time, the use of more than two hop tests does not appear necessary due to high collinearity and no greater sensitivity to detect abnormalities. The inclusion of other hop tests in different planes may provide more comprehensive information about knee function. Recommendations include testing the contralateral limb prior to surgery for a relevant benchmark and measuring movement quality, as hop distance alone may overestimate knee recovery. The article emphasizes the need for a more informed approach to return-to-sport decision-making post-ACL reconstruction.

Everything Is War and Nothing Is True

23 Feb 2019  |  www.nytimes.com
Liberalism's health is waning as evidenced by the military's increasing role in domestic politics, highlighted by Britain's Brexit situation with troops on standby and potential martial law, Trump's emergency declaration and troop deployment at the Mexican border, and Bolsonaro's military appointments in Brazil. This trend reflects a historical opposition to the liberal principle of separating military and civilian operations, with nationalists often embracing war rhetoric to foster national solidarity.

Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and the Rise of Radical Incompetence

13 Jul 2018  |  www.nytimes.com
Boris Johnson's admiration for Donald Trump and their shared recklessness are highlighted amidst the ongoing Brexit dilemma in British politics. Johnson's resignation, along with David Davis's, underscores the internal conflict within the Conservative Party over Prime Minister Theresa May's 'soft' Brexit plan. Trump's visit to the UK and his critical remarks about May's plan further destabilize the political situation, emphasizing the broader rift within liberal democracies between government sympathizers and sovereignty advocates.

Elite Power under Advanced Neoliberalism

22 Jun 2017  |  journals.sagepub.com
The article examines the impact of neoliberalism on elite power structures, arguing that neoliberalism, as articulated by Hayek, has eradicated traditional jurisdictional elites and replaced them with 'cyborg intermediaries' and 'diplomatic intermediaries'. These new elites operate within systems of codes, data, and markets, translating rather than judging. The paper draws on Lazzarato's work to articulate this shift and concludes by considering the types of elite crises these forms of power produce.

Brexit and the Facts

01 Jul 2016  |  The Point Magazine
The article explores the socio-economic and political factors behind the Brexit vote, emphasizing the historical and cultural context of regions that supported Leave. It critiques both the Labour Party's and the EU's roles in these regions' economic struggles, and highlights the psychological appeal of the Leave campaign's 'take back control' slogan. The text also discusses the broader cultural malaise and loss of faith in future promises, drawing parallels with the rise of Donald Trump in the US. It argues that the contemporary political landscape is shaped more by data and sentiment than by facts.

Working for government call centres makes you sick

21 Jan 2011  |  the Guardian
Employees at the Department for Work and Pensions call centres are on a 48-hour strike due to oppressive working conditions likened to a Victorian workhouse. Staff are heavily monitored, have limited time to assist vulnerable customers, and face harsh penalties for not meeting targets or taking sick leave. The target-driven culture leads to inadequate service and high stress, resulting in significant staff turnover and mental health issues. The article calls for a return to processing work and better use of staff skills to improve service and respect for both employees and customers.

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