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Zeitgeist

007 should be taking on Beijing

MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Some of James Bond’s “finest outings” saw him taking on the Russians at the height of the Cold War, says James Crabtree in Foreign Policy. Now we’re entering another “era of great-power competition” with China – but it’s nowhere to be seen on screen. Hollywood is terrified of angering Beijing and being cut off from the world’s largest movie market. It hasn’t dared to portray the Chinese Communist Party negatively in a big film since 1997’s Seven Years in Tibet.

This is why we don’t see Bond “battling Chinese foes”, or any mention of the rivalry between Washington and Beijing. It would take a real escalation of Sino-American tensions for such capers to become possible. It’s a “serious cause for concern”: without a sprinkling of “geopolitical realism” among the gadgets and girls, the franchise will remain stale.

Woke ABCs put me to sleep

I find every “trendy three-letter term” such as CRT (critical race theory) and DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) exhausting, says Ayaan Hirsi Ali in UnHerd. They’re “dependent on the magnification of barriers and tension between racial groups – something which I suspect is psychologically damaging to both white and black students.”

Being told the system is holding you back kills aspiration. Real diversity and inclusion are more likely to flourish when students are taught to help their fellow classmates, “rather than view them through a crudely racialised prism”. All children and students want to belong. But demonising white students and re-segregating black students does the opposite: “It divides far more than it unites.”