Paul Vallely

Paul Vallely is visiting professor in Public Ethics at the University of Chester and a senior research fellow at the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester. He writes on ethical, political and cultural issues. He has a fortnightly column in the Independent on Sunday and also writes for the New York Times and the Church Times. His latest book is Pope Francis – Untying the Knots. He was co-author of the report of the Commission for Africa and has chaired several development charities.

i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web
Hadley Fraser as Garry Kasparov in The Machine (Picture: Helen Maybanks)

Theatre Review: The Machine, Manchester Festival

When the interval arrived during The Machine I realised I had been so engrossed by the play that I had forgotten to take a single note during the first half. A play about a chess match between a man and a computer, as its author Matt Charman, had conceded beforehand, sounded almost terrifyingly dull. But this was no ordinary man. It was Garry Kasparov, the youngest world chess champion ever, who reigned unchallenged for two decades. Nor was it an ordinary machine. It was Deep Blue, then the most sophisticated chess computer the world had ever seen, which could analyse more than 500 million positions every second.

Theatre Review: The Masque of Anarchy, Manchester Festival

One of the little touches of genius about this year’s Manchester International Festival has been the imaginative choice of venues with which the artistic director Alex Poots has given extra resonance to the works being staged. Perhaps the best example of this was Maxine Peake’s bravura performance of The Masque of Anarchy, the long poem which Percy Byshe Shelley wrote in indignation against the Peterloo Massacre of 1819.

John Tavener at Bridgewater Hall as part of Manchester International Festival

Classical review: John Tavener, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester International Festival

Very occasionally a performance is so special that the audience feels reluctant to shatter the moment which hangs in the air between them and the musicians with something as profane as applause. So it was at the concert of music by Sir John Tavener at the Manchester International Festival which contained no fewer than three world premieres by the great man as he approaches his 70th birthday.

The Old Woman, Manchester International Festival

Theatre review: The Old Woman, Manchester International Festival

It would help if you read Daniil Kharms’ short story before you go to see The Old Woman which opened this year’s biennial Manchester International Festival. It would help. But not a lot.

Hidden horrors: Media coverage of the Oxford trial has focused unfairly on race and religion

The Oxford child sex abuse case shows how the media talks in stereotypes but misses the big picture

Muslim community activists are not given enough credit for challenging distorted notions of masculinity

(Top row) Akhtar Dogar, Anjum Dogar, Kamar Jamil; (Bottom row) Assad Hussain, Bassam Karrar, Mohammed Karrar and Zeeshan Ahmed

The Oxford child sex abuse verdict highlights a cultural problem, but not a specifically Muslim one

Parallels between the Oxford case and last year’s case in Rochdale raise some difficult questions. But the issues are much more complex than they seem

May 1977: Thatcher waves a mascot after speaking at the Conservative Women’s conference

How Margaret Thatcher built the myth of The Iron Lady

Saviour of the nation from post-war decadence, or heartless milk-snatcher who destroyed heavy industry and decimated whole communities? Paul Vallely sifts the reputation from the reality

Rare case: The Philpotts were not typical of anything

On a one-way street to social inequality

Lashing out at the freakshow of Mick Philpott won't solve the problems of our overstretched welfare system

Symbolic visit: Obama on Friday leaving the Yad Vashem hall of remembrance

Barack Obama gave young Israelis a dream but little more than that

Stirring words aside, it is not clear what the US President can do to make peace in the Middle East a lasting reality

Humility: the word most frequently used to describe the new Pope

Humility has had a bad press. It could be ripe for a comeback

The new Pope prompts Paul Vallely to consider an unfashionable virtue in an age of individualism

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015