My name’s Hayden (he/him), and I am acting as the Oxford Blue’s current affairs columnist. Born in Bradford and schooled in Huddersfield, I am a first-year History student at Keble, where I waste time visiting Port Meadow and occasionally writing essays. I am thrilled to be allowed to provide my take on what’s happening throughout the world.
Columns Global Affairs

On the Other Hand: Autocratic anxieties and democratic backsliding in India

In his political column, On the Other Hand, Hayden Barnes examines Narendra Modi’s autocratic and Islamophobic tendencies and their impact on the world’s biggest democracy. Artwork by Rachel Macnaghten.

“The clearest illustration of Hindu nationalism and supremacist ambitions is the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB). In short, this bill grants citizenship to those who failed to qualify for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) – everyone except Muslims. The pluralism, the secularism, the multiculturalism, the cosmopolitanism of Gandhi and Nehru is being treated like an offensive building: knock it down, Modi says, and build something new.”

Columns Lifestyle

On the Other Hand: The view from the fence

“Boris Johnson, Priti Patel, Matt Hancock – these people must be opposed, Starmer must present a viable alternative. His Labour has to embrace its radical side, because the Conservatives have embraced theirs.”

In the first instalment of his political commentary column, On the Other Hand, Hayden Barnes examines Kier Starmer’s failure to provide any sort of opposition to the government. Illustration by Ipsita Sarkar.


Rush Limbaugh: Spirit of the Radio

“So we see here the legerdemain that Limbaugh and his progenies play out. They parade ‘patriotism’; they hide behind the ‘love’ of their country, when what they really love is themselves. Hatred, not love, defines them.”

Hayden Barnes examines Rush Limbaugh’s legacy.


The QS of A

“It is the job of those who see the solutions to these problems — people like Senator Bernie Sanders — to speak to those who do not. While it might be quixotic to think that their minds can be changed, someone at least needs to try.”

Hayden Barnes examines the pervasiveness of QAnon and other conspiracy theories in the USA.


Imaginary Hinterlands

“Twitter is free to remove things from its platform: it does it all the time, the only difference being that now it’s happened to someone with tangible, if wilting, power. This is what other users call a ‘consequence’.”

Hayden Barnes examines the controversy over Donald Trump’s ban from Twitter.