British politics is often gripped by the idea that members of the political class should speak more like ordinary people. They should be clearer, less abstract, more conversational, more colloquial. During World War II, George Orwell gave a name to…

Who pays the piper, or rather, the writer? This was a question that not only bothered authors but also governments after the Second World War, when the British government made historic strides to support literature financially, rather than simply play…