Do dating and politics mix

Why do we bother listening to what artists have to say about the world?This week, Grayson Perry – the cross-dressing winner of the Turner Prize – wrote a long essay in the New Statesman, in which he railed against something called “Default man”.

So it really does matter what a successful artist thinks about the world (even if we might suspect they know less than us).The rise of outspoken and politically minded artists is therefore a serious blow to conservatism.It’s also a loss to art, removing the mystery that should exist between artist and audience.Luckily for us, though, great art always outlives the opinions of its creators.(You can hardly blame her: it was, literally, a bag of rubbish, demonstrating the “finite existence” of art.) Perry’s idea that men are somehow “default” because of their backgrounds is the sort of thinking that appeals to people who have not read any history.

By his logic, America’s Founding Fathers, simply because they were white, middle-class, heterosexual and middle-aged, were somehow less interesting than the Ottoman sultan’s court of the time – which, for all its exotic mixture of nationalities and eunuchs, was intellectually a wasteland.

How will the story stack up against the greatest films about business?

Europe has been a place of battles and political intrigue for centuries.

Almost 80 percent of Americans still identify themselves as Christians, but they are a far more motley lot than the mainstream media understand or report.

Other faiths are now making their presence felt, and our religious landscape is being re-created right before our eyes.

By this he meant “white, middle-class, heterosexual men, usually middle-aged”.