Thinking Aloud

Asking awkward questions of the powerful

Social activists disturb our comfort, making us consider new ways of living together

We were looking at menus when he popped the question: "So, what do you consider the greatest social problem of our time?"

Unsure how to respond, I kept quiet. The other person in our group of three had known Mr Social Conscience for far longer, so he kept his eyes fixed on the menu and muttered: "I just want to order dessert."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 20, 2020, with the headline 'Asking awkward questions of the powerful'. Subscribe