All conservatives should support Michael Gove’s green crusade

At the Coffee House I appreciate that environmental policy is littered with unintended consequences and it’s not simple, but allowing the Left to dominate the issue of saving the planet was one of the biggest mistakes conservatives made in the late 20th century. One of the central points of conservatism is future-orientation: it doesn’t matter how much the Twitterati despise you, what’s important is that your great-grandchildren admire and appreciate the labours that made their world. Indeed if fashionable… Read on

Spectator: Why marriage is increasingly for the royals – and the rich

I’m very excited about the wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle next spring, having hugely enjoyed the last royal big day. Sentimental as it sounds, I felt incredibly happy for Will and Kate that hopeful April day, and that this was a good country with a positive future. Although if I was completely honest with myself, I suppose, drinking all day from 11am probably played some part in all this. Anyway, on that topic I’m in this week’s Spectator… Read on

How much is immigration to blame for the housing crisis?

And yet last year 150,000 homes were built in Britain, which on paper, for the third most densely populated non-microstate in Europe (and England is first), and for a country well below sub-replacement fertility, should be enough. But it’s not, it’s barely even sufficient to house the extra 246,000 people who officially arrived here from March 2016. As the crisis has got worse, and homes have become ever more unaffordable, the animus has been directed against the Tories, and old… Read on

Stop Appeasing Stupidity

At the Coffee House: I wonder if the people behind this have any idea of the dark road they’re leading us down. In the United States, a well-funded group called Color of Change has, for some years, pressured major companies into supporting left-wing causes with the threat of public shaming; indeed many if not most big companies do fund progressive causes, whether same-sex marriage campaigns, pro-amnesty groups, gender-neutral bathrooms or even Planned Parenthood. Not only are their upper echelons Democrat-leaning… Read on

How many Remainers does it take to fix a light bulb?

At the Spectator So Russia launched some fake Twitter accounts, a tiny, tiny number in the greater scheme of things and which almost certainly had no impact on the result. Oh, but even if it didn’t swing the result, the argument goes, they still helped to polarise the debate. I don’t know about that; quite a few people have spent the last 18 months tweeting about how they can’t wait for Leave voters to die of old age, or… Read on

In praise of Prince Charles (and traditional architecture)

Happy birthday, Your Highness Your Highness Fashion and politics are both dictated to some extent by status signals. Some political and cultural ideas become associated with high status, and some with low, so that when someone complains about ‘political correctness gone mad’ without knowing irony they send a signal that they are at the lower end of the pecking order. Most people want to be high status and so adopt the politics and attitudes associated with the elite,… Read on

Ireland honors ‘fake saint’ Che Guevara with a stamp

Communism killed 100 million and all I got was this lousy T-shirt. At the Acton Institute.

The Normans were the original liberal metropolitan elite ‘Remainers’

The Normans were the original liberal metropolitan elite ‘Remainers’

Originally appearing at the Spectator Coffee House, October 14, 2016 Today is the most important date in our history, the day on which thousands of men fought outside Hastings and England was changed forever. By the end of Saturday, October 14, 1066, thousands were dead, among them England’s king, Harold II, and most of the country’s leaders. As historian Elizabeth van Houts put it, ‘No other event in western European history of the central Middle Ages can be compared… Read on

Me, my voice, again. This time talking about Vikings this time

And my face too, looking a state (and I wasn’t even drunk). At the Future Nations vlog, talking about Alfred the Great and the Vikings.

1215 and All That: A Very, Very short history of Magna Carta

Is available from Amazon. This began as an ebook in 2015 and was last year bought by Skyhorse to publish in print form. The downside is that I lost all the reviews for the original, and as the Spectator’s Rory Sutherland wrote, when a company upgrades a product now they do not always give it a new name because they want to keep its positive record. (I realised this when I bought a mini-hoover this year which was… Read on