It’s strange that Magna Carta was not considered important enough for the Life in the UK Test

The celebrations of Magna Carta continue apace, with this week the four surviving copies of the 1215 version being brought together at last (there are 40 copies of all the versions, among them 1217, 1225 and 1297). The 13th century peace treaty has become hugely important as its 800th anniversary approaches, yet when the Life in the UK Test was first brought out it did not even feature the Great Charter (that’s been changed since). Here’s what I wrote… Read on

When the Church supported artists most art sang the glories of the Church

…which is partly why Labour politicians want the state to subsidise artists today. Today I’m writing about James Blount and ‘classist gimp’ Chris Bryant for Spectator blogs. Read it there.  

The (literal) Islamophobia of the British media

This is a small chunk from The Diversity Illusion chapter 11, ‘The New Blasphemy Laws’ on how Europe responded to the Danish cartoon crisis. Seems appropriate today.   The Danish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister blamed the cartoonists, while European and world leaders went out of their way to condemn these grossly offensive comics. The Foreign Office declared in a message to the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation: ‘The whole international community stands with them in their staunch rejection… Read on

Spectator: the Left’s multiculturalism morality play

People often cite the war guilt of Germans as driving their hostility to xenophobia, but it is far deeper than that. Europe’s establishment is overwhelmingly universalist, in that it believes that not only are all humans equal in dignity and rights but that we as people have no moral right to discriminate between in-groups and out-groups. This is a secular heresy of Christianity, and it is why diversity has become a sort of religion in countries populated by Europeans, especially… Read on

The Moral Maze this week

I was on the programme this week, which can be found here, on the subject of immigration. (I know, why can’t we talk about immigration? You never hear it mentioned.) I came up with some killer arguments, I thought, unfortunately about three hours later while doing the washing up. One thing I would add, and which is usually absent when discussing the moral aspect of this topic; the issue of prejudice and racism in the west is often seen… Read on

‘British values’ the new multiculturalism – Daily Express comment

In today’s paper: A genuinely liberal society does not actively “promote” any values, they stem from a shared culture and history which encourages compromise and moderation. It is only the stress of mass immigration and its mismanagement that has allowed the state to start imposing its views on its citizens including telling primary school children that they are offensively English. This is as un–British as it gets. The irony is that the hardline Islam being taught in Birmingham and the “British… Read on

From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world

I’m in The Field magazine this month, writing on the subject of saints of the countryside. Monks played a vital role in the development of agriculture, including brewing, which is why there are a number of saints associated with beer. One is St Amand (February 6), who lived from 584 to 679 and established numerous monasteries in what is now the Belgian/French border region, a prime beer-producing part of Europe where hops originated. Amand had been born in south-west… Read on

The Diversity Illusion in the papers this week

On Tuesday, Philip Johnston writing in the Telegraph: As Ed West observes in a new book, The Diversity Illusion, unprecedented levels of immigration may have been good for the middle classes and big business, both of whom can rely on cheap and highly motivated labour, but they have been much less beneficial among communities “forced to live in alien surroundings as part of some grand social experiment in which they had no say”. And on Thursday,Read on

This week at Spectator blogs: social justice warriors and boycotting the 2022 World Cup

Yesterday, on Social Justice Warriors and their recent setbacks. Without sounding like the Comical Ali of the Right, I think they’re losing. Social liberals inhabit what I think of as the ‘nice left’ and don’t like to confront issues where conflict is about the lesser of two evils, or which raise uncomfortable truths. People on the nice left will tend to support anything that a) makes them feel like they’re one of the good guys and b) doesn’t make them look… Read on

‘Community leader’, ‘call out’, ‘dreamer: The worst words and phrases in the English language

Today’s blogpost in the Spectator focuses on one of my favourite subjects: the politicisation of the English language. I’ve got a list as long as a small dictionary now, but any suggestions welcome.