The Diversity Illusion, second edition

The second edition of the book is finally available to order from here, (the new design looks a bit like… never mind). If you’re a parasitical journalist who wants a free copy so you can immediately sell on Amazon you can email the publisher media@gibsonsquare.com for a press copy, or email me here. The nice things people have said about the book and FAQ can be found here.    

Daily Express: ministers should be encouraged to speak their minds

I’m in the Express today writing about the manufactured outrage over Lord Freud’s comments.    

Sunday Telegraph: Grayson Perry proves that art and politics don’t mix

From The Sunday Telegraph, October 12, 2014 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”. By this he meant “white, middle-class, heterosexual men, usually middle-aged”. These people, Perry wrote, “with their colourful textile phalluses hanging round their necks” (also known as ties) have “othered”… Read on

Daily Telegraph: Life is so much better with our elders around

From the Daily Telegraph, October 2, 2014 Pope Francis, the world’s most popular septuagenarian, held an event at the weekend for thousands of the elderly and their grandchildren, where he said: “A people that doesn’t take care of its grandparents and treat them well is a people with no future.” He’s right, and as a father of three young children who still relies on the elders, I can only say that when it comes to grandparents, my generation doesn’t know… Read on

Sunday Telegraph: Emma Watson’s HeforShe campaign is short of concrete proposals

From The Sunday Telegraph, September 28, 2014 Men, have you been on the internet yet to show your support for women? It’s the big thing among young people these days, and last week thousands of them were at it, after the Harry Potter actress Emma Watson made a speech to the UN encouraging chaps to get behind the HeForShe campaign, “a solidarity movement for gender equality”. All you have to do is take a photo of yourself looking handsome, chin… Read on

The Church v the Family

From the print edition of The Catholic Herald, August 15, 2014 A month ago I read an inspiring obituary of a 93-year-old woman called Freydis Sharland, a pioneer who flew Hurricanes and Spitfires in the war. After 1945 she had continued her extraordinary career, on one occasion taking a 430mph Hawker Tempest V on a 4,000 mile flight to Karachi, where she was denied entrance to the officer’s club on account of her sex. A remarkable individual, but… Read on

Sunday Telegraph: The internet is just one big village

From the Sunday Telegraph: August 31, 2014 We recently let our flat to three groups of strangers through the website Airbnb. It’s an odd situation, entailing us placing a great deal of trust in people we don’t know and will never meet, who were free to steal, damage or squat, or rustle through our things – that unfinished novel or my secret collection of Third Reich memorabilia. (Only joking; I had those locked away, obviously.) Read the whole… Read on

‘I had never been in prison in Iraq': Iraqi Christian refugees in Britain

This is a longer version of an article that appeared in The Spectator in February 2013 It was after his second death threat that Wissam Shamouy decided to leave home. An Assyrian Orthodox Christian from Bakhdida in Iraq’s highly volatile Nineveh province, the 25-year-old was working part-time in a church-run internet café, while studying at engineering college, when he was told of what awaited him. “I got some messages, they told me I was going to be killed because of… Read on

Iraq: the Yazidis, Jews and Christians, and the origin of ‘genocide’

Iraq: the Yazidis, Jews and Christians, and the origin of ‘genocide’

This is an extract from The Silence of Our Friends: the Extinction of Christianity in the Middle East  The first Iraqi contact with Christianity came very early. Within Mesopotamia was a small vassal state called Osrhoene, its capital at Edessa, modern-day Turkey, the population of which was largely Aramaean. Legend has it that the incurably ill Abgar V, King of Osrhoene, heard of Jesus and wrote a letter offering to let him stay in the country, as he… Read on

Manners for men – a modern guide

From The Daily Express, July 21, 2014 Actress Gillian Anderson complained that men fail to help her when she’s struggling with the overhead locker on her twice-weekly flights. “I don’t ask for help but it’s amazing how people don’t even offer,” she told Glamour magazine. “Only three times in two months has any man offered help. It’s sad.” Are men selfish and useless or just confused? Perhaps it is time for a new rulebook of modern manners for gentlemen (and ladies). Here… Read on