Big business v the family

As an afterthought to today’s Spectator blogpost on why big business is so into left-wing politics, where I wrote: specifically in the case of sexual politics, there is possibly another reason, in that the interests of big business conflict with those of the nuclear family. ‘Traditional’ families take women out of the workforce to have children, and anything that reduces the availability of workers is going to damage business interests. There could also be an argument that people… Read on

Happy Oak Apple Day!

One of the more romantic episodes from the English Civil War, I remember a few years ago there was a suggestion this be made a national day. Dr Eichhorn, it has to be said, is not arguing from any dislike of St George, merely out of love for trees (his area of expertise). And the Oak Tree does have a long and solid historical pedigree – before Pope Gregory the Great sent Augustine to Kent to bring European civilisation… Read on

Why is big business so Left-wing?

Me, at the Spectator, raging against the machine; or shouting at traffic while swigging Special Brew, depending how you see it.

FIFA corruption, explained by the Islamic father of social science

At the Catholic Herald, on Ibn Khaldun and asabiyyah.

The Islamic father of social science

Today is the birthday of one of the most undervalued thinkers in history, Ibn Khaldun, born this day in 1332. An illustration of how underappreciated he is comes from this article in yesterday’s Guardian, in which a British officer described the Iraqi Army as lacking ‘moral cohesion’ in its fight against ISIS. We all sort of know what he means, but sometimes English really needs a loan word to describe something easier – in this case asabiyyah. It… Read on

The story of France’s first black colonial governor

Since my father passed away last month I started reading his 1972 account of French West Africa, Brazza of the Congo, a part of the world I know almost nothing about. Unlike many of the European figures in the book, the Italian-born Pierre de Brazza was a humintarian who cared both for Africans and the Europeans in his care. The same cannot be said for many of the other characters in the book, especially the monstrous King Leopold and the… Read on

A Boratesque story from ISIS-land: Chechen ISIS fighters being cheated out of paradise by Saudi nepotism

A story from ISIS-land too good not to share. Islamic State fighters claim they are not getting the chance to blow themselves up because they are being bumped down the suicide-bomber waiting list by nepotistic leaders. A Chechen militant has complained that Saudi jihadis are favouring their own friends and family for bombing missions. Kamil Abu Sultan ad-Daghestani said fighters were becoming increasingly angry after being left languishing on the waiting list for months. Religious fanaticism and family-based… Read on

1215 and All That: A very, very short history of Magna Carta and King John

I have a new Amazon Kindle Single just out, on the story of Magna Carta and King John, who is probably my favourite cowardly drunks of medieval history. And it’s available at a special discount price of 98p! (normal price 99p).* Here’s the blurb: On June 15, 1215 England’s drunken, lecherous, cowardly King John was forced by his leading barons into a peace treaty that would have a profound impact on the country and the world. It came about… Read on

Gay cake, equality law bla bla bla

I’ve written two posts on the gay cake case, one at the Catholic Herald and one at the Spectator – not that I’m obsessed or anything. I know ISIS’s potential conquest of Palmyra is probably more important in the scheme of things.

Nigel Farage isn’t the biggest threat to the Eurosceptic cause. Vladimir Putin is

My latest Spectator blog on how Putin has made many Eurosceptics think twice. (Personally, since Germany is a pretty much the world’s most ethical and civilised major power, I’m not at all against a German-led Europe, politically, economically, culturally or even military. As a friend said, ‘I just think they got the tone a bit wrong last time’.)