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
…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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.