What are the facts behind Black Lives Matter?

Almost eight years after Barack Obama’s presidential campaign promised healing in America, his last summer in power will most likely be remembered for a series of race riots, most recently in Charlotte, as well as two race-related massacres of police in just ten days. Both the Texas and Louisiana killers seemed to have been motivated by anger at the killings of African-Americans, a rage shared by large numbers of people as the Black Lives Matter campaign has gained momentum. The common belief,… Read on

The immigration debate shouldn’t be sugar-coated

At Spectator blogs Nowhere like 10 per cent of men ever commit violent crime, and the percentage of Syrians who are terrorists is much smaller than the Skittles analogy suggests. A better one might be to suggest that one in every 100 packets contains a poisoned sweet – small overall, but I wouldn’t buy any. And the risk of terrorism posed by refugees is not non-existent. There are at least four studies showing that accepting refugees does increase… Read on

The Iraqi Christians fighting ISIS

From the Catholic Herald. Earlier this month allied forces in Iraq scored a spectacular victory when they drove the Islamic State out of the village of Badanah in the north of the country. Good news, one might think, except that what made this noteworthy was that for the first time in many years it was a Christian army fighting. As is fitting for a war often battled out on social media, the Nineveh Plains Protection Units (NPU) announced their… Read on

Spectator: Win or lose, the Trump phenomenon isn’t going away

At the Coffee House, on the shape of things to come.   It’s hard to see how this polarisation is avoidable so long as America gets more diverse. For American liberals, an essential part of their philosophy now is that their country is a diverse ‘proposition nation’, and that nationality is defined not by race but by an ideal and an attachment to a set of values. It’s a noble concept, and one against which the white identity politics… Read on

Auf Wiedersehen, remainers

From Spectator blogs I’m not a great optimist about the whole Brexit thing, although my colleagues would mostly disagree. It’s as if we were expecting a storm and we’re now cheering because it’s gone quiet. Strangely, eerily quiet. Anyway, like with climate change, I hope I’m wrong, and whenever I have my doubts about the whole thing, I think about the ‘Remain’ protests led by Eddie Izzard. Let’s hope these obviously counter-productive demonstrations continue for the next five years…. Read on

Why Catholics got blamed for The Great Fire of London

From the Catholic Herald print edition, September 9, 2016 At around 9pm on Saturday September 1, 1666 London baker Thomas Farriner went to bed after a day making dry biscuits for the Royal Navy. Farriner, who lived with his daughter, maid and manservant in Pudding Lane, had something of a chequered history. As a 10 year old he had spent time at Bridewell, a sort of borstal where youngsters might get an education, until eventually he was apprenticed and turned… Read on

Watch John Calvin deſtroy ye papiſts in one utterance

From this week’s Catholic Herald.  I ticked off another “thing to do before I die” last month when I attended the annual wine-tasting day in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, which was the very image of la belle vie of rural France, apart from the four soldiers with machine guns (plus three policemen with handguns). France is swarming with heavily armed guys looking effortlessly cool as they defend us from the country’s endless supply of Islamist crazies, but the national emergency hasn’t affected… Read on

Asabiyyah now available on audiobook

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Oversupply of the elites: The danger of too many university places

At Spectator blogs. To take one example, cited by Bryan Caplan in his upcoming bookThe Case Against Education, the number of students earning communication or journalism degrees in a typical year in the US ‘exceeds total employment in print, web, and broadcast journalism’. It goes without saying that only a tiny number of these graduates will find jobs in this industry after university, and that the skills they learned will not be transferable. Caplan’s main argument… Read on

England’s forgotten founding father

From the Catholic Herald Athelstan: The Making of England Tom Holland £9.99/£3.09 on Kindle Of all the kings and queens covered in Penguin’s new Monarchs of England series, perhaps the least known is also one of the most important. The grandson of Alfred the Great, Athelstan was raised by his aunt Ethelfleda after his father Edward the Elder discarded his mother Ecgwynn to a convent to make a dynastic marriage… Read on