Have our thin-skinned times killed off satire for good?

At the Spectator And it’s the same with artistic freedom. What so many comedians and other artists find so unsettling about the New Wave of Social Justice Warriors is that their condemnations and anathemas are so arbitrary; no one knows whether a routine or joke will pass without comment or bring upon them thousands of hateful tweets, comment piece-attacks and demands for their resignation. This is the very epitome of tyranny. Public morality has gone through a revolution in… Read on

In defence of small nation states

At the Spectator. Scotland would do fine as an independent nation. They gave the world Adam Smith, after all. It’s not just Scotland; Catalonia is next in line and Flanders may also break away. In Nigeria Biafran secessionism has returned and one of the likely results of ejecting ISIS from Mosul will be Kurdish independence finally coming together. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of groups who would like independence – and the world would probably be a better… Read on

The Normans were the original liberal metropolitan elite Remainers #Hastings

Today is the anniversary of Hastings, when those baddies the Normans conquered England. But were they baddies? The economy also grew hugely in the late 11th and 12th century, and there was a big increase in trade with continental Europe, especially the export of wool, although this may also have happened anyway. There was also a rise in the number of monasteries, which were the main centres of learning before universities began to spring up; and teaching at Oxford… Read on

Conservatism in the 21st Century: 11 leading conservatives discuss the state of conservatism in the age of Donald Trump

English edition now available.   PS We’re doomed!

It’s absurd to compare Amber Rudd’s immigration speech to Mein Kampf

At the Spectator As a postscript: a good analogy is probably with the United States during the Ellis Island period, where large numbers of eastern Europeans came to a previously Anglo-Saxon country, and there were similar anxieties about integration: things like the swearing to the flag came about after the US president was assassinated by a Polish radical. Eventually this led to nativism and in 1924 restrictions on immigration; plenty of people are critical of this reaction, as… Read on

Foreign investors aren’t to blame for London’s housing crisis

I didn’t vote for him but I think Sadiq Khan is doing a pretty good job as mayor; both the polices and tone seem to be right. And housing is the number one issue, which I write about today: Personally I favour densifying London, although this probably won’t come close to meeting our needs; probably the best option would be for planning to be totally devolved to a regional level, so that the capital could opt out of the 1947… Read on

Can Katy Perry stop Donald Trump?

At the Spectator Coffee House I don’t know whether any of Katy Perry’s fans will be more inclined to vote because she has stripped off – I’m not sure how many can vote – but it will sure inspire Trump’s supporters. One of the many interesting findings Jonathan Haidt has made in his study of political partisanship is that liberals are much worse at understanding their opponents than conservatives are. It might be that, as David Brooks has pointed out,… Read on

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