Where angels come from

I’m in the Christmas issue of The Field. A small extract below, but to read the whole thing you’ll have to buy it: The Christmas story, as anyone knows, begins with a cherub-faced angel and ends with three wise men. Every year we mark this most famous of stories in the carols we sing, in the nativity scenes we put out, and in the decorations on our trees – yet few are aware of the full role angels play… Read on

You can be against the ‘elite’ and still be rich and privileged

At Spectator blogs on those ‘elite’ jerks who I remember from school and university: Many people have remarked that the image of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage posing by the former’s golden elevator doors epitomises the hypocrisy over populists attacking the ‘elites’. Likewise the Guildhall dinner in which Theresa May told an audience dressed in dinner jackets about globalisation and its discontents. These are the ‘anti-elitists’ who now stand up for the people, they sneer. This is to… Read on

As the world gets wealthier we just get more divided

Me, in today’s Evening Standard

Donald Trump played the identity politics game – and won

At the Spectator: Trump seems to have survived by refusing to submit when his opponents took offence and attempted to shame him into backing down, a tactic that has been hugely successful against conservatives in the past. But Trump is also the triumph of identity politics. For years the punditry have been saying that the GOP is finished because America is becoming more diverse, failing to see that since the Democrats win through identity politics, then Republicans could… Read on

Democrats might not like the future America they have created

At the Spectator blogs, on the future of America. And yet the huge contradiction is that this dream of ‘every shade of humanity’ is incompatible with the sort of egalitarian society Democrats favour, which depends on high levels of trust. There is a great deal of research into the negative effects of diversity on trust, such as this paper here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or here. This trust affects how much is… Read on

The new nostalgia for a pre-Brexit world

At the Spectator There is also anger, I should add, because those telling us not to close the ‘drawbridges’ often have their own very effective drawbridges called house prices. Coming up with solutions to a problem like this is the hardest part and Haidt’s central message is worth listening to – that in a more diverse society we should emphasise not what divides us but what we can have in common. In the long term, globalism will still win,… Read on

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!