Is James Brokenshire the man to fix the housing crisis?

At the i “Housing” was only added to the department title in January this year, reflecting how acute the problem has got. In March the Prime Minister described the housing system as “broken”, a belated recognition by the Tories that spiralling costs are not only causing homelessness, stifling economic growth, and even preventing people from having families, but also destroying the party’s support among the under-40s. Since 1997 house prices have increased 259 per cent while earnings have gone… Read on

The ‘new’ anti-Semitism is caused by old economic fallacies

At the Acton Institute The conflict on the Left stems partly from how racism is defined and whether anti-Semitism is “genuine racism,” as one Corbynite MP tellingly called it. In a sense it is not. The theory of race and racism, as taught in academia for close to 50 years, is a heavily Marxist-influenced notion: The doctrine of the bourgeoise oppressing the proletariat in the exploitative system of capitalism is transposed with whites oppressing people of colour in the… Read on

‘My Kingdom for a Horse’ published today

The last in the five-part series on medieval English history is published today, covering the War of the Roses and the backstory involving the overthrow of Richard II and Henry V’s hilarious adventures in France. Thanks to everyone who has reviewed the other titles in the series, including the books on Magna Carta and the Norman Conquest. For review copy requests email here.

Iron, Fire and Ice: the Real History that inspired Game of Thrones – the soundtrack

Iron, Fire and Ice: the Real History that inspired Game of Thrones – the soundtrack

My book on the real history that inspired Game of Thrones is out in November,  which I’m sure will make up for the news that The Winds of Winter won’t be. But even more exciting is that I’ve made a Spotify playlist, and I’d appreciate any suggestions. It’s a mixture of Ramin Djawadi’s soundtrack along with music relevant to the history within the book, or that is at least atmospheric. The book covers English history from the… Read on

Thanks to the Amazon reviewers of 1215 and All That

Thanks to the Amazon reviewers of 1215 and All That

Thank you to all the Amazon users who have given such nice reviews of 1215 and All That, in the US and Britain. It’s much appreciated. If you’re a member of the commentocracy and would like a free copy so that you may further my ambitions, please email me and I’ll ask the publishers.

Yes, there is something special about the bond between mother and son

Me at the iPaper  Every morning our four-year-old climbs into our bed just before dawn, after which I’m sure I can feel him subtly trying to push me out and onto the floor so that he can lie in bed with mummy unchallenged. Various activities such as getting him dressed have to be done by his mum, something my daughters never cared about either way. Boys also show more jealousy and possessiveness, and last month he announced that “I… Read on

The Case for Conservative Urbanism

After four and a half years writing for Coffee House I am off. Thanks to all those who have read and commented, both positively and critically (I do take some of it in). The old blogposts can all be found here and my last piece is here. It’s about traffic flow in suburban London so will no doubt go viral.   Our road was closed last July so that pipes could be installed underground, a mundane bureaucratic procedure… Read on

Open societies need to rediscover heroic ideals

At CapX Liberal, free-market systems work, yet their major weakness is an inability to give people the innate human need for stability, order, tradition and group membership – while the systems that offer these things tend to be terrible. So is it possible for enlightened democracies to provide a form of ersatz traditionalism, a free society with a reactionary veneer, and so stem the tide of anomie? A good example of where ersatz tradition does work is constitutional monarchy,… Read on

We are now no longer fellow citizens, we are fellow believers

At the Spectator  Once in a while some Socialist Worker people set up a stall outside my local Tesco to shout slogans at the progressive middle class SWPLs who make up much of the local demographic. One of the phrases I’ve heard them use is ‘Refugees welcome! Tories out!’ which is great and everything, except – what if the refugees are Tories? But then there are Sacred Groups and Out Groups, and each has their role to play… Read on

A Tale of Two Brexits

At the Spectator At one point during Boris Johnson’s speech today he asked the audience ‘We all want to make Britain less insular, don’t we?’ [Silence] Media-training experts use an initialism to try to get journalists and other talking-heads to come across well on television – BLT. Does the audience believe you? Do they like you? Do they trust you? The Foreign Secretary has never had a problem with the middle one, perhaps the most important of the three,… Read on