True-Born Englishmen

True-Born Englishmen

At UnHerd, on that whole Horrible Histories Brexit thing and the internet’s worst and weirdest anti-nationalist argument.

War! Famine! Plague!

War! Famine! Plague!

The 14th century had it all. On special offer on kindle offer in the United States, Canada and Britain.

Declining institutions >>> more unbalanced people in power

Declining institutions >>> more unbalanced people in power

At UnHerd We fight over these issues because the decline of formal institutions has made it far easier for extremely dysfunctional people with personality disorders to rise to positions of power. If you look at medieval history, for example, it’s filled with extremely popular preachers who were able to attract large numbers of people. These men and women — people like Peter the Hermit, for instance — were very charismatic but also extremely unbalanced, extreme… Read on

Poem of the month: The War-song of Dinas Vawr

Poem of the month: The War-song of Dinas Vawr

Shamed by my lack of poetry knowledge – especially compared to niall_gooch – I’ve decided to try learning a poem a month. Not sure how far I will get, but this month – and only because I read about it in Christopher Caldwell’s new book – I’m going for “The War-song of Dinas Vawr”. The poem comes from The Misfortunes of Elphin, Thomas Love Peacock’s Victorian romance about sub-Roman Britain and the clash of warlords in… Read on

My articles for @UnHerd

My articles for @UnHerd

February 28 Will the coronavirus change the world? February 11 Why arranged marriages make sense January 22, 2020 Everything You Know about Europe is Wrong December 11, 2019 Why Tories are becoming extinct November 27 Britain’s Divisions go way back November 15 Why child labour beats school October 21 Harry Potter and… Read on

Everything you know about Europe is wrong

Everything you know about Europe is wrong

Me at UnHerd on why Brits of both a Leaver and Remainer tendencey are very insular.

Elites don’t preach what they practise

At UnHerd Another paradox is that the more globally-minded internationalist urban elite are also very attached to their neighbourhoods, which tend to be sociable and high in trust. In contrast, the most rooted parts of England often have the lowest level of social capital and little involvement in neighbourhood social organisations (parental investment in school activities would be the best measurement of this). These are the “culturally conservative” areas which tended to vote Brexit and recently… Read on

What’s the matter with Bolsover?

At UnHerd, on how it’s historically hard for the rulers to rule if the ruled have a different religion. Centuries earlier Egypt fell to the Arabs partly because there was such bitter divisions between its Byzantine Greek rulers, who were orthodox Catholic and followed the Council of Chalcedon, and the Egyptian Copts, who were Miaphysites. In contrast, for example, the Normans in England were pretty brutal but within a short space of time had intermarried with… Read on

Even if the Tories win, they face trouble ahead

Me at UnHerd, my usual optimistic outlook for the future. Book proofs of Small Men on the Wrong Side of History will be going out soon so email or DM me if you want a copy.

Britain’s divisions go way, way back

The Norman legacy has not died out on this side of the Irish Sea, either. As late as 1800 people with Norman surnames were eight times as likely to be MPs than the general population but even today people whose paternal ancestors won in 1066 tend to be richer than the poor Saxons. As Gerald Grosvenor, the late Duke of Westminster put it, when asked by a young journalist what advice he’d give to young entrepreneurs… Read on