My latest post at the Coffee House on the open borders crowd.
It is being called a very English revolution. In a country known for its awkward shyness and disdain for continental-style exuberance, the political establishment is unnerved by an eccentric populist party composed of real ale drinkers in red trousers. Last week’s local elections in England and Wales saw the anti-EU UK Independence Party win 26pc of the poll in the areas it stood and in the South Shields parliamentary by-election it drew 25pc of all votes. Led by ex-financial trader… Read on
Television historian Lucy Worsley recently said that she has “been educated out of the natural reproductive function” and that as a result “I get to spend my time doing things I enjoy”. Worsley, who has a degree from Oxford and has written several books on the aristocracy, said that she had “become the poster girl for opting out of reproduction”. She is certainly not the only woman too bright to breed. In Germany up to 50 per cent of women… Read on
A few weeks ago hundreds of Afghans went on a violent rampage after some American troops accidentally burned a copy of the Koran. These protests dwarfed those that followed the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians two weeks later. To educated westerners this behaviour seemed primitive, to atheist ones positively bizarre. Yet as evolutionary psychologist Jonathan Haidt explains in this fascinating study of morals, politics and religion, this appeal to sanctity is innate, normal human behaviour. Humans, Haidt says, are “90… Read on
Despite the economic collapse of our continent and a vaguely hysterical populist campaign against the bankers who helped to bankrupt our country, the British are still glued to the US presidential election, with Mitt Romney’s image rarely off most UK news sites’ home pages. American politics fascinates the British for a number of reasons; the sheer spectacle of the long, gruelling and expensive race, carried out over a physically enormous area; the glamour of the candidates; the strange attachment to… Read on
In yesterday’s Observer Nick Cohen made an admirably un-crowd-pleasing call for intervention in Syria, citing my colleague Michael Weiss’s proposal for helping opposition forces in that country. He wrote: Intervention to stop a regional war carries vast risks. But we should be honest about the consequences of acquiescing to Assad. A failed state and nest for terrorism will sit on the edge of the Mediterranean. Foreign mercenaries and Alawite paramilitaries will continue to massacre a largely defenceless population and the… Read on
From The Kernel Does technology ultimately militate against democracy? Ed West looks beyond the Arab Spring to ask if democratic representation was fundamentally a product of the industrial era. Is it becoming obsolete as new technology makes large swathes of the population economically irrelevant? Democracy is in retreat. In Greece and Italy, respectively Western civilisation’s cradle and nursery, democratic politicians have been replaced by technocrats at the behest of a European Union that has now removed… Read on
The European Court of Justice has ruled that Britain and Ireland cannot return asylum seekers to Greece because their human rights would be jeopardised. An Afghan had challenged a British decision to remove him to the first safe country he had arrived in, and the court stated that “an asylum seeker may not be transferred to a member state where he risks being subjected to inhuman treatment.” The case is significant because the convention on refugees has always been that… Read on