All conservatives should support Michael Gove’s green crusade

At the Coffee House I appreciate that environmental policy is littered with unintended consequences and it’s not simple, but allowing the Left to dominate the issue of saving the planet was one of the biggest mistakes conservatives made in the late 20th century. One of the central points of conservatism is future-orientation: it doesn’t matter how much the Twitterati despise you, what’s important is that your great-grandchildren admire and appreciate the labours that made their world. Indeed if fashionable… Read on

How much is immigration to blame for the housing crisis?

And yet last year 150,000 homes were built in Britain, which on paper, for the third most densely populated non-microstate in Europe (and England is first), and for a country well below sub-replacement fertility, should be enough. But it’s not, it’s barely even sufficient to house the extra 246,000 people who officially arrived here from March 2016. As the crisis has got worse, and homes have become ever more unaffordable, the animus has been directed against the Tories, and old… Read on

Stop Appeasing Stupidity

At the Coffee House: I wonder if the people behind this have any idea of the dark road they’re leading us down. In the United States, a well-funded group called Color of Change has, for some years, pressured major companies into supporting left-wing causes with the threat of public shaming; indeed many if not most big companies do fund progressive causes, whether same-sex marriage campaigns, pro-amnesty groups, gender-neutral bathrooms or even Planned Parenthood. Not only are their upper echelons Democrat-leaning… Read on

How many Remainers does it take to fix a light bulb?

At the Spectator So Russia launched some fake Twitter accounts, a tiny, tiny number in the greater scheme of things and which almost certainly had no impact on the result. Oh, but even if it didn’t swing the result, the argument goes, they still helped to polarise the debate. I don’t know about that; quite a few people have spent the last 18 months tweeting about how they can’t wait for Leave voters to die of old age, or… Read on

In praise of Prince Charles (and traditional architecture)

Happy birthday, Your Highness Your Highness Fashion and politics are both dictated to some extent by status signals. Some political and cultural ideas become associated with high status, and some with low, so that when someone complains about ‘political correctness gone mad’ without knowing irony they send a signal that they are at the lower end of the pecking order. Most people want to be high status and so adopt the politics and attitudes associated with the elite,… Read on

Is America’s ‘despair epidemic’ about to arrive in Britain?

At the Spectator. Numerous commentators have linked America’s huge rise in early deaths with the decline of organised religion, in particular the sense of hope and community faith brings. And perhaps just as importantly religion also offers some respite from the relentless competitiveness of life, since it emphasises the importance of acceptance and dignity. Never mind if he isn’t rich or famous or especially talented, a man doing an ordinary, honest job and looking after his family can hold… Read on

Do we really want restrictions on German immigration?

Nein, I say. (And despite what the government thinks, non-EU migration is a much bigger issue for voters, even Leave voters.)

To attract my fellow kids, the Tories need more houses, not memes

At Spectator blogs So here’s a proposal to save the Tory party: devolve all planning law to the regional level – allowing Greater London to build on its green belt, in return for which the Tory-voting shires can preserve theirs. This is actually a viable solution in a way that building on brownfield sites isn’t, for as the Adam Smith Institute point out: ‘Just 3.7 per cent of London’s green belt—that fraction within 15 minutes walk of existing train stations—would… Read on

It’s okay to hate foreigners so long as they’re rich

At the Spectator. On why absentee foreign landlords aren’t to blame for the housing crisis.

I’m a Leaver who would be happy for a second referendum

At the Spectator I voted Leave but if it looks like clearly being an economic disaster, then it’s ridiculous to pursue it whatever the cost. In no field does someone continue along the same course, knowing it will end in complete failure, whatever the consequences. It is true that there would be public anger at a second referendum, but there would be far more if the economy went down the toilet. There is also the fact that, while we… Read on