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

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

Children’s films are the only thing worth seeing these days

At the Spectator The Oscars promise to be truly unbearable this year, with vomit-inducing levels of sanctimony followed by the usual gibberish from the commentariat. The results and speeches and even clothes will be subject to endless politicised scrutiny, and whatever the film industry does to stay Woke, the Buzzfeed headline will inevitably be ‘and people aren’t happy about it’. I’m not sure actors really appreciate how their moralising, once simply tedious, is now grotesque; how there’s something almost… Read on

I do wish the cultural revolution would hurry up and reach its dictatorship phase

At Spectator Coffee House I guess there comes that time in every man’s life when he realises he is in fact a dinosaur and he’s never going to keep up with social mores. May as well just get use to your children’s gritted teeth every time you open your fat, opinionated mouth on anything. I find myself reaching that point in regards to the abolition of Formula One grid girls, a tradition that is no longer ‘relevant’ to the… Read on

Is political correctness speeding up?

From Spectator blogs One of the most influential and popular ideas of the post-war era was that of the Authoritarian Personality, which linked Fascism with a number of personality traits, including conventionalism, anti-intellectualism and prudery. Conservatism, in other words. It has become popular to believe that being Right-wing is synonymous with being authoritarian. Society may have no common culture or religion or body of literature, but everyone knows who the Nazis are. So as Nazism has pushed out much… Read on

Does alcohol make us more right-wing?

At Spectator Coffee House Anyway, although I wrote in my last post that social media makes people miserable, Twitter is also a fantastic resource for acquiring knowledge from experts and specialists in different areas. One of my favourite accounts is Rolf Degen, who daily tweets a number of scientific studies into human behaviour. Just before Christmas he linked to a story concerning the impact of alcohol consumption on politics, suggesting that booze makes us more Right-wing. According to the… Read on

Get off social media for 2018

At the Spectator Coffee House Was 2017 that terrible? Everyone feels like they’re losing and the world is going to hell, and in many ways it does feel like a dark cloud is approaching. This article, about a sex robot conference being moved after threat from Islamic extremists, did strike me as the sort of thing one of the more pessimistic of 20th century writers might have predicted about our age. People are so depressed about the year they… Read on

Brexit: The boredom of living through ‘interesting times’ 

At Spectator Coffee House Robert Tombs, author of the majestic The English and their History, is writing in the latest magazine about how Brexit has become the trigger for a new culture war in Britain. He likens it to the sectarian arguments of the 18th century, pointing out that: ‘When I hear prominent Remainers unquestioningly supporting the demands of the EU Commission, however incoherent and excessive, I cannot but remember the opposition leader Charles James Fox happily admitting… Read on

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