The best way to learn about socialism is to experience it

At Spectator Coffee House I think it’s fair to say that Theresa May did not have a cracking conference yesterday, but the sympathy vote might even help her. I certainly felt sorry for the prime minister, and instinctively don’t like the nasty playground teasing from the Men of Twitter. (She does have diabetes, too, which can’t help.) But she has to go nonetheless, not because she’s unlucky but because she has a tin ear; why else would she choose… Read on

The Week: Jeremy Corbyn’s topsy-turvy culture war

Me, in The Week: That referendum turned into a bitter and ugly culture war, a marked sign of the shifting from the traditional left/right axis towards a conflict between globalism and nationalism. Yet it has had a huge unintended consequence, too: What started as a battle for Britain’s soul between metropolitan liberals and conservatives seems to have left both sides exhausted and impotent and instead emboldened hardline socialists, viewed until recently as harmless relics of a bygone age. And… Read on

Labour is now the party of the middle class

At the Coffee House The polling data coming out of the election is very interesting; the Conservatives enjoyed a 17-point lead among people with no qualifications, while Labour had a 15-point advantage with graduates. This does not take into account age, since older people are far less likely to have a degree, but certainly this was ‘Labour’s highest middle class support since 1979, and the Conservatives’ best score among C2DEs since then’, as one analyst Read on

The future belongs to the Left

At the Coffee House When I was in my early 20s and quite conservative I assumed I was just an anomaly, someone who develops these traits earlier than normal, and conservatism was like baldness or impotence or the other bad things that get you in middle age; most of my friends and contemporaries would catch up at some point, because these things just develop at different speeds. Now in my late 30s I realise it’s worse than that and… Read on

Across the West, working-class voters are abandoning the Left

At the Coffee House That’s what many people at the moment believe. But if you look elsewhere, white working-class voters are deserting centre-left parties across the western world, so it would be strange if Labour was able to buck this trend. In Austria, for instance, 85 per cent of working-class men voted for the radical right at last year’s presidential elections. Working-class voters also carried Donald Trump to power – the Orange One having a 39 point advantageRead on

Oversupply of the elites: The danger of too many university places

At Spectator blogs. A-Level results are announced today, and with it the happy news that a record number of university places have been offered for the coming academic year. About 42 per cent of 18-year-olds in England will go to university (about a quarter of these will enter at 19), but we’re still some way behind the world’s leader, South Korea, where two-thirds of young people achieve a degree. And how’s that going? Seongho Lee,… Read on