Conservatives – depressing everyone since 500BC

One of the most telling comments David Cameron has ever made came last week when he accused some of his critics of being “pessimists” for believing that he won’t get a deal in Europe. Of course we’re pessimists, we’re conservatives – that’s the whole point. Some see a glass half-full, some see a glass half-empty, we see the downfall of Western civilisation and the country going to the dogs. If you want cheery, happy people who think everything’s going to… Read on

Ukip is a reaction to Britain’s new class system

Much as I long for the day when the purple flag of freedom flies over Downing Street, I wish voters wouldn’t use local elections as referendums on national politics. Because of tribal voting in local elections, we end up with incompetent, one-party statelets where governing parties can stay in power – purely because of what goes on in Westminster. As it is, today has become a vote on the Conservative Party’s performance. The Ukip phenomenon should not be underestimated. Read on

I’m a Catholic, and I have a confession: I love Richard Dawkins

I love Richard Dawkins. I’m not keen on the whole God-bashing thing, which I think is based on faulty arguments, but being a fan of JC and a member of “the world’s second most evil religion”, I’m bound to say that. When I was a young teenager I remember reading The Selfish Gene and it having a profound influence on the way I saw the world; one of the best books of our age. It may well have influenced my… Read on

Wages are low, costs are high, and people need welfare to survive. This is partly the Tories’ fault; they need to fix it

After a brief respite, benefits are back on the agenda, with Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith releasing new figures showing that a million people capable of working are “stuck” on benefits. His report, out today, is bound to get lots of people very, very angry, yet again, although after phrases such as “social cleansing” and a “final solution” where can critics go now? The killing fields? I suspect that this kind of language, which just makes people sound… Read on

St George’s Day – a meaningless, fake tradition invented in the 1990s to sell beer

I love the ancient tradition of celebrating St George’s Day with flags and parties, which dates all the way back to about 1998, when it was invented by card companies and brewers. Before Scottish and Welsh devolution, probably not one person in 100 could name this day; until Euro 96 you’d almost never see the St George’s Cross, either, except on Anglican churches. Then Happy St George’s Day cards appeared in the shops, and it became a national day, with… Read on

I’d like an English national day when we all go around muttering ‘sorry, sorry’ while getting barged into

I love the ancient tradition of celebrating St George’s Day with flags and parties, which dates all the way back to about 1998, when it was invented by card companies and brewers. Before Scottish and Welsh devolution, probably not one person in 100 could name this day; until Euro 96 you’d almost never see the St George’s Cross, either, except on Anglican churches. Then Happy St George’s Day cards appeared in the shops, and it became a national day, with… Read on

Thatcher death parties – an embarrassment to Britain in the eyes of the world

In the Kent town where my parents live there lie still the remains of three Germans who, having been shot down in the Blitz, were buried with full honours by the people they were trying to kill. Long after the war the townspeople continued to care for their graves and tend to them. Those Germans were the townspeople’s enemies. They were trying to kill them. In contrast Margaret Thatcher, to those now celebrating her death, was an opponent. There is… Read on

Don’t blame Margaret Thatcher for Britain being selfish: blame your hippy parents

Projection is a powerful thing in politics, which is why many people who claim to be opposed to hatred, bigotry and demonisation are guilty of precisely those things. Lady Thatcher’s death has brought some of that out with street parties, the revellers joining Gerry Adams and George Galloway in applauding her death (the ultimate projection being Galloway accusing Thatcher of being a friend to dictators). What’s striking is that the party animals are clearly too young to remember her rule;… Read on

Does ‘Right-wing political correctness’ exist?

From Telegraph blogs, March 19, 2013 Is British public life being suffocated by Right-wing political correctness? Laurie Penny of the New Statesman wrote an interesting piece last week in which she argued that “the left has no monopoly on political correctness”, and warns: “A chill wind of cultural conservatism is blowing across Britain and censorship is at its heart”. A fence of taboos is being constructed around those in this society who least deserve our deference and that… Read on

The problem with BBC comedy is not that it’s Left-wing, but that it’s too establishment

From Telegraph blogs, March 18, 2013 Many of you will be shocked to read this, but it appears that the BBC may have a slight Left-wing bias. The Sunday Telegraph has analysed jokes on the national broadcaster’s comedy programmes, and found that “perhaps unsurprisingly, as the main party in power, the Conservatives were most ridiculed, on the end of 35 separate punchlines. Their Coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, were the subject of 10, while Labour was targeted by seven.” The… Read on