How much is immigration to blame for the housing crisis?

At the Spectator I’m never going to be able to own my home, that’s why I’ll vote Labour; also the Tories are horrible to immigrants and they don’t think animals are alive or something, my friend Molly shared it on Facebook. That’s basically the crux of the argument I’m hearing, obviously a childish, reductio one, and I sense the frustration. I’ve argued before that house-building is an existential issue for the Tories and that we need to allow people… 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

I want to see how a culture war is fought so badly

At the Spectator blogs One of the strange things I keep on hearing about this feeble government is that it has been spurred by Brexit to launch a culture war and reverse the Cameron-era detoxification of the party. They’re taking us back to the 50s, or the Victorian era, or maybe 1065. It’s one of those things one sees being written so often that it must surely be true – except if you actually read what government ministers say,… Read on

The wisdom of children isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

At the Spectator Coffee House Here’s an uplifting story from the vanguard of the culture war. As the New York Times reports: ‘At the Advent School in Boston, Erina Spiegelman, who is an instructional coordinator, recalled that a teacher last year asked a group of students the big question: ‘What is gender?’. The first answer came from a second-grader: ‘It’s a thing people invented to put you in a category.” I have a daughter that age (second grade is… Read on

Warnings of a Romanian migrant surge were right

At Spectator Coffee House The economic impact on A2 migration is probably either neutral or mildly positive, the key economic worry being its effect on the still worsening housing crisis; the social costs of such migration are probably quite small. The bigger concern is the impact on eastern and southern Europe, which is now enduring a brain drain of huge proportions, to the extent that places like Romania are emptying of young people. Will they be able to recover… Read on

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

Stricter gun controls won’t turn American into Denmark – but they’d certainly help

At Spectator Coffee House There’s a scene in the touching Richard Linklater film Boyhood where the young Mason goes to visit the rural family of his estranged father and is given a Bible and shotgun for the first time. I felt a niggling terror watching it, remembering Chekhov’s maxim, that the film would end with the boy taking the gun to himself, or his family, or his school classmates. It’s understandable why the audience might fear the worst,… Read on

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

At the Spectator. However stressful and bad things get for a parent of young children, there is always one thought that puts it all in perspective – just wait until they’re teenagers and they’re calling you up at 3am asking for a lift from a nightclub in New Cross. So reports like this one, showing that one in four adolescent girls suffer from depression, are bound to add to that gnawing feeling of dread. Firstly the caveats… Read on