How the Catholic Church created democracy

From Spectator Coffee House Going to spend Christmas with relatives you don’t really like? Well, you can thank God you only have to see them once a year rather than living as an extended family. Or more precisely you can thank the Catholic Church, without whom you’d all still be in the same house as your uncles and aunties and marrying your cousin. It is reasonably well known that the medieval Church’s ban on cousin marriage helped to make… Read on

There’s nothing ‘conservative’ about supporting foreign intervention

me in Spectator Coffee House: I supported the Iraq invasion in 2003, by about 75/25, but I didn’t write about politics at the time and so never expressed any public opinion; I was from that generation that had watched helplessly as Africans starved in the 1980s and, following Bosnia and Kosovo, neo-colonialism in the name of liberalism and justice seemed like a good idea at the time. Iraq was a disaster, and for fairly conservative reasons. One of… Read on

Don’t get angry at Katie Hopkins if you don’t support policies that could save migrants

From Spectator blogs April 20, 2015   The latest issue of The Spectator carries an interesting piece by James Bartholomew on ‘virtue signalling’, the bane of social media and political debate; that is, people expressing how ruddy good they are by telling the world how much they hate bad things like Ukip and the Daily Mail. He writes: ‘It’s noticeable how often virtue signalling consists of saying you hate things. It is camouflage. The emphasis on… Read on

The extinction of Christianity in the Middle East

The good news is that I am joining Spectator Blogs as a regular, alongside the esteemed company of Cohen, Liddle, Massie and Murray. The bad news is that today’s post is about last week’s Lapido Media/Henry Jackson Society event on the reporting of anti-Christian violence in the Middle East is especially gloomy, even for my standards. The key point is rather depressing prediction made by Tom Holland:   The night ended with historian Tom Holland declaring sadly that… Read on

What the world needs now – another opinion piece on the Middle East

I haven’t been as active as I’d like to be recently, but over the bank holiday weekend Liberal Conspiracy ran a Q and A with me on the immigration issue, which was good of them – obviously Sunny and myself are probably not going to agree on this subject, but it’s good to interact with the other side. I wrote a blogpost for the Herald on the subject of minorities in the Middle East, because I… Read on

The 21st century’s ignored tragedy: endangered minorities

If you thought Europe’s demography was sluggish, spare a thought for India’s Parsis, declining at such a rate that the government is allocating money for fertility clinics. The Parsis are Zoroastrians who originally came from Persia to India to escape Islamic rule, and have often punched above their weight in commerce. The British, in particular, favoured them and they came to be especially dominant in education, banking and industry, and under the Raj they also expanded around… Read on

Regime change in Syria could mean the extinction of Jesus Christ’s language

Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen… and now Syria. The Ba’athist regime could be the next Arab government in trouble, although they won’t go without a fight. President Bashar al-Assad’s security forces have killed at least six protesters, maybe as many as 15, in the southern town of Daraa. There’s no doubt about it – Syria is a very repressive regime, with a poor human rights record and a long history of sponsoring terrorism abroad. Damascus, outside the… Read on