Ron Paul, an unexamined phenomenon

The American primary process, a kind of elongated sweeps for the cable news channels, is a four-yearly vaudeville show that doubles as a selection process for future leaders of the free world.  Imagine the aesthetics of American Idol welded to the intellectual demeanour of pro football. When it’s the Democrats, there’s also a touch of the campusContinue reading “Ron Paul, an unexamined phenomenon”

Let us now praise an infamous man

Christopher Hitchens is gone.  ‘Dead’, he would prefer. ‘Gone’ is too mystical, a tacit indulgence of superstitious notions of a life beyond the temporal. ‘Death is certain,’ he insisted. ‘There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.’ Now who will rail? Now who will rage? Now who will reason? Hitchens was more than anContinue reading “Let us now praise an infamous man”

But will it work?

“We think paywalls are essential, because we think giving away content for free, particularly if consumers value that content, makes no sense. Consumers have to pay for content they value.” Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP The Herald and Sunday Herald are two of Scotland’s leading quality news outlets but when it comes to turning a profit,Continue reading “But will it work?”

Israelophobia – the ‘new’ old prejudice

Something is rotten in the modern Left. An unhealthy segment of what likes to call itself the ‘progressive movement’ increasingly loses its mind when it comes to the subject of Israel. These people long ago allowed their objection to certain Israeli government policies to calcify into an irrational hatred of the entire State of Israel.Continue reading “Israelophobia – the ‘new’ old prejudice”

The Republican Party and the credibility gap

In the screenwriting business, the toughest challenge is pushing plot: writing the expositional dialogue that drives the story forward and keeps the audience up to speed. It’s a thankless task: if the dialogue is too hokey, the audience will hiss; too subtle, and you risk leaving people behind. Worst of all is the scrutiny itContinue reading “The Republican Party and the credibility gap”

‘A humble and dedicated man… he was quite simply a gentleman’

Decency. Humility. Kindness. Those words were repeated endlessly at the funeral service for MSP Bashir Ahmad, who died suddenly on Friday. They were the words chosen – by everyone from imam to first minister – to describe a politician whose friendships and influence cut across parties and communities. With the shock of his death stillContinue reading “‘A humble and dedicated man… he was quite simply a gentleman’”

How I became Lizzy Bennet

Being Elizabeth Bennet: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure By Emma Campbell Webster Atlantic Books, pp.352 Do you remember the choose-your-own-adventure books that squatted brazenly on the school library shelves? Those laminated interlopers that enticed you with their E-number colour schemes and promises of author-sanctioned page-skipping privileges? How they mocked the “serious” titles and their obsessionContinue reading “How I became Lizzy Bennet”