A digital toolkit for young Tories

OMG. New Conservative chairman Brandon Lewis has announced a ‘digital toolkit’ to help young right-wingers battle the Left on social media. Lewis wants ‘more of our activists and people who support some of the principles we’re outlining… getting out there in the digital world saying so and spreading that message with us’. To that end,Continue reading “A digital toolkit for young Tories”

Donald Trump is the least American president in US history

As a schoolboy, George Washington transcribed 110 Jesuitical maxims later published as Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation.  In this pamphlet he counsels a regimen of behaviour so meticulous it forbids blowing on a spoonful of soup to cool it and specifies the proper method for dipping bread in sauce. PresidentialContinue reading “Donald Trump is the least American president in US history”

Israel’s revival of the death penalty would be a grave mistake

One of the many problems with the effort to bring back the death penalty in Israel is that it never went away in the first place. Israel is only a partial abolitionist, banning the death penalty for ordinary crimes in 1954 but retaining it for war crimes and offences against the state. The last executionContinue reading “Israel’s revival of the death penalty would be a grave mistake”

Iran’s uprising exposes the left’s shameful double standards

Why is Jeremy Corbyn silent on the protests in Iran? A cynic might say that the Labour leader could hardly be expected to bite the hand that fed him £20,000 for appearing on the state’s propaganda channel. But Corbyn’s motivations are not financial. He and those who share his worldview simply cannot stomach being on the sameContinue reading “Iran’s uprising exposes the left’s shameful double standards”

In defence of Toby Young

Turmoil in the Middle East, a reshuffle rumoured at Westminster, and Toby Young is offending the liberal establishment. So far, 2018 doesn’t seem all that different from 2017. The occasion for the latest sputtering is the Speccie columnist’s appointment to the board of the Office for Students. The OfS is the new regulator of Britain’sContinue reading “In defence of Toby Young”

Walking the Green Line

Enemies and Neighbours: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel Ian Black Allen Lane, pp.606 If books about the Israeli-Arab conflict were building blocks, the Palestinians would have their own state already and then some. Most volumes bring little that is fresh or challenging, so selectivity is key. Daniel Gordis and Benny Morris are essential,Continue reading “Walking the Green Line”

Pride and persuasion

When they convince themselves Grampa Simpson is gay, Marge remarks to Homer: ‘He probably doesn’t know how tolerant society has become. They even had a gay float in the Pride parade last year.’  The Pride Wars are now a fixed feature of LGBT politics. Lefties attack the event for being too corporate and apolitical. Tories, not alwaysContinue reading “Pride and persuasion”

Scotland needed government. It got nationalism instead

As you approach the Scottish Parliament from the Royal Mile, a modest curve juts out from the obnoxious angles. This camber, the Canongate Wall, is studded with 26 slates of Scottish stone each bearing a quotation from the Bible and scriveners of more questionable repute. Among them is the instruction to ‘work as if youContinue reading “Scotland needed government. It got nationalism instead”

Jeremy Corbyn and the cult of anti-knowledge

A funny thing happened on the way to the revolution. On Saturday, thousands of earnest millennials – and better-humoured Gen-Xers pretending to be millennials – gathered in a field in Somerset for a concert. The headliner was an ancient rocker of an even older tune but the crowd cherished every word as their own –Continue reading “Jeremy Corbyn and the cult of anti-knowledge”