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dawn Britain USA 

The Brexit/Trump effect

With the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States, a dramatic new era now starts for both America and the world. For those whose have reacted to Mr. Trump’s election with sustained hysteria, his arrival in the White House means that civilization, if not humanity itself, is about to come to an end. In Britain, the political climate has also suddenly changed with a similar reaction. Last June’s Brexit vote to leave the EU triggered unstoppable rage amongst those who wanted Britain to remain….

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Rachel Weisz as Deborah Lipstadt in Denial Britain 

Exposing lies is vital in a post-truth world

When is “history” actually a lie? How do you prove historical evidence is true? This, in essence, is the subject of the film Denial. Exposing lies is an effective way of uncovering truths which may otherwise be hidden behind unaudited claims on the net or a misleading ideological consensus. On issue after issue, from history to politics to science to social protest, the real story of our age is about the battle between truth and lies. My column in The Times of London (subscription only, I’m afraid). For access to…

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St George and the Dragon, Paolo Uccello, between 1458 and 1460 Britain Israel USA 

Britain gets it right. Twice. What gives?

Extraordinary! The British government has started making bold and good moves. No fewer than two such sets of developments have been spotted in as many days. On Sunday, at the Paris conference called to get the Middle East peace process back on track stick the knife into Israel good and proper before Obama leaves the White House, Theresa May’s government refused to sign its closing statement. “There are risks,” said the UK Foreign Office,“that this conference hardens positions at a time when we need to be encouraging the conditions for…

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crop-wall Britain Israel 

Perfidious Boris?

In the House of Commons this afternoon the British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, who had just returned from meeting the Trump team in Washington DC, made the following statement: “I think it is a widespread view in Washington, and across the UN Security Council, that settlements are illegal… John Kerry was completely right to draw attention to the illegal settlements and to the substance of [UN Security Council] resolution 2334. I remind the House that the UK was closely involved in its drafting…” Last week, the US House of Representatives…

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poor-box_edited-1 Britain 

Charities should stop meddling in politics

In 2008 the Charity Commission accordingly relaxed the rules to allow charities to conduct political campaigns. Although their main purpose must not be political, charities are now able to carry out political activities as a means of supporting their foundational aims. This allows them to launch highly partisan political campaigns. Non-governmental they may be. However, with substantial parts of their funding now coming not from private donations but from government grants, the NGOs have developed into a powerful, unaccountable sector of state-funded political activism. My column for The Times (subscription…

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civil-war Britain 

Mrs May doesn’t know what Brexit means after all

After David Cameron’s “big society”, we now have Theresa May’s “shared society.” Spare me. Mrs May is clearly anxious to demonstrate that she stands for something other than becoming Britain’s accidental Prime Minister. She was unexpectedly precipitated into 10 Downing Street after the country voted for Brexit last June causing her predecessor, who had so arrogantly assumed the country would do no such thing, to fall on his sword. So tomorrow Mrs May is to give a speech about her vision for Britain, which she has previewed in an article…

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fortune-t-360x480 Britain 

Economists find their crystal ball is cracked

Economists have been forced finally to acknowledge what everyone from HM the Queen downwards has known for a considerable time: they don’t seem to have a clue about what’s going on. First they failed to spot the full scale of the financial crash until it was too late. Then they predicted that a vote for Brexit would cause the British economy immediately to implode. For these sins first of omission and then commission, they are now having to explain what could possibly have gone so badly wrong with folk as…

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unknown Britain Israel USA 

Mrs May’s screeching U-turn

You can virtually see the skid marks. The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has issued what’s been called an unprecedented rebuke to the Obama administration over the Israel-bashing speech by US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday. The Prime Minister’s spokesman criticised him for not only attacking the composition of Israel’s government but disproportionately focusing on the issue of Israeli settlements “when clearly the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians is so deeply complex.” The US State Department said it was surprised since Kerry’s remarks “were in line…

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hebron-massacre Britain Israel 

An open letter to Theresa May

Dear Prime Minister, It was sickening to see that your government last week voted for the declaration of diplomatic war against Israel embodied in resolution 2334 passed by the UN Security Council. Bad enough that Britain didn’t use its position as a permanent SC member to vote against this vicious resolution and thereby stop it in its tracks. Worse, far worse was that your government voted for it. In doing so, Britain signed up to propositions that repudiate law, justice and truth. Now reports have surfaced that, yet more appallingly,…

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unknown Britain 

How I conquered my fear of flying

For many years, I would think wistfully about how much I would like to experience the airport ordeal. For I was for several decades paralysed by fear of flying. It’s hard adequately to describe the devastating, overwhelming symptoms of this fear. It’s a conflation of claustrophobia, vertigo and agoraphobia in one triple whammy of hyperventilating, heart-fluttering, cold-sweating terror. Today, though, I am a frequent, and relatively tranquil, flier. So how did I crack it? My column in The Times of London (£)

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