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unknown Britain 

In the midst of grief, still confusion

In the aftermath of yesterday’s dreadful terror attack on the Palace of Westminster, which has so far left four victims dead and around 40 people injured, many of them seriously, the Prime Minister Theresa May today addressed the House of Commons. Among other remarks by Mrs May which struck the right tone of steely calm, there was however this exchange. A Conservative MP, Michael Tomlinson, said: “It is reported that what happened yesterday was an act of Islamic terror. Does the Prime Minister agree that what happened was not Islamic,…

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viola Britain 

Mrs May’s political cross-dressing

Theresa May isn’t a socialist. Her approach reflects a particular tradition in conservative thought which has much in common with European Christian democracy. As she has said, she explicitly rejects both “the socialist left and the libertarian right”. She is instead a statist, wedded to top-down paternalism (or perhaps more appropriately here, maternalism) and the beneficent role of activist government intervention. The rival “libertarian” or neo-liberal right makes a fetish of individual liberty and the free market, disdains tradition and devalues the importance of preserving social and cultural bonds. What…

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humpty Britain 

Hate crime through the Looking Glass

We’ve repeatedly been told that Britain is in the grip of a huge rise in Islamophobic attacks. According to Tell Mama, the group that monitors hate crime against Muslims, anti-Muslim attacks reportedly shot up by 326 per cent in 2015 and spiked again after the Brexit vote last year. All such hateful crimes and incidents are utterly to be deplored. These statistics, though, have come in for criticism about their methodology and should be treated accordingly with caution. The principal caveats concern the subjectivity of these reports, exacerbated by the…

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klan Britain Europe USA 

The alt-right smear

The neologism “alt-right” has now become part of the political lexicon. It is thought to be merely a term describing a new political movement. This is wrong. It is being used to spread confusion and hatred. The term was invented by a white supremacist called Richard Spencer. It is an obvious piece of manipulative linguistic legerdemain. For there’s nothing remotely “alt” – standing for alternative – about what Spencer does or says, nor other white supremacists or racists or fascists or neo-Nazis who also style themselves as “alt-right”. They are…

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Jews being persecuted; Rochester Chronicle, 13th century Britain USA 

Trump is no antisemite

President Donald Trump seems to be a man who thinks (and tweets) from his gut. He appears emotional, self-absorbed and impulsive. His language is careless and inaccurate. He shoots his mouth off repeating something he’s seen or heard on Fox News or talk radio which as often as not turns out to be false. All these things are alarming and indefensible. Nevertheless the unprecedented distortion, fabrication, selective reporting, double standards, wrenching out of context and character assassination by association in the mainstream media’s general approach to Trump has created a…

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Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon at the latter's official residence, Bute House, Edinburgh Britain Videos 

May and Sturgeon go to war

British politics is entering very turbulent waters. Join me here as I discuss whether Prime Minister Theresa May can simultaneously fight EU bureaucrats, Scottish nationalists, Irish republicans and Remainers at Westminster, variously intent on seizing the moment for their agenda, scuppering Brexit or both. A transcript of my remarks follows beneath the video. The starting gun has been fired for independence in the United Kingdom. No, not independence FOR the UK from the European Union, or Brexit. Although the parliamentary bill enabling the government to start that process cleared its…

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The rape of the Sabine women; Pietro da Cortona, 1627-1629 Britain 

Justice is warped by hysteria over sex crimes

We’ve lost our collective marbles over sexual offences. What’s been junked is any notion that women might be held to account for their behaviour, not just by acting prudently but by taking some responsibility for ambiguous sexual encounters. The ferocious reaction to such a suggestion has so cowed police and prosecutors that the justice system has become a statistical battleground. The real reason there is such a hue and cry over sexual offences is the collapse of moral responsibility in our non-judgmental sexual free-for-all, in which victimhood is the ultimate…

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nbh Audio Britain 

Virtue signals in the moral maze

On BBC Radio Four’s Moral Maze, we tackled “virtue signalling” – the practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate our good character or the moral correctness of our beliefs. I argued that this wasn’t virtuous at all, since the poses being struck were designed to demonise and silence those with opposing views. I also tried to suggest that those who defended western or European national identity were demonised by “virtue signallers” who smeared them all as white nationalists – simply because western national identity was historically white….

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irish-flag-painting Britain 

My reply to the Irish ambassador

Ireland’s ambassador to the UK, HE Dan Mulhall, has written a letter in the Times in response to my column published earlier this week. Pondering the complexities that occur when national aspirations and identities come into conflict with each other, I wrote of Irish nationalism that “the claim to unite Ireland is tenuous since Ireland itself has a tenuous claim to nationhood, having seceded from Britain as the Irish Free State only in 1922. Britain, by contrast, is an authentic unitary nation.” The ambassador has taken a dim view of…

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