You are here
inquisition Britain USA 

Political correctness kick-started populism

The reason nobody saw the people’s revolt coming is that political correctness is too easily dismissed. Reason has been supplanted by a secular inquisition, complete with an index of prohibited ideas. It is in effect a dictatorship of virtue, drawing upon the doctrine first promoted by Jean-Jacques Rousseau of forcing people to be free. Of course it’s not freedom at all but a form of moral extortion: extracting a free pass for bad or questionable behaviour under threat of character assassination and social opprobrium. My column in The Times of…

Read More
boibi-trump Israel USA 

Hope for a real solution? No wonder Europe’s dismayed

President Trump’s comments to Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu about the solution to the Israel-Arab impasse produced consternation and contempt in equal measure. At the press conference after their meeting at the White House, Trump said: “So I’m looking at two state and one state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one. I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two. But honestly, if Bibi and if the Palestinians, if Israel and the Palestinians are…

Read More
Aeneas and his companions fighting the Harpies, Francois Perrier, before 1650 USA 

First strike to the black state

Rarely can a much anticipated official visit have been so eclipsed by a convulsion taking place behind the scenes. People have been poring over every word and gesture of the meeting in Washington between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump. The encounter offered an opportunity to discover not just the new American policy toward Israel but also to get the measure of this unsettling president. However, the back story told rather more about Donald Trump than was on display at the love-in with Netanyahu – and it wasn’t…

Read More
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, Goya, 1799 Britain USA 

Moral obscenity at the LRB

Every day we hear of folk who are simply terrified out of their wits by what Donald Trump may do and the terrible things he supposedly represents, amongst them violence and fascism. The London Review of Books is a highbrow literary magazine whose staff and contributors might be assumed overwhelmingly to think President Trump is a menace to humanity. It might be imagined that such sensitively attuned souls are themselves, in stark contrast, blessed not just with an elevated aesthetic sense but also with the highest moral sensibilities commensurate with…

Read More
signers USA 

The courts v Trump

The situation now over President Trump’s messy temporary ban on immigrants from seven dangerous mainly Muslim states is itself a mess. The decision by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit not to revoke the restraining order against the Trump ban is deeply questionable. So too, though, was Team Trump’s case before it. Several lawyers have severely criticised the appeal court’s ruling. Harvard Law Professor Emeritus (and lifelong Democrat) Alan Dershowitz told MSNBC’s Hardball show that the ruling had “many, many flaws” because it was “ based more on…

Read More
la-museum USA 

Shoah uniqueness is now taboo

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Donald Trump said: “It is with a heavy heart and sombre mind that we remember and honour the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust.” His statement did not mention Jews. According to a White House spokesman, the omission was deliberate and elevated in intent. “Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered”, she said. This was very wrong. Although the Nazis targeted various groups for persecution, only the Jews were singled out for…

Read More
syrian-refugees Britain USA 

Diaspora Jews lose the moral plot

Why are so many Jews currently getting some crucial things so desperately wrong? President Trump’s immigration order has provoked worldwide hysteria to which Jewish leaders in the US and Britain have unfortunately contributed. With the exception of the Zionist Organization of America which strongly supported the order, lay and religious US Jewish bodies have denounced it with some comparing it to restrictions on Jewish refugees fleeing Nazism. In Britain, the Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush said it was a “message taken as a gesture of evil intent toward Muslims…

Read More
trump1 Britain USA Videos 

The vicar’s daughter and the volatile vulgarian

Join me here as I marvel at the special relationship between the English vicar’s daughter and the volatile vulgarian in the White House, and speculate how this could usher in a new era of western renewal. If you’d like to read the remarks I make on this video, the transcript follows below. It had seemed impossible that Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and the American President Donald Trump would have anything in common. The shy, reserved, utterly English vicar’s daughter and the garish and volatile vulgarian, who resembles a human…

Read More