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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meryl-streep USA 

Meryl Streep’s broken heart

Meryl Streep is a very great screen actor. That is all President-elect Trump needed to say in response to her extremely disobliging remarks about him at the Golden Globes. Such public magnanimity would have made her look sour, mean and diminished by comparison. It would have been the smart thing for him to do. Instead he got down in the gutter, calling her “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood”. Which she certainly is not. In revealing such a thin skin he displayed vulnerability and thus weakness. This will…

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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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cartoon-2 Israel 

Real liberals must shun Palestinian colonialism

With Israel still looking down the barrel of a diplomatic gun as the Obama presidency approaches its final days, it’s high time to change the narrative. Western progressives define themselves through various fixed positions. They are against racism. They are against colonialism. They are against ethnic cleansing. They are against police states. And they are against antisemitism. So there is a political agenda that is surely tailor-made for Western liberals and left-wingers to shun and condemn as an utter negation of all they hold dear. The goal of the Palestinians…

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blm USA 

Will Obama become the agitator-in-chief?

After he was first elected president Mr Obama launched Organising for America, a formal infrastructure of activism built upon his campaign’s extensive database of supporters. In his second term, this turned into Organising for Action. In other words: agitating. This now has the potential for a permanent grassroots insurrection against the Trump administration involving many different constituencies. Who better to spearhead this in one form or another than America’s very own community organiser-in-chief, soon-to-be-ex President Obama? My column in The Times of London (subscription only)

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melanie-flags Global conflict Israel 

Australia lines up against the axis of infamy

Plaudits to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for condemning the UN Security Council’s vicious anti-Israel resolution 2334 which, in falsely delegitimising Israel’s settlements, struck at the very heart of Judaism and Jewish history. On New Year’s Eve Turnbull called the resolution “one-sided” and “deeply unsettling”, while Bishop said it was “unlikely” that Australia would have voted for it had it still been on the Security Council. This lines up Australia with the incoming US Trump administration against the axis of infamy consisting of Obama,…

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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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