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whitby_abbey_ruins_yorkshire Britain 

The Church of England’s auto-immune disease

It is certainly important for religious bodies, like everyone else, to be sensitive to the needs of those who don’t fit in. Being inclusive, however, does not mean giving powerful interest groups the right to remake society in their own image. Which is precisely what’s happening. The church hierarchy fails to grasp that secularism is a direct attack on the bedrock principles of Christianity. Secularism would ditch Biblical precepts in favour of radical autonomy, replacing normative morality and even physiological reality by subjective emotion and remaking the world in the…

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apocalypse Britain 

The British government maelstrom

The British government is currently experiencing some, ahem, internal turbulence. The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, told a parliamentary committee last week that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an Iranian-British woman currently in jail in Tehran accused of being a British spy, had been “simply teaching people journalism”. This totally undercut her defence that she had merely been in Iran on holiday, and added fuel to the Iranians’ charge that she had been running a journalism course aimed at spreading anti-Iran propaganda. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was promptly dragged back to court where Johnson’s remarks were cited…

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allegory-of-peace-and-justice-giaquinto-corrado-175354 Britain Israel 

The strategic importance of the argument from law

Earlier this week, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely was almost prevented from speaking at Princeton University after left-wing Jewish students claimed her work “causes irreparable damage to the prospects of a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Meekly genuflecting to this preposterous claim, Princeton Hillel, no less, abruptly canceled her invitation. The day was saved by Chabad, which provided a venue in which Hotovely could speak. Hillel officials subsequently apologized for this disgraceful episode, adding that this was “an isolated incident.” Well no, it isn’t. I had an identical experience…

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great-ormond-street-hospital Britain 

My article wins a legal reporting award!

I am delighted (and somewhat amazed) to report that I have won the UK Bar Council’s print and on-line Legal Reporting Award for my piece on the tragic Charlie Gard case last July. The piece was first published as a blog post here and the Sunday Times published an updated version that weekend here. You can read the Bar Council’s press release about this award here.

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bbc_broadcasting_house_eric_gill Britain 

Disgusting acts and creative genius

Consternation! The tsunami of sexual allegations that is still gathering force looks like it may wash away the Netflix series House of Cards, to which I am hopelessly addicted. Its star Kevin Spacey, who plays a monstrously corrupt US president, has been accused of sexually abusing young men working on the show. He is accused of similar behaviour at London’s Old Vic theatre where he was artistic director for more than a decade. Kevin Spacey remains a great actor and revived the Old Vic. None of the charges against him…

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779px-massacre_of_jews_woodcut_1493 Britain 

The roots of Labour’s antisemitism problem

An article in the Daily Mail reveals the astonishing scale of visceral antisemitism in the Labour party: “The abuse includes one Labour member describing Jews as a ‘corrupt master race’ controlling sex-trafficking, pornography and wars worldwide. Another wrote: ‘Every f****** Jew that died in the Holocaust was a blessing.’ One councillor suggested there was a worldwide Jewish conspiracy and that Israel wanted to commit atrocities across the whole world. “…A message was shared from the online Labour Party Forum, showing a man with a large nose reading the BBC Six…

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palestine Britain Israel 

Britain’s unfinished Balfour business

Sir Simon McDonald, the top official at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a former British ambassador to Israel, told a pro-Israel conference in London yesterday that the second part of the 1917 Balfour Declaration “remains unfinished business” that Britain had a duty to see through. What was this “unfinished business”? The FCO has falsely claimed that that the second half of the Balfour Declaration made a pledge to the Arabs of Palestine that remains unfulfilled, and that way to fulfil it is through the establishment of a Palestine…

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palestine Britain Israel 

BBC Today’s disgraceful Balfour travesty

UPDATE  An earlier version of this post contained some loose wording which has now been corrected. in particular, I said Nick Robinson had stated the Balfour Declaration had promised a homeland to the Arabs too. He did not state that. Although I believe the Today programme allowed calumnies to go unchallenged, I am not accusing Nick Robinson of lying. Nor am I accusing him of being an Israel-basher or an antisemite. I have therefore removed certain phrases which did not clearly express what I intended to say and may have given…

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union-jack-cupcakes Britain 

The half-baked broadside against Brexit

Fancy! Who’d have thought that Britain’s best-loved cookery show was not in fact about baking but bigotry? The producer who founded The Great British Bake Off, Richard McKerrow, has claimed the show is “radically anti-Brexit”. This is because, he suggests, it challenges Britain’s innate racist instincts. Although it has the air of a quintessential English country fête, he says, viewers who may have little contact with people of different backgrounds have warmed to the 2015 winner, the Times food writer Nadiya Hussain, and other ethnic minority or foreign-born contestants. “It…

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palestine Britain 

The malevolent guest at London’s Balfour dinner

When Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn refused to attend this week’s dinner in London to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, a dinner to which Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been invited as the guest of Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, Corbyn said Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry would attend in his place. Now remarks made by Thornberry inescapably imply that, like Corbyn, she too regrets the fact that Israel was ever created. Instead she supports its mortal enemies whose agenda remains Israel’s destruction. In an interview…

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