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The Punishment of the Thieves; William Blake, 1824-7 Culture wars 

Lennon’s utopia is no dream, it’s a nightmare

Lennon’s utopia is no dream, it’s a nightmare At the annual New Year’s Eve celebrations last night in New York’s Times Square, a hallowed tradition was observed once again. Bebe Rexha was the latest singer to perform John Lennon’s song Imagine immediately before the 60-second countdown to the pyrotechnically punctuated stroke of midnight. The song is chosen for this sacred annual spot because it is regarded by many as a hymn to a better world. “Imagine there’s no countries,” sang Lennon, “It isn’t hard to do/ Nothing to kill or…

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tikkun Culture wars Israel 

Is the State of Israel supping with the devil?

The visit to Israel this week by Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini has provoked criticism and dismay within the Jewish world. Salvini, who heads Italy’s right-wing “populist” Lega party, is controversial because of his anti-immigration stance. Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin declined to meet him, citing “scheduling issues.” Rivlin’s view of political parties such as Lega were made clear, however, when he told CNN that the whole world needed to work against xenophobia, discrimination and antisemitism. “There are neo-fascist movements today that have considerable and very dangerous influence, and sometimes…

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parrot Britain Culture wars Europe 

Convulsions over Brexit and the struggle for the western nation

The West is convulsing as a new world order struggles to be born. Nowhere is that convulsion currently proving more agonizing and potentially catastrophic than in the United Kingdom. The fundamental division is between, on the one hand, nationalists who want to defend the nation and its core values and, on the other, those who believe these must be superseded by trans-national institutions and laws. In the first camp are millions of ordinary people throughout the West in revolt against the steady undermining of their countries and cultures, alongside the…

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scruton Britain Culture wars 

Sir Roger Scruton becomes a persecuted dissident. In Britain

If there is one event that most clearly encapsulates the vicious and socially suicidal ignorance and cultural sectarianism currently rampant in British society, it is the treatment that has been meted out to Sir Roger Scruton. Sir Roger is arguably the most important British philosopher of recent years and one of the most significant in the western world. He has devoted his life and work to advancing the causes of reason, understanding and decency. As a professor of aesthetics, a lover of the countryside and a noted champion of English…

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conservatism Culture wars USA 

Jews and conservatism: an idea whose time has come

Last Sunday, I took part in the Jewish Leadership Conference in New York on Jews and conservatism. There were some excellent presentations from a line-up including Ruth Wisse, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Jonathan Haidt, Yoram Hazony and others. The point of the conference was, in the JLC’s own words, to harness the power of conservative ideas to strengthen the Jewish people and revitalise American civic life. It is not over-dramatic to say this is a project that is urgently needed to save the west. For the past several decades, the bedrock…

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king-and-queen-of-hearts Culture wars 

Liberal sore losers don’t respect democracy

Liberal sore losers don’t respect democracy What’s so alarming is the way that political and ideological disputes are driving many into positions where minds are closed against evidence in a culture war which brooks no deviation. Speaking from my own experience, it’s apparently not possible to want to see rapists locked up and oppose the destruction of the presumption of innocence by #MeToo; to stand up against the West’s appeasement of Islamism and criticise Tommy Robinson; to be appalled by the psychological and other flaws of President Trump and acknowledge…

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gay cake Britain Culture wars 

Gay cake crumbles in rare win for real liberal values

I have often criticised Britain’s senior judges in general, and the president of the Supreme Court Lady Hale in particular, for “liberal” partisanship and allowing ideology to influence their rulings. Today, however, Lady Hale and her Supreme Court colleagues have bravely gone against fashionable ideology in a ruling which actually upholds liberalism, rationality and law. The judges have ruled unanimously that the Christian owners of Ashers bakery in Belfast did not act in a discriminatory manner when they refused to bake a cake iced with the message “Support Gay Marriage”….

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feminists Britain Culture wars 

Feminists want to blame men for everything

Feminists want to blame men for everything Women are often levered into top posts, sometimes above their level of competence, not through some infernal male plot but to fill an ideological quota in response to feminist pressure for equal representation in public life. Yet success still isn’t enough. Dame Inga Beale, the first woman to run Lloyd’s of London, says all female chief executives accept that their successors will be men determined to take power back. So let’s get this right. If women get to the top, it’s a conspiracy…

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banana republic Culture wars USA 

The Democrats’ proposed banana republic

I wrote here that the American Democratic party had become the party of hate. Subsequent events have not only amply confirmed that view but further suggest that the Democrats now pose a real threat to America, in terms of both physical violence and a threat to due process and the US constitution. Two days after the Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell told a press conference that GOP senators were “literally under assault” during the confirmation process. “These demonstrators, I’m sure some…

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warming Culture wars 

BBC censorship and the man-made global warming scam

This evening, an important lecture is being delivered in London on the subject of man-made or anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory. If you follow BBC news programmes, you are extremely unlikely to hear anything about this important lecture. That is because the scientist delivering it is saying that man-made global warming theory is a scam. BBC policy is to report no challenge to AGW theory at all. The explicit statement of this policy was set out in a four-page memo by Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s Director of News and Current Affairs,…

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