UK Britain 

The real target of Remainer plotters’ outrage? Their own legislative decision

MPs on both sides in the Brexit battle are gearing for next week’s anticipated showdown as Remainers try to block a no-deal Brexit. Their justification in doing so is a master-class in constitutional illiteracy and self-contradiction. To counter what they consider to be the anti-democratic outrage of by-passing Parliament, they are planning to…bypass Parliament. As the Mail reports: “Remainer MPs from five different parties have promised to join forces with Jeremy Corbyn to seize control of the House of Commons and pass a law to stop Boris Johnson pursuing a…

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Holocaust Britain Global conflict 

We’d rather champion dead Jews than live ones

Back in 2016 the prime minister, David Cameron, decided that a Holocaust memorial and learning centre should be built near the Houses of Parliament. Three years on, the scheme is mired in an increasingly bitter row. Objectors say that the memorial’s brutalist design is inappropriate for the gardens and that its thousands of anticipated visitors would destroy one of London’s green oases. Many have cited security concerns. The Victoria Tower Gardens site, however, was chosen because it was next to parliament, thus making a highly visible and pointed statement about…

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UK Britain Europe 

Glad, confident morning for Britain’s battling Brexiteers? Er, not quite

Suddenly Brexit has become possible, coo the newspapers this morning; and suddenly, this Brexiteer’s heart stops for the umpteenth time during this national crisis. For what they are saying has now suddenly  become possible is not Brexit — which, after all, Britain’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, has been intoning like a stuck record will happen on October 31 even with no deal – but Brexit with a withdrawal deal with the EU. And that’s because the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has given Boris Johnson thirty days to come up…

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judges Britain 

State services have no monopoly on virtue

A charity called the Personal Support Unit (PSU) helps make the civil and family courts in England and Wales more accessible to those who have to face them alone. Last year it provided 691 volunteers — some of them retired professionals, others law students — to help such litigants-in-person, as they’re called, on an average of more than 5,450 occasions every month. The volunteers help these people sort out their paperwork and complete all necessary forms, guide them round the courts to make sure they keep their appointments, explain court…

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Britain Culture wars 

The deep bigotry of those screaming racism

Along with several other commentators, I had harsh words to say in my Times column (£) about the choices made by the Duchess of Sussex, the former actress Meghan Markle, in listing 15 female impact-makers in her guest-edited issue of British Vogue. Like others, I found these choices shallow and meretricious, amounting to little more than politically correct and deeply divisive virtue-signalling that seemed to me disrespectful of both the monarchy, which is above all an apolitical and unifying force, and the country of which it is the symbol. People…

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Britain Culture wars 

Meghan’s “woke” Vogue is shallow and divisive

Who knew that, among her many accomplishments, the Duchess of Sussex would exhibit an unparalleled talent for excavation? When in a hole, she doesn’t just keep digging. She keeps going until the earth caves in on top of her, and she doesn’t stop even then. The duchess, the former actress Meghan Markle, has been criticised for high-handedness and for failing to grasp that, as a member of the royal family, she now needs to be apolitical and no longer make herself the centre of the story. Failing to acknowledge this,…

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Britain Israel Videos 

Walking into the guns: proposing that anti-Zionism is antisemitism

In June, I took part in an Intelligence Squared debate in London in which I proposed the motion “Anti-Zionism is antisemitism” before a largely hostile audience. My seconder was the Israeli former member of Knesset Einat Wilf, and we were opposed by the expatriate Israeli anti-Zionist Ilan Pappé and the journalist Mehdi Hasan. You can watch the video of the event below. Underneath the video, you can read a written version of my opening remarks. Anti-Zionism is antisemitism: speech for the proposition I never visited Israel at all until the…

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Britain Global conflict Israel 

Is Boris Johnson “good for the Jews”?

Britain now has its first celebrity prime minister. On Tuesday, Boris Johnson was elected leader of the Tory Party following Theresa May’s resignation over her failure to deliver Brexit. On Wednesday, Johnson “kissed hands” with the Queen and thus succeeded Mrs. May as Britain’s PM. As with all social or political developments of note, the Jewish world is predictably asking about this one: “Will it be good for the Jews?” Johnson has entertained and scandalized Britain for years through his many scrapes, his jokes, his politically incorrect gaffes, his chaotic…

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UK Britain 

As ruthless Johnson signals “Brexit do or die”, I’m still counting my spoons

The commentariat has been utterly convulsed by the composition of new prime minister Boris Johnson’s government. As Remainer ministers and those disloyal to Johnson were either sacked or fell on their swords to be replaced by Brexiteers in every key position, Brexit supporters were as ecstatic as Remainers were choked with horror and rage. Johnson’s purpose in effecting this ruthless transformation was clear: to send an unequivocal signal that the Remainers’ game is now up. Britain will be leaving the EU on October 31, “do or die”. The purpose of…

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