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New Labour – the New Puritans?

16 November 2004

The Government thinks we eat too much, drink too much and smoke too much, and it’s going to use the full weight of the law to put a stop to any further irresponsibility. But a consistent puritan would want gambling stopped too, and yet the Government wants us to gamble more. This inconsistency helps us… [Read More]


The Welfare State We’re In

15 November 2004

The Welfare State We’re In by James Bartholomew has just been published. It looks afresh at all aspects of the welfare state, from schools and hospitals to pensions and child benefit, and asks whether we made a mistake in placing so much confidence in government-provided welfare. It deserves the strongest recommendation. The book presents the… [Read More]


The Police: Reassuring the Public or Enforcing the Law

11 November 2004

David Blunkett’s police reforms are intended to reassure the public. But as Julia Magnet, a New Yorker now living in London, points out in The Times, the aim of Mayor Guiliani’s police reforms was, not to pacify frightened citizens, but to stop crime.


God Save Us From Our Latter-Day History Professors

10 November 2004

George Bush’s electoral victory last week has shaken the predominantly left-leaning Anglo-American intellectual elite to its core. How, they collectively have wondered, could the American electorate have been so stupid? And, more pointedly, what do the Democrats have to do to ensure such an electoral debacle will never be repeated in future? The answers to… [Read More]


The Nightmare from which the BBC Claims to Have Awoken Us … Continues

8 November 2004

Those domiciled in Britain are obliged to pay an annual license for the privilege of being able to watch any television in that country. The revenue raised from this license fee goes to fund the BBC which justifies its privileged position by claiming its news and current affairs of the highest quality and both well-informed… [Read More]


Understanding America

A lot of British commentators on the US election result find it incomprehensible, particularly the central role played by religious campaigners. It’s well worth taking a look at Gertrude Himmelfarb’s explanation in the Sunday Times. The attitude of Americans who thought the election was primarily about moral issues would not have been a mystery to… [Read More]


Why the American Electorate was Right to Reject Gay Marriage

5 November 2004

Among the various results of Tuesday’s elections in the United States, of only slightly less significance than George Bush’s victory over John Kerry was the decisive rejection by the American electorate of ‘gay’ marriage. In eleven states, voters were given the opportunity to vote for or against amendments to their state constitutions confining marital status… [Read More]


Inciting Intolerance

3 November 2004

In a Guardian article entitled ‘Words that inspire killer deeds’, Gareth McLean tries to associate moral persuasion with threats of violence. Rocco Buttiglione, the former candidate for the EU Commission, said that homosexuality was a sin and, thereby according to Mr McLean, helped to create an atmosphere in which homosexuals could be murdered. So too… [Read More]


Our Right to Self-Defence

2 November 2004

It’s well worth taking a look at Libby Purves’ article in today’s Times about our right to tackle burglars without fear that the police will arrest us. Civilisation’s restraint, she says, “is an admirable thing, but not when it diverges too far from basic perceptions of justice.” She mentions the Oklahoma model, not uncommon in… [Read More]


Trevor Phillips Exaggerating Racism Yet Again

29 October 2004

In The Times today Trevor Phillips contends that ethnic groups still suffer from racial discrimination and that we need ‘more vigorous enforcement of existing anti-discrimination laws’. The evidence he gives is selective and takes the form of examples of disproportionate representation of ethnic groups in various walks of life: 22% of white British children live… [Read More]


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