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An unknown face for a new Conservative party

content discovered on Friday, October 13, 2017

The great moment in modern British politics upon which all else turns was the election in 1979. The decade that followed brought in fundamental change, not because the Conservative Party sought consensus and the centre ground, but rather because it decided to take a different direction. There was disagreement, there was struggle. Sometimes it was even violent. But the results of the decade that followed are still with us. Britain had been in decline since 1945. Both Conservatives and Labour had come to ...

A senseless struggle about nothing

content discovered on Saturday, October 07, 2017

There are two forces going on in human nature, the desire to unify and the desire to separate. The reason that we have nation states at all is because people have felt the need to unify with others who are similar to them. In antiquity each small village had its own ruler, its own customs and often its own variety of language. Historical progress across the world has involved the process of people uniting to form nation states. These are the building blocks of international relations and without them the...

No-one expects the Liberal Inquisition

content discovered on Saturday, September 30, 2017

There must be something in human nature that means we always need to take a good thing too far. In this way far from turning it into a very good thing we instead turn it into a very bad thing. The fault, for instance, with Christianity is not what Jesus and his disciples taught, but that many centuries later when the Church had become powerful it started burning people at the stake for believing one thing about Jesus rather than another thing. It’s impossible to imagine either Jesus or his disciples thin...

Encouraging nationalism involves a heavy respon...

content discovered on Saturday, September 23, 2017

As many of us have noticed this week, Spain is trying to prevent one of its parts from holding a referendum on independence. I normally don’t pay much attention to the internal politics of European countries. I can’t even routinely name the leaders of more than a few EU countries. But I began noticing the dispute in Spain a few years ago and from time to time have paid attention. There is a reason for this. Independence movements feed off each other. Scottish nationalists wave Catalan flags and vice vers...

It’s not bad enough yet

content discovered on Saturday, September 16, 2017

I was going to write about something else this week. I had something almost ready about Jacob Rees-Mogg’s views on theology. But then I saw that he had ruled himself out from being leader, no doubt because of his views on theology. Maybe at a later date I will discuss those views. I think there is an interesting rational argument to be had about the subject. But why stick your neck out. It’s not bad enough yet. Every other day now North Korea either has a new test for a new sort of nuclear weapon or e...

Indyref; or, 'tis three years since

content discovered on Saturday, September 09, 2017

It’s a pity Walter Scott is so little read nowadays. Waverley (or 'tis sixty years since) is not merely a station in Edinburgh it is the key to understanding everything in Scottish history and if you understand the past you understand the present, for history is not about what was, it’s about what is, it’s not about then, it’s about now. I resolved earlier this summer to not write about Scottish nationalism, the SNP or even Scottish politics. For the most part I have stuck to this resolution. For the mo...

If there is hope, it lies in the Poles

content discovered on Saturday, September 02, 2017

There has been endless complaint since the UK voted to leave the EU a little over a year ago. Not from voters mind you. The vast majority of Remain voters have simply got on with their lives and accepted that they lost the argument. Owing to the fact that the Remain prediction of immediate catastrophe for the UK simply did not occur, many former Remain voters have come to the conclusion that they were duped. But this has not stopped the rearguard action from some politicians and some influential people i...

Wallace must fall

content discovered on Saturday, August 26, 2017

By an amazing piece of good luck the Aberdeen branch of the Wallace Must Fall Campaign has discovered a hitherto unknown letter between William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. One of the problems of medieval history is that so few contemporary sources survive. We are forced to rely frequently on Blind Harry whose reliability as a witness is hindered not merely by him being blind, but more importantly by the fact that he lived some hundreds of years after the events he describes. But finally we have a conte...

The Left is winning

content discovered on Saturday, August 19, 2017

Until recently I thought that the Right had won the economic battle decisively, but were gradually losing the cultural war. Now I am not so optimistic. Conservative economics suffered a set-back at the last election and now Conservatives are actually helping the Left to still more decisively destroy Conservative values. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher won the Cold War by bankrupting the Soviet Union and by showing that Right-wing economics bring with it peace and prosperity. They therefore won bot...

Better to be a dragon than a bear : the Chinese...

content discovered on Saturday, August 12, 2017

Part 1 Russia famously was described by Winston Churchill as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”. What is less frequently noted is that Churchill went on to solve his riddle. The key to understanding Russian actions was to look at Russian national interest. But is this not simply to state a truism? Isn’t the key to understanding any country’s action to simply reflect on its national interest? Is Churchill actually saying anything at all? Then again, it was not straightforwardly in the Am...


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