Are You Smarter than a French Teenager?

18 June 2009 15:32

The Bac began today with, as is traditional, the philosophy paper. Via Charles Bremner and Art Goldhammer, here are some of the essay questions our French friends had to answer:… Continue reading


What matters more: the Iranian bomb or Persian political reform?

18 June 2009 14:53

In his cover story for this week’s edition of the magazine James is, quite characteristically, honest enough to acknowledge that the consequences of attacking Iran would be "horrendous" and, of… Continue reading


The BNP Has No Future – Unless the Tories and Labour Decide to Help Them

18 June 2009 4:56

It’s hardly breaking news that the British [sic] National Party are a bunch of racist goons. But it’s a little unsettling to see a Tory MP such as Eric Pickles*… Continue reading


The Ridiculous Glibness of National Review

18 June 2009 2:46

Could American conservatives be any more glib? Here’s Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, in a post titled Obama Throughout History: On the Sack of Rome: "Any time a major… Continue reading


The People Who Are Not Marching Through Tehran Matter Too

18 June 2009 2:30

How best to help the Iranian dissidents? George Packer suggests that they need our aid and encouragement and that, despite what many people think, we shouldn’t worry too much about… Continue reading


A Very Worrying Development

18 June 2009 0:13

Harry’s Place reports that Al-Muhajiroun has reformed and it is already returning to its thuggish ways. A debate between Anjem Choudhary and Douglas Murray turned very nasty when a member… Continue reading


Mousavi and the South African Example

17 June 2009 23:54

Democracy in America goes back to pre-election profiles of Mir Hossein Mousavi and finds a "cautious, pragmatic, vague and increasingly shrewd politician." This seems a fair verdict and, as we… Continue reading

1 Comment

The Big Chill

17 June 2009 23:08

Not my choice for the Spectator’s Top 50 films (really not) but the title of the masterful new edition of Index on Censorship. The article by Floyd Abrams on how… Continue reading


Goodbye Kitty

17 June 2009 22:43

So now Kitty Ussher has gone too. This really is becoming a significant clearout as hopes for the next generation of Labour politicians fall away. I always rather liked Kitty,… Continue reading


Neocons in a Persian Wonderland

17 June 2009 14:28

Apparently black is white and up is down when it comes to some people’s analysis of events in Iran. Here, for instance, is our old friend Stephen Hayes: Obama says… Continue reading


Obama’s Alliance with the Iranian Regime? Really?

17 June 2009 14:07

Remember how in the months before the Iraq war, anyone who doubted the wisdom of military intervention was accused of being "objectively" on Saddam Hussein’s side. I do, not least… Continue reading


The Cynical Case Arguing that Mousavi Doesn’t Matter At All

17 June 2009 11:59

Beneath the headline Iran’s Brave Revolutionaries Can Change Nothing But the Faces Con Coughlin sighs, lights a cigar, pours himself another brandy and explains to those folk foolish enough to… Continue reading


Police Brutality in Nottingham

16 June 2009 1:43

Meanwhile, in dear old Britain the paramilitarisation of our police continues. The Home Office has announced an extra £8m to help provide police forces in England with Tasers. It’s only… Continue reading


Is the Iranian Regime More Irrational Than it was Last Week?

16 June 2009 0:38

Ezra Klein has copped some stick for his observation that: There are a couple things to say about this, all of them depressing. First, those of us who have long… Continue reading


Is this 1989 in Poland or 1989 in China?

15 June 2009 21:03

That’s a gross simplification, of course, but it’s also, in the broadest terms, the question. Or one of them, anyway*. The death – no, murder – of a protestor increases… Continue reading


Iran Coverage: New Media vs MSM

15 June 2009 18:32

I agree with James’s view that this New York Times’ blog is doing an excellent job of keeping one up-to-date on the turmoil in Iran. I’d also recommend Andrew Sullivan’s… Continue reading

1 Comment

Bait & Switch in Persia

15 June 2009 14:42

Iranian riot policemen stand guard outside the British embassy in Tehran on June 15, 2009 during a protest by supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against European interference in the Islamic… Continue reading


Caption Contest: Ahmadinejad Edition

14 June 2009 23:54

TEHRAN, IRAN – JUNE 14: Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad holds a press conference on June 14, 2009 in Tehran, Iran. Photo: Majid/Getty Images. Well, you’d be chuckling if you’d stolen… Continue reading


The Case for Independence

14 June 2009 22:49

After the jump, the best case for Scottish independence. Oh yes. I especially like Big Jock’s assertion that anyone living south of Edinburgh is, whether they ken it or no’,… Continue reading


My Thoughts on Labour’s Predicament for Demos

14 June 2009 11:31

I have written an essay for a Demos pamphlet called What Next for Labour? In it I have compared two campaigns, John Prescott’s Go Fourth and my own New Deal… Continue reading


Gloomy Thought of the Day

14 June 2009 2:43

The nights will soon be drawing in. That is all.


What Should Obama Say About the Iranian Elections?

14 June 2009 0:55

Since I’ve been sceptical about some of Barack Obama’s rhetoric on democracy promotion and human rights, Stephen Hayes’s comments at the Weekly Standard merit some attention: Obama could tap into… Continue reading

1 Comment

Ahmadinejad’s American Supporters

13 June 2009 19:18

I don’t pretend to have a sophisticated grasp on the complexities of Iranian politics and society, but it’s worth noting that Ahmadinejad had support outside Iran too. To wit, Daniel… Continue reading


Saturday Morning Country: Steve Earle Edition

13 June 2009 10:50

Steve Earle belongs in the first rank of the great tradition of Texas singer-songwriters and he’s been in great form since his two-year "vacation" in the early 1990s. The good… Continue reading


The Madness of New Labour

12 June 2009 23:01

A subject close to my heart is the fear of mental collapse that lies just below the surface of New Labour. So I wrote about it for this week’s Spectator magazine. You’ll… Continue reading