A Blog for all seasons

12 December
2019

‘Oh Captain! My Captain!’: The West’s Dearth of Leadership

Democracy is seen by most people, much of the time, as one of the brightest jewels in the crown of Western culture. Unlike the slavery-based ancient Athenian democracy it is the product of assertion of the freedom and dignity inherent in every human being, and as a result on 12 December every UK citizen over […]

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6 December
2019

Labour’s Slippery Slope

With the General Election approaching on 12 December, Labour has released its manifesto. It includes policies such as nationalising broadband, increasing the health budget by 4.3% and legalising abortion up to birth. Abortion was legalised for Britain in 1967. It was formally legal only in a limited number of cases and up to 28 weeks […]

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3 December
2019

Beauty Will Save The World

The Building Better, Building Beautiful commission, headed by Sir Roger Scruton, exists to reclaim beauty in architecture, or to use their own words: to advise the government on how to build new housing with high-quality design tailored to the needs of the community. A lot of the UK’s poorer areas are afflicted by ugly communist-like […]

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4 November
2019

Family and The Common Good

‘All the Lonely People’, an article published last year in The Economist, highlighted the financial implications of loneliness. What was perhaps most striking about the article was its stressing of the prevalence of loneliness in the developed world. It points out that there is no shortage of initiatives addressing the problem, some of which go […]

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17 April
2019

Deposing Freedom of Thought

Last week, Sir Roger Scruton was sacked from his role as Chairman of the ‘Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission’ following an interview that he gave to the New Statesman. Scruton’s appointment in November had caused considerable controversy, so perhaps his deposition from his unpaid position might be seen in retrospect as all but inevitable. Nevertheless, […]

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28 February
2019

Newman’s Age

In the coming year Pope Francis seems now likely to canonise the English Cardinal, John Henry Newman, completing a first step taken by Pope Benedict XVI who beatified him (declared him ‘Blessed’) in 2010. The Pope Emeritus has often referred to Newman in the same vein as his fellow-countryman St. Thomas More as figures who, […]

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30 January
2019

Remembering History

Posted in Uncategorized

This week has been one marked by many for recall of Holocaust Memorial Day. Acts of collective remembrance do play powerful roles in a nation’s psyche. Remembering historical events faces the challenge of stirring a continuous relevance, as memories fade with each passing generation and perceptions – however slowly – change. Yet Holocaust Memorial Day […]

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9 January
2019

Schumacher and Subsidiarity

In our current malaise(s) it is worth musing on the work of the great German-born economist E.F. Schumacher (1911–1977). Schumacher brought the social teaching of the Catholic Church, in the form of the worked theories of subsidiarity and distributism, back to the forefront of economic debate. His legacy emphasises the Christian truth that ‘the substance […]

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