A Blog for all seasons

14 February
2020

What about the Christians?

Western military intervention in the Middle East, however well-intentioned its perpetrators may have been – or wished to be seen as – has often caused more problems than it has solved. The Gulf Wars had a disastrously destabilising effect on Iraq and the surrounding regions, and they created the conditions for radical Islamic extremism to […]

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27 January
2020

Joy Beyond the Walls: What is the Point of Art?

Oscar Wilde, introducing The Picture of Dorian Gray gave what seemed a damning critique of art: ‘All art is quite useless’. Perhaps he was right. Art is certainly not useful in any conventional sense. It does not help us catch our prey, cure diseases, or find the ideal spouse. Despite this ‘uselessness’ art is – […]

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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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