Category Archives: Social Commentary

Published on
9 February 2017

2016: A Year in Review

Our last blog post started by describing 2016 as an atypical year. That year is now over – and it truly was exceptional in various respects. It seems pertinent to reflect with a little hindsight on what happened in the twelve months to 31 December last. Politically, socially, culturally – and even locally here at […]

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Published on
25 May 2016

Whither Western Liberalism?

The outcome of the Austrian presidential election has produced a swift surge in outspoken expressions of relief among the West’s liberal media. Alexander van den Bellen, backed by the Greens and a supporter of further European integration, won by the narrowest of margins, just 31,000 votes in a nationwide poll. His opponent, Norbert Hofer, is […]

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Published on
17 May 2016

Overstepping the line, or the invasive role of the media

It seems as though last week was ‘gaffe week’ in Britain. First there was David Cameron describing Nigeria and Afghanistan as ‘fantastically corrupt’. At a reception in Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, the Prime Minister was caught on camera speaking informally to the Queen, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Speaker of the House of Commons. […]

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Published on
8 May 2016

Racism in the Twenty-First Century

Is there such thing as ‘reverse racism’? May statements be deemed racist only if uttered by white people? There has been a growing debate around these questions in universities and academic circles more widely in recent months. The student radicals who now occupy positions of power within their unions throughout the United Kingdom seem to […]

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Published on
30 April 2016

Orwell 2.0

There is something Orwellian about the times in which we live. In a recent debate about free speech on the BBC2 Victoria Derbyshire programme, Richard Brooks – the newly-elected Vice-President of the National Union of Students (NUS) – said ‘everyone has an equal right to freedom of speech; however, some people have more equal rights […]

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Published on
18 April 2016

Panama Papers and Political Morality

In recent weeks, newspapers and media at large have been speaking about the biggest leak in contemporary history. The Panama Papers amount to 2.6 terabytes of information or 11.5 million documents on offshore tax havens. The records constitute the internal database of Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm, and were published by the International Consortium […]

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Published on
24 February 2015

An Aesthete’s Atheism: Stephen Fry on God’s Caprice

If God exists, says Stephen Fry, then he is an ‘utterly evil, capricious monster’. It is worth bearing in mind that, in the context of his interview for Irish television’s (RTE‘s) The Meaning of Life, Gay Byrne was not asking Fry to speculate on the concept of a Creator in the vague terms sometimes proffered by Hollywood celebrities. Byrne began, […]

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Published on
24 March 2014

Practical Reasons for Rejecting Physician Assisted Suicide

We have argued previously on this blog against Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) (here and here). In both instances we sought to make a rational case against based on the premise that helping anyone to end his or her life is contrary to the value of liberty: with destruction of an individual’s life goes destruction of the […]

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