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The Disappearance of Dissent

The range of responses to the April protests against lockdown from what we might now call the media-political complex has been...

The Light of India

The new fundamentalism that has made an idol of a virus is based on two great lies. The first is that those who worship the blessed virus...

The Hobgoblin of Little Minds

How do you know you’re not mad? If not mad, exactly, how do you know that you are not being deeply unreasonable, stupid, or resistant to...

The Emperor's New Shoes

More than a thousand years ago, a Chinese Emperor of the Southern Tang, the state that later gave its name to a popular brand of barbecue...

Labour's Leader's Lost

Things, the Labour Party theme song assured the public in 1997, can only get better. This optimism is misplaced. The elastic of...

Love and Liberty

In 1881, Oscar Wilde was due to make his West End debut with a play about a gang of Russian nihilists assassinating the Tsar. In March of...

The Rulers and the Rules

It is not yet clear whether David Cameron is a criminal. What is perfectly obvious is that he is an oily, money-grubbing, conniving...

Sickening Lies

Among the many failures of the media during the course of the pandemic, perhaps the most striking has been the astonishingly easy ride...

The Elusive Anti-Vaxxers

Not long ago, I had the opportunity to give a novel I had written to a distinguished literary critic for review. When I asked her, some...

Politeness costs Everything

If you ever find yourself thinking that the British government, while astonishingly stupid, is not actively malicious, try spending ten...

Band of Brothers

In his novel, Galápagos, Kurt Vonnegut points out what a nuisance it is to be intelligent. The oversized human brain, he says, is a...

An Englishman's Prison

David Lammy has received widespread praise this week for his response to a woman who called in to the Leninist Broadcasting Company to...

Oh, the Humanities!

There was an Internet meme a few years ago, presumably intended to promote study of the liberal arts, which featured a white-coated...

Banging the Drum

“You know what I haven’t done for a while?” I asked a long-suffering friend the other day, “Inveighed against the collapse of Western...

Where the Nuts Come From

Having decided long ago that literature is vastly superior to life, I occasionally have to disillusion my students by pointing out that...

Hancock's Half-Witted

Baroness Jones of Moulsecoombe has suggested the imposition of a 6:00pm curfew for men, as a novel solution to the problem of violence...

Conspiracy Theories

George Orwell once asked readers of his column in Tribune whether they had any good reason for believing that the earth was round. His...

Signs of the Times

Although the pubs are closed, in the town where I live at least, some of the cafés have been allowed to stay open in a limited fashion....

Why I am Not a Lockdown Sceptic

In times of stress, which occur with increasing frequency these days, I find myself turning to Toby Young’s Lockdown Sceptics website...

The Sanity of Art

I have said a great many foolish things in my lifetime, and I have said a fair number of things that have been laughed at and dismissed...