02/04/2016
2 Apr 2016

Eugenics is back

2 Apr 2016

Eugenics is back

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Fraser NelsonFraser Nelson
The return of eugenics

The only way of cutting off the constant stream of idiots and imbeciles and feeble-minded persons who help to fill our prisons and workhouses, reformatories, and asylums is to prevent those who are known to be mentally defective from producing offspring. Undoubtedly the best way of doing this is to place these defectives under control. Even if this were a hardship to the individual it would be necessary for the sake of protecting the race.

The return of eugenics
Alex Massie
Referendum rage

In Scotland’s grittier pubs, a simple rule has long applied: no football colours and no talking about politics. With enough drink, talking about either can lead to violence — and pint glasses are expensive to replace. With an ordinary general election, the prohibition is easy to obey. The wrong buggers might well win, but they can easily be removed at the next election. A referendum, however, is different.

Referendum rage
Simon Barnes
The brain-damage game

In the course of a queasy hour in Harley Street 30 years ago I learned a great deal about the brain — what Woody Allen called ‘my second favourite organ’ — and altered the course of my life in sports writing. Dr Peter Harvey concluded: ‘Boxing is a contest in which the winner seems often to be the one who produces more brain damage on his opponent than he himself sustains.’ Last weekend, after a boxing match for the British middleweight title, Nick Blackwell was in an induced coma with bleeding to the brain.

The brain-damage game
Henry Jeffreys
The moths are coming!

Last month a friend invited me to lunch at the Garrick Club. As an impoverished writer, I don’t get many offers like this, so the week before, in a state of anticipation, I took my good suit out of the cupboard to check it wasn’t too rumpled. To my horror there were two holes the size of a five-pence piece in the trousers. Moths! I tore through my wardrobe and found web-like trails all over my coats, suits and sweaters.

The moths are coming!
William Cook
Confessions of a Saga lout

It’s chucking-out time at my local pub, and the high street is full of idiots. They’ve all had a lot to drink, but they’re in no hurry to go home. They’re looking for a party, somewhere loud and lairy to go on to. They’d settle for more booze, but some speed or skunk would be even better. It’s a scene I’ve seen a thousand times, but lately something’s changed: these tearaways aren’t teenagers — they’re in their fifties and sixties.

Confessions of a Saga lout
Gary Dexter
The poetic state of the nation

[audioplayer src="http://rss.acast.com/viewfrom22/thespectatorpodcast-eugenics-torywars-poetry/media.mp3" title="Gary Dexter and Dean Atta discuss the poetic state of the nation" startat=1169] Listen [/audioplayer] It was past midnight in Norwich. There was a keen wind rifling up London Street. It was dark and it was January. I was hoarse, my feet hurt and, more to the point, I was cold. I had been punishing myself for four-and-a-half hours reciting poems by Eliot, Larkin, Wordsworth and Whitman.

The poetic state of the nation
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