Katie Hopkins did something dreadful this week, which is not unusual, because she craves such things. She retweeted praise — also not unusual, for she is narcissistic for a masochist — from a Twitter account called AntiJuden SS. The page even featured a swastika, should AntiJuden SS not have been clear indication enough. For Hopkins, however, neo-Nazi praise is a dog making love to your ankle. It would repel most people, but for her it still counts.
Every American president since Harry Truman has arrived in the White House committed to globalism — a belief that America must lead always and everywhere — as the central organising principle of US foreign policy. In recent years, we have seen Barack Obama’s faith in globalism waver. The prospect of President Donald Trump abandoning globalism altogether is real.
For US allies as varied as Britain, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Israel, American globalism has been the gift that has never stopped giving.
Driving my son’s snake, Todd, a 3ft python wrapped in a pillowcase, to a Brighton vet in August was child’s play compared to the rest of what had gone on that summer. My son, who is 32 and has Asperger’s syndrome, had been served with an eviction notice from his rented flat, having been on what was effectively speed for the previous eight months. Since early July, when his three young carers resigned, he had been visited by the NHS mental health crisis team twice a day.
Sport is a serious matter. If you have any doubts on that score, shed them now, because this is to be a South African year. The South African cricket team comes to England in the summer to play four Test matches, three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 games, and as they do so they will ask a million questions — not only about cover drives and reverse swing, but also about the way to make a society, about the way to redeem a society, about idealism versus practicality, about short-term advantage versus long-term goals and about the nature of justice.
How to celebrate the centenary of the Russian revolutions of 1917? Modern Russians are deeply divided over the legacy of that tumultuous year. Russia’s few remaining liberals remember that the overthrow of the tsar in February 1917 ushered in a flowering of the artistic avant-garde, a brief period of feminism, liberal values and democracy. Putin supporters, on the other hand, have been convinced by years of state television propaganda that popular revolutions are by definition dangerous and anarchic, and usually orchestrated by dark outside forces.
Enough! Enough! For months, the so-called liberal elite has been writing articles, having radio and TV discussions, giving sermons (literally) and making speeches in which it has struggled to understand those strange creatures: ordinary people.
The elite is bemused by what drives these people to make perverse decisions about Brexit and Trump. Are they racist, narrow-minded or just stupid? Whatever the reason, ordinary people have frankly been a disappointment.
For more than 20 years now, I have been trudging up the hill to the Prince of Wales in Highgate on Tuesday evenings to take part in that tiny pub’s venerable weekly quiz. Each evening promises something different and yet somehow the same: ferocious competition, ridiculous arguments over the answer to question four, several glasses of red wine and usually, during round three, a few packets of Sweet Thai Chilli Sensations crisps.