[audioplayer src="http://rss.acast.com/viewfrom22/thedeportationgame/media.mp3" title="Douglas Murray and Don Flynn from the Migrants' Rights Network discuss deportation"]
[/audioplayer]There are two great deportation games. One is the carousel which Rod Liddle describes — but even this, for all its madness, pales alongside the border-security catastrophe unfolding on the continent. Thanks to geography and a few sensible decisions by our government, Britain has so far been spared the worst of the migrant crisis.
[audioplayer src="http://rss.acast.com/viewfrom22/thedeportationgame/media.mp3" title="The Spectator Podcast: the deportation game"]
[/audioplayer]For once it seemed that we were getting tough. Our patience had apparently snapped. We had been worn down by the constant news stories about foreigners whom the UK government was unable to deport — the child rapists, the fraudsters, the thieves, the gangsters, the jihadis who want us all dead, and just your plain old common-or-garden illegal residents.
I’ve heard it said that the ‘countryside’ is an urban idea, a place invented by the late Victorians in order to escape industrialisation. If so, we’re craving it more than ever. Surveys suggest 80 per cent of us now dream of living in a rural idyll. Since foxhunting was banned, riding to hounds has never been more prevalent. Suddenly five million people — most of them city dwellers — are tuning into The Archers, and viewing figures for Countryfile are higher than for The X Factor.
It is 40 years since the band in which Paul Cook banged the drums, the Sex Pistols, detonated a bomb called punk in post-war Britain. The shards are still visible. ‘We didn’t have a manifesto, but we wanted to shake things up,’ he says. ‘We didn’t know how much we would shake things up. Music, art, design, films, books. Punk is part of our social and cultural history.’
We’ve come a long way from 1976, when Johnny Rotten and ‘Anarchy in the UK’ put the pestilential Pistols on the front pages, and a prime-time television exchange with Bill Grundy, the celebrated ‘fucking rotter’ interview, kept them there.
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[/audioplayer]In 1793, on the eve of the Terror in France, the royalist journalist Mallet du Pan coined the adage ‘The Revolution devours its children.’ Today, on the left, history is repeating itself as farce.
Canada is about to hit a new high. If the supercute 44-year-old prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has his way, marijuana will soon be legally available.
Trudeau himself is no pothead. He last had a joint in 2010 at a family dinner party, with his children safely tucked up in bed at their grandmother’s house. Still, it is a typical policy for the Liberal leader — headline-grabbing, progressive, fashionable.
Because Americans love Britain, and because we are a presumptuous lot, we often advise the United Kingdom on its foreign policy. And not only the UK, but Europe. Successive US administrations have urged European nations to form a United States of Europe as an answer to the question attributed to Henry Kissinger: ‘Who do I call if I want to call Europe?’
The latest such unrequested advice was offered to your Prime Minister by no less a foreign-policy maven — see his successes in Libya, Middle East, China, Crimea — than Barack Obama.
I have been driving many hundreds of miles across America, interviewing Vietnam veterans for a book. Though I have been doing this sort of thing for 40 years, the fascination of the serendipity persists. I meet an extraordinary variety of people, way outside my usual social round. Some talk in modest bungalows, others in motels, one last week in a conspicuously wealthy gated community. Many rich Americans now live in such places — essentially their own country clubs, fortified by wired perimeters.
On my first night in Christchurch, I woke at 3.32 a.m. to what felt like an explosion. My bed was rocking, and a few things fell off the shelves. After my initial panic, I realised what it was: an earthquake, of course. The next question: what to do? Being an earthquake virgin, I had no idea if this was a big ’un or a small one — so I stayed put. I would listen to what was going on outside, I decided, and if people seemed to be panicking or moving, I’d join them.