30/04/2022
30 Apr 2022

Fractured

30 Apr 2022

Fractured

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Douglas MurrayDouglas Murray
Fractured: can the West fix itself?

There are many ways to fracture a people. But one of the best is to destroy all the remaining ties that bind them. To persuade them that to the extent they have anything of their own, it is not very special, and in the final analysis, hardly worth preserving. This is a process that has gone on across the western world for over a generation: a remorseless, daily assault on everything that most of us were brought up to believe was good about ourselves.

Fractured: can the West fix itself?
Fraser Nelson
Can Elon Musk take on the tech censors?

After three centuries of failing to assert power over the printed press, the House of Commons is finding the digital world easier to conquer. The Online Safety Bill now going through parliament will give ministers the power to decide what can and can’t be said online by banning what they regard as ‘harmful’. The word is not very well defined – which, of course, gives sweeping powers to the government regulators who will define it.

Can Elon Musk take on the tech censors?
Katy Balls
Nadine Dorries: My vision for the BBC

When Nadine Dorries was named Culture Secretary last year, it proved to be the most controversial appointment of Boris Johnson’s reshuffle. Her critics weren’t afraid to point to what they saw as her flaws. She was a Scouser and former nurse put in charge of the cultural crown jewels. The only explanation they could come up with: she was intended to embody a two-finger flick, on behalf of the PM, to the BBC, Channel 4 and the arts world in general.

Nadine Dorries: My vision for the BBC
Cosmo Landesman
In defence of staring

Like many people, I enjoy watching people. There’s a great pleasure in sitting in a café or on a park bench on a sunny afternoon and just watching people pass by. But increasingly, people-watching is becoming suspect, and even criminalised. The latest and most worrying example is Transport for London’s campaign against what it calls ‘intrusive staring’. Posters all over the Tube now warn us: ‘Intrusive staring is a form of sexual harassment and will not be tolerated.

In defence of staring
Jack Wakefield
Why Christie’s is wrong to cancel Eric Gill

Eric Gill was an incestuous paedophile and his own letters prove it, but the value of his work can run into millions of pounds. So it was a surprise to hear rumours that auction house Christie’s will no longer be accepting his art. Will they really be turning away all Gills, even the masterpieces? I asked one Christie’s employee for confirmation. ‘Yes,’ they said. ‘It would not be consistent to refuse to sell the Gill trifles but continue to sell his masterpieces.

Why Christie’s is wrong to cancel Eric Gill
Freddy Gray
How Disney fell foul of Florida’s governor

Bob Chapek, Disney’s CEO, was paid $32.5 million last year. It’s hard to feel sorry for someone on that sort of money. Poor Bob, though. He’s caught in the middle of a vicious fight between Florida’s conservative governor Ron DeSantis and Disney’s LGBTQ+ activists and he’s being pummelled from both sides. It’s nasty. Children probably shouldn’t watch. The story begins with DeSantis’s Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, which passed in March and banned Floridian schoolteachers from discussing sexuality and mutable gender-identities with very young children.

How Disney fell foul of Florida’s governor
James Bartholomew
Refugee status: the social cachet of taking in Ukrainians

I have temporarily taken in two Ukrainian refugees and suddenly find that, for very little sacrifice, my stock has soared. People who have regarded me as a hard-nosed, right-wing bastard are suddenly confused and struggling to readjust. A woke young relative who has despaired of my ignorant, reactionary views on Black Lives Matter, climate change, gender and so on suddenly sees a halo above my head. My mother-in-law on the Costa Brava reports mentioning that her daughter and son-in-law have Ukrainian refugees is like being sprinkled with gold dust.

Refugee status: the social cachet of taking in Ukrainians
Gavin Mortimer
Can Mélenchon unite the French left?

Paris Shortly before the first round of the French presidential election I was handed a campaign flyer by one of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s activists. On one side was his photo and on the reverse the headline: ‘With Jean-Luc Mélenchon another world is possible.’ What sort of world? A leftist utopia in which the minimum wage would be raised from its current €1,302 to €1,400 net per month, new hospitals would be built, the retirement age would be lowered to 60, and there would be a fixed price for petrol, food and energy prices.

Can Mélenchon unite the French left?
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