Would I still hate actors’ rants if they all agreed with me?

I feel a bit sorry for Piers Morgan. On Tuesday, Ewan McGregor was due to appear on the sofa with Piers on ITV’s Good Morning to talk about the Trainspotting sequel, but he failed to turn up. Later, the actor explained on Twitter that it was due to the journalist’s remarks about the women’s marches that took place last weekend, in which he described some of the participants as ‘rabid feminists’ and suggested he should organise a men’s march in response. I had a similar experience about five years ago when the actor Matthew Macfadyen pulled out of an interview he was due to do with me. Like McGregor, he

James Delingpole

A Berlin Wall moment for political correctness

Because we’re all so obsessed with what it was that made the Nazis tick, we tend to overlook the bigger mystery of how hundreds of millions of people, for a period considerably longer than the lifespan of Hitler’s Germany, remained under the spell of communism. This is a question that Czeslaw Milosz set out to answer in his 1953 classic The Captive Mind. Milosz was a Polish poet, prominent in the underground during the Nazi occupation, who served as a cultural attaché with Poland’s post-war communist regime before quitting in disgust and fleeing to the US, where he taught at Berkeley and achieved eminence as a Nobel-prize-winning dissident exile. What

Taught to be stupid

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. Time, ladies and gentlemen, please! Instead, let’s do the opposite. Let’s try to explain to ordinary people what drives the liberal elite. The elite persists with some very strange and disturbing views. Are its members brainwashed, snobbish or just so remote

Why I was ashamed to love Status Quo

I bought a record in a second-hand shop in the summer of 1981. A double album. I made sure nobody was looking when I handed over my money, and kept the purchase hidden in its brown paper bag all the way home. Back in my room, I locked the door to make sure my house-mates couldn’t surprise me — and plugged in my headphones. What followed was more than an hour of dirty bliss, a guilty pleasure before the term had been invented. What I was listening to was a compilation album of Status Quo’s singles and most popular album tracks. I can’t remember what it was called — ‘Again

Electoral ‘communities’

In the eyes of the bien-pensants, the election of Donald Trump and the vote on Brexit have brought democracy to an end, and a good thing too since the people are clearly incapable of appreciating what the bien-pensant has to offer. In this they are bang up to date with their rather mieux-pensants and certainly more literate peers from the 16th century onwards. They too were pondering the best political system, and looked aghast at the Athenian democratic model. Typical of their responses was that such democracy was the usurping by ‘the popular or rascall and viler sort, because they be more in number’ (Thomas Smith); as ‘the seed of

Warning: top-performing funds are highly likely to contain tobacco

Axa will no longer invest in the tobacco industry: the French insurance giant will sell €184 million of shares and gradually reduce its €1.6 billion bond holdings in the sector. No surprise, given Axa’s role as a health insurer and the oft-repeated statistic that smoking kills six million people a year; indeed, you might think any health-related investor would have taken the decision years ago. Except that cigarette-makers have been stellar stock market performers since the beginning of the century: British American Tobacco’s shares have multiplied in value a dozen times while paying rich dividends, and Imperial Tobacco (now Imperial Brands) has been almost as good. MSCI’s global index of

France’s new reactionaries

When President de Gaulle was asked to authorise the criminal prosecution of Jean-Paul Sartre for civil disobedience during the Algerian war, he declined. ‘One does not lock up Voltaire,’ he added, unhistorically. In France, ‘public intellectuals’ have a quasi-constitutional status, so it’s not surprising that a furious bunfight has broken out over a handful of philosophers known as ‘les nouveaux réactionnaires’. The new reactionaries do not see themselves as a group, but they defend a common point of view about the causes of France’s diminishing status and influence. They look back on a golden age that started with the French revolution and continued for nearly 200 years as France —

At least these rioters hate the right people

I was unable to join the violent protests held by Class War at the Cereal Killer Café in London last week because I had to stay at home to supervise our gardener. Yes — I know what you’re about to say. It is indeed ridiculous that one should have to stand over workmen to ensure that they are doing a decent job. But there is a patch of lawn towards the rear of our grounds which the blighters always skimp on, believing that it is too far from the house for us to notice. So I stand down there, with a cheerfully expectant expression, as the surly little man goes

The left pillories Tim Farron for his popular view

I wonder who will win the battle for Tim Farron’s soul — the Guardianistas or God? This is assuming that God gives a monkey’s either way. I know that He is supposed to care very deeply about all of our souls, but this is the leader of the Liberal Democrats we’re talking about. ‘Eight seats? Eight seats? You want I should care about someone with just eight seats? Farron, schmarron.’ (Yes, I know, this is God as a slightly camp New York Jew. Apologies to all of those possibly offended.) Either way, my money’s on the liberal lefties. God just does not have the heft these days: he’s too tolerant,

The questions you don’t ask at the BBC

There was a remarkable scene in one BBC Today programme morning meeting in about 1995, as all the producers gathered together to discuss what stories would be on the following day’s show. The big story was the European Union; the splits occasioned by the EU within the Tory party and the battle, on the part of racist neanderthal xenophobes, to keep us out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, from which we had ignominiously exited three years before. The meeting cackled and hooted at the likes of Bill Cash and his assorted fascists on the Eurosceptic right. ‘They think the Germans are determined to dominate Europe!’ and ‘They’re just racists!’ and

Why won’t the lefties show London a little more love?

London is a bad thing. Everybody knows this now. Britain has had enough of London. Ed Miliband failed in part because he was ‘too north London’ (euphemism) and Chuka Umunna would fail just the same because he is too south London (euphemism). According to one commentator, Britain’s capital is now a ‘Guardianista colony’; filled with the ‘petty moralism’ of the ‘cultural’ elite. According to another — in the Guardian no less; no fan of his own colony, this guy — this is a city of glass and steel, so different from northern cities of ‘brick and hard stone’, and it produces in his northern soul a sense of ‘cultural alienation’.

Rod Liddle

Labour must estrange its awful voters

And so now we have to suffer the epic delusions, temper tantrums and hissy fits of the metro-left. They simply cannot believe how you scumbags could have got it so wrong last Thursday, you morons. You vindictive, selfish morons. That has been the general response from all of the people, the liberal middle-class lefties, who have cheerfully contributed towards making the once great Labour party effectively unelectable. You lot voted Tory out of fear — because you are stupid, stupid people. The Conservatives ran a ‘negative’ campaign and, because you are either simply horrible human beings, or just thick, you fell for it. That’s been the subtext of most of the

Diary – 16 April 2015

To the dentist. And for an extraction. I hadn’t had a tooth out in decades. But the twinges when I bit on a nut warned me that my problem molar — much abused by a badly fitted bridge in the 1970s — had finally given way. My usual dentist confirmed as much with a poke and an X-ray. Then came the surprise. ‘I’m going to hand you over now,’ he said. Having a tooth out has ceased to be a hazard of life to be borne and grinned at. Instead it’s become dental surgery. And it requires a specialist. Mine was a man with a mission. ‘My job is to

I have absolutely no sympathy for liberals who find themselves being called ‘right-wing’

This week I would like you to share the deep pain of a liberal who has been called ‘right-wing’. This is a terrible thing to happen. It is hard to think of anything worse. There you are, being dutifully liberal all over the place and suddenly, perhaps inadvertently, you divest yourself of the opinion that — for example — Islam may, in some way, have some sort of weird, unfathomable connection to the jihadists of the Islamic State and kaboom, your credibility is blown to shreds. All of a sudden people are calling you horrible names online, like ‘right wing’. People who are quite like you calling you this. Nice,

It’s not Netanyahu’s fault that Jews in Europe are afraid

Have you seen the prices for houses in Israel? Astronomical, mate. You wouldn’t believe it. An arid and perpetually embattled country which everyone has recently decided to hate, and with a bloody great big wall topped with razor wire running through the middle of it — I’d have expected the cost of a nice four-bed would be comparable to what you’d pay in Rwanda, say, or Myanmar. Not a chance. Down south, in Eilat, it’s millions and millions and millions of quid, just to be oven-basted by the extremist sun and then eaten by a shark. It’s not much better in the nicer parts of Tel Aviv, either, such as

You shouldn’t watch Dapper Laughs. But you really shouldn’t let the likes of me stop you

As you’ll know by now, I’m big on thinking the right things. Should a thought strike me that m’colleague Rod Liddle would not describe as ‘bien-pensant’, then I will of course shy away from it, in a blind panic, for fear that my pensée should be considered insufficiently bien. Right now, however, I’m having doubts about the catechism. The liberal elite may take away my badge. Presumptuous as it may be, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that Spectator readers are not immediately familiar with the work of a comedian called Daniel O’Reilly, otherwise known as Dapper Laughs. He’s an internet phenomenon and — let’s not

Rod Liddle: The top 10 most fatuous phrases in the English language

An apology. A few weeks back, in my blog, I promised a regular series called ‘Fatuous Phrase of the Week’. Like so many publicly uttered promises, this one has failed to materialise. There has been no update to the Fatuous Phrase of the Week. This is because for the past two weeks I have been battling my demons — and horrible, vindictive little bastards they are too. While I would have been happy to fulfil that promise, and had plenty of phrases at the ready, the demons crowded around. Nah, they said, take the dog for a walk instead. Jabbering in my ear, poking me with their little pitchforks. Forget the

Reading the comments on my Ukip columns, I finally understand the Nazis

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Lord Pearson and Damian Green discuss Ukip and the Tories” startat=81] Listen [/audioplayer]Like many, I’ve always been a bit baffled by the story of the rise of Nazism. The Germans I’ve met have appeared to be human beings like any other: in no signal way a different breed from my own countrymen. Yet these are the great-grandchildren, grandchildren and children of a generation that was taken in by Adolf Hitler; or, worse, carried him forward; who supported (many of them) the Nazis; who knew or guessed what was happening to Jews, homosexuals and other minorities; who must either have turned a blind eye or positively encouraged what was

Who are Ukip’s new voters? The kind of people who decide elections

An opinion poll to be published next week will reveal that Labour leader Ed Miliband is slightly less popular with the public than the vibrant Islamic State commander ‘Jihadi John’ and the late BBC disc jockey Jimmy Savile, and only two points more popular than His Infernal Majesty, Satan. The same poll will also put Labour slightly ahead of the Tories and therefore on course to be the largest party in a hung parliament come next May, with Ed Miliband as prime minister. This is but one reason why the next general election will be the most fascinating within living memory; the pollsters do not really have a clue what’s

Frankie Boyle is a cowardly bully, and I’m ashamed I ever stood up for him

‘Outspoken comic Frankie Boyle has called on the BBC to sack “cultural tumour” Jeremy Clarkson.’ Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with this opening sentence from a recent news report? Clue: it’s that first word. In order to qualify as ‘outspoken’, surely, you need to be the kind of person who fearlessly, frequently and vociferously sets himself in opposition to the clamour of the times. Does demanding that a public figure lose his job for some mildly sexist/racist/homophobic/ableist remark fit into that category? Hardly. In the current climate it’s about as heroically contentious as, say, a private school prospectus that promises ‘We believe in educating the whole person’; or a