James delingpole

No, I’ve no idea what’s going on in Game of Thrones either

By the time you read this, James Delingpole and I will have made our first podcast in 596 days. That’s the length of time that elapsed between the last episode of Game of Thrones and the new one broadcast on Monday night. Yes, that’s right, we have our very own Thronecast in which we dissect every instalment of the long-running saga. This isn’t exactly original. Every self-respecting broadcaster has a Thronecast these days. There’s even a Thronecast Shopping Network where you can buy miniature iron thrones for your mantelpiece. Although why anyone would want to is a mystery. The era when the series enjoyed cult status is long gone. Last

Acid reign | 10 August 2017

In 1988–9, British youth culture underwent the biggest revolution since the 1960s. The music was acid house, the drug: Ecstasy. Together they created the Second Summer of Love — a euphoric high that lasted a year and a half and engulfed Britain’s youth in a hedonistic haze of peace, love and unity. At the end of a decade marked by social division and unemployment, acid house transcended class and race, town and country, north and south. Amid the smoke and lasers, an entire generation came up together. How did it happen? The story starts in Ibiza, which by the mid-1980s had outgrown its roots as a hippie commune and was

Winter is nearly here – bring on the body count

As a Game of Thrones fan, I feel ambivalent about the fact that the saga is finally wending its way to a conclusion. The latest season, which debuted on Sunday, is the last series but one; there will only be a total of 13 episodes across both. On the one hand, I feel sad about the fact that a television series that has given me so much pleasure is coming to an end. But I’m also a little relieved. At times, following the sprawling cast of characters and multiple story-lines has felt a bit too much like hard work. The past few seasons have become bogged down as the writers

Oceans apart

Readers of The Spectator will be familiar with the argument that climate change, like Britpop, ended in 1998. Raised on a diet of Matt Ridley and James Delingpole, you may have convinced yourself that climate scientists, for their own selfish reasons, continue to peddle a theory that is unsupported by real-world evidence. You may also have picked up the idea that the ‘green blob’, as it has been called in these pages, is somehow suppressing the news that global warming is a dead parrot. That was the case made by Dr David Whitehouse, science editor of Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Forum in a Spectator blog in February last year.

A meeting with Britain’s most hated man

‘Christ, I would be shot for buying this if people knew,’ says an anonymous fan in the comments below Amazon’s unlikely bestseller Enemy of the State. Which sums up how I feel before meeting the book’s author, Tommy Robinson. What if he turns out to be not nearly as bad as his reputation as ‘Britain’s most hated man’? What if, as some familiar with him have warned, I turn out to like him and want to plead his cause, and end up being tainted as a far-right thug by association? We meet in a gastropub in a pretty Georgian market town. It’s only ten minutes from the ‘shithole’ of a

Letters | 21 July 2016

Our terrified youth Sir: Both Claire Fox’s ‘Generation Snowflake’ and Mary Wakefield’s recent column (What’s to blame for a generation’s desperation?, 16 July) get to the root of the terrified pessimism which (I am told) afflicts much of today’s youth. At 67, I’m fortunate enough to mix with quite a few thoroughly aware, thoughtful and successful young ’uns who eschew the sanctity of ‘safe spaces’ for the rumbustious joy of boozing, singing, dancing, loving and socialising and generally tackling that fearful world head on in ferocious defiance. As Chesterton so perfectly put it in his reply ‘To Young Pessimists’ Some sneer; some snigger; some simper; In youth where we laughed, and

Letters | 3 March 2016

What might have been Sir: Harry Mount points out that Boris Johnson is two years older than David Cameron (Diary, 27 February). Both, however, began their careers in the same year. On 15 June 1988 I interviewed David Cameron for a post in the Conservative Research Department; on 26 July it was Boris’s turn (‘Johnston’ in my diary). The former was signed up to cover trade and industry issues (memorably forgetting the trade figures when Mrs Thatcher asked him for them). Boris was invited to follow in the footsteps of father Stanley, who had been the department’s first environment expert in the Heath era. But journalism lured him away. Would

Letters | 31 December 2015

What Blair omitted to say Sir: Mr Blair’s latest in these pages, like his recent Foreign Affairs Committee appearance on Libya, papers over so much history that one hardly knows where to start (‘What I got right’, 12 December). His own Libyan history will do. We all know the ‘deal in the desert’, whereby Gaddafi relinquished a feeble ‘WMD’ programme to come in from the cold, lift the sanctions, and pave the way for oil deals. What was not known until 2011 was the real price of this bargain. The price was a UK-US-Libyan conspiracy to kidnap two whole families from exile and ship them to Gaddafi. Had we not seen the

Was my article the inspiration for this brilliant BBC dramatisation?

The two things I hate most about Christmas are a) Advertland showing me how sparkly and joyous my home and bright-eyed kids are at this time of year, and b) the Doctor Who Xmas special telling me that if only I can open my heart and put cynicism aside, then I too can enjoy a mash-up of Dickens, C.S. Lewis and the Brothers Grimm, where daleks with tinsel round their guns exterminate the spirit of Scrooge as laughing children come pouring from the Ice Queen’s dungeon and something nice happens on a London housing estate. Or similar. That’s what was so great about We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Army Story (BBC2,

The truth about me, Dave and the drugs

[audioplayer src=”http://rss.acast.com/viewfrom22/thegreatbritishkowtow/media.mp3″ title=”Rod Liddle and James Delingpole debate if all right wing people have bad music tastes” startat=700] Listen [/audioplayer]This week I woke up shocked to find myself on the front page of the Daily Mail. Apparently I’m the first person in history to have gone on the record about taking drugs with a British prime minister. But it’s really no big deal is it? Had I thought so, I’d never have spilled the beans. In fact, I think it’s one of those perfect non-scandal scandals in which all parties benefit. Dave acquires an extra bit of hinterland and is revealed to have been a normal young man. I get

Rod Liddle

I knew it! All these toffs have depraved tastes

[audioplayer src=”http://rss.acast.com/viewfrom22/thegreatbritishkowtow/media.mp3″ title=”Rod Liddle and James Delingpole debate if all right wing people have bad music tastes” startat=700] Listen [/audioplayer]A friend of mine once watched Jeremy Corbyn try to rape an owl. This was the early to mid-1980s. The Labour leader used to come round to my squat in Leytonstone and we’d sit cross–legged on the floor, sniffing glue from a large plastic bag, and listen to Camper Van Beethoven’s ‘Take The Skinheads Bowling’. Jeremy was on the periphery of our little clique and we were suspicious of him because he was posh. Sometimes, when we were passing the glue bag around, we’d miss him out from sheer spite. Eventually

Spectator letters: India’s forgotten soldiers, James Delingpole’s happy father, and a defence of public relations

Worth the candle Sir: I was saddened by Charles Moore’s account of the Westminster Abbey candlelit vigil marking the centenary of the start of the first world war (The Spectator’s Notes’, 9 August). At each of the four quarters of the Abbey (representing the four corners of the British Empire), he notes, there was one big candle and one dignitary assigned to snuff it out. He was ‘niggled’ to be in the South Transept, where ‘our big-candle snuffer was Lady Warsi’. Baroness Warsi had been chosen to represent the upwards of one million men from the Indian subcontinent who took part in the Great War. The Indian army was possibly

Ukip are playing it safe – so they’ve rejected me

So farewell then £80,000 salary, £150,000 expense account, secretary, team of assistants, constituency office, first-class travel, immunity from prosecution, Brussels blowouts, ludicrous pension and all the other perks I’d been so looking forward to enjoying from May next year onwards. Ukip has decided that it doesn’t, after all, want to have me as one of its MEPs. The rejection came as a bit of a surprise, I must say. When the party chairman, Steve Crowther, rang to break the news, I felt rather as Brad Pitt might on being turned down for a mercy shag he’d proffered Ann Widdecombe. No offence intended to Ukip — I think they’re great people

Am I politically correct enough to stand for Ukip?

A few weeks ago I drove to Market Harborough for my test as a potential Ukip candidate. The process was very thorough. There was a media interview section, where one of my examiners did a bravura impersonation of a tricksy local radio presenter (he even did the traffic bulletin beforehand). Then came a test on the manifesto. Finally, there was the bit where I nearly came unstuck: the speeches. My problem was that the stern lady interviewing me had seen me speak before. It was at one of Nigel Farage’s boozy fundraisers at the East India Club. Coming out as a Ukip member, I had vouchsafed to the audience, had

Since I moved to the country, I’m on the side of the squirrel-killers

What is the correct expression to wear, I wonder, when you’ve just caught a squirrel in your squirrel trap? Guilt? Pain? Sorrow? Fear at the possibility of a 3 a.m. knock at the door from the boot boys of the RSPCA? The expression you definitely shouldn’t wear, apparently, is one suggestive that you might have taken any pleasure in poor, sweet, bushy-tailed Mr Nutkin’s death. This was the mistake made by Defra secretary of state Owen ‘Butcher’ Paterson, who was revealed over the weekend to have upset visiting Tory colleagues by showing pictures of himself cheerfully posing with the decapitated victims of his Kania 2000 squirrel traps. ‘I’m not sure what

Climate wars: I’m being attacked by my own side. Why?

There’s nothing more irritating then being asked to apologise for something you haven’t done. No, wait, there is: when the person demanding the apology is one of the friends you admire most in the world — and when the alleged victim of your non-existent crime is one of the people you most despise. The friend’s name is Anthony Watts, meteorologist and fellow happy warrior in the great global battle against climate change nonsense. He runs the world’s most widely read climate sceptic website, Watts Up With That?, which got to the Climategate story before I did. Recently, we were both winners in the 2013 Bloggies Awards: he deservedly won best

Letters | 21 March 2013

Joining the club Sir: As Robert Hardman notes (Royal notebook, 16 March), not only is the C back in FCO but these days there is a waiting list of countries interested in joining, or being more closely associated with, the Commonwealth. I have a list of at least half a dozen, and even some strong signals from Dublin that they, too, are now thinking about joining the club. How can this be so when we were told so firmly by foreign policy experts in the past century that we should break our ties with the Commonwealth and that our future prosperity and destiny lay in Europe? One reason is certainly

Bluestone 42: Dad’s Army it isn’t

The thing that always used to bother me about M*A*S*H as a child was the lack of combat. You’d see the realistic film of choppers at the beginning and, obviously, the plotline would quite often include casualties coming in from recent scenes of action. But the exciting stuff always seemed to happen offstage, a bit like in Shakespeare where some character strides on and tells you what a terrible battle there’s just been and you’re going, ‘Wait a second. Did we just skip past the most exciting bit?’ This clearly isn’t going to be a problem, though, with BBC3’s new sitcom about a bomb disposal unit in Afghanistan, Bluestone 42