Laurence fox

The failure of the right

Sometimes things that don’t happen are as important as those that do. In the Sherlock Holmes story Silver Blaze, about the theft of a racehorse, the failure of a dog to bark is the central fact that allows the crime to be solved. Holmes mentions this ‘curious incident of the dog in the night-time’ to a Scotland Yard detective who is puzzled and tells him: ‘The dog did nothing in the night-time.’ Holmes replies: ‘That was the curious incident.’ There is a strong case for regarding the failure of a dog to bark as the central fact of British political life today. As I recently noted on this site, the

What can Laurence Fox hope to achieve with his bid for London mayor?

As if the politics of the Western world wasn’t well past parody already, this weekend sees Laurence Fox throwing his hat into the ring to be London’s next mayor. Before I start making fun of this idea, let’s try and give Mr Fox the benefit of the doubt. The London mayoral contest, which should have been put out of its misery last May, has been dragged into 2021 on account of the coronavirus crisis. The extra year hasn’t made the contest any more inviting to those of us who live in the capital. We still have an incumbent Labour mayor who is a disappointment on every possible level, but who

Laurence Fox is a political force to be reckoned with

From the moment I started criticising the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis people have been urging me to start an anti-lockdown party. The idea would be to run candidates in the local elections in May, particularly in those areas that have been under almost permanent lock and key for the past six months, such as Leicester. They might not win, but they could bleed enough support from the Conservative candidates to make the government think twice about its ‘forever lockdown’ policy. But I’ve resisted. For one thing, I don’t have the time. Running the Free Speech Union and posting daily updates to my Lockdown Sceptics blog, as well as

Sam Leith

In defence of wokeness

We have been reading an awful lot about ‘wokeness’ recently. Nobody, I notice, seems to be much in favour of it. In fact, the sharpest pens of the right seem to stab at more or less nothing else these days. Stab, stab, stab, they go. Many incisions are made and much ink and sawdust is spilled. So, being a believer in giving peace a chance, I’d like to sit for a moment on the bar stool still pleasantly warm from my colleague Rod’s momentarily departed bottom to offer a word or two in wokeness’s defence. I worry, you see, that it might be a bit of an Aunt Sally. Thing

Laurence Fox’s ‘clumsy’ criticism of 1917 is good for British Sikhs

A while ago, Laurence Fox referred to “the oddness in the casting” of a Sikh soldier in film 1917 – a daft thing to say given how many Sikhs did fight in that conflict. He said the inclusion of a Sikh soldier (played by Nabhaan Rizwan) in a scene alongside a British regiment was ‘incongruous’ with the rest of the film. The backlash came not just from the army of ‘woke’ enemies he has collected following his Question Time appearance but also from my fellow Sikhs, some of whom reactively published some Punjabi words I dare not repeat. Fox has since apologised to ‘fellow humans who are #Sikhs’. But on

The terrifying parable of Laurence Fox’s Question Time appearance

In what turned out to be the last year of his life, Roger Scruton often mulled on the nature and techniques of twenty-first century denunciation. For Roger, like others who had seen totalitarian societies up close, knew what intimidation and officially-imposed forms of thinking were actually like. Which is not to say, of course, that modern Britain or America are totalitarian societies. Only that we have people among us who act with precisely the same techniques as those did in totalitarian societies. In modern Britain, as in communist Czechoslovakia and elsewhere, the habits are the same. A member of a profession comes into their workplace in the morning to find