The inequality of sex

As we all shroud ourselves in grief at being unable to watch Russell Brand any more on terrestrial television stations, a few thoughts occur. The first and most obvious is (once again) the presumption of guilt on the part of the entertainment industry, a business entirely devoid of morals and managed largely by coked-up hypocrites. Obviously, for most human beings our repulsion at the immediacy with which Brand has been cancelled by these dreadful people is challenged by our collective detestation of the man himself – yet another of those ‘comedians’ who never ever said anything funny and whose shtick was simply to reflect the zeitgeist of the age by

Why didn’t more people resist lockdown?

Last week’s Spectator interview with Rishi Sunak conveyed the anti-science ‘science’, the paucity of even fag-packet cost-benefit analysis and the ideological lockdown of Boris Johnson’s cabinet that brought forth calamitously extensive lockdowns of everyone else. Ever since, numerous politicians and institutions implicated in this rash experiment have had a vested interest in maintaining the myth that putting whole societies into standby mode, as if countries are mere flatscreens that can be benignly switched on and off by governmental remote, saved many millions of lives. As it will take years for culpable parties to retire, I once feared that a full generation would need to elapse before we recognised lockdowns for

It’s time for feminists to say #MenToo

Let me be clear: I am a committed feminist and a passionate supporter of the Enlightenment and its ideals. Indeed, I have been the beneficiary of those ideals in ways unimaginable to most people in the western world. I travelled from a genuinely patriarchal society poisoned by Islamism to a free, secular society where women, whatever issues we might still have, were equal to men under the law and able to pursue opportunities I could scarcely have dreamed of growing up. As I have written before, however imperfect western civilisation might be, we haven’t seen anything like it anywhere else in human history. The progress we have made is dizzying.

Armie Hammer and Hollywood’s new moral code

I am always irritated by film versions of classic novels, especially when I’ve recently read them. I needn’t have worried about Death on the Nile. Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie adaptation, already subject to no fewer than six delays, has been pushed back yet again to the first quarter of 2022. By the time it comes out – if it does – I’ll have forgotten the original. With that airless sense of ‘here we go again’, Nile’s delay has been caused because its leading man, Armie Hammer, has been accused of sexual assault, including rape, and sundry other unsavoury forms of sexual conduct – allegations which he denies. In an age

Don’t cancel Philip Roth

Philip Roth is the Hugh Hefner of the American novel: he is the playboy of fiction; he has built a house of pleasure. But now, according to some, it is time to demolish that house.  A new biography of Roth is about to come out, and some of the details in it are the ammo that Roth’s critics have been waiting for: they have been pounced on as proof that he is a ‘misogynist’ and that there should be no place for him in the era of MeToo. So what is Roth said to have done, according to Blake Bailey’s new authorised biography? Bailey describes Roth getting bored with his English