Douglas Murray

Douglas Murray

Douglas Murray is associate editor of The Spectator and author of The War on the West: How to Prevail in the Age of Unreason, among other books.

It’s been a bad week for former political leaders

The week of the three downfalls has been an interesting one. Boris Johnson resigning from parliament, Donald Trump going to court to face serious charges, Nicola Sturgeon arrested as part of a probe into SNP finances. I wouldn’t like to prejudge any of these cases, for I am – secretly – a fair-minded person. Of

The inversion of history

It is 18 years since the last Colditz drama on British television, which apparently means we need a new one. And the times being what they are, it appears that the drama will have to reflect the values of our little cultural-revolutionary period. There is an effort to rip up our own myths while inventing

The strange obsession with Phillip Schofield

As I have noted before, there is always another circle. I thought that last week’s scandal (originally entitled ‘Suellagate’ or ‘speedgate’ by the papers) could not be surpassed for its sheer vacuousness and pointlessness. But then I did not foresee that the next week would be one in which every newspaper and news bulletin would

There is such thing as a stupid question

Some people seem to make a career of being ashamed (or at least claiming to be ashamed) of their country. Personally I don’t feel it – apart from when I see journalists from the BBC, ITV or Sky questioning our political leaders while they are abroad. Then a great wave of revulsion and national shame

How to fake it till you make it

Not to sound too much like Kamala Harris during one of her peregrinations on the nature of time, but the thing about the future is that it catches up with you awfully fast. For a while we have been warned about the dangers of artificial intelligence and the special hazards of ‘deepfakes’. It seemed so

Daniel Penny and the problem with have-a-go heroes

I have always liked the phrase ‘have-a-go hero’. It sums up a certain type of person who can emerge from nowhere and coat their name with honour. One thinks, for instance, of John Smeaton, the baggage handler who was having a fag outside Glasgow airport in 2007 when two jihadis tried to blow the place

The cost of mass migration

Way back in the long distant 1990s, net migration into this country used to be in the tens of thousands each year. There was no lack of discussion about that, but we were not yet in the ‘dependency’ period of migration: that is, when people routinely said we had to have migration because otherwise who

The pathology of anti-Semitism

One of the best ways to work out that somebody has not thought deeply about anti-Semitism is if they say that they wish to destroy it once and for all. When in a corner, even Jeremy Corbyn could be found saying that we must end anti-Semitism for good. Though he was of course unable to

Why are the Troubles being glorified now?

As world leaders gathered to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, is violence glorified when it comes to remembering the Troubles? John Connolly speaks to Spectator columnist Douglas Murray and former DUP leader Arlene Foster. This episode can be watched in full on Spectator TV’s Week in 60 Minutes. 

Ireland’s violent men of peace

It was from the Northern Ireland conflict that I first learned how language – like everything else – can be warped utterly. Take the late Martin McGuinness, not to mention his still-living, libel-hungry comrades. For almost three decades they put bombs in public places, shot random people in the head and tortured others to death.

In defence of Picasso

‘Well, they can’t cancel Picasso.’ That was my optimistic take some months ago when a friend in the art world said: ‘Watch out, they’re coming for him next.’ It doesn’t really matter that, like Paul Johnson – late of this parish – I don’t feel unadulterated admiration for Pablo Picasso’s work. The late period seems

The lost shepherds

40 min listen

On the podcast this week: In his cover piece for the magazine, journalist Dan Hitchens examines whether Archbishop Justin Welby and Pope Francis can heal the divisions threatening to tear apart the Church of England and the Catholic Church. He is joined by Telegraph columnist Tim Stanley to ask whether these two men – once heralded as

The English countryside isn’t racist

I don’t know what your plans are for Easter. Mine generally include a nice walk in the English countryside. There is something incalculably consoling about our landscape. I might even find myself leaning on a stile and looking at some Easter lambs while they do that sudden vertical jump thing, as though they have suddenly

Our poor deluded MPs

They say that death and taxes are the only certainties in life. But I would add a couple more things to that list. ‘French rioting’ is one. And ‘MPs getting caught trying to make cash on the side’. This week a campaign group called Led by Donkeys released footage of a sting operation they have

The joke is on America

I was brought up on Dan Quayle jokes. You know the ones – like the gag that the then vice-president had turned up in Latin America and apologised for not speaking Latin. Thankfully vice-presidents are no longer a laughing stock. Today we have Kamala Harris. Anyway, probably the most memorable line about Quayle was that

The overuse and abuse of ‘fascism’

I would be very happy if I never had to hear the name Gary Lineker again. He was a vague presence in my childhood thanks to his playing the game of football and his advertising of a brand of delicious, obesity-inducing crisps. But after more than a week in which his name has dominated every

Thomas Jefferson and the death of wisdom

In recent weeks I have been trying out a mental exercise. Perhaps you might join me? Cast your mind back to 1999. We were standing on the dawn of a new millennium. True, there was a strange fear that all the computers might crash because of a bug called Y2K. But aside from that there

Is Shakespeare ‘far-right’ now?

Oh – and the Collected Works of Shakespeare. I forgot to mention that last week: that among the books on the reading list that could be a sign of ‘right-wing radicalisation’, some genius public servant came up with the complete works of Shakespeare. Nobody knows what the attitude of Prevent’s ‘Research Information and Communications Unit’

Can you really be radicalised by Great British Railway Journeys?

The late Robert Conquest adumbrated three rules of politics. Perhaps the most famous (also known as O’Sullivan’s law) is that ‘Any organisation not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing’. I would like to add a fourth law: ‘Any programme set up by government will inevitably metastasise unless consciously cut back by