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.

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

Where have all the grown-ups gone?

Last week 100,000 civil servants from 124 government departments went on strike. This fact prompts a number of questions, not least – who knew there were so many government departments? Also, when was the last time anyone saw that number of civil servants? Since Covid, the most noteworthy thing about the civil service has been

America’s colour blindness

How many black cops does it take to commit a racist hate crime? The latest correct answer is ‘five’. That’s the number of policemen in Memphis who have been fired and charged with second-degree murder for the killing of Tyre Nichols. Last month Nichols, who was himself black, was pulled over by the officers. They

Pride comes before a fall

Hockey is one of those games, like lacrosse, that alters as it crosses the Atlantic. In Britain, if a man says he is a passionate hockey or lacrosse player, he may get a certain ‘Fnar fnar’ response. In North America by contrast, it would be most unwise to ‘Fnar fnar’ at your average hockey player.

If not Biden, who?

Monday was Martin Luther King Jr Day in the United States. And this year it was most memorable for two events. The first was the unveiling in Boston of a new sculptural tribute to the civil rights hero. Unfortunately, depending on the position from which you view this inept work of public art, it resembles

If only Harry took after his grandfather

Do you remember the Duke of Edinburgh awards? Some of you may even have one somewhere. An award for map-reading, orienteering or otherwise managing to find your way around in the age before Google Maps and Uber. It was – and still is – a useful scheme, set up by a man who accepted his

How to get nothing done

I sometimes wonder whether our government makes any decisions at all. In fact I’m trying to think of any area of public policy that is not the subject of a review, commission, inquiry or similar. The most charitable explanation for this trend is that it worsened in the coalition years. Whenever the Liberal Democrats and

How to save the BBC

Towards the end of his life the art critic Hilton Kramer was overheard leaving a cinema with his wife. One of them said to the other: ‘Darling, from now on could we only see films that we’ve seen?’ I know the feeling. I find it almost impossible to watch most of the films that now

Britain doesn’t need reinventing

What is the most hubristic line ever written? Against some very stiff competition I would say it is that famous line of Thomas Paine, from the February 1776 appendix to his pamphlet Common Sense: ‘We have it in our power to begin the world over again.’ One of the problems of the line is that

The new vandals

31 min listen

This week: In his cover piece Douglas Murray writes that museums are turning against their own collections. He is joined by the historian Robert Tombs to discuss whether a culture of self-flagellation is harming British museums (00:56). Also this week: For the magazine The Spectator’s assistant editor Cindy Yu writes that the tune is changing in China.

The new vandals: how museums turned on their own collections

This week I had the pleasure of going to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. I say ‘the pleasure’ but visiting the Pitt Rivers was never precisely a pleasure. Twenty years ago, as an undergraduate, the collection was something of a rite of initiation. The place, filled with strange and wondrous objects, was famed above all

Fifa has scored a spectacular own goal

Unlike some fair-weather fans I maintain a fairly constant interest in the workings of Fifa. Not because I especially care for football, but because I consider myself something of a connoisseur of corruption. I do not spend all my time studying the matter, but I do take an interest in corrupt people and entities. They