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.

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

The delicious fall of Sam Bankman-Fried

Dame Edna Everage says one of life’s most precious gifts is the ability to laugh at the misfortunes of others. You may lament this instinct, yet we all harbour it. New Yorkers are especially prone when it comes to property envy. Every couple of years, it feels like, a skyscraper goes up in the city

The weaponisation of ‘bullying’

Bullying appears to be suffering from inflation, like everything else. Certainly as an art form it seems to be in decline. As exhibit A I should like to present the ‘bullying’ recently ascribed to Gavin Williamson MP. Williamson is a hard man to defend. He has not excelled in any of the portfolios he has

The negligence of ‘not in my lifetime’

It is sometimes said, correctly, that conservatism is more an attitude than an ideology. And for me there have always been certain individuals who embody that attitude. The late and much-missed Tessa Keswick was one such person, and for some reason a remark of hers has recently been in my head. A few years ago

The West’s uncivilised euthanasia policy

So much is happening on the surface at the moment that it can be difficult to notice certain undercurrents. Since the following story has gone almost unheeded in the Anglophone press, let me point at one especially suggestive current which could be glimpsed on the Continent this month. Cast your mind back to March 2016

How to protest the protestors

These are bleak times in our land, and we must take our pleasures where we can. Personally I have been able to find a great deal of consolation over recent days in watching members of the public confronting protestors from the Just Stop Oil movement. There is some especially pleasing footage of van drivers in

Is what Conor Burns did really so appalling?

There are times when I feel like certain rakes must have done when they realised that the Regency period was suddenly morphing into the Victorian one. Not that I feel especially rakish. Just that there are times when you see the new rules of sex and think: ‘Well, I guess there’ll be none of that from

Things can always get worse

As I was saying, way back in July, it is hard to love the Conservative party. Every time it tries to navigate another bend in the road it ends up causing a disaster even its most ardent critics could not have foreseen. ‘Things can’t get any worse,’ said rebels in the party while Boris Johnson

I’m in trouble with the police

There is almost nothing I like more than a running battle. As my friend Julie Burchill also says, when a really good row comes along it gives you this warm, cosy feeling inside. So it was not with disappointment that I received a noteworthy response to my column of last week. For those who were

Leicester and the downside with diversity

As I have said many times in recent years, if you import the world’s people you import the world’s problems. Which is not to say that you do not also get some upsides. The upsides of ‘diversity’ are focused on all the time. But we have a curious habit of downplaying the downsides. Just one

A hereditary monarchy is good for politics

I suppose it was inevitable that with the death of HM the Queen certain floodgates would open. During her reign it often felt as though there were forces that she was single-handedly holding back. As Lionel Shriver has noted elsewhere, they have come in particularly malicious form from parts of the US. But there is

Who cares about Liz Truss’s ‘diverse’ cabinet?

‘Great offices of state set to contain no white men’ was the way one national newspaper reported the formation of the first Truss cabinet. In addition to Liz Truss, the positions of Chancellor, Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary would respectively be held by Kwasi Kwarteng, James Cleverly and Suella Braverman. Of course, all this was

Green parties are facing a reality check

How pleasant it is to watch an idea fall apart. Especially when it is an idea held by people you don’t particularly care for. In recent years all of the democracies have been plagued by green parties. The kindest interpretation of them is that they provide a wake-up call of some sort: a reminder that

Salman Rushdie and a question of power

Whenever a terrorist attack occurs, like the recent attempted assassination of Salman Rushdie, our society falls into the usual platitudes. The attack gets condemned, by most people. The ideology behind the attack is fudged so that it becomes as non-specific as possible. What almost never gets any time in the discussion is the question of

The best response to Salman Rushdie’s stabbing

The attack on Salman Rushdie on-stage in New York is deeply shocking and sadly not surprising. People have been calling for his death for over three decades, ever since the publication of his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses. That novel led to a fatwa from the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran and the Iranian government putting