James Bartholomew

James Bartholomew works with the Museum of Communist Terror and is a trustee of the Foundation for the History of Totalitarianism.

Why isn’t Lenin as reviled as Hitler?

Around the corner from me is a barber’s shop decorated with black-and-white photographs of icons of the 20th century. James Dean is there with the usual cigarette hanging out of his mouth; Marilyn Monroe is perching on the edge of a pool table. A poster for the film Taxi Driver is alongside a photo of

If Sister Nijole can be happy, so can you

In the past five years I’ve met many people who’ve had direct, sometimes horrific, experience of communist rule. But I was more excited about doing a recent interview than I had been about any of the previous ones. It was going to be with a nun in a convent in Lithuania. I had imagined the

Douglas Murray, Lionel Shriver, Julian Glover and James Bartholomew

20 min listen

On this week’s episode, Douglas Murray says the world is becoming claustrophobic, (00:55) Lionel Shriver struggles to get through South African airport security, (08:29) Julian Glover maps out the countryside battle lines, (16:52) and James Bartholomew buys a tank. (22:13) Produced by Angus Colwell Entries for this year’s Innovator Awards, sponsored by Investec, are now

Why I’ve spent £68,500 on a tank

Buying a tank is not as easy as you might think. When we started looking for one, people delighted in telling us: ‘Oh, you should have bought one in the 1990s. There were hundreds available for practically nothing!’ Well, not anymore. Especially not if you are picky about what sort of tank you want. I’m

James Bartholomew, Freddy Gray and Kate Andrews

20 min listen

On this week’s episode, we’ll hear from James Bartholomew on how taking in a Ukrainian refugee has improved his social clout. (00:50) After, Freddy Gray on the Republican fight against Disney. (06:27) And, to finish, Kate Andrews on overcoming her arachnophobia. (13:46) Entries for this year’s Innovator Awards, sponsored by Investec, are now open. To

My stock has soared since I’ve taken in two Ukrainians

I have temporarily taken in two Ukrainian refugees and suddenly find that, for very little sacrifice, my stock has soared. People who have regarded me as a hard-nosed, right-wing bastard are suddenly confused and struggling to readjust. A woke young relative who has despaired of my ignorant, reactionary views on Black Lives Matter, climate change,

Assetocracy: the inversion of the welfare state

33 min listen

On this week’s episode: why is the Prime Minister so desperate to support the assetocracy? In The Spectator’s cover story this week, after Boris Johnson revealed his plan to pay for social care with a National Insurance increase, Fraser Nelson says there has been an inversion of the welfare state. Is it right to ask

Party time: what is the cost of freedom?

34 min listen

How free are we after freedom day?(00:27) Also on the podcast: Why does it take hours to refuel your car in Lebanon?(10:19) and finally… Is British gardening wilting or blooming?(21:21) With The Spectator‘s economics editor Kate Andrews, Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, journalists Paul Wood and Tala Ramadan, author James Bartholomew

The strange death of the English garden

Gardening is dead. It had been ailing for a long time and it sometimes looked as though it might pull through. But I knew it had finally kicked the bucket when the last of the three patches of grass I used to be able to see behind my house was replaced with a plastic lawn.

An open letter to my golf club

Dear Mike, Thank you for asking me, along with all the other members, whether I would like to become part of the golf club’s new ‘Equality — Diversity — Inclusion (EDI) Working Group’. The short answer is I would rather spend a couple of hours in the mud, picking up old beer bottles and condoms

The rotten legacy of communism in Albania

Our heavily laden taxi turned off the main highway from Tirana and started to negotiate the rough, one-track road. The road wound its way around the edges of the mountains until we reached the ruins of Spaç prison, once a slave labour camp in the communist era of Albania. Two three-storey buildings housed the large

Racism, poverty and the ‘controversy paradox’

It might seem puzzling that we have seen such a furore about racism and racial discrimination at this particular time in our history when all possible measures of racism indicate that there is less of it in Britain than at any time in the past 70 years. A decade ago, 41 per cent of us

Hero or double agent? An encounter with Lech Walesa

Lech Walesa is probably the most famous of all the thousands — actually millions — who struggled against the oppression of Communist rule in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. The only person with a similar level of fame is Vaclav Havel in what was then Czechoslovakia. Walesa was the leader of the Solidarity trade

The awful rise of ‘virtue signalling’

190 years of The Spectator   18 April 2015 Go to a branch of Whole Foods, the American-owned grocery shop, and you will see huge posters advertising Whole Foods, of course, but — more precisely — advertising how virtuous Whole Foods is: ‘We are part of a growing consciousness that is bigger than food —

What explains the idiocy of the liberal elite? It’s their education

We’re closing 2017 by republishing our twelve most-read articles of the year. Here’s No. 6: James Bartholomew on the liberal elite’s reaction to Brexit and Trump: Enough! Enough! For months, the so-called liberal elite has been writing articles, having radio and TV discussions, giving sermons (literally) and making speeches in which it has struggled to understand

Letter to a young Corbynista

We’re closing 2017 by republishing our twelve most-read articles of the year. Here’s No. 11: James Bartholomew explains to his nephew why he is not voting for Jeremy Corbyn: Dear John, I really hope you won’t be offended by this letter from your uncle. I have nothing but respect for you and I would hate to

A reply to a young Corbynista

Dear Sebastian, Thank you for your reply to my letter. Your words are a reality check. I have spent decades closely following economics and politics in various parts of the world and reading a lot of history. You, as you say, are not particularly political. You have pursued your career, played in a rock band

To a young Corbynista

Dear John, I really hope you won’t be offended by this letter from your uncle. I have nothing but respect for you and I would hate to damage the friendly relationship we have had since I first met you when you were six years old. I understand from your aunt that you voted Labour in

The disgrace of the British left

Giles Udy did not start out with the intention of writing this book. He was in Russia about 15 years ago and happened to hear about Norilsk, a remote, frozen part of Siberia where the Soviet Union had established forced labour camps. Udy managed to get permission to visit the place. The temperature there could