Patrick West

Patrick West is a columnist for Spiked and author of Get Over Yourself: Nietzsche For Our Times (Societas, 2017)

Holland Park must not fall

The latest victim in this summer’s mania could be the name of one of London’s best-known and wealthiest areas: Holland Park, in the west of the capital. A monument in the park itself, of the 19th-century politician Henry Vassall-Fox, the third Baron Holland, was splattered with red paint on Wednesday. After, the Royal Borough of


Usually, one of the first indications that you’ve entered a bilingual country is that the road signs are in two languages. At least this is the case in Ireland or Wales — but not in Belgium. In Flanders, the signs are written in Dutch. In Wallonia, they are all in French. French is spoken in

Harry Potter’s dwindling popularity is a great shame

Teenagers are no longer reading Harry Potter books in their legions, it emerged this week, as J.K. Rowling’s series dropped out of the top ten favourite books for secondary school pupils. Instead, teens are reading books aimed at primary school children. This is disquieting news. Of all the books teenagers can access, they should be

Why are BBC dramas so obsessed with rewriting history?

If there was a Bafta award for Most Woke Television Drama, a BBC production would win every year hands down. Consider some of 2020’s highlights alone: Noughts and Crosses, set in an alternate world where the ruling class is black and in which white people are the victims of racism; My Name is Leon, about

Don’t mourn the end of the Apostrophe Protection Society

To the undoubted dismay of pedants worldwide, it seems the war against the misplaced, omitted or unwanted apostrophe has been lost. The Apostrophe Protection Society, founded in 2001 to campaign for the proper use of the punctuation mark, is no more. Its founder, John Richards, 96, declared at the weekend that he was ending his

What happened to all the ‘vote Tory’ signs?

General election time in Britain invariably means one thing: lots of Labour, Green and Lib Dem posters displayed outside people’s houses and in front windows but hardly any Conservative ones. In my 11 years living and travelling around Kent, I haven’t seen a single one. The last time I saw one was in the Holland

Kent’s HS1 shows how HS2 could benefit the North

One of the main concerns about HS2, apart from its vast cost and disruptive effect on the countryside, is that in shortening distances between London and the North, it might lead to the capital further draining talent and money from other regions. Not so, says an official HS2 review leaked to the Times this week.

The RSC should ignore the climate change mob and stick with BP

It is often said that Western culture worships youth. Yet this cult of youth worship has started to mutate into something a bit weirder, as it increasingly seems that ours is a society that now worships children. This year, for instance, has seen the rise to global ascendency of the 16-year-old Swede, Greta Thunberg. She

Small but perfectly formed: The Romney and Hythe Railway

‘The smallest public railway in the world.’ So proclaims a faded poster at New Romney Station, the midpoint of the 15in gauge Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway which runs almost 14 miles along the south-western Kent coast from Hythe to Dungeness. Well, almost. The railway was indeed the world’s smallest public railway by gauge from

Nigel Farage is not ‘far right’

It is now fashionable to describe Nigel Farage as an ‘extremist’, ‘far right’ or ‘fascist’ politician. Last month, Dame Margaret Beckett denounced his ‘brand of extreme right-wing politics’; this week, Armando Iannucci tweeted: ‘Any vote for Farage on Thursday won’t be seen by him as a protest but as support for his brand of far-right

Underground ghost stations

If you’ve ever travelled on London’s Piccadilly Line, you may have noticed that on the stretch between Green Park and South Kensington, the north-facing tunnel twice changes to a peculiar dark grey rather than the familiar charcoal black. I always used to look out for these grey bricks when I took the Tube back home

The EU’s damning silence on the gilet jaunes protests

On Saturday, there was another wave of Yellow Vest protests in France. The focus was not the price of diesel, the carbon tax, the cost of living or President Macron, as has been the norm, but police brutality and their use of rubber bullets. Thousands took to the streets of Paris and elsewhere instead in

Watling Street

All roads lead to Rome, the saying goes. Well, all roads except for the Roman road of Watling Street, which at one end takes you to Dover (Dubris) and at the other Wroxeter (Viroconium) in Shropshire. I was always only vaguely aware of this thoroughfare but the name began, in recent years, to nag on

Banksy’s Brexit mural has helped halt Dover’s decline

When people come to Dover, it’s usually to pass through. The magnificent castle on the cliffs may be a tourist attraction in its own right, but for the most part, Dover has been a place people go through on their way to or back from the Continent. It’s never been much of a seaside destination.


When people come to Dover, it’s usually to pass through. The magnificent castle on the cliffs may be a tourist attraction in its own right, but for the most part, Dover has been a place people go through on their way to or back from the Continent. It’s never been much of a seaside destination.

The mystery of Kent’s disappearing Polish shops

Outside of London, the area in Britain that has seen the greatest settlement of eastern Europeans since 2004 has been Kent, for obvious geographical reasons. And to cater for their needs and provide creature comforts, a multitude of shops sprang up in the years that ensued. But a strange thing has started to happen here

The nightmare of ‘pre-crime’ is already with us

Those who express concern about the onset of a dystopian surveillance society in Britain, in which the boundary between public and private is being erased, and in which the state malignly uses new methods of monitoring, usually invoke the spectre of Nineteen Eighty-Four. ‘Orwellian’ is the customary adjective denoting the kind of cruel, maladjusted authoritarian