“In law school the only thing I would have voted for Obama to do would have been to shut up, (we) created an Obamanometer, ranking how pretentious someone’s remarks are in class.”
A Harvard classmate of BO, quoted in Garrow’s new biography
It was that air-kiss thing that takes place exclusively between people who genuinely hate each other
Rod Liddle, Spectator Coffee House, 02/05/17
“Pathetic you are, for win you do not, despite your media friends and your sex organ sombreros”
Kurt Schlichter channels Yoda, Townhall.com, 01/05/17
If you had the resources, Georgian Ireland must have been a very agreeable place in which to live
James Yorke, Spectator, 21/05/16
Predicting climate decades or even just years into the future is a lie, albeit a useful one for publication and funding
Duane Thresher, climate scientist
I have never seen a liberal reporter speculate about why Obama’s college and law school records are a state secret, but I have a pretty good guess on that one
John Hinderaker, Powerline, 16/04/17
“We each have two lives. The second begins when we realise we have only one”
One rapid but fairly sure guide to the social atmosphere of a country is the parade-step of its army
George Orwell, pondering the goose-step, now enjoying its North Korean revival
I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said
William F. Buckley
War is a harsh distillery of talent
Victor Davis Hanson, Townhall.com, 06/04/17
He is a man seeking truth while swimming in error.
Douglas Murray on Ken Livingstone, Spectator Coffee House, 05/05/17
“Democracy is a proximate solution to insoluble problems”
A Hitler does not come along every day. But a comparison to Hitler does
Daniel J Flynn, American Spectator, 31/03/17
Always dress slowly when you are in a hurry
…the kind of rising sea levels we can all enjoy: the ones caused by the sweet, salty deluge of liberal tears
James Delingpole, Breitbart.com, 29/03/17
A man in his short sojourn here has mainly three things to do; and he should endeavor to do them all well. He has to say his prayers, he has to earn his bread, and he has to amuse himself.
“What perfect solution on what perfect planet are you comparing this to?”
“To put it bluntly, I fancied myself as some kind of god.”
The almost comically evil George Soros
I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High..but ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
Psalm 82: 6,7 (King James Version)
They are peaceful, serious creatures. They know the secrets of the sea, and they don’t bark
Gérard de Nerval, French poet, on his habit of taking his pet lobster for a walk
“When a body loses its sense of direction and is no longer able to look ahead, it experiences a regression and, in the long run, risks dying, It is not enough to handle the grave crisis of immigration of recent years as if it were a mere numerical or economic problem, or a question of security.”
Pope Francis describes the EU, March 2017
Gerry Adams, with his cold well of creepiness
Jenny McCartney, Spectator, 22/03/17
The Scottish government spends £127 for every £100 it raises in tax — a ratio unequalled anywhere else in the developed world
Spectator editorial, 21/03/17
When politicians start droning on about ‘fairness’, it’s time to count the spoons.
Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail, 10/03/17
When people say, ‘I’d be prepared to pay more to fund the NHS and/or social care,’ they don’t actually mean it – and we know that because when they get it, they object
Mark Davies, Spectator Coffee House, 10/03/17
For all the hysteria over the bluntness of the mercurial Trump, his agenda marks a return to what used to be seen as fairly normal
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO, 02/02/17
Had any good hypotheticals lately?
Roger Kimball on the fervid state of US politics, PJMedia, 08/03/17
…several African counties are better-run than Nicola Sturgeon’s Scotland
Bruce Anderson, Reaction, 08/03/17
The corruption of the Obama administration was not of the apple-stealing/intern-bothering Clinton variety, but the much more serious matter of perverting necessary public institutions for political purposes.
Kevin D Williamson, NRO, 07/03/17
Heading up a party that welcomes dissent in the same way the mafia welcomes unpaid debts, Miss Sturgeon is unfamiliar with other points of view.
Stephen Daisley, Daily Mail, 03/03/17
“Not one single Democrat in Congress, not one, called for then Attorney General Loretta Lynch to recuse herself from the Hillary Clinton investigation after she met with Bill Clinton at a Phoenix airport. There was absolutely no call for recusal by the Democrats. So, once again, hypocrisy is on full display”
Bill O’Reilly, 02/03/17
“from the day of birth, we are on our deathbed.”
William F Buckley jr
…a classic example of having such an open mind that your brain falls out
Jonah Goldberg, NRO, 25/02/17
Nearly all modern forms of state welfare have no interest in their clients’ social setting: indeed, many actively compete with that most vital of all people-sized institutions, the family
Tim Montgomerie, CapX, 24/02/17
…a pro-coup hipster army locked and loaded with vinyl LPs, participation trophies and unearned self-regard
Kurt Schlichter fantasises about the violent opposition, Townhall.com, 23/02/17
He doesn’t offer a direct answer to the question he bravely plucked from his navel
Wesley Pruden, Washington Times, 20/02/17
Trump’s speaking style can be exasperating for those who appreciate complete thoughts and sentences. However, the media wilfully distorts what he says to further muddy the waters.
Melissa Mackenzie, American Spectator, 20/02/17
No one has ever accused Peter Mandelson of an excess of self-awareness.
Editorial, The Sun, 20/02/17
“Enjoying what we do is not always a feeling of enjoyment; it is sometimes the gritty resolution a man or woman shows in doing what must be done — perhaps with inner dread and yet without whimpering self-pity.”
What the courts have effectively done is to elevate sexual orientation to the most privileged status – trumping freedoms of speech and religion and conscience
Michael Brown, Townhall.com, 19/02/17
…identity politics has come to serve as a substitute for religion. Or at least for the feeling of self-righteousness that is so commonly confused with religion
Christopher Lasch, The Revolt of the Elites, 1994
Luxury, more deadly than any foe, has laid her hand upon us, and avenges a conquered world
The people who believe that there can be no art, literature, culture, or life apart from politics are people who do not understand art, literature, culture, or politics
Kevin D Williamson, NRO, 12/02/17
The most interesting thing about Mr (James) Purnell is that he once managed to appear in a photograph of an event at which he had not been present.
Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, 12/02/17
Europe is spending far too much time virtue-signalling in the direction of Trump rather than cleaning its own house
Iain Martin, Reaction, 11/02/17
“It is the role of judges to apply, not alter, the work of the people’s representatives, A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge stretching for results he prefers rather than those the law demands.”
It is a symptom of our distorted and overly sanctified view of the judiciary that a criticism of a judge with a lifetime appointment is greeted with such pearl-clutching
Rich Lowry, NRO, 10/02/17
When you compare a United States President to a creature who killed 6 million Jews and 5 million others, what exactly is the starting point for a logical conversation?
Judah Friedman, NRO, 06/02/17
They would call themselves activists, as if pressing your mouse every day could be considered activity
Rod Liddle on modern day protesters, The Spectator, 04/02/17
…the modern western university, once a bastion of thought experimentation, is now one of the most hostile places on earth to freedom of speech and robust debate
Brendan O’Neill, Spectator Coffee House, 02/02/17
I am beginning to suspect that the Democrats are not acting entirely in good faith.
Kevin D Williamson, NRO, 01/02/17
When I speak to my many friends in Arab countries (including Yemen) they are much more concerned about the dual threat of the (Shia) Islamic regime in Iran and the (Sunni) Islamic regime in IS, than about Trump’s executive orders back home.
Tom Gross, Spectator Coffee House, 31/01/17
Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, for the SNP, essayed a severity beyond her abilities
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail, 01/02/17
Asked if he listens to music while writing, he replies: “I would find it a disturbance. Either music or writing.”
Sound advice from Benedict XVI, NCR, 30/01/17
The idea that parliament itself, in some hermetically sealed manner, holds ultimate sovereignty on the grounds of its inherent wisdom, and that this enables it to oppose a clearly and legally expressed popular choice is a strange perversion of history and of common sense.
Prof Robert Tombs, Politeia
I have said many times that when it comes to fascism in the modern West there is a serious supply and demand problem: there aren’t enough fascists to meet the demand
Douglas Murray, The Spectator, 25/01/17
Prince Charles almost certainly does not study his electricity bill
Srephen Glover, Daily Mail, 23/01/17
Fascism, to borrow a phrase, is always descending on the right, but landing in the progressive left. The root issue, if I may be so bold as to offer my opinion, is that the left, generally bereft of the ability to enjoy life as it is, finds its greatest sense of spiritual fulfillment in the pursuit of life as they deem it should be“
Krakatoa, at Ace of Spades HQ, 21/01/17
The truth is that our ability to forecast the future beyond the current quarter is limited… The curse of our time is fake maths. Think of it as fake news for numerically literate intellectuals: it is the abuse of statistics and economic models to peddle one’s own political prejudice… The fakeness of the maths lies in an exaggerated inference. Economic models have their uses, as do opinion polls. They provide information to policymakers and markets. But nobody can see through the fog of the future.”
Wolfgang Munchau, FT, H/T Guido
One of the great commandments of science is, “Mistrust arguments from authority.” … Too many such arguments have proved too painfully wrong. Authorities must prove their contentions like everybody else
…the respected, though not by me, Australian bio-ethicist Peter Singer
The late great Nat Hentoff gets in an important qualifier
The SNP is currently looking somewhat exposed on the bright ideas front
Euan McColm, Scotland on Sunday, 08/01/17
…the last time I directed (Beethoven’s 5th symphony) with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, I thought afterwards that it is actually underrated
I agree with Joshua Bell, the Guardian, 02/01/17
(in Glasgow) a person can lose 20 years of life expectancy in a six-mile corridor from the east end of the city to its arboreal west end.
Kevin McKenna, the Guardian, 08/01/17
“No, madam, I don’t have faith in the free market, I have facts about the free market.”
Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese
The U.S. share of the regular budget is equal to that of the bottom 176 countries combined; the U.S. share of the peacekeeping budget is equal to the bottom 185 countries combined. The U.S. pays almost as much towards the UN’s combined budget as do the four other permanent Security Council members (U.K., France, Russia and China together pay $2.5B). The 56 countries comprising the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — which include 10 of the planet’s top 20 oil-producers — pay a combined total of $360 million; this is but two percent of the UN’s combined total budget of $16.3B.
John C Wohlstetter, American Spectator, 29/12/16
In 2016, we’re saying goodbye to our first black president, whose unique alloy of incompetence and arrogance has led to a truly post-racial national moment: There are so many things to dislike about the guy that even some of the unreconstructed racists have to remind themselves he’s black.
Kevin D Williamson, NRO, 28/12/16
I preach to people not to start drinking. I mean, try something else — try milk.
“Looking at the long string of domestic terror incidents here in the U.S. shows that the so-called “lone wolves,” in virtually every case, were in fact “known wolves.”
Patrick Poole, PJ Media, 24/10/14 ie: a long time ago and it’s still not sunk in
I am not a pacifist. I’m against war
Gino Strada (heroic) war surgeon
‘The poorest hee that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest hee.’
Thomas Rainsborough, MP, spokesman of the Levellers, 1647
If free countries have to have unsightly security controls, why don’t they have them around the national borders rather than around every single thing inside those borders?
Mark Steyn, MarkSteynOnline, 20/12/16
The Guardian, slowly morphing from a newspaper into a Tumblr account
Brendan O’Neill, Spectator Coffee House, 17/12/16
Here is a shocker: I’d estimate based on my reporting that this election was baked before the debates, before the “Access Hollywood” tapes, before the hacked emails and before anyone took the time to actually notice, listen and understand just how upended the American voter is
Salena Zito, Washington Examiner, 18/12/16
Any sort of political ideology that doesn’t allow for the rights, and doesn’t take into consideration the differences, that people have is wrong. I won’t go for it. I don’t care what kind of label you stick on it
Frank Zappa, actually objecting to mad lefties disrupting one of his gigs
As we see in the ruins of Aleppo, American realism under this president has been subjugated to a fetishist pursuit of his legacy. History will not record that legacy kindly.
Tom Rogan, NRO, 13/12/16
Underneath all of the apologies that Democrats make for Clinton’s loss is a deeply patronising outlook: that voters are too dumb to sort through what they hear in the media…. The elites can’t imagine that a voter weighed up the arguments, and, recognising the weaknesses of both candidates, decided to go with the anti-establishment one.
Sean Collins, Spiked, 13/12/16
Unwilling to pressure Russia, Obama is simply ignored by Putin. Through this public display of American impotence, Putin asserts his grand strategy in the Middle East… where influence is defined by fear and by perceptions of power
Tom Rogan, NRO, 12/12/16
…if we ban “gravity” from our vocabulary, we will all instantly float upwards
Victor Davis Hanson on Barack Obama’s ‘Animal Farm’ semantic antics, NRO, 13/12/16
It is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organisations can do
Pius XI, on subsidiarity, in Quadragesimo Anno, 1931
Journalists who wouldn’t have survived a day in Castro’s Cuba treat Trump as an enemy of press freedom (for such grave offenses as not informing his press pool that he was going out to dinner)
George Neumayr, American Spectator, 30/11/16
Nancy Pelosi generously provided her opponents with a lavish smorgasbord of deeply stupid mistakes, and it would be deeply stupid to refuse to learn from them.
Kevin D Williamson, NRO, 21/11/16
Many of the current crop of snowflakes really do believe the end is nigh
EM Cadwaladr, American Thinker, 22/10/16
No party or ideological faction has The Solution because The Solution doesn’t exist. Much of the world beyond our shores is a wreck, and the best you can pull off right now is damage control.
Michael J Totten, The Tower, November 2016
Donald Trump met with chronically unemployed people in the Rust Belt and Hillary met with Jay Z and Beyoncé.
Stephen Kruiser, American Spectator, 11/11/16
That project went down like a Soviet jetliner
Kevin D Williamson, NRO, 11/11/16
Hillary Clinton, the former First Lady, whose ocean-going sense of entitlement made Gordon Brown look like a man who only became Prime Minister under duress.
Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail, 10/11/16
The only thing pollsters got right about the election was the date.
Derek Hunter, Townhall.com, 09/11/16
Social justice warriors ‘overused the antibiotics of shame, bred bio-resistant Trumps
‘Superforecaster’ Michael Story via Ed West, Spectator Coffee House, 09/11/16.
’To all the liberal media people who agreed with Clinton that we were a basket of deplorables, we get it. You really hate a majority of your fellow countrymen. The funny thing is, we really never hated you. It was all one-sided. But if that’s how you feel about us, take a Valium.
FH Buckley, American Spectator, 09/11/16
When it comes to the Middle East, Trump again has the advantage of being an unknown quantity. Although he has talked a lot of nonsense about foreign policy, he has also insisted on a valid point: The current US policy simply doesn’t work.
Amir Taheri, Arab News, 07/11/16
“You have done this” says memory. ‘I cannot have done it ‘, says pride. And memory gives in
The young gentleman, who was no descendant of Solomon
Henry Fielding in ‘Jonathan Wild’, 1743
Brexit changes the situation profoundly. The advocates of the European construction have got into the habit of defending Europe with catastrophist arguments, that it will provoke fresh wars or lead to economic collapse. But Britain is now quitting, and quite evidently this will not lead to an economic cataclysm, or to a major geopolitical crisis”
Thomas Guénolé, August 2016
We, who do not know what we are, have to fashion lives for ourselves in a universe of which we know little and understand less
Bryan Magee, on the agnostics’ dilemma, ‘Ultimate Questions’, 2016
President Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States and the only one who reportedly leaves no shadow
R Emmett Tyrrell, The American Spectator, 09/12/15
..in her wake, as the Clintons always have, she’ll leave a trail of smoldering debris and ruined lives not seen since the last time Godzilla wandered through Tokyo.
Kurt Schlichter, Townhall.com, 07/11/16
I don’t vote with my vagina
Susan Sarandon, Newsnight, 02/11/16
Remember that the Clinton remorse, such as it is, is not over graft and sabotage of the law and high office but merely over having their habitual corruption exposed
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO, 02/11/16
The Clinton Foundation seemed to exist not to eliminate the poverty of developing countries but to increase it by fleecing its leaders
George Neumayr, American Spectator, 02/1`1/16
Left-wing activists are left-wing people who have an internet connection
Andy Shaw, Spectator Life, 28/10/16
Brexit confirmed that Labour has virtually no connection with people who actually labour
Brendan O’Neill, Spectator Coffee House, 29/10/16
Not only is Blair’s period in office best termed the most expensive work experience programme in British history. By the time he had finished being Prime Minister he had just about got the hang of it
Iain Martin, Reaction, 28/10/16
All societies in decline fixate on impossible postmodern dreams as a way of disguising their inability to address premodern problems
Victor Davis Hanson, Townhall.com, 27/10/16
The Wikileaks emails have exposed an arrogant cabal of misery profiteers who hold everyone, even their fellow travelers deemed not pure enough, in contempt. These bigots who’ve made their fortune from government service should be kept as far away from the levers of power as the car keys should be kept from anyone named Kennedy on a Friday night.
Derek Hunter, Townhall.com, 23/10/16
“You have done this” says memory. ‘I cannot have done it ‘, says pride. And memory gives in
By going full Goebbels – NEVER GO FULL GOEBBELS – it undercut and wrecked the foundational ability of all citizens to be heard and respected and to believe that they are competing on a level playing field
Kurt Schlichter considering the US media’s performance, Townhall.com, 24/10/16
Clinton corrupted her office. So, too, do her well-wishers in the Fourth Estate who misheard “speaking truth to power” in journalism school as “sucking up to power.”
Daniel Flynn, American Spectator, 21/10/16
As I got older I realised there was no respite from stupidity
Arron Banks, New Statesman, 13/10/16
Paris is great for a romantic weekend, London’s real rival for the financial capital of the world is New York…
Trump is an unknown. But, to channel Donald Rumsfeld, Hillary is the most known known in the history of knowns.
Mark Steyn, steynonline.com, 19/10/16
This stultifying conformity of political opinion in modern university culture really ought to worry anyone who cares about our country’s intellectual future. It’s not the doctrinaire left-wingery that’s the problem so much as the closed-mindedness that goes with it
James Delingpole, Spectator, 22/10/16
She has 99.99% of the reporters in America with their faces parked firmly in the seat of her pantsuit. She has every tycoon, robber baron, potentate, and ditzy Hollywood half-wit writing her giant checks. She has female genitalia, which much of liberal America considers enough, in and of itself, to qualify her to be president. She has all this, and Trump is still competitive in the polls.
Kurt Schlichter, Townhall.com, 20/10/16
A vulgar, boorish lout and disrespecter of women, with a serious impulse control problem; or a scheming, robotic liar with a lifelong appetite for power and an entourage riddled with anti-Catholic bigots
via Archbishop Charles Chaput, demonstrating election blues, 13/10/16
…like many Britons, I find that my patience with interminable Scottish umbrage is wearing thin.
Leo McKinstry, Daily Mail, 15/10/16
There are the usual clichés one expects from a man who read Derrida and Barthes when he was in short pants, and never got over it
Michael Henderson, The Spectator, 11/10/16
The young gentleman, who was no descendant of Solomon
Henry Fielding in ‘Jonathan Wild’, 1743
The main fallacy put forward by the patrician classes has always been the equation of levels of education with everyday intelligence. Often the best-educated are morally the worst human beings
Patrick West, Spiked, 07/10/16
It is becoming downright embarrassing for Scottish MSPs and others to fetishise (Thatcher’s) rule. She stopped being Prime Minister twenty six years ago. Imagine defining life in 1975 in opposition to what happened in 1949
Iain Martin, Reaction, 06/10/16
Men came here in search of what we all really desire, to be left alone to get on with the really important aims of life, to build a home and raise a family, to see the fruits of their labour, to believe what they wish to believe
Peter Hitchens writing about small town America, Mail on Sunday, 25/09/16
George Bernard Shaw advised against wrestling with pigs on the grounds that “you both get dirty, and the pig likes it.” But there is no way for Clinton to avoid wrestling this particular pig
Kevin D Williamson, NRO, 25/09/16
…the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, a kind of eco-version of the Holy See, only less open to criticism and debate
Brendan O’Neill, Spectator Coffee House, 17/09/16
I look forward to the faked photos of Hillary swimming across the Hudson River, in the manner of Chairman Mao.
AntonCheckout, Spectator Coffee House comments, 16/09/16
Whenever the left talks about “racism,” it has nothing to do with what’s good or bad for black people. It’s just another event in the Fabulous White People competition, where black people are the chips
Ann Coulter, 14/09/16
History is the arbiter of controversy, the monarch of all she surveys
The creation of the Scottish parliament had the opposite effect from that intended by the devolutionists. It diminished Scotland
Iain Martin, Spectator Coffee House, 10/09/16
Yes, she (Hillary) has a lot of experience during her 35 years in government but her decisions raise questions about whether her judgment is the type we need in office at this critical time
Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate actually makes sense, 03/09/16
She said “Tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are.” So what does that make Hillary… not, a minor member of the Saudi Royal Family?
Milo, Breitbart.com, 26/08/16
We shall see whether the next terrorist attack in France or Germany comes from a lady on the beach wearing a burkini
Douglas Murray, Spectator Coffee House, 24/08/16
‘The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.’
Brexit, when it finally happens…could, in theory clear the European decks, allowing us once more to see our neighbours as individual nation states and not a grim collective known as “Brussels”
Walter Ellis, Reaction, 17/08/16
At the recent referendum…all of the political parties except UKIP (with just one MP) supported Remain. As the result showed, the consensual parties had thereby disenfranchised 17.4 million voters. That is an indication of the scale on which the political class had arrogantly parted company with the electorate
Gerald Warner, Reaction, 15/08/16
As a general rule of modern politics, one should never believe anything about Peter Mandelson until he denies it himself
Peter Oborne, Daily Mail, 13/08/16
The primary strength of Donald Trump’s campaign is hidden in plain sight: he is genuinely funny. If elected he would be the first president since John F. Kennedy to possess a sense of humour
Christopher Caldwell, Spectator, 13/08/16
The fact that so little was known about Obama despite his having written two memoirs — the first, highly fictionalized — was a mark of the opacity that would later make his administration the least transparent since Nixon
Joel B Pollak, Breitbart.com, 07/08/16
…the seasoned Germany hands had no inkling that the Berlin Wall was about to fall. It was the newbie analysts who noticed the cracks in the façade. There is something about being a high-ranking expert that interferes with forecasting
‘Superforecaster’ Philip Tetlock quoting CIA chief John E McLaughlin
Why are the opponents of Brexit opposed to Britain regaining its status as a self-governing democracy?
If you need a reintroduction to Mrs. Clinton, we will oblige: She is an opportunist without anything resembling a conviction with the exception of her unwavering commitment to abortion, a “public servant” who along with her husband grew vastly wealthy exploiting her political connections and renting access to everybody from Goldman Sachs to Vladimir Putin, a petty, grasping, vindictive, meretricious time-server whose incompetence and dishonesty have been proved everywhere from Little Rock to Benghazi.
NRO Editorial, 29/07/16
“She’s often confused”
The mysterious Huma Abedin, in an email re her boss, Hillary Clinton
Fifteen years after 9/11, the violent anti-Muslim backlash is an outrage permanently on the verge of occurring, while bombings and shootings by Islamic zealots remain mere realities.
William Voegeli, NRO, 21/07/16
It’s impossible to “plagiarise” meaningless twaddle
Ann Coulter, Breitbart, 20/07/16
We’ve had more or less the same government since 1990 – pro-EU, high-spending, politically correct and broadly approved of by Michael Heseltine.
Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, 17/07/16
All were born in captivity and siege, and do not desire the liberty they never knew. Who could believe this?”
Asked why he ended up a firearms designer rather than pursuing his original plan of designing farm implements, Kalashnikov provided an excellent answer: “Nazis.”
Kevin D Williamson, NRO, 19/06/16
I’d rather drink a gallon of Mexican tap water than meet Hillary Clinton
Josh Mendez, Twitter
Mastery over the moment is mastery over life
Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
“When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.”
“Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.”
Pride wears the mask of loftiness of spirit
St Augustine, back in AD397
“If you can’t have good government, at least have entertaining government.”
John von Kannon
Political Islam has absolutely no interest in finding any accommodations with what it considers to be our worthless Western culture. Its aim is total conquest. To deny this is a bit like reading Mein Kampf and going “Yeah but he doesn’t really mean it.”
James Delingpole, Breitbart, 22/03/16
It’s always the weirder, more colourful or most principled politicians who get it in the neck from the sneerocrats: Boris, Farage, Gove. The end result? Greyness. A bland, safe, Blairite wasteland where ideas and argument ought to be. The bores win
Brendan O’Neill, Spectator Coffee House, 12/07/16
Poorer voters have declined to be bullied and they have asserted the primacy of their national parliament in an expression of civic engagement
Iain Martin, FT, 24/06/16
A generation that owes so much to the past acts as if they owe nothing to anybody. Their idea of freedom is exemption from laws or obligations….Freedom is not free. It requires, at a minimum, maturity and a sense of the realities of life.
Thomas Sowell, American Spectator, 05/07/16
The job of Prime Minister seems to me an unsuitable first big job in politics
Douglas Murray, Spectator Coffee House, 07/07/16
Of course Israel has a right to exist. So does Britain, but you never hear any politician say so, because it doesn’t need to be said. And it shouldn’t need to be said about Israel either
Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph, 01/07/16
The referendum has highlighted the poverty, and intense anxiety, of secular humanist thought.
Theo Hobson, Spectator Coffee House, 27/06/16
Yes, you dislike the Conservative Government and austerity, but the wriggle room is always there to blame that on Murdoch and the First Past the Post system. Now, in a massive democratic exercise on a binary question, you have just been outvoted by millions of people whom you can’t understand and whom you are unlikely ever to have met.
Mark Wallace, Conservative Home, 27/06/16
“If the British cannot support the trend towards more integration in Europe, we can nevertheless remain friends, but on a different basis. I could imagine a form such as a European economic area or a free-trade agreement.”
Jacques Delors, Handelsblatt, 2012
The EU is an undemocratic, unreformable institution that locks the UK into a social, political and economic model that can’t be changed
Dreda Say Mitchell, the Guardian, 22/06/16
Far from being a positive development, the shift from nation states to member states is the result of a hollowing out of national democracy…Rather than following the logic of representation, which was broadly the case with nation states, state-society relations in member states are characterised by the logic of antagonism
Chris Bickerton, Spiked Online, June 2016
….in an almost comical reflection of the sacred lefty belief that any worthwhile political movement will necessarily be built around the workers, the foundation of the Brexit coalition is what used to be called the proletariat
John Harris, Guardian, 17/06/16
No pleasure is worth giving up for the sake of two more years in a geriatric home at Weston-super-Mare
Almost everything that is wrong with the world can be traced, ultimately, to Tony Blair
James Delingpole, Breitbart.com, 11/06/16
Trump at his Trumpiest is far less nutty than the conventional wisdom from the most respected paragons of the establishment
Mark Steyn, SteynOnline, 08/06/16
By supporting a far left that cannot win an election, wealthy leftists look like hypocrites, ruthlessly advancing their class interest, under a cloak of pious moralising…they have to pretend Jeremy Corbyn can win to spare themselves that awful moment of moral clarity when they realise they have been ensuring their pockets stay lined.
Nick Cohen, Spectator Coffee House, 31/05/16
They told us that 90 percent of us would be killed, which we took to mean 100 percent of us. And that was okay, because we figured that being killed was better than being captured
R Sargent Shriver, Pacific combat vet, recalling the plan for the advance troops invading Japan (before Hiroshima)
(on reading War and Peace) I was 13 and it was as if I could see life opening into two parts, like an orange, and have a glimpse at what was inside
Muriel Barbery, FT, 14/05/16
What did he (JK Galbraith) do in the war? He worked in the Office of Price Administration in Washington. I don’t demand that he experience having his ass shot off. I merely note that he didn’t.
Historian and combat vet Paul Fussell, 1981
Proving that the Clintons are dishonest is like proving that water is wet.
Kevin D Williamson, National Review Online, 27/05/16
…this scripted adventurer for the liberal legacy-writers cares only about the magnification of his own ego.
Tom Rogan on Obama, National Review Online, 26/05/16
The eurozone is economically moribund, persists with policies that have demonstrably failed, is indifferent to democracy, is run by and for a small, self-perpetuating elite, and is slowing dying
Larry Elliott, The Guardian, 20/05/16
Hillary is a stodgily predictable product of the voluminous briefing books handed to her by a vast palace staff of researchers and pollsters
Camille Paglia, Salon.com, 19/05/16
(Tony Blair) will go down in history as someone who did a terrible job
Donald Trump, 17/05/16, interviewed by Piers Morgan
“Public service broadcasting” is a euphemism for EastEnders
Gerald Warner, CapX, 12/05/16
…the “socially liberal nice guy” persona which resembles not so much a man as a string of focus groups welded together into a vaguely humanoid shape.
Simon Carr on Dave’s public image, Guido, 12/05/16
…just where are these EU-wide institutions that are supposed to preserve our security? What are the EU-releated intelligence arrangements that we enjoy now, and would not enjoy if we left the EU?
Fraser Nelson, Spectator Coffee House, 08/05/16
…of the 4 million on the Scottish voters’ roll, only 2.3 million pay income tax
Gerald Warner, CapX, 04/05/16
‘Salah Abdeslam is a moron from Molenbeek with the intelligence of an ashtray’
..according to his lawyer, Sven Mary
Because my home was not full of harpsichord music and Beethoven and Wagner and poetry, when I discovered these things for myself at the age of 16, my teenage revolt was all these delights
Ian McEwan, 2013
Iran is about as terrified of the prospect of EU disapproval as it would be a strongly worded letter from Zambia.
Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph, 22/04/16
If introducing comedy to Raqqa sounds a bit of a long shot, maybe Bono could try Germany first.
Mark Steyn, Steyn Online, 15/04/16
…what sane person, presented with a perfectly legal way to avoid handing over their savings to the Treasury, replies: ‘No, thank you, I’d rather give it to the taxman’?
Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail, 16/04/16
I’ve never heard anyone complaining about ‘Sikhophobia’ or ‘Hindophobia’, have you?
Richard Littlejohn makes his point, Daily Mail, 12/04/16
Our popular culture is one of Pajama Boy, Mattress Girl, and the whiny, nasal-toned young metrosexual with high-water pants above his ankles and horn-rimmed glasses who “analyzes” on cable news
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO, 12/0416
Aside from Bhutan, Belgium probably has the least interventionist foreign policy of any country in the world.
Douglas Murray, Daily Telegraph, 25/03/16
The EU is a botched bureaucracy, built on a notionally nice idea, being rendered inoperable by history. The open borders model and obsession with anti-democratic integration rather than trade and friendly cooperation is turning steadily into a catastrophe for European civilisation
Iain Martin, CapX, 24/03/16
I don’t want to be looked after by the government. I want to look after my family, and they me – within in a system of governance that does not make this impossible
Laura Perrins, Conservative Woman, 23/03/16
Praise soft power, but put little faith in it. Until the nature of man changes, hard power will matter more than all the noble appeals to shared aspirations and similar economic and cultural interests. Soaring rhetoric about global ecumenicalism has a shelf life of about two speeches..
Speak nicely of, but never rely on, the leadership of the United Nations
Essential advice from Victor Davis Hanson at National Review Online, 22/03/16
Political Islam has absolutely no interest in finding any accommodations with what it considers to be our worthless Western culture. Its aim is total conquest. To deny this is a bit like reading Mein Kampf and going “Yeah but he doesn’t really mean it.”
James Delingpole, Breitbart, 22/03/16
“Why do we have a sugar tax? If people should not eat sugar, then they should not eat sugar.”
Gladys Pek Yue Macrae, voter on Newsnight, 16/03/16
She has the manners of a Bolshevik and the arrogance of a czarina. Trump’s vulgarity and presumption are nothing next to her crassness and sense of entitlement
George Neumayr, American Spectator, 16/03/16
Americans and other Westerners who want their families to enjoy the blessings of life in a free society should understand that the life we’ve led since 1945 in the Western World is very rare in human history. Our children are unlikely to enjoy anything so placid and may well spend their adult years in an ugly and savage world, unless we decide that who and what we are is worth defending
Mark Steyn, 2006
“If you can’t have good government, at least have entertaining government.”John von Kannon
(On the Oscars) What a nasty night. It was like a bad week on Comment is Free made flesh.
Brendan O’Neill, Spectator Coffee House, 29/12/16
Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant, then it tries to silence good
Archbishop Charles Chaput
Granted if you spend most of your days denying the prominent and gigantic differences between the sexes, being ignorant of human nature is the least of your worries.
Laura Perrins, Conservative Woman, 01/03/16
‘I remain completely relaxed about it, and if people want to smoke happy for them to do so. It’s not for me to enforce codes of behaviour on other people.’
Jacob Rees Mogg, sticking to his principles
I believe that the decisions which govern all our lives, the laws we must all obey and the taxes we must all pay should be decided by people we choose and who we can throw out if we want change
Michael Gove’s Brexit statement, 20/02/16
I have been asked “what, then, is your alternative to being in the European Union?” A more foolish question is hard to imagine. The alternative to being in the European Union is not being in the European Union. Most of the world is not in the European Union – and most of the world is doing better than the European Union.
Nigel Lawson, Daily Telegraph, 17/02/16
I tend in any given situation to assume the SNP are at it
..good advice from Chris Deerin, Daily Mail, 15/02/16
“Is an effective tax rate of three per cent right or wrong?,” asked Jeremy Corbyn. It sounds about right to me.
Simon Carr, PMQ’s sketch, Guido, 27/01/16
People who dismiss passion in politics know nothing of eitherRobin Harris, Spectator Coffee House, 07/02/16
Hillary is in trouble not because she’s a sleazy, corrupt, cronyist, money-laundering, Saud-kissing liar. Democrats have a strong stomach and boundless tolerance for all of that and wouldn’t care were it not for the fact that she’s a dud and a bore
(The Dems are) relaxed about voting for an unprincipled arrogant phony marinated in ever more malodorous and toxic corruption, but they draw the line at such a tedious and charisma-free specimen thereof
The only personable Clinton stood behind Hillary looking like an emaciated wraith of the Slick Willie of yore. Decades of interns appear to have literally sucked all the life out of him
Mark Steyn, Steyn Online, 02/02/16 (on a roll)
…the Democrats’ field of two dwarfs and an indictable potential felon
R Emmett Tyrrell jr, The American Spectator, 27/01/16
What kind of “independence” movement claims its aspirations are dwarfed by membership of a United Kingdom of 65 million people, but promises freedom in a notoriously centralising and over-regulated European Union of 500 million?
Gerald Warner, CapX, 29/01/16, on the SNP’s current fantasy
“Is an effective tax rate of three per cent right or wrong?,” asked Jeremy Corbyn. It sounds about right to me.
Simon Carr, PMQ’s sketch, Guido, 27/01/16
In Scotland, these days, you can offend people who do not exist. It takes the definition of a victimless ‘crime’ to hitherto unknown heights.
Alex Massie, Spectator Coffee House, 27/01/16
“it will bring down a curse upon us worse than that which God called down on the builders of Babel; rather than our speaking different languages, not to be speaking a genuine language at all.”
The late Sir Michael Dummett, Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford, referring to the plague of moral relativism
…this man, whose history has demonstrated no principles at all, other than an ability to make self-serving deals, and who has shown what Thorstein Veblen once called “a versatility of convictions.”
Thomas Sowell offers a finely tuned take on Trump, Townhall.com, 22/01/16
..Multiculturalism is best understood as the sacralisation of moral and cultural relativism.
The Cologne controversy shines a harsh light on the corrosion of the Enlightenment values Europe claims to hold to, on the decay of freedom and openness at the very heart of Europe; and we’re obsessing over the cultural habits of gangs of Arab blokes?
both from Brendan O’Neill, Spiked, 14/01/16
Joe Biden is not going to cure cancer. Joe Biden couldn’t find chlamydia backstage at a Mötley Crüe concert
Kevin D Williamson, NRO, 14/01/16
That means closing Germany’s borders to new arrivals for the time being. It means beginning an orderly deportation process for able-bodied young men. It means giving up the fond illusion that Germany’s past sins can be absolved with a reckless humanitarianism in the present. It means that Angela Merkel must go — so that her country, and the continent it bestrides, can avoid paying too high a price for her high-minded folly.
Ross Douthat, New York Times, 09/01/16
At some point, for the Western elite class, the acquisitive dreams of the past become the banalities of the present, as luxury cars, penthouses, and vacation homes only remind the guilty how blessed they are…For many of our elites, trashing their culture and heritage offers a sort of medieval penance that lets them alleviate guilt without sacrificing privilege.
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO, 05/01/16
I’ve sometimes said of the (Bach) Cello Suites that when you’re listening to them you’re left with an intense feeling that isn’t a feeling about anything in particular
Rowan Williams, Gramophone, Jan 2016
Cicero insisted that gratitude was “the parent of all the other virtues.” …gratitude is proof of humility and offers perspective. It is an appreciation for others, often now dead, who have helped to make us what we are. Without it, we are narcissists and self-absorbed amnesiacs.
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO, 24/12/15
I trust that my faith, my age and my life’s work give me perspective and credibility when I say I believe IS to be more evil than the Nazis who drove my family from Vienna.
“One thing is sure. If you stand still and think that the fire is still far from your borders, then your lands will become the stage upon which the tragedy is performed”
Frederick William, The Great Elector of Brandenburg-Prussia, Political Testament, 19/05/1667
You may drive out Nature with a pitchfork, yet she still will hurry back
Horace, Epistles, Book 1
President Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States and the only one who reportedly leaves no shadow
R Emmett Tyrrell, The American Spectator, 09/12/15
When Obama talks about having contained ISIS, what he basically means is he’s contained it to the planet. It’s not yet got an operating base on Mars.
Mark Steyn, Steyn Online, 04/12/15
You see, visionary thinkers like Obama cannot be bound by normal constitutional strictures. Indeed, the very unpopularity of his most cherished diplomatic goals is proof of their prophetic farsightedness.
Charles Krauthammer, NRO, 17/12/15
The world that we are told about by our government bears no resemblance to what we see and hear every day.
Victor Davis Hanson, Townhall.com, 10/12/15
..the EC’s recent decree that things made in Israeli settlements must be branded as such, lest some pure PC person in Europe unwittingly eat an olive made in a disputed bit of the Golan Heights and become morally compromised as a result
Brendan O’Neill, Jewish News, 08/12/15
Their party is headed by a Marxist who is supported by a Stalinist and seconded by someone…spending this week denying he is a Maoist
Douglas Murray, The Spectator, 27/11/15
Nothing is a more reliable indicator of a lack of imagination than singing “Imagine”
Mark Steyn, Steyn Online, 17/11/15
…these strange, elfin figures like Cooper, Farron and Lucas – who have spent recent years flitting about trying to police ideas and language to the detriment of all Britons and Europeans – seem to me to have had their day.
Douglas Murray, Spectator Coffee House, 18/11/15
The arguments for and against EU membership might be exactly the same as they were four decades ago but something has fundamentally changed. The world.
Tony Parsons, GQ, 06/11/15
Almost no-one, not already in China or born in China, wants to live in China.
Iain Martin, CapX, 31/10/15
The outrage displayed by Baroness Hollis and other government foes in the Lords on Monday conveyed a sense that tax credits were a historic human right enshrined in Magna Carta.
Max Hastings, Daily Mail, 28/10/15
Happy fun times: Hillary fondly remembers Chris Stevens’s sense of humor in trying not to be murdered
Allahpundit headline on Hotair.com, 22/10/15
Rubio’s advantage is that he can put a sentence together and doesn’t look like something guarding a tomb.
Carly Fiorina, unlike Hillary, does not have the effect of making normal women’s skin crawl and normal men’s genitals shrivel.
Kurt Schlichter, discussing Republican candidates, 19/10/15, Townhall.com
Obama has nearly destroyed the Democratic Party — and all but turned it over either to a veritable crook and has-been or a 73-year-old self-described socialist.
Victor Davis Hanson, 05/10/15, VDH’s Private Papers
…given (Holyrood’s) inability, or unwillingness, to tackle the toughest issues affecting society, its main role appears to be that of self-congratulatory talking shop.
Chris Deerin, Daily Mail, 12/10/15
The problem with constitutions more generally is that they are often not worth the paper they are written on. After all, North’s Korea’s constitution guarantees freedom of expression, economic wellbeing, representative democracy, political rights, religious freedom and judicial independence
John R Bradley, The Spectator, 09/10/15
Believing that the UK being a member of the EU gives us ‘heft’ is like believing that putting your underpants on outside your trousers makes you a superhero
Brian Monteith, CapX, 08/10/15
An economist is someone who knows 364 ways of making love, but does not know any women
Geoffrey Howe (H/T Bruce Anderson)
Just wait until that 52 per cent of the population find out that family doctors have been private contractors to the NHS since it was founded in 1948
John Rentoul, CapX, 24/09/15
Running is a test of individual character, it’s you versus it.
I taught history of art in Brixton jail for 10 years and one lesson I learnt very quickly is never talk down to people. If you treat them as equals, you’ve got them, they’re with you. But talk down, they smell it a mile off and hate it
Brian Sewell, The Guardian, 15/06/13
In his rambling, sullen, graceless acceptance speech, which gave little indication of an IQ in three figures, Mr Corbyn more or less invited the press to do its worst. It will…
Uniting the Liberals and moderate Labour could well prove as futile as inciting a pair of corpses to copulate
Bruce Anderson, CapX, 14/09/15
The loud left are as pertinent to modern Britain as blacksmiths.
Tony Parsons, GQ, 13/09/15
Asylum-seekers are required to declare their intentions in the first safe country they reach. Though some British lorry drivers and holiday makers may have doubts, France would be defined as a safe countryThroughout the world, under the Convention’s criteria, hundreds of millions of people could now be entitled to asylum. On a bad day, they might include virtually the entire population of China
both from a great piece by Bruce Anderson, CapX, 09/09/15
“a Malthusian fruitcake”
Twitter user Tomas Kenny (@3753Cruithne), on ‘environmentalist’ Chris Packham
..the Corbynites – effectively cybernats without the whisky tears
Chris Deerin, Daily Mail, 07/09/15
According to a Guardian journalist, Mr Oliver is ‘extremely well liked’. If so, I have drifted further from mainstream public opinion than I realised.
Chris Snowdon, Spectator Health, 04/09/15
“I had a nightmare once. I dreamt I was stuck in a lift with Nicola Sturgeon”
Kirk Sutherland, Coronation St, 17/08/15
Instead of worshipping Tony Blair as “The Master”, the Tories should see him for the tawdry opportunist he was.
Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun, 17/08/15
…even Michael Foot had stature and a brain. This lot could have been picked out of a hat.
Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun, 17/08/15
It remains the case that the taxpayer bailout of bank irresponsibility has up to today cost every single adult in the UK over £2,000, that’s actual money spent
Richard Walker, CapX, 11/08/15
If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the whole concept of ‘hate crime’. A crime is a crime is a crime and should be punished accordingly. Why should some offences be considered more heinous than others simply because the perpetrator is said to have been motivated by ‘hate’?
Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail, 07/08/15
The average Liberal activist was an anoraked obsessive, whose political views were a blend of anger and simple-mindedness.They were Liberals in the American sense of the word: a rag-bag of leftism combined with dislike of one’s own country
Bruce Anderson, CapX, 06/08/15
“The prime minister is not a gay gangster”
Alastair Campbell, 2003
“And then to Calais; and to England then: where ne’er from France arrived more happy men”
Shakespeare, via Dan Hannan, CapX, 31/07/15
..the old post-traumatic stress disorder is what you get if you’re just some nancy wuss pantywaist who goes to Iraq and gets blown up by an IED. But the far more serious pre-traumatic stress disorder is what you get if you sit around on government grants all day worrying about sea levels in the Maldives in the early 22nd century.
Mark Steyn, SteynOnline, 27/07/15
Obama often is what political philosopher Kenneth Minogue said of an adversary – “a pyromaniac in a field of straw men.”
George Will, NRO, 23/04/14
..the fundamental purpose of the encyclical is (not) to tell Catholics they should care about environmentalism, even if the Pope would surely like them to do so. I think its purpose is to tell environmentalists they should care about their souls.
Yuval Levin, NRO, 24/06/15
It takes a certain amount of self-delusion to look at a group of unusually healthy people and conclude that they are suffering from an ‘epidemic’….in other words, they might be the healthiest people but according to our calculations they shouldn’t be and so we’re going to pretend that they’re not.
Christopher Snowdon on ‘middle class drinking’, The Spectator, 24/07/15
I suppose it really would be far too simple simply to rewrite the tax code so it fits on one piece of paper, and then sack 100s of thousands of non-value-adding tax lawyers, consultants, accountants and above all revenue men so they can go and do something useful instead such as digging holes in the road and filling them up again.
Bloke in Italy (commenter on timworstall.com) 24/07/15
A “Hillary rally” is a contradiction in terms: the thin, vetted crowd leave more demoralized and depressed than when they went in
Mark Steyn, Steynonline, 10/07/15
How did Chelsea Clinton become a multimillionaire?
VDH, Private Papers, 08/07/15
…the greatest threat to world peace and international justice is the nation state gone bad, claiming an absolute power, deciding questions and making “laws” beyond its competence. Few there are, however, who would venture to ask if there might be a better way for humanity to organize itself for the sake of the common good.
The late Cardinal Francis George (a remarkable man)
This foreign policy mistake of assuming other peoples think and believe as we do has been continually made by the West for decades
Bruce Thornton, VDH’s Private Papers, 01/07/15
The issue is not Europe, with its great history, incomparable culture and diverse peoples, but the European Union. To confuse the two is both historically and geographically obtuse
Nigel Lawson, Mail on Sunday, 12/07/15
The EU has a flag no one salutes, an anthem no one sings, a president no one can name, a parliament whose powers subtract from those of national legislatures, a bureaucracy no one admires or controls, and rules of fiscal rectitude that no member is penalized for ignoring.
George Will, NRO, 20/06/15
Greece is still in serious trouble, and it is now run by the equivalent of Jeremy Corbyn and Russell Brand.
Mark Wallace, Conservative Home, 06/07/15
In the short term, the world runs on words; in the long term, the world runs on numbers. It is as though the Muses came to an agreement: In the here and now, mankind is subject to rhetoric, but mathematics gets the final say… Mathematics is arousing herself from her torpor, and she is cranky as hell.
Kevin D Williamson, NRO, 02/07/15
With every concession, Obama and Kerry made clear they were desperate for a deal. And they will get it. Obama will get his “legacy.” Kerry will get his Nobel. And Iran will get the bomb.
Charles Krauthammer, NRO, 02/07/15
Alex Salmond …now appears to be on an eccentric ego trip that has run out of control
Iain Martin, CapX, 02/07/15
You may drive out Nature with a pitchfork, yet she still will hurry back
Horace, Epistles, Book 1
depositing us gently on the edge of eternity
Edward Sackville-West on Beethoven’s Op 111
Every surgeon carries about him a little cemetery, in which from time to time he goes to pray, a cemetery of bitterness and regret, of which he seeks the reason for certain of his failures
René Leriche, La philosophie de la chirurgie, 1951
The change of the word does not alter the matter
“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist.”
Archbishop Hélder Câmara
The Scots Nats are just regional blackmailers of the Péquiste and Bloc Québécois variety.
Conrad Black, National Post, 09/05/15
If you’re going through hell, keep going
The class sympathies which, false as they are, are the truest things in so many men
GK Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday (1908)
Margaret Thatcher’s government built more council flats and houses in a single year than New Labour (of which Miliband was an integral part) managed in its entire 13 years in office.
Jane Moore, The Sun, 06/05/15
Here was a man who went from a comfortable life in Britain and decided to kill people in Africa.
Douglas Murray, on white jihadi Thomas Evans, The Spectator, 16/06/15
To paraphrase Cicero and Orwell, there are some things so stupid that only rich, arrogant Westerners will believe them
Bruce Thornton, VDH’s Private Papers, 11/05/15
(on Scottish Labour) Some Glasgow constituencies had a nominal membership role of a hundred, half of whom turned out to be dead: another quarter, in Barlinnie Gaol. The rest were often some of the most primitive socialists ever known. As no-one had told them that the Warsaw Pact was also extinct, some of them were still hoping for the arrival of Stalinism, like those Japanese soldiers in the jungle
Bruce Anderson, Daily Telegraph, 09/05/15
Americans can trot off to Walmart to pick up an abortifacient, but its clerks, the company announced, will no longer let customers purchase a Confederate flag.
George Neumayr, American Spectator, 24/06/15
Surely there is no point to this grand construct and all that high blown rhetoric about Eurozone unity if it ends up with Greek pensioners and the unemployed begging for money as their country collapses?
Iain Martin, CapX, 04/07/15
Corbyn reportedly says that he could not be friends with someone who isn’t left-wing. Isn’t that a red, flashing, warning light, equivalent to a man who talks all night about his mum on the first date?
Ed West, The Spectator, 13/07/15
Labour barely exists. The people’s party has dwindled into a poky little citizens advice bureau for unfortunates
Lloyd Evans, The Spectator, 17/06/15
…as far back as 1986, Sandra Harding described Newton’s Principia Mathematica — one of humanity’s key scientific texts — as a ‘rape manual’, on the basis that Newton and other modern scientific thinkers viewed nature as something to be plundered, controlled, ‘raped’
Brendan O’Neill, Spiked, 11/06/15
He has always reminded me of a pudgy, scheming elf
Kurt Schlichter on Sen Lindsey Graham, Townhall.com, 08/06/15
There is something rather comic about a man full of antibiotics and chemo poison with half a voice being replaced by someone still recovering from a stroke on a programme anchored by a 76-year-old.
Nick Robinson, Mail on Sunday, 07/06/15
If science could cross breed a jellyfish with a parrot, it could create academic administrators
Thomas Sowell, NRO, 01/01/15
All the talk of reviving Labour with a re-injection of New Labour or Blue Labour or Brownite Labour is like discussing what colour lipstick to put on a corpse.
Brendan O’Neill, The Spectator, 12/05/15
(on Steve Coogan et al) ‘Vote for what’s best for you… not what’s best for Rupert Murdoch’, they said, conjuring up a bizarre image of unthinking plebs heading to the voting booths thinking: ‘I must obey Murdoch, I must obey Murdoch.’
Brendan O’Neill, Spiked, 11/05/15
For many Arabs now the choice they face is not between autocracy and democracy, but between order and disorder
John Sawers, Financial Times, 02/05/15
A theory concerning government may become as much a cause of fanaticism as dogma in religion
Edmund Burke in 1789
“Those photos of Libby the dog taking a dump at Crufts took me right back to 2008, when I had the pleasure of judging the finals of Miss Dundee”
Wee Burney says she wants to be the key player in an ‘anti-Tory majority’, as if hating the Conservatives is a reasonable basis for a stable government. ..More to the point, there’s an overwhelming ‘anti-SNP majority’ comprising the 95 per cent of people in Britain who are sick of the sight and sound of Sturgeon, and will not be voting for her hubristic Toytown Tartanistas.
Richard Littlejohn spells it out, Daily Mail, 28/04/15
I would have been worried to hear that Miliband has been watching Russell Brand videos, never mind appearing in them.
Iain Martin, CapX, 28/04/15
…at the last general election the Conservatives polled 413,000 votes to the SNP’s 490,00 – not the massive difference the Nats would have us believe
Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph, 21/04/15
Nicola Sturgeon gets rave reviews. She performed better than rivals in the debates. But so would a middle-aged stripper in a burlesque show featuring one-armed octogenarians.
Peter McKay, Daily Mail, 20/04/15
Making people poor is one of the few things that governments are really good at.
Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph, 17/04/15
Nicola Sturgeon was more progressive than Miliband, because she has a Scottish accent. As was Leanne Wood, because she has a Welsh one, and Natalie Bennett because she is an immigrant from Australia. But Ed is a member of the student council and so he has to take difficult decisions.
John Rentoul, The Independent, 17/04/15
…to add to the sense of unreality, we are subjected to the ludicrous spectacle of Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor and the man who as a minister presided over the biggest collapse in the public finances in British peacetime history, giving lessons to the Tories on the recklessness of their “unfunded” spending and tax promises. The hypocrisy is so brazen as to be laughable
Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph, 17/04/15
(Plaid Cymru leader) Leanne Wood, meanwhile, strikes me as being as thick as a chicken parmo with extra béchamel and a grilled cheddar topping. On some chips.
Rod Liddle, The Spectator, 17/04/15
President Obama’s insouciance toward American sacrifice during the Cold War marks him out as the only American president that does not understand the Cold War.
R Emmett Tyrrell, American Spectator, 15/04/15
A Labour-SNP alliance would confront us with a British version of Syriza, the far-left grouping that is busy ruining what is left of Greece
Nick Wood, Conservative Woman, 17/04/15
(on Ms Sturgeon) She aspires to lead an independent state that will resemble Iceland without the fish
Max Hastings, Daily Mail, 15/04/15
As PM, Blair loved referendums and even promised one on the European Constitution until he saw he would lose. So he just signed up to it regardless.
Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun, 13/04/15
Nicola Sturgeon’s aim is to put Ed Miliband in power, then torture him
Spectator editorial, 11/04/15
(in praise of shunning superspecialisation) Medical generalisation is the disruptive innovation on which we should build our sustainable healthcare
Chris Butler, BMJ Confidential, 11/04/15
Progressives have but one political value to which they adhere through all the vicissitudes and travail of modern politics. It is not freedom. It is not order. It is disturbing the peace.
R Emmett Tyrrell jr
Some of my most cherished lines from President Clinton’s presidency had nothing to do with women with whom he did or did not have sexual relations.
R Emmett Tyrrell jr, Washington Times, 07/04/15
Nicola Sturgeon, says..that it all started to go wrong for the Labour Party when Michael Foot was replaced with Neil Kinnock – this is the woman in charge of the country that gave the world Adam Smith
Chris Deerin, CapX, 07/04/15
There are many reasons for Labour’s dwindling ratings — economic incompetence being number one, but also a general uselessness.
Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun, 06/04/15
If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.
Nobody south of Gretna Green wants to hear the views of that bizarrely arrogant munchkin Nicola Sturgeon
Rod Liddle, Spectator, 26/03/15
…in a sane world Mr. Kennedy would not be taken seriously, inasmuch as he is a witless pile of ground chuck molded into the shape of a politician, but we do not live in a sane world.
Kevin Williamson on the ineffably stupid Robert Kennedy jr, NRO, 22/09/14
‘You need management, you need regulation. The problem is, it needs to be intelligent. With the bureaucracy in this country, it’s not. It’s one size fits all.’
NHS Neurosurgeon Henry Marsh, Daily Mail, 05/10/14
“In every war, Britain always wins at least one battle: The last one.”
A film preceding his speech showed Mr Miliband meeting a policeman, a car worker, a soldier, lots of nurses, and a paper coffee cup. It’s not difficult to spot the odd one out unless Labour strategists have found an undiscovered seam of votes in Starbucks.
Or perhaps discarded coffee cups are the new underclass in today’s Labour minds. Either way, Mr Miliband’s close encounter with the paper cup remained unexplained.
Nigel Nelson, Daily Mirror, 23/09/14
They grab and grub. They never leave. They never go home. They don’t have a “home”
Peggy Noonan, on professional politicians
The lucky few who survive a death leap from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge share one vivid memory — of instant regret the moment they let go
Trevor Kavanagh, the Sun, 15/09/14
Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer. I lost my diocese. Please try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. . . . Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.
Amel Nona, Archbishop of Mosul
“The lessons of history endure,because human nature never changed. All the human emotions, are the same today as in Egypt of the pharaohs or China in the time of Confucius: Love, hate, ambition, the lust for power, kindness, generosity, and inhumanity. The good and bad of human nature is simply poured into new vehicles created by science and technology.
J Rufus Fears (H/T Charles CW Cooke)
..a liberal, woolly-minded, middle-class elite who simply cannot conceive of the truly miserable lives that some inner-city children in this country are forced to endure, and who prefer to concentrate on media-friendly ideas such as multiculturalism, diversity and community values – rather than on something as wicked as the rape of a child.
Simon Danczuk, Daily Mail, 29/08/14
What is the point of Barack Obama? Having swept into the White House on a sickening tide of Left-wing glee, he has been found wanting more times than the Indian batting line-up
Nick Ferrari, Sunday Express, 24/08/14
(On Dave in Cornwall) There he might find a flounder, the creature he currently most resembles – flat and still for most of the time, flailing wildly about when agitated.
Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, 24/08/14
New Labour was a party of lawyers, for lawyers. If anyone is concerned about the predominance of public school boys at the top of British politics, they should look at the shallow, self-selecting gene pool from which our judges and top barristers are drawn.
Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail, 13/08/14
…you don’t have to look far to discover why women are ..turned off by this smug, blokey, uninspiring smarm-bucket who walks among them selling his tattered dream of independence and liberation. In a survey, half of the female Daily Record readers who were polled described him as arrogant, ambitious and dishonest, while the other half were too polite to say.
Jan Moir, Daily Mail, 16/08/14
The Middle East must lead the world in cease-fires. If cease-fires were the road to peace, the Middle East would easily be the most peaceful place on the planet.
Thomas Sowell, American Spectator, 29/07/14
…taxation ceased to be a means of raising money for the functions and services that a state was obligated to provide and became a mechanism for re-ordering society or, to be precise, for exacting retribution.
Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph, 03/08/14 (a great article)
Left-wing means compassionate and Right-wing means nasty so, since anti-Semitism is nasty, it must be of the Right. Such reasoning is not confined to self-righteous seventeen-year-olds; it has, bizarrely, taken over a large chunk of our public discourse.
Dan Hannan, Telegraph blogs, 28/07/14
A sh*t Britain is still better than the rest of the world.
James Kirkup, Telegraph blogs, 30/07/14
Miliband’s biggest error, however, is to believe a distinction can be made between image and substance, as if they are two separate concepts. The truth is that image is always based on reality. In his case, the public think he is weird because he is weird.
Not only are his speech, mannerisms and appearance odd, but so is his whole character – from his belief in outdated socialist ideology to his willingness to stab his own brother in the back simply for personal ambition. The real nature of a politician cannot be hidden behind a public relations front.
Lord Bell, Daily Mail, 28/07/14
He that can apprehend and consider vice with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer that which is truly better, he is the true warfaring Christian.
John Milton, Areopagitica, 1644 (H/T @JamesDelingpole)
Up until now, offshore wind farms had been widely considered by many experts to be about the most pointlessly extravagant and inefficient form of energy generation short of paying Olympic athlete Mo Farah £1 million an hour to run inside a giant, jewel-encrusted hamster wheel attached to a turbine.
James Delingpole, Breitbart London, 26/07/14
Israel shelters behind sophisticated technology. Hamas hides behind women and children, in schools, hospitals and mosques.
Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail, 25/07/14
The Blairs seem to crave money like Maxwell, because it is there.
Simon Jenkins, Guardian, 22/07/14
If there was ever an event which encapsulated the vacuousness, the embarrassing childishness of the Rt Hon Nicholas William Peter Clegg, this was it. Is it not amazing — depressing — that a figure of such risible wetness and weakness has risen so high in our politics?
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail, 22/07/14
…the defining characteristic of Obama’s presidency – which seems mainly to have been about becoming President in the first place rather than being President – has been the US stepping back from global leadership
Iain Martin, Telegraph blogs, 22/07/14
I find it reasonable to believe, even though these beliefs are beyond reason
There are geese with a better grip of geopolitics than Tony Blair
Rod Liddle, The Spectator, 05/07/14
It’s a curious kind of country which dumps a 300-plus year union with a contiguous neighbour for one led by Germany, which it has twice fought against in world wars.
(the Scottish) Peter McKay, Daily Mail, 30/06/14
The three most gilded and affluent and therefore extravagantly remunerated leagues in the world are the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga. And in each case the country which hosts these obscenely loaded carnivals is out of the World Cup at the very first stage.
Rod Liddle, Spectator, 25/06/14
But perhaps because I am one of those who never loved Mr Blair, I do not hate him. I was unseduced, and therefore did not feel betrayed later on.
Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph, 20/06/14
According to Human Rights Watch, Iranian courts can pass a death penalty when a boy is older than 15 or a girl has reached the age of nine
Daily Mail, 21/06/14
(On the Lib Dems) I don’t want to overstate my case, but they strike me as the most utterly loathsome mainstream political party to have emerged since the fall of the Roman Empire.
Damien Thompson, Telegraph blogs, 06/06/14
It is the highest impertinence and presumption in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society.
Adam Smith (H/T Dan Hannan)
Michael Foot was a man of books, Roy Jenkins had an eye for feminine pulchritude, Jim Callaghan lived on a farm, and Neil Kinnock was always banging on about how no one in his family could read (or something to that effect).
Tim Stanley, Telegraph blogs, 04/06/14
(Nick Clegg) is the quintessential, all-purpose opportunist, embodying (to quote his would-be assassin Lord Oakeshott) a politics devoid of ‘roots, principles and values’.
Robin Harris, Daily Mail, 31/05/14
The sight of arch-federalist Lib Dem Edward McMillan Scott, newly defeated, telling the BBC that he’d be back in some other new role, demonstrating perfectly the anti-democratic “hanger-onnery” that infuriates Eurosceptics about the institution
Graeme Archer, Telegraph blogs, 26/05/14
We are in a three party system with Ukip replacing the Liberal Democrats as the third contender. The party of general protest is now on the Right rather than the Left – which is actually a more serious change in the political landscape than the mere introduction of a fourth player.
Janet Daley, Telegraph blogs, 26/05/14
The truth is, it was all Ed’s fault, because officials had provided him with a full brief. Dog is told: ‘Neither he, nor his army of advisers, bothered to read it.
Black Dog, Mail on Sunday, 25/05/14
Ed Miliband has not had a bad campaign. He’s had Ed Miliband’s campaign. This is who Ed Miliband is, and what he does. He loses elections for the Labour party.
Dan Hodges, Telegraph blogs, 23/05/14
Income tax was introduced in 1799 by William Pitt to fund the Napoleonic Wars. When these ended victoriously, in 1816 Lord Brougham led a parliamentary campaign to have all records of the imposition destroyed, so that no future governments could ever again do anything so nasty.
Max Hastings, Daily Mail, 13/05/14
For all his worldly success, Blair needs to make his peace with us. Admitting he was wrong about Iraq would be a start.
Peter McKay, Daily Mail, 19/05/14
Through all these contradictions the believing automaton of the left proceeds without a thought of complaint. The American leftists may lead lives of constant anxiety but they find reassurance in one thing, their own moral superiority to the rest of us.
R Emmett Tyrrell jr, The American Spectator, 15/05/14
No one should pay more than 25pc of their income in tax – a flat rate for Amazon and everybody. Money has to circulate and at the moment it doesn’t. If you let people have more of their own money, the country will start to work again.
Tom Conti, Sunday Telegraph, 18/05/14
(Margaret) Hodge often rides a high horse about other people’s misdemeanours, but anyone who studies her own pretty shoddy political career will know she should take no moral line about anything higher than a kerbstone.
Max Hastings, Dail Mail, 13/05/14
In my experience they spend most of their waking hours sneering anyway – so when Gove’s name comes up they have to sneer on top of their normal sneer, as it were. They look like they’re entering some sort of gurning competition
Damian Thompson on the Lib Dems, Telegraph blogs, 18/05/14
Lord Mandelson’s methods were loathsome and his morals abominable, but at least he was British
Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph, 15/05/14
“I have never understood why it is “greed” to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.”
I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.
‘I’m sure he worked very hard for his 2:1.’
David Cameron, on Ed Miliband’s bizarre assertion that he is more intellectually confident than Dave
‘Because I’m fed up with people like Clegg blowing taxpayers’ money on vanity projects….If he (Cameron) won’t dare bin the Coalition, he should park Clegg in a corner where his desperate rampages can’t vandalise policy and waste money.’
Dominic Cummings, former Whitehall adviser, Mail on Sunday, 11/05/14
….climate change experts are not hard to find. Indeed it is very hard to keep them out of your car: unless you wind the window all the way up, one of them will climb in
Clive James, Daily Telegraph, 08/05/14
What can you do with humourless people who are constitutionally programmed to make a mountain out of the tiniest molehill, and see scope for some idiotic legal action whose sole, and doubtful, benefit would be to make a clutch of wealthy lawyers even richer?
Stephen Glover, Daily Mail, 08/05/14
The Labour leader has committed himself to the most stupid and counterproductive policy that we have seen from a mainstream party leader for many years……You have to wonder if Mr Miliband is living in a parallel universe.
Stephen Pollard, Mail on Sunday, 04/05/14
Leftists…. when it comes to violence against civilians and, most notably, the denial of women’s rights… change the conversation to anything except the deeds of the criminals in front them.
Nick Cohen, The Observer, 03/05/14
The entirety of the “peace process” has been balanced on Tony Blair’s principle of “creative ambiguity”: the toleration of carefully phrased denials, the fostering of fudge and half-truths, a blind eye turned to past and sometimes present horrors.
Jenny McCartney, Telegraph blogs, 02/05/14
(A magnificent double whammy from the same article:)… there’s a settled view about our main party leaders. It’s that David Cameron is doubted, Ed Miliband dismissed and Nick Clegg despised.
Peter Mckay, Daily Mail, 28/04/14
Nick Clegg is the worst kind of MP. He is self-obsessed, sanctimonious and so dishonest he finds the words truth and lies have ceased to have any objective meaning, and he treats taxpayers’ money with contempt
Dominic Cummings, quoted by Mckay
…the Guardian, the default home for misinformation in the English-speaking world, the middle-brow tribune of antiquarian British leftist bigotry
Conrad Black, American Spectator, 25/04/14
There is no such thing as the perfect opportunity. There are only opportunities.
Matthew D’Ancona, Sunday Telegraph, 27/04/14
(On poor old Tony..) the only way for him to regain our respect would be to take a vow of lifelong silence in a very austere monastery, where he could perhaps clean the lavatories.
Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, 27/04/14
It cannot be stressed too much that government policies need to be justified not by their intentions, which in the case of aid are irreproachable, but by their results, which in the case of aid are on balance harmful.
Nigel Lawson, Spectator, 08/02/14
…it risks reinforcing the perception that a London-based, university-educated and financially secure elite has no understanding of the lives of ordinary, struggling voters, and dismisses their anxieties as bigotry.
The Guardian (on the risks of calling UKIP racist), 23/04/14
…the number of homeless under Barack Obama by his fourth year was double the number under Reagan.
Paul Kengor, 2014
The principles of conservatism are sound because they are based on what men and women have discovered through experience in not just one generation or a dozen, but in all the combined experience of mankind…
Ronald Reagan, 1977
Just as well ministers didn’t react in the same way they did to the foot and mouth hysteria in 2001. Otherwise they’d have rounded up millions of perfectly healthy people at gunpoint and chucked them on bonfires
Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail, 11/04/14 (re the Tamiflu crisis)
“He’s like a plastic bag caught in a tree, no one knows how he got up there and no one can be bothered to get him down.”
Bill Bailey, on Ed Miliband, 2013
“a destructive, nihilistic cult of death”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, on Islam, in 2007
President Obama was doing his favorite thing this week: talking to crowds of adoring young people who already agree with him while acting like he persuaded them about something.
Jonah Goldberg, New York Post, 03/04/14
‘He will undoubtedly be regarded as one of the greatest — if not the greatest — figures of the 20th century.’
The late Tony Benn, on the death of the all-time record holder for mass murder , Chairman Mao
To libertarians, personal autonomy implies absolute property rights. If your mind and your body are yours, so are the products of your labour. You may exchange those products by mutual agreement and, if both parties are content with the transaction, the state has no business coming between them.
Dan Hannan, Telegraph blogs, 10/03/14
(on Margaret Thatcher’s small talk) It was like Edward Scissorhands trying to make balloon animals
Jerry Hayes’ memoirs, Daily Mail, 03/03/14
Obama has become the anti-Theodore Roosevelt. He speaks loudly and carries a small stick.
Tim Stanley, Telegraph blogs, 04/03/14
Like almost everyone in the London middle classes…we go to the food markets (“they do, like, so many types of cheese”) ….we go to the theatre all the time (actually, we don’t, but we mean to)
Iain Martin, telling the truth on middle class mores, Telegraph blogs, 04/03/14
“Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.”
…modern, non-working-class left-wing politics is about… class guilt, sexual kinks, personal prejudice and repressed lust for power.
Julie Burchill, Spectator, 22/02/14
“Let there be no doubt,” Salmond said, to an audience made up of neutral businessmen who only ever eat porridge, “Scotland is not the kind of country that will bend the knee to simple maths.”
Sean Thomas, Telegraph blogs, 27/02/14
Historically, the stated aim of the police was to fight reported crimes and catch the bad guys responsible for committing them. Today, the criminal-justice system has become preoccupied with uncovering crimes that have not been reported.
Frank Furedi, Spiked Online, 19/02/14
The standard BBC argument is “It’s our job to hold the government of the day to account.” But it isn’t. It’s the voters’ job to hold the government of the day to account. It’s the BBC’s job to give them the facts
Dan Hodges, Telegraph blogs, 19/02/14
There are seven ongoing conflicts in the world in which more than 1,000 people a year are killed. One — the second-deadliest — involves Mexican drug cartels, the other six involve Islam
Kevin D Williamson, NRO, 11/02/14
(re. Ed Miliband) Those are exact quotes from a man who wants to be prime minister. When I used to work in the House of Commons I used to open letters that said much the same thing, in a similar tone. And they were invariably written in green ink from people who went on to inform me they were currently wearing tinfoil on their head to stop the CIA beaming messages into their brain.
Dan Hodges, Telegraph blogs, 17/02/14
One cannot have the penny of one’s own nationhood and the biscuit of being part of a large and wealthy nation. If the thing is not to be a mockery and an insult to the pride and intelligence of those concerned, it means having all the essentials of sovereignty – government, currency, central bank, parliament, taxation, laws, police, defence.
Enoch Powell, 1968 (H/T Daily Mail)
If you think human beings are always rational, it becomes impossible to explain at least half of history.
Thomas Sowell, American Spectator, 11/02/14
He said “I” 37 times and “me” eight times, breaking Kim Kardashian’s old record for a single tweet
Ann Coulter (on Chris Christie, NJ governor), Townhall.com, 05/02/14
“To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical”.
Thomas Jefferson, 1779. (H/T James Delingpole)
Ed’s so desperate that he has to resort to attacking the Tories for the lack of women in government. If he thinks more Yvette Coopers are what the nation’s crying out for, Ed’s even more of an idiot than he looks.
Amanda Platell, Daily Mail, 08/02/14
As will be demonstrated this September, this Scottish referendum is not a product of national will. It does not represent the roar of a hungry people yearning to be free. It’s just the latest construct of the Constitutional Crisis industry.
Dan Hodges, Telegraph blogs, 07/02/14
Their much-anticipated white paper on independence – written on the back of 700 fag packets
Iain Martin, Telegraph blogs, 07/02/14
“In the US, the reward for solving a problem is to have your funding withdrawn . . . There is an intrinsic pressure to make sure your problem never disappears.”
MIT guru Richard Lindzen, to the committee on ‘energy and climate change’, Guido Fawkes, 30/01/14
“I am not a crook,” said Richard Nixon, and the world suspected he was. “We are not anti-business,” says Labour, and a nation nervously reaches for its wallet.
Janan Ganesh, FT, 28/01/14
For his part, Mr Clegg is exposed as incompetent, incapable, hypocritical and devoid of the most basic necessary qualities of leadership.
Simon Heffer, Daily Mail, 25/01/14
Casual observers may at this juncture be forgiven for querying why, if bringing their party into disrepute is punishable by suspension, the entire Liberal Democratic parliamentary party aren’t currently on gardening leave.
Dan Hodges, Telegraph blogs, 21/01/14
It’s easy to laugh at the spectacle of the most self-righteous outfit in British politics experiencing a collective nervous breakdown. Indeed, it would be rude not to.
Dan Hodges, Telegraph blogs, 21/01/14
Any government can raise output if it spends more than it takes in tax, and showers the economy with cheap credit.
Douglas Carswell, Daily Mail, 12/01/14
Even though her husband has since died naturally, Mrs Nicklinson is still pursuing the ‘right to die’ issue.
She is quite wrong to. The law is not there to be pulled apart by individuals or groups with special interests.
Katie Gyngell, Daily Mail, 18/12/13
(re Alastair Campbell) I met him at a quiz night last year: he was the answer to several of his own questions, played the music round on his bagpipes and gave out copies of his book as prizes.
Damian McBride, Spectator, 28/09/13
….the real problem with Darwinians is their inability to see just how much their beguilingly simple theory simply cannot explain.
Christopher Booker, Spectator, 07/09/13
I love the remark made by one Oxford don about another: ‘On the surface, he’s profound, but deep down, he’s superficial.’ That sentence has more than once come to mind when reading the new atheists.
Jonathan Sacks (former Chief Rabbi), Spectator, 15/06/13
(on Kim Jong Un) ‘He couldn’t hold back joy or stop smiling after being told fish production had grown dramatically this year’
KCNA, the official North Korean news agency, 15/12/13
Then there are the dwarves. I realize they provide some comic relief, but I could have used some relief from their comedy.
Dwight Longenecker, Patheos.com, 17/12/13
It can only be a matter of time before the journalists who now laud Francis turn on him. They will say he has disappointed them when he does not embrace all gay rights, condoms, and women popes.
Freddy Gray, Spectator, 11/12/13
The publicity for the death and funeral of Nelson Mandela has become absurd. Mandela was an African political leader with qualities that were apt at a crucial juncture in his nation’s affairs. That was all and that was enough.
Simon Jenkins, Guardian, 10/12/13
How on earth did apartheid endure so long, younger viewers may be wondering, considering everyone who was anyone seems to have been on Mandela’s side?
Marina Hyde, Guardian, 06/12/13
“Civil servants make the best husbands; they are not tired in the evenings, and they have already read the newspaper.”
….particularly disgusted by David Cameron, the Miliband brothers and what’s-his-name, Nick Clegg
Michael Adebolajo, on trial for murder
Mr Salmond and his lieutenants regard the voters as chattel, useful idiots who can be seduced or browbeaten into endorsing a Tartan Ruritania
Tom Gallagher, Telegraph blogs, 04/12/13
(on Obama) From king of the world to dead in the water in six months. Quite a ride.
Charles Krauthammer, NRO, 02/05/13
It has long been my belief that the sight of a good-looking woman lowers a man’s IQ by at least 20 points. A man who doesn’t happen to have 20 points to spare can be in big trouble.
Thomas Sowell, NRO, 25/06/13
At present, the hated Westminster government imposes by law an early death on all Scots, for example by forcing them to drink 19 per cent more alcohol than the English do
Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph, 26/11/13
…never trust a clergyman with a moustache
King Edward VII
What’s the matter with Miliband? Is he on ketamine?
Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail, 26/11/13
Some people will doubtless argue that the fact that only Labour MPs have been convicted is interesting but meaningless. I don’t think this can be true.
Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph, 20/11/13
(On Obamacare) its central assumption that young healthy people would be willing to pay more for health care that they would rarely use to subsidize older people who would pay less for more coverage was ridiculous.
Victor Davis Hanson, PJ Media, 12/11/13
The health service…is being tested to destruction by demographics, by lack of money and by the advances of modern medicine.
Mary Riddell, Telegraph blogs, 15/11/13
Osborne is… the leading strategic thinker on the Conservative front bench. This is not a particularly high bar as pretty often the coalition’s strategy appears to be to get hit in the face by a massive problem and then wonder why it hurts so much.
Patrick O’Flynn, Daily Express, 09/11/13
Someone who is unemployed may not be the most energetic worker in Britain. But he still assumes that employment is the norm. The anemployed man lives in a different moral world. Although he is unlikely to have heard of Bertie Wooster, they have something in common. It would never occur to either of them to look for work.
Bruce Anderson, Sunday Telegraph, 10/11/13
There was a serving major on the radio some time ago. He defined the purpose of the army. It was “to hunt down Her Majesty’s enemies and kill them.”
Simon Carr (via Guido), 08/11/13
The Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday took 12 years and cost a staggering £200million. It would have been cheaper just to apologise and give the bereaved families £10million each. But no: the Government thought it was better to give the money to the legal profession instead.Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail, 08/11/13
The Osborne-Darling gambit assumed that money given to banks was being “pumped into the economy” (as the BBC constantly put it) and would trickle down into recovery. It did not. It stuck in bank vaults. The policy was intellectual drivel.
Simon Jenkins, Guardian, 06/11/13
(re. Obama) he peddled the same reassuringly shopworn bromides (“America, this is our moment”) whose woozy evasions liberals chose to regard as the second coming of Cicero
Mark Steyn, After America
(re. Obamacare) It envisages a nation of robust Americans mandated by law to have perfect health and then to die, all according to a national standard formulated by the Independent Payment Advisory Board.
R Emmett Tyrrell jr, American Spectator, 31/10/13
‘I find the general panic which is going on about climate change a bit of a puzzle’
Tony Benn, Diaries.
None of us, not even Guardian leader writers (try turning up for an interview there wearing pink cords and a tweed jacket and carrying a hunting horn) can put aside first impressions
Rod Liddle, The Spectator, 02/11/13
Sir John (Major) never really governed, or led. He was just a manager, and not a very good one at that.
Simon Heffer, Daily Mail, 24/10/13
David Cameron is nobody’s idea of a right-winger. With the exception of his support for gay marriage and climate change, he’s pretty much an unprincipled opportunist.
Mark Steyn, The Corner, NRO, 20/05/13
Nick Clegg is wrong
Martin Stephen, Telegraph blogs, 25/10/13
There are a number of candidates for worst prime minister of the 20th century. They certainly include Sir Anthony Eden, architect of the Suez calamity, and Tony Blair (Iraq).
Peter Oborne, Telegraph blogs, 25/10/13
The good which every man, who follows after virtue, desires for himself he will also desire for other men, and so much the more, in proportion as he has a greater knowledge of God
Baruch Spinoza, Proposition 37, Ethics, 1677
You, I think, will accept that there’s a perception that Muslim power, global Muslim power, is very great and certainly that is the perception in many parts of the world and in our country too.
Aung San Suu Kyi, The Today programme, 24/10/13
The White House committed an unforgivable error by threatening to default if the ceiling was not raised, and by rabbiting on about the risk of a second Lehman “or worse”, and spraying the word “catastrophe” so promiscuously. Presidents should not threaten default. This was never the real issue anyway.
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph blogs, 18/10/13
I’m just an empty, soulless vessel
Anthony Weiner, political flasher and sexter, GQ Magazine
‘Everything is what it is: liberty is liberty, not equality or fairness or justice or culture, or human happiness or a quiet conscience.’
…a brazen exhibitionist with the political antennae of a Tibetan mountain yak on Ritalin
Matthew Norman, The Telegraph, 12/10/13 (on Adam Afriyie, but could be almost any MP really)
Scotland ran a deficit for 20 of the last 21 years – even during the boom years
Daily Mail, 10/10/13
Adult diapers to outsell baby diapers by 2020 as Japan’s population ages
Fox News, 13/07/13
“I am normal, like you,” said Mr Clegg in thick Catalan.
Tim Stanley, Telegraph blogs, 04/10/13
(re. the Blair administration) “the gay government of the gay United gay Kingdom”.
Robert Mugabe (a few years ago)
(re. Alastair Campbell, again) I would kindly remind the dry alcoholic nutcase that he is neither elected nor representative of anyone but his own twisted soul
Old Holborn’s blog, 03/10/13
If there was ever a man who does not know himself, it is Alastair Campbell.Stephen Glover, Daily Mail, 26/09/13Who knew it was so easy? And why stop there? Why not pass a law to freeze the price of everything?
Douglas Carswell, Telegraph blogs, 25/09/13
And when these firms ask why they should then invest billions in the construction projects or power stations on which Labour’s plans for cheap homes and cheap energy depend, given that the party’s explicit policy is to confiscate their property and denounce them as parasites? Well, Ed’ll get back to you on that.
Robert Colville, Telegraph blogs, 25/09/13
Cameron must be presiding over the most anti-Christian government this country has ever know. By their fruits shall ye know them.
Xander Lucie-Smith, Twitter, 22/09/13
(re Gordon Brown) Part of his psychological weakness was his failure to read the world as others saw it. He had an interior reality which was quite alien to the world inhabited by most other people.
Anthony Seldon, Daily Mail, 22/09/13
(re: Brown/Blair/Balls, Campbell/McBride etc etc) It is impossible to avoid concluding that if the main protagonists had invested half as much energy in running the country as they did in trying to do each other in, then Britain might not be in quite as much of a mess as it is now.
Iain Martin, Sunday Telegraph, 22/09/13
Fact is, when it comes to race, the Left has gone nuts. They are the mirror image of apartheid Afrikaaners testing hair-frizziness with pencils, they are the close cousins of slave-owners examining teeth and lips for negritude. They are bonkers.
Sean Thomas, Telegraph blogs, 17/09/13
…is it any worse to be killed by a tub of Sarin nerve gas than it is to be killed by a pig falling from a balcony? Discuss.
Rod Liddle, The Spectator, 14/09/13
Ergo, the Pope is entirely right to advise atheists to follow their conscience, because that is the path to enlightenment.
Tim Stanley, Telegraph blogs, 12/09/13
… we sent St Paul 2,000 years ago to take you from the darkness, and you sent us terrorists to kill us
A Christian in Maaloula, Syria
Assad is able to dismiss America as a Twitter- and Facebook-obsessed group of posers. He’s identified a truth. Image is still triumphing over substance in the Syria debate. Most of the conversation is not about the lives of men, women and children but about how the narrative is playing out
Mic Wright, Telegraph blogs, 10/09/13
…to argue that firing a few cruise missiles as a shot “across the bow” against a dictator in the Middle East is the same thing as sending millions of combat troops across the Atlantic to liberate almost an entire continent is simply pathetic
Nile Gardiner, Telegraph blogs, 09/09/13
Voltaire, who loathed the Catholic church, once remarked that he wanted his cook, his accountant and his barber to be Catholics: that way, he said, he’d be less likely to be poisoned or robbed or have his throat cut.
Dan Hannan, Telegraph blogs, 08/09/13
And at the end of the day America is America. We don’t have to bow to the claim that if we don’t attack Syria we are over as a great power. Are North Korea and Iran watching? Sure. They’ll always be watching. And no, they won’t say, “Huh, that settles it, if America didn’t move against Syria they’ll never move against us. All our worries are over.”
Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, 07/09/13
Some of the hysteric and extreme claims about global warming are also a symptom of pagan emptiness, of Western fear when confronted by the immense and basically uncontrollable forces of nature. …. In the past pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today they demand a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
Cardinal George Pell, 2006
Are we really, as a nation, required to go to war to make good the simple-minded statements of an untutored president who had no constitutional authority to issue his impulsive ultimata? Are we really required to go to war to get the egg off Obama’s face?
Pat Buchanan, Townhall.com, 03/09/13
Nations that start wars and attack countries, as Gen. Tojo and Adm. Yamamoto can testify, do not get to decide how wide the war gets, how long it goes on or how it ends.
Pat Buchanan, Townhall.com, 30/08/13
The implication, however, is far more troubling – that al-Assad can continue his brutal assault on his own people as long as it doesn’t include nerve gas or other chemicals that only the vilest of dictators would tap.
Lawrence J Haas, Trending Central, 28/08/13
Assad’s been killing tens of thousands of innocents for two years. So what difference would one chemical attack make?
Tim Stanley, Telegraph blogs, 27/08/13
Some critics complain that if the Israelis would be more accommodating the Middle East would be a happy land. I say if there were no Israel there still would be blood flowing in the Middle East
R Emmett Tyrrell jr, American Spectator, 22/08/13
Of all the different nations that have existed at various times and places throughout recorded history, it is doubtful that even ten percent were free or democratic.
Thomas Sowell, Townhall.com, 20/08/13
This summer’s Miliband-bashing is essentially a displacement activity by those who cannot face up to Labour’s demise
Mick Hume, Spiked, 21/08/13
(re Cherie Blair) …that creature from Greek myth – half woman, half supermarket trolley
Matthew Norman, Daily Telgraph, 23/08/13
After 58,000 dead we left Vietnam. How many Americans have the Vietnamese killed since we left?
Pat Buchanan, Townhall.com, 06/08/13
…what we today nonchalantly refer to as the “Arab World” was neither Arab and almost entirely Christian in the 7th century, when Islam came into being and went on the jihad
Raymond Ibrahim, VDH’s Private Papers, 01/08/13
These days, barely a week passes without the emergence of yet more evidence that atheists are the most irritating people on EarthBrendan O’Neill (an atheist), Telegraph blogs, 14/08/13The remarkable thing about (Peter) Hain is that he is wrong about almost everything; the worrying thing, in retrospect, is that he was, as a minister under Blair, responsible for giving in to foreign aggression wherever it raised its head. The minister responsible for national cowardice.Rod Liddle, Spectator blogs, 07/08/13
NATO is a roaring success compared to the U.N., or the E.U., or the various international “courts of justice” and “human rights” that supposedly punish international malefactors and uphold the rule of law. As the Spanish proverb has it, these bloated bureaucracies are like spider webs that catch flies but let the hawks fly through. They nab the stray Serbian butcher while the murderers of millions walk around free and sit on human rights commissions.
Bruce Thornton, Front Page Magazine, 06/08/13
Nick Clegg was at it again yesterday, demanding that all new fathers must take a month off work, regardless of the impact on employers. Why should he worry how a small firm will be able to manage for a month without key staff? He’s never had a proper job in his life and has been content to carve out a career funded by other people’s taxes.
Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail, 06/08/13
Blair is…just another member of the Great Shamelessness, albeit probably the best paid and the most orange-coloured.
Sean Thomas, Telegraph blogs, 05/08/13
(re. the new Dr Who) …the most richly colourful effing and blinding the galaxy has heard since Davros encountered his first staircase.
James Delingpole, Telegraph blogs, 05/08/13
Idolatry does not offer a journey but rather a plethora of paths leading nowhere and forming a vast labyrinth
Benedict XVI/Francis I, Lumen Fidei
If you compare the Victorian architecture of Glasgow with its current political leadership, you’d think the city had been built by aliens
Graeme Archer, Telegraph blogs, 30/07/13
Eliot Spitzer remains the darling of liberals, despite the fact that paying a woman for sex is hardly a blow for gender equality.
Tim Stanley, Telegraph blogs, 30/07/13
There is an old political joke that says certain politicians could survive anything except being found in bed with a dead girl or a live boy. Now they can survive even that
Judson Phillips, Washington Times, 24/07/13
The implication is that it’s normal to want access to porn, and abnormal not to want access to porn
Deborah Orr, The Guardian, 26/07/13
(re Alastair Campbell) “lowlife, with bagpipes”
Max Hastings, Daily Mail, 02/07/13
(re Mili-E) “Defining himself very robustly as the antithesis of Len McCluskey is a good start”…To do that it would help if he actually was the antithesis of McCluskey. Unfortunately, he is just as bad as McCluskey but trying to be less obvious about it
eviltory, commenter Telegraph blogs, 24/07/13
(re Detroit) Forty-seven percent of adults are functionally illiterate, which is about the same rate as the Central African Republic, which at least has the excuse that it was ruled throughout the Seventies by a cannibal emperor.
Mark Steyn, National Review Online, 19/07/13
The entire north polar ice cap will be gone in 5 years
Al “pigshit” Gore, 2008
There’s no need to claim that David Kelly was murdered; his suicide is scandal enough.
Andrew Gilligan, Telegraph blogs, 21/07/13
But so much of life is like that now… Not the rough-and-tumble of a free society or the homogenized mediocrity of socialism, but just the vast diversion of so much energy into shuffling around the regulatory obstacles to daily life.
Mark Steyn, Steynonline, 09/07/13
By 2011, as bureaucracy mushroomed, 1.43 million people worked in the English NHS, of whom only 50.5 per cent were clinically qualified.
Simon Heffer, Daily Mail, 16/07/13
Mr. Zimmerman — who is every bit as Hispanic as Barack Obama is black — had to be de-Hispanicized. Otherwise there were two problems. First, the narrative of a white man killing an innocent black teenager was lost. But second — and it is a very big second — was the unspoken reality that black liberals and their white liberal friends could not under any circumstances be seen as crusading against a Hispanic man
Jeffrey Lord, American Spectator, 16/07/13
Egypt’s history is so long that the Islamic period comprises less than 20 percent of the span of Egyptian civilization
Andrew B Wilson, American Spectator, 11/07/13
Only capitalism makes democracy possible
I find the Labour party’s current search for the moral high ground on every issue so frustrating. I just don’t see how we’re morally better, or how we got to be so sure about it…Occasionally, I get the uncomfortable feeling that the reason some Labour politicians are in politics is that they think they’re better people than me, and certainly than their opponents. Maybe they are, but don’t let it show, eh?
Hopi Sen (Labour!), a blog from the backroom, 12/07/13
Useless, useless, useless
Mohammed Shtayyeh, Hamas spokesman, speaking about Tony Blair (via Rod Liddle, Spectator, 13/07/13)
Here lies the body of Daniel Burke, whom his friends regarded highly,
This stone was bought in a second-hand shop, and his name’s not Burke, it’s Riley
Both defunct liberalism and the left have always been devoted to only one unchanging principle, disturbing one’s neighbor.
R Emmett Tyrrell Jr, American Spectator, 03/07/13
Perhaps the Muslim Brotherhood understood Stalin’s maxim that it’s not who votes that matters: it matters who counts the votes.
Jed Babbin, American Spectator, 08/07/13
Morsi is a good example of what happens when full-blown Islamic rule is put into effect in a country without the benefit of oil. He’s your go-to guy when it comes to ramping up the clitoridectomy rate, but he’s not so effective when it comes to jump-starting the economy.
Mark Steyn, NRO, 05/07/13 (on form)
The new pharaoh was toppled by his own stupidity. The Muslim Brotherhood waited 85 years for their moment and then blew it in nothing flat.
Mark Steyn, NRO, 05/07/13
…why do you think so many people doubt your motives, Alex? Nothing to do with your maniacal obsession to prove, somehow, anyhow, that Scotland is a completely foreign country?
Graeme Archer, Telegraph blogs, 08/07/13
Just as with the NHS, the impression must be maintained — through fair means or foul — that all is well with the police. To suggest otherwise is to reveal that politicians are failing the public
Melanie Phillps, Daily Mail, 08/07/13
…only Christianity has a just-war tradition while “various religions” have never quite got around to developing one.
Terry Scambray, New Oxford Review, Oct 2012
“I don’t think we can undo the past. In fact, the past is going to be with us for a good many years. …”
John F Kennedy, 1963
As long as the sea was free of pirates, thieves cleared from the roads, and merchants allowed to profit, few cared whether the lawless Caracalla or the unhinged Elagabalus was emperor in distant Rome. Something likewise both depressing and encouraging is happening to the United States. Few Americans seem to worry that our present leaders have lied to or misled the Congress and the American people without consequences.
Victor Davis Hanson, Townhall.com, 27/06/13
Tony Blair, on meeting Gaddafi’s forcibly obtained harem
The history of Europe since the 18th century has been the story of successive attempts to find alternatives to God as an object of worship, among them the nation state, race and the Communist Manifesto. After this cost humanity two world wars, a Cold War and a hundred million lives, we have turned to more pacific forms of idolatry, among them the market, the liberal democratic state and the consumer society, all of which are ways of saying that there is no morality beyond personal choice so long as you do no harm to others.
Jonathan Sacks, The Spectator, 15/06/13 (a brilliant article)
You know things are bad when you can’t even successfully implement your own bad ideas.
Bobby Jindal, Twitter, 03/07/13
Islamism will not be reconciled. It cannot be. It is maximalist. We succour it, in any form, at our peril.
Sean Thomas Knox, Twitter, 30/06/13
Unlike my grandad’s generation, who were Labour through and through because they were grafters and workers, most advocates for Labour today seem to be hipsters, self-loathing champagne socialists or glassy-eyed fanatics.
Michael Heaver, Telegraph blogs, 01/07/13
A surprising number of British people believe that free treatment for the poor is a unique property of our system when, in fact, no developed country denies people healthcare on grounds of poverty.
Daniel Hannan, Telegraph blogs, 25/06/13
Sometimes I despair that this country can ever move on from this national vein of ingrained chippiness; this sour and narrow outlook that can’t see beyond low-level, eternally hostile class warfare.
Jan Moir, Daily Mail, 28/06/13
Today we have unlimited choice over relatively trivial things, like the music we might listen to on Spotify. Yet we still have next to no say over how our child is taught. The citizen consumer will not tolerate it for long.
Douglas Carswell, Telegraph blogs, 24/06/13
Labour MPs claimed for 1,541 business class flights on expenses – Tory MPs for just 24
Harry Phibbs, Con Home, 23/06/13
Even the commies didn’t want to overthrow the United States as such — only to support Moscow. Otherwise, they’d have just kept voting Democrat and gotten there a little more slowly.
Ann Coulter, Townhall.com, 19/06/13
The answer is lower, flatter, simpler taxes, and a much-needed epic overhaul of the entire tax system. The Chancellor should have done this three years ago. Instead his approach has been piecemeal, or to use a more technical term: half-arsed
Iain Martin, Telegraph blogs, 18/06/13
Most Leftists on campus have a monopoly on ugly. They are neither pleasing to the ear nor eye.
Doug Giles, Townhall.com, 16/06/13
I have lost count of the number of times over recent years that the incompetent Mr Clegg has said he will learn from some debacle or other.
Simon Heffer, Daily Mail, 14/06/13
…as recently as the early Nineties, net migration stood at around only 40,000 a year, statistically insignificant. After Labour came to power, more people moved to Britain than in the entire previous millennium
Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail, 22/05/13
Cats act like lions when lions act like cats
It is becoming ever harder for liberals to defend Obama…When you’re reduced to saying your hero is not evil, just useless, you know you’re in trouble.
Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian, 07/06/13
…some cretin foaming at the mouth on Twitter or Facebook is simply not the same as having someone stick a bottle through your window, or attack you in the street. There is not a civil war in this country. The “anti-Muslim backlash” is somewhere between a grotesque exaggeration and a plain old lie.
Tony Parsons, Daily Mirror, 08/06/13
(on Scottish wind farms) Alex “Butcher” Salmond’s plague of bat-chomping bird-slicing eco-crucifixes
James Delingpole, Telegraph blogs, 06/06/13
Labour gave up on working people some time ago, and used the boom to keep five million Brits on out-of-work benefit while foreign-born workers accounted for 99.9% of the rise in employment.
Fraser Nelson, Spectator Coffee House, 06/06/13
Never never never turn up to court dressed as Hitler.
Tim Stanley, Telegraph blogs, 05/06/13
The word fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable
George Orwell, 1946 (H/T Brendan O’Neill)
Conservatism is an active intellectual pursuit; it requires a constant vigilance. It has nothing to do with feelings. Liberalism is the most gutless choice you can make. You just see suffering and say, ‘Oh, I feel so horrible!
…the American president wants us to believe it wasn’t the bastardization of a great faith that drove the heinous act, but some far more understandable socio-psychological malaise. Why would he do that?
George Wittman, American Spectator, 31/05/13
English nationalism is a weak ideology with few supporters that is powerless on the world stage, and pretty impotent even at home. Islamic extremism is arguably the greatest evil faced by the free world. …There is a sickness in the hard Left. Their unerring, almost sociopathic desire to direct the blame for terrible events onto our own country, our own ideology, our own people, is beneath contempt.
Alex Wickham, The Commentator, 26/05/13
It reminds me of living in 1973 dictatorial Greece, when we all kept silent about the Colonels upon entering the apartment building, lest the government-paid concierge write down something not nice in her black book.
Victor Davis Hanson, on Obama’s abuse of the press and the IRS
….who can ever believe what Mr Blair says? We call him Bliar
I wonder if those Met officers swanning round Australia interviewing women who claim to have been touched up by Rolf Harris four decades ago could have been better deployed on anti-terrorist surveillance duties in South London.
Richard littlejohn, Daily Mail, 24/05/13
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
Sun Tzu (H/T to Toby Young)
Ronnie Wood…provides a stark reminder of what Mother Teresa might have looked like if she had really let her face go.
Kevin Myers, Irish Independent, 04/01/13
The purpose of a good book is to provoke independent thought, not dictate agreeable maxims
Thomas Pascoe, Telegraph blogs, 14/05/13
Labour and the SNP are essentially campaigning outfits with no ideas for transforming the country. Depicting themselves as liberation movements, neither really desire genuinely independent-minded people to make their voices heard.
Tom Gallagher, Daily Telegraph, 17/05/13
( re the Dalai Lama) Being snapped in the company of this robed spouter of dimestore philosophy is the surest way to show you are Good.
Brendan O’Neill, Telegraph blogs, 07/05/13
America, where … the distinction between abortion and infanticide depends on whether the “doctor” gets to the baby’s skull before it’s cleared the cervix.
Mark Steyn, National Review Online, 26/04/13
This revealed another sad truth about the Left. What matters to them above all is that they are seen to be virtuous and compassionate. They simply cannot deal with the possibility that they might not be. They deal with any such suggestion not by facing up to any harm they may be doing, but by shutting down the argument altogether. That’s because the banner behind which they march is not altruism, as they kid themselves. It is narcissism.
Melanie Phillips, Guardian Angel, 2013
..there aren’t any good guys in Syria. …to back either one is just nuts.
Jed Babbin, American Spectator, 29/04/13
Gordon Brown looted or ruined British pension schemes, while creating a perverse system of financial incentives which made it sheer madness for ordinary people to set aside money for old age
Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph, 09/05/13
…if the splurge had bought, for example, a world-class transport network or the smartest welfare system in the West. Instead, we ended up with the world’s most expensive poverty.
Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph, 25/04/13
Clegg tries to have everything and will end up with nothing
I could stand one pint with him (Nigel Farage), quite possibly even a pint and a half. With Messrs Nicholas Clegg, Edward Miliband and David Cameron, however, I would cross continents to avoid taking even a fluid ounce.
Marina Hyde, The Guardian, 03/05/13
…why are we surprised that an abortionist and his staff would, behind the walls of an always-lethal abortion clinic, commit one of the most horrific serial killings in American history? What did you think abortionists do, heal people?
Matt Barber, Townhall.com, 28/04/13
The FA has offered Suarez anger management counselling. I really hope he turns it down.
Brendan O’Neill, Telegraph blogs, 23/04/13
Between 2003 and 2007, in what we mistook for boom years, Labour borrowed £160 billion. Its leaders were reckless in a time of plenty.
Jeff Randall, Daily Telegraph, 22/04/13
“The investment-versus-cuts argument lost power when people began to doubt the returns they would get from ‘investing’ their income via taxation.”
Stephen Beer, Fund manager and Labour candidate
Richard Dawkins’s qualification for providing the Ultimate Answer to Everything is a doctorate on the pecking patterns of chickens.
Vlad the imposter, Commenter, Spectator Coffee House, 19/04/13
Gloating in victory, adolescent in defeat – the Prez doesn’t make it easy to work with him. Why should conservative senators give him a legislative victory after he has spent four years painting them as knuckle-dragging rednecks who hate women and the poor? ….America has four more years of this lame-duck president telling them that it has let him down.
Tim Stanley, Telegraph blogs, 18/04/13
Arts minister Ed Vaizey declares vacuously that his favourite artist is Tracey Emin, even though she could barely draw a bath
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail, 13/04/13
Lord Kinnock, a man whose absurdity was exposed by his acceptance of a peerage after a lifetime of demanding that the House of Lords be abolished
Simon Heffer, Daily Mail, 13/04/13
The original plan in Cyprus – approved by the Eurogroup, but rejected by the Cypriot parliament – was to steal the money from any bank regardless of its health, and from small depositors regardless of the €100,000 guarantee. They have shown their character. The Eurogroup don’t give a damn about moral hazard. They are thieves.
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph blogs, 11/04/13
I am still waiting for a single atheist group to open a hospital or school, offer free health clinics, beds for the homeless, food for the hungry, or transportation for the elderly.
Christopher Orlet, American Spectator, 11/04/13
The hard-left campaign to get “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” from the Wizard of Oz to the top of the charts has seen the track downloaded a mere 20,000 times. Or in other words, by less than 0.031 % of the population.
Was this Thatcher ‘a woman?’ asked Miss (Glenda) Jackson, voice now as deep as Henry Kissinger’s
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail, 11/04/13
Then there was the Falklands. Mrs Thatcher didn’t flannel; she didn’t negotiate; she didn’t waste time pleading with the UN; she sank Argentina’s biggest battleship.
Nick Wood, Conservative Home, 10/04/13
“Why should an old oak be bothered by the pig that claws it?”
The financiers, after all, did not cause this downturn. They added to the drama, but the basic problem was (and remains) one of overspending.
Fraser Nelson,Daily Telegraph, 06/04/13
(David Miliband) has become bored and fed up with representing his constituents at South Shields for what, to a socialist of his standing, is no more than a pittance, and is going off to a £300,000 job in America to fight poverty.
Norman Tebbit, Telegraph blogs, 06/04/13
Having seen the size of PC Kelly Jones I am surprised the petrol station owner is not suing her for damaging the kerb of his garage in Thetford, Norfolk.
Kelvin MacKenzie, Daily Telegraph, 04/04/13
…the further removed you are from the welfare state, the less experience you have of it, then the more you can fantasise about its virtues and grow to love it – or at least to love an imaginary version of it derived from watching Casualty and reading Polly Toynbee columns.
Brendan O’Neill, Telegraph blogs, 02/04/13
I am against gay marriage, especially Liza Minelli’s former marriage to David Gest. That was the gayest thing that I have ever seen in my life and it should have never happened.
Doug Giles, Townhall.com, 31/03/13
In the pre-Thatcher era, union leaders were household names, mainly because they were responsible for everything your household lacked
Mark Steyn, National Review Online, 08/04/13
..a lot of politicians think if they’ve made a speech, something has happened….the only thing that’s happened is they’ve made a speech
The magnificence of Thatcher was her adamantine refusal to accept the conventional wisdom of her age.
Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph, 09/04/13
“What none of the Enlightenment thinkers envisaged, is that human life can become more savage and irrational even as scientific advance accelerates.”
…the difference between Thatcher and Adams is that when he dies no one will party in Catholic areas of Northern Ireland – because they’d be shot.
Ed West, Telegraph blogs, 09/04/13
Let’s not beat around the bush; Ed Miliband is not a leader. Your average voter wouldn’t follow him to the chip shop, never mind the New Jerusalem.
Dan Hodges, Telegraph blogs, 09/04/13
Scotland, or the Scottish political class, will be insufferable in the days ahead, as its representatives compete to scramble onto the low ground, mistaking it for the high ground.
Iain Martin, Telegraph blogs, 08/04/13
“The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
The public’s view of welfare has been souring for decades; they now see it as hopelessly overgenerous and easily gamed
Janan Ganesh, FT, 06/04/13
Mr Miliband only objects to one sort of violent, murderous political creed. The other sort is fine by him.
Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, 07/04/13
Adolf Hitler, 1930The New York Times represents the furthest-out perspective, welcoming Benedict’s resignation and promptly rooting and editorializing for a more Sulzbergerian Catholic Church, with married lesbian priests blessing condoms at the altar.Jeremy Lott, American Spectator, April 2013… if you’re the Catholic Church, and you’ve been in this game for two thousand years, the idea that the orthodoxies of the last two generations trump the previous two millennia is looking at it from the wrong end of the telescope.Mark Steyn, The Hugh Hewitt Show, 15/03/13Let’s get this straight: there is no such thing as “public” health, Mr Burnham. There is your health, and then there is my health, and then there is the health of everyone else. Only one of those is any of your fucking business. Can you guess which one?Mr Eugenides, Think Scotland, 12/01/13(re Hugo Chavez) His death lowers the blood pressure of Latin American politics but probably raises its average IQ.Mr Eugenides, Think Scotland, 09/03/13Jesus of Nazareth,sits in a chamber of every man’s brain, immovable, immutable, however credited or discredited. The idea of Christ is the only inheritance the rich have not stolen from the poor.Rebecca WestPeople show compassion by giving of what they have, of their own accord. If people want to support charities that provide real help to those in need, I admire them. But governments cannot be “compassionate” with money they have confiscated from their citizens on pain of prison.Lord Ashcroft, 12/03/12
The Lib Dems are so useless that not only can’t they do decent politics – they can’t do decent political scandal, either.
Brendan O’Neill, Telegraph blogs, 11/03/13 (bit harsh, Brendan)
Il Cunto Di Tutti Cunti.
Mr Eugenides (re Tony Blair), Think Scotland, 16/02/13
What should be the glory of the profession is that a doctor should be able to meet his patients with no financial anxiety.
Aneurin Bevan, 1947
The developed nations of the world have adopted a form of Keynesian economics that has created a world awash with debased fiat currency supported by seemingly unsupportable mountains of official debt. In such a world, it is understandable that German citizens feel their nation’s gold should be held at home.
John Browne, Townhall.com, 23/01/13
Had I known in my youth that I would one day have to govern this country, I would have spent more time studying, and less fornicating
Miguel Primo de Rivera
It is very important in replies to people like Paul Krugman, that we don’t get involved in technical details. Ask some questions almost like a child. Explain to me how increases in paper pieces can possibly make a society richer. If that were the case, explain to me why is there still poverty in the world? Isn’t every central bank in the world capable of printing as much paper as they want? I am sure the guy cannot answer this type of question. Nobody can answer this type of question
Hans Hermann-Hoppe, YouTube, 11/01/13
…but both (Blair and Mili D) now exemplify a very recognisable type of left-winger: one who will do anything for the working class, except trust them.
Fraser Nelson, The Spectator, 27/10/13
The government can only raise or lower the tax rate. Whether the actual tax revenues that the government will collect as a result will go up or down is a matter of prophecy. And these prophecies have been far too wrong far too often to base national policies on them.
Thomas Sowell, American Spectator, 06/02/13
I think we have now reached that stage of last-days-of-the-Roman-Empire intellectual and moral depravity where almost no one in our dominant corporate/political/financier/lawyer class believes it’s worthwhile or even possible to do the right thing any more.
James Delingpole, Telegraph blogs, 16/02/13
How odd that some minorities such as Marco Rubio, Allen West, Clarence Thomas, and tens of thousands of other conservatives are somehow deemed less authentic than elite whites who merely profess a particular sort of empathy for minorities.
Victor Davis Hanson, 21/02/13
Lenin said “The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” Islam has gone the Commies one better: The modern western welfare state gives them the money to buy the rope with which they will hang us.
Mark Steyn, National Review Online, 18/02/13
..a blowhard president who doesn’t appear to have a plan, other than protect his own personal, lecture-circuit legacy
Peter Foster, Telegraph blogs, 19/02/13
One working-class woman briefed the PM on the “I’m a Tory, not a toff” campaign she wanted to run in the North prior to the last party conference. “Mmm,” said Dave, who never got back to her. Another backbencher told him the party needed to be angrier, reflecting public fury that the irresponsibility of the Labour years has lumbered us all with declining living standards. “Mmm,” said Dave, who never got back to him, either.
Thomas Pascoe, Telegraph blogs, 20/02/13
Will Ed Miliband, a man who would find himself grotesquely overpromoted if appointed Deputy Director of Cleansing (Maternity Cover) at Clackmannanshire Council, ever be Prime Minister?
Mr Eugenides, Think Scotland, 16/02/13
The problem for atheists that has never been satisfactorily addressed is that it’s very, very hard to find a solid foundation for any moral values in the absence of a belief in God. Reason and science alone simply won’t cut it.
Toby Young (an atheist), Telegraph blogs, 12/02/13
..the Irish have become Europe’s great moaners, the nation-state equivalent of teenagers who never stop banging on about how hard they have it. From craic-loving fist-throwers to couch-hogging therapy seekers in the space of one generation
Brendan O’Neill, Telegraph blogs, 07/02/13
To “reconnect” with the UK, the former Labour leader hired a press officer, a classic Blair gesture. Rather than just reconnecting – being here more often, joining the Lords, going to the theatre, walking about and generally hanging out, in Britain – he hired someone to help him create that perception.
Iain Martin, Telegraph blogs, 05/02/13
In Washington, the bold declarative oft-stated acceptance of responsibility is the classic substitute for responsibility: rhetorically “taking responsibility,” preferably “many times,” absolves one from the need to take actual responsibility even once.Mark Steyn, OCR, 25/01/13I fear his totalitarian attitude is a family trait. His late father, Ralph Miliband, is routinely described as a ‘brilliant Marxist historian’ by toadies who fail to see how the two adjectives contradict each other.Simon Heffer, Daily Mail, 26/01/12“I’m glad that you’re accepting responsibility. I think ultimately with your leaving that you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11. And I really mean that. Had I been president and found you did not read the cables from Benghazi and from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it’s inexcusable.”Senator Rand Paul to Hillary Clinton, 23/01/13The biggest error of European history has been the idea that some new order – a Holy Roman Empire, a Napoleonic system, a Reich, a United States of Europe – can dissolve the dangerous rivalries of Europeans. Each time, the remedy has proved worse than the disease. Yet once again this political alchemy is being attempted.Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph, 25/01/13Britain is a great nation with a proud history, whose soldiers liberated Brussels in 1944. It does not need to take any lessons from a pompous Belgian politician who can barely disguise his contempt for the country that selflessly freed his own people from tyranny just two generations ago.Nile Gardiner, Telegraph blogs, 18/01/13No party represents freedom now. What we have is a few rightwingers who took some E in a field once and so claim to be libertariansSuzanne Moore, Guardian, 17/01/13It is a wonderful day when we can stumble across a new hate crime of which we might all one day be accused: cissexism is the suspicion that transsexual people’s ‘identified gender’ is somehow less genuine than that of people born to the gender in which they remain. Are you guilty of cissexism? You bastard.Rod Liddle, The Spectataor, 19/01/13Foster, what will you do for a brain when the monkey shows up and demands you return his sphincter?HostileLogic, commenter in Telegraph blogs, 17/01/13(Dave’s speech) will be a welcome rebuttal to the exclusivist charge that somehow just because we weren’t repeatedly invaded by Germany we don’t understand the importance the rest of the EU attaches to peace.
Benedict Brogan, Telegraph blogs, 17/01/13
Though those fighting the good fight would never be caught dead admitting it, they’ve spent decades constructing, and scrapping over, a tightly defined hierarchy of oppression. And that hierarchy is invariably a self-serving reflection of prevailing internal power cliques. On the Left it currently looks like this: Tier 1 Women, Tier 2 Black, Tier 3 Gay, Tier 4 Everyone Else.
Dan Hodges, Telegraph blogs, 14/01/13
The pension laws of this country used to be based on the law of contract and what is known as a legitimate right of benefit. These guarantees remained in force until Gordon Brown came along and almost yearly since successive chancellors have reneged on previous contractual promises.Ian Cowie, Telegraph blogs, 04/01/13“Nice” when applied to governments has come to mean “generous” with tax. I see nothing nice – or, indeed, generous – about hoovering up other people’s money and hurling it about indiscriminately. Gordon Brown had a social conscience, but he did immense harm to his country by wasting money and encouraging a dependency culture. Even many welfare beneficiaries see as pathetic the refusal of the Eds to face up to the need to the need to favour workers over workshy.Ruth Dudley Edwards, Telegraph blogs, 08/01/13What a ghastly outfit it (the Green Party) is: think Lib Dems without the suave, self-deprecating charm.Damian Thompson, Daily Telegraph, 05/01/13The half-informed man is not the man who knows only half of things, but the man who only half knows thingsAntonin SertillangesIf Mr Obama had not promised to look after all his client groups, especially among minorities, he would be back home in Chicago. Now he has to pay out on those promises. That is pretty much the way New Labour operated in Britain, by creating a vast state sector funded by the public purse that would, in return, vote for Tony Blair and later Gordon Brown. The long-term legacy of that self-serving policy can be seen today in our disastrous national debt.Simon Heffer, Daily Mail, 02/01/13Police also raided one of Davidson’s homes in Hampshire and emerged carrying boxes of ‘evidence’.Were they seriously expecting to find evidence of a 25-year-old sexual assault tucked away in a sock drawer?Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail, 04/01/13In my experience, all the wisest politicians drink a fair bit, and the ones who don’t are the ones to watch out for. Margaret Thatcher famously enjoyed a whisky or two before going to bed. By contrast, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair didn’t drink nearly enough.Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph, 31/12/12Someone needs to tell Barack Obama—it must get particularly confusing this time of year—that his own birth is not Year One, the date around which all other events are understood.Emily Yoffe, Slate, 21/12/12It has also emerged that Salmond ditched his initial plan for a referendum on the 700th anniversary of Scotland’s victory over England at the Battle of Bannockburn after someone pointed out that it was pathetic.The Daily Mash, 11/01/12
A final take on the election: Mitt Romney was a glittering Sir Galahad who, given his impressive horse, armor, and lance, along with his decency and piety, assumed that he could win a joust in a fair charge against the other team’s knight. Instead he waded into a sudden fray where he was swarmed, mobbed, cut off, pulled off his magnificent steed, had his matchless armor yanked away by a mob of foot soldiers, and then, once stripped clean, was clubbed and maced beyond recognition.
Victor Davis Hanson, Private Papers, 30/11/12
Today, in a London pub, a fiver won’t even buy you a pint and half of beer. In 1957, it would buy between 50 and 60.
Simon Heffer, Daily Mail, 17/12/12
The more I study the history of intellectuals, the more they seem like a wrecking crew, dismantling civilization bit by bit — replacing what works with what sounds good.
Thomas Sowell, Townhall.com, 25/12/12
…you must remember the motto of governments everywhere: “I don’t care, it’s not my money”.
Andrew Nicoll, The Sun, 24/12/12
If Jimmy Savile were alive today he would definitely be heavily into wind farming.
James Delingpole, Telegraph blogs, 19/12/12
Two things prevent us from killing other people. The first is the knowledge, instilled in us from childhood, that it is wrong. The second is our natural capacity for empathy. If however this is numbed to the extent that other people no longer seem real, then anything is possible because, to the unbalanced mind, anything is permitted.
Allan Massie, Telegraph blogs, 19/12/12
Labour did not “make a mistake” by throwing open the door to millions of homeless and jobless foreign migrants. Mass immigration was no error. It was deliberate Labour policy, an act of calculated deceit imposed by a bullying regime at the expense of its own working-class voters.The plan was devised in private and rammed through against ferocious opposition by the British public, who were shamefully silenced as “racist”.
Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun, 17/12/12
So what do Margaret Hodge, Andrew MacKinlay, Tom Watson, Keith Vaz and David Winnick have in common apart from their committee work? Yes, that’s right. They all voted for the Iraq war. That was rather more of a humiliating shambles than any security failure at the Olympics, one might think, and a very disgraceful moment in parliamentary history.
Geoffrey Wheatcroft, The Guardian, 15/12/12
Just because Nick Clegg speaks in clichés does not mean he is an idiot..but we ought to be on our guard.
John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday, 16/12/12
If people were really having to choose between ‘heating and eating’, the ‘poor’ wouldn’t be so fat — or else they’d all have frozen to death by now.
Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail, 07/12/12
…it’s all very well to increase the tax allowance and say (as Nick Clegg did) that it will benefit 20 million people. But given that the tax cut amounts to 90p a week, it is not clear what these workers will go out and buy in celebration.
Fraser Nelson, Daily Teelegraph, 07/12/12
Labour created vastly more NHS jobs as part of a cynical attempt to buy votes by setting up a huge client state. Official figures show that last year there were 1,148,844 ‘full-time equivalent’ staff in the NHS — an increase of 237,902 (or 26.1 per cent) since 2001. Non-clinically qualified staff accounted for more than 100,000 of that increase.
Simon Heffer, Daily Mail, 30/11/12
… if Washington were to increase every single tax by 30 percent, it would be enough to balance the books – in 25 years. If you were to raise taxes by 50 percent, it would be enough to fund our entitlement liabilities – just our current ones, not our future liabilities, which would require further increases.
Mark Steyn, OCR, 30/09/12
…there’s a simpler reason (for the Republicans’ defeat) — Obama and the Democrats promised voters more free stuff.
Bruce Thornton, VDH Private Papers, 18/11/12
..we have watched our seniors in their pursuit of a New Jerusalem, built on the wisdom of the state and the money of the working man. We know it doesn’t work. We can expect to work in a stagnant economy with high income taxes for the rest of our working lives, a result of our elders systematically bribing swathes of the electorate with borrowed money.
Thomas Pascoe, Telegraph blogs, 19/11/12
(on New Labour green energy hypocrisy) Seriously, honestly, I don’t know how these people can actually say such things without cracks in the earth opening, clawed hands appearing, and their being dragged down to the hottest corner of hell, there to have their entrails spooled on a winding wheel while crows peck out their eyes.
James Delingpole, Telegraph blogs, 23/11/12
(..and there’s more) Everyone who has lost his job at Tata should be fully aware: this is as a direct result of policies introduced under Labour, generally, Ed Miliband specifically, and fully endorsed by a range of political imbeciles, among them the Lib Dems and the play-politicians at the Welsh Assembly.
James Delingpole, Telegraph blogs, 23/11/12
If there is no objective moral or “natural” standard of what is and isn’t acceptable sexual practice – if everything is reduced purely to the non-violent sharing of physical pleasure – then it does become much harder to say “no” to those creepy folks who hang around zoos in raincoats
Tim Stanley, Telegraph blogs, 20/11/12
I have to admit that when Obama “won” re-election I became more depressed than Madonna’s audience was when they were forced to watch her strip the other night.
Doug Giles, Townhall.com, 18/11/12
Jewish settlers in the West Bank, who had once pledged to defend God’s land with their very blood, packed up and went home after Blair came up with the simple yet brilliant expedient of frogmarching them to cashpoints to pay a fine every time they shot a Palestinian teenager.
Mr Eugenides, Think Scotland, 17/11/12
….as the 4th century BC orator Isocrates wrote: “Wherefore these men [demagogues] would be most happy to see all of our citizens reduced to the condition of helplessness in which they themselves are powerful. And the greatest proof of this is that they do not consider by what means they may provide a livelihood for those who are in need, but rather how they may reduce those who are thought to possess some wealth to the level of those who are in poverty.” Or as Obama might put it, “spread the wealth around.”
Bruce Thornton, VDH Private Papers, 14/11/12
… the same failed policy mix, on steroids (re Obama’s second term)
David Limbaugh, Townhall.com, 16/11/12
The sun is huge and ninety-three million miles away and the small moon is in our backyard, a mere quarter of a million miles away. Yet in an eclipse their discs precisely cover each other. Don’t therefore imagine that anyone designed it that way. It’s just a cosmic coincidence, isn’t it, Professor Dawkins?
Peter Mullen, Telegraph blogs, 14/11/12 (Mullen got a LOT of stick in the comments for this one, but I like it)
…we refused to extradite terrorists to Egypt, even though Tony Blair was taking his holidays there. We had the ridiculous spectacle of the Prime Minister and the Wicked Witch sunning themselves at Sharm el-Sheikh while her lawyer colleagues at Matrix Chambers were arguing that Egypt was guilty of serious human rights abuses.
Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail, 13/11/12
It took the government of the United States two centuries to rack up its first trillion dollars in debt. Now Washington piles on another trillion every nine months. Forward!
Mark Steyn, Orange County Register, 09/11/12
To repay the $16.3 trillion of US debt, Barack Obama would need to create the economic growth of both Ronald Regan and Bill Clinton combined, and then double it, in four years.
Ben Harris-Quinney, The Commentator, 07/11/12
It is the mark of a genuinely great campaign that Romney and Ryan did not back down one inch on the main moral issue of our time, the mass murders of the unborn.
Ben Stein, American Spectator, 07/11/12
Keen minds from Aristotle to Montesquieu and Tocqueville have lamented that the proverbial people sometimes prefer equality under authoritarianism to inequality accompanied by personal freedom.
Victor Davis Hanson, Private Papers, 05/11/12
Nothing is right or wrong, because that suggests a standard by which right and wrong might be defined. Personal choice is the new “standard,” which is no standard at all. One might as well develop individual weights and measures.
Cal Thomas, Townhall.com, 08/11/12
There is nothing mysterious about an economy recovering on its own. Employers usually have incentives to employ and workers have incentives to look for jobs. Lenders have incentives to lend and borrowers have incentives to borrow — if politicians do not create needless complications and uncertainties.
Thomas Sowell, Townhall.com, 07/11/12
Slight difference between the US and UK. In the USA nearly all the mass media were whores for Obama, in the UK the BBC are whores for Labour.
Germanicusrex, commenter, Telegraph blogs, 07/11/12
The great 50-50 nation remains terribly divided, and the President’s ultra-negative campaign this time round was an attempt to exploit those divisions rather than heal them. He won by championing the very thing that he promised to end.
Amol Rajan, The Independent, 07/11/12
It is the admirable vigour of policy debates that makes the American presidential election so exciting. The arguments are refreshingly real, serious and about great issues and not, as in Britain, about different degrees of the liberal statist consensus.
Simon Heffer, Daily Mail, 05/11/12
It’s as finely balanced, some say, as a chap walking a tightrope backwards blindfolded across Niagara on one peg-legged foot with the encyclopaedia on his head.
Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph, 05/11/12
One of the truly bizarre features of British public life post-1997 is that the priorities of the public… have been unable to find an outlet in Parliament. On the contrary, measures which are alien to the lives of the majority…obsess those in Westminster.
Thomas Pascoe, Telegraph blogs, 02/11/12
“He thinks that assertion is enough. He starts with the answer and then works backwards,”
Johann Lamont, Scootish Labour leader, re. Fat Eck Salmond
. .where Christian zealots blame sinning mankind, green zealots blame industrious mankind.
Brendan O’Neill, Telegraph blogs, 30/10/12
Fuel is actually very cheap. Of the 140p pump price in London, 57.4p pays for the raw product to be taken from the ground in Saudi Arabia, refined, barrelled up, put on a tanker, transported to a depot, driven to the forecourt and delivered into your car. The remainder goes to the Government in tribute.
Thomas Pascoe, Telegraph blogs, 29/10/12
To Democrats it seems women are nothing more than hyper-fertile vaginas on a constant quest for sex, contraception and abortions. What else has the president’s campaign addressed?
Derek Hunter, Townhall.com, 28/10/12
..the Left views the poor as imbeciles — and indeed, since personal responsibility is part of our make-up, even as less than fully human.
Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail, 29/10/12
Let me be clear about me and the Guardian. I don’t think they have ever supported anything I have said or done. When I was standing against Ken Livingstone, they did a special supplement in which various members of the Lefty great and the good were invited to say what a prat/plonker/berk/buffoon I was. Many of them vowed to leave London if I were elected (a promise, sadly, they have not kept).
Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph, 29/10/12
I leave it to readers to decide if they would regard the log of a policeman involved in an argument with a member of the public as invariably the gospel truth.
Dominic Lawson, The Independent, 23/10/12
‘We are not launching an investigation into claims that Savile was a necrophiliac. We have never received any complaints as to that nature.’
An NHS hospital spokesman, 23/10/12
…progressives seem to think women can be bought off like a puppy, with free birth control pills as milk bones. The mentality that all you need to do is feed women a can of contraception kibble and they’ll be loyal is the real war on women.
Derek Hunter, Townhall.com, 22/10/12
..for the better part of a millennium and a half Islam has been waging war against the West, or Christendom as it once was. That doesn’t mean 1,500 years of non-stop fighting any more than the Hundred Years’ War meant a hundred years of incessant hostilities. There would be a remission, then a flare-up, then a remission again. We’re into an acute phase at present.
Alexander Boot, Blog, 01/10/12
Scotland’s state spending/GDP ratio is about 53pc…one of the highest in the planet. And still the SNP pretends its being denied money by the parsimonious English.Fraser Nelson, Coffee House, 21/10/12Obama is the biggest hoax ever committed on the American people.Clint EastwoodHe will go down, far and away, as the dumbest and most destructive leader in the history of ScotlandDonald Trump (about Fat Eck)I weep for the rural Scots and what has been done to their countryside by the Chavez of the North, Alex Salmond. He has devalued their properties, blighted their views, stolen their tranquillity and wiped out their tourist incomeJames Delingpole, Telegraph blogs, 20/10/12The EU’s biggest fear is not that Greece will fail after leaving the Eurozone, but that it will succeed and inspire others to follow.Min amisan, commenter, The Commentator, 13/10/12..the EU is not a cause, but a symptom of a European peace born out of the defeat of fascism, the spread of democracy and the security of the Nato alliance. Its ruling dogma – the idea that nationalism causes war – is false.Daniel Hannan, Telegraph blogs, 12/10/12Notwithstanding all its faults, for too long we have allowed Israel – an essentially liberal democracy under immense strain – to be demonised in the eyes of the world while holding it to standards we never apply to its neighbours. The UN has passed far more resolutions against the Jewish state than any other country in the world, including Iran, Zimbabwe, China, Russia and North Korea.Jake Wallis Simons, Telegraph blogs, 12/10/12We are not supposed to be all equal. Let’s just forget that. We are supposed to have equal rights under law. If we do that, we have done enough. If we try to engineer outcomes, if we overturn tradition to make everyone the same, we ruin society.Ben Stein, American Spectator, 09/10/12Obama is continuously making miracles happen, like the time he killed Osama bin Laden just by staring at himJohn Ransom, Townhall.com, 11/10/12If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankindJohn Stuart Mill(re. Ed Miliband) ..the ultimate Labour policy wonk – the wonko di tutti wonkiMatthew D’Ancona, Sunday Telegraph, 30/09/12As soon as abortion is relegated to the same trash heap of history as slavery has been, liberals will be rewriting history to make Democrats the pro-lifers and Republicans the pro-choicers. That’s precisely what they’ve done with the history of race in America.More white people voted for Obama in 2008 than had voted for any Democratic presidential candidate in nearly 40 years. They must have felt guilty about something. Not harboring any racist impulses, I was free to vote Republican.
Ann Coulter, Townhall.com,26/09/12
The basic truth is that Britain is already taxed as much as it can bear; it is spending that is out of control.
Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph, 27/09/12
The love of money is the root of all evil. But the lust for the euro is the most inhumane of tortures. There can be no freedom or democracy under the ‘single supervisory mechanism’, with its obscure fiscal language and obfuscatory political manoeuvring. It is a deal from hell; a chain from purgatory; the greatest lie of all lies.
Cranmer, blog, 28/09/12
I could’ve told you EB (Ed Balls) was a total, 24-carat, A-grade toxic tit a decade ago. Welcome to the party.
Tokyonagaremono, commenter, Telegraph blogs, 28/09/12
My perspective on Spain is that the average Spaniard stops maturing mentally when they get to 16. So what we see in Spain is a country run by 16 year olds, and therefore we should not be surprised at the result.
Enesem, commenter at The Commentator, 26/09/12
To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often
The voters are more cynical and more hostile towards the Lib Dems than ever before. In the council chambers, committee rooms and Dr Who forums, panic is setting in.
Tim Stanley, Telegraph blogs, 24/09/12
The political class’s idea of how to get growth thus seems to be to clobber hardworking people with yet more tax rises. This revenue they will then give to the corporatist Vince Cable who can waste it by inefficiently doling out funds to businesses of which he approves
Iain Martin, Telegraph blogs, 24/09/12
Continued dependence upon (state) relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fibre. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit
Franklin D Roosevelt, 1935
Nick Clegg may be a petulant public schoolboy who looks as if he might burst into tears at any moment, but Cable is a vainglorious nincompoop who’d be exposed as a political lightweight the moment he became leader
Toby Young, The Sun, 23/09/12
The great Spanish traditionalist philosopher, Juan Vázquez de Mella, correctly identified political parties as the most destructive and corrupt force destroying any society they polluted. It was always part of the Spanish Carlist programme to abolish them. We should give serious thought to such a reform in Britain today.
Gerald Warner, Telegraph blogs, 17/04/10
(re. Mitt Romney) Possibly the worst Presidential candidate since Gerald Ford, unless of course you count all the Democrats
Mr Eugenides, Think Scotland, 22/09/12
Technically, Mr Clegg isn’t apologising for breaking his promise, he’s apologising for making it. The appropriate analogy is a husband caught cheating on his wife who tells her he’s sorry he took the marriage vow to be faithful. That may undercut the DPM’s honest-guy schtick a bit
James Kirkup, Telegraph blogs, 20/09/12
Only our totally unbiased watchdog media could turn the burning of U.S. embassies in countries where Barack Obama had recently supported mob revolts into Mitt Romney’s blunder. Journalists couldn’t risk having Obama’s campaign slogan “Osama is dead” being amended with “and so is our ambassador.”
Ann Coulter, Human Events, 19/09/12
President Obama is intentionally driving us off a fiscal cliff while chasing the liberal utopia of a government-centered entitlement society and income redistribution
Ross Kaminsky, American Spectator, 19/09/12
The outrageous debt burdens found in Western countries have largely been caused by giving too much to too many when there are too few to pay.
Thomas Pascoe, Telegraph blogs, 19/09/12
If the Holocaust has taught Jews anything, it is that if someone threatens to wipe you out, it is best to take them seriously…. If Israel does strike Iran pre-emptively and successfully neutralises the nuclear threat without sparking a disastrous chain of consequences, many observers may strike a condemnatory pose in public while feeling downright thankful in private.
Jake Wallis Simons, Telegraph blogs, 19/09/12
The Obama fixation in Britain is damning evidence of the intellectual decline at all levels of our public life.
Thomas Pascoe, Telegraph blogs, 17/09/12
The White House thinks the rioters were provoked to violence by a crappy low-budget movie no one’s seen, as if the Muslim Brotherhood were a more militant version of the New York Film Critics Circle.
Stephen Daisley, The Commentator, 16/09/12
Not so long ago Labour was being castigated for being a ‘sofa government’. And rightly, given that the end product was 100,000 dead Iraqis.
Dan Hodges, Telegraph blogs, 17/09/12
The murder of US diplomats was not carried out spontaneously, but by a jihadist militia that wanted to kill Americans on the 9/11 anniversary. In Egypt, the controversy over the Coptic film was created by Al-Nas, a Salafi channel dedicated to promoting militant Islam. These crises are political events, in other words.
Nick Cohen, The Observer, 16/09/12
It is funny to think that Miliband – who, when they worked together in Gordon Brown’s Treasury, loathed Balls so much that he moved to Harvard to get away from him – may soon be in government with his old tormentor, confronting a long line of problems that neither of them have thought through.
Fraser Nelson, Daily Teelegraph, 13/09/12
This incident goes to show the absurdity of the argument that suggests if only America and her allies wouldn’t invade Afghanistan, occupy Iraq, support Israel, give knighthoods to Salman Rushdie etc, then they could rebuild their relations with the Muslim world. In fact, all it takes is for a bunch of nutters to make a terrible film in California, and the German embassy in Khartoum gets attacked. There is nothing that we can do to prevent this kind of atavistic rage.
David Blair, Tegraph blogs, 14/0912
The idea that the murder of Mr Stevens and his colleagues has anything to do with some stupid, amateur film that nobody has seen, and which a free country couldn’t have censored anyway, is doubly ridiculous.
Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, 16/09/12
The Obama party line is that the Arab Spring is a good thing and that the Muslim Brotherhood and kindred groups are reasonable people who will cooperate with America. If you dispute this view you won’t last long in the upper reaches of the Obama administration.
James Corum, Telegraph blogs, 13/09/12
What is so irksome about Obama is his insistence upon seeing everything he does as a historic breakthrough, made possible by his unique abilities and validated by a few cheering students
Tim Stanley, Telegraph blogs, 14/09/12
Thirteen-year-old Monty, one of the Queen’s three remaining corgis, passed away over the weekend. He had only ever bitten one politician, but as this was LibDem leader Nick Clegg, the Duke of Edinburgh always maintained that it didn’t count.
Craig Brown, Daily Mail, 12/09/12
You know a policy is a lemon when you hear Clegg announcing it
Iain Martin, Telegraph blogs, 11/09/12
His ears spread wide, a haggard Barack Obama took the stage looking as if he’d lost roughly 50 pounds of mojo since 2008. Openly groping for the female vote, he acknowledged his love for his steroidal wife Michelle and his adorable daughters, Bulimia and Sausage.
An Overdose of Hope, Taki’s Magazine, 08/09/12
Got that? If a Muslim says that Islam is opposed to homosexuality, Scotland Yard will investigate him for homophobia; but if a gay says that Islam is opposed to homosexuality, Scotland Yard will investigate him for Islamophobia.
Mark Steyn, National Review, 29/08/11
Mr Romney will have the support, meanwhile, of a mass of certifiable types who believe they are fighting the advent of a black socialist overlord whose tyranny, thus far, has extended to some half-hearted healthcare reforms. (sounds about right to me)
Ian Bell, Glasgow Herald, 08/09/12
Mr Miliband had another ace to play. He wants to use public money to top up the wages of people in low-paid jobs — ignoring the fact that some jobs are, regrettably, low-paid for the very good reason that there is no shortage of people able to do them. He called this ‘predistribution’. Most of us would call it economic suicide.
Simon Heffer, Daily Mail, 08/09/12
Abraham Lincoln, who freed the slaves and Republican votes that forced through the civil rights reforms in the 1960s against Democrat opposition. Frankly you would think the Democrats would be wary about raising slavery as an issue in the same way that Bill Clinton should be wary about discussing marriage guidance.
Donal Blaney, The Commentator, 05/09/12
Is there one major group where Obama has gained since 2008? Will anyone in America wake up on election day saying “I didn’t vote for Obama 4 years ago. But he’s done such a fantastic job, I can’t wait to vote for him today.”
Wayne Allyn Root, Townhall.com, 30/05/12
..excessive debt needs to be written off, with the cost born by the creditors, not redistributed to the taxpayers of more prudent countries or inflated away. It is right that investors should be able to make a fortune if they make a correct bet – but it is equally right that they should lose their shirt when their investment goes sour.Allister Heath, City AM, 07/09/12..governments only get into that kind of mess because there’s too much spending. Government spending is the disease. The various ways of financing that spending – taxes, borrowing, and printing money – are symptoms of the underlying disease.Daniel J Mitchell, The Commentator, 07/09/12The coalition has learnt nothing from America’s errors over the past decade, and cannot grasp that subsidising credit always ends in tears. Governments are even worse judges of risk than private banks are, and the last thing taxpayers need is to be saddled with the liabilities for a new generation of sub-prime projects.Allister Heath, City AM, 03/09/12When a media millionaire who resides in an all-white tony suburb sermonizes on racism, or when Barack Obama, also a millionaire who lives for free as president, lectures Americans on the need for higher taxes on “people like myself,” it really means less than nothing.Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Online, 03/09/12CLEGG SPECIAL……….!!!More than half the country, including not a few Lib Dems, would cheer if David Cameron at last stood up to this frivolous and lightweight man (Cleggy) the next time he makes up a policy on the hoof to suit his own narrow self-interest.Stephen Glover, Daily Mail, 29/08/12Miriam Gonzalez just looks permanently furious, but who can blame her? She is, after all, married to Nick Clegg.Jan Moir, Daily Mail, 31/08/12Clegg’s ravings are directed at his equally other-world party activists. Earthlings should not take them seriously.Nick Wood, Daily Mail, 29/08/12Seven years into his leadership, it is increasingly difficult to see what Mr Cameron might do to somehow rescue it – unless he can urgently find a way to unshackle himself from the ludicrous Mr Clegg. Iain Martin, Daily Telegraph, 30/08/12( re Nick Clegg ) His personal ratings are sub-Ed Miliband, or even Gordon Brown. Of those who’ve deserted the Lib Dems, “just 1% think he’s strong, 2% think he’s decisive and 4% reckon he ‘sticks to what he believes in'”.Robert Colvile, Telegraph blogs, 29/08/12Mr Clegg’s demands are not just ideologically at odds with the aims of his Coalition partners, they are also economically illiterate.Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph, 29/08/12Earth to Clegg: direct tax is already progressive in the true sense. The more you earn, the more you pay.Janet Daley, Telegraph blogs, 29/08/12In the same way that Ashdown skilfully melded the Liberals with the SDP, which was not unlike the reunification of Germany without the laughsJerry Hayes, Dale & Co, 31/08/12It is magical thinking to believe that health care costs can be “reduced” by economic projections that go on for decades. Chaos theory, based on the beating of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil, would be a better tool to estimate the fiscal hurricane to come than economic analysis.James Lucier, Daily Mail, 27/08/12‘Frankly, until the time we applied for the trademark permission, I had only heard that Hitler was a strict man, he told the Times of India. ‘It was only recently that we read about Hitler on the internet.’
Rajesh Shah, owner of a fashion outlet called “Hitler”, Gujarat
I spent a year reporting on the Scottish Parliament, and am still recovering.
Fraser Nelson, The Spectator, 26/08/12
To survey the craggy peaks of the left’s intellectual hinterland is to search in vain for evidence of econo-pragmatism…The hunt for Labour relevance amid the scarred new socio-economic landscape is over. The search parties have been called off. Where once the talk was of “difficult choices that all of us wish we did not have to make”, we are now being told that “the tide is turning” on the politics of austerity.
Dan Hodges, New Statesman, 22/08/12
Very excited to read a new (Seumas) Milne article. What could it possibly be about? Oh… ok, America are super evil bad guys followed up by some fifth rate logic to explain how anyone that does them harm is morally superior and worthy of praise. That’s a fresh one.
CanYouFlyBobby, Commenter, Guardian, 22/08/12
Labour should worry that, at some point over the next two-and-a-half years, the British economy will bounce back and the coalition’s policy of fiscal responsibility will seem vindicated. And they ought to worry more about the differences of personality and outlook between their leader and the man regarded by many of the party’s power-brokers as the real leader (Ed Balls).
John Rentoul, The Independent, 26/08/12
Got a new alarm clock. The ring is George Galloway’s voice saying “Sshh..Go back to sleep”. I’m dressed and out the door before it goes off.Frankie Boyle, Twitter, 23/08/12Blur. A cheese making ****; a New Labour****; a fake cockney ****; and a ****. Frankie Boyle, Twitter, 12/08/12Tough luck Alex Salmond. Britain right now seems like a real nationSimon Schama, FT, 11/08/12Anyone looking to enter public office in the future now has a wonderful reverse role model to look up to. ‘If Nick Clegg did it this way, then I should do it that way’. It’s going to be a fabulous road map to success and maintaining integrity. They’ll be thanking him for that for centuries….We were getting bored of the term “as useless as a chocolate fireguard”. “As effective as a Clegg” is so much clearer.Adrian Moss, The Commentator, 09/08/12…the revolution is not confined to North Africa and the Middle East. We must observe also what is going on in Sudan and Somalia, Mali, Yemen, Nigeria and half a dozen other loci of instability. The fact is that every few hundred years there is a militant Islamist insurgency. It has to be defeated. It was defeated at the Battle of Tours, at Lepanto, in Malta. Only a few centuries ago, they were at gates of Vienna.Peter Mullen, Telegraph blogs, 10/08/12 (it’s true, I’m afraid)Clegg’s lacklustre army is tailor-made for treachery — the Libs even hate the Dems.Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun, 08/08/12There is one basic problem which is at the root of all our country’s difficulties. John Major was aware of it, but lacked the political authority to tackle it. Tony Blair recognised it, but lacked the political courage to address it. It is simple to summarise. How can we ensure that a pound spent by the state on the taxpayers’ behalf delivers something like the same value as the taxpayers would expect when they part with their own cash?Bruce Anderson, Daily Telegraph, 04/08/12(re North Korea) The DPRK has been kidnapping Japanese citizens from off the beach on the Niigata coast for decades. The “joke” was you could be walking your dog on the beach in the morning, and be eating it in Pyongyang in the evening.Jackthesmilingblack, Commenter, Telegraph blogs, 05/08/12…the First Minister’s attempts to hail the “Scolympians” (the Scots in British team) were embarrassing. As the week has gone on the Nats have started to mention “Team GB” by name, presumably realising that continuing to pretend that Team GB does not exist risked making the SNP look completely ridiculous.Iain Martin, Telegraph blogs, 04/08/12(re John Major) Personally I was lukewarm towards him until people like Ben Elton started going on about how grey and boring he was, at which point I decided to like anyone capable of pissing off such a repellent loud-mouthed self-regarding lefty twat. jono, Commenter, Telegraph Blogs, 06/08/12“We want the Chinese to leave and the old colonial rulers to return. They exploited our natural resources too, but at least they took good care of us. They built schools, taught us their language and brought us the British civilisation. At least Western capitalism has a human face; the Chinese are only out to exploit us.”Michael Sata, Zambian President (when in opposition)‘France has usually been governed by prostitutes.’Mark Twain…like the cat who leaves little ‘presents’ around the house for you to discover when you return from holiday, the Labour government of 1997 to 2010 is the gift that keeps on crapping on your carpet. We will be discovering fiscal turds left by Labour for literally decades to come.John Phelan, The Commentator, 03/07/12Labour’s Coulson “outrage” is utter hypocrisy. He may have had access to top secret dossiers, but at least he didn’t fucking write them.Mr Eugenides, Twitter, 10/05/12“Do you mean to say the story is finished?” said Don Quixote. “As finished as my mother” said Sancho
Don Quixote, Part 1: XX, Cervantes
The point was put well by Von Mises in “The Anti-Capitalist Mentality”: “A man who buys a television set thereby gives evidence to the effect that he thinks that the possession of this contrivance will increase his well-being and make him more content than he was without it. If it were otherwise, he would not have bought it.” Unless of course he doesn’t know what is good for him, which is exactly where the left comes in.
Andrew Gibson, The Commentator, 10/04/12
(..to which The Knife adds the NHS)Peter Mullen, Telegraph Blogs, 20/07/12Germany may well be last man standing in the Euro drama but that only means that there will be no one left to bail her out. Bunds as safe-haven investments are another bubble ready to burst.Detlev Schlichter, City AM, 03/07/12What on earth is moral about paying tax? A greedy, slovenly state forces you to hand over roughly half your money every year, by threatening to send you to prison if you don’t. Then it shovels that money carelessly down a huge hole.Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, 24/06/12Moreover, the German national balance sheet is not immaculate: its total debts, both private and public, equate to over 240 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product.Dominic Lawson, The Independent, 26/06/12Egypt if it tore up the Camp David accords poses no threat whatsoever to Israel. The IDF could neutralise any military threat before lunch, assuming Egypt started in the morning.Icarustwo, Commenter, Telegraph Blogs, 25/06/12None of today’s Keynesian stimulus enthusiasts were heard screaming at the last govt to fulfill the other half of that Keynesian bargain; the running of surpluses, the paying off of debt in the good times.Sir Graphus, Commenter in Telegraph Blogs, 06/06/12(Alastair) Campbell has developed a reputation as the hard man of politics over 20-odd years of bullying, swaggering, scheming and score-settling. But as time passes this reputation is pretty laughable. He seems a desperately insecure figure, albeit one who is surrounded by darkness.Miles Goslett, Daily Mail, 21/06/12it’s not as if any politician has ever had an adult conversation with me about either the welfare state as a concept or how much I feel I should contribute towards it. This is a social contract that I inherited when I had the misfortune to be born here rather than in Switzerland.Tim Stanley, Telegraph Blogs, 20/06/12“Europe can never be a democracy because there is no European demos” Enoch Powell“I’m neither strongly left nor right, but I detest the Liberal Democrats.”“Whenever the UN puts its finger in, it seems to become a mess.”“I’m not worried about sea-level rises At worst, I think it will be 2ft a century.”“Germany is a great country and has always been a natural leader of Europe, and so many great ideas, music, art, etc, come out of it, but they have this fatal flaw that they always fall for an ideologue, and Europe has suffered intensely from the last two episodes of that. It looks to me as if the green ideas they have picked up now could be just as damaging.”James Lovelock, The Guardian, 15/06/12
Douglas Murray, Spectator Coffee House, 10/05/12
Muslims, (are) understandably sensitive to any hint that the Prophet might have been a plagiarist…and yet, once God is discounted as an informant, it is surely not unreasonable to wonder just how it came to be that so many characters from the Bible feature in the Qur’an.
Tom Holland, In the Shadow of the Sword, 2012
Black social conservatives are liberalism’s worst nightmare – almost as bad as prolife women …Beyond their taste for old time religion, why are these black activists so enraged by the latest manifestation of homosexual rights? One reason is that they take enormous offence at the claim that black and gay civil rights struggles are analogous. They insist that three hundred years of slavery and one hundred years of segregation are not comparable to the struggle for gay marriage
Tim Stanley, Telegraph Blogs, 08/05/12
Iain Martin, Daily Telegraph, 22/06/12
I would accept that six or seven of the EU states are genuine long-established democracies. Others are – frankly, to borrow Mr Barroso’s diction – on probation, in historical terms. Some do not qualify at all…As for the EU itself, the organisation toppled the elected governments of Italy and Greece last year, replacing them with EU technocrats.It ignored the NO votes to the European Constitution in France and The Netherlands, ramming through the slightly-altered text as the Lisbon Treaty without referendums – except in Ireland. When the Irish voted NO to that as well, they too were ignored. That was the moment when the EU crossed the line altogether and lost fundamental legitimacy (at least for me). Lisbon is a rogue Treaty. Mr Barroso – charming though he may be – is a rogue president of a rogue Commission.
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph Blogs, 19/06/12
Peter Mullen, Telegraph Blogs, 06/06/12
When I had prostate cancer and a major stroke…my first question to the doctor I could dimly see was whether or not he could cure me. Call me selfish if you like, but my primary concern wasn’t the doctor’s social or financial background.
Martin Stephen, Daily Telegraph, 31/05/12
If Madrid cannot control spending in its regions, how in the world will Berlin, Frankfurt and Brussels be able to do so in Greece, Portugal, Italy and indeed Spain itself?
Mats Persson, Daily Telegraph, 31/05/12
..the overriding impression that is left is of a sledgehammer being taken to crack a nut….I mean the BSkyB takeover. This is a takeover that never happened – yet is being picked over by this high-powered public inquiry ad nauseam. Immense amounts of time are being devoted to it by ministers and civil servants. All over a deal that was never done.
David Hughes, Telegraph Blogs, 31/05/12
I think more of the little kids from a school in a little village in Niger who get teaching two hours a day, sharing one chair for three of them, and who are very keen to get an education. I have them in my mind all the time. Because I think they need even more help than the people in Athens.’
Christine Lagarde of the IMF
Daniel Hannan, Telegraph Blogs, 15/06/12
Graeme Archer, Telegraph Blogs, 11/06/12
the satanic, scenario… happens in Spain, where the government is forced to borrow money (at nearly 7%) it can hardly raise in order to shore up banks that are borrowing from the ECB (at 1%) to lend to the Spanish government at (7%) so that the latter can… bail them out. Not even the sickest of minds could make this up!
Yanis Varoufakis (Prof of economics), Blog, 03/06/12
…between 2002 and 2010.. Greek wages increased by 30 per cent, while German ones fell by 8 per cent. In the single currency, that was unsustainable, and when it stopped, it stopped very suddenly indeed…And then in sixth months time, we’ll confront this all again, because the real problem – that Europe has no growth to pay for these ever-expanding debts – is still no closer to being solved.
Daniel Knowles, Telegraph Blogs, 17/06/12
Osborne’s reaction to economic trouble is to borrow more. He may well be right to do so, but he ought to be honest about it. This matters, because it’s not his money. Every penny of money his government borrows has to be repaid by ordinary people.
Fraser Nelson, Spectator Coffee House, 16/06/12
“The Italians have to lend to the Spanish banks at three per cent but to get that money they have to borrow on the markets at seven per cent. It’s genius isn’t it? We are actually driving countries like Italy towards having to be bailed out themselves.”
Andrew Lilico, Telegraph Blogs, 05/06/12
The idea of a society without borders in a world where people share their countries is as radical and extreme as the idea that people might share their property – so don’t be surprised when it doesn’t work.
Ed West, Telegraph Blogs, 30/05/12
I am reminded of the reason one elderly prostitute gave for retiring. She said: ‘It wasn’t the sex . . . it was the stairs.’
Kelvin Mackenzie, Daily Mail, 01/06/12
(re drone strikes) Never mind whether Obama, in particular, sighs or loses sleeps or tosses a coin when he chooses a target: What would it mean for a bad, or craven, or simply carelessly accommodating President to do so? In the end we are not really being asked to trust Obama, or his niceness, but the office of the Presidency. Do we?
Amy Davidson, The New Yorker, 30/05/12
Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.
I suppose there are certain jobs where fat people are discriminated against – if you wanted to be a personal trainer or skydiving instructor, for instance, or play Bobby Sands in a film.
Ed West, Telegraph Blogs, 30/05/12
Why did the former prime minister decide to become godfather to Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Grace? And why was he mysteriously cut from pictures taken by Hello! magazine of the happy event, modestly located in the same place where Jesus Christ was himself baptised.
Dan Sabbagh, The Observer, 27/05/12
Only a very privileged and spoilt westerner, who lives in a country that has not known famine for centuries, could afford to dismiss science and technology without a qualm. Only a know-nothing could reject an experiment in advance. And only a dilettante wills the ends of combatting global warming and food insecurity but screams with rage when anyone proposes means. The warm, vague feelings I had about the greens are cooling by the day.
Nick Cohen, Spectator Blogs, 27/05/12
“Such is the nature of men, that however they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; yet they will hardly believe there are many so wise as themselves; for they see their own wit at hand, and other men’s at a distance…”
(On Blair) If you think he was a charlatan who wrecked the constitution, took us deeper into Europe and did immense damage by not taking any interest in economics, believing his neighbour’s lunatic contention that he has “ended boom’n’bust”, then today at Leveson wasn’t really for you.
Iain Martin, Telegraph Blogs, 28/05/12
No other private enterprise could get away with behaving like the water companies. Can you imagine Tesco losing a fifth of all its groceries on the way to the supermarkets and then passing on the bill to customers?
Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail, 29/05/12
Rod Liddle, Spectator, 19/05/12
Zimbabwe printed so much money that they actually ran out of the ability to purchase the ink to print the money.
Tim Worstall, Blog 18/05/12
…the Liberal Democrats are not, and never have been, the Party of the nation. Their outlook is well represented by Nick Clegg, who describes himself as an internationalist, but who would be better described as a cosmopolitan nihilist.
Roger Scruton, Con Home, 10/05/12
‘Traveller, there is no path; paths are made by walking.’
“The Holocaust was conceived to annihilate the last Jew on the planet. Does anyone believe that [the Serbs] seriously planned to exterminate all the Bosnians, all the Albanians, all the Muslims in the world?”
Elie Wiesel (courtesy of Brendan O’Neill, Telegraph Blogs, 17/05/12)
One marvels that a Government that has the brass neck to urge those in the private sector to work harder can virtually in the same breath permit civil servants to stay at home. The inconsistency is scarcely credible.
Stephen Glover, Daily Mail, 17/05/12
The BBC has many faults that make it hard to defend. It spends far too much money, far too freely, and uses far too many staff for stories covered just as well, if not better, by its lesser-resourced rivals.
James Macintyre, The Guardian, 15/05/12
Obama’s culture war is backfiring. He seems convinced that it’s a vote winner – hence his recent appearance at an elite women’s college where he urged the graduates to join his fight for free contraception and abortion. Not “Work hard” or “Build a family” but “Fight for the right to have hot super sex at a low, low cost to your insurance provider.” Change you can believe in.
Tim Stanley, Telegraph Blogs, 15/05/12
..the Greens will set about choosing a replacement (leader) in the traditional manner: whoever can eat a four course meal in a vegan restaurant, and survive, wins. Expect the contest to come down to a tight race between an unshaven sociology lecturer and a dolphin called Roger. Roger will win on personality.Tim Stanley, Telegraph Blogs, 14/05/12
The NHS has got to save £20bn over the next four years, and the idea…there are no job losses is frankly absurd.
Peter Carter, Head of the Royal College of Nursing
Every decision, speech, policy statement or impromptu visit to the bathroom is presented as a piece of “history” – the dawn of a new era. (Obama) could go seal-clubbing and much of the media would see it as a new epoch for winter sportsTim Stanley, Telegraph Blogs, 11/05/12
Julian F, Commenter Spectator Coffee House, 10/05/12
If current boundaries remain in place, and assuming that Labour retains its current eight-point lead over the Conservatives, I calculate that Ed Miliband’s Labour will enjoy an overall majority of approximately 100 seats at the next election. That is a very expensive price for saving the Coalition.
Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph, 10/05/12
Call Me Dave set up the inquiry in a knee-jerk attempt to divert attention away from his close relations with News International. Now it has come back to bite him….The problem with all these inquiries is that once they’re airborne no one can ever be sure where they’re coming down…Cameron has put the Press on trial and himself in peril for the sake of something in which the public has zero interest. If ever there was a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’, Dave, this is it.
Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail, 08/05/12
…like many Spectator readers, I was disappointed by The Iron Lady chiefly on account of the lack of nudity
Rory Sutherland, The Spectator, 14/04/12
If they had any self-respect and integrity, supporters of the euro – who thought the discipline of a single currency could coexist with social-democracy and ultra-regulated labour markets – should apologise to the people whose lives they have blighted.
Allister Heath, City AM, 01/05/12
The windiest militant trash is blowing across the continent once moreMichael Weiss, Telegraph Blogs, 07/05/12
Mr Hollande says that he will replace austerity with growth. Why didn’t anybody think of that before? Unfortunately, a vacuous slogan is underpinned by ineffectual proposals. Mr Hollande’s programme stresses small, badly-targeted boosts to public spending, while virtually ignoring the structural reforms that are the only route to sustainable growth.
Gideon Rachman, FT, 30/04/12
Lords reform hasn’t really sunk into the public consciousness. They have heard the words but don’t know or understand what they mean and what’s more, they don’t care. It has absolutely zero relevance to the daily life of anyone, other than the Liberal Democrat party..
Nadine Dorries, 06/05/12
As Ronald Reagan once said, there are no easy solutions. But there are simple solutions. Sadly, for the economic prospects of Britain, the government seems unwilling or unable to grasp them.
Mark Littlewood, Daily Mail, 27/04/12
‘no government, not even a Conservative one, can abolish the economic cycle’
A good night for Labour? Are you kidding me? Labour got roughly 39 per cent of the vote on an estimated turnout of 32 per cent. This means around 12 per cent of the eligible electorate voted Labour. To put it another way, 88 per cent of us – the heaving mass of society – did not vote Labour. If that’s a good night for Labour, I’d hate to see a bad one.
Brendan O’Neill, Telegraph Blogs, 04/05/12
There has been a plethora of comment in the past few days about this being the slowest recovery ever and about the fragility of the progress made. But given the scale of the excesses to be corrected it was bound to be slow. In different ways the different parts of the world have made progress in correcting the mistakes. And, for those of us with long memories, this does not feel nearly as fragile as the 1970s.
Hamish McRae, The Independent, 29/04/12
Who could miss the irony of a Labour politician calling an extraordinarily successful businessman “unfit” to run his own business though? What a muppet.
“Uncle Tits”, Commenter, Telegraph Blogs, 02/05/12
In politics, stupidity is not a handicapNapoleon Bonaparte
The world is losing manufacturing jobs. Yes, even China is losing manufacturing jobs. Given that we don’t trade with Mars, this means that it’s not trade or offshoring causing the losses. It’s purely that rising productivity. We can make more things with less labour now. Excellent – as I said, this frees up labour to go and do something else.
Tim Worstall, Daily Telegraph, 19/04/12
Nick Wood, Daily Mail, 20/04/12
My soggy experience is so typical of the institutionalised schizophrenia that has gripped Britain in recent weeks; all around us is heavy rain while the authorities shriek about chronic water shortages. Only in a country as badly governed as ours would we have to endure the wettest drought in history.
Leo McKinstry, Daily Express, 30/04/12
In the North East and Wales, state spending equates to more than 60 per cent of economic output – literally on a par with the old Soviet states. If Scotland were independent, its state spending would be the third highest in the world.Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph, 27/04/12
Simon Heffer, Daily Mail, 21/04/12
“If you think about it, Alex Salmond is a democratic Caledonian Hitler, although some would say Hitler was more democratically elected.”
David Starkey, April, 2012 (probably a little unfair… though only a little)
An unstoppable momentum was certainly created. ..The much better alternative, an immediate minority administration and second election in the autumn once Cameron had laid out a finance bill etc and Labour was in a mess, doesn’t seem to have been given more than a few minutes’ consideration.
Iain Martin, Daily Telegraph, 20/04/12
Breivik is not an implacable foe of multiculturalism; he is a product of it. He is multiculturalism’s monster, where his true aim is to win recognition of his identity alongside all those other identities that are fawned over in modern Europe. In essence, his barbarous act last year was not about dismantling multiculturalism but about expanding it, to make sure it afforded respect to his own petty cultural feelings as well as everyone else’s.
Brendan O’Neill, Telegraph Blogs, 18/04/12
re: inflation and ‘quantitative easing’…not having an economics degree, I’m enough of a simpleton to think that massively increasing the supply of something will, other things being equal, diminish its value.
Daniel Hannan, Telegraph Blogs, 18/04/12
there is also a new form of social exclusion opening up: in a world in which social networking, Googling and online shopping are apparently as natural as getting up in the morning, barely half the population of Glasgow has access to broadband, and a major cause is that a significant number do not even own a computer. Despite the claims over schools, childcare and free Wi-Fi that are being made in the current campaign, it is difficult to see how local councillors, of any party, currently have the power to tackle these wider inequalities.
Ewan Crawford, The Guardian, 16/04/12
Our national security represents the aggregated right of 60 million people to live in safety. But that means almost nothing to the ECHR.
Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph, 16/04/12
But both Mr Straw and Mr Blair have both made it publicly very plain that they have no knowledge of British complicity in torture. Their denials leave only two possibilities, both deeply shocking. The first is that the Secret Intelligence Service has gone rogue and has been operating a private policy of passing on terrorist suspects to be tortured at the hands of a foreign government, without the knowledge or approval of ministers. The second is that the Blair government was carrying out a secret policy of collaboration with torture, and that Mr Straw was misleading ParliamentPeter Oborne, Daily Telegraph, 12/04/12
Nick (a commenter), Spectator Coffee House, 07/04/12
There has been the continual murmur, though, from the people who rule us, that we do not drink alcohol properly, like the French. We do not, on the whole, sit in agreeable bistros and enjoy a nicely chilled bottle of white with our sea bass, while debating how best to surrender.Rod Liddle, The Spectator, 31/03/12
I detest Gordon Brown with every ounce of my being, but at least he had a vision; he wanted us to be North Korea. Even that dreadful old fraud George Galloway has a vision; he wants us to be like Tehran.
Where is Cameron’s vision? What does he believe in?
Kelvin MacKenzie, Daily Mail, 31/03/12
This week it’s been revealed that donors of £250,000 get dinner with David Cameron at his private flat in Downing Street. It’s £5k to have dinner with Nick Clegg, but on the plus side he’ll give you it in cash
Frankie Boyle, The Sun, 30/03/12
Terence Blacker, The Independent, 10/04/12
Personally, I don’t think there’s anywhere near enough surrealism in politics. If David Cameron turned up at PMQs in a dark trenchcoat, carrying a live haddock and muttering “Where’s my unicorn?”, I think our democracy would be all the stronger for it.
Dan Hodges, Telegraph Blogs, 11/04/12
John Kay, FT, 27/03/12
As a nation, we are still today what we have been for years — public spending junkies with a ludicrously exaggerated sense of entitlement, shooting up cash that the country cannot afford if it ever expects again to become a competitive nation.
Max Hastings, Daily Mail, 22/03/12
To the question “why do people take an instant hatred to Ed Balls?”, the answer is that it saves time.
Matthew Norman, The Independent, 21/03/12
NHS Direct, the phoneline for hypochondriacs, and walk-in centres, the NHS equivalent of a 24-hour shop for people who simply can’t wait till the following day to find out why they have a runny nose
Brendan O’Neill, Telegraph Blogs, 23/03/12
From this Budget we calculate that pensioners will lose on average about one quarter of one per cent of their income in 2014.
IFS budget summary, 22/03/12
Frankie Boyle, The Sun, 23/03/12
Daniel Knowles (re the ‘granny tax’), Telegraph Blogs, 22/03/12
..drinking by the average adult has fallen by about 20 per cent in these five years…The solution of minimum alcohol pricing, reviving the preposterous medieval notion of the just price, is a state-sponsored punishment for the offence of being young and poor.
Charles Moore, The Spectator, 17/03/12
The truth is this has nothing to do with rights for gay people, nor with – shudder – “equality”. No. This is about Dave earning street cred in Primrose Hill. Which is amazing, really. The Tory base is disillusioned and drifting to UKIP and what does the Leader of the party do? Suck up to a tiny cabal of metropolitan liberals (who will never, ever vote Tory anyway) by making a priority something no one asked for and no one particularly wants
Milo Yiannopoulos, Blott R, 08/03/12
The Taliban have, of course, had a lot of outside help in devising new ways of blowing up British soldiers. When I was in Helmand a couple of years ago I was shown electronic components that had been used to make a homemade roadside bomb that had been sent to the Taliban by their supporters living in the Midlands – one of the components even had “made in Birmingham” emblazoned on it.
Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph, 08/03/12
Christopher Caldwell, FT, 16/03/12
Iain Martin, Daily Telegraph, 06/03/12
A tourist is asked by the officer in passport control at Athens airport:
‘What is your nationality?’ He replies: ‘German.’
The officer then asks: ‘Occupation?’ The tourist replies: ‘No, only visiting.’
Kelvin Mackenzie, Daily Mail, 03/03/12
Mention Lent, and people immediately think of giving something up. The point about this is you must give up something you really like. It wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice for me, for instance, to give up rock music for forty days and forty nights. Quite the reverse, I could give up some things forever. Hell, they say, goes on forever. My idea of hell would be an everlasting Glastonbury Festival, complete with mud and occasional guest appearances by John Lennon.
Peter Mullen, Sermon Sexagesima Sunday, 2010
Michael White, The Guardian (incredibly), 05/03/12
Brendan O’Neill, Telegraph blogs, 01/03/12
There is much talk of how formidable Mr Salmond is. The truth is, he bought the Scottish election with unaffordable promises and was elected on a tide of tactical votes against Labour, who ran a disastrous campaign attacking Lady Thatcher.
Michael Forsyth, Daily Telegraph, 28/02/12
Deputy PM Cleggy, that brittle, one-man tangle of pomposity, evasion and self-loathing
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail, 28/02/12
Richard Lindzen, Professor of Meteorology, MIT
“I challenge you to distinguish a naked prostitute from any other naked woman.”
Lawyer Henri Leclerc “defending” Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Alex Hilton (to Mili-E). Labour List, 17/02/12
Brendan O’Neill, The Spectator, 03/02/12
George Osborne’s plan is to bring the government finances back into balance in the medium term and reduce government spending to just below 40% of national income. This is very worrying. By the Chancellor’s own admission, the UK government has never been able to tax its citizens more than 40% of national income. The limit of the ambitions of a Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer appears to be to tax the British population at the maximum taxable capacity.
Philip Booth, Institute of Economic Affairs, 15/02/12
Nevertheless, for more than a generation, politicians such as Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson, Nick Clegg and David Miliband have used their sympathy for the aims and aspirations of the European Union as a badge of decency. Now it ties them to a bankruptcy machine that is wiping out jobs, wealth and – potentially – democracy itself.
Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph, 16/02/12
Douglas Murray, The Spectator, 07/02/12
Labour’s initial hostility to NHS reform was a terrible pity, and we are all paying the price. It meant that when Tony Blair opened the taps on spending after the 2001 general election the new money was captured by the vested interests. According to some estimates, barely a quarter went on patient care, with much of the remainder squandered on massive pay increases and the creation of an even more monolithic bureaucracy.
Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph, 11/02/12
Laurance Reed, The Spectator, 28/01/12
Re an 11 year old from Hull seen drinking from a bottle of vodka…. it makes a change to see a woman passing alcohol to her son in the fresh air, rather than the traditional British method of through the placenta
Frankie Boyle, The Sun, 10/02/12
What should we make, in general, of such long-term budget plans? ‘Bullshit,’ he says, with a smile. ‘Look at past five-year plans, how many have worked? It’s like someone getting married eight times, each time thinking “this time it’s for love.”’ So how long should governments draw their budgets? ‘One year at a time,’ he says. ‘The error margin for five years is monstrous.’
Fraser Nelson interviewing Nassim Taleb, Spectator, 11/02/12
Macaulay got it about right: “We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodic fits of morality.”
The great historian was mocking Victorian society’s treatment of those who had strayed sexually, but he could have been describing the kind of lynch-mob fury that has now enveloped the nation’s bankers
Martin Dickson, FT, 03/02/12
Tony Blair was, in my book, the worst prime minister of modern times.
During a long period of economic growth, he failed to achieve more than a fraction of the domestic reforms he had promised, and he developed a fondness for fighting wars, of which the intervention in Iraq was the least excusable and the most damaging.
Stephen Glover, Daily Mail, 09/02/12
(re Bonio) Over the next few weeks, as the Left works itself up into a frenzy of righteous indignation over bankers’ bonuses, it’s worth remembering that one of the biggest tax avoiders in the world is a liberal rock ’n roll star who browbeats Western governments for not giving more money to Third World countries and campaigns to Make Poverty History.
Toby Young, Telegraph Blogs, 02/02/12
God may be dead, but Alain de Botton’s Religion for Atheists is a sign that the tradition from Voltaire to Arnold lives on. The book assumes that religious beliefs are a lot of nonsense, but that they remain indispensible to civilised existence. One wonders how this impeccably liberal author would react to being told that free speech and civil rights were all bunkum, but that they had their social uses and so shouldn’t be knocked. Perhaps he might have the faintest sense of being patronised
Terry Eagleton, The Guardian, 12/01/12
For whatever eurozone leaders may say today, fiscal pacts are much harder to enforce between countries than within them. Here, London and the South-east subsidise northern England, and England subsidises Scotland. But we’ve been part of a common nation for 300 years and there are still Scots who don’t want to be told what to do by an English Prime Minister, and English taxpayers who begrudge stumping up for them.
Mary Ann Sieghart, The Independent, 30/01/12
The total amount of gold that has ever been mined in the world is estimated at around 142,000 tonnes. At $2,000 an ounce, all the gold that Egyptian, Soviet and South African slaves, American forty-niners, Inca and Aztec Indians or our contemporary miners have ever extracted out of the ground would today be worth about $9 trillion. This is approximately the value of the inflated paper money currently circulating in the USA alone, never mind the rest of the world.
Alexander Boot, Daily Mail, 26/01/12
THE belief we have any financial obligation to foreign arrivals is a form of self-loathing dressed as compassion.
Leo McKinstry, Daily Express 23/01/12
…this may well be the moment when Mr Salmond’s bluff finally began to be called…Such is the mystique of this preposterous populist that until now other politicians have dared do no more than tiptoe around him. For he is regularly portrayed as Machiavelli, Cicero and Robert the Bruce rolled into one orotund orator.
Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail, 16/01/12
Nick Clegg’s problem is different. He is keen to save his party, and will have noticed that support for the Lib Dems, in polling, has now fallen below the number of people who say that they believe that the lightsabres from Star Wars are real.
Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph, 19/01/12
Clegg wanted to enter a coalition with the Tories, not just because he shares Conservative instincts, but because he is a snivelling, venal, ruthless social climber, desperate to make the final step from middle to upper-class.
Paul Richards, Daily Mirror
Many religious believers have periodic doubts that a God really exists. We find it surprising that atheists like Prof Dawkins can be so completely certain that there is no God simply because God does not conform to the limits of their human understanding. A little intellectual humility might be in order. Science’s certainties are proved wrong routinely, yet atheists appear to cling to them through an often misplaced faith in their infallibility. Isn’t this vaguely unscientific?
Gregory Shenkman, FT 08/10/11
IQ tests are a spurious, specious, snake-oil vindication of self-worth
Bill Bailey, FT 22/10/11
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C. S. Lewis
According to Virgil, Libyans are ‘a people rude in peace and rough in war’. The old boy wrote this a couple of thousand years ago, so we have to cut him some slack. And he was obviously not speaking about the present rabble. As far as I’m concerned, most Libyans are human biohazards. The media have played up their fighting abilities, but it’s all show and boast. Afghanis they are not. The Libyans were the only trophy the great Italian army ever won down south, the Abyssinians having held them to a tie.
Taki, The Spectator 5/11/11
So here is Mr Seven Per Cent – a man who rages against demagogues yet deployed prejudice rather than rational analysis over the euro, who opposes populism despite making serial misjudgments that should debar him from elite status and who deplores chauvinism while displaying a militant bias in favour of Brussels and against his own country’s right to self-determination.
There must be something to commend him but I’ll be darned if I can think what it is.
(referring to Nick Clegg)
Patrick O’Flynn, Daily Express 17/11/11
“Until the public accepts that the urge to power is a personality disorder in its own right, like the urge to sexual congress with children or the taste for rubber underwear, there will always be the danger of circumstances arising which persuade people to start listening to politicians and taking them seriously”
“No good deed goes unpunished by the envious. The French find it easier to forgive the Germans for conquering them, than the Americans for saving them, twice.”
Liberals, it has been said, are generous with other peoples’ money, except when it comes to questions of national survival when they prefer to be generous with other people’s freedom and security.
William F Buckley Jr
What, indeed, is agnosticism but, to use an expressive Lancashire term, “shamefaced” materialism?…the agnostic’s conception of Nature is materialistic throughout…as far as he is a scientific man, as far as he knows anything, he is a materialist; outside his science, in spheres about which he knows nothing, he translates his ignorance into Greek and calls it agnosticism.
Question: what is the capital of France?
Kelvin Mackenzie, Daily Mail, 17/12/11
(though almost certainly not original)
And what about those bullies blustering about the euro and having summit after summit in order to save it? I have it on absolutely impeccable authority that most of these summits consist of EU biggies having non-stop sex with animals, mostly goats and donkeys, depending on the location of the summit. Some of the pictures I have seen are hilarious, although the RSPCA would not be best pleased.
Taki, Spectator 10/12/11
Although it now seems absurd, there was a time when Nicolas Sarkozy appeared to be a promising politician, not just a French version of Rumpelstiltskin.
Bruce Anderson, Daily Telegraph, 28/12/11
In the present confusing times, we have reached an Orwellian point when waterboarding three confessed mass-murdering terrorists was between 2003-2008 deemed a war crime, while blowing apart over 2,000 suspected terrorists by drone assassination since 2009 is apparently not.
Victor Davis Hanson, VDH Private Papers, 19/11/11
The reason that the eurozone faces such hard times is that its leaders have decided to keep the single currency together at any cost. The coming recession is not some inexorable force of nature; it is a consequence of the policies being pursued by Merkozy, Monti, Barroso and the rest.
Dan Hannan, Telegraph Blog, 03/01/12
It is now widely accepted that the years of New Labour government were an almost unalloyed national disaster. Whichever measure you take – moral, social, economic, or the respect in which Britain is held in the world – we went into reverse.
Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph 05/01/12
One of the many difficulties for Labour is that it is the Official Opposition, but effectively only the third party. The sooner it realises this the better. Labour just does not matter all that much. Having its ideas filched is the best it can hope for, at least for the time being. Humility is the best lesson Ed Miliband can learn: not the humility of the humiliated, but the humility of the humble.
Martin Bright, Spectator, 14/01/12
Mr Salmond can have as many referendums as he likes, ask Scottish voters whatever questions he thinks fit, and orchestrate everything to exploit the heightened sense of nationalism he hopes will result from celebrations of great anniversaries in his country’s calendar, such as Bannockburn in 1314 — or the Bay City Rollers’ first Number One in 1975.
But he must pay for all this and its consequences out of the Scots’ own pockets, and not send the bill to London.
Simon Heffer, Daily Mail, 14/01/12
Damien Hirst today is starting to look like a figure from that most distant of periods, the recent past. He came to popularity with New Labour in the 1990s and shared so many of its characteristics. Both took advantage of a curious epoch in our national life when appearance and reality merged, and notions of truth and beauty were debased to such an extent that a spot painting could seriously be considered as high art.
Peter Oborne, Telegraph blogs, 18/01/12
The compelling evidence for the creation of the universe ab initio at the moment of the Big Bang required there to be suddenly a lot more of both — as that speck of matter increased in size a million million million fold and within a million millionth of a second. So how did that come about, one might reasonably wonder, when, within the prevailing scientific paradigm, as Sheldrake points out, it is tantamount to ‘Give us a free miracle and we will explain the rest’.
James Le Fanu, Spectator book reviews, 14/01/12
“The English media is perpetuating this myth of Salmond as this great political Titan,” said one shadow cabinet member, “in fact he’s just a quite talented, quite able bully. And this is our opportunity to stand up to him. The only reason he did so well last time out was Labour failed to turn up.”
Dan Hodges, Telegraph blogs, 12/01/12
Paddy Ashdown, fresh from his humiliation in the voting reform referendum, a man far too high-minded to lower himself to the level of ordinary people who resent the spectacle of shirkers and layabouts milking the system, was all over the BBC on Sunday vowing to oppose the Coalition unless it made concessions.
The fact that his party leader Nick Clegg publicly backs the reforms did not stop Paddy indulging in his favourite sport of parading his conscience for all to see.
Nick Wood, Daily Mail, 23/01/12