BY JOHN NASH Civilisation, as I wrote earlier in the Folly of Animal Rights, is the cave and behaviour with which we humans nurture our kind and reproduce, safe from the deadly competition of nature outside. It has carried us successfully through the hundreds of thousands of years since we were small ape-like creatures in a green and unpleasant world full of large carnivores with huge … Continue reading Civilisation Can Go Too Far
BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN The cradle used in cricket to train us to catch in the slips was somewhat useful. When, at speed, a cricket ball was fired into it, you had to be on your toes in case you needed to adjust your body position to meet unusual catching angles. You had to be alert for those ‘uncatchable’ balls which sometimes curved high or low, … Continue reading The Cradle
BY JOHN NASH A cat tortures a mouse for half an hour until death stills a tiny heart, then it walks away unconcerned, leaving the sorry little corpse. A sparrow hawk, spectacular, fierce-eyed gunship of the bird world, swoops upon a tiny bird and plucks it alive while it struggles, skewered in agony upon the hawk’s scimitar talons. These are daily events, but neither cruel nor … Continue reading The Folly of Animal Rights
BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN There’s a homeless fellow some of the locals and I have been helping out during this year of lockdowns. He’s in his forties and inhabits a tent in some woodland not far from our village. The owner of the woods was happy for him to stay there as long as he didn’t set off any fires. The local homeless charities worked alongside … Continue reading Stig
BY PAUL NEWALL Recently I got called a fascist on social media. I had to chuckle despite the insult. As a former Trotskyite I must have gone full circle! Then someone mentioned on the thread that the name caller didn’t know what the term meant. When I thought about this, I visited some home truths. The word fascist is the second most overused in the … Continue reading Trot! Fascist!
BY EFFIE DEANS How does civilisation begin? It begins with agriculture. Prior to the development of agriculture all we have is hunter gatherers in small bands living from moment to moment intent only on the bare necessities of life such as obtaining food and shelter. What enabled the transition to agriculture? It was the division of labour. In order for people to settle down and … Continue reading Casting Hume into the Flames
BY ARTHUR KAUFMAN This article grew out of my being tired of listening to “he … uh … and … uh … she” or “men … uh … and … uh … women” and all the variations emphasising the neutrality of gender. As a Radio 4 junkie, not a day goes by without hearing a few utterances from a range of voices, especially politicians, who, … Continue reading Towards Truly Non-Sexist Language
BY BEN PENSANT Lord Corbyn may have been perfect in every way but ultimately he was just too nice. And there’s no better example of this too-niceness than his attempts to appeal to normal people instead of targeting lunatics. It pains me to say it, but as thrilling as it was abusing people on the internet for four years, I now realise that instead of … Continue reading Where We Leftists Went Wrong
BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN Travelling long journeys – whether first class, second or business – you do need a bit of luck. It’s not every time that you get to sit next to someone with the beauty of Grace Kelly or the wit of Oscar Wilde. I recall travelling from London to Singapore and being seated next to a Frenchman who had just got off a … Continue reading Less Gladly
BY EFFIE DEANS My mother was born in 1933. She grew up in a Britain without racism. The police did not beat up black people. There was no discrimination against black people. We didn’t have any laws regarding racial discrimination. Sporting events were completely free from any ugly racist chants and no one thought about black lives mattering or not mattering. The only black people … Continue reading Chasing Ghosts
BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN One of the great pleasures during the Great Lockdown of 2020 has been cycling to collect eggs. Such is the nature of lockdown that certain acts that were previously deemed something of a bind are now considered adventures to be relished. The hunter-gatherer attribute has been heightened by this era of pandemic and has brought a certain pride and dignity, especially to … Continue reading Sunnyside
BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN Typhoid Mary was an Irish lady called Mary Mallon who emigrated to the United States in the 1880’s. Mary showed no symptoms of typhoid fever, however she carried the disease in her blood, and she was infectious. Since Mary thought all doctors were insufferable quacks and she didn’t feel at all unwell, she insisted on carrying on with her beloved vocation – … Continue reading Quarantine Marxists?
BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE Though it’s not customary to receive the bin man with celebration, in the early hours of Sunday 16th February it was not a customary position that I would find myself in. For amongst the empty packets of quail eggs, gooseberry yogurt pots and other banalities of general waste, lay the ashes of my dead neighbour. She’d been in there for at least … Continue reading Dear Ruth, RIP
BY NIGEL BEAN Have you heard of Michael Wittman? He was a much-vaunted German Tiger Tank ace of the Second World War. He was credited with ambushing and destroying 14 Cromwell tanks and 15 personnel carriers. Have you heard of the Tiger Tank grave yard at Hunts Gap or the mess left at Steam Roller farm in Tunisia where a pair of Churchills destroyed two … Continue reading Front Line Wisdom
BY BEN IRVINE “Riverside indigenous peoples don’t conceive of their river as something which flows, but simply as a place. Flow is a concept exclusive to our capitalist preoccupation with systems, transportation and exchange”. I heard this statement uttered by a participant in a recent seminar, in which the main speaker had likewise regaled us with postmodern musings about life beside the water in South … Continue reading Defending Capitalism Against Ourselves