Dead-End Streeting

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE & DOMINIC WIGHTMAN Just a month ago, as Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership of the Labour Party was thrown in the air by Beergate, commentators began to laud the Labour MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Wes Streeting. Here was a man who: “Should be the next Labour leader” New Statesman. “Is the saviour Labour desperately needs?” Financial … Continue reading Dead-End Streeting

Has Woke Won?

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE Titling her book on the assumption that it has, Joanna Williams delivers a powerful critique against this cultural cancer which has now metastasised itself into every aspect of our lives. It may seem absurd to afford a tabloid buzzword like Woke with any degree of intellectual seriousness, but Williams’ arguments – peppered with persuasive evidence and delivered in a scholarly and detached … Continue reading Has Woke Won?

No Smoke Without Ire

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE In my town of Buxton, all the litter bins are engraved with this not very polite message: ‘STUB IT. BIN IT.’ There are not, I notice, signs warning pub goers about the nuisance they might cause. There are no public messages menacing fast-food addicts about what they might do with their litter. No, it’s only smokers who the British regard with this kind … Continue reading No Smoke Without Ire

Overcoddling Safetyism

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE To lockdown-weary ears, the word ‘safety’ now takes on a rather dark, draconian ring. Such ears, upon hearing Nadine Dorries’ hopes for the UK to become ‘the safest place in the world to go online’, are attuned to decipher that to mean the least free. Safety was, after all, the pretext for which our freedoms were so casually thrown away. According to … Continue reading Overcoddling Safetyism

Informed By Policy

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE One journalist has revealed what many have long suspected: that the advice given by SAGE is anything but sage. I refer to the scandal which now surrounds the government body’s endless modelling of questionably high death figures – not since Kate Moss’ party days has a modelling scandal involved so many illicit highs. Through a series of well-placed questions, the Spectator’s Fraser … Continue reading Informed By Policy

Proscribing Death

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE The past two years have seen so-called ‘green’ and ‘egalitarian’ politicians attempt to ward off that most green and egalitarian thing: death. The pitiless debt collector for whom our every heart murmur, every latent lump, and every shadow-ridden scan serves as a reminder of our outstanding balance. When it came to Covid, politicians thought they could write this debt off, but in … Continue reading Proscribing Death

How the Government Stole Christmas

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE ‘15m jabs to freedom.’ Daily Mail, 27 Dec 2020 That headline, along with similar slithery talk of ‘a way out’ and a vaccine with a ‘100% effective rate’, left people with the not unreasonable impression there may come a time when they can go about their lives without the say so of a blond-haired blobfish. But the 15 million jabs came and … Continue reading How the Government Stole Christmas

Freedom V Safety

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE Across the Western world, politicians heap disdain upon the democracy which saw them elected. Though voters have become accustomed to being threatened, coerced and shamed by their government, a recent speech from the Scottish Labour Leader somehow managed to be so shocking as to surpass all three of these tragic expectations. Anas Sarwar warned Scotland’s unvaccinated citizens that ‘we know where you … Continue reading Freedom V Safety

Lessons, Solidarity & Lies

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE Three things are certain to follow a terror attack in Britain: Lessons, Solidarity and Lies. ‘Lessons must be learnt’, and its sister platitude ‘now is the time for solidarity’ are uttered in speeches as dead as those they are written to honour. The killer’s motives are lied about because the lies are easier said than the truth: the truth that we have … Continue reading Lessons, Solidarity & Lies

Buxton’s Rambler Plague

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE Regrettably I have come to the conclusion that most ramblers (at least those around here in Buxton and its surrounds) ask for directions simply to make sport of inconveniencing the locals. It is but one method of irritation in an arsenal of many. Others include an obstinate refusal to observe public footpaths, and – encouraged by shows like BBC’s Springwatch which present … Continue reading Buxton’s Rambler Plague

Witches & Warlocks

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE In 2005, a device called the Mosquito was created to combat the supposed scourge of loitering youths, piercing their ears with a sound at a frequency only teenagers could detect. I’ve always thought it showed great promise, only that it was directed at the wrong group of people. I’m not convinced loitering youths were ever much of a problem, at least not … Continue reading Witches & Warlocks

A Vaccine Too Far

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE To whom does a child belong, the parent or the state? The government seems to have quietly dropped the inane maxim which once concluded their every demand, ‘follow the science’ – perhaps because the science stopped following them. According to the JCVI, the potential benefits that the Pfizer vaccine offers 12-year-olds are too minimal to justify exposing them to its risks. Still, … Continue reading A Vaccine Too Far

The Rapid Decline of Slow Joe

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE ‘The world feels like a slightly better, kinder place today’ Gary Lineker tweeted during Biden’s inauguration, addressing him with the sort of asinine adoration that was then the custom. But given the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, Lineker’s tweet has aged about as well as the president’s spare and perma-surprised stare. While Afghans scramble to save their lives from danger, Twitter blue ticks … Continue reading The Rapid Decline of Slow Joe

Folly for Lolly

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE I can’t help but notice these days that some so-called freedom warriors aren’t so free minded themselves. There’s a strain of libertarianism that has strayed into slavish group-think: purity tests, routine denouncements and sensationalised exaggerations. Who are these people fooling, apart from the fools who fund their fledgling Patreon accounts? So ineffably idiotic have some Covid measures been that anyone wishing to … Continue reading Folly for Lolly

Few Search for Truth

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE ‘The virus is bringing out the best of us’, proclaimed an anti-Brexit campaign group. Well, yes, in so much as UV light brings out the best of a befouled mattress. And what sordid stains Covid has illuminated in our society: misanthropy, hypocrisy, adultery and a spike in domestic violence – not since Chantelle won Celebrity Big Brother has credulity been so widely … Continue reading Few Search for Truth

Beautiful Buxton

BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN I am not fond of business meetings on Saturdays. I treasure the weekends – time to spend with the family. Nonetheless, a trip to Buxton did seem appealing. The elegant town that is Buxton has been welcoming visitors to enjoy its natural thermal springs and superb setting three hundred metres above sea level since Roman times. Known then as Aquae Arnemetiae, or … Continue reading Beautiful Buxton