Christianity & Open Borders

BY SAM HOOPER Here in the USA Rod Dreher has an angry, searching piece in response to the news that the Catholic Bishop of El Paso, Mark Seitz, has apparently been joyfully intimidating American Customs & Border Protection Agency guards into allowing already-rejected or returned migrants from Central America back from Mexico into the United States, in open violation of the law. Dreher: I admire religious leaders … Continue reading Christianity & Open Borders

The Rotten Age of Kaepernick

BY SAM HOOPER A tale of two product launches, set against the most fawningly corporate Pride Month in American history. Imagine that you are Jerry Falwell, Jr. or some other notable socially conservative reactionary type, and you see the above image in which the makers of Oreo cookies announce that they are celebrating Pride Month by producing commemorative packs encouraging customers to “share [their] pronouns … Continue reading The Rotten Age of Kaepernick

Faith, Doubt and Brexit

BY SAM HOOPER In the course of arguing on Twitter recently, I received back the following piece of friendly psychological analysis from a longtime follower and antagonist. The text reads: “You are almost always wrong, as if you’re from another planet. I’m starting to feel pity, not sure if for you or for the people who have to suffer the consequences of what you keep saying … Continue reading Faith, Doubt and Brexit

Anti Feminist Feminists?

BY SAM HOOPER Some women fail to vote for progressive candidates because they happen to be conservatives. Accusing them of acting against their own self-interest — or at the behest of the “white supremacist patriarchy” — is offensive, condescending and presupposes that women should vote based on a more limited palette of issues than men. The US midterms brought some results which were fairly encouraging … Continue reading Anti Feminist Feminists?

Free Speech’s Fair Weather Friends

BY SAM HOOPER A society which looks to the state to deliver retribution for non-harmful offensive speech is a society which no longer values a core tenet of liberal democracy. The battle for free speech is won or lost at the margins, which means that those who call themselves advocates of free speech without being able to point to a history of defending deeply offensive … Continue reading Free Speech’s Fair Weather Friends

The Smartest Guys in the Room

BY SAM HOOPER John Harris has long been about the only writer at the Guardian worth reading, and last week he had some wise words of advice for the organisers and stars of last week’s march in support of the “People’s Vote” on overturning Brexit and remaining in the European Union. For those who have been living under a rock and therefore missed the incessant publicity … Continue reading The Smartest Guys in the Room

Best Not Ask Bono

BY SAM HOOPER Every now and then you read an article so astonishingly un-self aware, so counterproductive, so open to attack and ridicule on multiple fronts that it is difficult to know where to begin. The latest writer to evoke this strong reaction is Fareed Zakaria, CNN’s in-house intellectual and self-touted expert on international issues and foreign affairs. The headline of Zakaria’s latest asinine column … Continue reading Best Not Ask Bono

The Perfect Storm

BY SAM HOOPER The past few years have seen an inexplicable surge in the release of implausible, cheaply-produced disaster movies, aided by the falling costs of CGI, with plots based on supersized or hybrid creatures doing battle with the unfortunate humans who encounter them. One of the first such movies, Sharknado, premiered in 2013 and is now up to the sixth film in the franchise (The … Continue reading The Perfect Storm

We’re Losing this War

BY SAM HOOPER The good aspects of this populist insurgency in America and Britain need saving from horrified (and increasingly organised) antidemocratic elites – but also from cynical and incompetent populist leaders who are squandering our last best hope of democratic renewal. For all the furious words being written and opinions expressed of late, nothing much seems to be changing. Despite a political discourse which … Continue reading We’re Losing this War

The Immigration Conflation

BY SAM HOOPER One of the traits of some accomplished liars is the fact that they are able to make themselves believe their own deceptions. This ability to convince oneself of one’s own lies is what makes many pathological liars so effective, but even many people who are not pathological liars can come to “misremember” certain events after decades of repeating a particular narrative – … Continue reading The Immigration Conflation

The People Versus Democracy

BY SAM HOOPER “The People vs Democracy” goes further than many other books which claim to “explain” Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, showing that it takes both sides – outraged establishment centrists as well as populist insurgents – to successfully undermine liberal democracy. Political renewal depends on the former group finally accepting responsibility for some of the failings which brought us to this … Continue reading The People Versus Democracy

Brexit Derangement Syndrome

BY SAM HOOPER Warning of economic Armageddon didn’t work, and nor did peddling ludicrous conspiracy theories about government perfidy. So now, prominent Remainer opinion-setters are resorting to tear-stained pleas that Brexit is so personally stressful as to be injurious to their mental health. One of the more annoying aspects of modern political journalism is the way that those who cover events increasingly seek to insert … Continue reading Brexit Derangement Syndrome

Who Is Truly Marginalised?

BY SAM HOOPER The marginalisation of people and the marginalisation of supposedly harmful ideas are very different phenomena, and the continued existence of the former neither requires nor excuses the latter. Rod Dreher had a great reflection about who and what viewpoints in our present society are truly marginalised. Unsurprisingly, he is of the opinion that the side which bleats the loudest about its vulnerability and … Continue reading Who Is Truly Marginalised?

Remoan Tribe’s Scapegoat Mania

BY SAM HOOPER Many so-called liberals are great at diagnosing destructive political tribalism when it manifests in other people, but are often blind to the same pathologies within their own ranks. I wrote a long piece earlier this month about deepening political tribalism as it relates to Brexit. After the piece was serialised in Country Squire Magazine, much of the pushback I received from the usual suspects within the … Continue reading Remoan Tribe’s Scapegoat Mania

Brexit & The Corridors of Power

BY SAM HOOPER Perhaps the most galling spectacle in the run-up to the EU referendum was the sight of numerous Conservative MPs and government ministers who had built their careers on a foundation of avowed euroscepticism (and often only won selection as a candidate after professing dislike of the Brussels to their local constituency associations) meekly fall in line with prime minister David Cameron’s campaign … Continue reading Brexit & The Corridors of Power

Conservative Platform Required

BY SAM HOOPER It’s great that Universities Minister Sam Gyimah is embarking on a tour of university campuses to spread and defend the Conservative message in traditionally hostile territory. Now we just need the government to come up with a conservative platform that’s actually worth defending. Sam Gyimah appears to be on manoeuvres. Writing in the Times, the Minister for Higher Education announces his intention to take … Continue reading Conservative Platform Required