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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
BY SAM HOOPER It is a far, far better thing that she does…. What drama last week as vaguely-known personality Sandi Toksvig revealed – at a meeting of the Women’s Equality Party – that she is not being paid the same as her predecessor, the much more widely known Stephen Fry, to host a television quiz show. From ITV News: QI host Sandi Toksvig has revealed … Continue reading Gender Martyrs
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
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
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
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
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?
BY SAM HOOPER Britain will always be home to me. I will never renounce my citizenship, even though I will now proudly take American citizenship and become a joint citizen of the other country to which I feel love and loyalty when I become eligible to do so. But speaking strictly from the perspective of someone who thinks about policy and writes about politics more … Continue reading Sam’s Lament