BY STEWART SLATER “To lose one by-election is a misfortune, to lose two looks like carelessness.” Although widely predicted, there are signs that Conservative MPs, facing the loss of the highest-paid job most of them are “qualified” for, are rolling out their headless chicken impression or, in another avian metaphor, starting to think that by failing to dislodge the Prime Minister in the recent confidence … Continue reading Don’t Panic!
BY STEWART SLATER “Any man who is not a socialist at age 20 has no heart. Any man who is still a socialist at age 40 has no head.” One of those zombie phrases whose origins are obscure, and so it gets ascribed to Churchill. Your correspondent, a cradle Thatcherite, always felt that such a characterisation was unfair for, while he has enough self-awareness to … Continue reading The Nasty Party?
BY STEWART SLATER “Appalling” the newspapers screamed, reporting the Prince of Wales’ opinion on the government’s plan to deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda, a story deemed important enough to make the front pages and lead the news bulletins. With Clarence House failing to deny the leak, what followed was one of those inversions which the Culture War occasionally throws up – the less than … Continue reading Disgusted of Clarence House
BY STEWART SLATER In his youth, we are told, Boris Johnson formed a desire to be the “world king”, an ambition which, to be blunt, currently looks a bit of a stretch. Not only does his current popularity suggest that achieving such office is unlikely at the ballot box, but the position is already taken. For if the events of the weekend show anything, they … Continue reading The Platform Monarchy’s Platinum Jubilee
BY STEWART SLATER “There was never an individual less regretted by his fellow creatures than this deceased King. What eye has wept for him? What heart has heaved one throb of unmercenary sorrow?” It is fair to say that the Times was not a fan of George IV, and it is reasonable to assume that, when the day comes, coverage of Her Majesty’s death will … Continue reading Love, Respect or Fear?
BY STEWART SLATER Why is it so hard to get a cab in the rain? Increasing demand surely – despite there being no recorded example of any human less than 100% waterproof, most of us prefer not to get wet. But if you are a classical economist, supply should increase to match demand. The more people want a cab, the more of them should appear … Continue reading Cabbies, Cyclists and the Cost of Living
BY STEWART SLATER Find someone who loves you as much as The Economist loves Emmanuel Macron. The house journal of the technocracy told readers of its daily email to “Sigh with relief” for the recently re-elected Emmanuel Macron had been an “unusually good leader for France.” Well, up to a point Lord Copper. And, it turns out, that point is 41.5%, the proportion of voters … Continue reading Are the French Toast?
BY STEWART SLATER Some time ago, back at the dawn of that Golden Age which will be known to historians as the Biden Administration, your humble correspondent penned an article outlining the societal challenges facing America which had led some to predict a range of outcomes from mass civil unrest to full-scale Civil War. But something nagged at the back of his mind. For all … Continue reading Neither Greece Nor Rome
BY STEWART SLATER It is a truth universally acknowledged that the Ukrainian War is a NATO provocation designed to provide the justification for an invasion of Russia, a hold-out against the plan of Bill Gates and the World Economic Forum to deploy 5G nanobots in Western Covid vaccines, eliminating a large proportion of the world’s population and bringing about the “Great Reset”. OK, perhaps “universally … Continue reading Mad Vlad & the 5G Nanobots
BY STEWART SLATER “Distasteful”. “Shameless”. “I will take no lessons from the Prime Minister.” Just a selection of the terms used by Rachel Reeves as she fired up the outrage bus and set off for the moral high ground to signal her disapproval of the Prime Minister’s rhetorical connection between Brexit and the war in Ukraine the previous day. Ms. Reeves is not alone in … Continue reading Being Good
BY STEWART SLATER What is the iconic image of WWII? It probably depends where you come from. If you are British, it is likely St Paul’s, standing proud, wreathed in smoke and flame. If you are Russian, it is probably a Soviet soldier flying the hammer and sickle from the top of the Reichstag. For an American, it is surely the Marines raising the flag … Continue reading The Image of War
BY STEWART SLATER In one of those ironies of which history seems so fond, Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man celebrates its thirtieth anniversary just as war in Europe adds to the list of events which seem to invalidate its thesis. Like The Great Gatsby and the roaring twenties, or The Bonfire of the Vanities and the go-go eighties, Fukuyama’s work, … Continue reading Can the Last Man Restart History?
BY STEWART SLATER The U.S. Air Force has produced many fine pilots, but only one has regular conferences dedicated to analysing and publicising his thought: John Boyd. Although his combat experience was limited and he never scored a victory, his skills were such that he became known as “40-second Boyd” when an instructor at the Fighter Weapons School based on his standing bet that, starting … Continue reading The Fighter Pilot and the Politicians
BY STEWART SLATER It is time, Bruce Anderson tells readers of The Spectator, for Boris to go. We need a government, not an “ill-run children’s playground”. The time for “frivolity” has passed. No, counters Rory Stewart in the FT. It is not enough for Boris to go, the whole political system must be re-worked so that a Boris can never rise again. We need more … Continue reading Spare Us from Serious Politicians
BY STEWART SLATER Returning to Babylon from India, Alexander the Great marched his army through the Gedrosian Desert. Taking longer than expected, food began to run short, and water ran out. When it appeared that the glorious story of conquest would come to a tragic end under the baking Persian sun, some scouts returned to the army announcing the discovery of an oasis. As proof, … Continue reading Why We Should Encourage Downing Street Partying
BY STEWART SLATER While perhaps not quite as certain as death and taxes, that Britain will get exercised about MPs’ remuneration is still an extremely good bet. The periodic pay increases Parliament votes itself (on, to be fair, the advice of an independent body) are guaranteed to raise an eyebrow and spark a round of muttering in homes across the land. As we are treated to … Continue reading Why We Should Halve MPs’ Salaries
BY STEWART SLATER In 1700, a devastating earthquake struck the Pacific Northwest’s Cascadia fault, unleashing a tsunami which crossed the ocean and wiped out swathes of Eastern Japan. And nobody in the West knew about it for over two centuries. As Europeans expanded across North America, they picked up hints in native folklore about a tremendous natural disaster, as did later historians when they examined … Continue reading The Revenge of the Network
BY STEWART SLATER How do you solve a problem like Sir Keir? With an approval rating of –48% in the latest Yougov poll, something needs to be done, but what? Perhaps he needs more policies – there is a plethora of think tanks which can supply those. Perhaps he needs to appear a bit less stiff – there are plenty of left-leaning comedians happy to … Continue reading Labour’s Poshness Paradox
BY STEWART SLATER Much of the shock over the recent events at the Capitol in Washington is due to the fact that they seemed so out of character. Some countries might act that way, but not the U.S. This is not what America is. But what if our image of the country is out of date? This is what America is like now, we just … Continue reading A Republic If You Can Keep It