breaking news from the world of ideas

by Katherine Dee
Tuesday, 31
January 2023
Analysis
17:00

Why are there so few female mass shooters?

New data shows that 96% of spree killers are men

Men commit the majority of mass shootings in the United States. We know that. But the extent to which male shooters outnumber female perpetrators is nonetheless surprising. The Violence Project, a nonpartisan research group that tracks American mass shooting data as far back as 1966, finds that men are responsible for 98% of all mass shootings. Statistics released last week by the US Secret Service, which cover the more broadly defined ‘mass attack’, 25% of which don’t include a firearm, puts that number at 96%, which is still staggering. 

There have been 55 mass shootings in the US so far this year. Of those, 38 have resulted in at least one fatality. This month, separate shooting sprees in the Californian cities of Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay killed 12 (including the perpetrator) and seven people, respectively. Both shooters were aged over 65, and therefore a deviation from the enduring cultural image, burnished by Columbine and its copycats, of the disaffected young man who turns to violent retribution. ...  Continue reading

by Tom McTague
Tuesday, 31
January 2023
Reaction
15:19

Stop blaming Brexit for bad growth

Commentators were quick to leap on the IMF's latest report

Almost seven years on from the EU referendum and our tedious, unending national row over Brexit continues unabated, each side just as bad as they were during the campaign itself. Today’s gloomy report from the IMF is just the latest shot of vodka sustaining this now slurring debate, which has somehow never quite found a way to sober up long after everyone else has got up from the table and gone to bed. 

Britain will have the worst economic growth in the developed world this year, according to the IMF, contracting by 0.9% while much of the rest of Europe pulls away. To many, it’s all Brexit’s fault, of course. Is anything not? ...  Continue reading

by Alan Wager
Tuesday, 31
January 2023
Chart
11:40

Nigel Farage could be the big winner from Bregret

A growing disillusion among Leave voters works in his favour

When Nigel Farage decided to rechristen the Brexit Party as Reform UK in January 2021, many people saw this as a rare error from a canny political strategist and campaigner. In one sweep, his nascent party appeared to lose its branding, its raison d’être and — in March 2021 — its leader, when Farage himself stepped down. 

That decision does not look so foolish today. Polling from Focaldata for UnHerd this week, the most detailed since 2019, shows how most of the country now believes it was wrong to leave the EU. Based on the findings, we see that ‘Bregret’ has risen faster among older voters and in many of the poorer areas that voted to leave in 2016. Perhaps more interesting, though, is the large minority, 29%, of Reform UK supporters now saying that Britain was wrong to leave the EU. ...  Continue reading

by James Billot
Tuesday, 31
January 2023
HerdWatch
08:35

Giorgia Meloni’s latest cheerleader: The Economist

The publication's initial fears about the leader never materialised

‘Italy’s populist Right looks menacing,’ read The Economist’s header as she rose to prominence in 2021. According to the publication back then, Giorgia Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia‘s ‘extreme’ party wanted to:

Revive the glories of Benito Mussolini’s Italy. Though committed to parliamentary means, the Brothers’ programme is profoundly nativist. To repel migrants, it favours a naval blockade. To obviate the need for immigrant labour in the future, it offers “the mightiest plan in the history of Italy for support of the family and the birth rate”.
- The Economist

Fast-forward to this week, 100 days into Meloni’s premiership, and The Economist’s fears have not materialised. Instead, it now says that her party’s rise in the polls (from 26% in September to nearly 30% today), suggest that ‘few governments [have] approached the end [of this milestone] in such good shape as Giorgia Meloni’s Right-wing coalition.’

The publication can hardly get enough of her: ...  Continue reading

by UnHerd Staff
Monday, 30
January 2023
Video
17:16

Peter Hitchens: the Covid censors are moving on to Ukraine

The journalist warns that the Government is extending its surveillance

Peter Hitchens was one of this country’s most ardent and vocal critics of the Government’s lockdown policies during the Covid pandemic. On Twitter, his Mail on Sunday column and in various interviews (including UnHerd), he relentlessly questioned No10’s decision to implement lockdowns, which he argued would do little to prevent the spread of the virus.

What he did not expect, however, was to feature in the Government’s very own weekly ‘anti-disinformation report’ from as early as June 2020. According to a new report by Big Brother Watch, the journalist and author was one of several figures to have been surveilled by the Government over his anti-lockdown opinions. ...  Continue reading

by Victoria Smith
Monday, 30
January 2023
Reaction
15:24

Why I don’t trust Sturgeon’s U-turn on trans prisoners

Her decision is about optics, not female safety

Scottish Justice Secretary Keith Brown has announced that there shall be no trans prisoners with convictions for violence against women transferred to the female prison estate, with an urgent review to be conducted into future policy.

Shortly thereafter, Brown offered his profuse apologies to the feminists demonised by Nicola Sturgeon and the female prisoners who had to share space with violent offenders such as Katy Dolatowski. Only kidding. The feminists are still bigots and the female prisoners are still irrelevant.

This decision is not about female safety. After all, the very idea that male people, not just “predators”, pose a threat to women hasn’t even been acknowledged. It is about optics. ...  Continue reading

by Philip Pilkington
Monday, 30
January 2023
Analysis
13:00

How bad will the global housing market crash be?

The metrics are eerily similar to 2008

Since the last global property bubble in 2006-07 and the financial crisis that resulted from it, central banks have held interest rates close to zero. While few have paid attention, this has led to a reflation of many of the same property bubbles that caused the disaster to begin with. A perusal of the excellent global house price index published by The Economist shows that, since 2008, most housing markets around the world are either registering record valuations or are close to previous records.

Inflation-adjusted house prices across the Western world are reaching their previous peaks, but with interest rates climbing that looks set to change. Over the Atlantic, American house prices have been falling as Canada endures its first annual decline in over a decade. In Europe, British house prices have been falling for four months while the former governor of the Swedish central bank is warning that his country faces a “day of reckoning”. ...  Continue reading

by Oliver Bateman
Monday, 30
January 2023
Debate
10:51

Donald Trump kicks off campaign with realist line on Russia

The ex-president’s dovish stance is a challenge to the bipartisan consensus

FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES.” Donald Trump’s post last week on Truth Social was a characteristically forceful piece of rhetoric, suggesting that escalation in Ukraine could precipitate world war. As his campaign to regain the U.S. presidency took him through New Hampshire and South Carolina — two key battlegrounds in the 2024 Republican primary to secure the party’s nomination — Trump positioned himself as peacemaker. He reminded prospective voters that his “personality kept us out of war” and pledged that he could secure a peace deal “in 24 hours” that would end the Russian invasion.  ...  Continue reading

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