breaking news from the world of ideas

by Philip Cunliffe
Monday, 5
December 2022

It’s time to end gas sanctions on Russia

Europe is facing a long and dark winter

Finland is now the first Western country to concede that it will suffer power outages this winter, while Austria is preparing food distribution networks that can function in event of a blackout. Here in the UK, and in the typical mode of the privatised British state, there is a steady drip of reports from the National Grid on how they are preparing for possible power cuts. In this way the population is softened up for the likelihood of blackouts, without any elected leader or minister being forced to take political responsibility or make a formal announcement on behalf of the nation for this disaster.  ...  Continue reading

by Jonathan Rutherford
Saturday, 3
December 2022

Five ways Labour can make Brexit work

Keir Starmer needs to champion his own kind of levelling-up

We are a little over two years away from a general election and Brexit still looms over the country. Keir Starmer has said there will be no return to freedom of movement and no major renegotiation of the deal to leave the European Union. But Labour has yet to set out how it will make Brexit work. For, as Wolfgang Munchau has pointed out, this task requires a new economic model. 

Labour needs a plan for Britain. Here are five areas on which they can focus to make Brexit work and rebuild the country.

1. Raise living standards by rebalancing our national economy 

Critical is the devolution of decision-making, resources and tax-raising powers to give back control to local people. Without the power to force change at the centre, economic devolution will fail to happen. When reform is pushed through, an institutional framework for regional investment needs to be developed.    ...  Continue reading

by Leon Hadar
Friday, 2
December 2022

Will the Democrats turn their back on Israel?

A new Right-wing government led by Benjamin Netanyahu may cause problems

Benjamin Netanyahu’s return to office should come with few surprises to those in Washington. The Prime Minister is a known quantity, and he has maintained close political ties with President Biden since the time had served as a Senator and later as a Vice-President. 

But those who are joining Netanyahu in cabinet aren’t as well-known. In addition to his own centre-Right Likud Party, Netanyahu’s coalition would consist of representatives of ultra-Orthodox (“Hardi”) religious parties who are expected to demand more government assistance to their religious schools. They also want to impose religious rules on Israel’s secular majority, like segregating men and women in public events and not permitting gay pride parades in Jerusalem. ...  Continue reading

by Louise Perry
Friday, 2
December 2022
Campus Wars

Oxford students are going back to the dark ages

History graduate Ellie Hargreaves is the latest to be burnt at the stake

The Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) is set to scrap its women’s officer role, and the current occupier of that role — recent history graduate Ellie Greaves — has voiced some extremely mild objections to the idea, for which she is now being dragged over the coals by her fellow students. 

The proposal is that Greaves’ role be subsumed into a new position, titled ‘liberation and equality officer’, and she wondered if maybe there was a teensy bit of a chance that this might have some small effects on, you know, women? 

Her objections were very reasonable and carefully expressed. Greaves even used the phrase “people with uteruses” to describe sufferers of endometriosis (a group she feels are currently neglected in university policy), and has elsewhere written of organising a “women and non-binary only club night” — something else she was criticised for, as it happens, by students offended that an event “marketed toward straight women” was being held in “a queer venue.” Poor Ellie Greaves just can’t win.  ...  Continue reading

by Oliver Bateman
Friday, 2
December 2022

It’s time to leave Kanye West alone

The music artist needs help, not attention

Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, used yesterday’s 3-hour interview with InfoWars host Alex Jones to continue building hype for what was once thought of as a 2024 presidential run, and now feels more like a piece of performance art or a cry for help. Flanked by Nick Fuenteshis recent dinner companion at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Largo estate and possible campaign advisor — and wearing a black, eyeless mask over his face, Ye expatiated about the “Jewish mafia” and the merits of Adolf Hitler. 

He then engaged in a bit of prop comedy involving a small fishing net and a bottle of Yoo-hoo chocolate drink and took a phone call from far-Right internet personality and erstwhile congressional candidate Laura Loomer. To cap off a banner day, he tweeted an unflattering photo of Elon Musk, noting that this could be last tweet — then promptly earned a suspension and a “FAFO” (fuck around and find out) rejoinder from Musk.  ...  Continue reading

by John Oxley
Friday, 2
December 2022

Chester result could have been worse for the Tories

The outcome doesn't suggest a 1997-style wipeout

Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives have faced their first electoral test since Boris Johnson’s resignation tipped them into months of electoral chaos. It did not go well. Although Labour was always expected to win the City of Chester by-election, the margin of victory points towards deep trouble for the Conservatives, and how far they have drifted from their electorate.

Chester is by no means a historic Labour stronghold. The pretty, affluent city was solidly Tory from 1910 until 1997, and since then has been a swing seat. The Tories took it back from Labour in 2010, before losing by just 93 votes in 2015. Since then, it was one of the losers of the Tory realignment, with the Labour majority rising to over six thousand in 2019. Yet last night was a cake-walk for Labour. ...  Continue reading

by George Magnus
Friday, 2
December 2022

Covid protests may pose a longer-term threat to Xi’s China

It's not just the Zero Covid measures that demonstrators are angry about

In the space of a few weeks, Xi Jinping has gone from an acclaimed leader to a man under pressure to restore public order and defuse anger over Zero Covid policies. A generation brought up on a politically sanitised version of history seems to be experiencing an awakening in increasingly fractious times. Chinese anger over Covid policy has acted as a lightning rod for accumulated angst about rising repression and even for opposition to Xi and the ubiquitous control of the CCP. The recently announced death of former leader Jiang Zemin, who was associated with happier times in China, couldn’t have come at more precarious time for Xi and the party. ...  Continue reading

by UnHerd Staff
Thursday, 1
December 2022

The launch of Old Queen Street Cafe and the UnHerd Club

Some snaps from the launch of our new Westminster home

Over the past week, UnHerd has been welcoming people to its newly opened building in the heart of Westminster.

The Old Queen Street Cafe, located just off Storey’s Gate, is open to everyone, every day — come by for breakfast, coffee, lunch, cocktails or dinner!

Upstairs, the UnHerd Club will play host to our ongoing series of talks, screenings, lectures and events. There are some spaces left for our remaining December events — check them out here — just subscribe to UnHerd to make sure you are invited…

Here are some snaps from the launch events:

Miriam Cates MP, UnHerd Executive Editor Freddie Sayers, Michael Gove MP and Pamela Dow
UnHerd Editor Sally Chatterton, Matthew Goodwin and Lucy Denyer
UnHerd Deputy Editor Jacob Furedi
Jess De Wahls, UnHerd‘s Freya Sanders, Sarah Ditum, Janice Turner and Louise Perry
Olga Polizzi, William Shawcross and Baroness Finn
Flo Read and Esther Watson (both UnHerd)
Freddie Sayers, Katy Balls and Cleo Watson
Viscountess Grimston, UnHerd Chief Commercial Officer Melissa McAdden and Bim Afolami MP
Naaman Brown and Inaya Folarin Iman
Red Tory meets Blue Labour: Philip Blond and Maurice Glasman
Sally Chatterton, Charlotte Pickles and UnHerd‘s Olivia Ward-Jackson
Sebastian Payne, Dominic Lawson and Matthew Parris
Sir Paul Marshall, Konstantin Kisin and Lady Marshall
Sonia Sodha, Naaman Brown, Ayishat Akanbi and Mercy Muroki
Helen Lewis, Hadley Freeman, Andrew Sullivan and Freddie Sayers
Freddie Sayers and Sophie Winkleman
Alex Caccia, Sunetra Gupta and Madeline Grant
Andrew Doyle, Justin Webb and Freya Sanders
Flo Read, James Billot, Aris Roussinos and Rob Lownie (all UnHerd)
UnHerd‘s Nicholas Harris and James Sean Dickson
UnHerd COO Sebastian Giraud, Elizabeth Linder, Melanie Price and Latika M Bourne at the launch of UnHerd's new headquarters in Westminster - November, 2022
UnHerd COO Sebastian Giraud, Elizabeth Linder, Melanie Price and Latika M Bourne
UnHerd‘s Panda La Terriere, Esther Watson and Cecily Watson
The UnHerd team