by Freddie Sayers
Thursday, 19
December 2019
Spotted
11:29

Boris bans the word ‘Brexit’

An edict has gone out in government banning the B word post January 31st

Rumour has it that an edict has gone out within government that the word ‘Brexit’ is not to be used after January 31st. We will have officially Brexit-ed at that point, and will be moving on to the next phases of negotiations — the trade deal — emphatically not the next stages of Brexit.

This means that no government initiative can have the B word in it post January 31st.

The politics of this are obvious — the winning ‘Get Brexit Done’ slogan emerged from the correct diagnosis that people are fed up with it taking so long, and so simply not hearing the word will already feel like a victory, regardless of the practical realities. ...  Continue reading

by Mary Harrington
Thursday, 19
December 2019
Reaction
09:31

Judges are on a collision course with the Church

A legal ruling has exposed a battle between Britain's two value systems

An employment tribunal yesterday ruled the belief that humans cannot change sex is not protected under the Equality Act. The claimant, Maya Forstater, is a tax expert who was sacked from her work at a charity after she tweeted publicly about her view that humans cannot change sex. She argued that the Gender Recognition Act, which allows someone to be treated legally as the opposite sex in all documentation, is a legal fiction for the purpose of accommodating individuals who have been undergoing the legal and medical process of gender reassignment.

The judge wrote: “I do not accept the Claimant’s contention that the Gender Recognition Act produces a mere legal fiction.” Rather, her view that humans cannot change sex is “not worthy of respect in a democratic society.” ...  Continue reading

by Tim Farron
Wednesday, 18
December 2019
Reaction
12:16

It’s time we ‘progressives’ stopped hectoring

The liberal Left's identity politics alienated much of the country

We on liberal, Left and Remain wings of politics are feeling battered and bruised by the election result. I am thankful to have been re-elected, and want to give a friendly welcome to the green benches to the new Parliamentarians, but I feel hugely sad for all those who lost their seats.

Why did we fare so badly? Beyond the Labour Party post mortem on the cons and cons of Jeremy Corbyn, those who consider themselves ‘progressives’ have become far too focused on having the ‘correct’ ideology. We talked about the importance of being European and enlightened. We paraded our certainty in having a superior and worthier outlook to those on the right, when we would have connected better with our fellow citizens by emphasising the practical and patriotic reasons why staying in the EU would be good for families and the UK. ...  Continue reading

by Ed West
Wednesday, 18
December 2019
Debate
10:30

Why we need the BBC more than ever

The Beeb's bias wouldn't be suddenly rectified by selling it off

My family emotionally blackmailed me into getting a dog about a year ago, a disastrous decision that has increased stress levels in the house by, I estimate, 5-15%. Probably the only thing that’s prevented me from going totally insane on the frequent time-consuming and pointless walks with this idiotic animal is the sound of Melvyn Bragg’s voice as I make my way through every single episode of In Our Time.

As a conservative who believes that public radio should force high culture on the population, and that left to itself the market will produce mostly garbage, I have a complex emotional relationship with the BBC. ...  Continue reading

by Ella Whelan
Wednesday, 18
December 2019
Debate
07:00

Why must Labour’s next leader be a woman?

As polls show, no one cares that much about gender when it comes to politics

Of all the myriad reasons for Labour’s humiliating electoral defeat, one thing’s for sure: it certainly wasn’t because Jeremy Corbyn is a bloke.

Which is why it’s odd that Labour MPs have begun to assert that the next leader must be a woman — preferably a young woman with a salt-of-the-earth accent to reconnect with the lost Red Wall. In an interview with BBC Radio Wales, Stephen Kinnock denied he had any hopes for becoming leader, instead insisting that ‘there are some brilliant women in our team who have been re-elected, and I think the next leader should be a woman’.

Commentators are following suit. The Guardian’s Suzanne Moore admitted back in October that Labour’s lack of female leadership was only ‘part of the problem’, but after a weekend of post-election reflection has decided that it’s women wot will win it for Labour. The choices are Lisa Nandy, Emily Thornberry, Jess Phillips or Rebecca Long Bailey, who Moore generously describes as ‘the Corbynites’ chosen one, poor thing, but she is a woman and not from London, so that gives me hope’. ...  Continue reading

by Peter Franklin
Tuesday, 17
December 2019
Reaction
17:30

Don’t cancel the Corbynites

The hard Left luminaries tell us more about Labour than the moderates

Right now politics on the Left is delicately poised between a post-mortem and a blood feud. I can understand why so many people, especially Labour moderates — are directing so much anger towards the Corbynites (or whatever they’re calling themselves now).

But there’s a slightly worrying edge to the blame game. It concerns the youthful stars of the hard Left firmament — luminaries such as Owen Jones, Ash Sarkar and Aaron Bastani. There’s nothing wrong with criticising what these individuals have said over the last few years, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have had the opportunity to say it. ...  Continue reading

by Charlie Peters
Tuesday, 17
December 2019
Reaction
14:30

Arsenal caves into China

The club's behaviour fits into a broader pattern of corporate obeisance to China

Those who enjoy watching Arsenal lose football matches had a fantastic evening on Sunday as visitors Man City cut through them like a knife through butter. If you were in China, however, where some 350 million regularly tune in to Premier League games, you would’ve missed out.

The Chinese state broadcaster pulled the screening of the Gunners’ humiliation after Mesut Özil, one of the club’s key midfielders and a practicing Muslim of Turkish descent, shared criticisms of Beijing’s treatment of the Uighurs. The footballer had tweeted that: “Korans are being burnt. Mosques are being shut down. Muslim schools are being banned.” ...  Continue reading

by UnHerd
Tuesday, 17
December 2019
Video
12:12

WATCH: Tucker Carlson discovers Paul Embery on UnHerd

Our columnist signs up a new fan on the other side of the Atlantic...

Last night, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson devoted a segment to discussing Paul Embery’s UnHerd analysis of why the Labour Party lost, and what lessons there might be for the US. He makes one  mistake: he says Paul did not vote Labour, while in fact he did.