Submitted by Alexander on 25 February 2013 - 12:16pm
Themes of emotional instability recur in my prose, usually in the context of a world gone mad or else particular personages acting in ways that make one doubt their mental health.
I’m man enough to admit that this is a copout, a feeble substitute for deep and detailed analysis. So every day I decide to avoid any more references to psychiatric disorders. Then I scan the papers and my good intentions go the way of all flesh. But look at today’s press and judge for yourself.
Submitted by Alexander on 23 February 2013 - 6:37pm
In response to Britain’s loss of the AAA credit rating, George Osborne promised to ‘redouble’ his efforts to reduce the deficit.
This is like the captain screaming ‘full speed ahead’ when his ship is heading for the rocks. George’s choice of verb, which comes from poker, also hints at his understanding of the essence of his economic policy. One can only wish that he gambled with his own money, not ours.
Submitted by Alexander on 22 February 2013 - 5:28pm
France has much to criticise it for, as do all other countries, even – and I know this will come as a shock to most Americans – the USA. Moreover, France and all other countries must be criticised, especially by those who like and understand them.
Submitted by Alexander on 21 February 2013 - 12:47pm
If you ask your friends which institutions define Britain, each will give you half a dozen answers, and the divergence will be small. It’s a reasonably safe bet that democracy, free enterprise and trial by jury will be on every list.
Submitted by Alexander on 20 February 2013 - 11:55am
My good friend’s father was both a manufacturer and a Marxist. In the first capacity he made a lot of money. In his second hypostasis he refused to invest it. Wealth, he was certain, had to be produced by one’s labour, not one’s money.
Even within his own framework he wasn’t wholly consistent. For he still appropriated the ‘surplus value’ of his workers’ labour, thus transgressing against another commandment of his creed. But thank God for such paradoxes: if Marxists were invariably and relentlessly consistent, we’d all be dead.
Submitted by Alexander on 18 February 2013 - 6:40pm
The Times is like a magnet. It attracts Tories who think ‘Conservative’ in their party’s name should become as meaningless as the ‘Liberal’ in the name of their coalition partners.
When the word ‘liberal’ first appeared, it designated those supporting private property, free trade and individual liberties. Now, if it means anything at all, it denotes those in favour of bleeding individuals white in order to strengthen and enlarge the state. The exact opposite, not to cut too fine a point.
Submitted by Alexander on 16 February 2013 - 8:51am
Prof. Diarmaid MacCulloch is an eminent church historian, the author of solid (and stolid) books many buy but few read. Still, there’s nothing he doesn’t know about his subject – a truly learned man.
That’s why his post-mortem on the ministry of Benedict XVI piqued my interest: Prof. MacCulloch, I thought, would be in a perfect position to elucidate the place Joseph Ratzinger occupies in history.
Submitted by Alexander on 14 February 2013 - 10:17am
A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of anti-Semitism. With apology to the authors of The Communist Manifesto, this paraphrase describes the situation accurately.
All over the continent, synagogues are burnt down or covered with obscene graffiti, Jewish cemeteries are desecrated, Jews are attacked in the streets.
Submitted by Alexander on 13 February 2013 - 6:52pm
This is one those teasing headlines that writers sometimes try on to draw readers in. A slightly dishonest trick, this, and I apologise.
In point of fact, I don’t think massive immigration from Bulgaria and especially Romania is good for us. Over the last decade Britain has already received 1.7 million arrivals from Eastern Europe, most of whom, as if by magic, settled in Labour-voting areas.
Submitted by Alexander on 12 February 2013 - 11:18am
Pope Benedict XVI has announced his resignation, citing frailty of mind and body as the reason. Considering that the last resignation from the Holy See occurred almost 600 years ago, the announcement came out of the blue – or purple, if you’d rather.
Is this the kind of job one resigns from? His Holiness is in a much better position to judge that than anyone else, but comparisons with his predecessor are hard to escape. For John Paul II continued his ministry until his dying breath, even though he had clearly been moribund for a long time.