Alexander's blog

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Who will lift the veil off the European Court?

The good news is that the European Court of Human Rights has upheld France’s 2010 ban on wearing the niqab in public.

The bad news is that it did so in the name of secularism, which is guaranteed to rebound on the symbols of other religions as well.

The niqab is a religious statement, but then so are the cross and the yarmulke. If we ban one, we must ban them all – aren’t all religions equal? Equally offensive, that is? 

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Juncker and Dave: peace at last

It always pains me to see two of my friends fall out with each other, as Jean-Claude and Dave did.

So much more gratifying it is then to see them patch up their differences. Now Jean-Claude (or Junk, as he likes his friends to call him) has been confirmed as president of the EU Commission, Dave has apologised for the harsh words he uttered in the distant and long-forgotten past. Three days ago, to be exact.

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Let’s all be proud about Gay Pride

Major cities around the world were yesterday regaled with exuberant homo- trans-sexual festivities going by the name of Gay Pride Day.

New York, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Toronto all witnessed joyful processions of LGBT persons rightly proud of their unorthodox take on human sexuality. And far be it from me to deny that practising various forms of penile or extra-penile gratification is a legitimate source of pride.

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A rat is running around the Vatican. Can you smell it?

My nose may be over-sensitive, but I smell trouble.

There are indications that the Catholic Church can follow our own C of E into the abyss of secular PC modernity.

To begin with, when a conservative organisation, which the Church is supposed to be by definition, uses modern polling methods to determine its policy, alarm bells ought to start ringing in every belfry.

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Poroshenko isn’t a Nazi, not the way Putin means it

Putin was the ventriloquist, his stooge Sergei Glazyev the dummy. Fairness thus demands that the former be given credit for the words mouthed by the latter.

The words were inspired by President Poroshenko’s having agreed to sign a trade agreement with the EU, which angered the KGB colonel no end.

Hence, talking through Glazyev, he spoke from the heart: “They organised a military coup in the Ukraine, they helped Nazis to come to power. This Nazi government is bombing the largest region in the Ukraine.”

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Dubya-Tony are no longer there, but their cause lives on

The current shambles in the Middle East came about as a direct consequence of the criminal invasion of Iraq in 2003.

There’s no point arguing about this: sensible people know it anyway, and the neocon fanatics will remain deaf to reason and blind to facts no matter what.

The immediate question is how to handle the situation, now it has arisen. What do we do next? More important, what should we not do?

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It’s not monotheism that’s the problem. It’s Matthew Parris

Matthew Parris is ‘invigorated by a new idea’, which seems preferable to some other things by which Mr Parris is known to be invigorated from time to time.

The trouble is that the source of his excitement doesn’t qualify as an idea, and neither is it particularly new.

Mr Parris has recently found himself involved in ‘a ground-breaking exploration of a massive problem’: God. The way he words the topic already contains the answer. To Mr Parris and his supper companions, God constitutes a problem, not the solution.

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Sports commentary in the service of ethnography

Much can be inferred about a nation by watching sports on its television.

Or at least this is my excuse for spending hours glued to the screen, what with the World Cup and Wimbledon overlapping this June.

Somehow I have to justify this waste of time by intellectualising it, pretending that I thereby study the cultural differences between England and France, where I happen to be at the moment.

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Juncker is beginning to look better and better

Generally, unless some cataclysmic event is under way, I avoid writing two consecutive pieces on the same subject.

However, I’m warming up to Jean-Claude so rapidly that a single article can no longer contain all the burgeoning affection.

The more he’s criticised, the warmer this emotion becomes, with both the personalities of his detractors and the nature of their arguments acting as Bunsen burners.

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Juncker for president: trust Dave to stand on a moot point

By combining a French Christian name with a German surname, Jean-Claude Juncker carries the very essence of the EU within him.

A Europe dominated by Germany, with France bringing up the rear and all other countries doing as they’re told, is the ideal towards which the EU strives.

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