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Conservatism in crisis

Lord Hailsham’s explanation of conservatism is correct, but only as far as it goes:

“Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself.”

Fair enough, conservatism isn’t so much an ideological bias as a matter of intuitive, visceral predisposition.

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Let’s hear it for this courageous victim of a gruesome crime

Giving testimony took an act of sheer heroism for the poor victim, still deeply traumatised even after 24 years.

Addressing London’s Southwark Crown Court, she said: “I was a naive and trusting 22-year-old when I was subjected to an unprovoked and terrifying physical assault at my place of work.”

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Four most destructive words in English: YOU CAN’T SAY THAT

Lewis Carroll was nothing short of prophetic when he made his Humpty Dumpty conduct this dialogue with Alice:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”

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PlayStation war against the IS

Tomorrow Dave will let slip the dogs of war.

But, in compliance with Shakespeare’s original, the crying havoc part will come first.

Dave will entertain his parliamentary colleagues with a few horror stories about IS monstrosity, beheadings and some such.

The canine part will follow, with Dave and his jolly friends, now suitably worked up, pushing the button for yet another PlayStation action against the nasties.

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Ten years to turn Britain around? Ed won’t take that long

Ed Miliband is asking for 10 years in power to “turn Britain around”.

He’s being uncharacteristically modest. Socialists have never needed years to destroy a country when they take over.

Depending on their radicalism, this feat may take them days to achieve (Lenin) or perhaps weeks (Hollande). Never years.

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“One must read the papers,” said a Soviet literary character

A sound piece of advice, that. Sometimes one wishes that those who report on Russian affairs followed it.

They don’t though, which is why over the last few days they’ve been breaking the earth-shattering news of Russian paratroopers fighting, and dying, in  the Ukraine.

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National self-determination as the enemy of nationhood

It’s hard not to notice the semantic confusion arriving in the slipstream of the Scottish referendum.

No one seems to be any longer sure of anything: nationhood, home rule for Scotland, England or possibly Merseyside, democracy, constitution, why the chicken crosses the road or whether or not it comes before the egg.

What one is observing is an intellectual mess, a veritable rain of error. Whenever a political system delivers such a deluge, one has to question the system, not just its isolated workings.

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Ben and Bob: the answer, my friend, really is blowin' in the wind

The answer to this question, that is: Is there any limit to the stupid, subversive, demotic rubbish The Times will publish these days?

Ben Macintyre's article on Bob Dylan unwittingly plucks the answer out of the blowin' wind and lays it before us. It's an emphatic no.

The article itself must have been plucked out too, but not so much of the wind as of the orifice that at times produces it. For Ben thinks Bob should be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

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Putin is screaming historical parallels – is anyone listening?

One can observe two things about modern tyrants: first, they can’t resist divulging their plans; second, the world never listens.

Marx, for example, laid down the blueprint for a modern totalitarian state, complete with genocide, democide, concentration camps, suppression of every liberty, dictatorship of a small elite, confiscation of all private property, destruction of the family – the lot.

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You’re in the wrong job, Your Grace

A financial consultant shouldn’t have fundamental misgivings about the morality of money.

A geography teacher shouldn’t doubt that the Earth is round.

A nuclear physicist shouldn’t wonder if the atom is really divisible.

If these professionals are indeed beset by such doubts, any sensible person would be justified in thinking they should seek a different line of work.

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