Alexander's blog

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Vetting versus Yvetting

The waves of refugees threatening to engulf Britain amount to a crisis. Like all crises, this one begets debates, debates beget rhetoric and rhetoric begets oversimplification.

As any veteran of verbal jousts will tell you, a debate is no place for rational, nuanced arguments. It’s a place for fiery slogans and endlessly repeated mantras.

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Still think America is a Christian country?

Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk and devout Christian, refused to issue licences for homosexual marriages because they “conflict with God’s definition of marriage”.

There are only two objections to her statement possible even in theory. One: there is no such conflict. Two: either way, God’s definitions don’t matter.

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Putin ought to read Euripides

‘Judge a man by the company he keeps’. My friend Vlad ought to have familiarised himself with this Euripidean maxim before attending yesterday’s festivities in China.

Communist China used the anniversary of Japan’s defeat in the Second World War to parade its muscle. Over 12,000 soldiers marched through Tiananmen Square, where the same army massacred a peaceful demonstration in 1989.

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The Pope’s lesson in political theology

Pope Benedict XVI once wrote that the Catholic Church is about to be wiped out – only then to start from the beginning and gradually rise again.

Though His Holiness hasn’t uttered a public word about his Vatican successor, one is in little doubt that he sees him as having more to do with the first part of this prophecy than the second – a view Pope Francis seems eager to justify.

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So did Islam start in Birmingham then?

The carbon dating of the Koran fragments found in a Birmingham library shows that they almost definitely predate Mohammed. And there I was, thinking that Birmingham’s sole contribution to civilisation is Balti cuisine.

Turns out it may well be the birthplace of Islam, invalidating the prior claims of Mecca and Medina. As indirect proof, Birmingham certainly has a greater Muslim population than those two put together, although, unlike them, it also has a smattering of infidels.

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Let’s send all comedians down the mines

I’m not proposing this drastic measure as a punishment. On the contrary, stand-up comedy is the only popular entertainment I like.

It’s just that comedians will have to make a living somehow after their profession becomes obsolete, as it surely will soon.

Comedy depends for its survival on two preconditions. First, there must be enough people out there whose sense of humour outmuscles their self-righteousness. Second, comedy can only thrive if reality doesn’t overstep the limit beyond anyone’s ability to poke fun at it.

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What on earth did Jesus look like?

“I’ve never been able to picture my wife in my mind – and now I know why,” writes Dominic Lawson in today’s Mail. I hope Mrs Lawson will be satisfied with the ensuing explanation. I am not.

Mr Lawson and I have a few mutual friends, but we’ve never met. Hence I don’t know what his religion is, though by the general tenor of his writing one suspects that his answer to this question would be ‘none’.

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Lies, boldfaced lies and austerity

 Correct me if I’m wrong, but to me fiscal austerity means making sure one always spends less than one earns. I bet your definition is similar to mine, but I’ll go double or nothing that George Osborne’s isn’t.

That’s because you and I live in the real world, the place where we earn some income and figure out how to pay our way and make ends meet.

Sometimes we have to borrow, but we know that, should our liabilities exceed our assets, and our income is insufficient to cover the deficit, we won’t be able to keep the bailiffs at bay.

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Racism shoots to prominence in Virginia

The other day Vester Lee Flanagan, a former employee of the local TV station WDBJ, shot dead two of his ex-colleagues on air before killing himself later in the day.

The victims, Alison Parker and Adam Ward, were white, Flanagan was black, and that chromatic distinction apparently precipitated the incident.

In the aftermath, TV audiences have been treated to yet another chorus of demands to ban guns, for, had Flanagan been unable to get his hands on one, the two young journalists would still be with us.

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Trust Jeremy Corbyn to protect women

People misjudge Jeremy. They see him as a dangerous madman combining Trotskyist views with support for Hamaz and Hezbollah.

Lefties fear, while Tories hope, that Jeremy will destroy the Labour Party if he ever gets to lead it. More farsighted people fear he’ll destroy Britain if he ever becomes prime minister.

They all fail to see Jeremy’s noble inner core, which only my X-ray moral vision can discern.


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