This blog mostly serves as a repository for my own writing, but I thought if worthwhile to post a few links here to groups and causes I support or have sympathy for. Here goes.
Like many others I lean to the left on economic questions, and to the right on issues like the family, immigration and social cohesion. I am therefore happy to be a supporter of the small but perfectly formed SDP, under the leadership of William Clouston.
Below I list several other websites that I would encourage others to dip into.
Firstly spiked, which has achieved an enormous amount in recent years, especially in flying the flag for freedom of speech. Working perhaps from a similar commitment is the Free Speech Union, which performs a vital role in supporting those the mob come for. Elsewhere, I am a subscriber to the monthly magazine Fortean Times, which is so eclectic its perhaps hard to describe in a sentence. Perhaps the best way to do so is to say is that it takes issues often dismissed, seriously, and therefore expands our understanding? Staying in that area, for many years I ran a blog devoted to 9/11 conspiracy theories - 9/11 Cultwatch. Its a bit dated, but you can still see its posts here.
During Covid I read Henry Williamson's superb series of novels - A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight. To me, Williamson is our greatest twentieth century author. The Henry Williamson Society's website can be viewed here.
Finally, for many years I have enjoyed the company and insights of Larry O'Hara, perhaps the UK's foremost expert on the far-right. Do visit the website of his magazine, Notes from the Borderland.
It is very good, indeed the only one of his books which has missed the mark is probably the one no one talks about now - the 2006 text 'Neoconservatism: Why we need it'. The truth of course is that we didn't!
In the conclusion to the Madness of Crowds, Murray writes beautifully of the effort people put into politics, and how identity politics in particular becomes all-consuming. It is worth quoting in full:
But of all the ways in which people can find meaning in their lives, politics - let alone politics on such a scale - is one of the unhappiest. Politics may be an important aspect of our lives, but as a source of personal meaning it is disastrous. Not just because the ambitions it strives after nearly always go unachieved, but because finding purpose in politics laces politics with a passion - including rage - that perverts the whole enterprise.
For anyone who has ever been involved in, or observed a political split within an organisation, these words hit home:
If two people are in disagreement about something important, they may disagree as amicably as they like if it is just a matter of getting to the truth or the most amenable option. But if one party finds their whole purpose in life to reside in some aspect of that disagreement, then the chances of amicability fade fast and the likelihood of reaching any truth recedes.
The quotes are on p.255-56 of the 2020 paperback edition.
The protests against The Lady of Heaven movie have ended in a complete victory for the protestors.
England and Wales abolished laws against blasphemy under the last Labour government in 2008. As at Batley Grammar School in 2021 however, it appears possible for Islamist protestors to enforce blasphemy codes by taking to the streets.
This research note, published yesterday by Policy Exchange, considers events this month, and traces the opposition to The Lady of Heaven movie back to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
You can read the research note online here, and download a pdf below.
This week the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European parliament published the report on the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe that I have worked on with the Italian researcher Tommaso Virgili.
You can see the report launch, and download a copy of the report, on the ECR website here.
This article, for Policy Exchange, examines the French NGO BarakaCity.
Proscribed for extremism in its home country, its CEO Idriss Sihamedi, has publicly sought asylum in Turkey. However it has for several years been active in this country, and is currently seeking to expand its operations in Britain, an issue that should raise concerns.
There is a link to the article here, and a pdf below:
As the protests of Extinction Rebellion have become increasingly staid, it is perhaps no surprise Insulate Britain have opted for a tactic of far greater disruption.
However, those key workers who have kept the country going during the pandemic, will struggle to recognise either the world of the environmentalists, or one where the police stand by as motorways are blocked. My thought on these events can be read on the on the Policy Exchange website here.
The article can also be downloaded as a pdf below:
9/11 retrospective articles are everywhere this weekend.
This piece, for the Policy Exchange website, dabbles with that, but attempts to look more broadly at the importance of funding in the propaganda wars which follow in the wake of both terrorism and counter terrorism.
"People who would have laughed at 'loony Left' councils 30 years ago now use language and follow rules which they once mocked when Ken Livingstone and his allies proposed them. Those who claim to despise Jeremy Corbyn often follow the ideas he helped devise in his decades in London town halls.
And it is not just that they join in. They are afraid to criticise. Huge areas of opinion are now closed off from discussion, for fear of cancellation, advertising boycotts, and generally being cast into the outer darkness.
With gathering speed and completeness, a total revolution in thought and morals is taking hold of Western societies, just at the moment when they should be girding themselves against pressure to become more like China."