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."
The death at the age of 86 of the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, marks the passing of a strong proponent of free speech.
Of the 2005 Muhammad cartoons, Westergaard's, below, was by some measure the most controversial, as it showed Muhammad with a bomb in his turban.
Despite death threats and a serious attempt on his life, Westergaard continued to express himself freely. That, as I write for spiked, makes him a true champion of free speech. You can also download a pdf of my article below:
I neglected to post my final comments for Spiked on Labour's eventual victory in the Batley and Spen by-election.
You can read it on the excellent spiked website, here.
I also place the article as a pdf below. Perhaps the most significant development since the result has been the Labour MP for Bradford West and Shadow Minister for Social Cohesion, who spoke in the Commons of the need to protect Muslims from the 'hurt' of insults to Muhammad. It is hard not to see a connection between the by-election result, and Ms Shah's intervention. It bodes ill for the direction Labour is taking.
It seems likely the Conservatives will win the Batley and Spen by-election on 1 July. There is even the possibility of George Galloway's Workers Party of Britain beating Labour into third place.
As I discuss for spiked, having played the game of identity politics, abandoning the Batley Grammar school teacher in the process, Labour now risks being outplayed at their own game by Galloway. You'd need a heart of stone not to laugh.....
"Men posing as female weightlifters isn't the biggest problem western civilisation faces, but it's an ominous symptom of deeper rot. When the people in charge retreat into fantasy, and demand that everyone else join them there, society itself becomes impervious to reality. The entire population develops the habits of fact-avoidance and lying. After a while, no one can see a crisis, or even admit one exists."
Iran pursues its interests in the UK, and seeks to build and maintain influence, in two ways.
The first is through perfectly legal outreach work and inter faith initiatives. The second is a much more underhand campaign of online disinformation and skullduggery. I set out some examples of both in an article for The Levant, available here.
The Batley and Spen by-election on 1 July is one of the most exciting in years.
My latest article for Spiked considers the challenge of George Galloway's Workers Party of Britain, the backdrop of threats and violence that have scarred the constituency in recent years, and the candidacy of several pro-Brexit parties, who are searching for political space in the pro-Brexit era.
You can read the article here, and find a pdf below.
I am the author of a new report on Iranian influence in the United Kingdom. You can read the press release and find a link to the report here.
The report looks at seven areas of interest: political networks, religion, the media, cultural networks, the Iranian diaspora, education and academia, and finally, the fields of business and finance. The bulk of the focus, however, is in the fields of politics and religion.
Following the inquest into the killing of Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt in the November 2019 terrorist attack at Fishmongers Hall in London, I have written a short piece for Spiked on the question of whether the attack could have been prevented.
On Wednesday I had a short piece published by Spiked covering the fallout from Pimlico Academy in London, which earlier this year took down its union flag after complaints from parents and pupils.
Schools in parts of England are now experiencing a wave of protests in support of the Palestinians, and many of those deeply uncomfortable about the sight of the union flag, are now seeing colours displayed that they are sympathetic too........
A link to the article on the Spiked website is here. A pdf can be found below:
In football, traditions matter. I feel the display of a Palestinian flag at Old Trafford by Paul Pogba and Amad Diallo was outside the traditions of the club.
It is hard to imagine it happening in an earlier era, especially when United worked so hard as a club not to be seen as partisan with regards to the Northern Ireland conflict. You can read my article arguing against sectarianism in football on Spiked, and also as a pdf below.