Monday 22 June 2020



“She was also incapacitated by much of daily life and had 'no aptitude whatsoever' for domesticity.” Sybille Bedford
“I'm living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.” Saki 
“Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live.” Comte de Chamfort
It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving picaninnies; and one can imagine that Blair, twice victor abroad but enmired at home, is similarly seduced by foreign politeness. They say he is shortly off to the Congo. No doubt the AK47s will fall silent, and the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh, and the tribal warriors will all break out in Watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird. Boris Johnson in the Daily Telegraph 10 January 2002 

“The UK office for National Statistics has identified the things that matter most for happiness as "health, relationships, work, and the environment" - a list that tallies closely with our basic goods. Given that our lives have not noticeably improved in these respects since 1974 it is hardly surprising that we do not feel any happier.
Are we then suggesting a return to living standards of 1974? Not necessarily, for the luxuries acquired since then may, even if they have added nothing to our real well-being, be painful to forgo. This is an instance of the general truth that damaging social changes cannot always be rectified simply by being reversed, any more than a man flattened by a steamroller can be restored to life by being run over backwards. What we are saying is that the long-term goal of economic policy should henceforth not be growth, but the restructuring of our collective existence so as to facilitate the good life.” Lord Skidelsky

In a blog post in 2016 Harvard professor Mark Tushnet said conservatives and Evangelical Christians have lost the culture wars, and now the question is “how to deal with the losers.”
“My own judgment is that taking a hard line (‘You lost, live with it’) is better than trying to accommodate the losers. Trying to be nice to the losers didn’t work well after the Civil War, nor after Brown. And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.”


  1. In a blog post in 2016 Harvard professor Mark Tushnet said conservatives and Evangelical Christians have lost the culture wars, and now the question is “how to deal with the losers.”

    It's becoming increasingly clear that the method that is going to be adopted is to scour the battlefield for any wounded but living survivors of the opposing army, and finish them off with a bullet through the head.

    Perhaps conservatives should have spent the past half century worrying more about the Culture War rather than obsessing about tax cuts.

    1. I couldn't possibly agree more. This is why I couldn't stand Margaret Thatcher, though now I miss her. She would be at her best with Black Lives Matter and Brexit and would be good at handling Donald Trump. She'd have understood the Coronavirus better than arts graduates.

  2. What we are witnessing, in the rapidly transforming norms around race, sex, and gender, is not an argument at all but a revolution in moral sentiment. In all revolutions, the new thing struggling to be born makes use of the old system in order to overthrow it. At present, institutions like the university, the press, and the medical profession preserve the appearance of reason, empiricism, and argument while altering, through edict and coercion, the meaning of essential terms in the moral lexicon, like fairness, equality, friendship, and love. That the effort wins so much support speaks to the deep contradictions and corruption of American meritocratic institutions, and of the liberal individualist moral regime it seeks to replace.

    Moral revolutions cannot tolerate ambiguity, but there is so much that I’m not sure of. How does one argue with this new form of truth? Not in the old way. Not by taking the bait.

    The New Truth
    When the moral imperative trumps the rational evidence, there’s no arguing
    JUNE 22, 2020