It is not the Young who are Snowflakes

Many of you will remember Glasgow University’s recent warning to theology students that some lectures might include pictures of the crucifixion of Christ. That could be distressing and students were therefore advised they could leave those lectures.

Cambridge University has now stepped in with advice to undergraduates reading English Literature. A lecture on Titus Andronicus and the Comedy of Errors will include discussion of sexual violence and sexual assault. Undergraduates should feel free, in those circumstances, to give the lecture a miss.

Slightly differently, but it’s the same thing really, the Bar Standards Board has said it thinks the requirement for those reading for the Bar to eat dinners in the halls of their Inns of Court should be abolished because students who come from deprived backgrounds, and women, may be frightened by having to dine with and talk to others who are used to having intelligent conversation at the dining table. Continue reading

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Weinstein gets Savilled

I have no idea if Harvey Weinstein is guilty of the things he has been accused of. What I do know is that Hollywood has never been any different. Whether the stories are true or not in this case doesn’t change this fact. The things Weinstein has been accused of are typical of his industry.

In 1921 the actress Virginia Rappe died in a San Franciso hotel room after attending a party there. The comedy performer Roscoe Arbuckle was accused of raping her and causing the injuries from which she died. The press, like it is doing now, decided it was outraged by this and ruined Arbuckle’s career when he might well have been innocent.

Continue reading

Butter is the Answer

British children are notoriously averse to vegetables. Why should that be? Properly cooked vegetables are a delight to the palate. Whatever was it that gave children the idea that vegetables were disgusting?

I think children are maligned. It is not only they who dislike vegetables in the way they tend to be served in homes up and down the land. They hardly ever admit it, but many adults also find vegetables unpalatable. Continue reading

Will She Never Learn?

Mrs May has again refused to answer a straight forward question. This really is becoming a major problem. Her conviction that her opinions should be treated as a state secret (probably something to do with her time at the Home Office) is barmy.

Today she was asked how she would vote if there were to be a second referendum on our membership of the EU. She froze. Then she said “um” and “err” a few times before coming up with “I don’t answer hypothetical questions”. She was pressed. But she would not answer. Inevitably, of course, we are all left thinking she would vote remain. Continue reading

Anti-Brexiteers are Wrong to Think Corbyn will Rescue them from the Evils of Democracy

Mr Corbyn is an awful lot brighter than is generally assumed. It honestly does not follow, just because a politician favours ruinous policies for his country, that he is stupid. Those who think Corbyn is too dim to understand that we would all be a lot poorer if his policies were enacted are simply wrong. He knows full well that most of us would be a lot worse off if he came to power. But he also knows that we would all be equally poor. He thinks, and it is a perfectly respectable thought to have, that it is better to have equality of poverty than to have a richer society in which some people are vastly better off than others. Continue reading

A Couple of Thoughts

One has to tread desperately carefully when expressing an opinion on our American cousins’ love of guns. Nothing annoys them more than our total failure, as they see it, to understand that the right to bear arms is an essential safeguard against tyranny. Speaking for myself, many of those Americans who insist that there should be no restriction on that right strike me as being thoroughly decent people. They are not longing for a chance to kill their fellow citizens. On the whole, though, it has to be said, they do not support the second amendment for the reason it was enacted (a mechanism to stop government tyranny). Their contention is that the people should be able to defend themselves against criminals, a perfectly reasonable ambition. Continue reading

That Speech

I wonder whether I can face watching the news programmes tonight. All will concentrate on the tiresome show-off who got through security to hand the Prime Minister the fake P45, the coughing fits and the letters dropping off the slogan. None will bother with the speech itself. No, I don’t think I will tune into the BBC tonight.

But I have read the speech. Continue reading