SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Mary Kenny

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March 12, 2020
It’s St Patrick’s Day next week and many of the traditional events will be either cancelled or reduced, because of the Covid-19 situation. Street parades in Dublin and Cork have been called off.  And I’ve heard some people in Ireland breathe a sigh of relief that Paddy’s Day will be a scaled-down event. In latter
March 05, 2020
What are we to make of the announcement that Boris Johnson is to become a father again this summer – the baby’s mother being Carrie Symonds, formerly described as his girlfriend, now his fiancée? Is the Prime Minister’s private life any of our business? Mr Johnson has never presented himself as a model of moral rectitude.
February 27, 2020
Some years ago, I met a talented young writer who said that she aspired to be a journalist – but she only wanted to be “halfway into journalism”. She’d like to keep the other half of her life for a different career. A veteran Fleet Street fashion editor overheard this and shook her head sagely:
February 20, 2020
Domestic abuse is an odious crime which certainly calls for investigation and redress. However, there’s an aspect of this form of assault which our politically correct world doesn’t choose to admit: that is – a man hitting a woman is not the same as a woman hitting a man. The natural law has been erased
February 13, 2020
“Coming out” used to mean attending a debutante’s ball. Nowadays, as we know, it means a person announcing that their sexual orientation is gay or “non binary”. The television presenter Phillip Schofield has taken the ceremony of “coming out” one step further – by making the announcement on live television. He has been hailed as
January 16, 2020
One of the mottoes I frequently heard in my youth was “handsome is as handsome does”: this is somewhat akin to the biblical words of wisdom “By their fruits ye shall know them”. It’s not what you say that counts – it’s what you do. The nuns were keen also on stressing that character was
January 09, 2020
The latest film version of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, directed by Greta Gerwig, has been a critical and popular success. It has a feminist message, surely, but an element of female empowerment was there, in the text. Jo March always was a strong female character, active and boyish – even masculine. In the book,
January 02, 2020
Are there any menfolk out there whose 2020 New Year resolution includes a pledge to be a good husband? They would surely benefit from a little book first published in 1936 entitled just that: How to be a Good Husband. It is, predictably, in parts hilariously outdated. Don’t – it tells men – think you
December 19, 2019
It’s often said that the Christmas we celebrate is the Christmas brought to us by Charles Dickens, and most particularly, the ever-popular story of A Christmas Carol. True to tradition, there’s a new television adaptation this year of the story of mean old Scrooge and his sweet-natured, poor young clerk, Bob Cratchit. We shall of
December 12, 2019
During the general election campaign, an American journalist from the New York Times paid an extensive visit to Britain, and reported back that he found a deeply divided United Kingdom. Many observations have been made along similar lines – it’s a theme with which we are familiar. But let me look on a brighter side:
December 05, 2019
I was a “conscientious abstainer” for the Brexit referendum in 2016; and if conversations with friends are anything to judge by, many Catholics in this coming election will be writing “none of the above” on the ballot paper in next week’s general election. “It’s really a situation of despair,” one old friend lamented to me.
November 28, 2019
What many Catholics really miss in the current election is something like the Labour Party as it once was: caring about working people, the unemployed, the homeless and the poor, but also supportive of the family, the community and pro-life. Such a type of politician is the now retired Seamus Mallon, one of the most