SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Tim Stanley

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July 04, 2019
Liberalism is in trouble and it’s a crisis of its contradictions. Too much freedom can make you unfree. That was what Vladimir Putin implied at the G20 meeting when he put his crafty finger on several of our problems. Mass migration: when you have open borders, people will come who have no intention of integrating.
June 20, 2019
Michael Gove wanted to be Prime Minister of the Greatest Britain in the World – but the press discovered he’d taken cocaine and his dream was turned upside down. There’s a moral lesson in this. Kids, stay away from politics. It gets in the way of having a good time. In all seriousness, drugs are
June 06, 2019
Sohrab Ahmari, a contributor to the Catholic Herald, has caused a stink in the United States with an article that says it’s time for conservatives to wake up and smell the coffee. He says: too many conservatives take liberals at their word when they insist that all they want is “diversity”. In reality, the Left
May 23, 2019
The Australian centre-right coalition defied the odds recently to win re-election. As the results came in, former conservative PM Tony Abbott said an interesting thing: the old Left-Right dynamic is fading; the new contest is between “the working” and “the wealthy”. This observation obviously contains some self-serving hooey. Poor people still tend to vote for
May 09, 2019
Greek roads are a fascinating experiment in libertarianism. On an almost empty motorway, a fellow driver used the hard shoulder to overtake me. I was doing 80 mph at the time – quite legally, your honour. If you see a yellow traffic light, it doesn’t mean “slow down it’s about to go red”, it means
April 25, 2019
Pete Buttigieg, the Democratic presidential candidate and flavour of the month, offers America “generational leadership” – and I’m finally old enough to understand what that means. I’m 36, he’s 37 and he’s one of the first politicians I can identify my own life with, including the fact that he got into God at university. Me
April 11, 2019
I’ve gained a new perspective on the Reformation from watching the BBC’s 1970 serial The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Thanks to a mix of classical education and technical limits, old TV often watches like a stage play adapted for the screen – and I love it. Characters explain what they’re doing and why; there’s
March 28, 2019
I’ve been asked to explain Brexit as I see it, which I will do as straightforwardly yet non-specifically as possible. Events are moving fast: by the time you read this Britain could be out of the European Union, stuck in the EU or floating on a raft in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. In
March 14, 2019
Somerset House in London has put on an exhibition on the work of Charles Schulz, the American cartoonist famous for Peanuts – the story of Charlie Brown, his friends and his dog called Snoopy, a beagle with a taste for ice-skating and root beer. The show commences unpromisingly: “This exhibition explores the ways in which
February 28, 2019
The police reckon Jussie Smollett made it all up. They say the black, gay, openly 36-year-old actor orchestrated an assault on his person – specifically, that he paid two Nigerian men to attack him in a Chicago street at two in the morning, to shout racist and homophobic insults and even douse him in bleach
February 14, 2019
Should Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, be excommunicated from the Catholic Church? Let me see. A politician who describes himself as a Catholic has just signed off on one of the most expansive abortion laws in US history: not only does it guarantee access to a termination, but it removes it from the
January 31, 2019
I was in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, last week, nosing around a sarcophagus, when a man with a beard asked if I was who he thought I was. It turns out I was – and we had a lot in common. We’d both been at Cambridge 10 years ago; we were both visiting for a