Why liberals need conservatives, and vice versa

Here’s a distressing fact, for a liberal. Liberals, on one small but extremely important metric, are wrong far more often than conservatives. Jonathan Haidt, the moral psychologist, shows as much in his book “The Righteous Mind: why good people are divided by politics and religion“, which I’ve mentioned before and which my colleague Ed West…

Budget 2012: George Osborne, granny-robber

As we’ve reported elsewhere, the Chancellor has raised the burden on pensioners, while cutting taxes for the rich. I don’t want to get too much into the political and economic rights and wrongs of that, as we have many far better-qualified commentators than me, but I do want to call attention to this wonderful instant…

Budget 2012: why’s George Osborne looking so pleased with himself?

He’s out on the steps of Downing Street looking extraordinarily self-satisfied. Yes, his face does that naturally, but even more so than normal. Has he got something in the bag to surprise us all with, even after the incontinent torrent of Budget leaks in the last few weeks? Or is it just that he knows…

Toulouse school shootings: let’s keep politics out of it for a few hours

These shootings in Toulouse are unthinkably horrible. I honestly can’t begin to know what it must feel like for the families, or for the teachers, or for the whole city, and of course its Jewish community. It’s the Jewish aspect that is particularly distressing. In Britain, and perhaps especially on the Left, we like to…

Good to see some despots maintaining standards of décor

I wrote yesterday about Bashar al-Assad’s disappointingly pedestrian and ordinary lifestyle, showing the savage oppressor of Syria is a country-and-western fan who buys things on iTunes. I’m strangely pleased to learn this morning that some of his fellow dictators, or more specifically the offspring of dictators, stick more closely to stereotype. As the FT reports:…

Sadly, Jamie Redknapp is literally correct

Oh, I know, I know. “David Silva literally floats around the pitch”; “In his youth, Michael Owen was literally a greyhound.” “That’s not what ‘literally’ means, you dolt,” the snobbish middle-class football fan (me) screams at his television as Jamie Redknapp, patron saint of literalism, abuses the word once more. But, sadly, Jamie Redknapp is…