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Jack the Lad against Johnny Foreigner

I’ve lived in four countries and have at times been treated as a foreigner in each, including the one of my birth.

So take it from me: a bit of ethnic snobbery can improve the breed on both sides, the snobs and their targets.

The success of some ethnic and racial minorities, such as Indians in Britain, Vietnamese in the USA, Germans in Russia, Italians in Argentina, Jews and Chinese just about everywhere, shows how victims of ethnic hostility can, if they so choose, put it to productive use.

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There’s more to evil than just its banality

Observing the 1963 Jerusalem trial of the mass murderer Adolf Eichmann, Hannah Arendt coined the phrase ‘the banality of evil’.

In 2014 the mass murderer Charles Manson, 80, proves yet again that evil isn’t just banal. It’s also extremely attractive in all sorts of ways, including sexual.

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Latest from the madhouse of modernity: religion and politics

It has taken 20 years after female ordination for the Church of England to go completely, as opposed to partially, bonkers.

The C of E Synod yesterday rubber-stamped the consecration of women bishops, thereby confirming its PC credentials at the small cost of relinquishing whatever residual claim it had to being a Christian ecclesia.

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John Major kindly explains what it means to be British

Sir John, who, I don’t mind admitting, is my political, moral and intellectual idol, hit the nail on the head the other day, with Ukip being the nail and Nigel Farage the head.

Ukip, explained my idol, “is peddling sheer nastiness” that is “profoundly un-British in every way”.

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Lies, damned lies and immigration statistics

Arithmetic and statistics are useful tools for liars. A little massaging here, a little bending there, and suddenly a lie sounds plausible.

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Putin’s says no to Davos; the West cut off

The famous, if probably apocryphal, headline in a London newspaper said “Fog over Channel, continent cut off.”

Whether real or made up, the phrase has become proverbial for the same reason proverbs become proverbial: it conveys a simple truth.

People tend to view geography from the vantage point of their own country. It is central; other lands are peripheral.

Never mind that the continent is somewhat larger than Britain. For an Englishman his country is larger than life.

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Black letter day for Martin Luther King

Being constitutionally unable to admire demagogues, whatever their sermon, I could never warm up to Martin Luther King.

This isn’t to say that his cause, as generally perceived, wasn’t just. Racial discrimination is abominable on every level, moral, practical, legal, intellectual – and above all religious.

How self-professed Christians, who had equality inscribed even on their secular banners, could enforce Jim Crow segregation laws until 1965, is a question I’ve always found baffling.

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Vlad Putin, fiddler on the hoof

No doubt remembering that the devil finds work for idle hands, my friend Vlad has been a busy boy.

Thereby he has stayed on the side of the angels, even though not every one of his numerous exploits can be truthfully described as angelic.

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Whoever wins the argument, Britain loses

The debate about the European Arrest Warrant  predictably produced an ungainly mess. The pro and con sides mounted their rhetorical steeds and rode them into the joust, with only our constitution unsaddled in the end.

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