Simon Jenkins's Blog
October 26, 2016
The fury subsides. The wounds heal. But as the trumpets and the drums depart, the same Brexit squabbles live on. What do we mean to do, really, about immigration, protectionism, sovereignty and trade?
Cut to Wallonia, a desperate corner of Europe. Its collapsed heavy industry lies ruined in a hilly landscape. Its politics are equally outdated, socialists battling Marxists. Yet Wallonia...
October 21, 2016
The House of Commons is never more absurd than when kicking a man when he is down. Sir Philip Green is finished, one of the most unpopular men in Britain, barely safe even on his own yacht. Indulged, pampered and praised for decades, his life’s work is in ruins. And all MPs can do is call him “a spiv” and vote to strip him of his knighthood, whi...
October 20, 2016
Infrastructure is the new kale. It is the latest fad on the block. Every politician wants more of it. To Labour and Tory, TUC and CBI, infrastructure is the acceptable face of borrowing and spending. All will be well if we just pour billions into concrete. But for what?
I am told that half the trucks on the M1 are...
October 13, 2016
When David Cameron departed Downing Street, he left three white elephants grazing the Whitehall grasslands. They had been awaiting their fate for years, kept going with fodder slipped them by their kindly keeper, George Osborne. Cameron never made up his mind what to do with them and so left them to his successor. Their names were Hinkley...
October 9, 2016
As desanctified, secularised buildings owned by the community or local trusts, ailing churches may just survive
There is no way it looks good. Two thousand medieval churches in England have fewer than 10 worshippers, and 8,000 more can barely muster 20. More Muslims go to mosques than Anglicans go to church. Yet almost all are listed as historic. These lovely buildings are simply emptying. Doors are locked. Grass grows in churchyards.
More than 900 churches are now on the English Heritage...
October 5, 2016
Theresa May’s task as prime minister is simple. The good ship Brexit has left harbour. Storms of unknown ferocity lie ahead. Hatches must be battened and crew encouraged. The Tory faithful, pro-Brexit but suspicious of endless backsliding by their leaders, need reassuring. Nothing else of substance matters, only reassurance.
September 30, 2016
There is rightly sympathy for those who suffered in the past, but resources need to be put into child protection for today’s needs and tomorrow’s victims
The inquiry into historical sex abuse of children was never fit for purpose and should be dismantled. Something may then be salvaged from the wreck. Like too many inquiries into past history, it was flawed from the start. The reason is that it confused two separate issues, a public interest in the failings of public administration, and a desi...
September 28, 2016
Where there’s brass there’s muck, and where there’s muck there is usually a rake. The Daily Telegraph’s exposure of England’s football boss, Sam Allardyce, was just about fair within journalism’s code of conduct. There was prima facie suspicion of wrongdoing and no other way of securing evidence.
September 23, 2016
The iron law of the market is that you do not stifle demand by trying to stifle supply. It applies to drugs. It applies to alcohol. It applies to sex. It applies to ivory. For a generation, an international bureaucracy of UN officials and NGOs has been trying to stamp out ivory supply in Africa, much as it has been trying to stamp out cocaine supply in Latin America....
September 21, 2016
The Republican candidate for the presidency, Donald Trump, now reacts to any terrorist incident with crude cynicism. While the incessant killings of Americans by Americans prove only that America needs more guns, a failed killing by an American Muslim is “a terrible thing that is going on in our country … an attack on America”.
Related: After the New York bomb...