Charlottesville and the 200% Guilt Pie

I want to say a few things about what happened in Charlottesville, but before I get there I want to first set the scene by talking about one of the most egregious errors of the modern world, which is the misunderstanding of how guilt is apportioned. Let’s begin by imagining a squabble between two siblings. We’ll call them Joseph and Sam. They are arguing over a toy, and eventually Joseph snatches it, even though it belongs to Sam. Unhappy that […]

Drawing Conclusions Without Evidence is a Dangerous Game

This is my latest piece for Samaritan Ministries International Imagine a game of Cluedo where instead of sitting down to play by the rules – going from room to room, eliminating suspects, places and weapons – the players start making accusations and counter-accusations before a move has been made. One player says it must have been the Reverend Green, because he is known for his religious extremism. Another reacts to the charge by calling the first player a Christophobe. Still […]

The Post-Truth, Pre-Truth Society

As we enter a new year, one thing we can say for certain about the old year is that it was truly breath-taking in terms of unexpected political and geopolitical changes. There was the Brexit vote, a result that the British government and much of the media did just about everything they could to prevent, and were genuinely shocked at the outcome. Then there was the defeat of Mrs Clinton at the hands of Mr Trump, and once again the […]

The Case of Alexander Litvinenko & Soviet Justice (“Probably”)

The inquiry and report into the death of Alexander Litvinenko shows just how far our standards of justice have fallen, and how we no longer appear to even understand the basics. In fact, our legal standards have now been so diluted that we are prepared to pronounce judgement on the basis of mere “probabilities”, rather than the time-honoured standard of “beyond reasonable doubt”. Some may wonder if I am about to defend the alleged killers of Mr Litvinenko, the FSB, […]

Odessa one Year on: A Day of Infamy; A Day of Shame

Today marks the first anniversary of the massacre in Odessa, one of the most repugnant and shameful crimes committed in Europe since the defeat of Nazism in 1945. The official narrative has it that 48 people lost their lives when the Trades Union building in the city was set on fire. In all probability the number was far higher. How were these people killed? They were herded into the building by ultra nationalists from the Pravy Sektor who then set […]

Remember MH17?

It is now more than 9 months since the Malaysian Airlines plane, MH17 came down in Eastern Ukraine. If you can remember back then, the Western media and governments, without a shred of credible evidence, immediately blamed the tragedy on “Russia”, “Putin” or “pro-Russian separatists” or a combination of all three. You may also remember that the incident was immediately used to bring in a new round of sanctions against Russia. There are still some of us, however, who believe in […]

Too “Civilised” to Deal With Depravity in a Civilised Way

I have just had the misfortune to read a report on the BBC into the case of a group of men who have been convicted of some of the most appalling crimes imaginable on some of the youngest children imaginable. The report is here for anyone who wants more details, but it should come with the warning given by Prosecutor Robert Davies to the jury in the trial of two of the men that, “This prosecution will take you into a world […]

The King is Dead

Excruciating! Do you know where that word comes from? It comes from the same root word as the word Crucifixion. In Jesus’ day, nobody would talk about crucifixion. It was almost like a swear word, such was the horror and revulsion that that form of death brought. Anyone jesting about it would have been treated in the same way as someone jesting about Auschwitz might be seen today. Yet for the Messiah, the pain was not just physical. That was […]

Enoch Powell and the Presumption of Innocence

I wrote a few weeks back about the ironies of a nation celebrating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, and the liberties it gave rise to, at the same time as we are busy dumping those liberties. What Magna Carta did, was to begin a process of turning the nation from a state where the authorities could effectively prosecute and punish whomsoever they liked, without having to justify their actions, to a state which was itself under the law and […]

Justice Revealed

Bar-Abbas, son of the father, is a rebel, an insurrectionist and a murderer. Jesus, the Son of the Father, is innocent, perfect and the Light of the World. The chief priests, the elders and the Pharisees have been waiting for the messiah to come to begin the long awaited insurrection against the Romans. Yet when he comes, their charge against him in front of the Roman governor is that he is an insurrectionist — the King of the Jews. And they […]

The King’s Judgement

Imagine a courtroom where a man stands before the judge, the prosecution and his accusers. They are putting him on trial on trumped up charges, and they bring in witnesses after witness to testify against him, but none of the witness statements agree. Of course they don’t, since he is innocent of all wrongdoing. No matter. They are not actually interested in anything so much as justice here. In fact, they have already decided to find the man guilty — […]

Is it Still Possible to Commit Murder in the 21st Century?

That might seem like an extremely strange title for an article. Of course it is possible to commit murder in the 21st Century you might say. Yes it is, but the question I am asking relates more to the legal and judicial definition than it does the moral dimension. I have noticed — and my guess is that others at least in Britain have too — a huge increase in crimes which would once have been prosecuted as murder, which […]

Celebrating Magna Carta by Ending the Liberties it Bequeathed

Last year the Lonely Planet Guide named my home town of Salisbury as one of the top 10 places on the planet to visit. Well we were chuffed that they chose us, even if we did think it a little over the top. Indeed, the city has much to commend itself to visitors, such as the magnificent 13th century Cathedral, with its uniform gothic architecture throughout, not to mention being just a short drive from one of the most famous heritage […]

The Only Solution to the Racial Divisions in America

The following is a longer version of a piece I wrote for Samaritan Ministries’ January newsletter: A jury retires to consider its verdict in the case of a white cop shooting a black man. In this particular case, there is no evidence that the police officer acted from a racial motive. In actual fact, all the evidence shows that he acted entirely in self-defence and had a justifiable fear that his life was in danger. Nevertheless, this is the latest […]

“Maybe Putin Didn’t Kill My Son, After All”

The title of this piece is a reference to a scandalous headline put out by the UK’s Daily Mail on Saturday. Less than 48 hours after flight MH17 crashed in Eastern Ukraine, without any proper evidence, and before the investigation began, the Mail published the headline “Putin’s Killed my Son”. I have already commented on the implications of this type of reporting here, and the headline of this piece is more a suggestion for a headline the Mail might like […]

“Putin’s Killed my Son” and the Death of a Free Press

Less than 24 hours after Flight #MH17 came crashing down in Eastern Ukraine, the largest selling British Newspaper, The Sun, ran a headline which said “Putin’s Missile”. Before any evidence had been compiled, and before investigators had even reached the crash site, The Sun knew who was to blame. Such blatant and frankly disgraceful propaganda is par for the course for The Sun, but such headlines were not confined to this trashy tabloid. The following day, The Daily Mail, which would usually have a […]

Beware Our Omniscient Rulers

I was going to write the second part of this piece today. But as Harold MacMillan probably never said, “Events dear boy, events.” Yesterday a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Eastern Ukraine. This is of course a huge tragedy, and a surreal one at that. Surreal because it is just a few weeks since another Boeing 777, owned by the same airline, literally disappeared without a trace. Surreal also because the tragedy […]

Getting the plank out of our modern, tolerant eyes

We are fast in danger of becoming the most self-righteous generation in history. Self-righteousness is not, as some suppose, pointing out that some things are sinful and wrong. It is common these days, when a person highlights some particular sin, that the very fact that they have made the observation procures the charge of self-righteous by many. But no, pointing out sins and wickedness is not self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is a two-pronged fork. One of the prongs is pointing out the wrong […]

So is this how much the state thinks Peter Connelly’s life was worth?

On August 3rd 2007, Peter Connelly, a 17-month old child lay dead in his blood spattered cot. He was found to have more than 50 injuries to his little body, including a broken back, broken ribs and a broken tooth, having been systematically abused throughout his short life. In May 2009, his mother, Tracey Connelly, having been found guilty of “causing or allowing his death”, was handed an indefinite jail term with a minimum of five years. Her boyfriend, Steven Barker was given a […]