Original writing

Articles in this collection date from 1971 onwards. Nearly all are free to read online, but a handful are behind a paywall.

The meanest flowers that blow  Spectator  November 2011

American Culture Rides High  Forbes  November 2011

Moderation in (Almost) All  Standpoint  October 2011

Who Can Lead Us to Safety?  Forbes  September 2011

Lessons From The Great Forbes  August 2011

Sense and magnanimity  Spectator  July 2011

When the going got tough  Spectator  July 2011

Heroic long-suffering  Spectator  June 2011

The power of a pocket  Spectator  June 2011

After Strange Gods  Standpoint  June 2011

Wanted: Global Role Models  Forbes  June 2011

Debt: A Moral Issue  Forbes  May 2011

The Moral Logic of Intervention  Forbes  April 2011

Sins of the fathers  Spectator  March 2011

Failure of the feminists  Spectator  March 2011

China’s Secret Weakness  Forbes  March 2011

In Depth: Paul Johnson  C-Span2 BookTV.org  February 2011

Dirty rotten scholars  Spectator  February 2011

The Reign of Spain  Standpoint  February 2011

Measuring America’s Foes  Forbes  January 2011

The plum pudding trick  Spectator  December 2010

St Gilbert of Fleet Street  Standpoint  December 2010

Wanted: Someone to Trust  Forbes  November 2010

A race against time  Spectator  October 2010

God in A British Comeback  Forbes  October 2010

Labour’s Tory Boy  Standpoint  October 2010

Welsh wizardry and venom  Spectator  September 2010

Are Universities Worth It?  Forbes  August 2010

Is President Obama Anti-British?  Forbes  July 2011

Not every aspect pleases  Spectator  June 2010

Moral Fog of War  Standpoint  June 2010

The English Language and Freedom  Forbes  May 2010

For true democracy, bring back ostracism  Spectator  April 2010

Will Asia ever match the cultural magnificence of Europe?  Spectator  April 2010

Listening and Telling the Truth  Forbes  April 2010

A dangerous fellow  Spectator  February 2010

The Sickness of the West  Forbes  February 2010

Seductive Pursuits  Standpoint  February 2010

There Is No Keynesian Miracle  Forbes  February 2010

When dons were still happy to be egregious  Spectator  January 2010

A seasonal lament  Spectator  December 2009

Obama’s Prize-Winning Oratory  Forbes  December 2009

Nothing Noble About Nobel  Forbes  November 2009

Entrenched Enemies  Standpoint  October 2009

Looking For A True Conservative  Forbes  October 2009

A Job Waiting For A Woman?  Forbes  September 2009

Walking Our Way Out of Recession  Forbes  September 2009

Surgical Strike?  Forbes  August 2009

The Skeleton of History  Standpoint  June 2009

The Corruption of Britain  Forbes  June 2009

Diary – Of all the popes I have known  New Statesman  April 2009

Obama Has To Be World Sheriff  Forbes  April 2009

Richard Strauss: the Bavarian Joker in the Pack  Spectator  March 2009

Celebrating the Michelangelo of the Maida Vale pub  Spectator  March 2009

When the ferocious Conchita rode the ring and bulls trembled  Spectator  March 2009

Good lessons to be learned from the much-despised thirties  Spectator  March 2009

Lessons For Obama From Britain  Forbes  March 2009

What the temptations on the high mountain mean today  Spectator  February 2009

A time for American poets to speak out in warning?  Spectator  February 2009

Short works of genius that cheer up the writing profession  Spectator  February 2009

Would Darwin have put atheist slogans on buses?  Spectator  February 2009

In Business, Simplicity Is Golden  Forbes  February 2009

The case for simplicity is essentially a moral one  Spectator  January 2009

What Shakespeare has to say about the crisis  Spectator  January 2009

A Pantocrat who should be on everyone’s curriculum  Spectator  January 2009

Are you sophisticated? Here’s how to find out  Spectator  January 2009

Don’t ‘Invest’ In Art  Forbes  January 2009

What did they talk about in the Ice Age? The weather, of course  Spectator  December 2008

Dark days when you had to be polite to bankers  Spectator  December 2008

A simple explanation for the origins of the universe – and us too  Spectator  December 2008

Plus ca change in the bustling hurly-burly world of Westbourne Grove  Spectator  December 2008

When Poets and Chemists Fused  Standpoint  December 2008

When the leaves fall is the fun time of year for artists  Spectator  November 2008

Books do furnish a room; overfurnish it too  Spectator  November 2008

And a large glass of the Inwariable, taken hot  Spectator  November 2008

There’s plenty of goodies yet in the English word-factory  Spectator  November 2008

A World In Search Of Leaders  Forbes  November 2008

What were Gladstone and Disraeli laughing about? Too rude to tell  Spectator  October 2008

Jane Austen knew all about a banking crisis  Spectator  October 2008

Michelangelo, old boy, do you think you might…  Spectator  October 2008

The cartoonist who could make even God the Father laugh  Spectator  October 2008

From Hadrian to Gordon: sublime to ridiculous  Spectator  October 2008

The Nonsense of Global Warning  Forbes  October 2008

Can We Afford Liberalism Now?  Forbes  October 2008

Stop throwing bricks! You might hit a bishop’s niece  Spectator  September 2008

Today’s Friday so we must be in Spain  Spectator  September 2008

Should a widowed mother aged thirteen be a saint?  Spectator  September 2008

High-pitched buzzing from the booksy boys and girls  Spectator  September 2008

Should We Fear the Bear?  Forbes  September 2008

What we really want to know is not on the menu  Spectator  August 2008

Roasted on a gridiron for the sake of Green pseudo-conscience  Spectator  August 2008

A leisure class can accommodate the workaholics of wisdom  Spectator  August 2008

Splendours and miseries of the Queen’s English in the 21st century  Spectator  August 2008

Let Economies Cure Themselves  Forbes  August 2008

Getting beneath the skin of the tickling phenomenon  Spectator  July 2008

Eye-stopping glimpses of an exotic and forbidden world  Spectator  July 2008

Human beings and pigs have a very peculiar relationship  Spectator  July 2008

The truth little Red Rum can teach those clever dons  Spectator  July 2008

A gardener must be a philosopher but never an atheist  Spectator  July 2008

Parallel Lives  National Review Online  June 2008

Beware the power lobbies, entangling the great in their entrails  Spectator  June 2008

How to fill a lecture hall, and how to empty it  Spectator  June 2008

Don’t ask an African elephant to show you his cardiograms  Spectator  June 2008

‘Mr Pont, may I introduce you to Miss Austen’  Spectator  June 2008

Americans Should Count Their Blessings  Forbes  June 2008

Things that get into print and make us shudder  Spectator  May 2008

Heaven may be the perfect library but some on earth come close  Spectator  May 2008

What kind of pyjamas did President Kennedy wear in bed?  Spectator  May 2008

Literary woodlice boring needless holes in biographical bedposts  Spectator  May 2008

The French Revolution  New Statesman  May 2008

No Asset Like the Special Relationship  Forbes  May 2008

Glad Bush Is Still Around  Forbes  May 2008

When the corridors of power echo to the strains of ‘Nil nisi bunkum’  Spectator  April 2008

Songs the BBC spoilsports might not let you sing  Spectator  April 2008

When fine art jostles fashion art off the stage  Spectator  April 2008

What has that thrush got to sing about, asked Mr Hardy  Spectator  April 2008

When markets come crashing down, send for the man with the big red nose  Spectator  April 2008

Why the example of Mary Magdalene is relevant today  Spectator  March 2008

Quality for dinner. Pass the Fairy Liquid, old boy  Spectator  March 2008

Was Sir William Joynson-Hicks hair-brained?  Spectator  March 2008

A golden rail-pass in the fob is a perk worth having  Spectator  March 2008

The Winner Will Need Brains and Guts  Forbes  March 2008

Ten perfect poems and one little brown man  Spectator  February 2008

Fiction as a crutch to get one through life  Spectator  February 2008

When gobbling brawn is caviar to the general  Spectator  February 2008

She crucified her enemies and burnt London to the ground. Meet Britain’s first feminist, Boadicea  Daily Mail  February 2008

Impatience + Greed = Trouble  Forbes  February 2008

Shakespeare, Neo-Platonism and Princess Diana  Spectator  January 2008

The Public Enemy, the moll and the squashed grapefruit  Spectator  January 2008

When words come to life and evoke sounds, smells and images  Spectator  January 2008

What has sawing a lady in half to do with global warming?  Spectator  January 2008

A cheer for the quetzal, a sigh for the heron  Spectator  January 2008

America’s Suez?  New Statesman  January 2008

Where Industry Has Failed Us  Forbes  January 2008

Rejoice but remember: the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom  Spectator  December 2007

From Renaissance Florence to Hollywood in only one contrapposto step  Spectator  December 2007

People who put their trust in human power delude themselves  Spectator  December 2007

Pursuing Success Is Not Enough  Forbes  December 2007

In salons for writers, beware giving a black eye to literature  Spectator  November 2007

Toys that are too good for children and only for the rich  Spectator  November 2007

A magic moment in the gruesome history of portrait sculpture  Spectator  November 2007

Courage Needed To Disarm Iran  Forbes  November 2007

Are famous writers accident prone? Some are  Spectator  October 2007

Nothing to beat a garden full of wildfowl and historical memories  Spectator  October 2007

You can admire a roguish old pagan without approving of him  Spectator  October 2007

They sang ‘Nearer my God to thee’ as the Titanic went down  Spectator  October 2007

The countryside should be a place of life, not of death  Spectator  October 2007

Militant Atheism and God  Forbes  October 2007

Who’s eating my favourite lizards on Lake Como?  Spectator  September 2007

Don’t despise paper – it’s a central pillar of civilisation  Spectator  September 2007

What did the Duchess get up to in her wood-and-turf hut?  Spectator  September 2007

When the skies darken, the glow of gold is always welcome  Spectator  September 2007

Who Will Say “I Promise To Lay Off?”  Forbes  September 2007

No Shortage of Good Samaritans  Forbes  September 2007

Whoever expected writers to be other than difficult people?  Spectator  August 2007

Visiting cathedrals? Here are England’s top ten  Spectator  August 2007

Not so much the Mad Hatter, more the Mad Scientist now  Spectator  August 2007

One last cigarette before the firing squad? Certainly not!  Spectator  August 2007

Thinking of becoming a cartoonist in today’s Britain? Think again  Spectator  August 2007

Is the Loch Ness Monster heading for real celebrity?  Spectator  July 2007

The moral theology of the umbrella stand  Spectator  July 2007

Not going gentle into the good night  Spectator  July 2007

And Another Thing  Spectator  July 2007

Greed Is Safer Than Power-Seeking  Forbes  July 2007

Why Agatha Christie never made camel soufflé  Spectator  June 2007

The man who took a PhD in Happiness Science  Spectator  June 2007

Rubbish, entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics  Spectator  June 2007

A very parfit gentil knight of music  Spectator  June 2007

London: Epicenter of Capitalism  Forbes  June 2007

The young generation prefers to face life with their gloves off  Spectator  May 2007

Why we don’t know who killed Cock Robin  Spectator  May 2007

Cultural revolutions come from below, not above  Spectator  May 2007

Maytime and ‘Some wet, bird-haunted English lawn’  Spectator  May 2007

The English: The ‘missing persons’ of Europe  Spectator  May 2007

Needed: Leaders Of Courage  Forbes  May 2007

It is the imagination which links man to God  Spectator  April 2007

There are some people that you are always glad to see  Spectator  April 2007

Thank God for a wise, truth-telling Pope  Spectator  April 2007

Tales of ‘Stuffing it’ Austen, ‘Eye-opener’ Dickens and ‘Banana’ Waugh  Spectator  April 2007

The Menace of the Lobby  Forbes  April 2007

Benefactors Must Be Hard-Headed  Forbes  April 2007

Noah and his ark are perennial, and now fashionable too  Spectator  March 2007

The grace and glory, the exultant euphoria of successful flower painting  Spectator  March 2007

Technological warfare against mice won’t work. Try cats  Spectator  March 2007

The little Spaniard and the bearded lady of the Abruzzi  Spectator  March 2007

What constitutes elegant company in the 21st century?  Spectator  March 2007

American Idealism and Realpolitik  Forbes  March 2007

There are worse things than 35ft crocodiles  Spectator  February 2007

Are we heading, eyes open, to a materialist Hell on Earth?  Spectator  February 2007

Is this a toasting fork I see before me?  Spectator  February 2007

Sex, Snobbery and Sadism  New Statesman  February 2007

The Middle East Situation Is Not Hopeless  Forbes  February 2007

What Shakespeare thought of death, and New Labour  Spectator  January 2007

Why the events at Cana went down in history  Spectator  January 2007

Time raises Longfellow, like Lazarus, from the dead  Spectator  January 2007

The best thing ever written about music in our language  Spectator  January 2007

Don’t laugh too loud – the theatre of the world is unsafe  Spectator  January 2007

Velazquez: the high, the devastating price of snobbery  Spectator  December 2006

The significance of the order: ‘All hands on deck!’  Spectator  December 2006

What happens when you inherit your uncle’s underclothes  Spectator  December 2006

Space: Our Ticket To Survival  Forbes  December 2006

When a leading statesman is also a model of decorum  Spectator  November 2006

A writer plays hookey with a magic paintbox  Spectator  November 2006

A wood is the one fixed point in a changing world  Spectator  November 2006

Remember your Latin? Don’t all speak at once!  Spectator  November 2006

The real message of Frankenstein’s monster for humanity  Spectator  November 2006

The human race: success or failure?  The New Criterion  November 2006

As Tom Paine wrote, ‘Every nickname is a title’  Spectator  October 2006

Making jokes is hard, and is certainly no laughing matter  Spectator  October 2006

No wise man, and no great artist, leaves God out  Spectator  October 2006

Let us now praise famous horses  Spectator  October 2006

Back to Anarchy  New Statesman  October 2006

Envy Is Bad Economics  Forbes  October 2006

Better to Borrow or Lend?  Forbes  October 2006

The profound mysteries of why we enjoy music  Spectator  September 2006

Here be monsters, of one kind or another  Spectator  September 2006

When letters become posthumous suicide notes  Spectator  September 2006

A county palatine fit for a Queen  Spectator  September 2006

Don’t Practice Legal Terrorism  Forbes  September 2006

What great painting is all about  Spectator  August 2006

One touch of nature makes the whole world a lender  Spectator  August 2006

Chronological conjunctions, God’s favourite parlour game  Spectator  August 2006

What did Jane Austen and Bill Clinton have in common?  Spectator  August 2006

First intimations of the immortality of a 12-year-old in 1940  Spectator  August 2006

The genius of verse and song whose life was a Book of Job  Spectator  July 2006

A summer rhapsody for a pedal-bike  Spectator  July 2006

Read any good books lately? Not novels, alas  Spectator  July 2006

The truth about the crooked timbers of humanity is too painful  Spectator  June 2006

Up North, heaven is eating black puddings to the sound of tubas  Spectator  June 2006

A professional comedian’s desolate vision of hell  Spectator  June 2006

The misleading dimensions of persons and lives  Spectator  June 2006

First Editions Are Not Gold  Forbes  June 2006

A rich man should not always give his money to the poor  Spectator  May 2006

The message of a great European cathedral  Spectator  May 2006

High standards of grub are the norm in West Somerset  Spectator  May 2006

Space is illusory and time deceitful  Spectator  May 2006

A man need not be a Byron to get by  Spectator  May 2006

Dishonesty begins not with the poor but with the powerful  Spectator  May 2006

Was Washington Right About Parties?  Forbes  May 2006

A noble lady who showed that virtue is its own reward  Spectator  April 2006

The age of stout hearts, sharp swords – and fun  Spectator  April 2006

Let us not be Pontius Pilate and wash our hands  Spectator  April 2006

Well, and what have you been giving up for Lent?  Spectator  April 2006

Let’s Have More Babies!  Forbes  April 2006

Lincoln and the Compensation Culture  Forbes  April 2006

Don’t put your daughter on the train, Mrs. Worthington  Spectator  March 2006

Bottle-beauties and the globalised blond beast  Spectator  March 2006

A.J.P. Taylor: a saturnine star who had intellectuals rolling in the aisles  Spectator  March 2006

Kindly write on only one side of the paper  Spectator  March 2006

Who was the most right-wing man in history?  Spectator  February 2006

Not bad going, to do one imperishable thing in life  Spectator  February 2006

Did Timothy take Paul’s advice about water?  Spectator  February 2006

A winter’s day walk in the Quantocks  Spectator  February 2006

Creators Versus Critics  Forbes  February 2006

‘Should there be a retiring age for writers?’ Discuss.  Spectator  January 2006

What I would do if I were a multibillionaire  Spectator  January 2006

What happened to all that ‘ivy never sere’?  Spectator  January 2006

Three cheers for life and to hell with the pessimists  Spectator  January 2006

The Rhino Principle  Forbes  January 2006

Time for St George to start slaying dragons again  Spectator  December 2005

Odd man out in the age of ‘celebs’  Spectator  December 2005

Things to pray for in this season of Advent  Spectator  December 2005

Is the former ambassador a shit, a gad or a rat?  Spectator  November 2005

Are the handshake and cheek-peck on the way out?  Spectator  November 2005

Answers to the questions the boffins dismiss as meaningless  Spectator  November 2005

Science can be just as corrupt as any other activity  Spectator  November 2005

Prayer in the White House  Forbes  November 2005

Going to market is an education in itself these days  Spectator  October 2005

Anatomy of a fashionable don in the bad old days  Spectator  October 2005

A place where poets and painters come to feast on nature  Spectator  October 2005

Increasingly it is historians who have the answers in science  Spectator  October 2005

It is right for a religion to echo its primitive origins  Spectator  October 2005

A Time To Count Our Blessings  Forbes  October 2005

Not a city of spires but bare ruined choirs  Spectator  September 2005

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore  Spectator  September 2005

From Robespierre to Al-Qa’eda: categorical extermination  Spectator  September 2005

An old German philosopher and the impotence of Europe  Spectator  September 2005

Look To India  Forbes  September 2005

The ayatollah of Atheism and Darwin’s altars  Spectator  August 2005

Wittgenstein and the fatal propensity of politicians to lie  Spectator  August 2005

The saponaceous opera of newspaper dynasties and villainies  Spectator  August 2005

The magic moment when you go under the great Forth Bridge  Spectator  August 2005

Two contrasting occupants of this royal throne of kings  Spectator  July 2005

Rearranging the shop window of the past  Spectator  July 2005

An operation for fistula and its creative aftermath  Spectator  July 2005

The histrionic Jane slipping in and out of the limelight  Spectator  July 2005

Jaw-jaw is better than war-war – if it’s well-mannered  Spectator  July 2005

Whatever else you do, don’t miss the bus!  Spectator  June 2005

It’s Party Time in the gardens of the West End  Spectator  June 2005

When Wittgenstein and Hitler were whistling schoolboys together  Spectator  June 2005

When coughing drowns the parson’s saw  Spectator  June 2005

What Europe Really Needs  The Wall Street Journal  June 2005

Thoughts on the Existence of God  Forbes  June 2005

No need for scientists to be dogmatic about the existence, or not, of God  Spectator  May 2005

What did Lord Cardigan and D.H. Lawrence have in common?  Spectator  May 2005

Last one to leave the skyscraper, please turn out the lights  Spectator  May 2005

‘Where’s the ball?’ ‘Out of the ground, sir’  Spectator  May 2005

Five Marks of a Great Leader  Forbes  May 2005

Why beeches are better than other trees in the woods  Spectator  April 2005

Where the Darwinian fundamentalists are leading us  Spectator  April 2005

A personal report on mysterious noises from space  Spectator  April 2005

What is good, and how do we define goodness?  Spectator  April 2005

Going down to Kew in daffodil time  Spectator  April 2005

The Philosopher-Pope  The Wall Street Journal  April 2005

Principled realism: Good For Both Parties  Forbes  April 2005

No such luck as Death of an Outsourcing Salesman  Spectator  March 2005

A message of hope from a teeming church in Kensington  Spectator  March 2005

Trundling Musso’s stolen obelisk back to its African home  Spectator  March 2005

Brunnhilde was not conjured up in a glass of common gin  Spectator  March 2005

The UN is For Talk, Not Action  Forbes  March 2005

A little Anglo-Irish devil who painted like an archangel  Spectator  February 2005

A word in favour of 7,000 persecuted Chinese bears  Spectator  February 2005

When copulating, beware falling into Deep Structures  Spectator  February 2005

The inexorable march of censorship in New Labour Britain  Spectator  February 2005

Why Millions Say, Softly, God Bless America  Forbes  February 2005

A cure for melancholy: Parmigianino, Dickens, Schubert  Spectator  January 2005

Why not stop abusing Prince Harry and start thinking?  Spectator  January 2005

Why the giant waves were acts of a benevolent God  Spectator  January 2005

The decline and fall of the femme fatale  Spectator  January 2005

The angry megalosaurus coming up Holborn Hill  Spectator  January 2005

Germany’s Dismal Future  Forbes  January 2005

A Christmas message to New Labour: Give up preaching class hatred  Spectator  December 2004

Learning with delight the art of having your portrait painted  Spectator  December 2004

High Stakes  National Review  October 2004

It’s not what you put in but what you leave out that matters  Spectator  November 2004

Dirge for the decline and fall of the western intelligentsia  Spectator  November 2004

English marches on in the age of Bush and Blair  Spectator  November 2004

Autumn, grand despoiler of beauty, and truth-teller  Spectator  November 2004

Must The Whole World Speak English?  Forbes  November 2004

Johnson’s Law of Global Worry   Forbes  November 2004

Splendours and miseries of the man on the alabaster elephant  Spectator  October 2004

When Are You Seriously Rich?  Forbes  October 2004

Will Showbiz and Moneybags Highjack the Election?  Forbes  September 2004

Want To Prosper? Then be Tolerant  Forbes  June 2004

Freedom Can Be Made To Work In Russia  Forbes  May 2004

President Bush and Mr. Micawber  Forbes  April 2004

Deterrence for the 21st Century  Forbes  April 2004

Strong, Silent Men Make Good Presidents  Forbes  March 2004

UN: Get Out Of New York!  Forbes  February 2004

End of French-Dominated Europe in Sight?  Forbes  January 2004

America’s New Empire for Liberty  Hoover Digest  October 2003

Europe’s Utopian Hangover  Forbes  October 2003

The Long Haul In Iraq  Forbes  September 2003

Anti-Americanism is Racist Envy  Forbes  July 2003

The party was her life and soul  The Telegraph  June 2003

From “the Evil Empire” to “the Empire for Liberty”  The New Criterion  June 2003

The US, Not The UN, Speaks for Humanity  Forbes  June 2003

That old-time religion  The Telegraph  May 2003

Riches Breed Innocence But Not Happiness  Forbes  April 2003

Five Vital Lessons From Iraq  Forbes  March 2003

Britain: A Thieves’ Paradise  Forbes  February 2003

Wanted: A New Breed of American Hero  Forbes  January 2003

Riding The Arab World of Intellectual Poison  Forbes  November 2002

Leviathan to the Rescue  National Review  October 2002

In the Coming Gulf War, President Bush Must Follow The Golden Rules  Forbes  September 2002

Current Events  Forbes  August 2002

The Necessity for Christianity  Leadership U  July 2002

Current Events  Forbes  June 2002

Ten Reasons For Identifying with America  Forbes  May 2002

Current Events  Forbes  April 2002

Putting Too Many Eggs in the China Basket  Forbes  March 2002

Coming Battle of Words and Reason  Forbes  November 2001

“Relentlessly and Thoroughly” The only way to respond  National Review  October 2001

The Clinton-Blair Syndrome: “Sleaze Doesn’t Matter”  Forbes  April 2001

1968 – The new spectre haunting Europe  New Statesman  December 1999

Rothbard Revises the History of the Great Depression  Ludwig von Mises Institute  December 1999

Why Britain Should Join America  Forbes  April 1999

Obituary – Tom Baistow  New Statesman  March 1999

Israel: The Miracle  Commentary  May 1998

Margaret Thatcher  Time Magazine  April 1998

Catholics in a New Millennium  Catholic Herald  February 1995

Essay: John Paul II, Kitchen Pope, Warrior Pope  Time Magazine  December 1994

Anti-Anglo attitudes  The New Criterion  October 1990

Europe and the Reagan Years  Foreign Affairs  1988

Right in their Own Eyes  Grace Communion International  1987

Tuchman’s folly  The New Criterion  May 1984

Oil embargo will benefit U.S.  Catholic Herald  January 1974

U.S. Wickedness and Chile’s Tragedy  Catholic Herald  September 1973

Ulster: When will we ever learn? Catholic Herald  October 1971


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