In highly censored societies, jokes about the rulers are important sources of gauging the national temper. They convey the unvarnished truth about public perception of a person and a regime, and offer real glimpses into the mood of the country and its culture.Read more »
As David Cameron at last offers some - albeit tentative - leadership on the questions that have long beset us (identity; 'multiculturalism'; learning to discriminate between kinds of citizen - i.e. those that love their country and those that seek to destroy it; a common home, all of which I've written about ad nauseam since 1989), it is time also to recover not just our own voices on these vexed issues, but invest the language of values about which Cameron remains wilfully vague, with some meaningful content.Read more »
Sayeeda Warsi’s speech was brave, and also irritating.
Brave because the subject of religious illiteracy needs tackling, and such is the nature of British discourse about race or religion, it will only command a hearing when it comes from the underdog. She grasped the poisoned chalice.
Annoying however because if this is the best we can do, after all the religious cataclysms of recent years, we’re in a terrible mess.
Brave because Warsi is a feisty woman who clearly feels able to tell the Pope what he should be doing.Read more »