Author: Matthew Smith

On obscene generalisations

Last week a video circulated of a Canadian-based Somali imam making some ugly generalisations about African-American people, claiming that most of them were products of one-night stands and did not know who their fathers...

It’s not all about Brexit

Last Friday the Guardian printed a letter from a number of famous people who informed us that because of ‘concerns’ about anti-Semitism, they would be ‘unable’ to vote Labour in the forthcoming (12th December)...

Tu quoque

Tu quoque (you too) is a type of argument that is classified as a logical fallacy, that is, an argument that does not offer evidence of the point the arguer is trying to make...

As election nears, the witch-hunt steps up

So, the week before last, the date for a forthcoming general election — 12th December — was finally announced and parliament was prorogued (dissolved) for real, after months of wrangling so as to stop...

What is leadership?

The other day a friend shared this meme on Facebook: it reads “I want every little girl who’s told she’s bossy to be told instead that she has leadership skills”. It reminded me of...

A small fountain in the middle of an ornamental lake, with trees behind, some showing autumn colours.

Photography update

Since I’ve not had much time to write this week, here are some pictures I took on recent trips to gardens in southern England (all National Trust properties): Cliveden, Buckinghamshire: a vast estate with...

What was a ‘Bantustan’?

Last week it was revealed that the Australian politician Alexander Downer, who had been foreign secretary and high commissioner to the UK, had made a speech to an audience in Europe which advocated that...

On Labour’s private school dissolution policy

This evening, the Labour party’s national conference passed a motion to make the party committed to the dissolution of Britain’s private schools. The three-clause motion commits the party to include in its next general...

Stonehenge by-pass is vital

As a truck driver I have regularly had to use the A303 which goes past Stonehenge, the prehistoric stone-circle monument in Wiltshire. In today’s Observer there is a piece by Tom Holland which claims...

Time to put a stop to the 20mph zone fad

Over the past few years, a number of boroughs in London have imposed 20mph speed limits across most or all of the roads under their control (which in London is all except motorways and...