Matt Ridley nails it

We can and must make an offer to the fundamentalist Muslims: abandon your political ambitions and become a religion as this has come to be understood elsewhere in an increasingly diverse and tolerant world — a private moral code, a way of life, a philosophy — and you will find the rest of us to be friends. But threaten the hard-won political, intellectual and physical freedoms now accorded to every man and woman, yes even and especially women, in our essentially secular society and you will be resisted and, pray god, defeated.

Source: Stand up for our right to criticise Islam | Comment | The Times & The Sunday Times

Business rates

Two takes on the increase in business rates: Martin vander Weyer in the Spectator says that the idea that it can be defended because it is revenue neutral is bunkum. He writes, “a smarter calculation of ‘revenue neutrality’ would take account of profits generated, jobs created and benefits unclaimed in thriving towns and high streets. On …

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Your view of a policy depends on who is promoting it…

 

Shortly before the 2012 presidential election, a senior figure in the British intelligence community was asked who he wanted to win. He said he was praying for Obama: if Mitt Romney won and simply continued Obama’s drone strikes, there would be tens of thousands demonstrating in London and questions asked in Parliament about how exactly the UK was assisting.

Source: James Forsyth, What No. 10 has learned about dealing with the Donald

Muslim opinion poll

A 2007 book from the Gallup press, Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think, based on a poll of over 50,000 Muslims in 10 countries, found that 7 percent of Muslims deem the 9/11 attacks “completely justified,” 13.5 percent consider the attacks completely or “largely justified,” and 36.6 percent consider the attacks completely, …

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Hate crime

The increasing confusion about what hate crime means, who it refers to and what it covers is having its own divisive effect. Inflated hate crime figures are reinforcing division by painting a picture of a Britain more bigoted and hate-filled than it actually is. It has also created a two-tier justice system, because when it …

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Tackling poverty? Give people money.

Last year the Overseas Development Institute reviewed 165 studies into 56 cash transfer programs in 30 different countries to find out their true effectiveness. The findings showed that cash transfers had improved school attendance and reduced child labour, boosted access to healthcare, improved and diversified diets, stimulated local economies and resulted in a reduction in domestic violence. …

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Cutting carbon

The idea that cutting carbon will be free, or might even generate economic growth, just don’t stack up. Every economic model shows real costs. Let’s face it, if the claims were true, we wouldn’t need the Paris treaty: every nation would stampede to voluntarily cut CO₂ and get rich. Source: The Paris agreement was never …

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