Author: Charlie Peters

A Conservative Defence of Refugee Rights

Recently, conservative governments on both sides of the Atlantic have been working hard to make refugee migration more difficult. In the United States, Donald Trump signed an executive order shortly after his inauguration blocking refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. In the United Kingdom, the government has announced that the Dubs programme, a scheme to resettle unaccompanied child refugees, will be closed down. When the ‘Dubs amendment’ to the Immigration Act passed last year, its supporters thought that Britain had committed to taking in 3000 child refugees. By the time the scheme is discontinued this month, Britain will have resettled only 350. Both moves now face legal action, with some significant progress already made in the American courts. But even as we let the lawyers work to protect civil liberties, it is imperative that conservatives make amends for their recent failure to stand up for refugee rights. Conservatives are supposed to be the political stewards of life, liberty, responsibility, and inheritance. But on the issue of refugee rights, we are failing our characteristically staunch commitment to these values. Conservatives’ concern for human life leads many …

Want to Take Back Control? Then Abolish the Rule of Lords

“Take back control” was the main message of the Leave side throughout the referendum campaign. Britons recognised that the EU created a vast democratic deficit. Polling after the referendum showed that sovereignty was the primary motivation for Leave voters. They discovered the true extent of the power of Brussels bureaucrats — many of whom they had not even heard of, let alone elected — and it angered them. But as we pass through political purgatory four months after the vote, the momentum created by that surge for control has waned. People were enthused by the opportunity to recover Westminster’s powers from Brussels; now it’s time to restore power to the masses. British people did not vote to remove unelected Eurocrats only to keep their own versions at home. They voted to, as key liberal Brexiteer Daniel Hannan frequently stated, retain the right to “hire and fire our lawmakers”. But the institutions that Brexiteers campaigned against are matched at home. Our main Brussels-replica is called the House of Lords. If we truly want to take back control, then …

University Feminists Are Betraying Their Movement’s Liberal Past

University feminists are tired of tolerance. Universities are banning anyone and anything their feminist professors and students take issue with. Cardiff banned Germaine Greer; apparently, she’s the wrong kind of feminist. Goldsmiths College banned Kate Smurthwaite; she’s the wrong kind of comedian. Oxford silenced a debate on abortion. For the architects of the safe space, nothing is safe from being added to the list of the unsafe. ‘Blurred Lines’ was banned for being the wrong kind of song. The Sun was banned for being the wrong kind of newspaper. What today’s feminists value, above all else, is diversity — except, of course, diversity of ideas. Feminism wasn’t always this censorious. The university feminists of today do not reflect the motives of the classical past of their movement. The Swedish feminist — and personal heroine of mine — Margareta Momma wrote extensively in defence of tolerance during the age of Enlightenment. In her excellent essays she defends freedom of speech, freedom of religion and promotes the view that women are just as capable as men of …