The Critic

December 2021

The Critic is Britain's new highbrow monthly current affairs magazine for politics, art and literature. Dedicated to rigorous content, first rate writing and unafraid to ask the questions others won't.

United Kingdom
Locomotive 6960 LTD
10 Issues

in this issue

4 min
mouldy mandarins

ONCE BRITISH IMPERIAL AMBITION coloured the map of the globe pink. Now it must surely be largely green with envy, as there are so many things in Britain for the rest of the world to covet: our judges, our police, our BBC, our NHS, of course, and perhaps most impressively of all, our civil service. While the Westminster model might have fallen into rancid partisanship across the Anglosphere, Whitehall has not yet let us down. Northcote-Trevelyan still rules. Where other public bureaucracies suffer from corruption, inefficiency, politics and patronage, we enjoy all the benefits of loyal, effective, disinterested civil servants, promoted on merit. We know this is so because they tell us. Every living former cabinet secretary wrote to The Times last month with a clever solution to the problem of “public…

7 min

ISRAEL MALIGNED You will not find a better illustration of the decidedly unhinged anti-Israel obsessiveness of the Woke Left than this sentence appearing in Janine di Giovanni’s article (“Stateless in Gaza”, November 2021): “Even North Korea has slammed Israel for turning Gaza into a human slaughterhouse.” So Israel, by implication, is worse than North Korea, and is supposed to take moral lessons even from that benighted Stalinist dystopia? Di Giovanni evidently sees the world, and the Israel/Palestine conflict, in Manichaean terms: Palestinians good; Israel bad. You will not find in her article, even the hint of a suggestion that perhaps some of the problems in Gaza might be even a tiny bit self-inflicted? No acknowledgement that the response to Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza was the election of an Islamist government that demonises Jews, rejects any…

4 min
shifting the goalposts on israel

A PARTHEID IS A horrible word. The preferred pronunciation — “aparthate” — sums it up rather well. Afrikaans for “separateness”, it was the system that classified South Africans by race and enabled the minority white population to repress the majority from 1948 to the early 1990s. Racial discrimination is particularly pernicious because individuals can never change their heritage. A state that thus persecutes its citizens deserves international condemnation. That’s why those seeking to demonise the State of Israel are accusing it of apartheid. They hope that if this false slur gains currency, Israel will become an international pariah. I should probably declare an interest as someone with the closest possible personal links to Israel. But that is not why I am writing this column. The first reason, is that apartheid is a…

5 min
man about town

The late, late show NOW THAT LONDON IS ROUGHLY BACK to its dog-eared self, an old problem resurfaces. Even we votaries of the muses need our downtime; the question has ever been where to disport oneself following the evening’s official entertainment — the more so since one is usually in sore need of relief of one kind or another after the show. While this was never exactly the city that never sleeps, now even the sainted Joe Allen — haven of post show depressives and dipsos for as long as anyone can remember — takes last booze orders at 11.20pm, thanks to the councillors of Westminster, rivals of the Mongol horde in their hatred of culture and entertainment (is there no pro-Genghis pressure group complaining about insults like these?). Inspired by the ferociously…

2 min
the diary of dilyn the dog

We are staying at a hotel, because Bozzo wants to get to know the people he works with. They’re called MPs, and he says it’s their job to do what he says, but sometimes they think it’s not. So he says if they all go away together and have a few drinks, they’ll get the idea. Cazza says I have to come in case Bozzo decides he wants to get to know any of them too well. She says if he talks to any ladies, I have to wee on their handbags. Yesterday they all sat in a big room while Frosty talked to them about his plan for war with France, and they all cheered, and then Rishi said they couldn’t afford it, and they all booed. In the evening, they…

14 min
remotely wishing you a merry christmas

THREE STATE SECURITY VANS pulled up outside the church. Officers got out and began pounding on the door, threatening to break it down. Inside the pastor knew they’d come. Church gatherings had just been made illegal in his country but pro-regime neighbours had spotted people entering and had informed the authorities, to the applause of government media. Elsewhere Christians met more discreetly. One church gave the location of services only to trusted people by word of mouth. Once assembled, hymns were sung, the Bible was read and prayers were offered to God. More unusual was the location: the worshippers sat on hay bales in a barn, the service occasionally interrupted by livestock. These are not examples of the underground church in China, but from Britain last year. Wade McLennan, who came to…