The Outsider’s Diary

‘Why does a nation still admire people like the heroes of Dunkirk who — so far as I can see — they in no way still aspire to become?’

“Imagine if Boris Johnson had insulted Angela Merkel. Imagine that it wasn’t even a gaffe. Imagine if he had actually campaigned to stop her coming to London”

‘Did anyone anywhere predict that Harvey Weinstein would bring down the British
Defence Secretary? Yet people still confidently pronounce on life after Brexit’

‘The public aren’t told what might constitute suspicious behaviour. But I occasionally ponder the circumstances in which I would report anything’

‘At almost any time in history before today, someone who had deliberately released their own nation’s secrets would have been regarded as a traitor’

‘People now live under the misapprehension that the hysterical attitude is the correct one and the pitch at which we should all conduct our lives’

‘Britain is in the most complicated mess we have been in for decades’

‘Bernard-Henry Lévy and I debated populism, with Tony Blair as our warm-up act, at Google’s Zeitgeist event’

‘Society’s rewarding of outrage means we are ever less-inclined to give people what we used to call “the benefit of the doubt”’

“This must have been the first oration by a book-burner at Cambridge University for some centuries”