The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevskii

Man is a wolf to man, according to The Grand Inquisitor in Dostoevskii’s The Brothers Karamazov. He has no inclination to be good, but is weak and rebellious. He cannot escape from the compulsion of logic. He is doomed to self-destruct through the assertion of his will. His quest for harmony is futile, unless he […]

Maxima Mea Culpa

Alex Gibney’s new documentary, Maxima Mea Culpa, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this year, casts a critical eye on the issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, and most striking is the film’s expose of how this abuse was, and still is, covered up not by low and middle ranking priests […]

The “Evil” of Daniel Bartlam

To label the teenager Daniel Bartlam “evil”, as the Daily Mirror does this morning, is a gross oversimplification, not least because implicit in this label is the idea that he is somehow not human, something other, an abomination. He is none of these. Rather he is all too human – an isolated, troubled and destructive […]

The Tragedy and Delusion of KONY 2012’s Jason Russell

Jason Russell’s KONY 2012 film is indeed very powerful, playing perfectly to an idealistic youth with its simplistic, gung-ho Hollywood sentiment: that human evil can be eradicated and the world finally made good if only Joseph Kony, the Ugandan warlord, is at last captured and punished. And this youth, by virtue of their youth – […]

Hirst and Emin: Artists of Deceit

I have a dear friend – an immensely gifted writer and artist – who not only produces wonderful work of real craft and quality but is faithful to it also. He is his art; his art him. What he creates reflects his character, no more than this, provides a window to his soul, and the […]

The Ugly and Awkward Truth of “Occupy London”

One of the protester’s banners at Occupy London declares, “The 99% needs a safety net more than the 1% needs a security blanket.” Many mainstream commentators argue that the protesters are nothing but a bunch of demented anarchists and hateful Marxists in search of either chaos or utopia, presenting no viable alternative to the Capitalism […]

God and Melanie Phillips Will Cure ‘Sick’ Britain!

David Cameron, returning from his holiday in Tuscany earlier this week, declared a “fightback” against the rioters in England, vowing he’d do “whatever it takes” to restore order to the streets after four days of rioting and looting. He had to respond decisively – for there were significant questions over his leadership after he seemed […]

A Decadent and Murderous Underclass!

A Mail on Sunday poll this week reveals that “more than half of Britons want a return of the death penalty,” and this prompts me to reflect on a recent prison visit I made, in order to read from, and discuss, one of my novels – a meditation on life and death. As I sat […]

The State of Modern Fiction

What the fuck is going on with modern fiction?! I’m dying to read that wonderful book, which has a bloody big heart, yet I cannot find it. Gifted writers I greatly admire like William Boyd are now forced to churn out books like Restless, an all-too-familiar spy thriller that will be forgotten in no time, […]

Society Today – Why Are They Begging?

Society Today, Vol. 1, No. 2, November/December 2005 This is the question on our lips when we walk past a man or woman huddled in the doorway of a shop front like some desperate animal, wrapped in a dirty blanket clinging to it for warmth, hiding a face smeared with grime and shame, and clutching […]