Author: Dylan Neri

PART 1UPDATED

Consett Corona Photo Project: interview with George Ledger Part 1

Dylan Neri

On 23 March 2020, the Prime Minister delivered a very simple instruction to the British public: “you must stay at home.” Since this dependence day, and the introduction into popular discourse of the word ‘lockdown’, people have adapted to a host of alien measures and customs. Social distancing, mandated isolation, face cloths, PPE, and those […]

PART 2UPDATED

Consett Corona Photo Project: interview with George Ledger Part 2

Dylan Neri

Beautiful photographs I suggest that the photo is absolutely beautiful. The pandemic has had few positive aspects, but one of them certainly is the appreciation for those wonderful workers who built this country up and keep it running each and every day. And this photograph shows the rightful pride key workers should have in what […]

Opinion

Now there’s a good sport: football and secular saints

Dylan Neri

In preparing for this article I promised myself that I would not mention Orwell. His brilliant and undervalued essay ‘The Sporting Spirit’ is the only analysis of the horrible collective psychology inculcated by international sporting events one need read. (But please do read on anyway.) And his ‘Notes on Nationalism’ are a handy and imperishable […]

Time must have a stop: the ongoing relevance of Huxley

Dylan Neri

I was reading through the essays of Aldous Huxley recently, creator of our notion of a ‘brave new world’, when I was struck by a piece entitled ‘On a Sentence from Shakespeare.’ Allow me to share the opening paragraph, “If you say absolutely everything, it all tends to cancel out into nothing. Which is why […]

The Online Safety Bill: threats to free speech

Dylan Neri

There are roughly three approaches to free speech: the absolutist approach of the United States, outlined in the First Amendment to the Constitution; the authoritarian approach, that says speech must be limited to ensure order and stability, for the safety of the collective; and, a third approach, encapsulated by the blurry wording of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 10, with its dubious reference to the “duties and responsibilities”, which argues that free expression must occasionally be restricted to the benefit of the minority.

The Great British Spring Clean: councillors and MP lend a hand

Dylan Neri

Kenton councillors Stephen Lambert, Chair of the Kenton Committee, and Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Environment, along with Catherine McKinnell MP, joined local residents for a clean-up of North Kenton Park as part of the ‘Great British Spring Clean’ over the weekend.

Jamie Driscoll interview part 2: talking politics

Dylan Neri

“I joined the Labour Party in 1985, while the miners’ strike was going on…and my mum was a trade union representative… and went on to become the women’s officer for Cleveland Count Council, and the chair of the Refuge from Domestic Violence in Middlesbrough.”

Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor interview: part 1

Dylan Neri

There is a real passion for the community and the region which permeates everything Mayor Driscoll says. It is clear that he sees the enfranchisement of the local communities and local businesses as the key aspect of his plans for the region.

Review

Grandfathers and sons: Blair and Bazarov

Dylan Neri

But where Blair errs is in his definition, or understanding, of ‘progressive’ politics; an understanding which enables him to equate the Biden administration (or, the not-Trump administration) with the cause of political progress.

Review

The age of surveillance capitalism

Dylan Neri

Book review: The age of surveillance capitalism In the twentieth century, two visionary texts cast their shadows over the future of our species. One was George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, with its horrific vision of a brutal totalitarian state grounded in the concept of ‘War is Peace’, in which the population is coerced into a state […]

Conversation starterMay elections specialOpinion

Vote conservative for a free and just society?

Dylan Neri

process of logical and rational analysis. As William F. Buckley, Jr. put it, “it is the chronic failure of liberalism that it obliges circumstance – because it has an inadequate discriminatory apparatus that might cause it to take any other course.” The problem with Conservatism then is our intransigency, our desire to fully appraise the situation before we act. But Conservatism must insist that while the will of man is limited in what it can do, it can do enough to make over the face of the world; and the question we must face is this: What shape should the world take given modern realties? Freedom, individuality, the sense of community, the sanctity of the family, the supremacy of the conscience, the spiritual view of life – can these verities be assimilated into a world of continual technological advancement? In a world of continuing atomisation of the individual and a steady regression into the vanity of the self? These have had a smashing social effect on us, to be sure; but because they were abandoned, not because of their insufficiency or proven inadaptability. These are values that if you ask any thinking person seriously interested in the pursuit of a better society should tell you they value so dearly, and miss even more. And these values and principles are intrinsic to the Conservative cause; it is to the achievement of these by which we disagree.

Around the world in 80 lines

Dylan Neri

The incredible solipsism of our species is undeniable. With the wonderful advancements of science and human understanding, this conceit has slowly been degraded to the point of embarrassment: no, the universe doesn’t revolve around the Earth; no, not the sun – no, not even the galaxy; “forget about your ‘dominion’ over all creatures”, said the […]

New new world

Dylan Neri

After its first venture into space, India plans to send another probe to Mars, with the intention to land; Japan has ambitious plans to send a lander to mars, and investigate the Martian moon Phobos; and Russia and Europe will unite to send the ExoMars Rosalind Franklin rover, after a two-year delay owing to the pandemic – any mission to Mars must coincide with the period in which the orbit of Mars brings it nearest the Earth, which is every twenty-six months.

A stronger constitution?

Dylan Neri

“The circumstances of the world are continually changing, and the opinions of men change also; and as government is for the living, and not for the dead, it is the living only that have any right in it. That which may be thought right and convenient in one age, may be thought wrong and found inconvenient in another. In such cases, who is to decide, the living, or the dead?”

The Queen’s consent

Dylan Neri

The urgent, orchestral tones of the television news channels demand our attention – the semi-Pavlovian conditioning means we regard the ‘news’ as part drama, part sensation and part entertainment (like the telescreen of Orwell’s dystopia; who are we hating today?) Our phones buzz, vibrate, flash as the notifications are beamed in from every news outlet […]