Civilised Right-wing.

I am a Civilised Right-winger (a moniker of my own devising). I articulated much of that in my "Right-wing Guide to Nearly Everything" (Kindle, 2012). CRW is a species of oxymoron, since the right-winger insists that the human is a primitive as well as a sophisticated being. But - ever contrary - the CRW also insists that civilisation's disciplines are more important than individual impulses. A key RDN CRW watchword: Liberty is freedom and order in balance..

William James on being alive

RDN's credo, as at New Year, 2022 is culled from William James and, being paraphrased, runs: Humanity is a worthwhile joint enterprise and being useful to it makes sense of each of us. Read more...


01 January 2022

Stoppard comes to Leopoldstadt

Tom Stoppard is the indispensable playwright of my generation. He is rather more: he is one of the key British cultural figures of my times. He ranks with the other knights Sir Mick Jagger and Sir Roy Strong as a person of style. As a creative talent, he ranks with… Read more...


12 December 2021

WW1: still relevant as the right war, well-fought

I always resisted the Oh! What a Lovely War (1969), Blackadder account of WW1. I took it to be a product of the 1960s generation who thought everything inherited from their parents and grandparents (except their money) should be rejected.

At least one of my great-grandparents fought (and at least one of my grandparents avoided) fighting in WW1. My father served in WW2, and his two half-brothers were killed on active service during it.

The essay which follows below is largely an account of various books, most of which I have read recently, which have, I am relieved to say, reinforced my long-standing belief that this country (and, most of the time, most of its allies) fought honourably and rather intelligently during the 20th Century. Read more...


21 July 2020

Coastal edginess, a brief history

The coast is an edge, obviously. It's a fringe. The coast is the hem of the land's garment. Being swept or battered by the ebb and flow of tides, it invites thoughts of marginality. These ideas lead rather quickly to the liminal. If you bear with me, we'll get to some of all that. Now that there is a growing tendency for geographers and nature writers to become interested in mindscapes as well as landforms and land use, I fear I am being almost trendy in looking at the coast as a cultural phenomenon. Read more...


11 September 2019

The Liminal Zone: a loose account

If you are reading this, something has made you curious about what liminality might be or mean. This piece discusses what I will call the Liminal Zone. It’s a wide imaginary territory where Loose Liminality roams free. I call it a zone because in 1988 I wrote an essay in… Read more...


10 September 2019

“Howards End”, a reader’s guide

I saw the Merchant and Ivory movie of Howards End and the excellent recent TV adaptation before I dipped extensively into the novel. I had of course known its main themes. I had on my shelves a couple of Forster biographies and had dipped into them. I knew an older generation of literature graduates for whom "Morgan" was a familiar, fussy almost comical elderly figure in the Cambridge of their day and I may sloppily have picked up a little disdain from them. Because a young person I know was put to read Howards End, I thought I would too. That set me on some highways and byways of allied reading. I have enjoyed all this and offer what follows in case it's useful. Read more...


10 September 2019

“Seven Up!”, “63 Up” and D-Day +75

They did rather well didn’t they? The Granada TV company, often a trail-blazer, wittily turned its 1964 World in Action special Seven UP! into a seven-yearly snapshot of a cohort of kids who were seven year-olds in the phoney revolution of the Beetles, lifestyle Sunday colour supplements, and Swingin’ London. Read more...


08 June 2019

Who’s Tory or Right-wing now?

Within a few days of each other there has been a very good trio of newspaper articles on how one defines a Conservative, not least in contrast to or comparison with one's being a Right-winger. I am taking the opportunity to locate my idea of a Civilised Right-winger in this picture.



05 June 2019

Spirituality, altruism and the right-wing

This is the second of a trio of pieces on my take on modern spirituality. have been asked once or twice about the "change of heart" which lay behind my "change of mind", as I became more right-wing. Leave aside that my "radical" or "progressive" or "green" tendencies of the late 1970s were deviations from my previous and more recent thinking, here is an account of where my "heart" was and is, and how it relates to some big ideas of left and right.... Read more...


23 May 2014
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