A Dirty Old Man


The poet and self-described dirty old man Charles Bukowski died twenty years ago. He passed after a battle with leukaemia in which he finished his novel Pulp (1993). He gave up the ghost with a sigh of relief. He was the American equivalent of Céline. He lived his work. It was the end of the Beatniks and the Hippies when Bukowski burst onto the scene, having been crowned King of the Little Magazines, and churned an incredible bulk of poems and short stories from the 1940s onwards. It was a hard struggle, writing from the gutter, mainly for others who found themselves there … Continue reading

Peter Oborne – The Honourable Tory

I’ve always enjoyed the work of columnist and commentator Peter Oborne since first discovering his tirades against the oleaginous Tony Blair. So I was somewhat surprised to hear that he had resigned his position at the Telegraph, itself the flagship of media Toryism, where as its chief political commentator he had provided mild-mannered and sober reflections for many years. Not so much a fulminating reactionary, Peter Oborne is an honourable conservative fellow and embodies the best of moralism. You know he means it when he’s indignant with rage at political corruption, cronyism and opportunism, the three characteristics of our trilateral … Continue reading

My brief exchange with Peter Hitchens


Before Spectre got going, I blogged for years at ‘Living in Philistia‘, which I’ve not yet taken down, despite the terrible name. Just before the New Year I wrote a piece on Peter Hitchens. It was meant to lay down a few reasons why I take the Mail columnist seriously: his opposition to war, his support of civil liberties etc. I churned it out on a whim. I didn’t expect anything to come of it, and yet I got a response on the same day. I’ve now reproduced the exchange on this site. You can read the back-and-forth below: Why … Continue reading