»  John Derbyshire's Opinion Journalism

Speakers' Corner



Opinion, said C.P. Scott, is cheap, but facts are sacred. Just so. If a thing is cheap, you will find plenty of it lying around. Sure enough, I seem to have written hundreds of opinion pieces. Those that have survived are gathered here.

The quality of these pieces is very variable. They range from the type of thing sailors call "a quick lash-up" to carefully-argued, well-researched thumb-suckers. The odd thing, reading through the earlier pieces again after a lapse of years, is that it's not always easy to tell which is which …

There is of course a good deal of opinionating in my reviews and literary articles. Some pieces could fit equally well here or there.

I have organized these pieces into the categories listed in the navigation box, and described below. The top three categories are no problem; the others are to some degree fuzzy, the classifications often arbitrary.


The categories include, first, regular columns:

  • "The Straggler" — An as-I-please column that I contributed to alternate issues of National Review from October 2002 to March 2012.
  • The monthly diaries I contributed to National Review Online from December 2001 to March 2012.
  • Radio Derb, a half-hour program of spoken commentary on the passing scene, broadcast weekly on National Review Online from mid-2004 to March 2012, thereafter at Taki's Magazine. Radio Derb is also available on podcast from iTunes.

Then there are one-off opinion pieces on various topics: