Top Posts

A collection of my most read, widely shared and favourite posts for those discovering this substack for the first time.

If you’re discovering this blog for the first time and want to get a sense of the best of the archive, this is the best place to start. Please enjoy, subscribe and share.

Long Reads / Explainers1

Five Elephants; or, Thoughts on Civil Service Impartiality. My most widely read piece on why there are concerns about civil service impartiality - and how to fix it.

How did England Fall Out of Love with Universities? The Four Horsemen of Fees, Culture, Expansion and Quality. My best read piece of 2024, a long read examining how a perfect storm of four issues have left universities fighting for funds in an increasingly fractious environment.

Politics, Westminster and Whitehall

Why the Realignment Failed (For Now). How did the Conservatives go from winning a large majority in December 2019 - capturing seats that had voted Labour for a century - to where they are today?

A World Without COVID: On the (Un)Governability of the Conservative Party. Somewhat related to the above: how much can the Tory parties woes be blamed on COVID - and what’s the counter-factual?

The Worm’s Eye View. Why is everything broken? We've adopted a 'worm's-eye view', where we care far more about the processes that lead to an outcome, than about the actual outcome itself.

The Foundation Myth. National decline can happen - and no country can count on a miracle to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Reflections on Brexit. As an outspoken Leave supporter, I’m often how I think it’s gone. Written seven years on from the historic referendum, I reflect on what's gone well, what less well - and was it all worth it in the end?


The Lantern Bearer: A Personal Tribute to Nick Gibb. A paean to long-serving Schools Minister Nick Gibb and his instrumental role in the post-2010 school reforms.

A Better Secondary School History Curriculm. This piece got a lot of hate from folks who believe history should only be about teaching ‘skills’ rather than knowledge’.

Society and Culture

Social Conservatism and Arc of History. "The arc of the moral universise is long, but it bends towards justice." So where does that leave social conservatism?

Mental Health and Progressive Parenting. Data shows that progressive young people have significantly worse mental health than conservative ones - so what does this mean for progressive parents?

Against Effective Altruism. Yes,I was sceptical about EA before it was cool to be so.

And a couple of older posts that still resonate:

Post-modernism and the Devil. How the systematic and ongoing dismantling of objective truth by progressives opened the door for post-truth politicians on the populist right and left.

Some thoughts on the culture wars. I wrote this in 2018 - and have been sad to see how the last six years have gone just as badly as I feared.

Books and Miscellany

The Case for Lúthien Tinúviel to be the next Disney Princess2. A detailed argument for why Luthien superlatively fulfils both the ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ qualifications for the role.

Travel Report from a Woke Nation. What I did On My Holidays (in Scotland)


On Leaving the Civil Service. The tale of how, after over a decade of enjoyment and fulfilment, I realised the civil service wasn’t for me.

Strong Ambitions Loosely Held; or Why I’m no Longer Seeking to be an MP. An update on the journey above - along with some wider thoughts on life ambitions.

This Christmas Eve, and always, I stand with Israel. On Christmas Eve 1948, my grandfather stood guard at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Here I set out why, today, I stand with Israel in its quest to survive and thrive.

Thank you for reading The World of Edrith. This post is public so feel free to share it.



I claim it is a coincidence my most successful posts are named after a number of animals. Clearly I next need to write one called, ‘Three Hippos…’ or similar.


Yes, I’m aware no-one else likes this post, but it’s my blog and I do.