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James Bartholomew

James Bartholomew

James Bartholomew is a British journalist, author, conservative commentator and former banker. He resides in London. Bartholomew is given credit for coining the term virtue signalling. [1]

Life and Career

A Photo of James Bartholomew

A Photo of James Bartholomew

Bartholomew was originally trained as a banker in the City of London.

He transitioned into a career in journalism first wrote for the Financial Times and then relocated to Hong Kong and Tokyo where he contributed to the Far Eastern Economic Review. It was during his time in highly capitalist Hong Kong that Bartholomew set the framework for his political outlook that was reinforced an influence he returned to England on the Trans-Siberian Railway through communist China and the Soviet Union.

After some years of freelancing and being employed to prospect investment opportunities in the Post-Soviet area in Eastern Europe, he became a leader writer on The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail and then later returning to The Daily Telegraph again.

His work, both while freelancing and while employed, have covered a wide range of subjects that include on politics, economics, culture, and many other issues. Today he is working on his new book, The Welfare of Nations, and occasionally contributes to newspapers and magazines such as the Daily Express and The Spectator. He has written a column for The Daily Telegraph on investment for over 13 years.

Creation of Virtue Signalling

Virtue Signalling was first coined by Bartholomew in The awful rise of 'virtue signalling' that was published in April of 2015 in The Spectator. The article goes into how prominent figure express outrage towards social media to show that they are morally superior to others, often for causes such as welfare, refugees, etc., but do not actually take action and only do it to earn the admiration of their peers. Virtue Signalling became a major buzzword in 2016 and is often used by American conservatives to critique "snowflakes." Virtue Signally has also made its way into popular culture where it was a major theme in season 19 of South Park.


James Bartholomew is the author of The Welfare State We're In where he argues that the welfare state in Britain has led to avoidable deaths in the NHS, falling standards in schools, permanent mass unemployment, and many other unintended consequences. At a deeper level, Bartholomew contends that the welfare state has caused millions to live deprived and even depraved lives, undermining the very decency and kindness which first inspired it. He has also written The Richest Man in the World: The Sultan of Brunei (1990) and Yew and Non-Yew (1996).

Media Appearances

Bartholomew has made numerous appearances on radio and television, particularly since the publishing of The Welfare State We’re In. Most notably, he put forward his arguments in a 45 minute BBC Radio 4 program, where Bartholomew was opposed by two professors of the London School of Economics, a Member of parliament, and another economics expert. In 2010 Bartholomew put forth his argument for the abolition of the National Health Service on Radio 4. In the same year, he gave interviews for a Channel 4 documentary on debt and failed government expenditure. He has made other appearances on Channel 4 programs and BBC2. In addition, Bartholomew was a frequent guest on Radio 5 Live and an occasional feature on both the Today Programme and The Moral Maze on BBC Radio 4.

Scholarship and Rewards

He has given talks on welfare state issues in America, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland.

For two years he was the Earhart Foundation Senior Fellow in Social Policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs. He remains a fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs and is also a fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. During 2011, Bartholomew did some research in Sweden and Italy. Other research visits are to be arranged from the Autumn of 2011 into 2012 will be to Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Australia and the USA. Other countries may be added if time – and the cost – allow.

The Welfare State We’re In was the winner of the Institute of Economic Affairs’ 2005 Arthur Seldon Award for Excellence.

The Welfare State We’re In also won the 2007 Sir Anthony Fisher Memorial Award which is awarded by the Atlas Foundation in America. The award is made to the think tank or institute associated with what the judges regard as the best publication. The book won in the ‘established institute’ category from over 70 entrants.

Personal Life

One temporary and very satisfying interlude in his working life was when he gave it all up to home-educate his younger daughter for two years.

This involved visiting Italy (more than anywhere else), France and China.

He resides in London with his wife.


Citation Linkspectator.co.ukJames Bartholomew expresses his delight of the use of the term Virtue signaling
Feb 24, 2017, 8:17 AM
Citation Linktwitter.comJames Bartholomew on Twitter
Feb 24, 2017, 8:22 AM
Citation Linkyoutube.comJames Bartholomew interview with Russia Today TV
Feb 24, 2017, 8:37 AM
Citation Linkamazon.comThe Welfare State We're In on Amazon
Feb 24, 2017, 8:47 AM
Citation Linkspectator.co.ukOriginal Virtue Signalling Article
Feb 24, 2017, 10:23 AM
Citation Linkthewelfarestatewerein.comBio of James Bartholomew
Feb 24, 2017, 10:33 AM
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comA Photo of James Bartholomew
Feb 24, 2017, 10:37 AM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.comJames Bartholomew interview with Russia Today TV
Feb 24, 2017, 8:37 AM