Thursday, 23 November 2017

Laura Perrins: The Tories are the enemy within



Laura Perrins is right to call the British Conservative Party the enemy within. It's now a deeply unconservative party.

As she says in this article:

'The Tories have interfered with the childcare market, causing the costs to rise year in, year out. They want more mothers in work, whether they want to be there or not. They lecture us on what to eat and drink; no detail of our life is beyond government note-taking. Now they have instructed GPs to ask what your sexuality is. This is Nanny turned Nurse Ratched.

Of course Angela Merkel is not finished



Of course that wily fox Angela Merkel is not finished.



She said she'll hold another election in order to get the Social Democrats to return to their alliance with her to save the Republic from AfD.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Brexit is a silly word

A man said to me yesterday, 'We should stop talking about Brexit - Brexit is a silly word - and start talking about independence'.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Today is the Queen's and the Duke of Edinburgh's 70th wedding anniversary



H.M. Queen Elizabeth II's and the Duke of Edinburgh's 70th wedding anniversary. King Michael of Romania attended the wedding, met his future Queen there and surprised the Communists by bravely returning to Bucharest. He was forced to abdicated a few weeks later.




The Queen, the King and the Duke are all with us today but the the King's life is moving peacefully towards its close, in the words that Lord Dawson of Penn, his doctor, used of King George V in 1936. The Queen, his granddaughter, was ten then and had no idea that she would one day be queen.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Is the Pope Catholic? Or a liberal Protestant?

A clever, wise, well-known and nice English priest speaking of Pope Francis told me
Don't let him rent space in your head
and I have followed this advice in order not to find myself disagreeing with the successor to St. Peter. 

It hasn't always been possible. I disagree with him passionately when he instructed

Four quotations


"From Bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.”

Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Many things will die out with my generation

Many things will die out with my generation, which is to say people born in the 1960s. European ethnic states, Christendom, or at least the idea that Europe is Christian, cash, cheque books, land lines and telephone kiosks, much of the English countryside, high streets, masculine dominance. Free speech is already restricted, except in the USA and Eastern Europe. Mothers who cook each evening. Lard. Smoking, I hope. Newspapers made of paper. Privacy. 

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Kids are great, you can teach them to hate everything you hate

To quote Homer (Simpson)
"Kids are great. You can teach them to hate everything you hate."
This applies to parents but also to teachers and academics, to nationalistic late 19th century German teachers and left-wing modern British ones.

Romania is lucky that here teachers, like poets and priests, are conservatives, not as in England left-wing.

'We Romanians are individualists'

A Romanian friend of mine said to me 

'We Romanians are individualists but not in the way the Irish are individualists. The Irish are a race of geniuses - we just can't stand one another'. 

Good advice for life



All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

J.R.R. Tolkien



When the jail sentence comes, it is best to face it with wintry realism, devoid of bitterness or self-pity. 

Jonathan Aitken

It's awf'lly bad luck

It's awf'lly bad luck on Diana 

Her ponies have swallowed their bits

 She fished down their throats with a spanner 

And frightened them all into fits.


Sir John Betjeman

'Awful', 'frightful' and 'terrible' used 
to be emphatic, or in other words as what grammarians call gradable adverbs, were slang invented by British upper class young people (I was going to write youth but that conjured up an image of inner city gangs) in the 1870s. I know this from Trollope's deservedly forgotten novel Is He Popenjoy? Now it seems those words are going out of fashion, along with 'rather' and 'fairly'. If this professor is right. 

He thinks this may be because they sound middle or upper class. I wonder why it's undesirable to sound middle or upper class.

Saul Bellow disliked Romanians using British words like 'frightful' and I even taught one anti-American Romanian friend to say 'frightfully' in order to annoy Americans. But 'frightfully' is very old fashioned and upper class. It went out a long time ago.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Gordon Brown's memoirs sound unpickupable

From Lord Mandelson's review of Gordon Brown's memoirs. 
Modernisation is too often caricatured as privatisation in this book, and fails to grasp that New Labour’s reform agenda was not in opposition to social justice, but the only way in a changing world to achieve it.
I agree with his lordship on this . This is what the people who think Mr Blair was not left-wing fail to understand. He was hugely successful at transforming Britain in a left wing direction because he presided over economic growth and won three landslide election victories. His two great mistakes, from a Labour point of view, were announcing that he

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Three quotations


You must eat life or it will eat you.  Proverb - but from which country?


I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. Albert Schweitzer


To the liberalism they profess, I prefer the liberties we enjoy; to the Rights of Man, the rights of Englishmen. Benjamin Disraeli

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Many happy returns of the day, Mihaelas, Mihais and Gabis

Image result for mihai gavril lemn icoana

Today is St. Michael and St. Gabriel's Day and people in Romania named after the two archangels receive calls from their friends. Saints' days function pretty much exactly like birthdays. 

King Michael of Romania celebrates his saint's day today. 'O good old man, how well in thee appears the constant service of the antique world.' Many happy returns of SS Michael and Gabriel's Day to His Majesty and all Mihaelas, Mihailas, Mihais, Gabriels and Gabrielas. 1.3 million Romanians out of about 20 million are named after the two archangels.

St Michael's and St Gabriel's day is traditionally the last warm day of the year but this year it doesn't feel warm. 



How nice to live in a country suffused with folk Christianity, where saints' days are universally celebrated, even by atheists. Romania is in many ways more civilised than England.


Shepherds bake a special kind cake today, named “turta arieČ›ilor” (“the cake of the rams"), today rams are let loose among the sheep and one shepherd – usually the youngest – throws the cake high in the air. If it falls down face-up, many lambs will be born in the spring. If face down, the sheep will have few lambs.

Archangels and angels are not given very much attention these days by the devout in post-Protestant countries like England or America (one exception is this book by Dr. Martin Israel), but in late antiquity they were very much venerated and still are by Romanians, who understand that religion is about the supernatural.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Chaos theory and sexual harassment

Mr. Obama became president because a TV actor wanted sex with his wife outdoors. His own wife, not Mrs. Obama. John Rentoul examines in this article the butterfly effect and the British sexual harassment scandal.

Do not be deceived by Dame Judi Dench exposing herself to Kenneth Branagh and all the other odd disclosures. This witch hunt seems to be about sex but it's really about Theresa May's powerlessness and Brexit.

The British newspapers make no sense today

Press standards in England are abysmal. It seems the information stolen from Appleby, as far as I can see, reveals perfectly respectable tax avoidance not culpable and illegal tax evasion.The papers talk about the need for gun control in America after the latest massacre, but the killer was shot by a brave, armed bystander. There is no intelligent analysis of the Russia-Trump story or the sexual harassment allegations. The Telegraph is almost as bad as the left wing press.