Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Quotations from Lord Salisbury

[For Salisbury's thoughts on Romania, click here.]

No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.

Letter to Lord Lytton (15 June 1877)

After all, the great characteristic of this country is that it is a free country, and by a free country I mean a country where people are allowed, so long as they do not hurt their neighbours, to do as they like. I do not mean a country where six men may make five men do exactly as they like. That is not my notion of freedom.

Speech to the third annual banquet of the Kingston and District Working Men's Conservative Association (13 June, 1883).

...if our ancestors had cared for the rights of other people, the British empire would not have been made.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Americans are genteel



1 Samuel 24:3

King James Bible: Saul went in to cover his feet.

New International Version: Saul went in to relieve himself.

The Living Bible (1971): Saul went into the cave to go to the bathroom.


So reads the original, American version of the Living Bible. The British version has "to relieve himself".

Quotations


"The new mainly left wing habit of lying while calling other people's normal political language lies is the most dangerous development in politics at the moment.It's a genuinely Orwellian attempt to gain control of 'truth' for political purposes. Nothing, not newfound Russian nuclear superiority, not Chinese military expansion, nothing threatens liberal democracy as seriously." Peter Risdon

"A Parliament is nothing less than a big meeting of more or less idle people." Walter Bagehot. (This is exactly what the British parliament should be, but no longer is. Hence the decline in the importance of and respect for Parliament.)

Leadership



Sir Andrew Barnard said of Wellington at Waterloo,

"We had a notion that while he was there nothing could go wrong."
This is the effect good leaders have on their men. In fact things always go wrong. So much went wrong at Waterloo that the Duke's own manuscript of his account of the battle was stained with his own tears. 

When a leader no longer inspires this confidence, but makes his followers think that with him in charge almost everything might easily go wrong, he must go. This since the election is the case with Theresa May. It was the case with John Major, George W. Bush and François Hollande, but is not the case with Donald Trump or even with Angela Merkel.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

'Give me ten picked men and a year and I could solve your Northern Irish problem'.



Talking about the Falklands War (as I was two posts down), at university I met the captain of the RN ship that brought back the Argentinian Commander Astiz under arrest for war crimes to England. The two men dined together every night. Astiz said: 'Give me ten picked men and a year and I could solve your Northern Irish problem'.

Possibly he could have done. Very possibly.

Britain the “laughing stock of Europe”



Der Bund, a German-language newspaper published in Berne, has called Britain the “laughing stock of Europe” in a trenchant editorial.

British society is now more divided than at any time since the English civil war in the 17th century, a fact that was demonstrated anew in the general election, in which a good 80% of the votes were cast for the two largest parties. Neither of these parties was offering a centrist programme: the election was a choice between the hard right and the hard left. The political centre has been abandoned, and that is never a good sign. In a country like Great Britain, that for so long had a reputation for pragmatism and rationality, it is grounds for real concern. The situation is getting decidedly out of hand.

Tears, idle tears



Enoch Powell said the Falklands War would show what mettle the Iron Lady was made of and so it did (even though her government's mistakes were the reason why Galtieri and the junta invaded the islands in the first place).


I think we all feel for Theresa May but we all see that she does not have the strength to be Prime Minister in difficult times. Especially since her two maleficent advisers were defenestrated.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Death in Finsbury Park - is this a turning point?



In the early hours of this morning a van ploughed into Muslims near a mosque in London, killing one. The driver, a white man, is said to have screamed: 

"I'm going to kill all Muslims."
Is this the start of something in England resembling the Troubles in Northern Ireland, which led to more than three thousand deaths?

It also led after thirty years to the British Government making very far-reaching concessions to the terrorists in order to buy peace, although as John Major reminded us last week the peace is not very secure.


London's Muslim Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said last year that the threat of terror attacks are “part and parcel of living in a big city,” something for which Donald Trump recently criticised him. Unfortunately Mr. Khan is right.


Sunday, 18 June 2017

David Davis may soon be British Prime Minister


I have come to think that David Davis will be the new British Prime Minister, and tonight I see the Daily Telegraph says that many Conservative MPs in Boris Johnson's camp now think so too. Theresa May must go and I think he is the only option. 


On the other hand, if Theresa May goes it will be because she failed to be win enough seats at the election. This will put her successor, who won't have led his party into an election, in a very odd position.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Quotations

Bror Duktig‏ @nijinskyforever
Lefties want "Day of Rage" "Shut down London" "Bring down the Government" But when little girls are blown to pieces - it's love and flowers



How could people feel any affection for a system that created the gulag? Alexievich says this ignores the unique atmosphere of the late Soviet period, a time of equality, deep friendships and love of literature. “Despite the poverty, life was freer,” she says. “Friends

Helmut Schmidt, Vladimir Putin, detente and realpolitik

Interesting! According to Edward Lucas's Economist obituary of Helmut Schmidt, who died eighteen months ago, Schmidt thought Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine was a justified response to Western meddling.

Man gaoled for sharing photo of dead fire victim on Facebook


A man who lives yards from the Grenfell building has been gaoled for three months for posting on Facebook a picture of a dead body that he saw in a body bag outside his flat.

The obscenity laws were originally enacted to stop Napoleonic soldiers displaying their wounds to passers by while begging for money. Obscenity should be a crime but this seems an outrageous verdict. It seems an emotional judgment and shows how little those who rule England care about freedom of speech.

Rage and sanctimony in the papers

"Glancing at this morning’s newspapers, I see that the Guardian blames inequality, the Mail blames eco-regulations, the Express blames EU rules and the Mirror blames the Tories. Simon Jenkins, that champion of harmonious and well-proportioned architecture, blames tower-blocks. Owen Jones, my favourite radical, blames racketeering landlords. For all I know, one or more of these villains may indeed be at fault; but, for now, it is mainly guesswork."
Daniel Hannan

"Rage and sanctimony always spread like a virus, and become stronger with each iteration." Peggy Noonan talking about Donald Trump's critics.

"Brexit did indeed unleash hate — but the hate it unleashed was not that of the British for foreigners but rather of the liberals for the masses."
Julie Burchill



Friday, 16 June 2017

The Grenfell fire

The story of the Grenfell Tower fire very deeply shocked me, in a way these things rarely do. September 11th was far away in a foreign country but this is my country. For a moment I thought that it was hubristic always to search for someone to blame when disasters happen but I very quickly saw that the management company and council had been very negligent.

Attempts to blame Boris Johnson or the Tories for this are unfair and in very bad taste but then life and politics are unfair and in very bad taste.

Theresa May has just been chased out of a church housing survivors from the Grenfell Tower fire. Did this happen before to a British Prime Minister? It is clear that this is being arranged by the Corbynistas and the far left.

Still she probably must go quickly. She is jinxed. The fact that she didn't visit the survivors straight away is telling, even though it only means she is shy and frightened of the public.

Shy politicians are unusual but there are some. It's one of several things Mrs May has in common with Mrs Clinton. Shyness is fine in a leader but being frightened is not.


Meanwhile, John McDonnell, shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Trotskyite, admirer of the IRA bombers and advocate of 'direct action' (meaning insurrection against an elected government) is calling for riots. He thinks he's Lenin and there are many resemblances.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

The revolution turned out, when it came, to be Islamist


"Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity. … In the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society." Antonio Gramsci

The revolution that Marxists expected for so long has turned out, when it came, to be Islamist. 


What Marxism and Islamism have in common, of course, is nihilism.

Just as God sublimely says 'I am Who am', meaning He is life itself, evil is essentially destruction. Evil is a very real thing but wholly negative, death not life. 

We all now know that Theresa May is not up to the job

It got to the point with John Major, I remember, that it seemed like Will Hay was Prime Minister. It's clear to everyone, Brexiters included, that Theresa May is less competent by quite a long way.

"Never glad confident morning again!" Robert Browning's words were famously quoted by Nigel Birch to describe Harold Macmillan's position after the Profumo scandal. 
Macmillan had been not a great but a formidable Prime Minister. In Theresa May’s case, of course, it isn't even late afternoon for her.It's already late in the evening.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Tim Farron cannot reconcile Christian faith with being Lib Dem leader


"To be a political leader – especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 – and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me."

Is 'Tim' Farron admitting he lied when he finally said, after avoiding an answer for weeks, that he approved of abortion and sodomy? 


Where were the Liberals who leapt to defend Farron's right to hold his religious opinions and to talk about the Gladstonian tradition?

Suffer the little foxes

"Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes." Song of Solomon 2:15

The foxes have been reprieved permanently. 

Harold Macmillan said the three things no Prime Minister could afford a fight with were the Catholic Church, the National Union of Miners and the Brigade of Guards. 

The mines are closed now and the Catholic Church carries no weight. In their place are foxes, which did for Theresa May. 

don't know if the Brigade of Guards still matters. I greatly doubt it.

In Canada chickens seem more important than the Catholic Church. As Canada extends abortion and euthanasia a newscaster says 
"Today, outrage over the abuse of chickens reaches a feverish pitch".
It's odd how so many people in the developed world care more for animals than unborn babies. 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Will Sinn Fein take their seats? Will a working class lesbian be Britain's next Conservative Prime Minister?



There is speculation that the seven Sinn Fein MPs may for the first time ever take their seats. It's probably unlikely since, even if they did, the Tories and DUP would still have a majority, though a much smaller one.


However if the Tories lose two or three by-elections to Labour SF would be stupid, from their point of view, not to. After all, Jeremy Corbyn has backed them since the early 1980s. But it would mean them swearing this oath which has hitherto deterred them beginning 99 years ago, when the first Sinn Fein MPs were elected and formed a rebel parliament.

I do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.

It reminds me of when James Callaghan's government faced defeat in in a vote of confidence.

Frank McGuire surprised everyone by saying said that he intended to attend. Frank McGuire

Rights and freedom



For me rights simply mean limits on state power - for most English people nowadays they mean extensions of it. 

They mean entitlements.

This is partly a sign of the corrupting influence of the EU but mostly the fault of our own busybody class, beginning with Harold Wilson.

Freedom and inequality are of course inextricable.

Mrs. May has always been a disastrous minister, but a deadly political infighter

It's time to reread the hatchet job by Jonathan Foreman headlined “Theresa May is a great self-promoter, but a terrible Home Secretary”, which was pulled from the Daily Telegraph after pressure from her campaign. Guido Fawkes published it here. It begins:

After all, Mrs May’s tenure as Home Secretary has been little better than disastrous – a succession of derelictions that has left Britain’s borders and coastline at least as insecure as they were in 2010, and which mean that British governments still rely on guesswork to estimate how many people enter and leave the country.
People find this hard to credit because she exudes determination and strength. Compared to many of her bland, flabby cabinet colleagues, she has real gravitas. And few who follow British politics would deny that she is a deadly political infighter. Indeed Theresa May is to Westminster what Cersei Lannister is to Westeros in Game of Thrones: no one who challenges her survives undamaged, while the welfare of the realm is of secondary concern.

The Telegraph today says
"This weekend the Labour leader and John McDonnell, his shadow chancellor, revealed that the party is now formally committed to taking Britain out of the single market and the Customs Union."
They were always secretly Brexiters who lied about if for political advantage. The softly-spoken commitment to a hard Brexit helped Labour do so well in the election.

The Telegraph also reveals a story headlined:


Tory and Labour MPs plot secret deal to ensure soft Brexit
The paper says:
Senior Cabinet ministers are engaged in secret talks with Labour MPs to secure cross-party backing for a soft Brexit, it has emerged.
Some of the most senior members of Theresa May's team have been discussing how to force the Prime Minister to make concessions on immigration, the customs union and the single market.
There have also been discussions of a cross-party Brexit Commission to agree common ground between the parties and ensure an orderly withdrawal from the EU.
I think talks between Labour and Conservatives will probably come to nothing. Labour will not come to the Conservatives' rescue any more than John Smith saved John Major during the Maastricht debate. It is true that Roy Jenkins led a group of pro European rebels that allowed Edward Heath to take Britain into the EU. I don't see a group of Remainers on both sides uniting.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Looking on the bright side



The Times says Theresa May always hated the expression 'strong and stable' which was invented by Crosby. The fact that she complained but continued for weeks to use it tells me she is no leader. The British public, who are keen observers of life, read her much better than the commentators or than I did.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Conservatives have a working majority one less than before the election

The Conservatives held 330 seats before the election. Now the Conservatives and the DUP, with whom they are allied, who are also conservatives and with whom they have no important policy disagreements, hold 329. The net result is as if the Conservatives had lost a by-election.

Everything is Different Now

'Everything is Different Now.' (Charles Moore's mantra since 2008.)
Strange though this will seem to foreigners, the British election was not fought over the issue of Brexit. It got relatively little mention. Both parties were committed to taking Britain out of the EU and ending free movement of people.

Mrs May inanely repeated that 'Brexit means Brexit', without saying much more except that it would mean the ECJ no longer having jurisdiction over our blessed isle. Leaving the Single Market, in other words. Labour's policy came to the same thing, though they were unenthusiastic about it.

University fees and fox hunting were more important issues, but Brexit was crucial in one respect. The referendum result made young people, who mostly want to stay in the EU, see the importance of voting. They did so and they overwhelmingly voted Labour, in large part because of Mr Corbyn's irresponsible offer of free university education.

Irresponsible, that is, if he were a normal politician but he is not. He wants to gain power to lead a left-wing social revolution. Balanced budgets are his last concern.

The Observer says Herr Juncker repeatedly advised Theresa May to hold an election so that she'd be in a solid position to negotiate.


The Sunday Times and The Daily Mail said David Davis pressed an early election on her.


It doesn't matter who did. The decision was hers. 


It now seems a catastrophic mistake, because it was a huge and unnecessary risk, but it needn't have been a mistake. In the polls, to start with, the Conservatives were heading for a landslide. They did very well in the local elections five weeks ago after the general election had been called. Actually they mostly did well in the week before the vote, but the polling companies didn't know how many young people would vote. Most said they would and it turned out that they did.


The real mistakes were in the campaign and for once the campaign mattered. Those mistakes were Theresa May's fault.


She seems, according to an unnamed 'Western Prime Minister' quoted in the Sunday Times, who claims to be friendly to Britain, to have no idea what the EU negotiations will entail. He said this became clear when she met other leaders. This sounds wholly believable, now that we see the prentice errors that led her from a twenty percent lead to this.


She must be replaced. Preferably by a new leader emerging to hold the fort until the Brexit negotiations are concluded. And then by another election fought after the boundary changes, that will happen next year, give twenty or so seats to the Conservatives. 


But though that fends off the danger of Corbyn coming to power for some time how can Brexit be negotiated by a minority government dependent on ten DUP MPs and many of whose own MPs would prefer not to leave the EU at all?

It is all very difficult indeed. Those of us who want Brexit to happen may have to be content, initially anyway, with a soft Brexit.

The dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone emerging once again



"As the deluge subsides and the waters fall short we see the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone emerging once again." Winston S Churchill in 1922. 


One of my favourite quotations,which is now apposite for the first time since the Mr. Callaghan's government fell in 1979.

Two days after the election and the British political landscape is still seems a like surrealist painting.

The deal the Tories announced they had made with the DUP turns out not a done deal. It is amateur night.

But the deal will be made and it greatly lowers my opinion of the Conservative Party.

Not because I dislike the Paisleyites (though of course I do) but because they show up clearly how very unconservative the Conservatives now are. 


Take headlines like this in the Mail:
"DUP's stance on abortion and gay marriage causing alarm on the Tory benches." 
"A top EU Brexit negotiator" is reported in The Times as saying "'what a bunch' after learning of their [the DUP's] policies - from opposition to abortion and single-sex marriage to scepticism about climate change'. 

I don't see why any of those 3 should be objectionable but am especially worried that being anti-abortion is now considered by some as extreme.

Killing foxes is very unpopular but wanting to restrict the number of unborn babies killed is far right.


Incidentally, the SDLP, Labour's sister party in Northern Ireland , holds exactly the same policy on abortion as the DUP.

Northern Ireland has long been the most civilised part of the country. There people go to church, are patriots (admittedly to a fault), hunt foxes, have grammar schools and men do not marry other men.  Rural and small town England would be equally civilised were they not ruled by the people in London. 

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Does this mean a soft Brexit?

I suppose Theresa May has joined David Cameron, Anthony Eden and Lord North in the club of great failures as Prime Minister.

David Cameron's favourite commentator Dan Hodges, who predicted a 90-seat majority for the Tories on Wednesday, thinks Theresa May will leave office very soon. He now says

"The prospect of stopping Brexit ended Thursday night. The prospect of a hard-Brexit ended Thursday night."
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in this interesting article in today's Daily Telegraph, and some others on the right think so too and welcome the Norwegian Option (pro tem). 

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard quotes David Owen as saying that Article 50 is designed as a deterrent to stop any country leaving.
“We should use the EEA as a vehicle to lengthen the transition time. Theresa May’s massive mistake has been to allow talk of a hard Brexit to run and run, and to refuse to frame a deal in a way that makes sense for the Europeans. The logic of the EEA is irrefutable.”

Tolstoy and the British election



I don't think the British election result was Corbyn's great achievement. It was caused by decisions of millions of people made not quite but almost despite him. It was a battle that was won and lost by ordinary people, largely on social media. The same to some extent is true of Trump's victory, though he is more intelligent and substantial than Corbyn, obviously. Everyone agreed Brown was unelectable yet he almost won in 2010 despite his faults. In fact election victories like military victories are are caused by millions and millions of causes as Tolstoy describes in this passage from War and Peace:

To us, their descendants, who are not historians and are not carried away by the process of research and can therefore regard the event with unclouded common sense, an incalculable number of causes present themselves. The deeper we delve in search of these causes the more of them we find; and each separate cause or whole series of causes appears to us equally valid in itself and equally false by its insignificance compared to the magnitude of the events, and by its impotence- apart from the cooperation of all the other coincident causes- to occasion the event. To us, the wish or objection of this or that French corporal to serve a second term appears as much a cause as Napoleon's refusal to withdraw his troops beyond the Vistula and to restore the duchy of Oldenburg; for had he not wished to serve, and had a second, a third, and a thousandth corporal and private also refused, there would have been so many less men in Napoleon's army and the war could not have occurred.

Peers versus people

No absolute majority in the House of Commons means, incidentally, that the Conservatives do not have a mandate to get Brexit through the House of Lords. Though they can always pack the upper house with peers. 

I do wish they'd stop calling these mostly middle class people 'lords', by the way. The Tories proposed this when the hereditary peers were deprived of their votes, but Labour voted against it.

Where Britain is today

The gods as we know punish hubris.

Labour finally after many recounts won Kensington by twenty votes. 

Kensington. The grandest, snobbiest, most expensive place anywhere in England. Half of Debrett’s and Burke’s Peerage live there.

What a curious de facto alliance Labour represents between the stinking rich, the bohemian bourgeoisie and much of the working-class.

I suppose had the general election been held when the local elections were held, four weeks ago but in another age, the Tories would have won resoundingly. Why weren't they held simultaneously? They always have been for decades.

Every Tory MP now hates Theresa May and with very good reason.

My guess is that a new Tory leader will emerge as they used always to do. Leadership elections involving people who don't sit in the House of Commons have been disastrous and the country can't have one now.

Theresa May must be left in the library with a decanter of whisky and a revolver. 

They used to speculate that if Mrs Thatcher were given this option she'd drink the whisky and turn the revolver on her colleagues.

Who will take Theresa May's place? 

Boris would make a good leader but a pretty poor Prime Minister. Why was he and other cabinet ministers kept out of sight by Theresa May? He would be content with a soft Brexit.  

Osborne (thank God) didn't stand. He must be kicking himself. I wonder if Cameron is too.  
I remember the February 1974 election which gave no party a majority. Everyone knew another election had to be held but one couldn't be held immediately or it would have yielded the same result. That's where we probably are now, except the Tories really can't want another election and the risk of Jeremy Corbyn taking office.  

They will surely wait till the constituency boundary changes next year. Boundary changes always favour the Conservatives.

Will Brexit still happen? Who knows? It would need another referendum to abandon the idea. Would any politician dare suggest that?

I suspect Theresa May had intended to use the majority she expected to make very big concessions to the EU. It is clear that UKIP voters returned to Labour because they felt Brexit was certain. But UKIP fell apart too soon. 

Dr Sean Gabb has suggested a coalition including Corbyn to leave the EU. As a quid pro quo, he could be allowed to re-nationalise rail and some other utilities.

Well it has a certain logic.  Most Tory voters would be content to see British Rail back,  with its inedible sandwiches and carriages very faintly smelling of vomit. 

The Tories destroyed the Lib Dems by going into coalition with them but it's hard to play that trick twice. Mr Corbyn will be much cleverer and much less public spirited than Mr. Clegg. Mr Clegg, like Sir Austen Chamberlain, always played the game and always lost.


For the time being the Conservatives rely on the DUP. The DUP are definitely not nice people, but they certainly are conservatives, much more so than the Conservative Party. They have prevented Northern Ireland enacting homosexual marriage and kept hunting legal. 

They bring an element of virile seventeenth century patriotism into British politics where it is otherwise missing.

Northern Ireland also has grammar schools, which work wonderfully and are the reason Oxford and Cambridge are full of Northern Irish students from ordinary families. 

It's a long time since people last cared about the Ulster Protestants. It was from 1977-79 in fact and for the same reason.

If only Blair and Major hadn't destroyed the Official Ulster Unionists (while they gave in to the IRA). Still, the DUP will do. They want a hard Brexit.

Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair’s adviser, said last night on BBC Radio 4 that he thinks the Tories should not be unionist when it comes to Northern Ireland. Nothing made me so angry in months. 

Middle class youth (almost half of school leavers a make it to university) voted for the Marxist Corbyn. Almost all my 17 year-old nephew's and niece's Facebook friends urged a Labour vote on their walls. Understandably, because Corbyn offered free university places.  Young voters also mostly hate Brexit. 

They do not, of course, know or care about the IRA or the dangers of having a Trotskyite Prime Minister. In any event, extremism appeals to the immature of all ages.

I wonder why left wing extremism is always cool and the right (extreme or otherwise) is not. It's curious. Teenagers were once supposed to rebel against their teachers but now they think exactly as their elders instruct them.

The progressive well-off young are a very big problem in the modern world. They have been since the mid 1960s but the problem is bigger now even than then. 

Still, the election result was not about Brexit. Had it been the Lib Dems would have done much better. 

Mr. Corbyn  was canny enough to agree to implement Brexit and restrict free movement of people so he secured the support of the many Labour people who want Brexit.

Hunting may have been a bigger issue. For some reason (sentimentality, I suppose) most English people don't approve of hunting foxes. 

Did the terrorist killings make no difference? Maybe the Conservatives were blamed for letting them happen, as if Corbyn was likely to do a better job. In many cases leftish people in London think the massacres were England's fault for invading Iraq. Which of course is Mr Corbyn's view.

This has been a very shocking and depressing 36 hours if you are a Tory (which is not really the same thing as a Conservative). Still, terrible though things are, they could be a lot worse. 

Labour just lost its third election in a row. Thank God the Tories are ruling with the help of the DUP and not Labour is not ruling with the help of the SNP. 

The Tories won 42.4% of the vote, a share only slightly less than Labour won it its extraordinary landslide victories in 1997 and 2001.

Angela Merkel's CDU won 41.5% of her country's votes in her country's 2013, formed a coalition and is the ruler of Europe.


Brendan O'Neill is as usual spot on


No talk of Russian interference in the UK election. No accusations of misogyny against those who failed to vote for the female candidate. No concern about fakenews warping people's minds. No demands for a second vote. It's almost as if the chattering classes only question the legitimacy of an election when it doesn't go their way. 

Quotations for Saturday



‘The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purposes through him. As a human being he may have moods and a will and personal aims, but as an artist he is ‘man’ in a higher sense – he is ‘collective man’, a vehicle and molder of the unconscious psychic life of mankind.‘ Carl Jung


'The dead were and are not. Their place knows them no more, and is ours today. Yet they were once as real as we, and we shall tomorrow be shadows like them....The poetry of history lies in the quasi-miraculous fact that once, on this earth, once, on this familiar spot of ground, walked other men and women, as actual as we are today, thinking their own thoughts, swayed by their own passions, but now all gone, one generation vanishing into another, gone as utterly as we ourselves shall shortly be gone, like ghosts at cockcrow.' G. M. Trevelyan

Friday, 9 June 2017

Was it foxes that wun it?

I was surprised many years ago to be told that most English people didn't like hunting (foxes) - I do not understand why but I suspect that that might have been as big an issue as Brexit. Did the terrorist killings make no difference? Maybe the Conservatives were blamed for letting them happen, as if Corbyn was likely to do a better job.

Mrs. May has made a deal with the Democratic ulster Unionists (the Paisleyites). 
If only Blair and Major hadn't destroyed the Official Ulster Unionists (while they gave in to the IRA). Still, the DUP will do, except they want a soft Brexit.

I remember the last time people cared about the Unionists -1977-79.

The morning after the night before



A very strange lunar landscape.


Labour might win Kensington where a recount is taking place. The world has gone mad.

It has been confirmed that Theresa May will visit Buckingham Palace at 12.30 to seek permission to form a government. What constitutional monstrosity is this? She doesn't need the Queen's permission - she already is the Queen's Prime Minister. She should go there to resign.


(Is this nonsense somehow to do with the Fixed Terms Act or are they just cretins when it comes to the constitution?)


The Tories should have given Nigel Farage a seat in Parliament and put him in the cabinet - he would have won them many votes. 


I always wanted Michael Gove for Prime Minister. He would presumably not have called an unnecessary election. Or perhaps he would - and have fared better.


As Ed Miliband said, after defeat in the 2015 election,

"When you win, everything you did was an act of genius and when you lose, everything you did was the work of a fool."
Theresa May looks a bloody fool today and must not stand upon the order of her going. Gordon Brown is vindicated in not going to the country in 2007 though James Callaghan is not for not doing so in 1988.

Macmillan and Heath looked far-sighted in taking us into the EEC. Now Enoch Powell and Gaitskell look visionary. 
Assuming, as of course I do, that Brexit happens. Some will attempt to undo the referendum result.

Theresa May reminds me of Hillary. Both are secretive, colourless, Blairite swots, who are frightened of speaking in public. Though Theresa May made her career on her merits not by marriage



Who should replace Mrs. May? Thank God Osborne didn't stand. I like Michael Gove, who is very clever, very nice and believes in Brexit. But he thinks he's not up to it. Nor is Boris. Boris would be no good. No good at all. A globalist who'd bomb Assad. A Hillary in drag.Hopeless at detail. He'd give us a very soft Brexit.


Best politician of all is Lord Salisbury, but he's a peer. Worst possible? Anna Mary Soubry, I suppose. (Or Ken Clarke.)

if hopes were dupes, fears may be liars

Sunderland, the hero city.

I have kicked myself for almost a year that, despite the Sunderland result, which should have told me that the poll was wrong, I went to bed two years ago thinking Remain had won. Tonight dear old Sunderland's result is a 3.5% swing from Labour to Conservative – the opposite to what the exit poll predicted.

The BBC is now saying that if the exit poll is as wrong as it has been with Newcastle and Sunderland, then we can expect a 80-100 Conservative majority.

The exit poll points to a hung parliament, but exit polls have been wrong before



I take back what I said about loving elections.

For a moment the exit poll didn't register and it still hasn't sunk in, but it points towards a hung parliament.

The Telegraph said yesterday that exit polls are 'scarily accurate' but I well remember that they weren't in 1992.

They were wrong in 2015 too, at least so Michael Crick says.

I did see signs of Jeremy Corbyn touching a chord with the English. He is obviously anti-Nato and anti-EU which made him seem like an Englishman when in fact he is a globalist (Marxist version) and hollow ideologue. He is the British Bernie Sanders, but Bernie, for all his utter inadequacy and his praise for Casto, is a democratic socialist, not a communist, a supporter of terrorism or a security threat. Theresa May is as colourless a swot as Hillary, but a much more substantial person.


Corbyn of course is a populist but, we'd all assumed, an unpopular one.

It seems we we all wrong.

If we are very unlucky indeed, Malvolio might become Henry V.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

I love elections

I love elections and measure out my life in them. 

I remember being furious at not being allowed to stay up for the 1970 election because it was past my bedtime. I was 8. The next morning 'Mr Wilson' and 'Prime Minister' were no longer synonyms, which was a surprise. 

At 8 most things are surprises. Some things still are, including Jeremy Corbyn, Brexit, British Muslims killing innocent people to restore the Caliphate and, despite this, Great Britain still taking in young men from Middle Eastern war zones.

Jeremy Corbyn could theoretically be British Prime Minister


It's unlikely (I expect a comfortable Conservative majority) but the polls are all over the place and this time tomorrow Jeremy Corbyn could be British Prime Minister. 


Think about that carefully, if you have a vote today. 

Less than a year ago Labour MPs passed a vote of no confidence in him by a majority of 172-40. 

When he stands up at Prime minister's Questions the Conservative benches erupt in cheers and Labour MPs sit in silence.

What Claire Berlinski said of Marine Le Pen and France applies more aptly to Jeremy

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Dan Hodges predicts a Tory majority of 110

Dan Hodges​​ who bravely and almost uniquely predicted a Conservative victory last time (he was supporting Labour I think then) now predicts a 110 seat majority for the Conservatives.

The polling companies are trying to predict turnout which is why the polls are all over the place. They shouldn't. They should just record voting intentions.

The best political quotes from the last three or four days

Mark Steyn:
The reality of what is happening in Britain and Europe is that this problem was imported and that, until you stop importing it, you're going to have more of it.

Mark Tapson:
European leaders on climate change: the world must act NOW.
European leaders on terrorism: Hey, that's life in the big city. Everybody carry on as before.

Eric Kraus:
Trump is a godsend in the most unexpected form imaginable. It matters not if he is right or wrong (sometimes one, sometimes the other) but that he disrupts the idiot consensus.

Falling birth rates mean the end of the West - Lord Sacks



“Europe is going to die because of this because Europe can only maintain its population by unprecedented levels of immigration.

“Now those could be integrated into Europe but they won’t be integrated into Europe because when a culture loses its memory it loses its identity and when a culture loses its identity there’s nothing left for people to integrate into."

The black hole in British politics



People think the Muslim murders in London at the weekend mean the Conservative Party will win the election. No doubt the terrorists wanted this, but it's not so simple.

I remember the Economist saying the victory of the People's Party in the 2004 election in Spain, which had been almost certain, became completely certain after the Madrid train bombings. When I read this, the Socialists had already taken office in Madrid.

Anyone who wishes the Labour Party well, which I do not, should hope the Tories win by a landslide this time and the Lib Dems remain in their box. 


As far as policies go, Theresa May is possibly the most left wing Prime Minister since Heath or Wilson. This is probably costing her support. Just as soft porn is equally disliked by

How the KGB dealt with terrorists

The reason why the National Party Government in South Africa was unable to suppress the violent unrest that grew greater and greater during the 1980s was that they were a party of devout Christians who would not use utter brutality. The Communists in the USSR had no such scruples, which is why they had no problems, for example, with hijackers.


Here is an interesting story from the Guardian, dated January 07, 1986:

JERUSALEM — The KGB has adopted novel, brutal and apparently effective methods of dealing with terrorists who attack Soviet interests in the Middle East, an Israeli newspaper reported Monday.
The Jerusalem Post said the Soviet secret police last year secured the release of three kidnaped Soviet diplomats in Beirut by castrating a relative of a radical Lebanese Shia Muslim leader, sending him the severed organs and then shooting the relative in the head.
Vladimir Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov, the boss of the Chechnya, continue this KGB tradition. Kadyrov's Chechens work undercover in Islamist groups. 

Mossad, I understand, are equally brutal.

Quotations of the day



"It goes far towards reconciling me to being a woman when I reflect that I am thus in no danger of marrying one." Lady Mary Wortley Montagu


"In 20 years, Russia will be the only country that is recognizably European." Ann Coulter



"The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea." Mao.

"A sense of humour is one of the most precious gifts. It oils the wheels of life." Seen by Ion Ratiu in Regent St and recorded in his diary.


"What is so very depressing is that the EU vote - and the Scottish Referendum before it - has revealed how "patriotism" (my god, I feel old fashioned and archaic just typing that word) has not only been expunged as a virtue in the public consciousness and is now seen positively as a vice. This has been the relentless work of - in my opinion - left-wing politicians and academics since the war who have always recognised that by breaking up the unity of one community into smaller, sometimes artificial groupuscules ('working class', 'youth') they can then create political majorities which can be used to give them power. I mean who today can say, loudly, 'I am proud to be British' except old ladies in racist rants on buses or Sun columnists or madmen on the internet?" Alex Woodcock-Clarke

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics: "Global Warming is Pseudoscience"



PLEASE listen to this comprehensive debunking of climate change and global warming by a Nobel Prize winning physicist. Professor Giaever says the temperature of the earth has supposedly risen in 150 years by 0.8%, according to received opinion, though he says that in fact we don't know. If true this means virtual stability. Nothing to worry about. He is one of the most eminent physicists alive today. He talks very well, is funny and engaging. The things he says should not be controversial. They are, because climate change is a form of religion rather than a scientific study, for too many people.

Now it is perfectly true that the professor is in a minority among American physicists who have opined on the subject. But
 one great physicist who thinks there's nothing to worry about is enough for me to stop worrying. In fact there are a fair number of scientists who agree with him. The much quoted 97 percent of scientists who believe in climate change is an untrue story.


What I learnt at university is that the greater number of history lecturers are not original thinkers. The word groupthink had not been coined then but the phenomenon existed. The same is true in the hard sciences too, it seems. The fact that Oxford and Cambridge dons mostly want Jeremy Corbyn to be Prime Minister confirms my point.


It has been a great surprise to me to discover that there are intelligent people who still seriously worry about climate change. It's especially a big thing among Americans because Mr Obama made climate change his priority. I haven't heard any Romanians mention the subject except as a source of EU money and money from clients, but some younger ones do because it is what they are taught.

Original sin is complete nonsense. We are striving to better ourselves. And we are striving to deal with mental illness. And we will make progress.



The last words in this dialogue are the most informative about the state of America (and the West) today.

American Democrat-voting lady of great benignity: Something I hope for the near future: Self-driving cars and trucks can't be used to run people down.

Me: People kill. Cars don't. Nor do guns.

Tina, a passer-by: Could be hacked


American lady: Okay, yes, you're all right, and I should have stipulated, I hope for unhackable self-driving vehicles!

Me: But this is human nature and cannot be changed only contained and suppressed. Man is a killer. “'Homo homini lupus' [man is wolf to man]. Who in the face of all his experience of life and of history, will have the courage to dispute this assertion?”

American lady: I think there is also a major, hardwired pathway toward generosity and altruism deep in the core of our human nature.

Me:  Original sin.

American lady: I don't believe there is such a thing as original sin.

Me:  The one Christian dogma that can be proven, as Chesterton rightly said.

American lady: I fully respect your right to believe anything at all you want.

Me:  You think people are basically good and original sin is nonsense? No wonder you vote Democrat.

American bystander: Original sin is complete nonsense. We are striving to better ourselves. And we are striving to deal with mental illness. And we will make progress.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Quotes of the day

"Theresa May has the personal warmth, wit, oratorical ability and attractiveness of an Indesit fridge freezer which has been faultily connected by a man called Trevor for five quid, cash in hand, and which is now full of decomposing Findus Crispy Pancakes."

Rod Liddle

(Read more here). 

“It’s the Islamification of radicalism that we need to investigate, not the radicalization of Islam."

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Budapest in the spring

Great conversation, erudite and surreal, with Mark Griffith and John Fenemore in a nice terrace in Budapest, the Gerloczy café. Lots of Coolidge stories and we play 10 Famous Albanians. I win but I had played the game before.

An American couple in their late sixties. He keeps apologising for attributing feelings to her which are really his. 'That's very wrong of me' but his apology isn't accepted. 'It's patronising' she says.

I am concinced they vote Democrat. Marriage to a Trump-loving Alabaman mightn't be like that.

The crisis Britain is in

The terrifying mess the country is in consists in this: the faint possibility that Corbyn could come to power and the fact that we there are twenty seven thousand jihadis in the country and many more who have some sympathy with a holy war to re-establish the Caliphate. I had thought that murders like the ones in Manchester and Paris would mean a decision to change things including immigration policy. Instead the middle class's only reaction so far is to get Katie Hopkins fired.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

How England was

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"The Melton Breakfast by Sir Francis Grant, R.A." which my father had as a jigsaw and which I did many times. It breaths the spirit of Surtees and virile, hierarchical, mid-Victorian England. More importantly, it has wonderful red jackets. Red is my favourite colour.

I do hope the Tories bring back hunting.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Suicide bombers are not cowards



"To be greatly and effectively wicked a man needs some virtue. What would Attila have been without his courage, or Shylock without self-denial as regards the flesh?"C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

An old Facebook friend said the Manchester killer was cowardly. I said suicide bombers needed courage and got in response a torrent of swear words. We unfriended each other. Surely he knew after eight years that I am not sympathetic to Muslim mass murderers, but I respect his feelings of anger. What is decadent are the number of people who get angry on behalf of Muslims about some non-existent danger to them from people getting angry about the continual massacres. Them I don't respect.

The bombers are drugged apparently, but still they need courage. Not moral courage - immoral courage I suppose.


Nor was it cowardly of the Manchester bomber to kill teenagers. It takes as much or as little courage to be a suicide bomber and kill a room full of children as a roomful of generals.

Psychopaths of course are very courageous but I don't imagine suicide bombers are psychopaths. Psychopaths are survivors.

After Manchester, what is to be done?


I understand why election campaigning has stopped because of the murders in Manchester - but this is when we need a political discussion most. And I sense that elections are now being considered by those running things as in slightly questionable taste.

I think this is just the moment to talk about the parties' records on inter alia social cohesion, policing, terrorism and immigration.

The murderer who killed 22 people and injured dozens more at the Manchester Arena was a 22-year-old who was born in Manchester in 1994 to parents who were Libyan refugees. They were refugees in the UK from Colonel Gaddafi's regime.

At a time when soft hearted, soft headed people want Europe to take in even more refugees from Middle Eastern war zones his antecedents should be remembered.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

What we know this week (and it's only Tuesday)


Theresa May is an incompetent leader.

Jeremy Corbyn, who defended the IRA for decades and called Hamas his 'friends'  now has to condemn a terrorist massacre similar to the ones Hamas tries to carry out all the time.

Many millions of people who think Donald Trump is very dangerous want Jeremy Corbyn to be Prime Minister. They include
 a large majority of British academics.

No-one wants to stop mass immigration from Muslim countries into Great Britain or Europe.

No-one has any idea about how to stop further massacres.

'The Barbarians Are Inside, And There Are No Gates'

At least 19 people have been murdered at a pop concert in Manchester last night, apparently by a suicide bomber. 50 people were injured. 

We have of course been here before many times, though this is the first big massacre in Great Britain since the London Underground killings on 7 July 2005. Fifty were murdered in those incidents. 

A flashback to the massacre in Paris in November 2015, several massacres ago, which led Ann Coulter to say: Donald Trump was elected president tonight. In a piece worth rereading, Mark Steyn said this:
'President Obama described tonight's events as "an attack not just on Paris, it's an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share". 
'But that's not true, is it? He's right that it's an attack not just on Paris or France. What it is is an attack on the west, on the civilization that built the modern world - an attack on one portion of "humanity" by those who claim to speak for another portion of "humanity".'

Monday, 22 May 2017

R.I.P. Drummer Rigby

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Lest we forget. Four years ago today Drummer Rigby was beheaded by Muslim fanatics on the streets of London. I blogged about it here.

Nigel Farage treads the boards

I find the European Parliament a sinister, half-alive Kafkaesque body, eerily undemocratic, semicircular, consensual, feminised, like a committee of civil servants. Most repellent are the desks for everyone. No crowding into division lobbies in the small hours of the morning. Nothing beautiful or old. Nothing clubby. Even though he never sat in the House of Commons.

Its one saving grace, whatever you think of his political views, is Nigel Farage, who offers his colleagues master classes in how real parliaments conduct themselves. 

Why encourage people to vote?


"The political class's cry of "Register to vote or your voice will go unheard!" would sound more convincing if they hadn't spent the past 11 months wailing over the last thing we voted for and wondering why clever people like them should have to listen to the voices of stupid people like us." Brendan O'Neill today on his usual good form.

I don't think people should be encouraged to vote. 

Encourage people to vote for one or other party, if you wish, but not to vote on principle. It's rather a shame, on the whole, if elections are decided by the votes of people who couldn't really be bothered to vote but were nagged into doing so.

Lennonism is the great threat nowadays

Lord Glassman, a Labour peer and founder of Blue Labour, has written an interesting essay. It makes me think that, now Leninism as been defeated, Lennonism is the great threat to civilisation.

His Lordship says Labour can’t tell an enchanted story of our country and the Conservatives can. 

"They dragged New Labour with them and all were united in loyalty to John Lennon’s Imagine. No borders, no institutions, no constraints on money and everyone goes to university and jumps on the train of endless circulation. The brotherhood of Mammon. It’s easy if you try.

4 quotations

“There’s four sorts of people tryin’ to get to be rulers. They all want to make things better, but they want to make ’em better in different ways. There’s Conservatives an’ they want to make things better by keepin’ ’em jus’ like what they are now. An’ there’s Lib’rals an’ they want to make things better by alterin’ them jus’ a bit, but not so’s anyone’d notice, an’ there’s Socialists, an’ they want to make things better by takin’ everyone’s money off ’em, an’ there’s Communists an’ they want to make things better by killin’ everyone but themselves.”
Henry addressing the Outlaws in “William, Prime Minister” (1929)

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Escape


I think I'll give up on trying to make the modern world less modern and spend my remaining years reading books like this.





Or Fu Manchu or John Buchan or my alma mater Enid Blyton, though she does not really stand up to reading in adulthood. 


Or the eighteenth century poets or Tolstoy any author who wrote when the world was ordered and civilised.

But before then I must write a book or two!

Gentle reader, do you remember Arthur Marshall and that he loved Angela Brazil?

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Socialists are a bit like Muslims - mostly decent people, but they incubate extremism

The British Labour Party is a bit like Islam. Most adherents to both are good, moderate, in many cases patriotic people but the creed itself is the reason for the repeated, disastrous outbursts of extremism that mark its history. Tony Blair did an heroic job of trying to reform Labour. His failure suggests that it is unreformable.

As a Conservative who absolutely detests what Tony Blair did to my country, I cannot understand why Labour doesn't beg him to stand for Parliament and lead them again.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

5 quotations

"I was asked earlier if 'I could possibly be any more annoying?' so I've just added 'student of life' to my Facebook bio." Jeremy Drysdale
"If you can't say anything good about anyone, sit right here by me." Said to a young girl by Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Friday, 19 May 2017

America and Europe are very different - vive la difference!


Alexandra, a Romanian who until recently lived in New York, told me last night, "The Americans feel superior to everyone except the British". This made more sense than Ramona, a Romanian-American, who told me in 1998 that the Americans feel superior to everyone. I asked her: what do they have to feel superior about? As an East European to her the answer was obvious. To an Englishman it was a mystery.


I quoted to Alexandra Evelyn Waugh's remark, "We are all born American. We die French" but she didn't understand it.

Elections reduce everyone to absolute irrationality


The philosopher Herbert Spencer thought, when the Asquith government introduced school dinners for poorer children, that this was the moment when England became socialist. Theresa May wants to give all schoolchildren free breakfasts and still left-wing friends think she's an uncaring free marketeer. 

Elections reduce everyone to absolute irrationality. In fact, all the parties taking part in the British election are social democrats: the unconservative Conservatives, the illiberal Liberal Democrats, the S.N.P., the Greens and even Labour. But Labour is led by two elderly men, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, who are not democratic socialists, but Marxist-Leninists of some sort.

People make a case for Greens being fascists, and certainly the Nazis were Greens, but it's not really true the other way around. The Greens are reactionary in economics (unlike fascists), extreme internationalists and want unlimited immigration. Apart from bringing an end to England, think how many houses that would mean we'd need to build on the countryside. They are therefore the least green party, as well as the worst party of all. Worse even than the fascists.