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 Hamas and the IRA for decades, 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


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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The canonisation of Jo Cox

Spencer Perceval was the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated, in 1812

Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and the other British party leaders stopped campaigning in the election for an hour today to honour Mrs. Jo Cox, MP, who was murdered by a right-wing extremist eleven months ago. I am not entirely sure why they did so right now, after eleven months, but Mr Cox, the widower, had organised it and has organised a series of street parties to mark the first anniversary of the murder next month.

I am very sorry indeed for his wife's murder. It was a terrible thing to happen. She is said by her colleagues to have been a very nice person.  

However, though I wanted to avoid saying this, I think it deserves saying. 

Airey Neave was a war hero (he escaped from Colditz) and patriot but, because he was a staunch right-wing Tory and unionist, even after his murder in the House of Commons underground car park by the INLA he was treated by the left-wing media with disdain. 

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.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Four quotations

"I just want to see the universities closed down, except for Oxford and Cambridge. I think they have all been a terrible mistake." Philip Larkin
"I can tell you how to abolish unemployment. Abolish unemployment benefit." That was also Larkin. It shocked me when I first heard it quoted by Charles Moore in the 1980s, but no longer does.
I wonder what Larkin would have thought of Donald Trump. I think he'd have approved, except for the teetotalism.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Renewing the British elite

The Brexit referendum renewed democracy in Great Britain in an amazing way. The British people proved they were lions, unwilling to be led any longer by donkeys.

What badly needs renewing now is the elite. It has been corrupted, undermined and badly educated, taught to believe in equality and making money instead of noblesse oblige. It is in danger of ceasing to be national and becoming international instead. Clever students study business but no-one reads the poets or cares that Wolfe took Quebec. Many don't know who Hengist and Horsa were.

Maybe it might be a start if the hereditary peers were once more allowed to vote in the upper house.

No-one talks about how to create elites, but they are vital to every country. The lack of cultured, public spirited and patriotic elites is perhaps the biggest problem in Eastern Europe.

We in Great Britain were in danger of having a business and political elite that saw things in internationalist terms first and in terms of the national self interest second. The referendum was a providential salvation. In 'A Tale of Two Cities' Eliot A. Cohen explains exactly what I mean.

Lest we forget: Jeremy Corbyn hails IRA dead

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Jeremy Corbyn said that should his party win power on 8 June, he would do "everything necessary to protect the safety and security of our people and our country", stressing "that is our first duty".

Friday, 12 May 2017

'Nomadic nations are always thieves'

'Nomadic nations are always thieves.' John Paget, Hungary and Transylvania (1839)
He is referring to Hungarian nomadic shepherds of the Puszta.

I did very little work at university, something I hugely regret, but did immerse myself in Hungarian and Transylvanian history 1780-1850, which was not really on the syllabus. When I read in John Paget's great book about nomadic Wallacks I thought Paget meant Wallachians, or in other words Romanians, but of course he meant Aromanians or Vlachs.

Here is more.

"Transylvania can scarcely be considered an aristocracy any more than America can. The native Indians and negroes of America—the free negroes of the North, I mean, for Transylvania knows nothing so degrading as absolute slavery—occupy the place of the gipsies and Wallacks of Transylvania ; the rest of the inhabitants of both countries enjoying nearly equal rights."

Quotations for Friday

"Some people did not like this ceremonial style. But after all when you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite." Churchill, apropos declaring war on Japan.

"I swear to you, there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell." Walt Whitman

The Writers' Union (Casa Monteoru) on my walk to work today

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The Last of the Dalmatians

llyria lay on the Western shore of the Adriatic. After the Roman conquest which was completed by the second century B.C. in towns spoke Latin. Their Latin developed, after the fall of Rome, into a Romance language Dalmatian. Later the well-educated in towns like Ragusa (Dubrovnik) spoke Italian, while Croatian language s subsumed Dalmatian (how?), except in Albania. Was this because Slavs move in?

The last speaker of Dalmatian was Tuone Udaina, who was accidentally killed in an explosion on June 10, 1898. His language was studied by the scholar Matteo Bartoli, who visited him in 1897 and recorded 2,800 words.

'National identity does not exist'

This is the very wicked opinion of a man who was Tony Blair's Director of Political Operations. It sheds a lot of light on modern politics and why the world is in such a mess.
John McTernan‏ @johnmcternan
Replying to @sundersays
National identity does not exist. All people's descriptions descend into a banal string of commonplaces.