Thursday, 9 July 2020

Covid-19 is not the big deal the media tell us

"Compare this April with last and yes, you will find an enormous number of ‘excess deaths’. But go to the Office for National Statistics website and look up deaths in the winter/spring seasons for the past 27 years, and then adjust for population. This year comes only eighth in terms of deaths. So we ought to put it in perspective."

Dr Lee writing in the Spectator is referring to British figures but I bet it applies generally.


Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Paul Gottfried says conservatism is impossible in the USA

Paul Gottfried is my favourite academic after Edward Norman. Professor Gottfried is fond of pointing out that true conservatism is impossible because the movement's very rich sponsors won't countenance it.


"Please note how Tucker Carlson had to trim his sails after losing sponsors for being too forthright in discussing the left. Immediately thereafter Tucker had to remind us, a bit too obviously, what awful “traitors” the Confederates were and how “equality” is the “one principle” on which the U.S. was founded and which represents our highest value. Without these questionable tropes, Fox’s most right-wing commentator might have lost his program, together with the disgruntled neoconservatives who sponsor it."

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Freddie Gray on Trump's speech yesterday

We’ve heard a lot about the rise of nationalism in recent years. Trump, Brexit, Orbán, Salvini, Bolsanaro — all are portrayed as ugly and crude manifestations of chauvinism and the rejection of globalization. At the same time, however, there is a more insidious anti-nationalism sweeping the world; an uglier manifestation of globalization that seeks to portray any expression of national pride as ‘racism’, any love of tradition as prejudice, any celebration of history as shameful. That sort of politics is not popular. If Trump can successfully present himself as the only candidate willing to stand up for American values, he could win, despite his disastrous start to 2020.
It’s often said that Trump is only interested in campaigning, not governing. Maybe that’s right. But he is a formidable campaigner, as he showed in South Dakota last night.

UNHRC is evil

Like many UN bodies, including UNHCR and arguably even UNESCO, the UN Human Rights Council, is an evil organisation. Its 44th session is voicing support for China's genocide of the Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.


The last head of the UNHRC was an Arab prince whose main priority was making blasphemy a crime under international law. Yet the Pope is hugely enthusiastic for the United Nations which works to provide artificial contraceptives and to legalise abortion. What a strange world it is.

Duke and Duchess of Sussex are keenly speaking out against racial injustice (but seem obsessed with what they left behind)

The FT is the best paper for political and financial news, despite its globalist bias, but the Mail is best for royal stories. This one made me I feel very sorry for the poor Duke of Sussex. He has married his mother and his mother was a bad 'un and no mistake. Bad rather than mad, though she may have been Borderline.

A friend pointed out to me that she had the eyes of Myra Hindley.

Cultural revolution


Is Sweden almost over Covid-19?

The number if Covid-19 infections in Sweden is soaring but the number of deaths is falling away very sharply. It looks as if the infection may be coming to an end there - or will the increase in cases lead to an increase in daily deaths?

Why did Constantinople get the works?

Another terrific article by Ed West, this one about the recent habit of decolonising place names. Should we therefore rename Istanbul Constantinople, he asks.

Yes say I. And call Peking and Bombay by their proper names. And Angora while we're about it.

Bad review


Black lives matter

I am told that yesterday and early this morning there were fifty shootings in Chicago and all of them black on black. This puts the BLM riots into context.

What causes the outbreaks of disorder? It's murky and we shall only know the details in time.

On one level they are organised by very dangerous extreme leftists who say they want to abolish the family and capitalism. But this doesnt explain the real reasons behind it or the reason it's supported by big business, academia and much of the state. The real purpose is to prevent Donald Trump winning a second term. This is another coup attempt.

He has handled the riots very badly and done nothing to suppress them but I still expect that they will give him victory at the polls. But he is very far behind in the polls in Florida and Pennsylvania, which he must win. He has to up his game and, if Tucker Carlson is well informed, which I imagine he is, listen much less to his Democrat daughter and son in law and more to his own instincts.

And the repercussions of BLM in Europe? I don't understand why the political establishment sides with rioters or sees boys trying to protect statues of heroes as the danger to the commonwealth. 

Gentle reader, if you know please of your charity leave a comment to inform me and my readers. 

Saturday, 4 July 2020

"(CNN) - A surprising new study found the controversial antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine helped patients better survive in the hospital."


CNN is surprised because it proves President Trump right. Still at least they reported it. 
A forgotten English politician who died young, George Wyndham, said the gentlemen of Europe must not abdicate but alas after 1918 they did. The result was fascism, Hitler, Communism and now intersectionality and Black Lives Matter.


Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Hate speech by a Nobel Prize winner


"It’s hard to believe but June 2020 is still not over yet. To me, it’s felt like the first time in my adult life that I’m living through history; strangely, even 9/11 and its aftermath didn’t feel quite so portentous, nor the whole Brexit saga.
But the major emotion I feel is one of unreality, not helped by the fact that I’ve met a total of about five adults over the past three months. It feels unreal, and rather like I’m living in one of these medieval periods of crisis when everyone started whipping themselves or spontaneously dancing."
Ed West a few days ago.



I agree with him. This month which ends in a  few minutes is the most extraordinary month I can remember and I have followed politics since I was a boy of eight. It is also the most dismaying period I can remember. At least in 1968 the institutions stood up to the crazy leftists.

I just picked up coincidentally a book about the French Revolution and reread AJP Taylor's introduction to the Communist Manifesto, which Marx wrote early in the revolutionary year of 1848. Both books seem remarkably topical.

Reading with the wisdom of my years I find Marx's ideas preposterous, yet they strongly influenced non-Marxist historians when I read history and even more today. Marx's ideas are as misguided as those of racists like Gobineau and HS Chamberlain. Class struggle does not drive history. Lots of things do but class struggle only rarely and when it does it usually involves peasants not manual workers. Nations, ethnicity and religion are much more important than class and yet the Marxist idea that nations are false consciousness is only too widely held. 

Lennonism not Leninism.
"A political shift is certainly accelerating within elite institutions, where the younger generation is trying to establish a new ideological consensus, a new set of standards and boundaries for behavior and opinion, that otherwise would have advanced more slowly, with more contestation, over the next 10 years." Ross Douthat thinks big business, big universities and big newspapers will increase in power and wealth thanks to the pandemic accelerating changes that were happening anyway, while churches, small businesses and conservatives do badly.

In other words he sees a new elite taking over America and ruthlessly getting rid of its rivals. It is reminiscent of Leninism but this is pushed by big business. One third of major brands, says the FT, threaten to boycott Facebook unless it censors conservative opinions more severely.

Monday, 29 June 2020



I missed my vocation and should be a columnist. I see they are now using my ideas that political correctness can only be understood as a religion and that PC and BLM represent a war against Western civilisation. A war the other side may well win.




Reading the New York Times today and every day since Wednesday it is easy to think civilisation is finished. Interestingly I am reading it in a location frequently by seriously grand and important people. The New York Times and the somewhat less extreme Financial Times represent the intellectual and cultural universe that diplomats, civil servants, politicians and businessmen and women inhabit.

Swedish figures show lockdowns were a mistake and Covid-19 is much less dangerous than feared

Prliminary figures for the total number of deaths in Sweden from all causes from November to May are lower this year than in most of the previous thirty years, despite the Coronavirus and despite the lack of a lockdown. If the final figures are not very different they will prove that lockdowns are a mistake and that the virus is not nearly as dangerous as the authorities outside Sweden fear.


Image may contain: text

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Mass after almost four months

I  came at short notice to Austria to do a health cure in a village near Innsbruck.

Today it was possible for me to go to Mass for the first time since February. Masses and life in general in Austria got largely back to normal on May 15.

I attended a beautiful and agreeably very short Mass (20 minutes) in an old church in the village, but how I wish the Mass were in Latin, not German, and preferably Tridentine, and how I dislike altar girls.

No-one wore a mask. Communion wafer in the hand not on the tongue, quite rightly.  One benefit of Coronavirus: no sign of peace, thank God.

Friday, 26 June 2020

Western civilisation under attack and no one says a word

Israeli police of course did not teach Minnesota policemen how to grip felons by the throat. Of course saying they did is not racist.

I almost think that Holand Park should be renamed. Lord Holland the protégé of Fox and patron of Macaulay was the archetypal liberal and a remote progenitor of this stuff. Biter bit.  But no, he was no Keir Starmer but a great Englishman. He also opposed slavery, even if his wife owned slaves.

As Macaulay said, there is nothing so ridiculous as England in one of its periodic fits of morality, but there is nothing in the least ridiculous about this desire to erase the past. It is no joke at all. European civilisation is being attacked head-on. 

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Dawn, the rosy-fingered

I wake early these long days. Today I caught Dawn, the rosy-fingered.


As Logan Pearsall Smith said,

'What humbugs we are, who pretend to live for Beauty, and never see the Dawn!'


I wish I had learnt Greek as I intended to at university and could read Homer.


I just discovered on the net that Wycherley (not a favourite playwright of mine) in old age said:

"It is at dawn, the rosy- fingered, that one must savor the divine Homer. Was he not describing for us the dawn of the world?"

The Great Satan

Image



The article quotes someone called Lord Woolley, who is one of the founders of Operation Black Vote, which campaigns for greater representation of non-white people in politics, and who was an adviser to Theresa May, who enobled him.

“The original image may have been of St Michael slaying Satan, but the figure has no horns or tail and is clearly a black man. It is a shocking depiction, and it is even more shocking that that image could be presented to ambassadors representing this country abroad.

“This is the past that informs the present, and that’s why it symbolises everything that Black Lives Matter are campaigning for. It provides a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is to acknowledge it and own it, but the opportunity is to put it right. It is easy to get rid of an image, but I would like root-and-branch restructuring, because most of the institutions created by the empire are still there.

“For most black and brown people, there is nothing good about the empire. Most people will see this as an image of George Floyd on a global scale and a symbol of white supremacy.”


Monday, 22 June 2020

Quotations


“She was also incapacitated by much of daily life and had 'no aptitude whatsoever' for domesticity.” Sybille Bedford
“I'm living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.” Saki 
“Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live.” Comte de Chamfort
It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving picaninnies; and one can imagine that Blair, twice victor abroad but enmired at home, is similarly seduced by foreign politeness. They say he is shortly off to the Congo. No doubt the AK47s will fall silent, and the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh, and the tribal warriors will all break out in Watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird. Boris Johnson in the Daily Telegraph 10 January 2002 

“The UK office for National Statistics has identified the things that matter most for happiness as "health, relationships, work, and the environment" - a list that tallies closely with our basic goods. Given that our lives have not noticeably improved in these respects since 1974 it is hardly surprising that we do not feel any happier.
Are we then suggesting a return to living standards of 1974? Not necessarily, for the luxuries acquired since then may, even if they have added nothing to our real well-being, be painful to forgo. This is an instance of the general truth that damaging social changes cannot always be rectified simply by being reversed, any more than a man flattened by a steamroller can be restored to life by being run over backwards. What we are saying is that the long-term goal of economic policy should henceforth not be growth, but the restructuring of our collective existence so as to facilitate the good life.” Lord Skidelsky

In a blog post in 2016 Harvard professor Mark Tushnet said conservatives and Evangelical Christians have lost the culture wars, and now the question is “how to deal with the losers.”
“My own judgment is that taking a hard line (‘You lost, live with it’) is better than trying to accommodate the losers. Trying to be nice to the losers didn’t work well after the Civil War, nor after Brown. And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.”

Stuttgart riots

The Daily Mail, a more trustworthy paper than the Guardian, informed its readers that the looters in Stuttgart on Saturday shouted 'Allahu Akbar' as they ransacked shops and of the 24 people arrested, 12 were foreigners and three were German nationals with a migrant background.


Douglas Murray says that journalists see themselves as negotiating between their readers and the truth when it comes to stories like this. This is less true of the Mail than many papers.


However, this is a more complicated situation than a riot by immigrants. It seems the riot was sparked over the arrest of a 17 year-old white boy and was begun by white youths. Migrant youths then enthusiastically joined in. 


A local paper interviewed Serkan Bicen, who works 'with adolescents and young adults from different backgrounds', whatever that means.
What has to happen so that such a night does not repeat itself?

I think it is the completely wrong signal that the interior minister (Thomas Strobl / CDU, editor's note) has questioned this liberalism and the multicultural model. In my view, Stuttgart was always exemplary for a largely successful coexistence between migrants and what Cem Özdemir likes to call bio-Germans. In my work I experience daily that origin, religion or skin color no longer play a role in the young generation. I would therefore consider it fatal to move away from the liberal values ​​in this city.
Stuttgart has always been proud to be a liberal city. Will it stay that way?
One must not make the mistake of swinging the rule of law club alone. A prudent analysis and discussion is required, which must be conducted not only in terms of domestic policy, but above all in terms of social policy. Politicians should ask themselves: What are the needs of young people? Are their worries and fears noticed at all? According to my observations, this was largely neglected. It is not enough now to try to line up young people with new prohibitions and repression. It would be much better to have a dialogue about which, of course, there must be a clear stance: no to violence.

This may have been a multiracial, multicultural riot in which white boys took part, but the media does not want to talk about immigration or race. 

Douglas Murray says that the French deal very frankly with fears about immigration but in Germany such discussions are considered unacceptable. Why?


People think it is because of postwar denazification. Paul Gottfried said that it went too far and made genuine conservatism impossible but, as the historian Ernst Nolte said, it is more the result of the 1960s. Germany modelled itself on the USA after the war and the 1960s social revolution that began in the USA with the Civil Rights movement created the Germany of today, in rebellion against the people and ideas that governed Germany after 1945.


Angela Merkel, to be fair, sat out the 1960s cultural revolution in the GDR, but is the daughter of a Communist Lutheran pastor and the nomenklatura. That's what made her an internationalist and passionately globalist. She is nevertheless a Christian, like her dad, which is why she did not vote for single-sex marriage. 

'And then was seen an eighth wonder of the world, silent barbers'

Dominic Lawson in the Daily Mail, in an article about Covid-19 and haircuts, says
"It brings to mind the remark attributed to the late Enoch Powell MP, in an encounter with a House of Commons barber who enjoyed treating the legislators to his own voluble opinions on how the country should be run.
"One day, when he asked Powell: 'How should I cut your hair, Sir?' the austere parliamentarian instantly replied: 'In silence.'"
I had forgotten him and that story but, in my first job I worked in the House of Lords and had the same barber as Enoch Powell (and Lord Hailsham etc etc). 

He was very much the worst barber I ever had and much the most talkative. He'd stop cutting to stand and shout his uninformed opinions at me on a myriad subjects.

Croats and Portuguese riot in Germany

I saw in the Guardian:
German authorities have expressed shock over a rampage of an “unprecedented scale” in the centre of Stuttgart, where hundreds of partygoers ran riot overnight and into Sunday, breaking shop windows, plundering and attacking police.

Two dozen people, half of them German nationals, were provisionally arrested and police reported 19 officers hurt. “They were unbelievable scenes that have left me speechless. In my 46 years of police service, I have never experienced this,” said the Stuttgart police chief, Franz Lutz.
Tensions built up shortly after midnight when officers carried out checks on a 17-year-old German man suspected of using drugs, said Stuttgart’s deputy police chief, Thomas Berger.


...At the height of the clashes, some 400 to 500 people joined in the battle against police officers and rescue workers.

As officers pushed back against the crowd, they broke up into small groups, carrying on their rampage around the city centre, breaking shop windows and looting stores along nearby Königstraße, a major shopping street.

Half the people arrested were German nationals and, asked about the nationalities of the 12 non-Germans who were detailed, the police said they came from a range of countries, from Croatia and Portugal to Afghanistan and Somalia. 


But are the Stuttgart police and the Guardian telling us the whole story?

Elsewhere on the net I found the AfD blaming the “civil war” in Stuttgart on the massive influx of migrants to the city, noting that 

It is no coincidence that it hit a city with a 44 per cent migrant population. Without a political paradigm shift, such scenes will repeat themselves in Stuttgart and in other German cities. What we need is consistently controlled immigration, more police and a crackdown on the judiciary against such criminals. 
My suspicion is that ethnic Germans, Croats and Portuguese might not be the majority of the rioters.

Clues are found in the Deutsche Welle account. DW spoke to a bystander called Yussef. 

When asked where the "rage" came from, Yussef explains that many of the young people involved in the clashes, particularly people of color, feel they're too often regarded as suspects by police.

The tensions have become particularly raw in light of the protests against police brutality that launched in the United States.

I wish I watched Romanian TV - I have to endure the BBC World Service

I caught the Pro-TV weather forecast in the dentist. It is a festival of cleavage. The forecast itself is not attractive: more rain, cool. It has been like this for six weeks.




I must start watching TV. I have said this to myself for twenty years. TV puts you in touch with reality. Books and newspapers and the internet don't. 


Because reality is an illusion projected into our homes by television companies.




I used to know a lot about world politics before I came to Romania. In an attempt to know more this year I have been listening to the BBC World Service but the effort is almost killing me.




The other day I tried to listen to World Business Report. The first twenty minutes were about 'Juneteenth' the anniversary of the end of slavery in the USA , which few Americans had heard of till recently, and racism. Two American women who were definitely Democrats preached sermons, then an Englishman from the Bank of England did. You hardly hear a Tory or Republican voice and when you do the presenter argues hard against them. It all sounds like a Joe Biden party political broadcast. 


Just now the first story was Covid-19 deaths in Brazil, where the nuts come from. The presenter tried to get two epidemiologists to blame it on Bolsonaro. They didn't do so. 


Then a Democrat (he wasn't identified as such) talked about John Bolton's new book. The revelations are very important but what shocked the presenter was a Republican saying he would not vote for Trump, as if he were the first.


The elder and young George Bushes come to mind and  a raft of Never Trumpers. Perhaps she didn't know about them.

Then the first item on the sports news is about racism in football (Confederate flags, actually, which is very different), then the news summary and now an Israeli talks to the presenter about neo-Nazi, anti-

How well or badly were slaves treated in the American South?

Since slavery is in the news, here is what I blogged five years ago on the subject, an article I was inspired to write after reading Tolstoy talking about serfs being whipped.

I recently mentioned that the Liberals and the Guardian in England backed the Confederacy but here is another article from 2015 on the same theme.

This link is to a blog post written by someone who calls himself Lorenzo, who talks about Unfree Labor: American Slavery and Russian Serfdom by Peter Kolchin, a book which is on my list to read. Lorenzo says:

Kolchin makes very clear that Russian serfdom was much more like chattel slavery than its medieval precursor. Medieval serfs existed in much more complex social arrangements and generally had relatively static obligations. Russian serfs were literally owned and far more subject to the whims of their owners. 

Kolchin characterises both American slavery and Russian serfdom as responses by elites on the periphery of the capitalist world to labour shortage coming from demand for products of labour coupled with low population density. In both cases, the cost of coercion ‘paid off’ economically, particularly as there was deemed to be no moral cost. Kolchin has an excellent sense of how differently embedded in their different societies American slavery and Russian serfdom were (for example, the slaves lived in a slaveholder’s world, the serf’s in a peasant’s world; American slaveholders were much more effective and empowered as a social group than Russian serfowners; American slavery was vibrant and expanding, Russian serfdom was a system in decay).
It's interesting to learn that American slaves ate better than European workers, including I imagine the Lancashire mill girls, who supported the North even though the Civil War put them out of work, and slightly better than American workers.

Quotations

Imagine if people took all the energy they're currently expending on pointing out everyone else's perceived faults, and spent it instead on improving themselves, or helping someone, or sorting out the garden, or absolutely anything else. Sam White


The notion of putting 7,000 people in a building may be a thing of the past. Barclays CEO Jes Staley in April


Young employees in cities are paid relatively well, but they quickly lose as much as half their after-tax salaries in rent and travel costs. They spend their lives in cramped quarters with multiple roommates. With the commute reduced from five days a week to four or three, the need to live centrally diminishes. Notably, about 250,000 people left London when lockdown was called, according to a University of Oxford study. Most will return; some will not. Rory Sutherland in the latest Spectator


Catholic chaplain at MIT sacked after he questioned whether George Floyd died because of racism

From the New Boston Post quoted in an article by Rod Dreher.

The Catholic chaplain has been forced out at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology because of an email message he sent Catholic students that questioned whether George Floyd died because of racism and stated that Floyd did not live a virtuous life.


Father Daniel Moloney, a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, was asked to resign last week, according to the archdiocese.


“In the wake of George Floyd’s death, most people in the country have framed this as an act of racism. I don’t think we know that. Many people have claimed that racism is a major problem in police forces. I don’t think we know that,” Moloney wrote in an email message to the MIT Catholic Community, according to a news story published Tuesday night in The Boston Globe.


Moloney, according to the Globe story of Tuesday, June 16, wrote that Floyd should not have been killed by a police officer in Minnesota, but also stated that Floyd “had not lived a virtuous life” and that police “deal with dangerous and bad people all the time, and that often hardens them.”
Some students complained to university administrators, including the university’s Bias Response Team.


University officials contacted the Archdiocese of Boston, which quickly sought Moloney’s resignation.
This is much shocking even than the case two years ago of the Catholic Chaplain at the University of Glasgow who was removed by the University after he held a novena in his parish church at a parishioner's request, “in reparation” after a homosexual pride march. Not a word was said in his defence by his Archbishop or colleagues but he was fired by the University acting unilaterally, not with the complicity of the Church. 

This time the Church itself removed a good priest, though at the instigation of the M.I.T.

A pedant writes: Rod Dreher says that we don’t know that Officer Chauvin acted out of racism 


but we can know for sure, though, is that Chauvin’s act was evil. 

I don't think that acts are evil. Evil, as the word is usually used at any rate, implies evil intent, either the intent of men or of demonic forces. Thoughts and intentions are often evil. If a man is struck dead by by lightning or by an object inadvertently falling from a great height these things are not evil. The first is what insurance companies call an act of God, the latter an accident. A homicide committed by a madman is not evil either - he cannot be blamed for it. 

I suppose one can use the word evil in an old fashioned sense, as when we say of something 'High unemployment is an avoidable [or unavoidable] evil'. I suspect, though, that Mr Dreher is trying to protect himself from accusations of racism.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

The revolution

As long as police exist, there will always be repression. This is why we must accept nothing less than abolition of all law enforcement. Kandist Mallett in Teen Vogue. Yes, Teen Vogue.

If you're worried about the concentration of power in the hands of a few unaccountable actors, and you very much should be, nobody has more unchecked power than Google does.
Tucker Carlson


Prince Harry backs move to ban Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. Daily Mail headline (do we detect the Duchess's influence?)


There are two prevailing views: remove all memorials and statues that are deemed offensive in relation to slavery, colonialism, or racism. The other view is that they should remain but have additional information alongside existing information to give a fuller picture.

I have felt the need for such memorials to be placed in a museum, but the second view could also work as we remember the past but add important information to give a full account of the background and implications of such a memorial.”
The Black Lives Matter movement has provided a sense of urgency to the Church of England about institutional and structural racism.
The Dean of Manchester, the Very Revd Rogers Govender

Faces Of The Balkans, 100 Years Ago

"Barbers Mean Nothing In Life: A horny-handed son of the Balkan soil. He has lived the allotted three score and 10 years and then some. And despite the vicissitudes that have swept Romania, he still believes in the future of his country and the goodness of his God. He was a patient in the [Red Cross] hospital but refused to remain if his hair was cut. It is a 50-year growth and he wouldn't part with it."

These very interesting pictures from the Radio Free Europe site were taken in different Balkan countries by American photographer Lewis Hine, who was here with the Red Cross, in 1919 and 1920. 

The captions are original and Radio Free Europe feels it necessary to apologise to its readers for the 'sometimes patronizing perspective of a Western observer of the time' that they display. 

I think almost everything written before the 1990s requires an apology or condemnation from Radio Free Europe, the Guardian and from English literature departments.

Reading the captions and looking at the pictures I think not for the first time that Wallachia and Moldavia are only half Balkan at most, because Balkan is a state of mind, not a place, and a state of mind strongly coloured by centuries of rule by Turkey. Wallachia and Moldavia were only a Turkish protectorate, ruled by Christian princes, though the people including the landowners and princes dressed like Turks until the 1850s.

Smuggling and bear hunting in the Carpathians in the late 1830s

I mentioned a few days ago John Paget's lovely book Travels in Hungary and Transylvania, which I read at university. 

Here is a passage about Wallachian peasants smuggling salt, shawls and Turkey carpets from Bucharest to Krondstadt (Brasov) and on occasion from Roumelia or even Adrianople (Edirne), followed by an account of a drunken Austrian general in a bear hunt being pursued by a bear and calling out 'Back! rascal, back! I am a general!'

Being pursued by a bear is no joke, even if they look like they want to give you a friendly hug. From time to time they succeed in killing people, sometimes in towns. One killed someone in Sinaia a few years ago. 

For some reason the technocrat government, the one before last, decided to make hunting bears illegal. The number of peasants and tourists killed by bears will doubtless increase.

I was fascinated by Hungarian (including Transylvanian) early nineteenth century history at university and some years ago was sad to find the Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford specialises in Hungarian history, which when I was up was an incredibly obscure subject. 

I admit I feel jealous. Failure is not the only penalty for sloth. There is also the success of Sir Richard Evans. 

Rod Liddle today

Now Oxford University has said it intends to “decolonise” maths and science. How will it do that? Surely the speed of light, and Boyle’s law on the pressure of gases, are exactly the same whether you’re black or white?





I have read papers on decolonising the sciences and in every case the subtext seems to mean “make them a lot easier”. Ask students not to calculate the pressure of a gas as its container decreases in size, but how the poor gas feels, alone in its airtight container.



There should be a name for this fervid dismantling of western thought. I think “The Unenlightenment” fits pretty well.

Captain Cook, Lord Nelson and Clive of India were racists

An anti-colonialist 25 year old Australian historian disapproves of statues of Captain Cook, Lord Nelson and my great hero Clive of India.


What would the Whig Lord Macaulay say? His dazzling Essay on Clive was the best thing I'd ever read when I was twelve. Clive's greatness is beyond dispute. He was the conqueror of India, something no Greek or Roman ever was.


Countries live in the imagination. To renounce England's wonderful past is to renounce our country herself.


The wisest man I ever met was an illiterate Pole who came to England after the war and told me England was the best country in the world. 


Every man thinks his country the best country in the world, in one sense, in the sense that his wife and mother are the best wife or mother in the world, but in England's case it's objectively true.

What is the alternative? The only competitors are France, Ancient Athens and Ancient Rome and we are even better than them, even if being opposed to slavery is the only test. (Just think of the French revolution, if you would put France in first place.)


Oh and I suppose another alternative is China, where political prisoners today provide slave labour.

55% Of Americans Believe Joe Biden Is In Early Stages of Dementia

55% of 1,007 “likely voters” in the USA told polling company Zogby International that they think Joe Biden, 77, “is in the early stages of dementia.”

It's a small survey but it doesn't sound unlikely.

Having seen a recent clip of him I think this will become a much more widely held assessment as the election proceeds. 


think Joe Biden is very unlikely to win, just because of his own weaknesses.


Donald Trump said in March at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina,


“They are going to put him in a home and other people are going to be running the country. Sleepy Joe, he doesn’t even know where he is or what he’s doing or what office he’s running for. Honestly, I don’t think he knows what office he’s running for.”


Donald Trump has a
knack of sensing weaknesses. 'Low-energy Jeb' and 'Pocahontas' (Democrats said that epithet was racist) killed Jeb Bush and Elizabeth Warren. 


Jeb Bush told him, 'You're not going to be able to insult your way to the presidency', but President Trump proved him wrong.

In addition to Biden's menta
l state, I imagine the BLM protests and riots will also help Donald Trump very much.

The BLM iconoclastic outbreak is another attempt by his opponents to destroy Trump, after the Russian allegations and the Ukrainian allegations failed to do so. By opponents I mean his main opponents, the American media, this time in alliance with angry crowds, that on occasion became angry mobs.

But BLM is a Morton's fork for the Democrats. They cannot denounce BLM and I don't think they can win if they endorse BLM.

I was discussing this last night with a very clever and well-informed American businessman, who thinks the same. 

He also thinks that in 2024 a Democrat will win the presidency, of which I am certain too, and then America is finished.

Black Lives Matter UK say they aim to dismantle capitalism

On Black Lives Matter UK's GoFundMe page, a statement was uploaded a few days ago. It explains that the organisation intends to be ‘guided by a commitment to dismantle imperialism, capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and the state structures that disproportionately harm black people in Britain and around the world’.

On the BLMUK Facebook page, the group declares that it is opposed to 

‘homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia, queerphobia, transphobia, sexism, misogyny, misogynoir, enbyphobia, ableism, racism, anti-Blackness, Islamophobia, whorephobia, ageism, fatphobia, eugenics, discrimination, stereotypes, respectability politics, the stigmatisation of HIV and the stigmatisation of addiction.’ 

I learnt all this from an article in the Daily Mail, which makes this point.

If those behind Black Lives Matter UK really do intend to ‘dismantle’ capitalism, what might they wish to replace it with? And how would that benefit people of colour?
The only alternative system practised elsewhere in the world is communism. But as China’s Uighur Muslims, or the 1.5 million people from ethnic minorities who were deported or sent to gulags by Josef Stalin, would attest, that system can be very racist indeed.

Of course the Mail is right to mention Communism, but the one thing Communism is not guilty of is racism. In fact Communists coined the word and invented the concept.

I don't know if the Chinese Communist treatment of the Uigur Muslims is racist, but I'd be surprised. I suspect it is their religion, not their race, which makes the Communists see them as a threat. 


Still, it's a very illuminating article from a much maligned but often very good paper, one which sometimes somewhat timidly critiques the ruling ideology, though often is very PC itself.

As it is in another article in the Mail, which lavishly praises Patrick Hutchinson, who rescued Mr Bryn Male from a BLM mob. It is right to do so but omits to mention that he said he did so to prevent a death making BLM look bad. 

Mr Male, who had ended up on the ground before his rescue, is described by the Mail as 'an ex-police thug' who had a shaven head and a Millwall tattoo. 

Witnesses said he drunkenly declared ‘f*** Black Lives Matter’ before being punched and kicked by rival demonstrators.

The Mail does not say he did anything beyond using a four letter word to bring down an attack that might have cost him his life. It brushes over this, but gives me the impression that it thinks protesting against BLM and hoping to protect statues is damning. 

The article tells us Mr Male is vice-chairman of the social club in the village where he lives.

But for how much longer? A petition to remove him has 380 signatures. 

The ‘Get rid of Bryn Male’ campaign says: ‘On June 13 we all witnessed an honourable man, Patrick Hutchinson, carrying an injured stranger to safety. We are now aware that the injured man was Bryn Male. We cannot allow those... attitudes to be part of the club.’

Saturday, 20 June 2020

The Book of Covidicus - Chapter 5 - No BALM in Gilead

I spent far too much time on the internet as it is and rarely read other people's blogs, but I just read Bruvver Eccles' latest post and it's so funny I decided I needed to post the link here.

In praise of inequality

The world is very hierarchical and very unequal. 

This is because nature is very hierarchical and very unequal. 

If you believe in God you believe that this is divinely ordained. 

Conservatives always argued against equality being a good thing in principle, until John Major, asked in the House of Commons by Tony Blair if he believed in equality, answered yes. 

A long time before that conservatives had stopped arguing for inequality as a good thing in itself or in other words the merits of hierarchy, but hierarchy is the most important conservative principle of all, along with preserving the authority of the state.

Tradition and freedom are very important but less essential, from a conservative point of view. In theory, liberals also believe in freedom and in the nineteenth century really did so.

The conservatives are not defending hierarchy, inequality or the authority of the state very well at the moment, and certainly not tradition or freedom, but nature has a habit of reasserting itself over abstract ideas and human reason. 

In the US and UK the left is an alliance of younger urban graduates and ethnic minorities

The British Labour Party commissioned Ed Miliband, who knows about losing elections, to report on why they lost badly in December 2019. His report found that Labour was a party of younger city-dwelling graduates and of ethnic minority voters. 

Age, education, ethnicity and location are now more important than class.

This is the future of the left in England and America.

In Romania the sizeable ethnic minorities are well established, neither cause or are caused many problems and have lived here for centuries, except the small Jewish community, who are mostly descended from late nineteenth century immigrants from Russia. They have their own ethnic parties, though the gypsy party doesn't count for much. 


Graduates are usually centre right and graduates with jobs in multinational companies, like everywhere, are often globalists. 

The left-wing party, the post-communist Social Democrats, gets the socially conservative, less well educated, especially from the countryside where people so hated Communism in 1948. 

They are somewhere people, but so are most of the centre-right voters. Most Romanians are social conservatives and almost none approve of single sex marriage, few of feminism.


The big drivers for change will be Romanian graduates returning from Western universities with up to date 'woke' ideas, the European Union and Third World immigration which has begun. 


In other words the drivers for social change in Romania are essentially the same as in the West - but Romania is two generations behind. And over two generations much can happen and will, in Romania and in the west. 

In the less than twenty weeks till the US presidential election a lot can happen. That election will have far reaching consequences. 

A victory for Biden will be the end of the attempt at counter-revolution. A victory for Trump will probably kick the can down the road for four years.

The crisis in the Catholic Church is part of the crisis for Western civilisation

Damian Thompson, until recently editor of the Catholic Herald in London and the best religious journalist there is, tweeted on Thursday:

Francis has just re-employed at the Vatican bank BIp Zanchetta, charged with aggravated sexual assault of seminarians, fraud and misuse of funds. Papolatrous ‘orthodox’ journalists say nothing; liberals vigorously cover up.

Googling I find that Bishop Zanchetta was one of the first bishops appointed by Francis, was suspended from his Vatican post after reports that he had sexually abused seminarians and had homosexual pornography on his phone. 

According to the press, he has not satisfactorily explained what happened to almost a quarter of a million dollars he received in public money.

Since his time as a bishop Francis has surrounded himself with priests against whom serious allegations of sexual or financial irregularity have been made. Why? 

Such men are beholden to him. That's one reason, I presume.

Quotations for this revolutionary moment in the West

“The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

"You never compromise with violence. You never compromise with intimidation. You never compromise with those who want to use it to extinguish freedom and democracy, because if you do then the very things for which you stand are extinguished." Margaret Thatcher

"I watched greedily, and concluded with absolute certainty that night that nobody was in charge, and that I could do anything I liked from now on. And I duly did." Peter Hitchens on 1967

Quotations, stolen from Toma

I express my thanks to Toma, who comments regularly on my blog and who collected these and posted then on his.

The first quotation expresses what I feel British foreign policy should be.
We can regard the troubles of others with sympathy and patience. We hold out the hand of friendship and peace to every nation in Europe. But the affairs of Europe are not our concern. Every time we have involved ourselves in these affairs, it has brought us great burdens and great loss. We have prospered when we have kept clear of European politics.

Our one duty is to mind our own business. We should set an example of ordered freedom and sensible economics. These things are well within the genius of the British people, even if our Government finds them a bit difficult. For this, too, is one of the lessons of history: the British people are always a good deal wiser and more sensible than those who govern them.

A.J.P. Taylor