Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Scotland the brave

I ate haggis three times in a day and a half in Scotland and shall eat black pudding for the third time in 48 hours. Apart from offal the other themes of my Scotch travels are rain and overcast skies which are forecast to last for another week. And noble prospects, to quote Boswell.

I apologise to readers who want my insights into the violence in Bucharest. I am too far away but I am sure that once more the gendarmes are to blame at least for much of it. I wish it were only in Romania that the police are responsible for  violence against peaceful protesters but it happens even in England. 

Jeremy Warner in today's Daily Telegraph

The great tragedy of Turkey’s latest economic crisis is that it has come just too late to influence the outcome of recent elections, and that, far from dethroning a corrupt and incompetent autocrat, it might, despite the inevitable years of economic hardship that now lie ahead, even bolster his position, irretrievably turning the country Eastwards and away from the Western, secular traditions of modern day Turkey’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Erdogan is fast shaping up to be the Mediterranean’s next Nasser, further destabilising a region already wracked by economic/tribal/religious rivalry and war. It would only require him to seize the US nuclear base at Incirlik, as Gamal Abdel Nasser did the Suez canal, to complete the picture.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

'How Matteo Salvini pulled Italy to the far right'


The Guardian regularly publishes a long essay as 'The Long Read'. Today it published an interesting discussion of Matteo Salvini of the League and the new Italian government from which I gleaned these two pieces of information:


The number of immigrants in Italy rose from 2.5 million in 2007 to 5 million in 2017. 


Last year 664,000 Italians died and 464,000 were born, of whom 100,000 had a foreign mother or father.

I also learnt that the Italian Families Minister 
caused a scandal by saying there was no such thing as a gay family and suggesting that laws against hate speech should be repealed. This alerts any Guardian readers who think that the League might have a point about illegal immigrants that the League is evil.

Of course the League is not far right at all. Far right means Sir Oswald Mosley not Enoch Powell, Franco not Poujade, fascists like Mussolini and people who want a dictatorship, not democrats who want to slow or stop immigration and care more about this issue than economics.

The Guardian article has as its premise the idea that economics is what politics is mostly about and talk of immigration is a distraction. But isn't the nation more important to normal people than economics? Plenty of things are more important to the left than economic growth, of course, which is why left-wing governments always run out of money and fail.

The real battle is not between the League and the left but the League, which opposes islamification and homosexual civil partnerships, and the Church, which does the same. 

The article does not mention that a Catholic magazine very close to the Vatican, 'The Christian Family', described Salvini as the devil. One priest called him the Anti-Christ.


The former bishop of Caserta, Raffaele Nogaro, said recently

“Morally and as a man of faith I would be willing to turn all churches into mosques if it were useful to the cause and if it helped to save the lives of poor and unhappy men and women, because Christ did not come to earth to build churches but to help men regardless of race, religion, or nationality.”

Monday, 6 August 2018

Quotations


Frank Furedi, ex Trotskyite, in Slate today:

In an age when white privilege is a cultural crime, Jewish privilege and supposed Jewish influence are treated with contempt and resentment. Often this reaction against ‘Jewish privilege’ meshes with hostility to Israel to produce a unique 21st-century species of anti-Semitism. This is why even in an age when victims are routinely celebrated, the oppression of Jews and the experience of the Holocaust are not seen as legitimate claims to victimhood. Indeed, the Holocaust is often turned against the Jews. Israel is often depicted as the heir to Nazi Germany. Former mayor of London Ken Livingstone continually promotes this mendacious argument, with his assertions that Hitler was a great friend of Zionism.

Liberals and ethnic groups

Daniel Hannan‏ Verified account@DanielJHannan 41 minutes ago

The alt-right and the woke Left are not opposites when it comes to race. They both define people by ethnic identity. The real anti-racists are the classical liberals who see everyone as an individual.

Daniel Hannan, Thatcherite and Brexiteer, says that he is a Whig not a Tory. He has that in common with left-wing Tories like Ian Gilmour, David Cameron and probably Harold Macmillan, whose father was a Liberal Unionist and who married the daughter of a Whig duke.


Everyone is an individual and of infinite importance to the economy of the universe, and this is liberalism's great insight, but an individual does not come into the world a blank sheet of paper. It is a great fault of liberalism to misunderstand or ignore the great importance of the many factors which form individuals and societies, especially traditions, cultures, ethnic groups and religions. 


Daniel Hannon gave a talk a year or so about the Anglosphere and was, so I read somewhere on Facebook, visibly upset when asked whether countries in the Anglosphere would still be Anglo if most people in those countries were descended from people from outside the British Isles or even from outside Europe. He got very cross and said he strongly believed that descent was irrelevant and that culture was independent of descent or lineage.  

This is liberalism rather than Toryism.

How to get on in our globalised world and the lion in Sir Edwin Landseer's drawing room

The late Marquis of Bath and friend
I shall be in London shortly, a city I so love, and may have to show some teenagers around, so I read this article in the Daily Telegraph entitled
Six educational London days out, as chosen by a teacher.
It was moderately interesting, though I understood a quite different thing about Landseer's lions at the foot of Nelson's Column, which the writer says were modelled on cats and are anatomically impossible.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

“Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy."

“Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.” Margaret Thatcher

“Britain is something more than a European country; it’s a link between many countries in many continents. I do not believe that Britain can federate with continental Europe.” Clement Attlee in 1952, quoted by Daniel Hannan

Sir Roger Scruton

"A community that has survived its gods has three options. It can find some secular path to the ethical life. Or it can fake the higher emotions, while living without them. Or it can give up pretending and so collapse, as Burke put it, into the 'dust and powder of individuality."


"We have entered, as I see it, a spiritual limbo. Our educational institutions are no longer the bearers of high culture, and public life has been deliberately moronised. But here and there, sheltered from the noise and glare of the media, the old spiritual forces are at work."

"The sexual revolution of modern times has disenchanted the sexual act. Sex has been finally removed from the sacred realm: it has become 'my' affair, in which 'we' no longer

Monday, 30 July 2018

Romanians with net worth over $50 million in 2017


I post this simply to show how very rich Romanians compare with the super-rich elsewhere.


US: 38,500

China: 13,940

Japan: 9,960

Germany: 8,070

Canada: 5,500

France: 5,240 

UK: 4,580

Italy: 3,150

India: 2,920

Russia: 2,620

South Korea: 2,610

Brazil: 2,390

Saudi: 1,540

Mexico: 570

Romania: 240

(Knight Frank’s Wealth Report)

Sunday, 29 July 2018

'Emmanuel Macron denies bodyguard filmed beating protesters is his gay lover and giving him nuclear codes'

It is only July but this surely will be headline of the year. Or, rather, I hope it will, but who knows any more?

This is the story.

People, even precocious political obsessives like me, form their political ideas in their mid-teens. My mid teens began in what seemed the most boring and unsympathetic period

Friday, 27 July 2018

Quotations

Climate change denial should be a crime.


I assumed this was a fake but Alistair Campbell, Blair's PR adviser REALLY said this. Just now. 

"The French have not recovered from Sartre and perhaps never will. For they have had to live with an intellectual establishment that has consistently repudiated the two things that hold the country together: Christianity and the idea of France." Sir Roger Scruton, The Power of Negative Thinking.

Søren Kierkegaard

You cannot get the truth by capturing it, only by its capturing you. 

If I have ventured wrongly, very well, life then helps me with its penalty. But if I haven't ventured at all, who helps me then?

I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both.

Quotations

"By understanding many things, I have accomplished nothing." The last words of Grotius.

Progressives are fond of quoting Thomas Jefferson's dictum on the necessity of a revolution every twenty years. They may be about to finally have one.
Cathy Barry Willinge


Honestly, the solutions to life's problems are simple...get your heart and mind right with God through Jesus Christ, use your strength to contend for Him, get married before you have kids, have kids though, stay married and treat others well.
The less you think of yourself the better oFf you will be, because you be crazy and you know it.
Jennifer Lokken 

BBC News: Eddie Ndopu is “unapologetically brilliant, black, queer and disabled....I want to be the first wheelchair user in space"

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Sir Roger Scruton quotations

"The accumulated evidence of human nature tells us the only improvement that lies within our control is the improvement of ourselves"


"People are drawn to religion by their consciousness of consciousness, by an awareness of a light shining in the centre of their being"


"Love is not the answer, but the question, the thing that sets us searching for meaning in a world from which meaning has retreated"

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Trump is doing a Nixon in China in reverse - two must-read articles published today

I read two very striking articles about Donald Trump today that you should read too.

I agree completely with this article, by Jon Basil Utley, the publisher of The American Conservative, who asks what the reason is for either Europe or America to spend huge sums on Nato. There is none. Russia is not going to invade any Nato country.

He correctly says, as I have known since 1989, that the the big threat to the world comes from nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists. In 1989 I imagined the terrorists using them to blackmail governments. Now I know that if the Islamists get them they will use them. The Pakistani bomb particularly worries me. More than an Iranian bomb.

He makes another good point:

For all the Democratic and Big Media attacks on Trump for supposedly caving in to Putin, he gave Putin nothing.

Quotations

"Typical of Hollywood to cast a black actor in a stereotypical role as a slave. Why not 12 Years a Bank Manager?"
Godfrey Elfwick, who has now been banned from Twitter

"Communism is the opiate of the intellectuals."
Clare Boothe Luce

"Everything in the universe relates to the number 5, one way or another, given enough ingenuity on the part of the interpreter."

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Anna Sándor de Kénos, friend of Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor, has died


'With the death of Anna Sándor de Kénos, the last living link to the Transylvania and Hungary of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s Between the Woods and the Water has gone.'

Here is the Daily Telegraph obituary.

Civilisation and barbarians - but which are which?

"The luckless American who happens to be born a conservative...either folds up his heart and withers in a corner - in remote places you sometimes find such a solitary gaunt idealist - or else he flies to Oxford or Florence or Montmarte to save his soul - or perhaps not to save it." George Santayana

"The cultural elites are drawn more and more towards identity politics, but they regard their national identity as no big deal. Those sections of the elite that are charged with

Why care if the British government doesn’t mind ISIS murderers being executed?


Why do the BBC and the papers care that the British government doesn’t mind if British ISIS murderers are executed in the USA? I thought we had a Tory government, at least theoretically. 

I have never even been in favour of hanging, but why on earth should we stop the Americans executing people? It's one of their old-fashioned customs, like using Fahrenheit and going to church.

I believe in human rights strongly, if human rights mean freedom (they don’t). I therefore