Tuesday 24 January 2012

Women and children first! (2)

I have not followed the Costa Concordia sinking except the very funny transcripts of the conversations between the captain and  his superiors. He sounds like Chico Marx without the skill at playing the violin. Mark Steyn laments that they failed to observe the rule of women and children first.

There was no orderly evacuation from the Costa Concordia, just chaos punctuated by individual acts of courage from, for example, an Hungarian violinist in the orchestra and a ship's entertainer in a Spiderman costume, both of whom helped children to safety, the former paying with his life.

And really after having been forced to believe in sex (I hate the word gender, used except as a grammatical term) equality as a principle of overwhelming importance for forty years why expect men to surrender their lives for a principle – patriarchy, chivalry – which has become almost a crime to defend in public?

Even in the mid- nineteenth century A.H. Clough was not sure: 
Am I prepared to lay down my life for the British female?

Really, who knows?

He had in mind saving the British female from a fate worse than death but nowadays it is agreed that there is no fate worse than death.

I wish Britain was one tenth as democratic or as free as the U.S.A. Paul is the first republican with a small or big r in 50 years. I don't like Mitt, very much less Newt,  but all are infinitely better than Bush. Well except Herman Cain or perhaps Sarah Palin.

Rick Santorum would have been a much better man for conservatives to group around than the appalling, corrupt, adulterous Newt. Not only does he say that marriage is for men and women and that homosexual acts are not very Christian but he even said this which might get him cautioned by the Bill in the UK:

Look at Europe. Europe is on the way to losing. The most popular male name in Belgium -- Mohammad. It’s the fifth most popular name in France among boys. They are losing because they are not having children, they have no faith, they have nothing to counteract it. They are balkanizing Islam, but that’s exactly what they want. And they’re creating an opportunity for the creation of Eurabia, or Euristan in the future...Europe will not be in this battle with us. Because there will be no Europe left to fight."


Dear octopus

Sir Winston Churchill died forty-seven years ago today

Sir Winston Churchill, who passed away forty-seven years ago today, bows to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, C.R. Attlee and Herbert Morrison standing behind him.

The royal family made fun of Margaret Thatcher's deep curtsies but this bow seems pretty deep.

In January 1955 Churchill, as recorded in Harold Macmillan’s diary, suggested to his cabinet 'Keep England White. That would be a good election slogan.' How unimaginably long ago.

King George VI meant something but is Prince William of Wales merely a celebrity who wears a morning coat as fancy dress and watches the same television programmes as his future subjects? Mind you, King George VI loved music halls and Harry Lauder. And Lady Mountbatten we know loved Hutch. And the Prince Regent and his Princess of Wales were celebrities avant la lettre.

But the class system though it certainly still exists has changed very much since the days of Harold Nicolson, when we ruled the world and the middle classes were ridiculous and all Americans except Douglas Fairbanks Jr.were vulgar.
America has no conservatives. They were defeated by 1783. (Or maybe the only true conservatives were the Red Indians.)"

Sunday 22 January 2012

Story of my Life

By the age of 11, I had read and reread many many times the collected verse of Hilaire Belloc, which was on my father’s shelves and I had memorised much of the Cautionary Tales (in long sessions in the bath I recall).  I decided to start the Hilaire Belloc Society aged 22 and got many famous people to agree to be Vice-president. I see now that it would have done wonders for my social life though this thought was not in my head then. But alas I gave up, telling myself I would drop the idea at some point so as well to give up now. Lady Diana Cooper who had agreed to be President kept writing me postcards in pencil. Oh my friends be warned by me....

Great stuff to have running through your head all the time. This verse for example: 

Heretics all, whoever you may be,
In Tarbes or Nimes, or over the sea,
You never shall have good words from me.
Caritas non conturbat me.

But Catholic men that live upon wine
Are deep in the water, and frank, and fine;
Wherever I travel I find it so,
Benedicamus Domino.

On childing women that are forelorn,
And men that sweat in nothing but scorn:
That is on all that ever were born,
Miserere Domine.

To my poor self on my deathbed,
And all my dear companions dead,
Because of the love that I bore them,
Dona Eis Requiem.

Hilaire Belloc

Thursday 19 January 2012

Religion prevents the poor massacring the rich

Napoleon said: 

"I do not see in religion the mystery of the incarnation but the mystery of social order: it links the idea of inequality to heaven which prevents the rich person from being murdered by the poor. How can there be order in the state without religion? Society cannot exist without inequality of fortunes and the inequality of fortunes could not subsist without religion. Whenever a half-starved person is near anothers who is glutted, it is impossible to reconcile the difference if there is not an authority to say to him: "God wills it so, it is necessary that there be rich and poor in the world, but afterwards in eternity there will be a different distribution." 

The priests no longer justify inequality but inequality is just and necessary and must be seen to be just. We can justify inequality because of the huge groth in living standards in the developed world and by arguments from freedom and conservatism but these are out of fashion. Instead people argue in favour of equality of opportunity and utilitarianism and this leads to the monstrous regiment of political correctness and the moral right is implicitly conceded for the state to reorder society on rational lines. This is the central weakness of modern civilisation and from this springs post - colonial guilt and the idea that our traditions are oppressive, and from these spring most of the evils of modern politics.

He also said:

I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of the Quran which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness.
Napoleon in a etter to Sheikh El-Messiri, (28 August 1798); published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol.4, No. 3148, p. 42

Tuesday 17 January 2012

I just got tear gassed (just a little) two hundred yards from my flat and feel this is life!

I just got tear gassed yards from my flat and feel this is life!

I felt like Paul Pennyfeather in Chapter1 of Decline and Fall. Which at my age is ridiculous. No rioting where I was and few people except police though Andy's wife said they had made a bloackade of tyres in front of Cocor and set it ablaze. These disturbances  began last night, publicised on Facebook and probably Twitter. I am told a section of the secret services is behind them seeking to undermine President Basescu. They usually are behind things. People refer to it not entirely in jest as a revolution and like the 1989 revolution it is being orchestrated for the benefit of people inside the 'political structure' meaning the formerly Communist structure of power.

Though nothing in Romania is really organised. Not even organised crime. I remember ten years ago  telling an exuberantly rapacious lawyer, Patricia Osmani, who was close to several leading members of the  PSD government, that the PSD was simply an organised crime racket to which she said, 'No it's not - they are not organised at all.' So it is with everything here.

I wish to record that I was wearing my new covert coat with the velvet collar and I would like to say I behaved like an Englishman and battled my way through but I was lazy, the gas was a bore and actually I just turned back and went home. Andy Taylor with whom I had been drinking lived in the other direction and went through the scrum, tear gas, police charges and all. 

Andy later told me:  

"It was insane around Hanul Manuc, with fires burning, constant cack of tear gas being fired, people running everywhere. the police using tear gas, but having no masks themselves! As I entered the metro a large group of young men ran in, chased by police snatch squads and the tunnels stung with tear gas. By the time I boarded the train my mouth felt like I had chewed serval chillie peppers, my nose had swelled vastly and my eyelids stung."

Later loud confused noises from my window, shouting and the sounds of shots. 

This is nothing compared to when Romania defeated England in 2000 with a late penalty. The delirious crowds made the streets impassable and the revolution look like a tea party.   
I remember a scene from the 1830 French revolution.  The pealing bells signalled the end of riots. Talleyrand said “Ah, the bells, we are winning.” “Who are we, mon prince?” “Shhh! I’ll tell you tomorrow.”

Lord Macaulay, my only friend through teenage years

I often hate Allan Massie's opinions but here he and Lord Macaulay are right. Why don't we have Liberals like Macaulay any more?

Gladstone in those days was what Macaulay called the rising hope of the stern unbending Tories - when he became a Liberal he called the Confederate States a nation rightly struggling to be free - he was correct- and Bourbon Sicily the rule of Satan made manifest - probably wrong but I wasnt there.

Nowadays right-wing conservatives are liberals and liberals are socialists and socialists are ...I'm not sure what they are anymore but pretty awful. And are there any conservative left? If so they are called extremists.

On the other hand if the Lord Chancellor told people whom to marry there would probably be fewer divorces and more happy marriages.

If you haven't read Lord Macaulay on Robert Montgomery do so with haste. At any rate it reduced me to hysterics aged 13. Lytton Strachey called Macaulay's humour elephantine which I suppose it is.

Second Hungarian uprising is as inspirational as the first

"The Hungarian constitution reflects an awakening of cultural and moral sensibilities, a revolt against Brussels-directed integration and PC impositions. It is the product of a highly civilised nation reclaiming its heritage and autonomy." Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman. 
What would have happened if they had not included sexual equality in the constitution and had made abortion illegal? The EU reaction is a black joke. After removing Berlusconi and Papandreou will Hungary be treated like Austria was when the Freedom Party entered government?

If only Hungarians and Poles would refuse to accept PC and statism - but I doubt it will happen. And Romania will not do it. Her historical destiny is to mimic the EU, as previous generations of Romanian opinion-formers mimicked Stalinism, Belle Epoque France or the Sublime Porte.


The misfortune is that mysticism is true, as Walter Bagehot said.

People always put a spin on things and recreate God in their image. Once He supported absolute monarchies and auto da fe, now he is pro-homosexual and feminist. I am a Catholic with a Protestant mind always suspicious of the spirit of the age which tricks people in every age into mistaking it for timeless truth. For me mysticism is religion and I love Pascal's words in his memoranadum jotting down his incoherent record of his great mystical experience towards the end of his life - 'Not the God of the philosophers but the god of Abraham and Isaac and Joseph.'' In my mystical experiences for which I thank God I had exactly the same impression and very strongly.

I came to believe a long ago in the supreme force which created the world, the First Cause,  but took no interest in Him/it. Later thanks to various experiences I became aware of a very personal God who intervenes in all our lives constantly. Jesus and the Bible are much harder to believe in but I do despite all the evidence believe in the Catholic (and Orthodox) Church/es. Why?  Because I know God reveals himself because he has done so to me and to many others and therefore must have made a general revelation  and because of reasons which pointed inescapably (the only word) towards the Catholic Church as the Truth. Despite the external banalities of modern Catholic worship, despite the fact that the Catholic Church feels like it came into existence in the 1960s,  despite very many things.

Friday 13 January 2012

Five quotations

I hate the 20th Century.

-George S. Patton

People said we was scared to fight but that was a bunch of BS. The only thing I was scared of was coming home to your mother.

-L.Lopez [USMC World War II, Philippines, Infantry]

God is the author of the evil that punishes, but not the evil that defiles. Summa Theologiae, Part I, Q. 49, Art 2.

-St. Thomas Aquinas

"In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die."

-Dorothy Sayers 

Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins, as the Spouse in the Canticles [Sgs 6:8] proclaims: 'One is my dove, my perfect one. She is the only one, the chosen of her who bore her,' and she represents one sole mystical body whose Head is Christ and the head of Christ is God [1 Cor 11:3]. In her then is one Lord, one faith, one baptism [Eph 4:5]. There had been at the time of the deluge only one ark of Noah, prefiguring the one Church, which ark, having been finished to a single cubit, had only one pilot and guide, i.e., Noah, and we read that, outside of this ark, all that subsisted on the earth was destroyed. 

Unam Sanctum, Boniface VIII