Tuesday 29 May 2018

The electorate is the problem

Populist voters are the problem. Politicians should dissolve the electorate and choose a new one.

Oh wait, they are doing so.

Monday 28 May 2018

Even if you are not interested in history, history is interested in you

Many people are completely ignorant of and uninterested in history, before about 1963. 

Ignorant, for example, of how very little immigration there was into Europe, after the Muslim invasions of the Dark and Middle Ages, which were halted and finally after long centuries rolled back by the warriors of Spain, Portugal, central Europe and the Balkans.  

But even if you are not interested in history, history is interested in you.

Sir Roger Scruton

"Mismanaged sexual feelings lead to a society of casual encounters, jealousies, and aggressions, in which there are neither lasting commitments nor sacrifices on behalf of children."

"This period of courtship was also one of display, in which men showed off their manliness and women their femininity. And this is what we mean, or ought to mean, by the 'social construction' of gender. By playacting, the two partners readied themselves for their future roles"

Sunday 27 May 2018

First woman to join infantry regiment since defence chiefs lifted ban on females serving in combat units quits after two weeks

A headline in the British press restores ones faith in human nature.
First woman to join infantry regiment since defence chiefs lifted ban on females serving in combat units quits after two weeks


"In 2016, then Prime Minister David Cameron said it was essential that the make-up of the Armed Forces reflected society and he lifted the ban on women serving in combat units."

I have to concede what people keep saying to me is true, that there was really virtually no difference between the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour Blairites. Theresa May, of course, is a Blairite and so is Michael Gove.

The full story is here.

Friday 25 May 2018

New Zealand adds “sex work” to “employment skills” for those wishing to migrate

The New Zealand immigration service has added “sex work” (as prostitution is increasingly described) to the list of “employment skills” for those wishing to migrate.
Julie Bindel, The Guardian, Monday 30 Apr 2018

Thursday 24 May 2018

Abbott declared support for IRA defeat of Britain

[Diane] Abbott, who will become home secretary if Labour wins the election, said in the 1984 interview that Ireland “is our struggle — every defeat of the British state is a victory for all of us. A defeat in Northern Ireland would be a defeat indeed.”

Andrew Gilligan
May 21 2017, The Sunday Times

Wednesday 23 May 2018


"People triggered by blood probably shouldn’t be in medical school. People triggered by ideas probably shouldn’t be in university."
Stefan Molyneux 

“A nation that cannot get angry about the slaughter of its own children is a nation that has lost its moral anchor.”
Brendan O'Neill 

"You wouldn't believe the things they have said about me. They have said I am Georgian... forgive me for saying this... even much uglier things, they have even called me an Armenian, but I am Turkish."
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a 2014 interview on the NTV news network

'The nation state is the political masterpiece'

What matters in politics, more even than freedom or tradition, is the nation. It's a truism and yet I bet in our day many people, who are not Marxists, do not agree. 

'The nation state is the political masterpiece' as Raymond Aron said - but making central and eastern Europe into nation states was Procrustean and painful.  The process by which Eastern Europe became the collection of nation states that we know today was in many ways regrettable (the Habsburg Empire was a European Union that worked, at least until the Hungarians were taken into partnership) but also hard to avoid because, as travel became easy and people were taught to read, a common language and sense of national community became necessary. 

Bernard Lewis and Edward Said

I rejoice in this attack on Edward Said by Dominic Green in The Spectator, especially as it deals even-handedly with Bernard Lewis and his share of responsibility for the invasion of Iraq. 

I thought that Said's Reith lectures were intellectually not third but fourth or even fifth rate. On the other hand, Said was right that the Israelis had behaved badly to the Arabs and he did not help persuade Bush 2 to launch the unjust and tragic invasion of Iraq.
"Lewis ... said that the Arabs were the authors of their own misery, and that

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Bernard Lewis: Will the future see an Islamised Europe or a European Islam?

Bernard Lewis died at the weekend and I thought it appropriate to republish this from a year ago.

In 2010 the greatest historian of the Middle East, Bernard Lewis, predicted that by the end of the decade Iran would abandon political Islam, while Turks adopted some form of Islamist rule. The old man might yet be right.

He also said in 2010 that Muslims were making their third attempt to conquer Europe, an attempt which seemed to have a much better chance at success than the first two as it took the form of peaceful migration rather than military aggression. 

“The only question remaining for us to answer regarding the future of Europe is will it be an Islamised Europe or a European Islam?"


"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential." - Sir Winston Churchill

US bank Morgan Stanley estimates that the energy needed only for mining Bitcoin will represent some 0.6% of the world energy consumption in 2018.

WikiLeaks Retweeted WikiLeaks
Harvard has announced that Hillary Clinton will receive a medal for "transformative impact on society". But there is only one society she truly transformed. Libya--from the most developed society in Africa, into a smoking, ISIS-infested ruin

Monday 21 May 2018

Two flawed heroes have died: Richard Pipes and Bernard Lewis

Bernard Lewis died two days ago, two days after another of my very favourite historians, Richard Pipes. 

Both were Jewish Americans and emigrants, Pipes having fled Hitler and Lewis having, less understandably, given up being a British subject.

I love both men's work and recommend their books very highly. I understand that Pipes' fiercely negative view of Bolshevism in his Russia Under The Bolshevik Regime is

Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray in a godforsaken world

Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray have much in common. Both are very intelligent, very eloquent, very charismatic. Neither is particularly conservative but common sense is now considered right-wing. Both think like human beings rather than ideologues. Both have flourished on the internet and above all both are trying to find something with which to replace belief in God.

As Douglas Murray put it,

Having been for some years, as Roger Scruton has put it, downstream from Christianity, there is every possibility that our societies will either become unmoored entirely or be hauled onto a very different shore. Very unsettling

Saturday 19 May 2018


Tallulah Bankhead: 

"Only good girls keep diaries. Bad girls don't have time."

Fanny Burney, March 1768:

"To have some account of my thoughts, manners, acquaintances and actions, when the hour arrives in which time is more nimble than memory, is the reason which induces me to keep a journal."

Gwendolen in "The Importance of Being Earnest"

"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train."


Joseph Campbell:

"If you want to know what a given society believes in, look at what its largest buildings are devoted to."

Chris Beck
'Claire Lehmann’s Forum for the Intellectual Dark Web':

“Lehmann contributed to a number of publications before launching Quillette, but claims the Australian media blacklisted her as soon as she started criticizing feminism. She rejects the ‘blank slate’ view that feminists, and progressives in general, have made a centerpiece of their dogma. It’s the belief that humans are strictly the product of culture and socialization, and the rejection of the idea that humans are born with certain innate characteristics.”

Romania and Turkey are the least well educated countries in Europe

This map says Romania and Turkey are the least well educated countries in Europe.

Since WHEN was Turkey in Europe? 

Balkan countries not in the EU are a blank space, unless Turkey is still a Balkan country.

Thursday 17 May 2018

Eyeless in Gaza

I was originally angry with the Israeli army for killing fifty civilians trying to storm the border with the Gaza Strip, but reading about it - in particular what was written by Colonel Kemp, a retired 
British officer, in the Telegraph - it seems the Israelis did what they could to avoid fatalities and are not to blame for the civilian deaths. 

The army did not shoot indiscriminately and it has now been revealed by the Palestinians themselves that 50 of the 62 dead were Hamas members.

Hamas wanted to breach the wall and
 to flatten the fence at numerous points to allow hundreds or even thousands of Gazans to enter Israeli towns, overwhelming the Israeli security forces ability to protect the townspeople from the infiltrators, thus requiring the Israeli security forces to use lethal force against all those who infiltrated.

Similar demonstrations have taken place each week since March. The reason that this demonstration was a very big one was that it marked the 70th anniversary of the creation of Israel, rather than the Americans moving their embassy to Jerusalem, but it was moved a day to take advantage of the publicity around the opening of the embassy. 

Behind the women and children who died were, in some cases, armed men intent on killing Israelis. So the Israelis claim, at least. Israeli soldiers would rather kill 100 of the other side's people than have one Israeli soldier killed, which I think is reasonable.

I am reminded of 
Frauke Petry, the AfD leader in Germany, who got into trouble for saying in the last resort border guards have to shoot. She, of course, was right.

Whatever Likud should or should not do, Europe has to guard its frontiers. At the moment a stupid EU policy is responsible for many deaths.

Widespread condemnation of Israel is very understandable - it is fuelled, in many cases, simply by sympathy for the victims and in other cases by a political animus against Israel based not on anti-Jewish feeling but anti-colonialism. 

Yet, though there are strong arguments that Israel's title to the land she occupies is at least shaky and her treatment of the Arabs objectionable, the fact that the Jewish state is a colonial settlement, an old-fashioned ethnic state, a democracy and an oasis of Western civilisation are not reasons for disliking but for liking Israel.

What we can certainly say is that Israel is a lesson in why mass immigration is often disastrous. Europe, please take note.

Northern Ireland is another lesson.

North America, Australia and New Zealand, on the other hand, turned out fairly well, but they were conquered - the Englishmen who set up in Virginia in the seventeenth century were settlers, not immigrants. There is, or should be, a very big difference.

I sympathise with the Arabs very much, but also with the Jews. Israel is a great place to live if you are an Arab whose grandfather did not leave and was not ejected in 1948. An old Arab priest in Nazareth told me Israel's the best place to be a Christian in the Middle East. 

I know Hamas are dangerous terrorists. I know Israel was built partly by terrorists like the Stern gang, who killed British soldiers.  

In fact the whole issue is for me a huge bore and has nothing to do with my country's interests, although I know that Great Britain created the problem a hundred years ago. Why does America care about this endless conflict? Why not let Israel, Iran, Russia, etc. sort things out or fail to do so?

Tuesday 15 May 2018

The English on the Irish

Dr Johnson: "The Irish are not in a conspiracy to cheat the world by false representations of the merits of their countrymen. No, Sir; the Irish are a fair people; -- they never speak well of one another."

Wednesday 9 May 2018

All Muslim terrorists in Europe are Sunnis, so why is Iran the great threat?

This post from a year ago is topical still on the day the USA pulls out of the Iran deal. The Iran deal could have been better but was much better than letting the Iranians continue to develop the capacity to make a bomb. Critics of the deal say that it allowed Iran to continue to threaten America's allies and sponsor terrorism. I think those two arguments, which I just heard advanced on the BBC World Service news by a neo-con called Richard Goldberg, who is 'a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies', are misconceived. The allied tail has wagged the American dog too long.

Obviously, the USA and UK should never have invaded Iraq. They should have launched a short punitive expedition into Afghanistan in 2001, restored the monarchy and then allowed the Taliban to come back. Nation-building was always (a liberal) folly: Afghanistan and Iraq were not post-war Germany, as should have been clear.

But having broken it, as Colin Powell warned, the USA bought Iraq. Leaving Iraq alone led to ISIS. So what is the solution?

I don't know. Unfortunately, the USA may now back the Israeli-Saudi-Sunni alliance against the Shia crescent (Iran, Syria, Hezbollah). I hope Mr. Trump resists this temptation.

Wednesday 2 May 2018

A future Archbishop of Canterbury worried about mass immigration

The modern Anglican clergy's keenness on multiculturalism and immigration contrast with Anglican clergy in previous ages.

It is misleading to argue that England has always been a nation of immigrants. Immigration levels until the last two generations were low, unlike on the Continent. According to the reliable Migrationwatch, more people came to the UK in the single year 2010 than to the British Isles in the whole period 1066-1950. 

Nevertheless, there were always immigrants in England and in the Middle Ages their number was not negligible. A survey of foreigners in England in 1440 listed by name around
20,000 foreigners in England, who made up about one percent of the population. This was long after King Edward I expelled the Jews and centuries before Queen Elizabeth I expelled the few black people in the country. 

Tuesday 1 May 2018

Mini-holiday in Transylvania

Romania, which had four days off a year when I immigrated here, now has more holidays than I can count. A hot beautiful four day holiday just came to an end.

We spent the 'mini-vacation' in Sibiu and drove as far as Hunedoara Castle. It was my first visit, but a dauntingly long queue put us off. We returned mid-afternoon but the queue still looked an hour long and we drove on.
Ceausescu built a belching iron works next to the castle of John of Hunedoara, to show the victory of socialism over monarchy and the old order, but the works has been demolished, putting many out of work and the castle remains, the mainstay of the town's economy. 

Tourism has replaced iron and steel as the engine of economic growth. We grow rich by taking in one another's washing.


Anglo Macron hype/hate has nothing to do with his actual performance. For liberals he must succeed, for socialists, nationalists he must fail. All ideologies sense of what must happens converge on Macron right now.

New York Times: "Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were Right!"

I used to support the Democrats in US politics, back in the day of Carter and Reagan. I have changed and so, even more, have they.

I stopped being a Democrat after Bill Clinton had been in office a few months but I was neutral in 2000, strongly backed Gore in 2004 and hesitantly backed Obama, despite his being a European-style Social Democrat and his enthusiasm for horrible things like partial birth abortion, because of his colour, but also because of anger at the way Republicans had ruled since 2000 and because John McCain seemed like another George W. Bush.

Evening sky in Bucharest by Octav Dragan

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