Sunday, 30 September 2018

Wolves in shepherds' clothing and the eccentricities of Cardinal Marx

Today's Gospel is topical, in view of the crisis in the Catholic Church.
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea.
When I came back to the faith years ago I attended whenever I could the Mass in the old Tridentine form and there I met many priests, including the famous Monsignor Gilbey, who complained in strong terms that the English bishops were modernists who subverted the faith. For all my deep affection for the old Mass and for the Church as it was before the Second Vatican Council I tried to keep away from ecclesiastical politics, though not quite so far away as to put much confidence in bishops from the First World, Cardinal Ratzinger excepted. 

The ones in the Second and Third World are fine, or so I thought until the present Pope came to what is no longer called the throne. Latin American priests, in fact, are often left-wing, trendy and sometimes heretics. Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa are the redoubts of Catholicism.

The books I read in the early 1990s by Anglicans and Catholics shocked me though. Anglicans who complained about referring to God as 'He' or using such terms as 'Lord' or

What would Churchill or Thatcher have thought of Trump?

I think Winston Churchill would have liked Donald Trump, despite his teetotalism.  Churchill who suggested to his cabinet in 1955 "'Keep England White' - that would make a good election slogan" would have liked the idea of Trump's wall and illegal immigrant policy, agreed that immigration has been a disaster for Europe, shared his enthusiasm for Israel and probably have agreed that Communist China is the big threat. 

What would Margaret Thatcher have thought of Trump? She would have handled him very well, for sure.

And Disraeli? Disraeli would have lavished Donald Trump with outrageous flattery and run rings around him, I think, though it is not as easy to run rings around him as it might look.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Quotations

Everyone carries his parents around inside of him.
Eric Berne


Modern persons abandon myth and creed alike in favor of the subtler projections of ideological and social prejudice.
David Bentley Hart


Losers have goals.
Winners have systems.
Scott Adams.



A loser doesn’t know what he’ll do if he loses but talks about what he’ll do if he wins and a winner doesn’t talk about what he’ll do if he wins but knows what he’ll do if he loses.
Eric Berne

Judge Kavanaugh hearings: #Metoo is left's riposte to MAGA

I said this week on this blog that Donald Trump would change America as much as Reagan did, unless the left found an effective response to him and I did not think either socialism or identity politics would be effective. 

I was forgetting something I had already worked out: Feminism and #metoo will be the Democrats' response to Trumpism. 

A response that might succeed.

I wish I had time to follow the hearings of the U.S. Senate Judicial Committee. Everyone says they demean America. I thought the speeches I saw, by Messrs. Graham, Cruz and especially the charmingly courtly Southerner Kennedy (until 2005 he was a Democrat), were very good. 


What a fascinating and intelligent drama - ending with Senator Flake at the last moment, after being confronted in a lift by two young women, asking for a one week delay for a FBI investigation. What did Jung say about surnames being apt?

A lot of the background to this is that the Republican senators are white men, mostly

EU says it wants to increase (not decrease) migration into Europe

Dimitris Avramopoulos, the Greek conservative who is European Union Commissioner for Migration, told the United Nations General Assembly on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration on Wednesday that the European Union is working to “enhance legal pathways” to mass migration, to comply with the Global Compact for Migration, and to take many more legal immigrants from outside Europe. 

This compact is intended by the UN to be a "non-legally binding, cooperative framework" for dealing with mass migration. A draft version claims that very large movements of people across borders are “inevitable, necessary, and desirable”. 

The draft was approved in July by all UN member nations except the U.S., which withdrew from the scheme after Mr Trump became President, and Hungary. 

The Hungarian Foreign Minister said:
Its main premise is that migration is a good and inevitable phenomenon. We consider migration a bad process, which has extremely serious security implications.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Salmon sky from my balcony last night

Image may contain: sky, cloud, twilight and outdoor

'How a secretive elite created the EU to build a world government'


The EC, said Nicholas Ridley over lunch to Dominic Lawson, is a German plot to take over Europe. He had to resign from Margaret Thatcher's cabinet when his words were published.

He was wrong, of course. The EU, as it is now called, was an American idea.


So Alan Sked, the historian and founder of Ukip explains here.


I quote:

Despite advice from the Lord Chancellor, Lord Kilmuir, that membership would mean the end of British parliamentary sovereignty, Macmillan deliberately misled the House of Commons — and practically everyone else, from Commonwealth statesmen to cabinet colleagues and the public — that merely minor commercial negotiations were involved. He even tried to deceive de Gaulle that he was an anti-federalist and a close friend who would arrange for France, like Britain, to receive Polaris missiles from the Americans. De Gaulle saw completely through him and vetoed the British bid to enter.Macmillan left Edward Heath to take matters forward, and Heath, along with Douglas Hurd, arranged — according to the Monnet papers — for the Tory Party to become a (secret) corporate member of Monnet’s Action Committee for a United States of Europe.According to Monnet’s chief aide and biographer, Francois Duchene, both the Labour and Liberal Parties later did the same. Meanwhile the Earl of Gosford, one of Macmillan’s foreign policy ministers in the House of Lords, actually informed the House that the aim of the government’s foreign policy was world government.

The Nazis were right-wing

The discussion about whether Nazis were right-wing or socialists is infantile and boring. 

A lake is a body of water that people call a lake and a right-winger is someone who is considered and considers himself a right-winger.


Of course the Nazis were right-wing. Although right-wing originally meant averse to change, which the Nazis certainly were not. Very certainly they were not any sort of conservatives, as surely as they were not liberals.


However, and more importantly, the Nazis were progressives not reactionaries. They were the first people to want a European Economic Community, they were environmentalists, anti-smoking fanatics, very New Age, etc, etc. Eugenics was considered modern and progressive before the war, as abortion is now.


Anti-Semitism is reactionary, you say, and it certainly often can be, but the Nazi reasons for persecuting Jews were to do with newfangled bogus pseudo-science and not the old reasons for disliking Jews. Anti-Semitism in Central and Eastern Europe was linked to hatred of the bourgeoisie which for some reason is considered by many bad people as progressive.

The astonishing drama in America is as good as Balzac or Sophocles



The US Senate Judicial Committee hearings are so fascinating. The Americans do wonderful mini series like Monica Lewinsky and OJ Simpson, though with Sept 11th that joke was no longer funny. These hearings are like something from Balzac. Or Dostoevsky.




Unlike with Anita Hill, all those years ago, in whose eyes I saw evil (as I did with Diana, Princess of Wales) I sympathise with all the protagonists.




The hearings are a Rorschach test for a divided America. If you are a Republican, if a Democrat the other.




By the way, I think deep divisions over religious, moral and cultural issues are a very good thing. America contrasts admirably in this respect with Western Europe, where people sheepishly follow the consensus on abortion, single sex marriage, sex change people, feminism, the big state, mass immigration, restrictions on free speech and much else.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

'Francis Gay Mafia Bombshell'

This very dismaying article by Rod Dreher links to a speech by disgraced former Cardinal McCarrick discussing how it was hoped that Cardinal Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) could become Pope and "could remake the Church". 

The speech is very chilling in the light of what we now know. It does seem that there is a so called mafia of homosexual cardinals and cardinals who want to downplay or circumvent the Church's condemnation of homosexual sins. My guess is that Pope Benedict XVI knew that he did not have the strength to battle with these powerful men. He therefore abdicated, thus allowing them to secure the election of the present pope and giving them the opportunity to "remake the Church". Pope Francis may create precedents that will be used for centuries to come. 

Had Pope Benedict XVI remained pope a little longer some of those cardinals would have been too old to vote in the conclave.

Europe’s Muslims worry bishops


In 1999 the Catholic Archbishop of Smyrna/Izmir (how many Catholics were in his archdiocese?) told the European bishops' synod that a Muslim leader once told him:

“Thanks to your democratic laws, we will invade you. Thanks to our religious laws, we will dominate you.”
An account of the synod headlined 'Europe’s Muslims worry bishops' is here.

Paddy Pantsdown

Paddy Ashdown the former Liberal Democrat leader in 2016:
“I will forgive no one who does not respect the sovereign voice of the British people once it has spoken. Whether it is a majority of 1% or 20%, when the British people have spoken, you do what they command.”

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Cardinal Cupich orders priest who burned Gay Pride flag to attend mental hospital

I find this almost but not quite incredible.
'Father Paul Kalchik is no longer the acting pastor of Resurrection Parish following the controversial decision to burn a rainbow flag last week. According to witnesses at the parish, Cardinal Cupich sent two priests, Fr. Dennis Lyle and Fr. Jeremy Thomas from the Vicar for Priests office to the church right before 6 p.m. mass on Saturday asking to meet with Fr. Kalchik in private. Fr. Kalchik refused and asked for witnesses to the exchange. What was reported to have happened after that is chilling. According to sources at the parish as reported by Church Militant, "Lyle and Thomas made clear they were there on order of Cardinal Cupich, who insisted that Kalchik be sent to St. Luke Institute [a mental hospital] for his 'psychiatric issues.' Both vicars for priests had also only days before threatened that Kalchik could have his faculties removed if he failed to comply with Cupich's orders."'
From an article in PJ Media by Megan Fox.

The same Cardinal Cupich said on television, referring to Archbishop Vigano's allegation that the Pope covered up sex abuse by the former Archbishop of Washington DC and former Cardinal 'Uncle Ted' McCarrick: 

"The pope has a bigger agenda. He’s got to get on with other things, of talking about the environment and protecting migrants and carrying on the work of the church. We’re not going to go down a rabbit hole on this."
Cardinal Cupich last year urged Catholics to use the terms 'gay, lesbian and LGBT'. As

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Children in 1966 predict life in the year 2000

In December 1966 the British TV programme Tomorrow's World asked children (now around 60) to predict what life would be like in the year 2000. Their answers are poignant.

What is noticeable is their pessimism and that so many of them were worried about overpopulation and high birthrates. This was exactly the moment when British birthrates fell between replacement levels.


They are well-spoken, middle class and of course all white.

Some of their predictions are very far off but others have come true. This one, for example:

"Black people won't be separate but will all be mixed in with the white people. The poor people and the rich people will become the same. There will be poor and rich people but they won't look down on one another."

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Traditionalism is deadly, tradition is life-giving

Traditionalism is deadly, tradition is the root of life.

As Mahler said: "Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire."

Two Archbishops and the Dalai Lama

The Archbishop [of Canterbury]’s background is, rather unusually for a clergyman, in business, since he worked as an oil executive until the late 1980s. So it is unlikely that he is altogether unaware of these straightforward economic truths. Unfortunately, he has failed to grasp that inequality and poverty are reduced by markets, and that the real examples of exploitation and injustice that he notes are largely the products of attempts to subvert them, either by corporate distortions, government interventions, or discredited socialist economic plans.

He might take a lesson from the remaining Archbishop of Canterbury who was murdered, and whom I missed out from the earlier list. In 1381, Simon Sudbury was dragged out of the Tower of London and on nearby Tower Hill had his head hacked off by a mob. His offence was that he had approved of the introduction of more taxes.


Andrew McKie


[Cardinal] Wuerl’s defense is that he is not an evil man who looked the other way about the behavior of a known sexual predator, but merely an incompetent dolt. And Wuerl

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Donald Trump is not Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush


Ronald Reagan seems so recent to me and I remember how he was regarded as a dangerous fool by the BBC and most serious people in England. Edward Heath told me that he simply did not have the intellectual capacity to be a president.

So many jokes were made about him. Ronald Reagan worshipped Calvin Coolidge, Nancy worshipped Calvin Klein. Now, thanks to Ronald Reagan, liking Coolidge no longer seems screamingly funny, but very reasonable. Coolidge was a good small-state president. That is one of Reagan's principal achievements.

Another was ending the Cold War.

He was originally a Democrat and saw foreign policy, as the Democrats do, in moral terms, which is why he wanted the evil empire to end. George H.W. Bush was very different. A conservative in foreign (though not so much in domestic) affairs he counter-intuitively tried to preserve Communist Poland in 1989 and the Soviet Union for the next two years.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

The Vatican says the Pope's critics are far right extremists

Vatican Insidera website run by La Stampa, today suggests that the far right is battling the Pope. In fact the Pope's critics are not far right or even right-wing - they are simply appalled or bewildered Catholics who fear he deliberately chose to ignore the allegations against former Cardinal McCarrick. And, if they are well informed, they think he has been ignoring other sex scandals involving prelates who are his allies. 

This line is very disingenuous of the Vatican, assuming that this story comes from the Vatican, as I do. The name Vatican Insider does suggest this, after all.


By the way, and digressing, what is meant by the far right? Admirers of General Franco or Mussolini? 


The article explains. Catholics who like the traditional family, dislike the modern liberal world, fear the Islamification of Europe, see a clash of civilisations between the West and the rest, prefer conservative Catholic societies to multicultural ones and disapprove of single sex marriage. (I thought all Catholics disapproved of single sex marriage.) 

Changing Europe

“Those beautiful Greek islands, the pearls of the Aegean, now house over 20,000 ‘refugees and migrants’ according to government statistics.” - Taki's Magazine

"Today’s migrations are no longer made by compact displacements but by successive infiltrations: little by little, individuals insinuate themselves among the “natives,” too anemic and too distinguished to stoop to the notion of a “territory.” After a thousand years of vigilance, we open the gates . . . When one thinks of the long rivalries between the French and the English, then between the French and the Germans, it seems as if each nation, by weakening one another, had as its task to speed the hour of the common downfall so that other specimens of humanity may relay them.
Like its predecessor, the new Völkerwanderung will provoke an ethnic confusion whose phases cannot be distinctly foreseen. Confronted with these disparate profiles, the notion of a community homogeneous to whatever degree is inconceivable. The very possibility of so heteroclite a crowd suggests that in the space it occupies there no longer existed, among the indigenous, any desire to safeguard even the shadow of an identity" - Emil Cioran

58% of rapes in Sweden are committed by foreigners

The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats came third in the Swedish election on Sunday, narrowly behind the Moderates (conservatives) but did much less well than polls had predicted. 

Some suggestion has been made of irregularities at the ballot. The Danish observer said it was the worst conducted election he had ever observed (and he has observed one in Russia). 

As centre left and centre right coalitions almost tied, however, the Sweden Democrats are in a powerful position as kingmaker.

As background to why Swedes vote for the Swedish Democrats, I came across this information.


"There is data about the ethnic background of convicted rapists in Sweden. Over 58% of

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Russia would not hesitate to use tactical nuclear weapons

“Russia had privately warned Mattis that if there was a war in the Baltics, Russia would not hesitate to use tactical nuclear weapons against NATO.”
From Bob Woodward's new book, Fear: Trump in the White House.
 I assume they meant if Nato started such a war, in which case the Russian attitude is what one would expect - deterrence is why Russia and the other nuclear powers have the bomb. But how could Nato start a war IN the Baltic States which are members of Nato.

In any case, there will be no war in the Baltic States.

Quotations

"Burke's point was simple. The dead, he argued, were the guardians of the unborn. By respecting what they have handed down to us we hold their legacy in trust. This is not to engage in some stultifying ancestor worship: it is to respect what has been set aside for our successors"
Sir Roger Scruton

"Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity. … In the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society." 
Antonio Gramsci


"In the middle of the 20th century, the [Swedish] Social Democrats’ grim social-engineering project was devoted to the promotion of eugenics. During a near 40-year-long programme, between 1934 and 1970, the Swedish government’s eugenics policy resulted

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Referendum to define marriage will be held on October 7

Romanian senators today voted overwhelmingly - 107 in favour, 13 against (7 abstaining) - to hold a referendum on October 7 on whether to redefine constitutional definition of marriage to between a man and a women (rather than between two spouses, as now). 

If the electorate votes for the new definition, as they will, it means there has to be another referendum before single sex marriage can be enacted in Romania. This is very democratic, much more so than the procedure in countries where the people were not consulted before this change was made.

The reason for the vote is that 3 million people signed a petition organised by the Romanian Orthodox Church.


I wish far more referendums were held in all countries on these sort of moral issues which everyone can understand. 

Monday, 10 September 2018

More plot turns in the story about the Pope and child molestation

The story about the Pope, former Cardinal McCarrick and Archbishop Vigano is like a cheap melodrama written by a fervent anti-Catholic.

Many things these days seem like cheap fiction, starting with Osama bin Laden.

It is clear that the Vatican was told about the allegations against the then Cardinal Edgar ('Uncle Ted') McCarrick in 2000, in Pope John Paul II's reign.

Robert Mickens, whose liberal views I always disliked, had to resign from The Tablet because of something he said on Facebook about Pope Benedict XVI (I thought he was unfairly treated). Two or three days ago Mr. Mickens accused Archbishop Vigano of lying to the Pope about wanting to look after his sick brother. He also accused him of having kept quiet about the child abuse allegations for years in the hope of receiving a Cardinal's red hat. 

Saturday, 8 September 2018

The Struggle for Mastery in Europe

From Angela Merkel to Macron, the advocates of globalisation are now relying on voters who cling to a social model that held sway during the three decades of postwar economic growth. Thus their determination to accelerate the adaptation of western societies to globalisation automatically condemns them to political unpopularity. Locked away in their metropolitan citadels, they fail to see that their electoral programmes no longer meet the concerns of more than a tiny minority of the population – or worse, of their own voters.
They are on the wrong track if they think that the “deplorables” in the deindustrialised states of the US or the struggling regions of France will soon die out. Throughout the west, people in “peripheral” regions still make up the bulk of the population.
From a very interesting article in The Guardian by left-wing French geographer Christophe Guilluy, entitled Trump’s poll ratings are better than Macron’s, after a year. Why?

Miami Vice - Google News reveals a litany (pun intended) of incredible wrong-doing by priests

'Miami priests'. Put these two words into Google News.

You find a story about two priests discovered by police committing an act of gross indecency in a car park.

If that seems incredible, it's nothing compared with the list of stories of rape, molestation and in this case torture that you find if you keep scrolling down. 

The utterly bizarre and horrid tale of Pennsylvania-turned-Florida-turned-Cuban priest George Zirwas has taken an even darker turn this week. More than 15 years ago, New Times published a meticulously reported feature delving into Zirwas' 2001 murder in Havana, where he was injected in the neck with an overdose of muscle relaxant. The story noted that some people claimed he was involved in a child pornography ring and that boys had accused him of molestation. But in 2003, when the story was published, Zirwas' defenders denied the allegations.

The Tyranny of Now

I don't drive and so learn a huge amount, as well as improving my Romanian, by talking to taxi drivers. I had one especially interesting one who impressed me a lot but lost my confidence when he told me in confidence a discovery he had made. He had discovered that the world was flat. He explained that the moon landings had been staged. 

He asked me to keep this a secret and though I made him no promise I feel bad about repeating the story.

I do so because a film has come out about man (person) landing on the moon. It does not pretend that the moon landings were faked out but it lies in its own, to me very curious, 
way. It does not show Neil Armstrong planting the US flag on the moon, which was the point of the whole hideously expensive enterprise. I know because I watched it on TV.

Secret Lives of the Vatican’s Homosexual Cardinals

This article, Secret Lives of the Vatican’s Gay Cardinals, Monks, and Other Clergy Members, published in Vanity Fair in 2013, writes sympathetically about homosexual Catholic priests in high places in the Church. If you are interested in reading about this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you will be interested in reading about. Even if you are not it is even more topical now than it was when published.

I quote:
At the Vatican, a significant number of gay prelates and other gay clerics are in positions of great authority. They may not act as a collective but are aware of one another’s existence. And they inhabit a secretive netherworld, because homosexuality is officially condemned. Though the number of gay priests in general, and specifically among the Curia in Rome, is unknown, the proportion is much higher than in the general population.
Here are some very shocking stories from Pope Francis's very unsympathetic biographer Henry Sire, whose book is called Dictator Pope.

Transgender wo/man accused of rape is remanded into female prison and sexually assaults four women inmates

A man who 'identifies as' a woman was charged with raping a women and put on remand in a women's prison in Yorkshire to await trial. Within days he sexually assaulted four women prisoners.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Karen Bradley didn't know people voted on sectarian lines in Northern Ireland before she was made Secretary of State

We are not talking about a well-informed person, but the standard of general information and education among even Conservative politicians is becoming lower and lower. 

The story is here. 

She was parachuted into Parliament like so many other duds as part of David Cameron's A-List, designed to give seats to women, people from ethnic minorities and people who did not seem like traditional Conservative MPs (i.e. upper and upper middle class patriotic, church-going men, who were members of good clubs and sometimes hunted, shot or wore stiff collars). This is how people like Anna Soubry, Louise Mensch and Andrea Leadsom got into the Commons. A Listers who failed to get in include one Adam Rickitt from Coronation Street, who is now part of the "pop supergroup 5th Story, set up for The Big Reunion".

Pakistani in Chemnitz interviewed about his feelings on events and Germans

This video clip well repays watching. In it a Pakistani in Germany (I don't know if he has German or Pakistani citizenship) talks about how he attended out of curiosity the anti-migrant demonstration in Chemnitz, after a German-Cuban was killed allegedly by a recent Arab migrant. 

The Pakistani says that the media had created the impression that it would be dangerous for him to attend the demonstration, that 
"someone brown-skinned could not walk through here" 
but, though he received some dirty looks, he was not made to feel in any danger. Nor, he says, has he experienced any hostility from Germans in three years in Dresden.
"Overall, I'm not bothered by the dirty looks. What bothers me more are murders, rapes, sexual assaults, manslaughter and robberies, which are

"There is solid evidence that most convicted paedophile priests are homosexual"


Liberal Catholic journalist Clifford Longley, who converted to Catholicism before the Second Vatican Council but who has since moved far away from the church, says in The Tablet today
"There is solid evidence that most convicted paedophile priests are homosexual."
But he goes on to warn against
"a horrendous witch-hunt, as a result of which the Church could deprive itself of some of its best priests."

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Everybody trusts an unidentified source

"Nobody believes the official spokesman... but everybody trusts an unidentified source."
Ron Nessen, President Gerald Ford's Press Secretary  

Excerpts from [Bob Woodward's] forthcoming account of Trump’s White House, first published Tuesday in The Washington Post, portray Mattis as scornful of the president’s intellect and judgment, and, in a boost to an already prominent narrative, as a vital check against the president’s dangerous instincts. Woodward depicts an agitated Mattis explaining to Trump in a meeting that the United States maintains a military presence on the Korean peninsula to “prevent World War III” and later deriding the president as “a fifth or sixth grader.” Woodward also claims that when Trump called up Mattis and suggested the United States “fucking kill” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons against civilians in 2017, Mattis played along but then hung up the

Lavender mafia: 7 cardinals and 85 bishops implicated in scandals

I know I have only just woken up to the extent of the Catholic sex scandals. So has the world. I know it is not just about the present Pope and the scandals date back in most cases long before he became pope. 

Four of the 291 cardinals appointed by Pope John Paul II have been implicated in sex scandals involving boys or seminarians: Cardinal Groer, Archbishop of Vienna, resigned following accusations of having abused a number of under-age seminarians; Cardinal O’Brien, Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, resigned because he was accused of trying to seduce two seminarians and a priest; Cardinal Pell is defending himself in Australia from the accusation of having abused boys and Cardinal McCarrick of Washington, D.C. is in the news at present. Pope Francis required him to resign only a very long time after being told by Archbishop Vigrano that he was accused of seducing seminarians. Other accusations against Cardinal McCarrick involving boys are out of time. 

Oscar Wilde, André Gide and sex with underage boys

I have a huge admiration and much affection for Oscar Wilde, but I get annoyed when he is treated as a hero because of his sex life. There is nothing remotely heroic about it. 

I asked in this blog a long time ago, in a post that gets lots of clicks, if he were a child molester. He had relations with boys under the age of 18, which was illegal in England till twenty years ago and one boy was mentioned at his trial who looked fourteen. 

I recently accidentally came across this book review from 1997, which suggests that Wilde procured young boys for Lord Alfred Douglas and Andre Gide and had relations with them himself. I quote.

''Wilde lost his virginity to Robbie Ross when the latter was a year below the current age of consent [in England in 1997] , and the boys Wilde wined and dined were frequently younger than that - as when he became involved with a 16-year-old who had been smuggled into London from Bruges to be installed in the Albermarle Hotel. According to Oscar Browning, the pederastic Victorian public-school master, "on Saturday, the boy slept with Douglas; on Sunday he slept with Oscar. On Monday he slept with a woman at Douglas's expense."

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Romanian women write about immigrants in England

Jaywick Sands is a very poor coastal town in Essex, inhabited mostly by people who once lived in the East End of London. The majority were Leave voters and are part of Clacton, a constituency I know very well, which had a UKIP MP.

A Romanian woman, Alexandra Bulat, who is a PhD Candidate at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES), in University College London, writing a dissertation on the attitudes of British people to EU migration, went to visit and speak to people there. Her report is here.

A much more revealing and interesting discussion about multiracial Britain, by a young Romanian woman living and blogging in East London, is here. Google Translate will translate it if your Romanian is rusty.

The Clacton by-election in 2014, that Douglas Carswell precipitated after leaving the Conservatives and won for UKIP,  led Conservative journalist Matthew Parris to make a day trip and write about it for the Times. 

What he wrote tells you everything you need to know about why Leave won the referendum two years later. He spoke for the Conservative 'Modernisers' like David Cameron and George Osborne when he said this.
I met nothing but helpfulness there. Clacton-on-Sea is a friendly resort trying not to die, inhabited by friendly people trying not to die. 

Benny Morris on the Origins of the Palestinian Refugee Problem

I used to think that the Arabs in Palestine left their homes (presumably from fear) and were not driven out in 1948, until an Israeli with whom I had lunch years ago told me that it was now known that in many cases the Arabs were expelled. A Jewish friend told me that the Arabs were advised by the Arab states in 1948 to leave their homes but this seems to be a myth. 

Researching the question today, because of a Facebook discussion, I found this passage on a webpage in a scholarly essay entitled The Debate About 1948 by Avi Shlaim, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 27:3, 1995, 287-304, reprinted in Ilan Pappé, ed., The Israel/Palestine Question (London: Longman, 1999) and thought it worth posting.

The moment Max Hastings realised Remain had lost the Brexit referendum

'The moment I despaired of the Remain cause during the 2016 referendum campaign came when, in a conversation with George Osborne, I urged him to hold out some scintilla of hope to the many people distressed by immigration levels. “I think we should leave that to Ukip”, he said primly. But what about raising the possibility of revisiting the ECHR? The chancellor responded that to fly any such kite “would set a very poor example to countries such as Belarus”. I came home and transferred my little all into US dollars.'
From today's Daily Telegraph

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Things I learnt from Robert Tombs' 'The English and Their History'



Victory at Agincourt and the consequent capture of Rouen caused dancing in the streets of London.

Scott coined the phrase Wars of the Roses. They lasted thirty years but there were only a few weeks of intense conflict. Life went on as normal.

The English in the 15th century were richer and safer than many countries in the 20th century. I don't find this surprising, though Dr. Tombs thinks it shocking.

The Tudor monarchs called themselves Plantagenets, never Tudors. It was David Hume who first called them Tudors.
 
Henry VIII attempted to reconquer France and got within fifty miles of Paris, unaware that the Hundred Years' War had long ended.


Robert Tombs was in his thirties and handsome when he supervised me but now he looks old. What can have happened?


Wikipedia confirms my fears. He is now 69.

Sir Hugh Dowding: 'All the unemployables of Europe will invade us and succeed where Hitler failed' if we join EEC



Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, who won the Battle of Britain, claimed in 1961 in a letter to Lord Beaverbrook which is shortly to be auctioned, that 'all the unemployables' of Europe would 'invade' Britain if the country were to join the European Economic Community, which posed a 'terrible menace' that would 'succeed where Hitler failed'

At last some very good news about Brexit

If Robert Peston is to be believed, and he usually is, Michel Barnier agrees with David Davis, Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and the European Research Group that only a Canadian type deal is possible.

This has always been my choice though I could live with a temporary Norway deal or leaving in an orderly way without a deal.

"So as pretty much every Tory MP who is not on May’s payroll will tell you, Chequers is dead.

"Which means that if May too isn’t to find her career as PM terminated along with it, she may have to resurrect Davis’s Canada plus - which, funnily enough, was her preferred plan, outlined at Lancaster House, at the start of 2017."
I don't think what happens to Theresa May matters very much to anyone except lobby correspondents, not even to her, as she must leave office when we leave the EU, whatever happens. The Canada option would at least save some of her reputation by saving Britain's bacon. 

Olly Robbins must be sent to govern the Falkland Islands for the rest of his career.

Francis Fukuyama discussing Samuel Huntington

Indeed, if we unpack the psychology of identity, we see that much of what is labeled religious extremism is actually not driven by religious belief per se, if by that one means personal piety and individual commitment to a particular doctrine. Many of the young European Muslims who left the countries of their birth to fight for the Islamic State in Syria were trapped between two cultures, the traditional one defined by the piety of their parents, and the secular Western one in which they were brought up. This identity confusion could easily be answered by a radical Islamist who presented an ideology that answered the question, “Who am I?”, and connected that individual to a larger community of Muslims around the world.
In a less violent manner, many of the Muslim women who have taken to wearing the hijab are doing so not because they have suddenly become so much more pious; the hijab rather is a marker of identity that tells those around them that they are proud and unafraid to be seen as Muslim. 
From an article entitled 'Huntington’s Legacy' arguing that identity politics is a more important fact in the world than traditional cultures.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Angela Merkel thinks Europe owes Africa 'a great debt'

I just discovered that Angela Merkel said in January of this year at the Davos conference that co-operation with Africa was 
“very very important first because we Europeans owe a great debt to the continent of Africa from colonial times and secondly because we have a profound interest in positive development in Africa.”
It is true that there were very shameful moments in the brief history of German colonisation of Africa, as well as terrible things that happened in French Africa and in the Congo Free State while it was the private property of King Leopold II of the Belgians, but it is obvious that Africans have on balance benefited vastly from their interaction with white people. Apart from such boons as Christianity, order, literacy, Western literature, art and music, the rule of law, roads and railways and planes and cars, they benefit from all the improvements in science and medicine of the last few hundred years. 

We Europeans do not have a debt to Africa. 

We do have a moral duty to help Africa become richer and the best way to achieve this is by free trade. The EU by dumping  has helped keep Africa poor. 

But research shows that the more prosperous Africans become the more they try to enter Europe and share the much better state of things in Europe. They have more money to make the journey and know more about living standards in Europe.

If by a 
'profound interest in positive development in Africa'
Mrs. Merkel means that economic growth is in Europe's interest to prevent pressure on Europe's southern border she could not be more mistaken.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Colonialism

I heard a Congolese historian on the anniversary of independence tell a shocked BBC man that all the good things in the Congo were due to the Belgians.
'But you accept that the Belgians did not act from altruistic motives?' 
'I don't care what their motives were.'