Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Statues of naked women are obviously not icons of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I didn't have time to research the Catholic icons or pagan idols that were taken from a church in Rome and thrown into the Tiber, the whole thing filmed and posted on the internet. I have a day job. 

I have done so now.

It did not take long.

Rith Gledhill, a Protestant and enthusiast for women bishops who used to be the Church Correspondent for the Times, writing in the liberal British Catholic magazine the Tablet, says

Wooden carvings of nude pregnant women that have been on display at events connected with the Amazon Synod of Bishops have been seized by a protester and cast into the Tiber in Rome.

Brexit thoughts Tuesday morning - today is the really the crunch day - we think

So the LibDems will support a second referendum. But, as
said on live TV, she would not accept the result of a 2nd referendum if it was Leave again. Roll up, ladies and gentlemen, to have your vote disregarded a second time! Who could resist?

For the DUP, the separate treatment of Northern Ireland is unacceptable. Yet when Theresa May went to the extreme length of keeping the whole of the UK in a closer arrangement with the EU to save them from this outcome, they were emphatically against that as well. They are also against leaving without a deal. Did it not occur to them when they campaigned for Brexit that it would be very likely to entail one of the three outcomes they are now against?

William Hague, yesterday in the Telegraph


"Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions." Albert Einstein

“Tranquility is of no poetic use.” Robert Graves

In 1967, Polish mercenary Rafal Ganowicz was asked what it felt like to take human life, “I wouldn’t know, I’ve only ever killed communists"

"La faculté de rêverie est une faculté divine et mystérieuse car c'est par le rêve que l'homme communique avec le monde ténébreux dont il est environné." Charles Baudelaire

“We are a capitalist party. We believe in capitalism. When we look at the astonishing material achievements of the West, at our own high and rising physical standard of living, we see these things as the result, not of compulsion or government action or the superior wisdom of a few, but of that system of competition and free enterprise, rewarding success and penalising failure, which enables every individual to participate by his private decisions in shaping the future of his society.” Enoch Powell

Novelist Eilis O'Hanlon writing in the (Unionist) Belfast Telegraph

"So-called “Super Saturday” was a damp squib in the end, though at least Remainer MPs finally stopped pretending their only aim was to avoid no deal. They’re out to keep Britain in the EU, whether voters like it or not."

"In truth, it makes no more sense to say Boris betrayed the DUP than it does to say that

Monday, 21 October 2019

Boris is Churchillian - and a Cavalier - but not a racist

Thank God Jeremy Hunt is not Prime Minister. Or Matt Hancock, Sajid Javid, Andrea Leadsome, Rory Stewart or any of the others, most of all George Osborne. 

Tim Stanley is right when he gushed that Boris was wonderful on Saturday and probably right when he compared him to Churchill, although Boris resembles Churchill more in his Liberal than his Tory phase. 

But then Churchill was always an Edwardian Liberal Imperialist really, if he was ever anything. Boris is so liberal he is almost an interesting, intelligent, eloquent and likeable version of Hillary, if such a thing is imaginable. 

But it isn't.

And Boris is a Tory in the sense that Churchill was: in the sense of having a cavalier sensibility.

Bagehot describes this perfectly.
A Cavalier is always young. The buoyant life arises before us, rich in hope,


Leninism was always terrorism and very comparable with other forms of nihilism, such as Islamist terrorism.

Sunset over the Telephone Palace

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A war between cities and provinces is breaking out

I gave up reading Roger Boyes many years ago. His banal analyses of Middle Eastern politics sounded like they were dictated by MI6 or the State Department. However I chanced across an article of his about the Polish government, about which I want to know much more. It is presiding over an unemployment rate of 3%, child benefit of £100 a month, a minimum wage of £800 a month and 5% economic growth last year. It is also Catholic, gives mothers incentives to have children and steers Poland away from the wilder shores of LGBT theory. It tried to restrict abortion.

Anne Applebaum hates the Polish government, which in itself inclines me like it. It is poles (no pun intended) apart from her globalist, liberal, pro-immigration world-view, which she shares with the FT and the Economist. So am I. 

Pagan idols thrown into Tiber

News item: 'A video has been posted online showing a man taking so-called “Pachamama” statues from the church of Santa Maria in Transpontina in Rome and throwing them in the River Tiber.'

Christopher Lamb of the very liberal Catholic mag 'The Tablet' tweeted:

'An act of iconoclasm, and a further attack on the indigenous of the Amazon, who are already persecuted.
'This takes place amid a climate of hostility to indigenous icons generated in some Church quarters during the Amazon synod'
Note the implication that this act is racist and oppressive - everything conservative nowadays seems to be borderline racist or discriminatory. 

Daniel Hannan: 'This is it: victory. Like Cincinnatus returning to his plough, we can leave the field with honour'

Ignore the misleading headline. This article is Daniel Hannan giving Boris's withdrawal agreement his warm support. 

This is important because he was one of the two or three best known Brexiteers before the referendum campaign started (the late Christopher Booker was another). He argued for a Swiss or Norwegian deal, not  hard Brexit all all. 

Nevertheless, he said that even staying in was better than Theresa May's WA and he was probably right. Her deal meant staying in a customs union with the EU, Boris's should mean a free trade agreement but the ability to make FTAs with other countries. Let's see see what deal Mr Trump can offer.

Cismigiu this morning

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Brexit: where we are as Great Britain wakes up this morning

Blast that silly, giggling, woolly-minded intelligent fool, Sir Oliver Letwin, for stopping Boris's momentum and forcing him to break his pledge not to ask for a further delay to Brexit. 

Blast Boris for not preventing the Benn Act becoming law by advising Her Majesty to delay Royal Assent or by arranging a filibuster in the House of Lords. 

But it still looks like he has (just) a majority to pass his withdrawal agreement through Parliament in all its stages. Parliament may have to sit on Saturday again.

But it is nip and tuck.

A government source told the Telegraph:
“It’s on a knife-edge. Everything plays into this week. It is not just about Europe, it’s whether an election will happen this year. The idea is get the Bill through, and push for an election immediately.”
“Unless they get everything sorted this week, it probably won’t happen until the New Year.”
Boris hopes to win parliamentary backing for his deal today, though the Speaker may well prevent him putting back the same motion that the House discussed on Saturday. Tomorrow the Second Reading of the Bill will be debated and no amendments can be taken.

DUP could unite with Labour to try to force through an an amendment to the Bill which would compel the Government to pursue a customs union with Brussels. This would prevent barriers between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. But Boris is thought to be very close to securing a majority with the support of around eight Labour MPs, a handful of independents and almost all the former Tories from whom he withdrew the whip.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

The Dâmbovița in the late afternoon sun today

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The monstrous regiment of women in the Church of England

It only seems recently that the Church of England appointed its first bishopess and now they arrive not in single spies but in battalions. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury has been appointing as many women to suffragan posts as possible - four in one all women bunch this summer. The Church of England, instead of being didactic, will become therapeutic.

I am not an Anglican but what the Church of England does influences the whole of English society and, if there still is one, culture.

This article in the Spectator about the woman whom John Bercow insisted on making the first female chaplain of the House of Commons (the Rector of St Margaret's had before then always fulfilled this function), who has just been made Bishopess of Dover, makes dispiriting reading. 
'Hudson-Wilkin told an audience in Liverpool that she now refuses to take the children from her parish into St Paul’s Cathedral for confirmation because while ‘the congregation is diverse’, the clergy, she says, is something ‘completely different’. She went into her local Specsavers and harangued the management for having no photographs of black people modelling the specs,

Boris will get his deal passed, one way or another

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Did Boris really expect his deal to pass the Commons yesterday?

He knew he would not get the ten DUP MPs on board but he was determined to force it through by hope, faith and, in the case of vacillating MPs, charity. It’s a question of what would have once been called manliness but, in an age where women are politicians too, can instead be called forcefulness and determination.

It looks like, had a vote on the motion on his deal taken place, the Government would just have won it after a good whipping operation. (One whip was reported assaying, “It’s a tricky operation because on one hand we are telling Labour MPs is a case of deal or no deal and on the other we’re telling Spartans it’s a case of deal or no Brexit". )

We cannot know because Boris decided not to have a vote after the Letwin amendment passed and the motion ceased to be a binding one, but merely an indicative vote (remember them?)

Boris wins in any case, as the man who did everything he could and was defeated by MPs who did not want to honour the referendum result that they promised to honour when they stood for election last time.

People say the DUP have been hung out to dry by Boris, after they conceded the principle of customs checks in the North Sea. 

Perhaps they were played but, but they have been very stupid. They have foregone a wonderful deal they could have made with the EU and Westminster for slowly being talked into assenting to the deal and, as it sands, the deal they rejected would help the Northern Irish economy much more than leaving with no deal would. 

It would favour Protestant farmers who vote DUP and make also the province a gateway between the UK and the EU.

Yesterday's deal is significantly different from Mrs May's. It gets rid of the backstop rather than renaming it and it enables the UK to make free trade agreements with the USA and other countries. 

A customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic would be something normal between two sovereign states but the EU have been convinced that it would breach the Belfast Agreement and lead to violence. 

It would never be possible to rid them of this idea. Mrs May had accepted that it would not happen shortly after she became Prime Minister, one of her many unforced mistakes. 

That being so, this is probably the best deal we could get. If we have a free trade agreement with the EU, as Boris hopes, the customs border between Northern Ireland and the British mainland will not happen, though some checks will be necessary.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard dislikes the deal but thinks we should settle for it and points out that if Boris wins the next election after the deal is agreed,

"the negotiating dynamic with Brussels will be different in 2020. The EU will not be able to play off Westminster tribes against each other so easily. The cliff edge for the UK will be less severe since the May/Johnson deal does resolve a string of technical issues such as nuclear ties under Euratom or landing rights for aircraft, etc.
"This makes a WTO walk-out more plausible, and therefore more menacing for the EU as it tries to preserve its £95bn trade surplus with the UK (while offering no reciprocal access for services, of course)."

Olly Robbins was overheard in a bar saying the backstop would be a bridge to a deal - a deal that would pretty much be like remaining in a customs union with the EU. 

Boris's aim is to have a free trade agreement with the EU without the EU's excessive regulation. I hope for Canada dry but doubt the EU will wear it - but we shall have the threat of no deal to help persuade them.

Johnson last night sought to comply with the letter of the Benn Act while subverting it to prevent an extension. His aides spin that this could conclude with some of them in goal. It’s very unlikely indeed.

What happens next?

When the withdrawal bill is presented this week the rebels will seek to amend it to add a confirmatory referendum. If they fail it is still by no means certain that the bill will pass.
Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski has held private talks with senior figures in the Polish and Hungarian governments in the last 48 hours to persuade them to veto any proposed extension. No 10 does not expect them to agree.

Instead, the EU will presumably either delay replying to Boris’s unsigned letter sent at 11 pm last night asking for an extension or agree one for two weeks. In either case this will bring back the threat of no deal that the Benn Act sought to defuse and help the British government take the country out of the EU.

It looks to me that Boris has the political momentum to pass his bill and take us out of the EU this month or next. A lot depends on what the public think, funnily enough.

But a two week extension is of huge importance because it makes an election before Christmas impossible (because of Christmas bazaars in church halls).

If so, Boris may also get his Queen’s Speech passed, then a Budget passed and have the first January election since 1910, which resulted in a hung parliament with the Irish members holding the balance of power.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Stability and strong Government with me, or chaos with Ed Miliband

Britain faces a simple and inescapable choice - stability and strong Government with me, or chaos with Ed Miliband: facebook.com/DavidCameronOf

9:26 AM · May 4, 2015

It’s my view, based on nothing, that everyone should get to retweet the Cameron “chaos with Ed Miliband” tweet once. I’m still saving mine up, on the basis that this is not peak chaos. Oh no, not even close.

In case you have forgotten, 'chaos with Ed Miliband' was the Tory theme in the 2015 election, in another age. 

After Theresa May resigned Ed Miliband changed his Twitter name to "Chaos with Ed Miliband". 

In the 2017 election Theresa May repeated over and over the phrase "Strong and stable" or "strong and stable leadership", a phrase she was told to use repeatedly by Sir Lynton Crosby. She said, in a meeting with her advisers, that the she didn't like the repetition of "strong and stable" which made her look "stupid", but she continued to repeat it anyway. So much for strength.