Monday 28 December 2020

It was hard to come to terms with the fact that I was bringing yet another white man into the world

Emily Ratajkowski, an American model, tells Vogue about her fear of bringing a white male into the world.

"I’m scared of having a son too, although not in the same way. I’ve known far too many white men who move through the world unaware of their privilege, and I’ve been traumatized by many of my experiences with them. And boys too; it’s shocking to realize how early young boys gain a sense of entitlement—to girls’ bodies and to the world in general....

"My friend who is the mother to a three-year-old boy tells me that she didn’t think she cared about gender until her doctor broke the news that she was having a son. She burst into tears in her office. “And then I continued to cry for a whole month,” she says matter-of-factly. After a difficult birth experience, she developed postpartum depression and decided that she resented her husband more than she’d ever imagined possible. She told me she particularly hated—and she made an actual, physical list that she kept in her journal, editing it daily—how peacefully he slept. “There is nothing worse than the undisturbed sleep of a white man in a patriarchal world.” She shakes her head. “It was hard to come to terms with the fact that I was bringing yet another white man into the world..."

This is Vogue, read by rich, snobby fashionistas who are interested in incredibly expensive shoes. If the right has lost the rich fashionistas what hope does it have?

Apparently the answer is manual workers.

Sunday 27 December 2020

Brexit quotations


'Brexit is a great thing from a European perspective. As well as protecting Europe from the vapid trash of Anglo-American culture, it lessens the chance of the disease of PC spreading through the continent, the virus that is relentlessly eating away American, British and Irish cultural and social traditions.'
Karl White
Unfortunately for England, he's right.


Rejoin = 1 Euro 2 Schengen 3 Membership fee with no rebate 4 Giving up control of waters 5 Giving back powers Brexit returned to us 6 Bailing out Italy etc because of Covid 7 Good luck with that Lib Dems SNP 8. We are gone for good

'Adopting an antipodean twang and saying, “Australia is a beautiful country” seemed to be getting Johnson nowhere. He then spoke to von der Leyen in her own tongue: “Viel hummer, kein hammer” (“lots of lobster, no hammer”).
'One of those listening said Johnson also sought to explain the problem with reference to the surreal cartoons in one of Britain’s best-known sketch comedy shows. “We can’t have this Monty Python situation, where we are trapped in the car with a giant hammer outside the gates to clobber us every time we drive out.”
'This was met with silence and then: “OK, thank you, Boris.”
'It was not the first time one of Johnson’s pop culture references had sailed over von der Leyen’s head. A few weeks ago, with the talks then deadlocked over how closely the UK would have to adhere to EU regulations, Johnson told her: “We need to revive this process like that scene in Pulp Fiction, where they stick the adrenaline straight into Uma Thurman’s heart.”
'Von der Leyen replied: “I haven’t seen that film.”
'A Downing Street official said: “She and her team all had to huddle around an iPhone and watch that scene to know what he was talking about.”
'By Monday, more than 4½ years after the EU referendum, these moments seemed to crystallise the gulf separating an EU establishment, whose frames of reference were totally different, from a prime minister they found baffling.'
Tim Shipman in today's Sunday Times
"But the press conferences told the real story of who had won most. Ursula von der Leyen and Michel Barnier looked as if they were delivering memorial speeches at a funeral. Mrs Von der Leyen, who may well have been the quiet heroine of this story, displayed faultless diplomacy in her dignified grief. But the most revealing point in her solemn disquisition was her clear failure, still, to understand what the word “sovereignty” meant. It should be understood, she said, in the twenty-first century to be something more like the EU ideal: solidarity and harmony between partners. But that, of course, is not what it means."
Janet Daley in the Daily Telegraph on Christmas Eve
"I voted for the principle of national sovereignty and I expect to suffer for this choice. You do know there have been actual *wars* of independence, don't you? It will not be easily won. A lot of Remainers seem to be saying that they are *not* prepared to suffer for the principle of national sovereignty and that if we suffer just one jot of inconvenience or anxiety, we should have remained."
Bunny Sheffield

“England has saved itself by her firmness; I trust it will save Europe by her example." William Pitt the Younger after Trafalgar

Tuesday 22 December 2020


'Thick fog in Channel: Continent Cut Off' was something regularly announced on the BBC before the 1939-45 war. I'm sorry to hear a moment ago Sky News announce "Britain is cut off from Europe" and "marooned from much of the world".

France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Southern Ireland and six other European countries last night closed their borders to flights and most lorries, trains and boats from the UK. The ban could be extended to the entire European Union.

I don't think the UK will leave the EU without a trade deal but if we do we'll hardly notice. Sweet are the uses of adversity.

When I told my friend George Alberts that we had no reason to suppose a vaccine for Covid-19 would ever be found he said wisely that so many highly intelligent men and women were working to find one that one would certainly be found. He was right, though he died from Covid, alas, before the vaccine was created.

Now as was inevitable a new variant of the virus has appeared, possibly more virulent and possibly less lethal. This changes things.

It might be a good thing which will prevent deaths and it might if not for human intervention allow us to reach herd immunity without need for vaccines.

Instead it will be used to restrain the population. William Hague, a very clever man, who is wrong about almost everything, insists that it means lockdowns or something like them for months to come.

It now seems inevitable that we shall continue tight restrictions until people are vaccinated. This will cause huge problems for the world economy and for the poor.

Worst of all, lockdowns will be repeated in the future when the next viruses appear.

We live in a age without belief in God where human intelligence is expected to prevent changes in climate, enable people to change their sex and to prevent death.

We are moving from a world that was free, meaning capitalist, to one run by experts concerned above all to prolong life, except when they decide on euthenasia, to prevent inequality (something all conservatives should favour) and to stop global warming.

Janet Daley in the most recent issue of the Sunday Telegraph:

The decline of religious belief which suggested that death gave significance to life seems to have combined with a sense that governments should be directly responsible for the permanent welfare of everyone, to produce a perfect climate for this super-response to a spreading disease. State health systems, and public reliance on them, has created a new moral order in which the success of medicine gives it a civil dominion which cannot be questioned: hence, the insensitivity and authoritarianism of medical and scientific experts who pay lip service to the idea that only elected political leaders can decide policy but clearly feel that they should be in charge even of moral priorities.

Saturday 12 December 2020

Africa is not a safe haven from Covid

Lots of people I speak to are talking about going to Africa for a few weeks to avoid Covid and the winter. 

It is, unfortunately, not true that Africa is escaping the virus. In Tanzania, which is on the way to becoming a dictatorship, all news of infections and deaths with the virus is suppressed by the government. People are buried in secret. As for Sudan, which I had been very tempted to explore, researchers at University College, London research have found that only 2% of Covid deaths in Khartoum were reported.

The pandemic is not as bad in Africa as in Europe, probably because Africans tend to die of other causes before they are old enough to die of Covid, but the African hospitals are no doubt worse than Romanian ones.

I say this without really knowing how bad Covid is in any country. Lots of people are dying, including a friend of mine, but lots of people die each year of flu. The data is very unclear even to experts and we are probably exaggerating the danger, but Covid-19 is highly infectious and dangerous. Five people in one family died in one month in Turkey, all but one aged less than 50, though this is very untypical. Best therefore to avoid holidays in Africa.

Thursday 10 December 2020

I have seen the future


De Gaulle was right: Britain joining the EEC has been a calamity for everyone

Reluctantly, after the emotional roller-coaster of 2016 -20, I have to think again about Brexit, which now reaches its long delayed dénouement.

The Times today said Boris and Ursula had 'three hours of “frank” discussion' last night. 

"Free and frank" in the language of diplomacy is the ne plus ultra. It suggests the participants came close to blows. 

"Frank" might mean as unpleasant as possible, bearing in mind she is a lady of high birth married to a von.

A pity he didn't have dinner with Frau Merkel and M Macron who call the shots in Europe. Ursula can't depart from positions member states tell her to take.

Thursday 3 December 2020

Death notice

The ineffably grand Valery Giscard D'Estang, former President of France, has died of complications linked to Covid-19. He was 94. He said the most bitter regret of his career was the badly drafted family reunification law of 1976, which permitted immigrant workers to bring their relatives to settle in France. 

He had intended relatives to be restricted to children and spouses but he was careless about the way the law was drafted. I am not sure whether he regretted the law altogether. He did not foresee the way it would change France.

De Gaulle, who begins his memoirs saying he always had a certain idea of France, would never have permitted family reunifications. I quoted De Gaulle before on this blog:
"It is very good that there are yellow French, black French, brown French. They show that France is open to all races and has a universal vocation. But on condition that they remain a small minority. Otherwise, France would no longer be France."
Giscard also legalised abortion, against fierce opposition from the Church, most of the Gaullists and much of the UDF, his centre-right party, on a free vote, with the votes of the Communists and Socialists. Thanks to this law there are eight million fewer Frenchmen, women and children.

As well as the transformation of France through far reaching immigration changes, legalising abortion and making divorce easy to obtain, Giscard's other important achievement, with Helmut Schmidt, is the European Monetary System, which became the Euro. 

The evil that men do lives after them.

Unlike his patron De Gaulle, whom he betrayed, and like his protégé Jacques Chirac, who betrayed him, he was an elitist, liberal, progressive moderniser pretending to be right of centre. 

Macron, who resembles Giscard in his enthusiasm for a united Europe and for mass immigration (though these are contradictory), is very much the same, except he admits he is 'neither left nor right'. 

Mitterand, conversely, was on the right or had been, but kept very quiet about it. He was a Petainist pretending to be a socialist.

Wednesday 2 December 2020

2020 news items, including the Washington Post headline: ‘Washington’s aristocracy hopes a Biden presidency will make schmoozing great again.’

Manchester University undergraduates say using the colour black as an adjective, in expressions like black market or black day, is based on 'colonial history' and is now outdated. University students have demanded the word "black" be banned from lectures and textbooks amid claims it symbolises "negative situations".

Women are doing significantly more domestic chores because of the the pandemic. "Everything we worked for, that has taken 25 years, could be lost in a year," says UN Women Deputy Executive Director Anita Bhatia. She says there is a "real risk of reverting to 1950s gender stereotypes".

Former Pfizer Vice President and Chief Scientist, Dr. Michael Yeadon has said: “There is absolutely no need for vaccines to