Tuesday, 23 February 2021


Philip Larkin said in the Spectator diary that at a Spectator party he said to the man next to him, 'All the problems in the country are caused by teachers'. The man said, 'Actually, I am a teacher'. Larkin replied 'Then you know what I mean'. He said that that turned out to be the right thing to say.

I suppose that at a Spectator party that was not a tactless remark. How odd that Larkin is now one of the great dead. 

All our great men are dead. I'm not feeling too well myself.
In short, he is a man begging for subjugation. He longs for its promise of equality in helplessness. Because only when that strange, independent alpha breed of male is helpless along with him will he feel adequate. Indeed, his freedom lies in this other man’s containment.
Julia Gorin, The anti-gun male, Jewish World Review, March 8, 2002

We are under no necessity to participate in the American nightmare of a Soviet monster barely held at bay in all quarters of the globe by an inconceivable nuclear armament and by political intervention everywhere from Poland to Cambodia. It is the Americans who need us in order to act out their crazy scenario... We simply do not need to go chasing up and down after the vagaries of the next ignoramus to become President of the United States.
Enoch Powell

I have and always will set my face like flint against making any difference between one citizen of this country and another on grounds of his origins.
Enoch Powell

Get a job in journalism. It's the best job of all to meet the rich.
Ginie Polo Sayles, 
How to Marry the Rich

I have been a bitch all my life and did not need the authority of money to be one. I am a North London Jew who has read a bit of history. That means I know this: In a century that has seen the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian, British and Soviet Empires, reversal of fortune is this rich bitch's reality. One might as well keep walking and have the family's Vuitton suitcases packed. 
Barbara Amiel, Lady Black (as she then wasn't), The Sunday Times, November, 1993. 

...the full phrase he [Toronto theatre director Leon Major] uttered when I entered a room at some event was “the fascist bitch in a Givenchy frock”. I very much regretted I didn’t have a Givenchy frock at the time. I would get them by the trunkfuls later.
Barbara Amiel. How she sounds like Becky Sharp or even Harriette Wilson. 

I shall not say how and why I became, at the age of fifteen, the mistress of the Earl of Craven.
The opening line of The Memoirs of Harriette Wilson, Written By Herself, (1825), a very enjoyable, thoroughly unedifying book which made the authoress a lot of money from blackmail and occasioned Wellington's line, 'Publish and be damned'.

Brilliant, both vertically and horizontally.
Lord Black on Lady Black

In architecture, Palladio is the game. It means hard thought all through - if it is labored, it fails.
Sir Edwin Lutyens

And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, 
For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods?
Lord Macaulay, Horatius

The Puritan hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.
Lord Macaulay

The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.
Lord Macaulay

I do not know what the heart of a rascal may be, but I know what is in the heart of an honest man; it is horrible.
Joseph de Maistre


  1. I like the Enoch Powell quote on the Americans, and the Macaulay quote on bear-baiting. It's depressing that the Puritans are still with us.

    1. I read 'It's depressing that the Americans are still with us'. Calvinists are still with us, but political correctness is a sort of godless Calvinism. I think you read my article on this subject. http://pvewood.blogspot.com/2015/11/thanksgiving-day-reflections.html

    2. I was worried lest the bear baiting quotation were too well known. It is one of Macaulay's best zingers, to use American slang. He would not have approved. Although a liberal in politics, he was admirably conservative when it came to neologisms such as talented or lengthy, both of which in his day were Americanisms. Yes, Enoch was the one conservative who rightly saw that Communist Russia was not a threat to the UK or 'the West' in Europe. I must reread his speeches on Europe. He was completely right about that subject and about Northern Ireland.
      He is the progenitor of Thatcherism which in the 1980s I did not like. I wonder if I was wrong. It could be so. Mrs Thatcher was a much better leader than any subsequent Prime Minister the UK has had. Though not brilliant, funny or cultured like Boris she was honest, moral and courageous.

    3. I just came across something which I wrote to somebody and copied into my diary on Saturday, January 25, 2020. I think I was probably writing to you as my interlocutor is apparently Australian and opposed to colonialism. But if I was writing in the comments to this blog I must have archived the post since googling shows up nothing.

      I certainly do not love war, and like it less each year and the traditional masculine virtues, no doubt very important, are not something I think about or even warm to. I do not care for John Wayne or Clint Eastwood and certainly not that fascist, misogynist thug James Bond. For me masculinity means Leslie Howard in the Scarlet Pimpernel or Michael Redgrave in the Lady Killers or Steed in The Avengers, but much more some gentle scholar. Although scholars are usually very ferocious.

      What I am remarking on is that masculine virtues are for the first time in history out of fashion and you explain the reasons, but in Eastern Europe, which suffered far more than Western Europe in both world wars, the masculine virtues, etc. are not out of fashion.

      I disagree with you completely on colonialism. Australia exists because of colonialism.

      I think the war in general and particularly the discovery of the Nazi death camps had a big impact on Christianity, and helped inter alia move the clergy leftward. Left-wing theology has a huge impact on the world. Look at people like Angela Merkel or Barack Obama.

      I am not sure what you mean by the Dissident Right. The alt right, which I tend to think means anti-Semites or even fascists? Or palaeo conservatives a la Paul Gottfried, who is not alt right at all, despite having coined the term ‘Alternative Right’? But what I think of as the genuine conservatives (Peter Hitchens, Paul Gottfried, Pat Buchanan) are the peace party not the war party. It is the Clintonites and Blairites, including David Cameron and Lord Hague, who are pro-war. In fact, despite the 1960s, war is, as you say, all too popular and in vogue.