Monday 9 August 2021

More quotations for today

'I am a British Gaullist. It's extraordinary that this combination of strong defence, national independence, patriotism and a strong welfare state is not more common in politics as it appeals to so many people.'
Peter Hitchens talking to Nigel Farage.

Nay more, he actually drove away from the city the multitudes which streamed in there for no useful purpose, not because he feared they might become imitators of his form of government and learn useful lessons in virtue, as Thucydides says, but rather that they might not become in any wise teachers of evil. For along with strange people, strange doctrines must come in; and novel doctrines bring novel decisions, from which there must arise many feelings and resolutions which destroy the harmony of the existing political order. Therefore he thought it more necessary to keep bad manners and customs from invading and filling the city than it was to keep out infectious diseases.
Plutarch, Life of Lycurgus 27.3-4 (trans. Bernadotte Perrin)

In France, a Rwandan immigrant charged with burning the cathedral in Nantes has now been arrested for the murder of a Catholic priest. But please, let's get back to discussing how horrible Viktor Orban is for refusing migration to Hungary.


  1. "The vaccines are as useful as tits on a nun."


  2. France had several different intelligence services in the 1960s - but sadly they were all under the control of the Soviet Marxists, so President De Gaulle got a rather distorted view of the international situation from the stuff that his own intelligence services gave him.

    As for Mr Peter Hitchens - he is always interesting, perhaps because one never knows what he will say on any given matter. For example, he says he loves traditional families and the old religious and secular societies that practiced voluntary help and mutual aid in the various local communities. But then Mr Hitchens supports the Welfare State that replaced such things. That may have been for the best - but one could hardly expect the family (and so on) to just carry on, after the state became "all in all".

    One moment Mr Hitchens will say how much he admires Victorian Britain - the next he will support government owned railways (nationalised in the 1940s). Mr Hitchens will say he prefers Britain before it started to copy the United States - but then he will support drug prohibition which (right or wrong) was copying the United States (no such laws existed in Britain in the Victorian period - or even later, the later laws were an imitation of the United States).

    None of the above should be taken to mean that Mr Hitchens does not present arguments for his various positions, on the contrary he does (and often well reasoned arguments). But only that one can not tell what his position will be on any matter in advance - which is precisely what makes him interesting.

    1. Very wise observations. You sound like Sydney Greenstreet talking to Bogart in The Maltese Falcon. Don't take offence! Only in respect of his words 'By Jove, sir, you are a character. One never knows what you will say next.'
      I always strongly believed in the Welfare State and the NHS but as I grow older and without thinking about it I seem to think that the 1980s libertarians are looking prophetic. Yes you are right about drugs. Most ways in which we imitated the USA were very baleful - criminalising drugs may well have been. I used to be sure it was until I read how the Japanese used almost free heroin as a way of keeping Manchurians passive.
      Nationalising railways was hard to avoid - it almost happened under Lloyd George. Lloyd George was sympathetic to trade union calls for nationalisation. Bonar Law favoured a grouping of companies into regional monopolies and this happened with the the Railways Act 1921 which used to be known as nationalisation.

      The UK should nationalise weapons manufacturers.

    2. The UK should nationalise weapons manufacturers not for economic or socialistic reasons but because their income is dependent on government policy and, all too often, bribing foreign powers.