Friday, November 30, 2007

John Muggeridge (1933–2005)

A request, and forgive me for forgetting.

Five days ago was the two-year anniversay of the death of one of the dearest and most important friends of my life, John Muggeridge.

Those who know me well, will know what I mean when I say that John did the miraculous task of giving me back three missing years of my life. Living in his house for nearly three years was like fixing a clay pot that had been thrown off kilter and re-centering it. That's what sanctity does.

Those who knew John, or even met him only once, will understand. We have never known anyone like him and we still miss him terribly.

Those religiously inclined, would you kindly remember to say a prayer for the repose of his soul?

Requiescat in pace.

Farewell John Muggeridge - Dear Friend to Many, Constant Defender of Life, Faith, Truth

John Muggeridge remembered
as a man of ‘national significance’

The words of John Muggeridge

John Muggeridge


Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

Very happy to announce major personal breakthrough.

I've learned to spell "indispensable"

a word that has vexed me for years. John Muggeridge, of beloved memory, told me once that he had written a whole philological essay on the differences between the "ible" and the "able" words. I wish I could have read it. There must be a rule, but in the educationally degraded times in which I attended school, it was no longer taught...possibly no longer known.

Want to see me do it again?




(must stop fooling around now.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Well, we're too late tonight for Mr. Evelyn

maybe tomorrow.

I know I promised. But I just couldn't today.

Go to bed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

For tomorrow, a treat

John Evelyn's Diary and Correspondence

(1620 – 1706) Evelyn was an English writer, gardener and diarist a copy of whose diary I bought today for a song.

Evelyn's diaries are largely contemporaneous with those of the other noted diarist of the time, Samuel Pepys, and cast considerable light on the art, culture and politics of the time (he witnessed the deaths of Charles I and Oliver Cromwell, the last Great Plague of London, and the Great Fire of London in 1666.).

Stay tuned.

(now go to bed.)

For those millions in Britain who continue to enjoy a house with no central heating

as God intended,

I offer the following as a helpful instruction (pinched from Lorraine):

A "Woodcutter's Song."

Oak logs will warm you well
That are old and dry
Logs of pine will sweetly smell,
But the sparks will fly
Birch logs will burn too fast,
Chestnut's scarce at all, sir
And hawthorn logs are known to last
That are cut down in the fall, sir

Surely you will find
There's none compare with the hardwood logs
That are cut in winter time, sir

Holly logs will burn like wax
You can burn them green
Elm logs burn like smoldering flax
With no flame to be seen
Beech logs for winter time,
Yew logs as well, sir
Green alder logs it is a crime
For any man to sell, sir

Surely you will find
There's none compare with the hardwood logs
That are cut in winter time, sir

Pear logs and apple logs,
They will scent your room
Cherry logs across the dogs
Smell like flowers in bloom
But ash logs, smooth and grey,
Buy them green or old, sir
And buy up all that come your way,
For they're worth their weight in gold, sir

Surely you will find
There's none compare with the hardwood logs
That are cut in winter time, sir

Is "easier" the same thing as "isolated"?

A faithful reader writes in:
It's not easier to bring up children. I would happily relocate to a traditional culture with fewer creature comforts, but where my neighbors would watch the baby if I came down with the flu. But in the absence of those helpful neighbors it's nice to have disposable diapers and electricity.

It raised an interesting point: Have our creature comforts been the cause of our massive alienation? We know that a big problem of living in the modern world is that we all feel so terribly alone and unimportant. So much so that chemists can't keep enough Prozac on the shelf.

Could it be that we have created this situation by making our individual, independent lives easier?


The City that Ate a Whole Country

Here's a little sample of something I've been noticing since I got here and started reading the full print editions of Ynglysshe newspapers.

When they say something is happening "in Britain" or "in the UK" what they really often mean is "in London."

The fact that there is a whole country, and a very interesting one, outside the great growing cancerous blot that is modern London, seems to go entirely unnoticed.

All to the good, if you ask me.

From the Telegraph (I add the corrections):

Greasy spoons fight for survival against cappuccino culture
By Jonathan Petre
Last Updated: 1:24am BST 20/04/2006

The traditional greasy spoon is to mount a fight-back today against the cappuccino culture of Continental-style coffee shops [in London], amid fears [in London] that the institution could disappear.

A campaign to save the unpretentious caff, where fry-ups and dark tea still hold sway over croissants and vanilla lattes [in London], is being launched following research that suggests it could be squeezed out of the high street by the end of the decade.

The great British breakfast is under threat [in London] from Continental-style snacks of croissants and lattes.

A survey found that almost one in three people [in London] was aware of a café closing down in their neighbourhood, and in London the number of independent cafés has declined by 40 per cent since 2000.

Meanwhile, there has been an explosion of coffee shop chains across the country, and the likes of Starbucks, Caffè Nero, Coffee Republic and Costa Coffee now represent nearly a third of the market.

The Save the Proper British Café [in London] campaign is to ask members of the public to sign an online petition, and buy brown rubber wristbands to show their commitment to the cause. Hundreds of café owners will be doing their bit by offering an extra breakfast free with every one purchased.

Paul Harvey, a spokesman for the campaign, which is backed by HP Sauce [which is now produced by H.J. Heinz in Elst, the Netherlands], said cafés were a "national institution", but he feared they could almost vanish by 2010.

"Britain has already suffered the demise of institutions like the red phone box and the faithful Routemaster bus, which is why it seems so important to start this campaign to Save the Proper British Café."

A survey of more than 5,000 people by the campaign found that three quarters felt better about spending their cash at a local café, rather than at a coffee shop chain. A quarter knew the name of one of the people who worked in their local café, while almost a third knew of a local café that had closed down.

Almost nine in 10 [in London] were concerned that their local high street was becoming overrun by big chains. George Michaelas, the owner of George's Café in the heart of Canning Town, east London, said that he had been in the business "before I could reach the teapot" because his father had run a café.

He has found that young people are drifting away [in London], lured from his chrome tables and fish and chips by the bright lights of McDonald's and other fast food chains.

With the regeneration of the area in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics, he fears new competition from American-owned coffee shop chains.

"They have no soul," he said. "They seem so impersonal. I know all my regulars and their likes and dislikes. People are always going to want a proper breakfast. There isn't much call for croissants from the Irish labourers who come here."

A favourite on his menu, the mega breakfast, would reduce nutritionists to tears, consisting as it does of two eggs, two pieces of bacon, sausages, mushrooms, chips and tomatoes, a mug of tea or coffee and two slices of toast, all for £5.50.

Susan Joslyn, 37, a regular, said: "I eat here every day. I like the pleasant staff, and the food is tremendous."

Clive Pitts, of Greenhill Café, in Hall Green, Birmingham, said "service and value for money" were the hallmarks of a traditional British café. It was not just extra competition that had hit the business, but a move towards healthier eating.

A Question for Your Ethics Class

A luxury cruise liner is sinking in freezing cold North Atlantic waters in April.

There are about 2500 people on board. The nearest ship that could attempt a rescue is 150 nautical miles away and will take at least 3 hours to get there. A person can survive in the water about 6 minutes.

There are, say, a dozen lifeboats on board designed to carry, at maximum capacity - that's with the boat down to the gunwales - 75 bodies.

That means that at least 1600 people are going to die.

Is it a good thing or a bad thing for the people in one of the filled-to-capacity boats to beat off the frantic survivors with an oar, even killing them in the process, to keep the boat from foundering?

Please answer within five business years.

* ~ * ~ *

Britain's Population Could Soar to 90 Million

(given current levels of immigration.)

How the Government has Declared War on White English People

“England is perhaps the only great country whose intellec­tuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In Left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution.”
George Orwell


England is in the middle of a profoundly disturbing social experiment. For the first time in a mature democracy, a Government is waging a campaign of aggressive discrimination against its indigenous population.   

In the name of cultural diversity, Labour attacks anything that smacks of Englishness. The mainstream public are treated with contempt, their rights ignored, their history trashed. In their own land, the English are being turned into second-class citizens.

This trend was highlighted this week by the case of Abigail Howarth, a bright teenager who applied for a training position with the Environment Agency in East Anglia but was turned down because she was too white and English. The post, which carries a £13,000 grant, was open only to ethnic minorities, including the Scots, Welsh and Irish.

Such social engineering was justified by the Agency on the grounds that minorities were under-represented in its workforce, the parrot cry used by bureaucrats throughout the public sector to justify bias against the English.

Trust us, we've got it all taken care of

no need for a referendum...put down your pitchforks and torches and return calmly to your homes.

The Government has been accused of misleading voters over the new version of the EU constitution.

Labour ministers say Britain has secured control over tax and benefits, foreign policy and social rights and that opt-outs mean there is no need for a referendum.

But a new guide to the treaty rejects these claims and highlights policy areas where "safeguards" that the government secured will not prevent Britain from being affected.

The guide, published by Open Europe, the think tank, attempts to disprove the arguments for not holding a referendum put forward by Gordon Brown's government.

Ministers claim the treaty is different from the constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005 because the government has insisted on a series of "red lines".

Open Europe says ministers have stopped denying that it is the same document because of the unexpectedly large number of European leaders prepared to publicly state that the new treaty is essentially the same as the old.


Melanie Phillips' book "Londonistan".

Stockholm Syndrome writ large:

The alarming fact is that, far from continuing to embody the bulldog spirit that enabled it to fight off fascism in the 20th century, Britain remains in a widespread state of denial. It understands well enough that it faces a mortal threat from radical Islamists. But by and large, it does not understand why it faces this threat. Instead of laying the blame firmly upon the Islamist ideology where it belongs, Britain has itself adopted some of the tropes of that very ideology - in particular, hatred of America and Israel, whose policies it blames as the cause of Muslim rage.


After the London bombings, the main concern of the media and intelligentsia was to avoid "Islamophobia" the thought-crime that seeks to suppress legitimate criticism of Islam and demonize those who would tell the truth about Islamist aggression.


Londonistan is...a state of mind that has spread well beyond the capital and, even after the London bombings, still has deep roots inside British culture...


Britain has become a decadent society, weakened by alarming tendencies towards social and cultural suicide. Turning upon itself, it has progressively attacked or undermined the values, laws and traditions that make it a nation, creating a space that in turn has been exploited by radical Islamism. It has thus absorbed much of the irrational thinking that is subverting not only its own society and the values that underpin freedom and democracy, but also the alliance with America and the struggle to defend the free world.


There is little to counter (radical Islamic) influence because of a fundamental loss of national self-belief throughout the institutions of British society. Driven by postcolonial guilt and, with the loss of empire, the collapse of a world role, Britain's elites have come to believe that the country's identity and values are by definition racist, nationalistic and discriminatory ...Schools have ceased to transmit to successive generations either the values or the story of the nation, delivering instead the message that truth is an illusion and that the nation and its values are whatever anyone wants them to be. In the multicultural classroom, every culture appears to be taught except Britain's indigenous one.

Britain has become a largely post-Christian society, where traditional morality has been systematically undermined and replaced by an "anything goes" culture in which autonomous decisions about codes of behavior have become unchallengeable rights. With everyone's lifestyle now said to be of equal value, the very idea of moral norms is frowned upon as a vehicle for discrimination and prejudice. Judaism and Christianity, the creeds that formed the bedrock of Western civilization, have been pushed aside and their place filled by a plethora of paranormal activities and cults...

The outcome has been a debauched and disorderly culture of instant gratification, with disintegrating families, feral children and violence, squalor and vulgarity on the streets. At an abstract level, such moral relativism destroyed the notion of objectivity, so that truth and lies were stood on their heads. This opened the way for the moral inversion of "victim culture", which holds that since minorities are oppressed by the majority they cannot be held responsible for what happens to them. As a result, a climate of intimidation developed in which minorities could demand special treatment and denounce anyone who objected as a bigot...

This moral inversion has been internalized so completely that the more Islamic terrorism there is, the more hysterically British Muslims insist that they are under attack by "Islamophobes" and a hostile West. Any attempt by British society to defend itself or its values, either through antiterrorist laws or the reaffirmation of the supremacy of Western values, is therefore denounced as Islamophobia...

So profound is the fear of being branded a racist among British liberals, so completely do they subscribe to the multicultural victim culture, that the obvious examples of illogicality, untruths and paranoia in much Muslim discourse have never been challenged...Instead of defending Britain against its attackers, they turned their rhetorical guns upon their own nation...

But in the US, at least, there has been a counteroffensive. The grip of the left-wing intelligentsia has been loosened by the growth of conservative think tanks and publishing houses, talk radio and now the internet bloggers. In Britain, by contrast, there has been no equivalent institutional challenge to the hegemony of the left and its stranglehold on the universities, media, civil service and other key institutions. In the US, at least there are wars over culture; in Britain, there has been a rout...

In Britain, this decadence not only fuels the rage of Muslims at the moral squalor that so affronts them, it also provides an opportunity to fill with an Islamist perspective the space that has been vacated by the collapse of Judeo-Christian moral authority...

Britain has been unable to counter such intimidation because it has already sold the pass to other "victim" groups. It has effectively allowed itself to be taken hostage by militant gays, feminists or "anti-racists" who used weapons such as public vilification, moral blackmail and threats to people's livelihoods to force the majority to give in to their demands. And those demands were identical to those made by the Islamists: not merely to tolerate their values as minority rights but to replace normative values altogether and subordinate the values of the majority to the minority, because majority values set up a hierarchy that is deemed to be innately discriminatory. So when Muslims refused to accept minority status and insisted instead that their values must trump those of the majority, Britain had no answer...

As religion has retreated and morality becomes privatized, individual conscience has become universalized. The nation and its values are despised; moral legitimacy resides instead in a vision of universal progressivism, expressed through human rights law and such supranational institutions as the European Union, the United Nations or the International Criminal Court, and revolving around multiculturalism and minority rights.

This has produced the extraordinary phenomenon of radical Islam - which denies female equality and preaches death to gays - marching under the banner of human rights. The self-styled progressives on the British left, for whom human rights have replaced Christianity as the religion for a godless society, have formed a jaw-dropping axis with militant, fundamentalist Islamists. These two revolutionary camps have put their very sizable differences to one side so that each can use the other to advance their goal, which is the destruction of Western society and its foundation values.


The symbol, usually in the form of a circle, of a snake (or dragon) eating its tail.
--The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition

The snake eats its tail until it disappears:

"There's no such thing as absolute truth."

"What is true for you is not true for me"

"I have the right to choose whatever morality I prefer."

"My brother is an only child."

"I don't speak a word of English."

Your Choice

Cost of doubling the existing police force in Britain: £4.2 billion

Estimated cost of Brown's ID card project: £5 billion

You pick...

Ooops, sorry. The Labour government doesn't let us pick.

Forgot for a moment.

Thoughtcrime of the Day

"Human Rights" law is at the heart of a massive effort to abolish national sovereignty.

From Melanie Phillips

Since radical egalitarianism meant that all lifestyles were of equal value, the very notion of a majority culture or normative rules of behavior became suspect as innately exclusive, prejudiced or oppressive. Moral judgments between different lifestyles or behavior became discrimination; and prejudice, the term for discrimination between lifestyles, became the sin that obviated the moral codes at the heart of Judaism and Christianity, which had formed the bedrock of Western civilization.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A question for y'all to think about while I'm doing other things

Is "easier" the same thing as "better"?

It is very easy to live nowadays. We don't have to work as hard as our ancestors did. We don't have to be cold in the winter, or go to bed early because it is dark out. If we want anything, we can usually buy six different kinds in the shops. If we are hungry we go to the fridge and pop something in the toaster or the nuker.

If we are bored, we get on the net or watch telly. If we are lonely, we get on the phone.

Everything can be had, even to people with little income, on easy terms and in easy payments.

Has this change been a good thing?


Gordon Brown Loses Personal Data of Millions of Britons

I thought I'd share a little personal annecdote in reference to the headline above that has filled the Google News Alerts for the keywords "Gordon," "Brown's", "Incredible", "Shrinking", "Political", and "Career".

I was looking through the adverts in the Daily Mail (which paper has become indispensable, and not only for lighting fires) looking for a company that would give me a better deal than BT on broadband internet.

At each one I called, I was informed that the only "option" available was to pay by "direct debit" and could they please have my bank account number. (That the word "option" didn't mean that, seemed to go over the heads of most of the people I spoke to, no matter how hard I tried to explain it.)

When I said that I did not want anyone dipping their grubby little paws into my bank accounts, I was told that the company was "very sorry" but that "everyone does it that way."

"Well," said I to the twelfth company representative in the phone centre in Bangalore, "I've observed through my travels that most people are extremely stupid. I shall have to revise that assessment to include 'everyone' from now on."

As you have observed, I did manage at last to find a company who would take my money. But I thought that in the light of recent revelations in the news, the fact that it was close to impossible to get a basic service, necessary to my continued employment, without giving out banking details, was illustrative of the problem.

Not everyone can live in a little rural cottage in West Cheshire, snare their own food and collect firewood every day. Most people have to have ordinary services that are considered normal for people in this admittedly incredibly technologically bloated culture.

People need phones. They need the net. They need all sorts of things and the way things are set up, it has become nearly impossible to protect oneself or one's family from the state.

The fact that we are all, either consciously or unconsciously thinking in terms of "protecting" ourselves from the state, says everything that needs to be said I think.

Gordon Brown Eats Children's Pets

This just in from a reliable source:

Brown reached into the cage of the school hamster, picked it up and placed it in his mouth.

"We all thought it was a joke," Said Mrs Gwiggis, a witness to the incident whose child attends the school, "but then he started chewing and we realised he was actually eating it"

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Why didn't anyone tell me that TVLinks was nuked while I was away?!

How am I going to catch up with BSG now?!

How am I going to know if Adama marries Laura Roslin?

How am I going to find out if Starbuck is really dead?




Oh gawd!!!

I've just thought of something even WORSE!

How am I going to watch the next season of the Doctah?!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Buy this book

Don't argue. Do as you're told.

Smoke in the Sanctuary

Aaagghhhh !

Would you look at the time!!

It's five o'clock in TO. Means it's ten o'bloody clock here!

I thought blogging was a time-eating machine.

No one warned me about Facebook.


...and I've joined facebook


It was originally a last ditch effort to get hold of Fr. Tim since HE DOESN'T ANSWER EMAILS OR RETURN PHONE CALLS!!!!

But now I see that most of the people I know are on already and I'm the last to know. Including all sorts of very respectable people who ought to have lives.

Status: Disillusioned.



on a real connection.

Oooo I've missed the internet.

I was remarking to Fr. Finigan and the Mulier Fortis last week when I was down in London that I now have a great deal of sympathy for the Borg. I can really understand now what it is like to be taken out of the collective.


Good-bye dial-up.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thinking about things

I bet you'd all thought I'd found the door to Narnia.

Nope, but I'm still looking.

Last night was the first night in the cottage, and the first in my new Victorian bed. (The matress is new; the bed is old.)

I've discovered some things.

* A flask (in N.America, a "thermos") makes a much better tea pot than a tea pot.

* Milk from a glass pint bottle tastes better than milk from a carton or plastic bottle.

* Central heating is overrated. Our mothers were right when we were kids and wanted to turn the heat up. Put a sweater on.

* That in all the years since leaving England when the smell of tar or pitch would bring back the memory of Manchester, what I was remembering was the smell of coal fires.

* That there are different kinds of crows and the differences are not difficult to learn. The rule is that if you see two together, they're rooks. There are a lot of rooks in rural England.

* That tawny owls have two different calls at night. The female makes a kind of loud sustained squeek. This is answered by the male who gives a deep, low-pitched "Whhooo hoo" that is much more difficult to hear unless you are standing quite close.

* That oak trees are very messy trees and drop large parts of themselves on the ground all the time. Dead oak branches, although rather heavy to carry home, make excellent firewood.

* That rosehips have no pectin in them and if you want to make them in to jam or jelly, you have to add crab apples, or all you will get is rosehip syrup.

* That rosehip syrup is no bad thing.

* That there has been so much manufacturing in the last 250 years, that there is virtually no need to buy new things. If everyone in this country were to give to a needy neigbour or a church charity all the bits and pieces of furniture, household goods and clothes and other permanent things they are not using, every man woman and child in this country would be amply provided for.

The above suggestion would ruin the economy.

Which, in turn, and after a period of adjustment that would doubtless involve violence, social and political upheaval and all sorts of unpleasantness, would result in the end in people being much happier.

(I intend, as much as it is possible, to live as though this had already happened. Except for the internet, which I think would be one of the first things to go in the event of the previously mentioned upheavals.)

* That a solution to the problem of rubbish disposal, which is a subject much in the minds of Britons apparently, who are forced by a multitude of laws to support an absurdly and increasingly arcane system of "recycling" (enforced by fines), is to re-instate "home economics" as a major part of the school curriculum and teach young women the lost arts of cooking and household management. They would be able to cook real food that did not come out of a box or take-away place. They would be able to make and mend their own clothes, which would release them from slavery to fashions.

It would also result in them having more useful occupation than shopping, "texting", binge drinking and buying pre-packaged foods. They would be rendered suitable for marriage and be immune to much of the advertising enticements that hold so many of them in the thrall of "body-image" insecurity. It would also release them from the mental slavery of "modern mores" and feminism.

It would also make men happier.

This would also ruin the economy. (See note above re: "economy-ruining a good thing in the long run.")

* That spending an hour every evening staring blankly into the fire is a much more useful and beneficial occupation than spending the same amount of time staring blankly into the television. In the former occupation it is possible to have Thoughts. With the latter, it is possible only to be exhausted and rendered irritable and anxious.

* That Stephen Fry is much more likely to become a real Catholic than is Tony Blair.

* That London is much better appreciated from a picture books, say.

* That deep in the heart of many British people is a great longing for the Way Things Were but have been trained at the same time to be superficialy disdainful of the way of life they remember their parents living (no telly. no central heating. no microwaves. no free sex. no free abortion!).

* That we have come to the down slope in the manufacture-and-consume economy. We make too much stuff. We buy too much stuff. We throw away too much stuff. And the stuff we make, buy and throw away isn't worth the effort. I was taken yesterday to a place that sells "architectural antiques": antique furniture, fittings, fireplaces, apothecary bottles, flat irons, sinks, door knobs, saddles, doors, gothic marble altar pieces, copper kettles, valves, telephones, sofas, and on and on...every bit of it was more durable, more beautiful, more useful and lasting and just plain better than anything that has been made in the last fifty years. When a society starts looking at the stuff it is making (and throwing away three weeks later) and being forced to admit that not only were the things their grandfathers made better, but that they no longer knew how to make them, things are on the down slide.

* That there is no way for a woman to look good wearing jeans.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thoughtcrime of the day - There are some good things

about war.

Honour of the North
An American friend was asking me the other day about Halifax, a town with which I am reasonably familiar, but he had just passed through. “An odd town,” he called it, “but strangely charming. Is it?”

“She is charming when she is asleep,” I told him, “and she sleeps for decades. But in wartime, she comes to life, and Ho! then she is among the world's most exciting cities.”

It is not the custom, in journalism today, to speak well of war. And I must admit, as Thomas De Quincey admitted about “the fine art of murder,” that it has its weak side. One cannot reasonably advocate blasting and bombardiering as an end in itself, when the targets are living people, whether in or out of uniform. De Quincey's essay was on the aesthetic aspects of murder, a rich field he had found almost unexplored, and perhaps I should explain to those who never read him that, as a writer, De Quincey could be rather droll. By contrast, the aesthetic aspects of war have been carefully investigated, and documented, and the works of war artists banked away in many museums. Yet even aesthetically, I can think of several arguments against war, for war's sake.

To the modern “gliberal” as I call him (a liberal who has lost all purchase on reality), one has to explain that we do not fight wars as ends in themselves, and that the person who thinks we should tends to expose himself as either a humourist, or a psychopath, or both. At least, this is the Christian view, I have no authority to speak for any other religion. So let me specify, for the benefit of the many gliberal readers I seem to have, that I am against starting wars promiscuously.

Yet, “wars happen,” to adapt a popular saying from the 'eighties, and when they do, it has long been the genius of mankind to make the best of them. There are certain aspects of all the Christian virtues that enjoy a special scope in wartime, and I think faith and fortitude lead the way. (Or, shraddha, and titiksha, if my reader is a Hindu; we must not assume an understanding of the virtues is restricted to Christendom.)

Good, moreover, often comes of evil, and the bringing of good out of evil is the very genius to which we are called, in any adversity. Thanksgiving, even and perhaps especially for good found within the prison of evil, is also something to which we are called.

How can I speak against war, when I owe my very existence to it? For Halifax is where my own parents met, in the middle of the last official World War -- he a smart young officer in the Navy, she a capable young nurse, with long red hair. Conveniently for them, they got to meet over sherry aboard papa's ship, instead of over a hypodermic in mama's hospital ward.

Let no one forget, in this season of Remembrance, Rudyard Kipling's lines evoking Halifax, which remain the city's motto today and forever:

Into the mist my guardian prows put forth, Behind the mist my virgin ramparts lie; The Warden of the Honour of the North, Sleepless and veiled am I.

Think of that for a minute, or more if you need the time. “The Warden of the Honour of the North.” Perhaps I am strangely old-fashioned, but that line does for me what A.E. Housman said poetry should do, while shaving. It makes the hairs of my chin bristle.

“Honour”: what kind of word is that? It is a word that may of course be easily misconstrued. It could be applied, wrongly, to dishonourable things. It could be applied, rightly according to definition, but in a circumstance so imprudent as to make it wrong. And yet there are moments when it is applied rightly to circumstance, and it commands our action.

And it is then the guardian prows put forth, from the virgin ramparts. Poetry, including the poetry of war, by its very power to inspire us, also reminds us of a moral order that is deeper than life and death.

The old men know this, for whom we wear our poppies, and the young men and women we have sent to Afghanistan know it still: what we mean by “The Honour of the North.” And we remember, today, so many things, but especially, that we must never turn our backs to honour.

David Warren

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thoughtcrime of the day ~ there are differences

between races sexes and classes.

and only socialists think that's not OK.

Watching an interesting thing on telly yesterday about Napoleon's early exploits while the Revolution was still axing people for being different. While the proto-socialists were busy re-organising France (and the French) to match their ideas, along comes this chap who does not fit anyone's categories.

An interesting line in the movie made something quite clear to me. It was along the lines, "Your Revolution is determined to ensure that everyone is the same. Well, here's a man who will defy all your efforts." And he did. It's the trouble with grand social theories; they're always bumping up against the real humans.

Does anyone remember which essay of CS Lewis' that points out that the goal of the New Way is to make everyone the same? Was it Abolition of Man? Or one of the shorter ones? Can't remember, but it was an analogy where a king instructs someone in the way of governing by taking Someone out to a field and lopping off the tops of every ear of corn that sticks up further than all the others. We must all now be Just Stalks. No one is to be a better or taller stalk than all the others.

An email to a colleague:
you quote: "...and one's life is ruined for pointing out that the American blacks' mean IQ of 85, and not racism, is the cause of their underepresentation in the upper echelons of government, business and the professions."

Now this is interesting. An(other) indicator of the ways Britain has gone down the PC tubes is that it is impossible to suggest that one group of people is smarter on average than another. In the US it is actually possible to say or write it and not be ruined. Of course, you have to be Ann Coulter or someone, but it is possible. The capacity of conservatives to recognise differences and acknowledge their legitimacy is what really sets us apart from the liberals. In Britain the worst sin you can commit is to acknowledge that there are differences between people. You can't point out what is plainly obvious. If you say there are differences between races, you are a racist.

If you say that there are differences between men and women, and that there are some things that men do better or are better and more naturally constituted to do than women, you are a sexist (even if you are a woman saying it.)

Dr. James Watson said it and look what happened to him.

Now why don't I like Watson? I can't support him for saying what he said but not because it was "racist". The difference between Watson saying it and someone like Coulter saying it, is that the former is a leftist eugenicist - the ultimate expression of socialism's desire to remake the human race according to a predetermined set of criteria. Socialists, as we have seen, want to do it the slow way with "edcuation", government regulations etc; the elite scientific leftist eugenicist (of whom there are more than most people suspect) want to do it the quick and easy way, by extermination. (Not, of course that they are ready to set up the camps and ovens again. Oh Nonono NO! they want to do it cleanly and hygenically in petri dishes in laboratories. We can allow the sub-normals, the defectives, the Down's syndrome kids, the disabled and the not-so-pretty to die off naturally, even pension them if we want. Or maybe we will think about euthanasia centres... voluntary of course. But the future of the race is in the hands of the geneticists. )

Watson is of the new school of super-socialist who is, like a conservative and unlike his ordinary leftist confreres, ready to admit what the evidence shows him. The difference between a super-socialist eugenicist and a conservative is that the conservative does not feel any need to force the race into a predetermined set of criteria. We’re OK with people being different.

If you define racism and sexism as any acknowledgement that there are inherent differences between the races and sexes, then I'm a racist and a sexist. These differences are evident to anyone who has eyes and ears. The difference between me, a conservative racist and Watson, a super-socialist eugenicist, is that I'm OK with differences. I don't need everyone to be the same.

The goal of socialism is to make everyone the same. The eugenicists are just willing to follow the evidence to find the most efficient way to do that and are not bothered by how it looks. The reason the lefties went all ballistic on Watson is that he simply showed them where their own ideas ultimately lead if followed to their logical conclusion and carried out efficiently. And it made them look bad. Made 'em look like meanies. And one thing lefties hate it's thinking they might be the bad guys. Their whole worldview is predicated on the idea that left = compassionate, friendly warm and nice to doggies and children; and right = nasty and mean.

The reason all the left-liberal types went all wiggy on Watson was that it reminded them that they are all on the same team and that team isn't the one playing on the side of the angels.

But the bottom line for both the “soft” left and the eugenicist left is that they want everyone to be the same and they're willing to kill to do it. Watson got everyone mad because he was willing to admit it. But if you ask the ordinary leftie man on the street of London, "is it OK for a woman to have an abortion if her child has Down's syndrome," you will, at best, get an uncomfortable silence because the answer is, there are fewer and fewer kids born with Down's syndrome every year, and the leftist establishment is just fine with complete agreement with Watson.

Trouble is, there’s always a difference. Not always of the calibre of a Napoleon, but the differences between individuals and groups won’t go away, no matter how much politically correct wishing we do.

Ever ask a eugenicist what it means to have everyone be superior? He can't answer because it means that we have to make sure no one is superior. If you're trying for the superior race, trying to make everyone superior, you actually make everyone the same. Especially if, as eugenicists tend to do, you are willing to kill off anyone whose existence might tend to disprove your grand theory.

C. S. Lewis said that the conservatives are the ones who can live with differences. That's why we believe in differences between men and women, different roles proper to each. Differences in race present no problem and with the “class” issues, we have no trouble with a hierarchical system where there are superiors and inferiors. (The “class war” was invented by Marxists to create a grievance/victim class to be used for political purposes. The Marxists, and later the feminists, excell at creating a constituency of people with imaginary greivances.) It's the "liberals" as they are now called, who insist everyone be the same and hence label anyone who is capable of discerning differences as sexist, classist, and racist.

Watson differs from his liberal co-revolutionaries in that he can see differences between groups of people and admit they exist, but wants to force the human species to be the same. The prolem with socialism is that it cannot be applied to real people in real life. People just persist in being different. Well, obviously if you want the grand socialist experiment to work, the solution is to radically change the human species. (This is why, BTW, I’ve always thought Brave N. World was more frightening than 1984. In Orwell, people are manipulated, but not fundamentally changed. When oppressed long enough,, as we saw with Romania in 1991, man’s natural instinct for freedom will reassert itself. Huxley’s dystopia was more terrifying because that instinct was removed. And because it is being put into effect today.) Watson’s solution to the socialist problem means, in the end, that he wants to exterminate black people, people with Down's syndrome, girls who aren't pretty enough, etc.

This is the real reason why conservatives are nice and liberals are horrid.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Penny for the Guy?

Penny for the Guy
November 6, 2007

All over the country county and town councils are cancelling Bonfire Night.

One of my earliest memories, so long ago in my wee brain that I had trouble deciding if it is something I made up later and then forgot I made up, or it was a real memory, is of having my first sparkler at the Bonfire. I hadn’t been too keen on Bonfire night before this incident, because it seemed not to involve my favouritest thing in the world to do in the autumn; namely dressing up as a fairy princess and running around outdoors after dark. But after this moment of truth, in which I literally saw the light, I have been a Bonfire Night fan for more than 35 years.

I was five and someone, it may have been my mother, but I seem to recall it was “Uncle” Fred (1), her foster father, or Uncle Mike, or someone else, gave me a sparkler. It was my first but I recall being terrified of it. I thought it was alive and extremely dangerous. Until someone took my hand, still holding the wildly fizzing and madly sparkling thing, and wrote my name in the air with it. After that, I was sold.

Well, after that and a toffee apple eaten with both hands whilst standing in front of a bonfire at least four times my height. And being outdoors late at night. Glory!

I didn’t know it was anti-Catholic. I had, of course, never heard of the Glorious Revolution. I knew only that someone had tried to blow up something called “Parliament”; that “Parliament” was quite a long way from Manchester, but was, despite this defect, still quite important and so probably it wouldn’t do to try to blow it up; and that it had all happened quite a long time ago. That and there was this straw-faced fellow whose clothes had been donated from the rag and bone man’s bag and stuffed with newspapers and we tossed him onto the bonfire for no adequately explained reason.

What it all had to do with the unbelievable magic of the sparkler was anyone’s guess, but I was asking no questions. Grown-ups were, and are still, so likely to put a stop to fun that is too closely questioned, that I thought it wiser to just stuff as much toffee apple into my mouth as possible, before anyone said it was looking like bedtime.

I have seen with a growing sense of horror and slowly enveloping despair, that the wicked forces of Grown-up NoFun, namely that wicked and slippery sprite, “elf n’ safety”, it’s bog-stupid brother, political correctness and an invasion of American commercialism, are slowly snuffing out the best holiday anyone ever came up with.

Kids in Britain are dressing up and “trick-or-treating” at Hallow‘een. But they are doing it with none of the style with which I used to do. (My mum and I worked on the outfit for days in advance; once, my last year at 11, even making an entire Darth Vader mask out of papier mache.) No, the kids in Britain are being dressed up in the horrid store-bought things and just showing up demanding sweets. It has grown out of, (sitting down? holding on to something nailed down?) the airing in Britain of that stupid American horror film, “Halloween”. Yep. One film did the whole job. And because, as I have been observing, English people have forgotten what they are supposed to be, it was adopted with a shrug. One thing as good as another right?

Now I was never against Hallow‘een as it was properly observed in my own youth. But its commercialisation has destroyed the flair, the charm, the fun and the point in N. America. To have waited until after it has died and simply transported the dead, plasticised carcass of the thing over here so the kids can dress up in tacky plastic muck from Woolworths, just seems a bit pointless.

I believe I have said elsewhere that I have longed for and searched for and cherished those Really Real things that are now being so lightly tossed away. The search, in this life of mass production and cheap grace, for the Really Real, has turned into a vocation. And for North America, Hallow ‘een, properly observed, is one of those things. But it is so rare now that I suspect it has died out. But that’s OK. I don’t live there anymore. Not my problem.

But Bonfire Night is another matter. It was, and is, a demonstration of the Really Real Britain, a country with a history, and moreover, with a people who know that history is important enough to remember and commemorate for very long periods of time. What is happening in this country, to this nation, can be illustrated I believe, by the carelessness with which Bonfire Night is now being treated.

It is being banned in councils across the land on the ridiculously thin ground that it is unsafe for children. Fireworks blow up, don’tcha know, and some idiot might fall into a bonfire.

It is being banned, unbelievably, because bonfires and fireworks contribute to that weird imaginary beast “global warming”.

But worse by far is that it is being banned on the grounds that it is an affront to people of other cultures, whom we must now for some reason call “British” as well, for English people to commemorate our history. One council, (I won’t look up which one,) banned Bonfire night because it is a “white” British festival whose existence might tend to remind “New Britons” that they are new and their ancestors had no part in the historical events which it commemorates. It is an English custom, therefore so offensive to our guests that we must never mention it again.

No, I’m not making that up.

I am happy to report, however, that on the Saturday night of Bonfire Weekend, I was kept awake until well after midnight by the sound of fireworks. And the next night, and the night after that. So, once again, I have grounds to believe that the insanity is confined, mostly, to the small class of ruling busybody grown-up NoFunners who cannot keep their misery to themselves and are not content until the land that once rang with the joyful shrieks of laughter of my small delighted self on November 5, 1972, is as silent, pinch-faced and bored as they are themselves. The rest of us, it seems, are not going along.

I’m also glad to say that I’m not the only one who thinks so.

1. Due to the enormous complexity of middle class British kinship systems and the wholesale redistribution of children after the war, I have several uncles and aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews who are not actually any blood relation at all...the rule, in general, is that any male relative or close family friend of your father’s generation or older, who is not your father, is “uncle.”

Oh, and Steve? It's "phenomenon" singular, not "phenomena" plural, since we are talking about the (sing.) "prostitots" phenomenon.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Thoughtcrime of the day

Definition of a political gaffe: "When a politician accidentally says something true."


Enoch Powell was right.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Don't be too pround of this technological terror you've constructed...

This had to go up, no matter what the cost.

Can anyone verify if this is true? Did the Queen's military band really play the Imperial March to greet the king of Saudi Arabia the other day? Can any of our London correspondents confirm?

Because if it is true, as people around the sphere are saying, it is probably the most hopeful sign I have seen in ages that the True Britain is still alive under all that rubble somewhere and we might just be able to get to it yet if we keep digging.