Well, stone the crows (or Muslim women, as the case may be)

It was all perfectly legal, in strict compliance with time-honoured legal principles.

A Sharia court in a Syrian province under jihadist control charged a young woman with adultery a few days ago.

The case was tried according to the due process of Islamic law, and the defendant was found guilty.

Since her crime carried a mandatory death sentence, she was taken out to the market square and publicly stoned to death. Justice was served.

Now I happen to have in front of me the transcript of a similar case tried in the same region some 2,000 years ago.

There too the prosecution appealed to the judge asking that a woman taken in adultery be sentenced to death by stoning. In those barbaric times, however, the judge’s response was different, which the transcript confirms:

“So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

This closing argument carried the day: “And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one…”

The judge then pronounced his own verdict on the woman: “Go, and sin no more.”

These two legal precedents illustrate what any sane person would see as an unbridgeable gap between Muslim and Christian law.

If we accept that the gap is self-evidently unbridgeable, and also the equally indisputable fact that English common law is predominantly based on Christian antecedents, then the aforementioned sane person would have to conclude that Sharia law has no place in our country.

Yet here I am, looking at a Telegraph article written by a French Muslim Myriam François-Cerrah, a journalist doing something or other at Oxford University.

Miss François-Cerrah laments that there are merely 85 Sharia courts acting in Britain, a number she finds woefully inadequate. There “could be more”, she suggests, though demurring at suggesting the exact desirable number, or by which order of magnitude the present number should be increased.

To be fair, she doesn’t quite argue that Sharia should replace English common law altogether. All this reasonable woman wants is for Islamic law to be incorporated into the law of the land.

She then proceeds to explain the history and nature of Sharia in terms that would make a reasonably bright 10-year-old feel he’s being talked down to. According to her, Sharia law is nothing but a sort of marriage counselling service for women seeking divorce.

She cites one such woman saying that her husband “would never have listened to a relationship counsellor. But a shaykh, an older man with Islamic knowledge, that he respects”.

Now if the shaykh has not only Islamic knowledge but also Islamic faith, he must feel in his heart that it’s advisable for a man to have four wives. However, if one of them is unhappy about receiving only a quarter of his attentions and consequently takes a lover, she must be stoned to death.

Is this the nature of marriage counselling he offers? After all, adultery is by far the most common grounds for divorce.

At an unkind moment, one could feel that our ancient law may conceivably have problems with a situation wherein a man legally gets his rocks off with four wives, while a woman must be stoned to death for having enjoyed a single lover.

Miss François-Cerrah acknowledges that a certain unbalance exists, although she chooses to refer to rather more modern legislation: “There is undoubtedly real discrimination – some readings of Sharia promote principles which run counter to UK equality legislation.”

Quite. However, at the risk of being accused of bigotry, racial and religious discrimination, little-Englandism, political incorrectness and other capital sins, I may go a bit further than that.

Not ‘some readings’ of Sharia but Sharia tout court ‘runs contrary’ not only to ‘UK equality legislation’ but to common decency, as traditionally understood in the West generally and England specifically.

This is a law that says, among many other such things, that an apostate to Islam must be given one chance to return to the fold. If he turns it down, he must be killed.

The same goes for a kafir (infidel) who has never been a Muslim to begin with. He too must be offered one chance to convert, and failure to do so is again punishable by death.

One suspects that Miss François-Cerrah wouldn’t advocate these aspects of her beloved jurisprudence to be incorporated into English common law, though some pronouncements by the Archdruid Williams suggest that he might.

According to her, Sharia all boils down to a sort of counselling service with a religious dimension. What’s wrong with a pious woman seeking advice from an elder qualified to give it?

Nothing at all, I dare say. Some people whose marriage is on the rocks talk to a shrink. Some bore their friends, asking for advice they never intend to follow. Others buy drinks for strangers and barmen, demanding a sympathetic ear in return. Still others will listen to their priests, rabbis, imams or gurus, while really desperate (and tasteless) individuals may even attend group therapy.

Whatever makes them happy, I’d suggest, but with one important proviso. None of such sessions has – nor should ever be allowed to have – legal power. This in any civilised land can belong only to a duly instituted court of law translating into action the country’s constitutional principles.

Our constitutional principles are rooted in Christianity, which, as I tried to show earlier, is under no circumstances compatible with Islam. Muslims themselves agree with this uncompromising position, which is why they persecute and kill Christians all over the Islamic world.

Considering the source, I’m not unduly bothered by Miss François-Cerrah’s affection for Sharia – she’s a Muslim, so it’s par for the course. I also share her concern for the plight of Muslim women, who even in Britain are routinely treated like dirt in full compliance with Islam.

But it saddens me to see that she fails to understand something that ought to be taught in any elementary school: in Britain, any legal restitution for such mistreatment must be sought in British courts, whose understanding of the law goes back to the Middle East, circa first century AD.

I’m upset even more that a formerly reputable paper would see fit to publish such ignorant, childishly argued gibberish, thereby conferring on it some implicit respectability.

It won’t take many such rants for us to wish that freedom of the press be replaced with freedom from the press.

How many natural and industrial disasters happened in the Soviet Union?

The answer is, none. Or, to be more exact, none that was reported.

One can begin to understand the reluctance to acknowledge industrial, especially nuclear, accidents.

After all, as is universally known, Soviet science and technology were by far the most advanced in the world.

Hence any reports of disasters could only have been concocted by the capitalist scum plotting to besmirch the reputation of the mother of all progress.

This goes ten-fold for any mishaps in the area of weapon production. Soviet nuclear weapons and means of their delivery were as safe for the Soviet Union as they were deadly for its enemies.

Anyone spreading rumours to the contrary had to be a hireling of world capitalism. Consequently he had to be imprisoned if inside Russia, or ignored if outside. If facts are a stubborn thing, said Comrade Stalin, so much the worse for facts.

Alas, facts persisted both in their stubbornness and their frequency. Thus the Mayak nuclear-bomb factory near Cheliabinsk had 34 accidents between 1953 and 2008. The worst of them, in 1957, released 100 tonnes of high-level radioactive waste, contaminating an area the size of Western Europe.

None of the disasters was officially reported. All were emphatically denied when ‘vicious and unfounded’ rumours began to circulate.

Note, however, that the Mayak accidents began on Stalin’s watch and continued well into Putin’s, with the same veracity of reporting throughout. This proves the point I often make: post-perestroika Russia is but a continuation of the Soviet Union by other means.

Who is in charge at any particular point makes no difference whatsoever. Thus Mikhail Gorbachev, universally elevated to secular sainthood for replacing a communist state with a kleptofascist one, lied with customary Soviet ease about the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Had the westward winds not made Geiger counters go haywire in Scandinavia and Scotland, the catastrophe would have been hushed up like so many others.

Such, for example, as the one in 1960, when a Soviet ICBM R-16 exploded at Baikonur test range, killing many high-ranking officers, including Marshal Nedelin, commander of the Soviet strategic rocket forces.

Official announcement? I remember it well: Marshal Nedelin died ‘a sudden and unexpected death’. Sudden yes, but hardly unexpected considering the Soviet safety record. 

As I suggested, though one can’t condone such industrial-scale lying, one can understand it. No socialist projects, be it at their mildest (e.g. the NHS) or most extreme (e.g. the USSR), are about reality.

They are all about make-believe, hot air enveloped in a tissue of lies. A word of truth would pierce the bubble, exploding the whole shebang.

But the beauty of Soviet lies was that they went way beyond what’s to be normally expected from any old socialism. Specifically, they extended not only to man-made disasters but also to acts of God (who, as any good socialist knows, doesn’t exist).

God, who everyone knew didn’t exist, had to keep smiling at the USSR.

Thus Soviet citizens were spared the information of the 1948 earthquake in Turkmenistan. Registering 7.3 on the Richter scale, it levelled the city of Ashgabat and its environs, killing 176,000 people.

The same goes for the calamitous 1966 Tashkent earthquake, the peat fires around Moscow at the same time, when black smoke descended on the city killing thousands of asthmatics, and countless other calamities.

Soviet leaders, from Lenin to Putin, didn’t just practise deceit, the hushing up of truth. They’ve always told active lies with a fluency putting to shame even our own experts Tony Blair and Dave Cameron.

Thus Soviets tanks rolled into Budapest in 1956 and Prague in 1968 only to pre-empt an impending aggression by Nato forces, that is a capitalist USA and an unreconstructed Nazi West Germany.

The Soviet Union never installed missiles in Cuba, all its dissidents were in the employ of the CIA, no Soviet citizens ever wished to emigrate, only American millionaires could ever afford medical care, Western unemployed starved to death in their thousands, lynching was the favourite pastime in the American South…

Now that the organisation directly responsible for cooking up and spreading such lies is in charge, one shouldn’t be unduly surprised at the cynical ease with which KGB Col. Putin is lying about the horrific murder of 298 innocent people in the skies over eastern Ukraine.

Russia’s mainstream media, wholly controlled by Putin’s gang, are laying the blame on the ‘Nazis’, ‘fascists’ and ‘Banderites’, the only terms used to describe the independent Ukraine and her legitimate government.

One is amazed that the Banderites aren’t also taking the rap for shooting down the Korean airliner in 1983 or, come to that, all those disasters I mentioned earlier, including the Ashgabat earthquake.

The radio intercepts published two days ago leave no room for doubt: Flight MH17 was shot down by a BUK-M missile launched from the territory controlled by the bandits Putin is using as his proxies.

Moreover, the intercepts published this morning prove that the BUK-M system was operated not by a ‘separatist’ crew but by a Russian one. In a conversation with GRU colonel Petrovsky, the ‘separatist’ commander on the ground reports the safe arrival  from Russia of the BUK-M launcher complete with its crew.

Later the same commander first rejoices at shooting down the plane, then swears when he found out which plane he hit. (All parties to the exchanges swear after every other word, as most Russians do.)

Two members of the BUK-M crew, both spotters, were later arrested at the Ukrainian border, trying to get away from the murder site. They were carrying Russian passports and papers identifying them as soldiers in the Russian armed forces. The spotters have been charged with terrorism, a charge that can be justifiably levelled at Putin and his whole gang.

That the crew shot down the airliner by mistake, having incompetently taken it for an Antonov transport plane, is irrelevant. At best, it’s a mitigating, not exculpating circumstance.

Actually, considering the safety record of Antonov aircraft, it’s surprising the Russians would bother to fire on it in the first place. All they had to do was wait until it gained altitude and then come down of its own accord – naturally to a thunderous silence in the Russian press.

 

 

Having doused Putin, the blood of 298 splashes out on the West

I hope Peter Hitchens and other Western admirers of Russia’s ‘strong leader’ ‘committed to upholding conservative values’ are happy now.

Before they rejoice though, they ought to scrub themselves clean of innocent blood spattering all over them.

For, but for the West’s criminally craven and feebleminded response to Putin’s aggression against the Ukraine, the 298 victims, a third of them children, would still be alive.

It’s the West I hold responsible, for blaming Putin is like blaming bloodhounds for chasing rabbits. That’s what they do. That’s what they are.

The evil leader of an evil state will commit evil acts, that’s the inviolable rule. The scale of such acts doesn’t depend on how evil he is: evil is absolute and unquantifiable.

The enormity of an evil leader’s behaviour depends on two variables only: what he feels he needs at the moment and what he thinks he can get away with.

In 1999 Putin felt he needed a second Chechen war to solidify the KGB hold (and specifically his own) on Russia. The ledger sheet shows 250,000 murdered Chechens, Russians and whomever else was in the vicinity.

Then he needed to extinguish the inchoate liberties the Russians had enjoyed for a few years. He needed to turn the country into the kleptofascist monstrosity, the greatest-ever gangster syndicate so beloved of Peter Hitchens and other Useful Idiots Mark 2.

To that end he stamped out the free press, having dozens of recalcitrant journalists murdered without even a Stalinist travesty of trial.

The ledger sheet is short compared to Putin’s quarter-million victims in Chechnya, but he didn’t need anything bigger to achieve his aim. Doesn’t matter whether it’s millions or dozens. Whatever it takes.

When in 2006 the KGB defector Litvinenko threatened to publish compromising documents, he was murdered in the middle of London. Just one man, but on that particular day Putin didn’t need to murder anyone else.

The West’s response to those, and many other, atrocities was that of avuncular bemusement.

Regrets were expressed that the birth pains of Russian democracy were lasting longer than ideally expected. Sympathy for the victims was felt. Confident hopes for the speedy advent of Russia’s liberal future were expressed.

Otherwise it was business as usual.

The criminal regime was allowed to build up its military and financial muscle by flooding Europe with its oil and gas. Russian thugs, acting as Putin’s proxies, were allowed to turn Western capitals into laundromats for purloined wealth. Putin’s poodles were buying up Western estates, newspapers and football clubs – no one minded. Blood may smell, but money doesn’t.

It doesn’t take much for a murderous ghoul to develop a sense of impunity. Just like his Soviet predecessors justifying their monstrosity by appealing to the wicked myth of communism, Putin ran up on his mast the flag of a holy Russian empire and blew the bugle of conquest.

He needed the Ukraine because no Russian empire can ever be truly imperial without it. And he knew he could get away with boldfaced aggression – hadn’t the West allowed him to get away with everything else, including nuclear terrorism on its territory?

Hence the rapid annexation of the Crimea by Putin’s storm troopers armed, trained and led by Russian officers courtesy of the KGB/FSB and GRU good offices.

Hence also the subsequent attempt to gobble much of the Ukraine’s territory, specifically the part containing most of the country’s industry and natural resources.

The West’s response to this warmongering in the heart of Europe? Typically resolute. A dozen or so of Putin’s poodles were barred for a while from befouling Zurich banks and Côte d’Azur beaches.

The Western press has happily ceded the lexical ground to the kleptofascist monster. Russian paramilitaries led by Russian officers and wholly reliant on Russian arms, training, communications and logistics are being described as ‘separatists’ and ‘rebels’, half a step short of ‘freedom fighters’.

Like Dutch papers referring to the Muslims’ recent anti-Semitic riot in Paris as ‘friction between two groups’, such misleading terminology implies a certain parity, not to say barely veiled sympathy for the aggressor.

The BUK SAM launcher (‘Grizzly’ in Nato nomenclature) used to shoot down Flight MH17 is as Russian as the Sukhoi fighter-bomber that shot down Korean Flight 007 in 1983.

The troops that perpetrated this crime are neither ‘rebels’ nor ‘separatists’. They are the paramilitary extension of Russia’s armed forces. Their commander is Igor Girkin (aka Strelkov), the GRU colonel extensively trained by the KGB/FSB.

Apparently they mistook the Boeing 777 for a Ukrainian transport plane An-26. That’s a hard mistake to make, considering that the An-26 is half the size of the 777 and that the BUK radar is programmed to distinguish friend from foe.

But, considering that Putin’s proxies are hastily trained paramilitaries, it’s conceivable that they indeed misread the radar.

The communications intercepts certainly suggest this is what happened. At first, Girkin-Strelkov and his henchmen danced with joy, screaming “We downed a plane!” (naturally in Russian, not Ukrainian).

When they realised what kind of plane they had downed, their immediate reaction was expressed with a vile Russian expletive for which there’s no equivalent in English. Then Strelkov tweeted “We warned you – don’t fly in our sky”.

I don’t know whether they did or not issue such a warning, but in either case Malaysian Airlines displayed criminal negligence in choosing a flight path over a combat zone. They aren’t the only one: many reputable companies, including Air France, don’t mind overflying eastern Ukraine on the way to the Far East.

Giving it a wide berth would burn more fuel, eating into the airlines’ already slim profit margins. What’s risking a few lives compared to losing money? If, following Putin’s attempted anschluss, the West didn’t boycott Russia for fear of having to pay more for gas, why can’t Western airlines risk lives to save a few pennies on fuel?

All this is highly predictable. What took even me by surprise, and I harbour no illusions about Putin’s Russia, was the astonishing cynicism and stupidity of Putin’s response to the crime his lads had committed.

He didn’t bother to deny that the airliner had been shot down by his paramilitaries. However, according to the KGB colonel, it wasn’t their fault: “Certainly, the state over whose territory it happened is responsible for this terrible tragedy.”

Precisely. ‘It happened’ over Russian-held territory whose independence from the Ukraine has been proclaimed by the Russian paramilitaries.

And the Korean Flight 007 was shot down over Russian territory, yet Putin’s sponsoring organisation is still denying Russia’s culpability. Evidently the principle of geographic responsibility is highly selective. (In both instances, the Russians lied that the airliners were on a spying mission.)

“This tragedy would not have happened,” continued Putin, “if there was peace in the country, if military operations had not resumed in the south-east of Ukraine.”

In other words, it’s the fault of the country that has the gall to resist being occupied and annihilated by Putin’s proxies. How dare they? Most uncooperative, that.

‘This tragedy would not have happened’ if Putin’s Russia hadn’t committed an act of aggression against a sovereign state.

It would not have happened if Putin’s regime didn’t seek to perpetuate its power by appealing to the Russians’ well-documented delusions of grandeur springing from a richly justified sense of historical inferiority.

It would not have happened had the West understood the kleptofascist nature of Putin’s regime and stopped it in its tracks.

It would not have happened if the West still had the mind to tell good from evil and the moral strength to resist the latter.

And it would not have happened if the West had fewer useful idiots misreading Putin’s Russia as disastrously as they had earlier misread Lenin’s and Stalin’s.

Peter Hitchens and his ilk ought to be ashamed of themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justin Welby wants to admit women to men’s lavatories

Sorry, I’ve misread the news item. Or else I’m displaying prophetic powers. Most likely, both.

His Grace’s valiant efforts to admit women anywhere they wish to go, including places they hadn’t wanted to go until his valiant efforts began, haven’t quite extended to men’s loos yet.

However, dusting my crystal ball off, I can just see the Archbishop in the near future, explaining his self-admittedly “somewhat controversial” campaign:

“We are all equal before God, brothers and sisters.

“In God’s eyes there is no difference between, say, a shifty oil trader and a saintly Anglican prelate, between a person who says ‘lavatory’ and one who says ‘toilet’, between a righteous and self-righteous liberal man, sorry, person and a revolting conservative sinner.

“And especially there is no difference between male and female persons, at least none that I have so far been able to discern even with God’s help. And yet throughout history female persons have suffered egregious discrimination.

“Even Christian churches are guilty of this outrage. They haven’t allowed female persons to become monks, friars, priests or – until now – Archbishops of Canterbury.

“As you know, I have reversed all those millennia of injustice by insisting that henceforth female persons will be consecrated as Anglican bishops. Thank God for this. Alleluia!

“Yet some injustices still persevere in the lay world. Some grave sinners still bar female persons from half of the world’s public toilets (as we must call those facilities in deference to our underprivileged brothers and sisters).

“The prominently displayed letters M and W, or their pictorial equivalents, are offensive symbols of injustice. They symbolise the oppression of female persons in the same way in which the swastika once symbolised the oppression of persons of the Jewish persuasion.

“Therefore I am declaring that henceforth I shall be boycotting all public toilets that insist on discriminating against female persons.

“And I shall bear any ensuing discomfort with the same fortitude and stoicism as that displayed by Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley and other Anglican martyrs. Like them, I am prepared to make sacrifices for my deep Christian convictions.”

Pushing the crystal ball aside and turning instead to the morning papers, I discover that, though not yet going quite as far as my fortune-telling appliance predicts, Archbishop Welby has made a significant step in that direction.

His Grace is withdrawing his membership from Travellers, one of Pall Mall’s most venerable gentlemen’s clubs. He’s taking this drastic measure in protest against members’ having voted against admitting women in any capacity other than guests.

This raises a number of interesting questions, such as why His Grace chose to join the club in the first place, all those years ago.

At that time the issue of female membership had neither been put to a vote nor even discussed. And yet Bishop Welby, as he then was, grudgingly agreed to rub shoulders with such outrageously anachronistic members as the Duke of Edinburgh.

This can only mean that the Archbishop, as he now is, has changed his views, just as one of his predecessors has rethought the issue of bumping off frail crumblies.

It’s good to see that our prelates refuse to sink into the morass of complacency signposted by calcified attitudes. Like all spiritual people, they develop, inching closer and closer to the ultimate truth, in this instance that the W is but the M tipped over.

I for one am looking forward to the time when Justin Welby delivers the speech I saw refracted through my crystal ball.

Meanwhile, we should ponder the issue of gentlemen’s clubs, which has long been exciting the flaming consciences of those who have little else with which to occupy their minds.

Mostly these are the same people who feel that the elderly should be culled when they become a burden to the NHS, that any combination of mammals should be allowed to marry and that a foetus isn’t a human being but something akin to a benign tumour.

A private club is just that, private. Hence its status is closer to a private residence than to a neighbourhood social.

Just as you and I haven’t yet been told whom we may or must not invite to our homes, no one has the right to tell members whom to admit to their club or not, as the case may be.

The only reasonable, legal or indeed sane way of protesting is not to join a club whose admission policy one finds objectionable.

For the government to enforce egalitarian measures at that level is fully tantamount to, say, prosecuting you for not having invited so-and-so to a dinner party.

An exclusive Muslim club is entirely within its rights to exclude Christians, a Christian club to exclude Muslims, or either of them to exclude Jews. The outcasts can then form their own clubs, admitting or not whomever they like. It’s no one’s business but their own.

Fair enough, His Grace hasn’t yet called for legislation banning gentlemen’s clubs – so far he has left that to others, whose take on such matters is the same as his own.

But his institutional position gives any such pronouncement a weight comparable, if not exactly equivalent, to a state diktat. The Archbishop is after all also a member of the House of Lords, and one who can lay a legitimate claim to a higher spiritual and moral authority than any other member’s.

Are you getting the impression that the good prelate is a professional wrecker infiltrated into the Church hierarchy for subversive purposes? If you are, banish that thought.

He is merely a quintessentially modern man, whose mind has been replaced with knee-jerk Pavlovian instincts and attitudes. Just the man the Church needs to give it a gentle push as it’s teetering at a precipice.

 

 

Danke, Frau Ribbentrop

Angela Merkel got in bed with Putin. Because of it she was hit with a flash bomb.

Alas, I have to disappoint both those of you who like juicy gossip and also my Eurosceptic friends whose affection for Frau Merkel is rather subdued.

For neither statement is literal.

As far as I know, my friends Angie and Vlad haven’t consummated their otherwise intimate relationship in any carnal way. They got in bed figuratively, in the sense of pursuing a common policy.

In their recent meeting, immediately after Angie had finished French-kissing every member of the German World Cup team, they agreed to put pressure on the Ukraine. Specifically, they want to nudge her government towards opening negotiations with the ‘separatists’.

Actually, these chaps aren’t separatists at all. They’re Vlad’s storm troopers. Few of them are from the Ukraine, some have never been anywhere near the place before. All, however, are trained and equipped by the Russian army or, mostly, Putin’s colleagues in the KGB/FSB.

The equipment is fairly sophisticated, including SAMs, tanks, flame throwers, artillery, Grad multiple rocket launchers and of course a life’s supply of AKs.

The training includes standard infantry tactics, urban terrorism, communications, interrogation techniques.

Presumably, this academic curriculum doesn’t cover torture, rape and robbery, but Putin’s lads don’t need any tuition there. As numerous field tests have shown, they do famously in those disciplines. Their natural talents are sufficient to make them star pupils.

These paramilitary thugs aren’t pursuing any objectives of their own. They don’t want political autonomy, secession from the Ukraine or anything like it. They want just one thing: whatever Vlad wants.

Being a forthright chap, something rare in the ranks of the KGB, Vlad makes no secret of his desires. He wants to undo what he calls “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century”, the collapse of the Soviet Union.

One would have thought that the twentieth century saw worse catastrophes than the weakening of an empire that had enslaved half of Europe and all of its own people, murdering about 60 million of them. But Vlad is entitled to his own opinion.

The empire that Ronald Reagan once called evil would have remained evil even without the Ukraine, but it wouldn’t have been an empire. The Ukraine meant even more to the Soviet empire than India did to the British one.

Since the only way to undo the ‘catastrophe’ is to rebuild the empire, the Ukraine must be brought back into the fold. That’s what Vlad wants, and that’s why he has trained, armed and inspired the ‘separatists’.

They are his proxies, and he needs them because a straight blitzkrieg by the Russian army would make Vlad a pariah in the West, cutting his access to the billions he keeps in Western banks. That simply won’t do, not yet anyway.

No self-respecting government would negotiate with such ‘separatist’ scum. For example, the US administration wouldn’t have negotiated with al-Qaeda after the twin towers had gone down. This though Osama had no plans to occupy Washington DC the way Putin wants to occupy, or at least control, Kiev.

Under such circumstances to negotiate means to surrender, and this is what the Poroshenko government refuses to do. That’s where my friend Angie comes in, at Vlad’s request.

Germany is largely keeping the Ukraine afloat with loans that are unlikely ever to be repaid. Hence Angie feels that she’s paying the piper and is thus entitled to call the tune. This happens to be Vlad’s favourite song too.

The figurative bed partners are two jaws of the same vice, crushing the Ukraine between them. Since Ukrainians feel there’s nothing real they can do to resist the two giants, they resort to symbolic gestures.

Hence the ‘flash bomb’, which in this instance means a spam attack against the enemy Facebook page.

Every post on Angie’s page instantly draws thousands of messages from Ukrainians, all saying the same thing: “Danke, Frau Ribbentrop”.

At a guess, Angie probably resents being compared with Hitler’s Foreign Minister. She’d probably rather be compared with other Germanic figures, such as Charlemagne, Frederic the Great, Bismarck or, at a pinch, a Lorelei.

But Ukrainian flash bombers doubtless feel the comparison is justified. Ribbentrop, after all, co-signed with his Soviet counterpart Molotov the infamous Pact dividing Europe between the two predators, crushing the continent as if Germany and Russia were two jaws of the same vice.

I doubt the parallel is 100 per cent exact. Parallels seldom are. But, vindicating Lobachevsky, Ukrainians obviously feel that these parallel lines do intersect.

In any case, I’ve always been fascinated by the platonic intimacy between my friends Angie and Vlad. They speak each other’s language, using Christian names and familiar personal pronouns during their cosy chats.

I’ve also been known to speculate that this intimacy just may be of long standing. You see, Angie hasn’t always been a great champion of European democracy under Germany’s aegis.

In her East German youth, she held a nomenklatura position of agitprop chief in a regional committee of  Freie Deutsche Jugend, the youth organisation typologically similar to its predecessor that also had jugend in its name.

Just as Hitlerjugend had close links with the SS, the FDJ was the breeding ground of the Stasi. The two organisations always worked hand in glove, even though the FDJ nominally reported to the party.

Any holder of a nomenklatura position in the FDJ, such as young Angie, had to work in close contact with the secret police, which in turn was but an extension of the KGB.

At exactly the same time Vlad ran the KGB station at Dresden, just over 100 miles from where Angie did her thing. It’s pure conjecture, but they could well have known each other professionally then, especially since Angie was responsible for the purely KGB function of agitprop.

It’s also not beyond the realm of possibility that Vlad has some leverage over Angie, possibly over a few FDJ skeletons in her cupboard.

In any case, Angie and Vlad may go back a long way, and it’s no wonder that they are so close. Or at least they seem so close to Ukrainians, which is too close for their comfort.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Church of England, dead on the 14th of July

The fourteenth of July is a fateful day in our civilisation.

In France this is Fête nationale, Bastille Day in English. On that day most of the French celebrate (and my French friends mourn) the death of Christendom, first in France and then in the rest of the West.

To remind the French of the glorious liberty and brotherhood (underpinned by equality) they gained on that day, an enraged Muslim mob yesterday besieged a Paris synagogue, trapping hundreds of Jews inside.

By way of expressing solidarity with Hamas terrorists, the Muslims hurled bricks and other ballistically suitable objects at the building, screaming “like it was in an intifada!”

A lively confrontation with police ensued. The equality champions attacked the CRS with assorted projectiles, the latter responded with tear gas, and a great time was had by all.

But why should the French have all the fun? Our own Synod decided to steal from our EU partners the thunder of their military salutes, fireworks and tear gas shells going off.

In one fell swoop the Synod turned the Church of England into a theological and ecclesiastical irrelevance by approving the consecration of women bishops.

Thereby the Church forfeited its already tenuous claim to being an apostolic confession. It effectively became one of many Protestant sects, an anteroom to the edifice of atheism the French unveiled in their country 225 years ago.

It would be tiresome to repeat all the same arguments I’ve made so many times before, for example in these pieces:

http://alexanderboot.com/content/respectful-answer-tom-utley

http://alexanderboot.com/content/anglicanism-now-fashion-and-vice-versa

http://alexanderboot.com/content/there-there-loves-you%E2%80%99ll-get-it-next-time

The third of those came out in November 2012, after the same motion was narrowly defeated.

Amid the weeping and wailing and the gnashing of teeth in the leftie press, some of it coming from the Archdruid Rowan Williams, I predicted that next time they’d get their way. It pains me that I’ve been proved right.

The other time the trendy subversives didn’t succeed because the Anglo-Catholics and the somewhat tautological conservative evangelicals joined forces in stern opposition. This time they chose to go along for the sake of ‘Church unity’.

Unity has indeed been assured, but not within the Church. It’s a unity with the nonentities who form our ruling elites. Their allegiance belongs not to God, and not even to the country, but to every pernicious secular fad modernity can use as a battering ram against tradition.

Sure enough, the nonentities rejoice. For Dave Cameron it’s “a great day for the Church and for equality”. For Ed Miliband it’s “wonderful news”. For Nick Clegg it’s a “long overdue step”.

The first is a nominal Anglican, who self-admittedly struggles with everything that makes the Church Christian. The second is an atheist Jew. The third is an atheist tout court. All three are indifferent, not to say hostile, to everything the Synod destroyed on 14 July.

Apparently, the trio and their ilk had a hand in the vote, for political pressure had been applied to the Synod. Political nonentities had threatened ecclesiastical ones that, should they fail to vote the right way, the government would use equality laws to make sure secularism reigned.

Christianity has faced graver threats before and resisted them heroically. But today’s lot are dubious Christians, and they certainly aren’t heroes. Neither are they bright enough to grasp the implications of their weak-kneed surrender.

The Church could survive, just about, the first triumph of secular equality 20 years ago, when women priests were ordained.

Orthodox Christians who are disgusted by this profanation of the scriptural and ecclesiastical tradition, can simply walk out of a church the moment they espy a woman sporting a dog collar.

Espying a woman wearing episcopal vestments makes such a retreat impossible. One can’t escape from a church any longer. One has to escape from the Church.

Thousands already have. Many more thousands will. Some will stay, because they love the Anglican liturgy, the language of the traditional scriptural texts, the music, the hymns.

These things ought to be loved because they are lovely. But they are cosmetic ornaments on the body and soul of the Church: its theology and its 2,000 years of tradition. When these have been killed, the ornaments won’t revive the corpse. They’ll just make it look nicer.

The shock waves of this latest outrage will spread farther than the Church itself.

The vagaries of English history have been such that the Anglican Church is an essential element of the country’s constitutional dispensation. Yet a state embracing a church too tightly can maul it, and it was for a good reason that Christ insisted that God’s and Caesar’s realms be kept apart.

A state church always runs the risk of becoming merely an extension of the state, not its moral authority. By submitting to a purely secular diktat, the Anglican Church has proved it’s no longer the bride of Christ. It’s the concubine of the state.

This has far-reaching constitutional ramifications. For example, a female Archbishop of Canterbury (a distinct possibility) won’t be taken seriously when administering a coronation oath to a future monarch.

Those who already giggle scabrously when a woman priest says “This is my body” will laugh openly at a woman crowned with the mitre of a Christian bishop walking the aisle of Westminster Abbey. The Church can survive bloody persecution, but not contemptuous mockery.

There will be international consequences as well. Pope Benedict XVI’s generous offer of the ordinariate did more than just give a refuge to those who despair of finding Catholicism within Anglicanism. It was a strong indication that the Vatican sought a rapprochement with the Church of England.

This has become impossible. Rather than narrowing, the tragic rift within the Western Church has deepened and widened. The world’s 1.5 billion Catholics can now no more accept an alliance with this Church of England than with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Christianity will remain for ever a house divided against itself – this at a time when it faces a deadly threat from both internal and external subversion. But that doesn’t matter to the Synod any more than it does to our governing spivs.

They have every reason to gloat: their idol of pernicious secularism has destroyed a great part of what made England England. The rest of us can only weep as we bid farewell to the Church of England. Sorry it couldn’t stay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

The shameless on Gaza: two racisms for the price of one

Do you have any imagination? Then imagine you’re an Israeli. Please concentrate hard.

Every day rockets are fired in your general direction by fanatics seeking to murder you, your family and everyone else in your country.

The rockets used not to have the range to kill you, but now they do. Any day your house may collapse on you and your children, and you go to bed at night not knowing if you’ll see the sun rise in the morning.

Your house feels like a death trap, yet venturing outside makes you no safer: a rocket can get you in a supermarket or a café just as easily.

It isn’t just rockets either. When your children climb on the school bus in the morning, every morning, you pray they won’t be blown apart by a bomb.

When you yourself get on any public transport, you watch every fellow passenger carrying a package. Is it groceries or dynamite? By the time you get to your destination, your forehead feels damp.

You try not to venture out after dark for fear of being kidnapped and tortured to death. You’re wary of the family next door: their religion is different from yours, which to them means they’ll go to heaven if they kill you.

And so on every day, 365 of them in every year, 366 in a leap one.

Have you imagined it? I can’t.

However, I know I’d do everything in my power to defend myself. Above all, I’d put pressure on my government to protect me.

Occasionally, Israel’s government can only protect its citizens by striking out – to make sure the enemy’s rocket launchers, command structures, communications and logistic support are destroyed.

The government has the wherewithal to do it. Moreover, its army is strong enough to wipe the threat out once and for all.

But, unlike her enemies, Israel is a civilised country. And civilised countries can’t act the way, say, Russia is acting towards the Ukraine. Civilised countries need to check their actions against the opinions of other civilised countries.

Israel badly needs the West’s help, and not just because the West supplies much of her armaments. The country needs not just physical but also moral support, and it has every right to expect it.

The Israelis know that theirs is the preface to our Judaeo-Christian civilisation. Therefore we have the common cause of protecting this civilisation against its enemies, of whom Islam, in particular the Hamas rocket wielders, is at present the deadliest.

The Israelis know that Western countries are democracies, like Israel herself. That means they can’t go all out to support Israel without rallying public opinion first.

Just like in Israel, public support can only be secured by persuasive appeals in the press. So Israelis peruse Western papers, hoping to find signs of friendship.

Instead they find barely concealed sympathy for those who hate Israel and the West in equal measure.

They see in horror that, out of 196 states in the world, theirs is the only one whose legitimacy is ever questioned. And when they strike out in desperation, trying to protect themselves against wild-eyed murderers, the sympathy for their enemies isn’t even barely concealed.

The world’s papers hardly mention why the Israelis have hit Hamas. Instead they regale their readers with lurid stories about Palestinian casualties, especially women and children, who are always good copy.

Somewhere towards the end of the horror stories the papers make the feeble gesture of mentioning the rocket attacks. But they immediately cancel it out by lamenting that, while Hamas rockets don’t inflict numerous casualties, Israeli counter-strikes do.

Any half-decent or half-honest analyst knows why. Israel abhors the tragedy of her citizens being killed. Hamas casualties, especially civilian ones, are grist to the mill of propaganda war.

That’s why Israel has some of the most advanced civil defences in the world, while Hamas has none. Moreover, they deliberately place their rocket sites, ammunition dumps and command centres near, or even within, schools, residential quarters, hospitals and other sexy targets.

Unlike Hamas, Israel eschews indiscriminate attacks. She delivers pinpoint hits on military, or rather militant, targets and it’s not Israel’s fault that Hamas do everything they can to increase the collateral damage for propaganda purposes.

Unlike Hamas, Israel issues advance warnings to the residents of target areas, imploring them to evacuate. Under pressure from Hamas such warnings are typically ignored – with inevitable results.

What I find particularly emetic is that our media still claim that their coverage of the conflict is balanced.

Any copywriter or journalist will tell you that most people don’t read most texts from beginning to end. That’s why both ads and articles are always frontloaded, with the gist of the message contained within the headline and lead paragraph.

That information is most of what the people will read and all of what they’ll retain. With that in mind, consider the lead article in today’s Daily Mail, our least anti-Israel paper.

The headline screams: “Gaza buries its dead after bloodiest day yet of Israel’s ongoing offensive as thousands flee homes in fear of ground invasion”.

Then a subsequent paragraph whispers: “The militant wing of Hamas, the Islamist political party which controls Gaza, has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, striking the deepest inside the country ever.”

In between the two statements there are 904 (!) words, roughly the number in this article so far, each describing the plight of Palestinians. What do you suppose the average reader will take out?

The homepage of The Guardian, the trendy leftie paper imbued with the Pall Mall type of anti-Semitism, runs three items on the conflict: “Israeli troops in Gaza clash as residents told to evacuate,” “Disabled Gazans unable to escape” and “Israel vows to continue bombarding Gaza.”

From right to left and everywhere in between, Western media promote the perniciously false image of innocent Palestinians being savaged by nasty Israelis. Why?

The question is simple, but the answer isn’t. A whole ganglion of reasons come together to perpetrate this outrage of blatant anti-Israel propaganda.

One of them has to do with the sympathy for any Third World ‘liberation movement’, assiduously hammered into the minds of Westerners over the last several decades. This regardless of the nature of the presumed victims and their putative oppressors.

Hence millions of blacks murdered in, say, Rwanda and Burundi, attracted much less attention than the mildly undemocratic practices of the South African apartheid government, easily the most liberal in Africa.

The underlying assumption was purely racist: the Boers were white and therefore had to know better. The butchers of Rwanda and Burundi were themselves black, so they acted in character – they can’t help themselves, old boy, what?

The same racist criteria are being applied in this case: yes, the Israelis are indeed like us, as much as Jews can be, but that’s what we hold against them. Guardian readers don’t attack anybody, not with bombs at any rate, so how come Israelis do? It’s not cricket.

And Hamas? Well, wogs will be wogs, what do you expect? And since these particular wogs claim being oppressed by exactly the kind of people who are routinely blackballed at Pall Mall clubs, their cause is… well, not exactly just, but understandable.

One type of racism demands a sympathetic treatment of even the beastliest Third World groups. The other dictates a shameless anti-Semitic bias, however subtly conveyed.

If you were an Israeli, how would you feel now, between the Scylla of one racism and the Charybdis of another? Don’t answer that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lord Carey changes his mind on Christianity

The former Archbishop of Canterbury has suddenly come out in favour of legalising assisted suicide.

Since Lord Carey once was an Anglican prelate, he no doubt holds every law, especially if involving life and death, to the test of Christian doctrine.

This must mean that, if a proposed legislation tallies with Christianity, he’ll support it. If it doesn’t, he won’t.

The last time Lord Carey went on record as a strong opponent of assisted suicide was in 2006, eight years ago. Now a week may be a long time in politics, but on the timescale of the doctrine that was divinely inspired (as Lord Carey is institutionally obliged to believe) and then took centuries to be properly understood, eight years is no time at all.

So what kind of epiphany has made Lord Carey reconsider? What exactly has changed since 2006?

His answer had better be good, for opposition to suicide, assisted or otherwise, is fundamental to Christian doctrine. It’s for no trivial reasons that suicides traditionally have been denied Christian burial, available even to murderers.

Like murder, suicide is an arbitrary taking of a human life, the sanctity of which is affirmed by both Testaments. Unlike murder, suicide can’t be repented. It’s an act of ultimate defiance, a denial of God’s sovereignty over one’s life – and by inference over all life.

I’m not aware of any post-2006 alterations to Christian doctrine that would demand a change of heart on this issue. The only other possible explanation for Lord Carey’s impersonation of a weathervane is that life itself has undergone changes with which the Church has failed to keep pace.

Lord Carey must therefore be privy to some exclusive information about a tectonic shift in human condition. To be fair, he isn’t reticent about sharing this knowledge: “The old philosophical certainties have collapsed in the face of the reality of needless suffering.”

The underlying assumption (other than the unthinkable one, that Lord Carey has gone gaga) has to be that since 2006 physical suffering en route to the pearly gates has become either more real or more needless.

If Lord Carey has new data to that effect, he should by all means speak out. In the absence of such data, however, the statement sounds suspiciously like meaningless bleeding-heart twaddle.

In fact, palliative relief becomes more effective every year. As I can testify from personal experience, even most cancer patients don’t suffer as much as they used to. In any case, it would be simply false to claim that suffering has increased over the last eight years.

If suffering remains a constant condition of human life, especially as it draws to a close, then perhaps the Church has changed its attitude to it? This would have to be drastic, considering that suffering is the formative experience of Christianity.

Presumably, Lord Carey has to believe that the pain Jesus Christ suffered on the cross was the birth pain of our civilisation. He must also be aware of the role martyrdom has played in Christianity since the time of the 12 apostles.

Perhaps not, as his comment suggests: by opposing Lord Falconer’s bill, the Church according to Lord Carey runs the risk of “promoting anguish and pain, the very opposite of a Christian message of hope.”

But the Christian message of hope has nothing to do with the absence of physical pain. It’s the hope of salvation, resurrection and eternal life in Christ – surely even a former Anglican prelate must be familiar with the concept?

These days, who knows. The C of E is wavering on all sorts of ‘philosophical certainties’ including, as this article shows, its opposition to homosexual marriage: http://anglicanmainstream.org/gay-pride-sex-discrimination-and-anglo-catholic-incoherence/

If Lord Carey’s footing is so wobbly on his familiar ground, he predictably slips and slides all over the place when stepping outside it.

Assisted death, he says, is already happening “in the shadows”, with doctors carrying out mercy killings of hopeless patients. Irrelevant if true, I’d say.

Doctors may sometimes exercise their judgement in such matters. However, it’s still against both accepted medical practice and indeed the law for a doctor to kill a patient with, say, a cyanide injection or pill.

Doctors have always been known to withdraw treatment when they feel that the patient won’t benefit, and may indeed suffer, from it. Personally, I’m slightly uneasy about this, but then, unlike Lord Carey, I’m often given to doubt.

I’m even less unequivocal on another medical practice, also widespread ‘in the shadows’. When a patient is in unbearable pain and, in the doctor’s judgement, has only days left to live, the doctor may administer a higher than safe analgesic dose of opiates.

This dose, he feels, may cause death and then again it may not. A responsible doctor won’t take this risk if he feels he may be robbing the patient of weeks of his life. But when the life expectancy is counted in hours or at most days, he’ll sometimes make this decision, usually with the family’s consent.

As I say, I have my doubts about the medical ethics of such a de facto mercy killing. I also question another practice: doctors terminating pregnancy in extreme cases, which they always did even when abortion was illegal.

What I have no doubts about whatsoever is that there exists a wide and, one hopes, unbridgeable gap between such practices and legalised assisted suicide or, for that matter, abortion.

Since 1967, when the latter was legalised in Britain, it has come to be seen as a normal medical procedure, on a par with appendectomy. As a result 200,000 unborn babies are being killed every year, a number that would probably have turned off all but the most fanatical advocates of legalisation back in the ‘60s. 

The example of every country that has legalised euthanasia shows that, when made legal, assisted suicide also becomes much more widespread – four times so in Holland’s case. It doesn’t take a huge suspension of disbelief to predict that sooner or later it’ll become compulsory.

The likely possibility of such a nightmarish scenario should  repel not just every Christian but indeed every decent person. Can it be that Lord Carey is neither? Surely not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gandhi in the heart of Britain he loathed

When George Osborne announced that Parliament Square was to be adorned with a statue to the ‘father of democratic India’, I thought for a second he had Lord Louis Mountbatten in mind.

It was after all the British Empire that created the legal, governmental and most other institutions that allow India to boast of being the world’s largest democracy.

Hence, as the country’s last Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten had a valid claim to begetting India’s democracy. Moreover, if rumours are to be believed, his wife even came close to begetting a few Indian democrats.

But of course our governing spivs aren’t in the business of honouring empire builders. They feel a closer affinity to those who hated Britain, along with all her inhabitants. Thus it’s not Lord Mountbatten but Gandhi who rates a statue in front of the mother of all parliaments.

There he’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with others who felt rather understated warmth for Britain, or specifically England. Mandela is already there, as is Jan Smuts who, unlike Mandela, at least saw the error of his ways later in life.

The statue to Lloyd George commemorates another chap whose claim to one of the plinths isn’t exactly indisputable. Whatever affection he felt for Britain was in competition with the admiration he had for both Soviet Russia and, later, Nazi Germany.

In fact, he could be justly regarded as one of the midwives who delivered Soviet Russia to a horrified world. For it was Lloyd George, along with Woodrow Wilson, who did all he could to ensure the Red victory in the Russian Civil War.

Here he is in his memoirs, laying a claim to a Parliament Square statue: “A Bolshevik Russia is by no means such a danger as the old Russian Empire.” “There must be no attempt to conquer Bolshevik Russia by force of arms.”

Gandhi too had a Russian connection: he was a devoted disciple of Leo Tolstoy, who first showed pacifism’s potential to set the stage for massive carnage. But the two men had much more in common besides the subversive idea of non-resistance to violence and hypocritical insistence on wearing folk garb.

Both had a gargantuan, in many ways perverse, sexual appetite, which they indulged on an epic scale. This happily co-existed with a sermon of celibacy and  rejection of sex even in marriage.

The two sages weren’t unduly bothered by the obvious fact that, should their ideas have been acted on, mankind would not have survived beyond one generation. Ideologues in general are seldom bothered by such inconsequential details.

Meanwhile, Tolstoy was busily populating his estate with dozens of illegitimate children born to his serfs, girls who weren’t in any institutional position to reject his advances.

Gandhi’s sexual tastes were more subtle: from his late 30s until his death at almost 80 he slept and bathed with naked teenage girls. He claimed no hanky-panky was taking place, but in some quarters tactile voyeurism would be regarded as suspect by itself.    

Mahatma Gandhi belongs, with Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, to the unholy trinity that proves that ‘false idol’ is a tautology.

Idols are always false by definition, and secular idols are invariably pernicious as well. One should always be on guard against secular hagiography, such as that exemplified by the film Gandhi.

‘Mahatma’ means ‘saint’ (or as near as damn), and the film set out to prove that its eponymous protagonist was just that. He wasn’t.

He was, however, a fanatical hater of the Raj who dedicated his whole life to the destruction of the British Empire. Like most other revolutionaries in history, he was mainly driven by hatred. Like them, he had to mask his animus by a sanctimonious claim to saintly love.

Thus he busily agitated for the departure of the Raj during the Second World War, when Britain bled white fighting Japan. The Raj’s withdrawal then would have left India at the mercy of Japan and led to an immediate massacre of thousands, possibly millions, of Indians, but such numbers mean nothing to fanatics.

This Gandhi went on to prove by continuing his agitation after the war, when India was already self-governed de facto if not yet de jure. All that was needed was some prudence and patience, but revolutionaries are never endowed with such qualities, especially when they’re old.

Gandhi wouldn’t wait: he wanted to live to see the fruits of his labour of hate. His dream came true in 1947-1948, when the violent partition of India drove 14 million people out of their homes and killed the best part of a million.

Rather than being at odds with Gandhi’s pacifism, this tragedy was its direct result. That the result was unintended is neither here nor there. It was entirely predictable, and people who can’t predict such results should refrain from revolutionary activities.

If they don’t, they’re as culpable in the ensuing massacres as those who actually do the massacring. In other words, they are criminals.

It’s fitting that Osborne announced the intention to erect a statue to the great pacifist to sweeten a £250-million arms deal with India. Quite apart from the obvious cynicism of it, there’s no contradiction: pacifism unfailingly creates a situation where missiles, preferably those able to carry a nuclear payload, are sorely needed.

The British are brainwashed to worship those who hated them. Mercifully, the nation has enough sense of humour left to see through at least some such ploys. Thus ‘Mahatma’ stands for ‘brandy’ in Cockney rhyming slang. Considering that Gandhi was teetotal, the irony is devastating.

Churchill summed him up neatly: “It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the east, striding half-naked up the steps of the viceregal palace, while he is still organising and conducting a defiant campaign of civil disobedience, to parley on equal terms with the representative of the king-emperor.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assisted suicide is yet another perversion to be legalised

A reader has pointed out a factual error in my yesterday’s piece on bestiality: “Zoophilia was made illegal again in Germany last year. (Sorry to spoil your ‘Modernity descends into the moral abyss’ fun.) Consent is the key. Minors and animals can’t give it.”

True, the data I cited on Germany turned out to be a few months out of date. The country has indeed reimposed a ban on bestiality, making frustrated German animal lovers pop over to Denmark to get their jollies (my information on Scandinavian bestiality bordellos is current).

Contextually though, the reader seems to suggest that she has proved me wrong: modernity’s moral health is perfectly robust. She’s wrong – more so than I was in not having checked my sources properly.

The very fact that sexual perverts feel encouraged to seek equal status, even if they don’t get it in every country on earth, testifies to the depth of the abyss. Can you imagine things like legalised bestiality or, come to that, same-sex marriage having even been discussed a mere 50 years ago?

A Dane confidently predicting in 1964 that 50 years thenceforth his country would boast a chain of animal bordellos would have been committed to the nearest loony bin faster than you could say ‘maniacal delusion’.

Nor does the issue of consent matter as much as my critic thinks. First, if you believe such celebrated advocates of zoophilia as the Princeton professor Peter Singer and the Dutch scientist Dr Midas Dekker, animals can both enjoy sex with humans and communicate their consent to it, if only in non-verbal ways (from my modest experience in such matters, women may also sometimes communicate consent semiotically rather than semantically).

Second, and more important, it’s not just an individual who is entitled to give or withhold consent but also society. Traditionally, and I know this word offends today’s brittle sensibilities, acts contravening our formative Judaeo-Christian morality were banned not mainly because they harmed the direct participants, but because they ruined the moral health of society at large.

That we can no longer think along such lines testifies more than anything else to the depth of the aforementioned abyss. Actually, it was in Germany that the issue of consent was brought into focus not long ago.

In 2001 Armin Meiwes of Essen ran an advertisement saying that he was “looking for a well-built 18- to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed”. A consenting adult answered the ad and, before being slaughtered and eaten, enjoyed with Herr Meiwes a repast consisting of his freshly severed penis.

The case provided a source of inspiration for various pop bands, mostly in Northern Europe. The ‘musicians’ saw it as the ultimate demonstration of free will, and they treated the subsequently imprisoned Meiwes as an innocent victim. After all, both parties had consented to participating in the culinary experience.

This is perfectly consistent with the rampant, all-conquering solipsism that these days passes for morality. In the absence of God, each individual has full sovereignty of his person and destiny. Presumably, he was brought to life by parthenogenesis. His life belongs to him only and, if he chooses to act as the main course, it’s his privilege.

Plunging into the abyss is the greatest civilisation the world has ever known, or will ever know. There are no longer any absolute moral restraints to check its fall.

All the same reasoning applies a hundred-fold to the issue of assisted suicide, specifically the bill currently having its second reading in the House of Lords.

The proposed law would allow doctors to prescribe poison to terminally ill but mentally alert people who wish to kill themselves. Predictably, this obscenity is promoted by Tony Blair’s best friend Lord Falconer. This lot never waver in their commitment to destroying what’s left of Western civilisation in Britain.

They appeal to the solipsism that reigns supreme in the post-Christian West. Whether a person wishes to die and be eaten or simply to die is a detail that doesn’t change the principle. As long as he’s able to give consent, any doctor should be happy to kill him. No moral, cultural or, God forbid, religious objections need apply.

Empirical evidence from every country where euthanasia has been made legal is equally irrelevant. All such activists believe that their own take on subversion will make it perfectly benign.

Yet the slope leading down to the precipice is always slippery. In Holland, the first Western country to make euthanasia legal, the number of people killed by doctors has quadrupled since 2002, when the law first went into effect.

My Dutch friends are telling me that old people routinely refuse to go to hospital because they’re afraid the doctors will kill them. They understand intuitively that, when iatrogenic killing becomes allowable, sooner or later it’ll become normal and then compulsory.

Extreme euthanasia activists, the typological equivalents of those German bestiality campaigners, want to simplify matters even further. Lethal pills, according to them, ought to be given not just to terminally ill patients but to anyone over 70 who wishes to die.

Three-score and ten, right? The project has strong biblical overtones, so that’s continuity for you.

However, the demand is uncharacteristically modest. Why not shove the pill down the wrinklie’s throat, whether he wants it or not?

For one thing, this would relieve pressure on our dear NHS that’s creaking at every seam, what with the aging population and all… Sorry, I forgot that our post-Christian moral code rests on the pillar of individual consent.

This seems to be the sole criterion. If British women voluntarily kill 200,000 unborn babies every year, they’re free to do so, and we’re happy to pay for the killings through our dear NHS. Our solipsistic morality is thereby served, even though the unborn babies aren’t yet in a position to give consent.

If there still were such a thing as society, it would recoil in disgust. But we’re all atomised individuals now, and there is no centrifugal force any longer to keep the atoms within the molecule.

Welcome to the horror show called modernity. Enjoy it while it lasts, which in your case may be when you reach 70.