Wimbledon, the hotbed of political incorrectness

As a lifetime champion of political correctness, I’m deeply offended by the flagrant sexism of Wimbledon officials.

We all know that treating the sexes equally is the cornerstone of modern morality. What other cornerstone can there be anyway? The Decalogue? The Sermon on the Mount? If you think that, wake up and smell modernity.

In that – unassailable! – spirit, men and women get equal prize money at Wimbledon and other majors, even though this clashes with many time-honoured practices.

Such as equal pay for equal work: men with their five-set matches spend almost twice as long on court. Also, at the risk of sounding unchivalrous, some women players look a bit… well, what’s the kind word… Rubenesque.

Thus they clearly don’t spend as much time not only playing but also training, which is additionally proved by the technical problems most of them have. There’s no physiological reason why women can’t, say, kick their second serves the way men do, yet very few are capable of it. And don’t get me started on women’s volleying.

All things considered, the women get paid more than twice as much per hour, without being as good, which offends the champion of equality in me.

But I’m willing to dismiss such crass arguments as irrelevant. As a religious man, I believe that equal pay has nothing to do with equal work. Women players are entitled to equal pay because their activists say so, and it was the Word that was in the beginning.

What does strike me as odd is that Wimbledon officials have introduced clearly discriminatory – sexist! – measures. Because this week is rather hot, they’ve decreed that a cooling-off period of 10 minutes should take place between the second and third sets whenever the heat-stress index (combination of air temperature, surface temperature and humidity) exceeds 30.1C.

Now yesterday, over my wife’s objections, I played for a couple of hours when air temperature alone was over that cut-off point, and I can testify that it wasn’t easy. My partner and I split the first two sets and agreed not to play a third, a luxury that professionals can’t afford.

Yet I’m old, overweight and dipsomaniac, which presumably none of the Wimbledon competitors are. One would think that trained athletes can endure a bit of hot weather, but I’m willing to allow that they put more effort behind their tennis than I do.

Fair enough, we don’t want players to keel over and die of heat stroke or cardiac arrest. So by all means, do let’s have a cooling-off period, the same one for all the players.

However, and this is where I get confused, the Wimbledon officials have decided that only the women need to cool off before playing the third, and for them last, set. The men can play five straight sets, sometimes lasting over six hours or even longer, without such annoying interruptions.

Yet men are statistically more prone to cardiac problems, and every once in a while male footballers, to name a different sport, collapse and die while playing, something women don’t do.

So are the men at Wimbledon so much fitter than the women that they don’t need a break to play twice as long in deadly heat? And if so, isn’t that a tacit admission that the men train harder, which brings us back to the issue of equal pay?

Let me tell you, tennis madness isn’t just about loving the game. It’s also a medical condition afflicting those who run the game or write about it.

The other day, for example, a tennis correspondent for one of our broadsheets opined that “Serena Williams is the best player, male or female, in the tournament.”

This isn’t just stupidity and ignorance – no one who has ever watched, never mind played, a tennis match can be that stupid and ignorant. It’s a psychiatric disorder.

A sane observer would know that any decent male county player in Britain (or an American college player) – never mind professionals playing at Wimbledon – could wipe the court with Serena without breaking a sweat.

And even those who know nothing about tennis can’t fail to see that all four of Serena’s limbs each go their own way at the completion of her strokes, while the men’s limbs all move in compact synch. This means she has technical problems, which she overcomes only by sheer muscular strength.

That’s why she’s perhaps more favoured to win the tournament than any other male or female player, which is probably what the hapless hack wanted to say. But what he actually did say proves that tennis madness is a real disease reaching pandemic proportions.

On a personal note, I’m supposed to play a tournament match tomorrow, when the temperature where I am will hit 41C. My wife told me I could only do so over her dead body, and I’m still weighing my options.    











Another Muslim atrocity, another proof of Cameron’s alien origin

Dave’s reaction to the Tunisian massacre proves yet again that he isn’t human in any other than the purely technical sense. Oh, he has all the requisite body parts, and one may even claim with some anatomical accuracy that he has a brain.

Yet possessing a brain isn’t a uniquely human characteristic. The manner of using it is, and that’s where Dave shows his extra-human nature, proving he belongs to Homo politicus, not Homo sapiens.

Central to Dave’s species is the oft-professed belief that all groups of people, be they ethnic, racial, professional, sexual or religious, aren’t just equal but for all practical purposes identical. Thus if members of one group consistently act in ways that separate them from all others, this must by no means be explained by their collective identity.

Hence Dave’s response to the Tunisian massacre: “Such terror attacks can happen everywhere.” Quite. Everywhere where there are Muslims.

Since 9/11, Muslims have been committing murderous terrorist attacks at the rate of five a day, including only the life-taking assaults whose perpetrators self-admittedly act out of religious duty.

In 2014 the BBC calculated that in the single month of November Muslims carried out 664 attacks resulting in 5,042 deaths. Yet, in spite of the shrieks of Allahu akbar! accompanying many of these and thousands of other crimes, Dave refuses to take the Muslims at their own word.

The terrorists may think they understand Islam, he effectively says, but they don’t. Dave does. True Islam “is a religion of peace”. This mantra originated by Dubya has become de rigueur for Homo politicus, and Dave feels duty-bound to repeat it every time Muslims prove exactly the opposite.

Surely Dave’s understanding of Islam isn’t based on its founder’s CV? For Mohammed’s first act after moving from Mecca to Medina was to murder hundreds of Jews with his own hand. This is how Mohammed’s earliest Muslim biographer describes this 627 AD event:

“When [the Jewish Qurayza tribe] surrendered, the Prophet confined them in Medina… Then he sent for them and struck off their heads… as they were brought out to him in batches… There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900…”

Mohammed also dictated over 100 scriptural verses explicitly calling for killing infidels and, say what you will about the Muslims, unlike us they follow their commandments religiously, as it were.

No human being could possibly argue Islam’s peaceful nature in the cosmically moronic way of Dave and his ilk. Relatively few Muslims, they say, strap explosives to their bodies or spray bystanders with bullets. That’s God’s own truth.

But using the same Homo politicus logic, one could also insist that racism is an ideology of peace – after all, few racists, including those living in Charleston, South Carolina, shoot up black churches.

Dave’s suspect biological origin wouldn’t be worth discussing if his extraterrestrial drivel didn’t compromise our ability to prevent the religion of peace from committing further such crimes.

While Dave strikes lachrymose poses and claims that what passes for his heart “goes out to the victims and their families”, the National Crime Agency warns that Muslims are working hand-in-glove with organised crime to smuggle hundreds of automatic weapons into Britain.    

Most of them are Czech-made Skorpion SMGs, vindicating Dave’s other humanoid belief in the valuable contribution Eastern European immigrants make to British culture.

The only way to prevent those Skorpions from firing is to stop indulging in word games based on the nonexistent semantic distinctions between ‘Islamic’ and ‘Islamist’.

If we really had a human, as opposed to humanoid, PM, he’d be announcing that he’s instructing our police to treat every young Muslim as a potential mass murderer.

“The first duty of the government is to protect its people,” a human being would be saying. “Such measures would never be introduced in peacetime. Yet we aren’t at peacetime. We’re at war with the deadly cult of Islam, at present especially impassioned and dangerous.”

Alas, we haven’t got a Homos sapiens governing us. We have a specimen of Homo politicus in charge, so let’s brace ourselves for blood flowing in our streets.

Democracy, Putin style

The following declaration has been issued by 20 Russian human rights organisations, including the Helsinki Group:

“Russia’s social, political and human rights movements and organisations sharing such values as respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights are appalled by the bandit methods of opposing public control over elections in our country.

“The most flagrant incident occurred on 26 April, 2015, at the elections in the town of Zheleznodorozhny in the Moscow area, where observers successfully prevented ballot box stuffing, detained the person perpetrating it, gathered evidence exposing the culprits. After that the observers were attacked with the aim of destroying the evidence of the stuffing attempt. As a result, the observers suffered grievous bodily harm, while their photo- and video-equipment was destroyed or stolen. One of the observers, Stanislav Pozdniakov, suffered a concussion, pulmonary injury and rupture of the gall bladder which then had to be removed. S. Pozdniakov’s very life was in danger.

“Crimes against observers present a grave danger to society because they compromise and criminalise the very institution of elections. Such crimes, especially when committed with impunity, undermine the legitimacy of the elected government and trust in it.

“Since the crime was committed we have not only not seen any serious efforts to solve it or to find and punish the culprits, but quite the opposite. We observe highly placed representatives of electoral boards trying to cover up the evidence and exonerate the bandits.

“This is especially outlandish, for violence against the observers cannot be set apart from the falsifications the observers were trying to stop.

“We demand that those who executed, organised and commissioned the assault on the observers be in short order found and prosecuted.

“Our organisations intend to monitor the investigation and start a campaign to support the victims and publicise the progress of the inquest.

“Our attention and efforts will not wane until the culprits have been punished.”

Yes, the culprits will be punished. And pigs will fly.

One of the arguments often put forth by the fans of Putin’s kleptofascist regime is its public support: polls show that most Russians love him and, as proof of that, he wins his electoral victories by landslides.

Now argumentum ad populum (“If many believe it, it is so”) is among the most toxic rhetorical fallacies. It’s only outdone in toxicity by its political offshoot: if people support their government, and especially if they vote it in, the government is both good and legitimate.

By his every action Vlad Putin refutes such rhetorical and political fallacies, thereby making a valuable contribution to the theory of both discourse and government.

Building on the solid foundations laid down by his precursors, Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin and Adolph Aloisevich Hitler, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has erected a structure of emetic propaganda and electoral fraud, one so vast that his fans see nothing beyond it.

I dare say that, say, in 1938 public support for Hitler in Germany must have been even higher than the 89% claimed for Putin in the most recent poll. And it was secured by exactly the same means: non-stop propaganda through every government medium, which is to say every medium: the state had total control over the flow of information, as it has in Putin’s Russia.

Even though the Germans weren’t given the chance of voting for or against Hitler after his 1933 triumph, chances are that in 1938 he would have won by a massive landslide. Goebbels’s propaganda, reinforced with the phoney prosperity created by rapid militarisation, did its job well.

Stalin’s situation was slightly different. Unlike Hitler, he murdered millions of his own people, and some of the terrified and starving survivors felt rather put off by it. Some, but not all that many: Bolshevik propaganda was even more comprehensive and, shall we say, totalitarian than the Nazi equivalent.

Hence Stalin would have possibly won even real elections, not the sham ones regularly served to a populace delirious from hunger and shaking with fear. But Stalin didn’t like to leave anything to chance. “It doesn’t matter how votes are cast,” he once uttered. “What matters is how they are counted.”

Vladimir Vladimirovich has learned the lessons taught by Iosif Vissarionovich and Adolph Aloisevich. And, like a truly talented pupil, he has outdone his teachers.

Vlad likes to control not only how the votes are counted, but also how they are cast. Hence the numerous incidents like the one described in the declaration I’ve translated to the best of my ability.

I hope it’ll make an impression on you. It won’t make any on the Russians, for the simple reason that they won’t be able to read it. The declaration has been published in an on-line magazine, access to which is blocked within Russia.

Vlad doesn’t want his public support to drop, and he has found a way of preventing such a calamity. Kill a couple of hundred journalists, rough up a few more, monopolise the mass media, and public support will follow with the certainty of night following day.

And then who knows? Perhaps Vlad will learn another lesson from his typological ancestors and, just like Lenin, acquire his ‘useful idiots’ in the West. Except that Vlad’s, unlike Lenin’s, will come from the right.  



I didn’t even know the Dalai Lama was so cool

These days few things surprise me any longer, but even an old cynic like me was somewhat taken aback by the news that the Dalai Lama will visit Glastonbury Festival tomorrow.

Before you know it, the old boy will enter the GQ Best Dressed Contest – and will be the odds-on favourite to win.

For those of you who live on Mars or at any rate outside England, Glastonbury Festival is a five-day celebration of drug culture as expressed through rock and pop music (there must be a difference, though I don’t know what it is). To quote from Wikipedia, the idea “was inspired by the ethos of the hippie, counterculture, and free festival movements.”

If you like that sort of thing, Glastonbury is kind of cool. But if you are a hopeless retrograde like me, it’s the nearest thing to a Walpurgisnacht, or hell on earth, if you prefer a different idiom.

That’s why Glastonbury has so far been spared the presence of too many leaders of world religions. This is an injustice that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, has decided to redress.

The reports I’ve read say that His Holiness will only be at Glastonbury as an honoured guest, not a performer. That, however, leaves room for speculation that perhaps he has a surprise up the sleeve of his saffron robe.

Perhaps, and I’m guessing here, His Holiness will get into the swing of things and deliver a rousing performance of something or other, say a Tibetan Rap, composed in the style the genre requires.

Can’t you just hear it? “I’s Dalai Lama// I bin thrown in the slammer// By Communist China// It rhymes with vagina// Those Commie runts// Are a bunch of big…” Well, I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

One gets the impression that the Dalai Lama has already reincarnated and come back as a globe-trotting politician. As such, he knows how to command popular support, which these days is more or less equivalent to pop support.

Tony and Dave hobnob with drug-crazed pop stars without whom no 10 Downing Street party is imaginable these days. So why wouldn’t another global politician go to Glastonbury?

I don’t know enough about Tibetan Buddhism and how high the dignity of the Dalai Lama office is on its list of priorities. Judging by his decision to attend this affront to every religion one could think off, not very high.

One also wonders if His Holiness will stick around until Friday morning, when music actually kicks in to the delight of the projected audience of 177,000. After the first pre-music night, 10 people were already arrested for drug offences and theft. Just 10, mind you, but it’s early days yet.

Whether the Dalai Lama is there on Friday or not, and whether he’ll just listen or – as I maliciously suggested – also perform, the festival organiser Emily Eavis has already stated that she’s “honoured” by His Holiness’s visit, calling it “a special moment for the festival”.

No doubt it is. That’s precisely why the Dalai Lama should have shunned it. I don’t know what the Chinese is for vade retro, but whatever it is, he should have said it.

The only redeeming hope is that His Holiness doesn’t know enough about the Western ethos to realise exactly what place Glastonbury occupies in it.




France sends a message: rioting pays

Let’s say you lead a union with a grievance. What are you going to do about it?

If you’re in France, the answer is as simple as things of genius always are. You tell your members to do a spot of rioting. You know, block a few roads, burn some tyres, overturn a few cars, take a few swings at cops, smash a few car windows with baseball bats (these are in plentiful supply even though no one plays baseball).

The government caves in, bends over backwards to satisfy your demands – and Robert est ton oncle, as they don’t really say in France.

I’m not indulging in theoretical contemplation. This chain of events is exactly what happened yesterday, when after a day’s rioting by the taxi union FTI, the French foreign minister Bernard Cazeneuve declared a ban on the low-cost taxi service Uber.

Uber is illegal, explained Mr Cazeneuve, because it indulges in unfair competition (compétition déloyale). Meaning it provides a better service at half the price, thereby threatening a monopoly – as it does all over the world, including London, where black-cab companies are taking the Mickey with their outrageous prices.

It has to be said with some chagrin that in France just about any compétition is regarded as déloyale. Contrary to what the philologically challenged Dubya once opined, the French do have a word for ‘entrepreneur’, but it means – or at least implies – something entirely different.

For les contemptible anglo-saxons, an entrepreneur is a chap who has made a success of a new business by satisfying a market demand and creating wealth not only for himself but also for his employees, suppliers and, incidentally, the tax services. A good thing all around, in other words.

In France, an entrepreneur, usually referred to as a boss (patron) is un anglo-saxon in disguise – a materialistic bloodsucker out to do a Robin Hood in reverse by robbing the poor and giving to the rich. Not a good thing at all, let’s put it like that.

Hence the broad popular support enjoyed by the unions, the more violent the better. Hence also the supine position typically adopted by the French government whenever the unions are out to have their fun with baseball bats.

Just the other day a French minister said, at the risk of being summarily lynched, that what France really needs is a Margaret Thatcher. He’s thinking in the right direction, but I’m afraid things have gone a bit too far for a Maggie Mark II.

What France really needs isn’t another Thatcher but another Napoleon, who in 1795, when still a newly promoted general, used grapeshot-spewing cannon to disperse rioters in Paris.

The unfortunate upshot of that decisive action was that the revolutionary government got a new lease on life. But, on its own merits, the Nappy way of dealing with violent unrest sets a useful example to follow.

As it is, France lacks not only Nappy but indeed even Maggie – as witnessed by the US pop singer Courtney Love. The aging blonde had her car ambushed, attacked and pelted with eggs by irate unionists as she left the Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Old Courtney poured her heart out in a Tweet, eschewing capital initials as one does: “they’ve ambushed our car and are holding our driver hostage. they’re beating the car with metal bats. this is France? I’m safer in Baghdad.”

Miss Love solved the problem in the typical way of les anglo-saxons: with money. “paid some guys on motorcycles to sneak us out, got chased by a mob of taxi drivers who threw rocks, passed two police and they did nothing.”

I have an idea: perhaps those aesthetically minded unionists recognised Courtney Love, and their subsequent action was a form of musical criticism.

Oh Nappy Bony, where are you, when la France needs you so badly. Bring out the grapeshot, I say.





Give us division over unity any time, Your Majesty

The Queen, God bless her, doesn’t speak her own mind in public. She speaks the PM’s mind, in this instance Dave’s.

That’s why one can’t really blame her for joining the campaign portrayed by the government as an epic struggle between David (Cameron) and Goliath (the EU).

Against overwhelming odds, David claims to be swinging his slingshot loaded with the stone of reforms. The composition of the stone remains unknown, but then it’s only a tool.

Any tool is designed to do a certain job, and Dave’s courageous efforts are no exception. The job is to get the Yes vote in the upcoming referendum, thus shutting up all those Little Englanders attached to our centuries-old sovereignty.

The EU fanatics play along by playing hard to get, only to make Dave’s eventual ‘victory’ so much more effective. Thus a youthful French minister explained to Dave the other day that there’s no such thing as “à la carte Europe”.

The culinary idiom comes naturally to the French, and they tend to use it with precision. True enough, no compromise is possible to the founding aspiration of the EU: a single European state.

However, tactical concessions aimed at pacifying some restless natives are possible, indeed inevitable. When the time comes, Dave will bang his head together with the federasts, and they’ll figure out the sufficient minimum of concessions needed to swing the referendum the right way.

Whatever it is, one can be certain that the concessions will be both meaningful and irreversible. However, to paraphrase Dr Johnson, the meaningful ones won’t be irreversible, and the irreversible ones won’t be meaningful.

Meanwhile, Dave is waging a war of words, using focus groups to identify the key triggers to which our comprehensively educated masses will respond with Pavlovian alacrity.

Take ‘cooperation’, for example. The thesaurus gives such antonyms for it as ‘hostility’, ‘obstruction’, ‘antagonism’ – rotten words every one of them. All God’s children will prefer cooperation to hostility, so Dave can win an important propaganda skirmish by repeating ‘cooperation’ so often that the masses will identify it with European federalism unfailingly.

‘Unity’ is another referendum winner, while its opposites, such as ‘division’, ‘dissention’, ‘denial’, all leave a nasty taste in the population’s collective mouth. Wouldn’t you prefer unity to its antonyms? Any sane person would.

One just wishes that Dave played his little word games on his own, without dragging in our aged monarch. But of course such deference is impossible to expect from our spivs.

Hence Dave, acting as ventriloquist, made Her Majesty utter these words on her state visit to Germany: “We know that division in Europe is dangerous and that we must guard against it in the west as well as the east of the continent.”

The statement is meaningless demagoguery any way you look at it. Considering that the last time Europe (minus Britain) was truly united was in 1940-1944, one could say with greater justification that unity is much more dangerous than division.

But such general statements never have any value, other than the propaganda kind. What the Queen has actually said, or rather allowed Dave to say through her, is that any unity is better than any division. But that is demonstrable nonsense, as anyone who lived under German occupation will agree.

It’s true that some unity is better than some division, but not when the former stands for the Fourth Reich of a European federation and the latter represents Britain retaining her sovereignty.

And what is the division ‘in the east of the continent’ against which ‘we must guard’? The only topical disunity to which Her Majesty could have been alluding is Russia’s unprovoked aggression against the Ukraine.

If so, then the word ‘division’ is no more applicable here than it would have been in 1939 if used to describe the rape of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union. Thus division, as used by the Queen, means war.

Hence we must guard against one Western European state attacking another. Contextually it follows that only elevating my friend Junk (as Jean-Claude Juncker likes to be known) to the de facto presidency of Europe can prevent Germany, to use one hypothetical example, from attacking France yet again.

This jibes with the mendacious line taken by federasts, that only the mighty power of the EU has secured peace in Europe since 1945. By saying this, they inadvertently show their hand.

For the only power that has prevented another war of all against all in post-war Europe is Nato generally and the American nuclear umbrella specifically. But for that, the only possible unity Europe could have achieved would have been under the red flag – just like in 1940, but with different symbols superimposed on the red background.

Other than that, there have been wars aplenty in Europe, with thousands dying in East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Georgia, the Ukraine – while pan-European institutions’ peace-keeping efforts ranged from incompetent to criminal.

However, and that’s where the federasts unwittingly tell the truth, the EU is predominantly a Franco-German enterprise. Hence, when they say that thanks to the EU there have been no wars in Europe since 1945, they mean no wars between France and Germany – and the rest be damned.

We are among the presumably damned ones, and one wishes Her Majesty were constitutionally entitled to spit out the words Dave was trying to shove down her throat. Alas she isn’t – monarchy is one of the European institutions modernity has befouled.
















Russia is a saint, and don’t you dare forget it

 Ever since the brutal attack on the Ukraine, the world has been wracking its collective brain to find out what Russia is all about. Patriarch Kiril graciously agreed to satisfy this curiosity in a recent sermon:

“Our national idea consists in achieving sainthood… [This] largely determines our culture, the aims of our education, our literature and, finally, our people’s view of life, their understanding of what is good and what is evil, where they should go in life and what end they should reach.”

This is in stark contrast to the bloody Ukraine, whose national idea is godlessness, explained His Holiness. And in the Donetsk area that idea has led to Ukrainian genocide, added the patriarch. Now does ‘Ukrainian genocide’ mean murders by Ukrainians or of Ukrainians? Contextually, His Holiness meant the former, the mass murder of Russians by Ukrainians.

So far this outrage hasn’t been reported by any news service, which means Kiril is in possession of new and privileged information. If that’s indeed the case, he must by all means divulge it. I for one will be waiting with bated breath.

But never mind the connotation. The patriarch’s denotation clarified his meaning beyond any doubt. Since Russia is all about sainthood, continued His Holiness, Russophobia is by far the most dangerous of all xenophobias.

If other xenophobias are aimed against nations, Russophobia has to have God himself in its sights. And it’s Russophobia that has animated the on-going slaughter of Russians by the godless Ukies, which massacre has been maliciously overlooked by the world’s news services.

I must say that, as a Christian, I welcome any state that defines itself in spiritual, theological and eschatological terms, especially if it identifies sainthood as its national idea. And I’m proud of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) that leads this march to collective canonisation.

Even though I’m not an ROC communicant myself, I’m ready to go down on my knees and thank God for having guided Russia, her Church and its patriarch to such a holy mission. Or rather I would be ready to genuflect but for a few annoying facts.

Such as the personal record of His Holiness himself, which ill-qualifies him to set such lofty goals. Recently published documents, cited in the two-volume Mitrokhin Archives, identify Kiril as a lifelong KGB operative (codename ‘agent Mikhailov’).

The uncovered KGB dossier cites many assignments entrusted to ‘agent Mikhailov’ on his foreign travels, when he was head of The ROC Foreign Department. According to the dossier ‘agent Mikhailov’ carried out every assignment with distinction.

He is by no means unique in his dual loyalty. The entire ROC hierarchy is an extension of the KGB/FSB, and both rivals of ‘agent Mikhailov’ in the 2009 patriarchal election had KGB codenames of their own.

One must admit with chagrin (and a frightened look toward heaven) that His Holiness’s personal habits are more in keeping with his KGB identity than with his declared role of leading the nation to sainthood.

For example, he was recently photographed sporting a £30,000 Breguet watch at a press conference. Since all Russian senior clergy have to be monks, an outcry followed, and the patriarch’s PR men came out fighting.

They accused everyone who had commented on the timepiece of Russophobia, atheism and lies. The patriarch, they claimed, had never worn the offensive item – and as proof they showed a doctored version of the same photograph, with no watch anywhere in sight.

Alas, meticulousness not being the most salient Russian virtue, their Photoshop artist overlooked an important detail: the reflection of the watch on the tabletop in front of His Holiness. The picture became supernatural, as befits a prelate: only the shadow of an object, not the object itself, was in evidence.

In a more serious vein, whenever an evil and aggressive regime decides to go the route of self-sacralisation, it becomes particularly nauseating. Russia has always had this tendency, only suppressed during the early Bolshevik years, when religion was unfashionable and priests were being slaughtered en masse together with their congregations.

Ever since the war, when Stalin converted international bolshevism into the national variety, Russia’s criminal state has been making use of the ROC. While communism was still the nominal idea of the state, this was done more or less surreptitiously.

After Putin’s advent, Russia has achieved a successful fusion of  Third Rome, Third Reich and Third World, and the ROC is an essential hypostasis in this rather unholy trinity.

I’m not sure that Russia really has a national idea or, if she does, what it might be. Whatever it is, it seems to be not so much sainthood as its direct opposite.

A KGB state running a KGB church and using Third Rome drivel as its self-justification is heading not for sainthood but for perdition. The only question that remains unanswered is how many others it’ll take down with it.

It really saddens me, however, that so many good Western people, including some of my Ukip friends, fail to see the true nature of Putin’s kleptofascist state. Some even hold Putin up as a model our own leaders should follow.

He’s a patriot, they say, or better still a nationalist who loves his country, has no time for minorities, takes a tough line with liberals and bans homomarriage. So did Hitler, I invariably reply.





Dave should demonise Baroness Warsi next

Sayeeda Warsi has bitten the hand that made her Baroness.

Back in 2012 Dave found to his horror that the focus groups were uneasy about lots of unticked demographic boxes. Dave scanned the available options and his eye stopped on Sayeeda, who ticked lots of relevant boxes. Woman – tick. Muslim – tick. Working class – tick. Iffy accent – tick. Under 40 – tick.

Alas, Sayeeda’s sole contribution to politics to that point had been losing an eminently winnable Tory seat.

Not to worry. Dave fast-tracked Sayeeda to the House of Lords, making her eligible for a cabinet post. Gratitude was in order, one would have thought, but Sayeeda had the bit between her teeth.

Baroness Warsi, as she now was, pretended to have many convictions, but there was only one she had really felt in her bone marrow: hatred of Israel, which she believed was a criminal state that had no right to exist.

Monomaniacs who reduce the whole complexity of life to a single passion inevitably divide mankind into two categories: friends, those who share the passion, and enemies, those who don’t.

Sayeeda thought Dave was her friend, but he proved to be her enemy by failing to share Sayeeda’s sole conviction. Being a person of strong, if single, principle, she had no option but to resign and keep a watchful eye on Dave.

Sure enough, he slipped by making a speech suggesting that some British Muslims “quietly condone” extremism. Baroness Warsi was instantly up in arms.

By suggesting that some Muslims are sympathetic to Isis, she declared, Dave is “demonising” the whole Islamic community. ‘Demonising’, you understand, is the vogue catchword denoting amply justified criticism.

Hence anyone who finds anything wrong with Putin thereby demonises Russia. Anyone objecting to homomarriage demonises all sexual minorities. Anyone saying that Sayeeda is a stupid ideologue demonises women, Muslims, working-class origins, iffy accents and people under 40.

“Muslim communities across the UK are fighting Isis ideology,” claimed Sayeeda and then, with her usual disregard for logic, contradicted herself: “It’s the children of British Muslims that Isis are targeting to recruit.”

That makes those Isis recruiters not only evil but also clueless. If Muslim communities “are fighting Isis ideology”, any attempts to recruit volunteers for a spot of suicide bombing must be doomed to failure.

They aren’t. In fact, hundreds of British Muslims have joined the ranks of Isis cannibals and beheaders. Why, just 10 days ago a teenager from Sayeeda’s hometown of Dewsbury became the UK’s youngest ever suicide bomber.

Such actions come from a base of solid popular support. In fact, the polls taken in the aftermath of the 7/7 massacres showed that 20% of British Muslims sympathised with the terrorists, and 25% felt the bombings were justified. Among young Muslims this number goes up to 35%, which is predictable, considering the impetuosity of youth.

Five per cent of British Muslims tell pollsters they wouldn’t report a planned Islamic attack, 27% are against the deportation of Islamic hate preachers, and 37% believe British Jews are a legitimate target.

One third of British Muslims believe that Islamic apostates should be killed, 78% supported punishing the publishers of Mohammed cartoons, 40% want Sharia in the UK, 28% want Britain to be an Islamic state, while two-thirds think ‘honour’ violence is acceptable.

And it’s not just violence: the community with which Sayeeda identifies so faithfully has strong ideas on family law as well: 51% believe a woman can’t marry an infidel, 49% don’t think a Muslim woman may marry without a guardian’s consent, and 52% feel a Muslim man may have up to four wives (just think of the mess of four divorces).

Considering that only 7% of British Muslims think of themselves as British first, one finds it hard to resist the feeling that perhaps the British Muslim community isn’t as staunchly patriotic as Sayeeda claims. The feeling grows even stronger when we translate all those percentages into absolute numbers based on the overall British Muslim population (three million that we  know about).

One just hopes that next time Dave targets his ‘demonising’ more precisely, aiming it at the true-blue Tory Baroness Warsi specifically.

Daniel Barenboim would kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

Literally, that is. For by supporting the campaign to boycott Israel, the pianist-conductor has come out on the side of those who yearn to kill every Israeli.

It has to be said that only in our time could a musician of Barenboim’s modest abilities have possibly achieved his prominence. In the past, concert platforms were mostly inhabited by musicians whose talents were worthy of the giants whose music they played.

The subsequent collapse of education and taste put an end to such outdated elitism. Music has become just another entertainment genre, one that has to function according to the laws of pop. Under such conditions, a different talent becomes paramount – one for self-promotion.

It’s in this area that Danny ‘Boy’ Barenboim approaches genius, which God’s gift he has built into a life of renown matching that of pop stars.

Danny’s status in the musical world is unrivalled because he blows his trumpet better than anyone else. And the sound of that instrument is too loud to be contained within the concert hall.

Since Danny has become a Celebrity, he feels entitled to pontificate on areas outside his immediate expertise. And because he’s a Celebrity, our comprehensively educated masses are prepared to listen.

If the frankly savage Russell Brand can command a political following, then surely the cultivated Danny, who can mouth pseudo-intellectual leftie platitudes in several languages, can do even better.

Anti-Israeli invective is an essential part of today’s leftie parcel, what with the reflux from the erstwhile battle against colonialism still burning leftie throats everywhere. Israel, with her selfish desire to survive against odds, has to be portrayed as a colonial empire, while the Palestinians are seen as the virtuous third-world masses yearning to be free. 

Hence the emergence of Danny Boy as a world statesman, one who intends to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict single-handedly. To that end he has created the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, staffed with both Israeli and Palestinian musicians.

That undertaking almost got Danny the Nobel last year, and his narrow loss still rankles. Clearly he has to step up his efforts and raise the already febrile temperature of his self-aggrandisement.

Danny’s views on global, especially Eastern, politics were borrowed wholesale from Edward Said, the guru of anti- and post-colonialism, who was to jihad roughly what Diderot was to the guillotine – someone who didn’t call for it directly but provided the necessary philosophical basis.

That’s why Danny always hails the justice of Palestinian aspirations, pretending he doesn’t realise that the innermost of those is to eliminate Israel and kill every Israeli. The even-handedness that Danny preaches closely resembles the leftie sermon of moral equivalence between the KGB, an organisation that murdered millions, and the CIA, one created to prevent further murders.

The coveted Nobel being so tantalisingly near, Danny has come out in favour of  Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), the Palestinian-run campaign aimed against Israeli goods, scientists, artists – well, against Israel.

Delivering his Edward W. Said lecture in London, Danny spoke from the heart: “I think the boycott movement BDS is absolutely correct, it’s perfectly right and necessary with one limitation… It is… not positive… to boycott anything that has anything to do with Israel. Anything to do with government policies, yes.”

In other words, distinctions must be made between good Israelis, those who support the Palestinian cause (and let’s not forget that destruction of Israel is in fact its essence) and bad ones, those who support their government’s efforts to keep Israel alive. He’ll hate the parallel, which to me is unmistakable: the Nazis elevated ‘good’ Jews like Warburg and Oppenheim, those they saw as indispensable to their cause, to the status of ‘honorary Aryans’, thereby letting them live.

In a recent speech ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu cited one of the leaders of BDS as explaining that his real aim was “to bring down the State of Israel”.

Danny has no such far-reaching aspirations. His aim is more personal: to win the Nobel. But in pursuit of this lifelong dream, he has converged with those who are red in tooth and claw.

I’m sure he’ll succeed. If Arafat could win the Nobel, why not Danny?



The Anglicans won’t let the Pope save ‘our planet’ all on his own

One could be forgiven for getting the impression that the Churches of England and Rome are in some sort of contest, with the world title in lefty subversiveness at stake.

First the Archbishop of Canterbury issued a declaration calling for a low-carbon economy, an initiative avidly supported by other faith leaders. Score one for the Anglicans.

Then Pope Francis, having first anathematised capitalism, delivered himself of a 192-page encyclical demanding that political leaders pass tougher climate laws because the Earth is becoming “an immense pile of filth”. Score even.

And now the Bishop of Salisbury, the Right Rev Nicholas Holtam, reclaims the lead for the Anglicans by telling them to skip lunch on the first day of each month, thereby saving ‘our planet’ from melting away.

The General Synod, to meet next month, will rubber-stamp the motion, which also includes a demand for “ministerial formation and in-service training to include components of ecojustice and ecotheology”. Such training is to be provided in addition to studying the Bible, not yet – as will surely be the case soon – instead of it. 

I too have a motion, or rather a recommendation, of my own. Whenever someone refers to the Earth as ‘our planet’, punch him in the face. As he lies dazed on the floor, explain to him why the punishment was meted out.

Are our church leaders out of their tree? There is no such thing as ecojustice or ecotheology. There may be some anthropogenic warming going on at the moment, and a good job too.

However, by far the greatest effect on climate comes from solar activity, which is why ‘our planet’ has always gone through periods of warmer and colder weather.

There were grapes growing in Scotland in Caesar’s time, which betokens a warmer climate than it is now – and yet in those days people didn’t drive cars, didn’t have thermostats, never saw aerosol sprays and hadn’t yet identified global warming as the root of all evil.

Also, think of the pollution problem that would arise if each of the three million London cars were replaced by a horse. Why, one wouldn’t be able to walk the streets without a gas mask, and theology would be even further away from people’s minds than it is now.

The theological source of ecological wisdom is Genesis 1: 28-30, which in broad strokes tells us that everything on earth has been created for the use and benefit of man. Now I have news for our prelates: almost everything man does to make use of God’s gifts releases temperature into the atmosphere.

The greatest (and earliest) release comes from tilling the land and turning the soil to grow “every herb bearing seed”. This global-warming activity has been going on for rather a long time, proving that God didn’t create us to be ecology-obsessed cretins.

That scientific and industrial progress has some polluting effect that so vexes His Holiness is true – and he should pray that long may it continue. Before the Industrial Revolution, the average life expectancy was between 30 and 40 years. Now, by the mercy of God and as a direct result of modern science, it’s between 80 and 90.

Surely God doesn’t want us to die before our time? Well, then He must be happy that man has learned to look after himself so well. How He feels about our Catholic and Anglican prelates is, however, open to question.

I doubt that Pope Francis, Archbishop Welby or Bishop Holtam know enough science to form a firm view on such subjects on their own. Clearly, they must rely on the judgement of scientists.

In that case they ought to know that ‘global warming’ has the unique distinction of being the only discovery in the history of science made not by scientists but by a political organisation, specifically the UN.

The likelihood of a scientist supporting this theory is directly proportionate to the size of the grant said scientist receives from the UN, its branches or other similar political setups. Scientists who receive no such grants and are therefore independent tend to punch holes the size of St Peter’s basilica in this slapdash theory.

His Holiness, who is institutionally obligated to be concerned about the plight of the poor, should also remember that the acuteness of such plight is inversely proportionate to the amount of capitalism in the country – the more capitalism, the less poverty, and the other way around.

As to taking fasting out of its normal religious context and putting it into one of radical left-wing politics, Bishop Holtam ought to be ashamed of himself.

I have an idea: perhaps he ought to demand that the Church of England convert to Russian Orthodoxy. If the prescriptions of that confession are followed religiously, as it were, the communicants are supposed to have at least 200 fasting days in a year.

That’s something to ponder in the future, but in the meantime the leaders of our Western confessions ought to remind themselves of what they were brought into this world to do.

Their remit is to save souls, not ‘our planet’. The two desiderata are not only not identical, but in fact mutually exclusive. Are they bright enough to realise this? I’m beginning to doubt that.