Long live xenophobia, Canterbury style

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

The OED defines xenophobia as “deep-rooted fear towards foreigners”, but who cares about dictionary definitions any longer?

In its true sense, xenophobia is a relatively rare psychiatric condition that I, for one, have never encountered, although I believe the experts who say it exists.

In its corrupted sense, ‘xenophobe’ is used in the UK to describe anyone who loves England; wants it to remain England; objects to the English becoming a minority in their country, as they already are in their capital; thinks our laws should be passed by Parliament, not Angela Merkel, and based on our legal tradition, not the Koran; likes to deal with English-speaking service personnel in England; has voted Leave in the recent referendum.

It also describes the security guard at Canterbury cathedral, who dared display that quirky, if slightly savage, sense of humour that’s a distinguishing, and to me appealing, characteristic of the English working class.

Argentine dance teacher Silvinia Fairbass, resident in Britain for 12 years, visited the cathedral but somehow couldn’t find her way in. She asked the guard for directions, who, having detected a foreign accent, said, pointing southwards, “Dover’s that way, love.”

This is so more subtle than what I heard some 40 years ago in Texas, when complaining about slow service at a garage. “Boh,” said the grease monkey, “if y’all doan lahk it here, whah dontcha go back where y’all cum from?” That remark hurt and I took all of 20 seconds to recover my composure.

Mrs Fairbass took a while longer, proving that, though of foreign origin, she has already been imbued with The Guardian way of reacting to transgressions against the prevailing ethos.

“I think since the referendum, unfortunately, there has been a minority who see a platform to voice their opinions against foreigners,” she wrote on Facebook.

“Yes, I’m a foreigner living in the UK. I’m also a British citizen, a hard-working person, a mum, a wife, a house owner, a teacher who inspires young people, I’m also an enthusiastic and positive person. I can speak two languages, I have two bilingual children, I have an amazing husband and I run my own successful little business.”

Easy, love. This isn’t a job application you’re writing. It’s a silly complaint about an off-hand snide remark that any normal person would have forgotten before reaching the cathedral’s stained glass depicting Thomas à Becket.

The guard deserves a reprimand. But do let’s keep our hair on: the referendum has nothing to do with the sentiments he expressed. Long before Maastricht one could hear similar feelings communicated at football stadiums every time England faced foreign opposition.

When England were playing against Holland, the fans chanted “If it wasn’t for England, you’d all be Krauts.” Against Turkey: “I’d rather be a Paki than a Turk”. Against France: “You’re French and you know it”. (If you don’t understand this one, you probably don’t follow English football, but I’d rather not translate. It’s offensive enough, trust me.)

None of this is praiseworthy, but do let’s dismount our high horse. A bit of savage humour is far from the worst thing English football fans have been known to perpetrate. And anyone who thinks people can be cured of primal tribalism must be living on a different planet.

Switching from psychology to physics, let’s remind ourselves of Newton’s Third Law that says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Now switching back to psychology, let’s also accept that most people prefer to be surrounded by those who are broadly similar to themselves. This means not only race or ethnicity, but also other factors, such as class.

From my own experience (and I hope my CV protects me from any charge of Little England xenophobia), the English welcome foreigners with more real cordiality, if less shoulder-slapping conviviality, than even Americans, who pride themselves on being descendants of immigrants.

London in particular is the most cosmopolitan capital city in the world, actually a bit too cosmopolitan even for my taste. But there’s a limit to English hospitality, especially when it comes to welcoming hordes of migrants who aren’t just alien to our culture but actively hostile to it.

It’s when our governing spivs set out to dilute Englishness the better to lord it over the English that Newton’s law kicks in. The deliberate action of demographic subversion (to which the likes of Blair and Mandelson own up with pride) causes an equal and opposite reaction of hostility towards foreigners – especially when the subversion is imposed by a vile pan-European contrivance over whose actions the British have no say.

When the proportion of those who speak funny reaches a certain critical mass, people rebel, as they have done everywhere throughout history. Witness the 1282 rebellion known as the Sicilian Vespers, when the locals murdered 6,000 people who either didn’t speak their language at all or did so with a French accent.

The English so far are limiting themselves to dubiously humorous remarks, but there’s only so much they can take. Hence Mrs Fairbass should count her blessings: if we indeed leave the EU and stem the influx of foreigners, she ought to say thanks to the referendum. It might yet succeed in keeping blood off our streets.

What’s a gang-raped woman to do?

RapeNormally, there are only two possible courses of action.

The most natural thing would be for the victim to report the crime and assist the police as best she can. Alternatively, some women may be so traumatised that they may choose to suffer in silence.

‘Normally’ was actually a disclaimer, for our time is far from normal. Witness the dilemma that gored Selin Gören with its horns.

Selin, 24, is a German woman, a prominent member of the Linksjugend Solid, an extremist far-left youth organisation. Her remit is to make sure the millions of aliens cordially invited by Angela Merkel suffer no racist abuse.

If what happened on 27 January weren’t so disgustingly awful, one would be prepared to suggest there was poetic justice to it. For three of those potential victims of understated hospitality grabbed Selin off the street and dragged her into a dark playground.

There she was forced to ‘perform a sexual act’ on two of them, with the third assailant providing a blow-by-blow commentary, accompanied by hissing abuse at the victim. At least that’s what she thought it was, for her assailants were Arabic-speaking migrants.

Eventually the girl broke loose and ran to the nearest police station, where she experienced a severe conflict of pieties. Yes, she had been subjected to a violent and degrading assault. However, she was concerned that, should the details of the gang rape become known, anti-Muslim feelings would become even stronger.

Hence the third possible course of action, one I didn’t think of: Selin went to the police but lied to them. Omitting the rape, she only said that her handbag had been stolen – by “foreigners and Germans alike”, all speaking German.

However, having discovered the next morning that the libidinous Mohammedans had raped another woman in the area, she owned up. Presumably out of sympathy for her ordeal, the police didn’t charge her with perverting the course of justice – to the regret of those who refuse to accept against all evidence that we now live in a madhouse.

But Selin then suffered another attack, that of remorse. Consequently she did what anyone experiencing such feeling would do: she apologised, using her Facebook page as the medium. Addressing a hypothetical collective Muslim, a recent arrival in Germany, Gören wrote (I’m abridging her rambling message):

“Dear male refugee,

“I am so incredibly sorry! I am happy and glad that you made it here. But I fear you aren’t safe here.

“You aren’t safe here because we live in a racist society. I am not safe here, because we live in a sexist society.

“But what truly makes me feel sorry is the circumstances by which the sexist and boundary-crossing acts that were inflicted on me may make you beset by increasing and more aggressive racism.

“I promise you… I will not stand by idly and watch as racists and concerned citizens call you a problem.

“You are not the problem. You most often are a wonderful human being, who deserves to be free and safe like everyone else.

“Thank you that you exist, and glad to have you here.”

In other words, “the sexist and boundary-crossing acts” were inflicted on Selin by Germany’s society, not by those three “wonderful human beings”. Absolved of any personal responsibility, they’re as much the victims of the gang rape as Selin is.

According to the same post, many other women are also driven by their flaming conscience not to report being raped by Muslims. God forbid someone might suggest that the country’s immigration policy ought to be more selective. They’d rather suffer in silence and let the innocent victims of society go on raping to their hearts’ content.

One wonders if Swedish women, 40 of whom have so far been raped during the ongoing Islamic festival, are equally forgiving. Some judges from here to Australia certainly are: they often let Muslim rapists off, citing ‘cultural differences’ as an extenuating circumstance. Does the compulsion to stone adulterers or castrate young girls also fall into that category, Your Honours?

Does suicide bombing? It could be plausibly argued that, while our culture encourages us to build skyscrapers, the Muslims’ culture makes them fly hijacked airliners into those skyscrapers. Vive la différence and all that.

The problem indeed isn’t with the Muslims, Selin is right about that: they are what they are. The problem is with us: we are what we’ve become.

We’ve jettisoned absolute truth as the ballast holding us down. As a result our reason has lost any teleological aspect – in other words, it has stopped being reason. Instead we’re each encouraged to have our personal sets of little truths: you like one thing, he likes another, they like a third – who’s to say which is right?

The only judgement we accept is not to be judgemental: nothing is right or wrong, anything goes. If in the past people like Selin would have been confined to the margins, possibly to the lunatic asylum, today they set the tone for the whole society. Increasingly they are the whole society.

Saying that they ought to be confined to the margins, possibly to the lunatic asylum, is already difficult; before long it’ll become illegal. Brace yourself: before long Selin will become an EU Commissioner. She’s amply qualified.

 

Exactly what was born on the 4th of July?

The start of the 231st Bristol 4th of July Parade in 2016.

“Did not the American Revolution produce the French Revolution? And did not the French Revolution produce all the calamities and desolation of the human race and the whole globe ever since?”

Truer words have seldom been spoken, and do you wonder who was that inveterate reactionary speaking them? Who was that vermin who dismissed at a stroke the keystone events of our glorious modernity?

That arch-Tory Dr Johnson who said, “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?”? No, it was John Adams, America’s second president, writing in 1811, when Adams belatedly realised what he and his friends had perpetrated.

Say what you will about the Founders but, unlike their today’s heirs, they weren’t deaf to semantic distinctions. For example, they knew the difference between a republic and democracy.

‘Democracy’ never appears in their writings, except in pejorative contexts. Thus Thomas Jefferson: “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”

The Founders didn’t realise that a republic adhering to Enlightenment tenets will always become a democracy, while the latter will avoid ‘mob rule’ only by turning itself into a giant bureaucracy increasingly detached from the people it governs.

I’m always wary of countries whose origin can be traced back to a particular date. They’re inevitably contrivances, owing their existence to a violently expressed ideology rather than organic development.

The US too is the living embodiment of Enlightenment principles realised by ideologues. Like most revolutionary demagogues, the Founders had to concoct legitimising grievances, portrayed as unendurable but in fact mythical.

Thus they described that nice George III as a tyrant. In fact, if anything, his American subjects were a privileged lot compared to the English themselves.

One made-up grievance was taxation without representation. In fact, a typical colonist was taxed at barely a third of a metropolitan subject (many of whom weren’t represented either). With the advent of ‘liberty’ their taxes instantly went up, the Americans realised they didn’t like them even with representation and have been studiously avoiding them ever since.

One would guess that, given the choice of being taxed at half their income with representation or at 10 per cent without, a majority would opt for the latter. But the expensive toothpaste of centralising statism (otherwise known as modern democracy) cannot be squeezed back into its tube.

Add to this the founding claim that, self-evidently, “all men are created equal”, and the ostensible justification for the revolutionary outburst begins to look even more nebulous. (As a clever American once quipped, “This truth had better be self-evident, because you sure as hell can’t prove it.”)

But that doesn’t mean there was no justification. There was: the advent of our soulless, anomic modernity adumbrated by the ‘Enlightenment’, whose clarion call the Founders heard in every tonal detail.

The ‘Enlightenment’ was animated by hatred of Christendom, its civilisation, philosophy and above all religion. It wasn’t by accident that most Founders were, at best, deists and haters of Trinitarian Christianity. (Many were also Masons, and the republic’s livery includes much Masonic imagery. It’s also worth noting that both the architecture of the shrines in Washington’s Tidal Basin, and the inscriptions inside, frankly proclaim their pagan origin.)

Jefferson was among them, and he rejoiced that the First Amendment built “a wall of separation between Church and State”. To make this wall impregnable, he created his own patchwork gospel, pasting into a notebook the bits he liked and omitting those he hated, which is to say anything miraculous.

St Augustine must have had a premonition of Jefferson when he wrote, “If you believe what you like in the gospel and reject what you do not like, it is not the gospel you believe but yourself.” In fact, solipsistic belief in self, curiously mixed with pandemic conformism, became a distinguishing feature of Americans, and not the most endearing one.

What was born on the 4th of July was the battering ram of modernity, the debaucher of everything sublime in our civilisation and the creator of “happiness”, understood in the crudest, materialistic sense.

The American dream, summarized by Kennedy so forthrightly as “two chickens in every pot, two cars in every garage”, is the stuff of which nightmares used to be made, vulgarity raised to the altar of neo-pagan deities. Alas, the chickens and the cars aren’t strong enough adhesives to keep society together.

Hence the founding American anomie, while producing the ‘happiest’ society the world has ever known, has also created the most atomised and disjointed one. Moreover, Americans evince the characteristic smugness of a provincial autodidact, certain that he has solved all the little problems of life and now must teach others the only true way.

I hope you understand that everything I say is underpinned by an unspoken “with notable exceptions”. I do know many cultured and civilised Americans; in fact, I’m proud to number many among my friends and readers.

Those Americans I cordially congratulate on their 240th anniversary – except that I suspect they may not see it as a cause for celebration.

Still doubting that modern democracy is a travesty?

BrexitScrofulous youngsters are out in force, demanding a re-run of the referendum. Most of them are students or recent graduates, meaning they appear as ‘educated’ in the demographic rubric.

So they are, but not in the sense in which the word used to be understood. They’ve been educated to believe that they’re entitled to belong to, or at least to be governed by, the political elite that has invalidated politics.

To be sure, elaborate games are played to determine which ideological twin rises to the top. But the system is geared to throw up nothing but twins, all mentally and morally retarded, all adept at tricking the people into believing they actually have a say.

Demos has been taken out of democracy, and the term is still bandied about for subterfuge only. Yet suddenly the silent majority was granted the chance to speak out – but only because the governing spivs were sure they’d win. The ‘educated’ elite wanted to go on lapping up the gravy falling off the EU train, while professing an undying devotion to democracy.

However, the demos refused to be tricked; it saw through the propaganda and the scaremongering. Predictably, all hell broke loose.

The scrofulous youngsters, expertly prodded by scum like Tony ‘Anthony’ Blair et al, set out to vindicate the grim vision of The Lord of the Flies. There are no rules, except the rule by the savage infants of all ages, the ‘educated’ elite.

Abuse is being heaped on the majority. They’re all stupid, bigoted, racist and [insert your own pejorative term – anything will work]. They’re too dumb to realise that democracy is but a game, a few perfunctory contortions the elite goes through before getting its way.

It’s as if someone had replaced Monopoly money with real cash – nothing like that to kill a good game. Democracy has spoken and the ‘educated’ wish it had kept its mouth shut.

Now I’m opposed to modern unchecked democracy in general and direct democracy in particular: it’s sheer folly to rely on this method in the devilishly complex task of governing a great country.

Edmund Burke argued that representatives are elected to act according to the people’s interests, not wishes. And, to make sure representatives act in the people’s interests rather than their own, elected political power needs to be balanced by the apolitical hereditary kind.

Burke would be aghast to see an issue of vital constitutional import being settled by plebiscite. But he’d be even more horrified if he realised that his cherished balance has been destroyed. One end of the seesaw has violently shot up, throwing skywards intellectual and moral retards who despise not only people’s wishes but also their interests.

The old Whig would think it over and then grudgingly admit that any method of bypassing the dictatorship of the retards is preferable to letting them run unopposed. He’d also be curious to know what the word ‘educated’ means nowadays, so different it is from his own understanding.

Back in Burke’s day any secondary school provided an infinitely better education than even today’s Oxbridge, never mind all those mock-university polytechnics. And a university degree was invariably synonymous with education.

Today it’s more nearly antonymous to it. In the humanities, even the sheer corpus of data conferred by modern universities is minuscule compared to the past. But real education is so much more than gathering information. It’s what happens as a result, a shift towards moral and intellectual understanding, enlightenment in the true, lower-case sense of the word, rather than bogus capitalised one.

If that shift occurs, any gaps in erudition can be filled by self-education. If the shift doesn’t occur, no amount of information will help.

It’s safe to say that today’s universities don’t produce any such shift, quite the opposite. It’s as if their real purpose is to keep the young infantilised for ever.

Hence no truly educated people want a re-run of the referendum. Only two types do: fools and knaves. Leaving knavery apart, just look at what the re-runners are saying, which is neither grown-up nor clever.

“The Leave campaign won by lying”. As any educated person would know, that campaign lived or died by the claim that Britain would regain her sovereignty by leaving the EU. Only an ignoramus would think that was a lie.

“The referendum was advisory, and Parliament can overturn the result”. If that statement had been made before the referendum, not after, it would ring plausible. As it is, it’s dishonest and ignorant.

“The young were disfranchised.” That would be a good idea: today’s young aren’t equipped to vote. But alas that didn’t happen; the young had the same vote as everyone else. They chose not to use it: less than a third of them voted, versus 85 per cent of the over-55s. Tough. Now they should shut up and listen to their elders – rather than doing a creditable impersonation of Mao’s Red Guards.

That’s modernity for you. Inaugurated in the name of reason, it has destroyed reason. Touting humanism, it has debauched human dignity. And, devoted to democracy, it has reduced it to an obscene spectacle in the theatre of shadows.

That darling bud of May

TheresaMayWhile arrogantly claiming I know something about the science of politics, I humbly admit that I understand little about its mechanics. And whenever I forget to be humble, something like the current madhouse gets me back in touch with reality.

The Tory leadership contest seems all but sewn up. Home Secretary Theresa May has been endorsed by all and sundry, and her lead in the polls is so vast that, this once, one must conclude that the polls aren’t lying.

Why, even our most conservative paper The Daily Mail has come out in favour. The editors must have their reasons, considering that Mrs May is far from being the most conservative contender.

I find it impossible to understand how it’s possible to entrust the negotiations about leaving the EU to someone who campaigned against it. The only healthy premise for such negotiations is utter contempt for the EU and everything it stands for. In the absence of such, the negotiator may succumb to one of numerous temptations to sell Britain down the river.

Liam Fox, my preference of the bad bunch, isn’t seen as a serious contender, so the choice is reduced to Mrs May, with her awful taste in clothes, and Mr Gove, with his awful taste in women. But then modern democracy is all about the evil of two lessers.

(Speaking of Mrs May’s clothes, when announcing her candidature she wore a trouser suit of Clan Gordon tartan. Generally speaking, it’s in bad taste to wear tartan unless one is entitled to it by birth, which Mrs May isn’t. Specifically speaking, this is another example of devious politicking: support me, she’s saying to the Scots subliminally, and I’ll rain bribes on you to stay in the Union.)

Given such an uninspiring choice, any sensible person would prefer Gove. At least he had the courage to put his career on the line by leading the Leave campaign. Mrs May shilly-shallied at first, then came out in favour of Remain. However, she hedged her bets by keeping a low profile.

This lack of any discernible convictions seems to be an innate, or else family, trait. Although raised as an Anglican by her vicar father, young Theresa augmented her grammar-school education with a spell at a Catholic school. That’s a bit too ecumenical for anyone who takes religion seriously but, being a modern politician, Mrs May takes nothing but Mrs May seriously.

The Mail doesn’t seem to mind anything about her, and the things it admires are odd. According to the paper, she isn’t “a divisive, ideology-driven Right-winger”. This is leftie longhand for a conservative, and it’s disheartening to see a conservative paper using it.

The whole thing about Mrs May is that she’s a congenital fence-sitter, neither left nor right, nor anything much. Because she stands for nothing, she can fall for any lie proffered by the EU.

Then The Mail fires a shot in the class war by extolling Mrs May’s humble origins: “she is not a member of the privileged classes”. The implication is that Cameron is an unprincipled, ineffectual spiv because he’s a toff. This is nonsense, and pernicious nonsense at that.

Being an Old Etonian should be neither an automatic qualification nor disqualification to hold a government post. An overwhelming majority of Britain’s best political leaders came from ‘the privileged classes’, but the requisite qualities of intelligence, integrity and character aren’t confined to any particular group.

A claim that a vicar’s daughter is ipso facto more attuned to the interests of the common man is false, and grossly so. That by itself is sufficient to show that The Mail isn’t really a conservative paper.

Mrs May isn’t a conservative either, which is why she too joined the class battle, though with her characteristic timidity: “If you are from an ordinary, working-class family,” she said, “life is just much harder than many people in politics realise.”

Note the acuteness of observation and depth of thought. Consider also that so far the only intention Mrs May has stated as a future PM is to reverse just about the only sensible policy of Dave’s administration: commitment to eliminating the budget deficit.

So by all means let’s destroy the economy by continuing to spend billions (trillions?) more than we earn. That’ll help working-class families no end.

“Certainly,” admits the paper generously, “her record on controlling immigration has been disappointing, to say the least.” Not to worry, “in her steeliness, she is somewhat reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher”.

And chicken salad is somewhat reminiscent of chicken wire. The only thing the two ladies have in common is the same set of chromosomes, which these days is supposed to give a candidate a leg-up.

I’m not an unequivocal admirer of Margaret Thatcher, but she certainly had the strength of her convictions. Mrs May has neither strength nor convictions: she has no immediately obvious qualification to lead her country.

And here’s the clincher: Ken Clarke has endorsed her. Now Ken has maniacally devoted the last 20 years of his career to dissolving Britain’s sovereignty in the EU’s. Single currency, single army, single taxation, you name it, Ken loves it all.

One has to believe he knows something about Mrs May we don’t.