Heil Zion!

Zionism on the march

Did you know that Hitler was a Zionist? No? Boy, do you have a lot to learn.

Not only that Adolf was a Zionist at heart, but also that the Holocaust is a hoax. Mossad murdered Kennedy and was behind 9/11. The Rothschilds and George Soros are among the Elders of Zion seeking to take over the world in accordance with the perfectly authentic Protocols. “The millionaires and billionaires of the Jewish persuasion hold dual citizenship, most of them.”

I could go on, but I don’t want you to feel even more embarrassed about your ignorance. But not to worry: you can plug all such gaping holes in your knowledge by enrolling into that great educational institution: the Labour Party.

The Chancellor of this university, otherwise known as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, is amply qualified to supervise your education.

Proceeding from the unassailable assumption that his enemies’ enemies are his friends, Comrade Corbyn is a proud member of every anti-Semitic organisation active in the UK, and some that aren’t. And he publicly supported the rather controversial mural showing fat hook-nosed bankers playing Monopoly on the backs of the poor.

Comrade Jeremy counts among his close friends such renowned experts on Judaism as Ken Livingston (whom even the Labour Party had to suspend for anti-Semitism), Gerry Downing, the Labour activist who got to the bottom of the Jews’ true allegiances (see the quotation above), and of course the entire leadership of Hamas and Hezbollah.

The curriculum will include the aforementioned Protocols, along with selected works by such world-famous scholars as Julius Streicher, Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler, Henry Ford, Roald Dahl, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Fyodor Dostoyevsky – and, most appropriately, a full course on the scriptural source of the Labour Party, Karl Marx.

The general direction of the programme was charted in Marx’s seminal 1844 treatise On the Jewish Question:

“What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money… Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man – and turns them into commodities… The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange… The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general.”

If Jews are the question, what’s the answer? Comrade Corbyn so far has shied away from the radicalism of Comrades Hitler, Goebbels and Streicher. At present he has limited himself to producing the peer-reviewed article, Apologia Pro Odio Iudaeorum: Marx Hated’em Too, every time a member of his faculty is accused of anti-Semitism.

And his university cum party has threatened to deselect any Labour MP who took part in last Monday’s Westminster demonstration against anti-Semitism. Such turncoats have no place in today’s Labour, although some of the renegades’ colleagues wish Comrade Corbyn expressed his academic tenets with greater subtlety.

He had to hold back some of his other colleagues, who insisted that the question so poignantly posed by Marx should be answered with a more radical, or shall we say final, solution. But Comrade Corbyn reminded them that the essence of scientific enquiry is going from small to big, arriving at the ultimate truth by incremental steps. “Festina lente, lads,” he postulated. “Giz time.”

When taken to task by some naysayers, Comrade Corbyn vehemently denied any animus transcending scholarly objectivity. “Anti-Semite, moi?” he protested. “Certainly not. Why, some of my best friends are Christ-killers – even though Christ never existed,” he hastened to add.

Oh well, good knockabout fun can be had by all. But when one recalls that these ghouls are half a step removed from government, suddenly the situation isn’t funny any longer.

I am, however, surprised that so many people are surprised. To them, anti-Semitism is supposed to be a proprietary property of conservatives. Yet, whatever conservatives feel about the subject privately, and some of them may not be a million miles away from Corbyn, they refrain from venting such sentiments in public.

The whole ethos of British conservatism precludes preaching or condoning hatred. After all, conservatism is rooted not in Das Kapital but in another book, which teaches that “There is neither Jew nor Greek…: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Where Comrade Corbyn et al can find allies is in various faschisoid groups whose principal animus comes from hatred, no matter how loudly they proclaim their love of Britain. The two ends of the line bend backwards to link up and form a truly vicious circle.

One wonders to what extent Labour’s overt and growing anti-Semitism is genuine, coming from the viscera and Marx, as opposed to purely pragmatic. After all, the electoral arithmetic is simple: there are some 250,000 Jews in the UK and over three million Muslims.

What is democratic campaigning if not appealing to the innermost feelings of the target group? It’s no secret that our Muslim friends’ love of Jews is rather understated. In fact, throughout Europe the number of anti-Semitic incidents tends to be directly proportionate to the number of Muslims in the community.

Is Comrade Jeremy trying to secure even a greater chunk of the Muslim vote, albeit at the risk of alienating his Jewish supporters? Or am I maligning Jeremy by attributing to him cold-blooded cynicism rather than socialist idealism? The questions are purely academic, for the upshot is the same.

One thing I am convinced about is that every Briton casting his vote for Labour is no longer just Corbyn’s supporter. He’s his accomplice.

Wagner claims another victim

Chris Goldscheider, who played sixth viola at the Royal Opera House, lost his hearing at a rehearsal of Wagner’s Die Walküre.

The musician sued his employer, and our High Court has just ruled in his favour. The damages are to be determined later.

Goldscheider suffered his problem as a result of acoustic shock. During the rehearsal he sat directly in front of the brass section and was exposed to a noise level of more than 130 decibels, which is about what a jet engine puts out.

The charity Help Musicians UK welcomed the judgement, referring to the 2015 survey, “where 59.5 per cent of musicians said they had suffered hearing loss and 78 per cent said working as a musician was a contributor to their hearing loss.”

At first I found this statement hard to believe. Such incredulity sprang from a lifelong acquaintance with musicians, many of whom played in symphony orchestras. This is only one man’s experience, but not a single musician I’ve ever met has complained of hearing loss.

I do know there are some such unfortunate persons among the musicians I haven’t met. But the proportions cited by Help Musicians sound unbelievably high.

Then it occurred to me that at play here may be the typical statistical trick of merging two categories into one. For example, I could say that, on average, my close friends have had 25.67 wives and girlfriends over a lifetime.

Yet you can’t tell on this basis how polygamous my friends have been, nor even if all of them have been married even once. For you to get an accurate idea, I’d have to do the right thing and separate the wives and girlfriends into different subcategories.

The semantic trick played by the charity workers is using the word ‘music’ to describe, say, both the Adagio from Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A major, K488, and the unbearable electronically enhanced din produced by tattooed, heavily drugged plankton.

I’d venture a guess that pop ‘music’ claims the lion’s share of hearing loss victims, and not only among the performers.

I once worked with a lovely, intelligent woman then in her early thirties. She was almost completely deaf as a result of a youth misspent at discos and rock concerts, a tragedy whose only positive effect was her inability to hear my silly jokes (these days all jokes told in front of women range from silly to criminal).

However, the tragedy that befell Mr Goldscheider was undeniably caused by his exposure to classical music, that of Wagner. The level that did the damage was lower than a peak of 140 decibels sometimes produced by aforementioned plankton, but close enough.

Being congenitally predisposed to look for first causes, I thought the situation over and came to what I consider the right conclusion, but not one I’d be able to defend with requisite intellectual rigour.

Mr Goldscheider suffered his condition as a result of playing not a symphony but an opera. And not any old opera, but an opera by Wagner, whom a wit once described, in one of the best one-liners I’ve ever heard, as “the Puccini of music”.

Could it be that God punishes people able to listen to Wagner or especially those prepared to play him? Could it also be that, though immeasurably more accomplished than pop, the anomie of Wagner’s music makes it philosophically closer to pop than to, say, Mozart?

There’s undeniably more (or less, depending on one’s point of view) to Wagner’s music than music. Jumping backwards, Wagner leapfrogged western culture, landing in the middle of Germany’s pagan past. This couldn’t go unpunished musically, as it didn’t go unpunished philosophically – or, in this case, medically.

I’m always suspicious of people who profess affection for Wagner’s bombastic, manipulative, often blatantly erotic output. The suspicion is mixed with latent envy: it takes the kind of fortitude I don’t possess to sit through one of the Ring operas in its entirety without losing the will to live.

Wagner was capable of producing great music in patches. But one has to be either insane or stoned to sit through, say, the 5.5 hours of Götterdämmerung, although I don’t claim sufficient medical qualifications to make this diagnosis.

As Rossini put it: “Wagner has some beautiful moments but terrible quarter-hours.” This is even better in the original French: to have a mauvais quart d’heure means having a rotten time.

Even my estimation of the sainted Enoch Powell went down a notch when, appearing on Desert Island Disks in 1989, he selected four pieces by Wagner out of the eight he was allowed to take with him. Listening to Wagner on a desert island until one dies? Suddenly suicide appears to be a valid, if manifestly un-Christian, option.

Getting back to the unfortunate Mr Goldscheider, I’m in two minds about his case. On the one hand, a man who chooses as his career playing in a 90-piece orchestra every night and twice on Sundays should know the risks.

Daily exposure to high noise levels can damage one’s hearing, even though I’m sure the proportion of victims among classical musicians is nowhere near as high as that cited by Help Musicians. But, to paraphrase the old saw, if you don’t like the noise, get out of the orchestra.

On the other hand, I hope Mr Goldscheider named the Wagner estate as the co-respondent in the lawsuit – and that he blamed the ROH not only for playing Wagner too loudly but for playing him at all. If so, he can count on me in his corner.

Free enterprise vs. free country

The urge to worship has to be natural to man, for otherwise it would be impossible to explain its constant presence everywhere throughout history.

However, if the need to worship remains immutable, the object of worship changes. For the first, say, 1,500 years after Constantine became the first baptised Roman emperor, Westerners worshipped Christ.

This was accepted as the absolute truth, and any kind of relativism was robustly, sometimes violently, discouraged. That worship was taken for granted, as was the dogma that channelled the natural urge into proper conduits.

Westerners believed, and the dogma taught them what it was exactly that they believed, and how their faith ought to be expressed and practised.

However, in the subsequent couple of centuries Christ was gradually marginalised until for most people his religion became a matter of antiquarian interest only.

Secular bliss arrived, and Westerners, en masse, no longer believed in anything divine. However, the urge to worship didn’t disappear – it was shifted to other, profane, areas.

Neither did the mechanism of worship disappear: old habits and all that. Profane and numerous as the new idols might have been, each was still raised to the absolute to sit at the top of the totem pole until dislodged by a successor or a competitor.

Though it was reasonably clear that the profane idols lacked absolute grandeur, human nature attached to them quasi-absolute dogmatic certainty.

Hence one can observe dogmatic Marxism, Freudianism, Darwinism and any number of other isms, each accepted as inviolable truth until debunked – or not even then.

Not all new idols were as objectionable as those I’ve mentioned. Some, such as economic libertarianism, are quite nice and heart-warming. And, unlike Christianity, the truth of free enterprise requires neither theology nor philosophy nor indeed an intermediary to grasp.

All it takes is a look around, which will show that, by and large, the greater the nation’s economic freedom, the greater and more widespread the nation’s prosperity. For example, Britain became a much wealthier country after her economy was liberalised following the 1846 repeal of the Corn Laws.

So far so good. Marxists thought they saw the truth even though they couldn’t prove it; economic libertarians saw the truth and actually could prove it.

And because they could prove it, both intellectually and empirically, they, as people tend to do, elevated it to the level of dogma. That was a mistake.

For no quotidian practice deserves such elevation. Unlike Christianity, none of them can be absolute truth. They all don’t just permit but positively demand numerous relativities; each of them can be superseded by higher considerations.

This ought to be kept in mind when we look at the current debacle involving GKN, our great engineering and R&D firm going back to Napoleonic times. This mainstay of British ingenuity is under attack from the asset-stripping hedge fund Melrose.

Melrose has amassed about 25 per cent of GKN’s shares and now wishes to acquire the company, break it up into pieces, flog the saleable ones to the highest bidders, most of them foreign, and shut down the rest.

How many of GKN’s 58,000 employees will lose their jobs and pensions as a result is anyone’s guess. I’d say most, if the experience of other such takeovers is anything to go by. That’s obviously a problem; for many employees it’s a tragedy.

But the issue is even wider than that. For GKN isn’t just any old engineering company. It’s actively involved in the defence and aerospace industries, which makes it strategically vital to the country at large.

If Britain is to stand on her own two legs, as she will after the Brexit charade finally comes to an end and the country becomes independent again, then she has to be as strategically self-sufficient as our global world will allow.

For that reason, for example, I deplore the fact that the French concern EDF is our second-largest energy supplier. Energy is a crucial strategic reserve, and a country can never remain a great independent power if she depends on foreign powers for much of its supply.

France may be our ally now, but things may change a couple of years from now – as they did in 1940. France was our staunchest ally, and then it became part of our deadliest enemy. I’m not suggesting that the same situation can arise now, but it’s suicidal not to provide for all eventualities.

GKN is another strategic reserve, and it’s entirely possible that the long-term R&D projects for which the company is known may one day save Britain’s freedom.

The conclusion seems to be clear: the government must step in and prevent GKN from the asset strip show. Yet the government in general, and Business Secretary Greg Clark in particular, have so far done nothing.

The government is Tory and it has to pretend that it lives or dies by the dogma of free enterprise – much as it violates it with alacrity whenever the state stands to benefit. GKN’s management wishes to sell (to divide something like a quarter billion pounds among them), Melrose wishes to buy – the God of Economic Liberty is being served.

Except that it isn’t a real God, “than which nothing greater can be thought”. Higher deities exist, such as the country’s freedom that could be under threat should this obscene trade be allowed to go through.

I’m in general opposed to state interference in the economy – except when it’s absolutely necessary. It is now, and I hope Britain isn’t sacrificed at the altar of this relativist deity and its relentless dogma.

Vlad got his toe in the water…

…and found it Cold. As in War.

In response to Putin’s use of military-grade nerve gas on British soil, 17 Western countries have joined us in expelling Russian diplomats. The US leads the way with 60 expulsions, and six other countries bring up the rear with one each.

But it’s the thought that counts, not the numbers. The important thing is that Vlad’s latest attempt to put Western allies asunder has failed. The message is unmistakable: the allies are aware of Russia’s threat and are prepared to join forces in repelling it – by effectively turning Russia into a pariah state.

“Why did Putin decide to poison Skripal?” asked a listener at the end of my talk at the Freedom Association conference the other day.

I replied that, in common with many modern aggressors, Putin doesn’t want to push all his chips to the middle of the table at once. “If you don’t know the crossing, don’t go into the river,” says a Russian proverb, and Vlad is acting in that spirit.

Parallels with Hitler have been drawn much too often, but only because they’re obvious. Hitler too proceeded with caution – partly because he was bluffing.

When Germany’s rearmament was still far from complete, the Nazis occupied the Rhineland and held their breath. They needn’t have bothered: the allies, who still enjoyed an overwhelming military superiority, did nothing about it.

The Führer heaved a sigh of relief and took the next step: the Anschluss of Austria occurred in March, 1938. Still nothing?

Fine, on to the next step then. In September the same year, Hitler forced the allies to betray Czechoslovakia at Munich, grabbed the Sudetenland and, in March, 1939, the rest of the country.

That made Chamberlain look silly with his piece of paper waving in the air and promises of peace in our time. His reputation has never quite recovered – this though John Major once singled Chamberlain out as the former PM he held in the highest esteem. (Fair enough: similarities between Munich and Maastricht are obvious.)

Thus emboldened, Hitler upped the ante and attacked Poland later that year. This is now known as the start of the Second World War, but it’s not how the attack was seen at the time – nor what Hitler wanted it to be.

His inference from the previous three years was logical, even if it turned out to be wrong. If Britain and France hadn’t responded to his previous acts of aggression, why not invade Poland next and see what happened? The odds were good.

That sense of security was proved false. Though the allies’ response wasn’t immediately decisive, it was clear: thus far, Adolf, but no further.

Putin too is trying incrementally stepped-up aggression, but that’s where the similarity ends. It’s not for nothing that I refer to his regime as ‘kleptofascist’: stealing Russia blind may be the desired end, while muscular behaviour at home and abroad may be only the means.

For, just as Lenin and Stalin drew their legitimacy from a promise of a future Shangri La as a justification for all the horrendous deprivation the Russians were suffering, Putin must also justify his hold on power in the face of strictly third world conditions of life in his fiefdom.

If the Bolsheviks waved the banners of global communist expansion, the kleptofascists seek self-justification in the promise of restoring Russia to her past grandeur – meaning, and this is a specifically Russian spin on the idea, that the world will again tremble with fear.

Mass domestic violence is in both cases a way of communicating the message to the people so that they’d understand. The amount of such didactic violence was, and is, strictly ad hoc: as much as it takes.

Stalin needed to kill millions because otherwise the Russians might not have put up with being hungry slaves, murdered by their master at will, for the sake of some mythical future bliss.

Putin can so far make do with merely tens of thousands of victims because his aims, both real and PR, are more modest. The real aim isn’t so much personal enrichment any longer (he’s already reputed to be the world’s richest man), but the continuing enrichment of the ruling elite that keeps him in power.

Having jumped on that merry-go-round, Putin can’t get off. He has no illusions: even Stalin lost his war against the apparat, and Putin is no Stalin.

It’s conceivable, and this is pure conjecture on my part, that he may be ready to retire and enjoy his billions. But he knows this option isn’t on the table: his rule is contingent on the good will of his cohort, and their good will is contingent on his staying in power to provide what the Russians call their ‘roof’ (protection, in the language of Anglophone gangsters).

That’s where the PR aim comes in. Once again, the Russians are fed the tall tale of a good tsar making their country feared and respected (in another Russian proverb, these words are fully synonymous), but this time they’re more prepared to accept it.

There are two reasons for that. First, even though Russia is still strictly a third world country in every respect other than her nuclear potential, at least the Russians aren’t being starved, imprisoned and massacred in their millions.

Second, the claim to being a global imperial power is covered with a patina of history. Russia first claimed to be the third Rome back in the sixteenth century, when it was merely Muscovy, not even the united colossus it was to become later.

Therefore the jingoistic promise is ultimately more effective than any purely ideological one – as even Stalin discovered in 1941. In the first months of the war the Russians refused to fight for communism. Instead 4.5 million soldiers meekly surrendered to the Nazis in the first five months. It’s only when Stalin hoisted the banner of Holy Russian patriotism that the heroic resistance began.

Putin and his propagandists are using the same legitimising factor, if more subtly. They’ve started small, and their show of force is less, shall we say, showy. But it is on the road, and it is getting bigger step by step.

The acts include the murder of opposition politicians and journalists, the suppression of free media and any sensible legality at home – and aggression abroad. Hence the criminal attacks first on Chechnya, then on Georgia, then on the Ukraine.

And hence also a string of murders on Western soil, with the Scripals and Glushkov being the latest victims.

Russian diplomats led by foreign minister Lavrov have dropped many broad hints at being able to unleash or curb terror as they see fit. Thus, after the Boston Marathon bombing by two Russian-trained Chechen terrorists, American officials were told in no uncertain terms: “See what happens when you cross Russia?”

The Russians got away with that, as they did with their subsequent acts of brazen defiance of international law. Until now.

The message sent by the current wave of expulsions is that you’ve pushed far enough, Vlad. Thus far, but no further. By all means, flex your muscles at home if that’s what it takes for you to continue to purloin Russia’s resources on an unprecedented scale. But keep away from us and our allies.

The next step, and it should have been taken already, could well be the impounding of the criminally derived Russian assets in the West, all two trillion of them – and there goes Putin’s hold on power.

Let’s hope this is exactly what the message is, and that Vlad has got it. Those waters he’s dipping in may well be shark-infested.

Language terrorism reaches Brexit

The other day I wrote about the Welsh Assembly’s misguided attempt to solicit views on Brexit from children as young as seven.

My general thrust was that we might as well ask babies what they think. If our paedocrats think that seven-year-olds should be asked because they’re the ones who’ll be affected by Brexit longer than grown-ups, then, by the same logic, babies should have even more of a voice.

In the intervening three days, the Welsh legislator Neil Hamilton, Ukip, has expressed the same view, and he’s right, as any half-intelligent person would realise without even a second’s deliberation.

Enter the fully paid-up language terrorist Oliver Kamm, who disrespectfully disagrees.

Ollie mostly delivers himself of permissive views on the English language. If we applied his permissiveness to other matters, we’d lower the age of consent to that same seven or even lower (prenatal possibilities would have to be discarded for ballistic reasons).

Ollie, who’d rather split infinitives than hairs, proceeds from the premise that, if folk say it, it has to be right. Such swapping of prescription for description is a short-fused bomb placed under the foundation of Europe’s greatest language.

Again this is something anyone with a modicum of intelligence would know: anarchy in language has the same destructive effect as anarchy in politics. Naturally, our egalitarian modernity makes inroads on everything of value, including English. But it’s the sacred duty of every educated person to fight rearguard action against this onslaught, rather than joining it.

I suspect Ollie has gone to all the right schools, so, technically speaking, he’s educated. But schooling doesn’t equate intelligence, especially when it’s further compromised by leftie bias.

This Ollie’s rhetoric on Mr Hamilton proves beyond any doubt. For, since rhetoric is adjacent to language, it too suffers from Ollie’s terrorist propensities.

Ollie proves that it’s not only wit that brevity is the soul of. His short piece has five paragraphs, of which the first four are savage ad hominems against Mr Hamilton.

Actually, I rather share the view that Hamilton is a disagreeable man. But ad hominems constitute a rhetorical fallacy partly because even an awful man may sometimes be right.

For example, if a composite villain made up of Lenin, Hitler and Mao said that the sky is blue and Ollie’s nose isn’t, he’d be right. Much as we might hate this apparition, we’d have to agree.

Ollie kicks off with groundless assertions leading to witless irony: “As the cause of Brexit becomes mired in the brute facts of economic torpor and diplomatic isolation, Neil Hamilton knows who to blame. The fault lies with children at primary school.” (It should be ‘whom’, but what’s one terrorist act among so many?)

He must be privy to data outside the public domain. Those in that domain (and I suspect our vox populi Ollie thinks ‘data’ should be singular because his postman uses it that way) point to neither the torpor nor the isolation. But leftie Remainers will say anything.

Another tip on rhetoric, Ollie: for irony to succeed, it must touch on truth, however tangentially. Yet Ollie’s irony has no bearing on truth whatsoever. Mr Hamilton didn’t blame tots for the fictitious torpor and isolation. He simply said that grown-up decisions ought to be made by grown-ups.

If anything, leaving children out of this process exculpates them from any mistakes grown-ups may make on their behalf. But our language terrorist sees no difference between ‘blames’ and ‘protects from blame’.

Having got the thin gruel of personal attacks out of the way, Ollie proceeds to the meat of the argument:

“It’s natural that children will have inchoate views on public policy. Perhaps, as the Conservative philosopher Michael Oakeshott put it, ‘politics is an activity unsuited to the young, not on account of their vices but on account of what I at least consider to be their virtues’. Yet young people are the ones who will pay the highest price for Brexit, losing the automatic right to travel freely, study and live in the EU. I’d rather listen to the voices from the playground than to their Ukip critics.”

At first I wondered why he’d drag Oakeshott into it, especially since the late professor presaged the view held by Mr Hamilton. Then it dawned on me: ‘conservative’ is the operative word. To Ollie, everything conservative is ipso facto wrong, not to say evil, and he assumes that his Times readers share this view.

It slides downhill from there. I won’t repeat the argument I made the other day against the ridiculous notion of enfranchising children because they’ll have more years to live with Brexit.

But “losing the automatic right to travel freely, study and live in the EU”? This prediction, provided it comes from the mind rather than out of…, well, you know what I mean, heavily depends on the known facts.

Specifically, for it to be true, Ollie would have to demonstrate that before 1992, when Europe was blessed with the Maastricht Treaty, Britons had been unable to do all those things on the Continent.

But that’s simply not true – unless he’s prepared to argue that Nice’s Promenade des Anglais was so named because no Englishmen were allowed to go there. And Sorbonne’s numerous British alumni include Douglas Cooper, George Whitman, Frank McEwen and John Cairncross (I assume his degree was a first in treason).

As to Ollie rather listening to “the voices from the playground than to their Ukip critics”, this preference is understandable. Ollie must sense intuitive kinship between children’s minds and his own.

How does one argue with Hawking?

More generally, how does one argue? More specifically, how does one argue with atheists? (I’ll entertain no replies along the lines of ‘with a crowbar’.) More generally again, what constitutes an argument?

That such questions need posing is a direct result of the triumphant Age of Reason, which predictably destroyed reason. For reason operates from certain presuppositions, the most vital of which is that truth exists.

This premise turns thought into a teleological process – it travels along a clearly signposted road towards its destination: truth. The road may meander, sometimes turn back on itself, zig and zag, but the overall vector is discernible and unmistakable.

Hence it used to be assumed that if X is true, and Y contradicts X, then Y is false. Now that the Age of Reason has borne its rotten fruit, it’s believed that Y is differently true – and so are all other letters of the alphabet.

Debate inspired by this premise destroyed the natural progression from opinion to judgement to argument, indeed erased all distinctions among them.

When one contradicts someone these days, one often hears: “I’m entitled to my opinion.” To which I sometimes unkindly reply: “Yes, but you aren’t entitled to an audience. I don’t care about your opinion. I would be interested to hear your judgement presented in the form of an argument.”

An opinion, which any person is indeed entitled to have on any subject, doesn’t require any support. It is what it is. Thus in my opinion, all those parallel universes are tosh.

However, I can’t turn this opinion into a judgement because I don’t know enough astrophysics. Such knowledge would be required because, unlike an opinion, a judgement requires solid support that can only come from ratiocination based on extensive knowledge of the relevant facts.

Should I take the trouble of acquiring such knowledge and thinking it through, I could conceivably be ready to make an argument, which is a logical, coherent and persuasive presentation of a judgement.

This basic rhetorical path has now been overgrown with the weeds planted by the Age of Reason. Most people are now unaware of its existence, which is why they feel that any opinion, no matter how unenlightened and rash, must enjoy equal rights with judgement and argument. In fact, they feel all three are the same.

But they aren’t, and Hawking would be safe from me had he stayed in the realm of astrophysics that’s outside my ken. Yet he ventured outside the secure walls of that fortress to launch a foray into fields in which I feel qualified to form a judgement and present it as an argument. He, on the other hand, finds himself on shaky ground. Now we can argue on equal terms. Now the battle is on.

The Rev. Peter Mullen has written an excellent article on the late scientist, from which I can nick a few quotations by Hawking, such as “Given the laws of physics, nature drags itself into existence and there is no need for a Creator.”

This flies in the face of the truth first expressed by Lucretius (d. c. 55 BC) as ex nihilo nihil fit: nothing comes out of nothing. (Having thus presaged the First Law of Thermodynamics, Lucretius then beat Darwin to the theory of evolution by observing that it was by their superior cunning and strength that all extant species were different from those that had become extinct.)

A powerful preemptive blow against Hawking’s stab at philosophy was delivered by St Anselm (d. 1109) with his ontological argument. According to the archbishop, even if we don’t believe in a Creator, we can still think of the greatest possible being.

If so, we must also be able to think of a greater one, then of still a greater one and so on, until such incremental steps take us to the existence of the ultimate being “that than which nothing greater can be thought”.

Another, even stronger preemptive blow against Hawking’s ex nihilo, was struck by St Thomas Aquinas with his argument from contingency (or causality), which develops the ontological argument.

Without going into a thicket where we can all get lost, the argument states that, while few things, such as mathematical relationships, are necessary, most things are contingent. They depend on something else for their existence, and without that something else they wouldn’t have existed.

Three times two equalling six is a necessary thing that would remain what it is whatever else happened to the world. But, say, a tree is contingent on things like soil and water, without which it might not have existed. Therefore, three times six doesn’t require an explanation, but the tree does. Why does it exist? What is its existence contingent on?

If we repeat that it’s soil and water, then the same questions may be asked about them, and then about the things those other things are contingent on – and so forth.

If most things are contingent singly, then they are contingent collectively. Hence the universe itself is contingent – and all the same questions may be asked about it. And even if the universe has no beginning in time, then time itself is contingent, and hence requiring an explanation.

One may add that one proof of the universe’s contingency is the very attempt by Hawkings et al to explain it. He didn’t feel the need to explain why three times two makes six.

The ontological argument had its critics, most prominently Kant. However, Kant got this argument second hand, via Descartes, and was probably unaware of Aquinas’s embellishment.

Both Anselm and Aquinas used their arguments to prove the existence of God. But Aquinas also taught a valuable rhetorical lesson: one must argue with people on their own terms. Otherwise you might as well not bother.

One may ask an atheist where, if there is no God, the universe came from. He’d simply answer he doesn’t know. All he knows is that there is no God. The debate thus ends before it has even started.

It is, however, possible to leave God out of it altogether. Forget theology, let’s stick to philosophy and rhetoric. They are sufficient tools to show that it’s Hawking’s ex nihilo argument that’s full of holes, black or otherwise.

But who needs philosophy? According to Hawking, “Philosophy is dead. Science is the bearer of the torch.”

His foray into alien territory has become too long, and his supply lines get stretched beyond repair. This statement is simply not clever.

First, philosophy is a science too. If he meant ‘natural science’, he should have said so. Otherwise his adage sounds as if science is dead, but nonetheless capable of bearing the torch. And there I was, thinking that natural scientists know how to phrase precisely.

But here’s a question: How is it that Trinity College, Cambridge, has produced 33 Nobel laureates, while the entire Muslim world (1.6 billion people) has managed only 10, six of them winning peace prizes? This though there used to be no shortage of Muslim scholars and mathematicians.

How come that, for all their philosophers and mathematicians of genius, the Hellenic world never managed to advance natural science in any appreciable way? And why did European natural science only get going, at an ever-accelerating pace, after Aquinas baptised Aristotle, fusing the Greek’s philosophy with Christian theology?

The fact is that natural science is a servant to philosophy, contingent on it, if we continue with the same terminology.

It would be impossible to study nature without an epistemology based on the object existing independently from the subject. Similarly, the whole idea of natural laws being rational and universal would never have appeared had it not been activated by arguments in favour of a rational, universal law-giver.

As the philosopher R.G. Collingwood put it (and again I owe this quotation to Peter Mullen’s article): “If they knew a little more about the history of science, they would know that the belief in the possibility of physics is only one part of the belief in God.”

The Renaissance man didn’t outlive the Renaissance or, if he did, not for long. As the amount of information grew, the era of narrow specialisation arrived – people who tighten the screws on the intellectual conveyor belt are no longer capable of hammering the rivets in as well.

Fewer and fewer are real polymaths who can venture into disparate areas without losing their footing. Hence I can’t judge Hawking as a physicist, but he certainly wasn’t a throwback to the likes of Leonardo or, closer to our time, Florensky. I don’t think anyone can be that any longer.

This in no way diminishes my admiration of Prof. Hawking’s courage in overcoming the terrible handicaps he suffered throughout his life. Such a superhuman and unfathomable achievement had to come directly from the grace of God – in whom he didn’t believe.

Stephen Hawking, RIP

Paedocracy kills democracy

Welsh voter, expressing his unreserved support for Brexit

Shakespeare, according to Ben Johnson, had “small Latin and less Greek”. Our comprehensively educated masses go the Bard one better: they also have small English, which is why they’re at the mercy of any hysteria whipped up by the media.

This becomes especially galling when the media have to use longer words of either Latin or Greek origin, such as ‘paedophilia’. And they use this particular word a lot these days: moralising titillation sells papers.

‘Paedophilia’ is a compound word of Greek origin consisting of two stems, with the first one meaning ‘child’. Spelled in various ways, it also appears in other words, such as ‘pedagogue’, ‘pedant’ and ‘pederast’.

Naturally our brutalised masses find all those paed- words confusing, which is bad news for paediatricians. Since our papers discovered that an extensive and graphic coverage of paedophilia sells, many paediatricians have been attacked on the assumption that their trade is a particularly perverse form of paedophilia.

Yet every one should know that paediatrics isn’t a perversion and paedophilia is. What else everyone should know is that it’s not the most dangerous paedo- perversion.

If paedophilia claims only a small percentage of children as its victims, paedocracy, the rule of children, not only damages our democracy but undermines the idea of democracy in general.

Like all other contingent rights, the right to vote comes packaged with responsibilities. Democracy lives or dies by the people’s ability to cast their votes responsibly and intelligently. Any voter who can’t do so harms every vital institution of Britain.

Now Edmund Burke (d. 1797) believed that only 400,000 Britons, then about 10 per cent of the population, were qualified to vote – and that was before the arrival of comprehensive non-education.

Assuming that roughly the same proportion holds true for our time, one is dismayed to see that the actual number of registered voters exceeds 51 million, about 78 per cent of the population.

Accepting the Great Whig’s calculations as true, and few people in history understood politics as deeply as he did, we have about 45 million potential voters in this country who can’t vote in a responsible and intelligent fashion.

Logically then, the electorate should be shrunk to make sure we elevate to government only those qualified to govern. There are many methods of achieving this goal, of which the most obvious and least controversial one is to raise the voting age, which at present stands at 18.

I maintain that only an infinitesimal minority of 18-year-olds have the necessary qualifications of intellect, maturity and education. Neurophysiologists agree: until age 25 or so, the human brain isn’t even wired properly.

Yet political opinion in this country, especially among the MPs, is that the voting age should actually be lowered to 16.

The MPs’ motives are easy to understand. If people could vote responsibly and intelligently, most of our parliamentarians wouldn’t be elected as proverbial dog catcher.

While praising them for their realistic self-assessment, one shudders to think what lowering the voting age to 16 would do to the country.

Why, Corbyn, who hates viscerally everything that makes Britain British, would follow Xi and Putin to be elected leader for life – with everything that would entail (see the history of modern Russia and China for details).

One would think political folly couldn’t possibly sink any lower. But such optimism would be misplaced: things can’t always get better, but they can always get worse.

If you doubt this existential truth, look no further than Wales. Its ministers believe that children as young as seven (!) should have their say about Brexit.

Wales’s Minister for Children (Who was his Victorian counterpart? How many useless ministerial posts are there?) Huw Irranca-Davies explained that: “Our children are our future, so it’s absolutely vital we ensure their views and concerns are listened to.”

As his source of authority, the spiffily named minister cited the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which gives children a right to agree or disagree with grown-ups’ decisions if they affect the tots’ future.

If you doubt that we live in a madhouse circumscribed by national borders, this should dispel any such doubt.

Narrowing the issue down to a single family would be fun. It has been assumed since the time Darwin created man that parents take decisions on behalf of their children until the latter reach majority.

Unlike many other rock-solid presuppositions, this one hasn’t suffered much erosion over history. If Mr Irranca-Davis has a 7-year-old child, would he consult him about buying a new house, changing a pension provider or moving to a different city?

Probably not. Yet all those decisions affect the child’s future, don’t they? I’d suggest Irranca-Davis be censured for violating the aforementioned UN Convention.

Or perhaps locking him up in a loony bin would be more appropriate: who but a madman would think that a person unqualified to pass judgement on relative trivialities deserves to have an audience for his views on the country’s future?

However, the proposed survey is going ahead, and its results will be released in a few months. One can only bemoan the uncharacteristic restraint of Welsh legislators.

Extending their own logic to its ineluctable end, why limit the age to seven? After all, statistically speaking, babies have even a greater stake in Brexit than 7-year-olds do – they’ll have to deal with the consequences for several years longer.

It’s true that most one-year-olds can’t yet speak, but that doesn’t mean their views can’t be solicited. Even if they can’t communicate their opinion semantically, they can do so semiotically.

For example, gauging their responses to other questions, such as “Want to go potty?”, one can establish empirically that “ah-ah” means yes and “ooh-ooh” means no. So, if we avoid more involved questions, such as “Who’s Daddy’s lovely girl then?”, we can obtain a reliable sample for qualitative research.

As far as I know, no one has proposed extending full franchise to babies yet, which points to a deficit of logic. For, when it comes to issues as complex as Brexit or our next government, a baby’s view has as much value as that of an adolescent.

Guest appearance

Garry Kasparov, one of history’s best chess players, now attacks the king in a different way

This article was written not by me but by Russian journalist Alexei Sharopaev. It appears today in the online magazine Kasparov.ru., which is blocked in its country of origin, can’t imagine why.

Rather than using the research cited in this article and passing it for my own, I thought it would be more appropriate (and also less taxing in my currently enfeebled state) just to translate it as is. I’ve only taken the liberty to decode in footnotes some of the less known acronyms.

Note that the author shares many Russians’ exaggerated faith in the West’s knowledge of Russia and appetite for resisting it.

The West accusing Moscow of poisoning the former GRU Col. Sergei Skripal and his daughter is the most natural response possible under the circumstances. It’s based on facts along with the reputation of the VCheKa-FSB[1] and, more generally, Putin’s Russia as successor to the USSR.

Today’s officers in Russian security services call themselves Chekists[2] and are openly proud of their pedigree. Yet everyone knows that, from the very beginning, the whole history of Lubianka is marked not just by mass terror but also by clandestine ‘special operations’ aimed at eliminating dissidents both at home and abroad. Let’s cast a broad look at this.

In 1926 Simon Petlyura was killed in Paris. Though the actual assassin was Samuel Schwartzbard, supposedly taking personal revenge on the Supreme Ataman for his alleged ‘anti-Semitism’, strong evidence suggests the GPU’s responsibility for the murder.

In 1930, also in Paris, OGPU agents led by Yakov Serebriansky kidnapped the ROVS[3] leader Gen. Kutepov and, in 1937 in the same place, his successor Gen. Miller.

In 1938, in Rotterdam, the Chekist saboteur Sudoplatov killed the famous Ukrainian nationalist Yevgeniy Konovalets.

In 1940 the Chekist Mercader murdered Leon Trotsky in Mexico (the operation was masterminded by the aforementioned Sudoplatov and spy-saboteur Naum Eitingon, also complicit in the kidnappings of Kutepov and Miller).

In 1946 Sudoplatov and Eitingon arranged the murder of the Ukrainian politician Shumsky in Saratov, where he lived in exile.

In 1948 the same duo organised the poisoning of Theodore Romzha, bishop of the Trans-Carpathian Greek Catholic Church.

In the same 1948, in Minsk, MGB agents murdered the actor Solomon Mikhoels by staging a fake accident.

In 1954, in West Berlin, Soviet agents kidnapped one of NTS[4] leaders Alexander Trushnovich (he was killed during the kidnapping).

In the same 1954, in West Germany, Lubianka tried to murder another NTS leader Georgiy Okolovich. However, the operation didn’t succeed: the agent-assassin Khokhlov told Okolovich everything and stayed in the West (later Khokhlov survived a thallium poisoning).

In 1959, in Munich, a KGB agent poisoned the prominent leader of the Ukrainian liberation movement Stepan Bandera.

In 1971, in Novocherkassk, the KGB tried to poison Alexander Solzhenitsyn by an undetectable ricin injection.

In 1978, in London, Bulgarian dissident Georgyi Markov was killed with a poisoned umbrella tip (joint operation of Soviet and Bulgarian State Security).

In 2006, also in London, a Moscow agent poisoned former FSB Colonel and dissident Alexander Litvinenko – as established by the British court.

This list can certainly be extended – for example with the news of Berezovsky’s associate Nikolai Glushkov, strangled in London. (London has become as unsafe for today’s Russian émigrés, as Paris used to be for their White precursors.)

Or else with the list of defecting Chekists liquidated by the vengeful Lubianka: Vladimir Nesterovich (poisoned in a German café, mid-‘20s), Georgiy Agabekov (stabbed in Paris, 1937), Ignatius Reuss (shot in Switzerland, 1937), Walter Krivitsky (shot in Washington, DC, 1941)…

Since the subject of poisons is understandably in the news at present, it’s worth remembering a few facts.

In the late ‘30s-early ‘40s, active in the centre of Moscow was a special laboratory run by Mairanovsky that, for maximum effect, conducted experiments on people, mainly political prisoners. It’s probably worth mentioning that Nazi ‘achievements’ in this area are less impressive.

The laboratory operated under the auspices of Sudoplatov and Eitingon, and the latter is known to have taken personal part in the diabolical experiments. It was Mairanovsky’s laboratory that provided poisons for the liquidation of, inter alia, Shumsky, Bishop Romzha, and also Raul Wallenberg (supposedly dead of a heart attack).

What am I driving at? After Stalin’s death, Sudoplatov was arrested and convicted. He came out of prison only in 1968. However, in 1992, in already democratic times, he was rehabilitated in ‘new Russia’ while still alive. And in 1998 all his decorations were reinstated posthumously. After that is it any wonder that a spawn of the KGB became Yeltsyn’s successor?

Eitingon’s fate was similar. First, in the twilight of the Stalin epoch, he was charged with participating in the ‘Zionist conspiracy’. Then he was convicted as a Beria man and came out of gaol only in 1964, naturally without his rank or decorations.

But this is what’s interesting: just like Sudoplatov, Eitingon was rehabilitated (posthumously) in the same democratic year of 1992. And on 9 May, 2000, his decorations were returned to his family.

That was a powerful, eloquent and, as we can now see, promising gesture. The government made it clear that it didn’t regard as criminal the actions of executioners and murderers, terrorists and saboteurs. On the contrary, it remembers and honours them.

And Litvinenko was poisoned in London a mere six years later.

Polonium is very dangerous. But ‘novichok’ is already a weapon of mass destruction. The British, who are familiar with the ‘glorious’ history of VCheka-FSB, have every reason to react robustly.


[1] VCheka (Vserossiyskaia chrezvychainaia komissiya), the original name of the Soviet secret police. Throughout the article the author uses several subsequent names of that sinister organisation (GPU, OGPU, MGB, KGB and FSB) as historically appropriate.

[2] Members of the VCheka and its successors.

[3] Rossiyskiy obshchevoiskovoi souyz, émigré organisation of Imperial and White soldiers.

[4] Narodnyi trudovoi soyuz, non-military émigré organization.

Tail Gunner Joe is back

The other day I suggested that, when political opposites attract, they aren’t really opposites. Even if there’s something that separates them, what unites them is much weightier.

For example, back in the 1930s the Left were taken aback by the ease with which German ex-communists were joining the SA and SS. Since communism was to them commendably left-wing, Nazism had to be right-wing by default. So how come?

They didn’t realise that there exists kinship that transcends political tags. Hence communism and Nazism can converge with each other much more naturally than either could converge with conservatism, which is also misleadingly called right-wing.

(On this subject, I’d suggest the book Diary of a Man in Despair by Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen, the aristocratic German conservative murdered by the Nazis in the last days of the war. I find it the most moving and incisive account of that time in Germany.)

Mussolini, who had a vast experience of both national and international socialism, understood this perfectly. He wrote at some time in the ‘30s that Russian communism had developed into “a kind of Slavic fascism” – and he was right.

Communist slogans had been downgraded to the level of meaningless mantras, and during the war Stalin largely abandoned them.

Coming to the fore instead were patriotic slogans borrowed from the Russian Empire. Generalissimo Suvorov, who until then had been described in Soviet encyclopaedias as “a lackey to imperialism” and in general evil incarnate, was suddenly hailed as a great Russian hero and had a medal named after him.

Millions of Russian soldiers, few of them untouched by murderous purges and famines, had refused to fight for communism in the first months of the war. But they were successfully rallied under the banners of Holy Russia and motherland.

Even the church (ROC) was invited on the bandwagon – this though at least 40,000 priests had been brutally murdered by the Bolsheviks. It was at that time, incidentally, that the ROC hierarchy became in effect an NKVD department, remaining in that role through multiple changes in that organisation’s name, all the way to today’s FSB.

If you compare Soviet and Nazi propaganda of that time, you’ll see the difference in language but not in substance. And even if you understand neither language, a quick look at the two sides’ posters, sculptures, paintings, films and architecture will tell you everything there’s to know.

Had Stalin lived another year, the world would even have been treated to another Final Solution to the Jewish problem, putting to bed forever any notions of irreconcilable differences between ‘right-wing’ and ‘left-wing’.

Whatever positive goals red and brown extremists inscribe on their banners, their negative animus is identical: visceral hatred (as opposed to constructive criticism) of the West, the urge to reshape it in their own image. The sides may be different, but the coin is the same.

Hence it’s instructive to see how British extremists at both ends converge in their affection for Putin’s Russia.

Discounting transparent trolls of the kind who inundate my e-mail with their cretinous messages, both extremes are driven not so much by rational arguments in favour of Putin’s kleptofascism as by visceral sympathy for a hard man putting his foot down – whomever he puts it down on.

If I were a Freudian, I’d probably go off on a tangent trying to ascribe this sympathy to homoerotic attraction. But I’m not, so I won’t.

Yet it’s clear that adoration (latent or otherwise) of Putin reaches the depths simple statements of political affiliation can’t reach. And the KGB colonel knows how to cultivate such deep feelings, even if he knows little of anything else.

(For all his bogus degrees, Putin is staggeringly ignorant. For example, the other day he misquoted Count von Münnich, General-Field Marshal in the eighteenth-century Russian army. Münnich quipped that “The Russian state has an advantage over others in that it is run directly by God. Otherwise it is impossible to explain how it exists.”

This Putin twisted to dismiss the sarcasm and claim that Russia is God’s own country. In the process, he ignorantly referred to Münnich as ‘Marshal’, a rank that didn’t exist in the Russian Empire.)

All this explains why Jeremy Corbyn, who isn’t a communist only in the most technical of senses, joins forces with our fascisoid hard Right in his adulation of Putin.

In this my friend Jeremy displays a greater understanding of Putin’s Russia than they do. They justify their love for the evil KGB thug by claiming Putin’s Russia isn’t at all like the Soviet Union. Jeremy loves Putin because he senses it is.

In that spirit he accuses those who object to Putin’s use of WMD to murder British subjects on British soil of “McCarthyite intolerance of dissent”.

It sounded like a spiritualist séance: suddenly the spirit of Tail Gunner Joe came wafting into the room enveloped in the usual fog of lies.

McCarthy, for all his well-documented flaws, wasn’t intolerant of dissent. He was intolerant of communists in high places, where they could both spy and shape public opinion. Specifically, he went after known communists in the State Department, show business and later the army.

That earned him the eternally undying hatred of the Jeremy Corbyns of this world, except, with all that time elapsing, they’ve changed their tack. They used to scream that good people were accused of being communists. Now they scream that good communists were accused of being communists.

After all, all those Rosenbergs, Hammetts and Hisses were ‘idealists’, and idealism expiates all sins – including doing the bidding of the most carnivorous state in history.

“The Salisbury attack is appalling,” allowed Jeremy. “But we must avoid a drift to conflict.” Allow me to translate: we should invite Putin to murder with impunity whomever he likes. My Putin trolls doubtless feel the same way.

What’s eating Dawkins?

Richard Dawkins has come up with a breakthrough in gastronomy

Professional atheist Richard Dawkins once wrote that Darwin taught us “everything we know about life”.

Now, atheists, no matter how breathtakingly clever, have preset limits to the reach of their intelligence. But even moderately clever ones wouldn’t commit such gibberish to paper.

Assuming that Darwin’s slapdash, politicised theory is correct in every detail – and even my hypothetical clever atheist wouldn’t assume that – it still doesn’t explain most things worth explaining, nor even tries to.

Before things evolve, they have to be: so what’s the origin of being, Richard? No response. How did the Earth come into existence? Ditto. What’s thought? Ditto. Why, by Darwin’s own admission, his theory can’t even explain such a comparatively simple thing as the human eye.

Nor does Darwin explain how an ideologised, manipulative nonentity like Dawkins became so popular. This, however, says more about modernity than about either Darwin or Dawkins, so let’s get them off the hook on this one.

Now that Stephen Hawking has gone to that great parallel universe, the field is clear for Dawkins to move in and propose universal solutions to universal problems, or those perceived as such.

One such problem is current, or especially impending, world hunger, and trust my friend Richard to solve it with one word. The word is cannibalism, using human flesh as a protein source.

One has to admit that the sight of a serving dish displaying roast Richard with an apple in his mouth isn’t without some aesthetic appeal.

But Dawkins precludes the possibility of such a culinary delight by specifying that the human meat he has in mind would be created from stem cells in the lab – not scavenged from the morgue or bought from some human abattoir where people would be culled for their buttocks. Thank God for that… sorry, Richard, wrong turn of phrase.

This way, explains Dawkins, we’d overcome the “taboo against cannibalism”. Perhaps. Equally possible is that an encouragement to coprophilia would rid us of the taboo against eating excrement, which, in book form, is the fare sustaining Dawkins’s readers.

The question is, why would we want to overcome such taboos? They are kind of cosy, customary and comfortable, like a pair of well-worn boots. Even for an atheist, who doesn’t believe in man’s special status, the sight of a humanburger would be revolting.

Precisely! That’s exactly the problem. For we live under the yoke of “yuck reaction absolutism”. Dawkins is happy to free us from this abomination by replacing it with “consequentialist morality”.

My friend Richard isn’t bright enough to realise that such ideas let the cat out of the bag. His brand of professional atheism isn’t new science – in fact, it’s no science at all. It’s new morality, or rather immorality.

Another moral guru, Princeton professor Peter Singer, hasn’t come up with a lofty term like ‘consequentialist morality’, but he too is keen to preach that there’s no moral difference between a man and a pig. I disagree, though I do admire his capacity for frank self-assessment. I also admire his logic.

Dawkins’ sermon of cannibalism logically flows out of his strident atheism, which goes to show that the premise on which the logic is based is perverse.

Likewise, Singer inadvertently debunks his Darwinist premise by allowing that humans and animals can have “mutually satisfying” sexual relations because “we are animals, indeed more specifically, we are great apes.” Therefore such sex “ceases to be an offence to our status and dignity as human beings.”

With friends like Dawkins and Singer, Darwinist atheism doesn’t need enemas. For sound logical inference can turn any unsound theory into the sort of substance one sometimes steps into on the pavement.

Marxism, for example, logically leads to mass slaughter. What’s a few million lives when compared to creating paradise on earth? Yet those of us who suffer from ‘yuck reaction absolutism’ when treated to the sight of mangled corpses dumped into a ravine may begin to doubt the theory that leads to such practice – especially if we read what Marx, Engels et al actually wrote about genocide.

(This last phrase is for the benefit of the cerebrally challenged multitudes who insist that Marxism is a beautiful theory, lamentably perverted by the Soviets. Read your Marx, Engels et al, chaps, not their mendacious interpreters like Jeremy Corbyn.)

The mishmash of inanities that passes for Dawkins’s mind is proposing a cannibalistic solution to a problem that doesn’t, or at least shouldn’t, really exist. There Darwin comes together with Malthus to crank out the phantom of a world starving to death because of overpopulation.

This is nonsense, as shown by empirical evidence. For example, Britain has four times the population density of Ethiopia. Yet Ethiopians periodically starve to death in vast numbers, whereas the British throw away more food than many Ethiopians eat.

Humanburgers won’t solve this problem because the problem isn’t physical but metaphysical, or civilisational if you will.

Our civilisation is capable of producing or buying enough food to feed our population without having to indulge Dawkins’s lucrative horror show. The Ethiopian civilisation isn’t so capable, and won’t be unless Ethiopians adopt our ways.

I suppose it’s too late for Dawkins to learn how to think, especially since many people encourage his idiocy by buying his books. I for one eagerly anticipate his next opus, The Kitchen Delights of Cannibalism.

P.S. And speaking of thinking, Manny Macron initially refused to support Mrs May’s puny punitive measures against Russia for lack of prima facie evidence.

But some conclusions don’t require it: they may be based on intuition, obvious inference, logical induction, ratiocination, common knowledge, expert opinion, etc. For example, there’s no prima facie evidence that cannibalism is immoral, that bestiality is wrong or that Manny is homosexual (not that there’s anything wrong with alternative lifestyles, I hasten to add).