Following the announcement that trade in fur will be banned after Brexit, I sat down to write a scathing piece about neo-paganism, crazed rebels craving a cause, and our society’s inability to mount resistance.
However, as the sentences began to take shape under my fingers, the words looked strangely familiar. After a brief search, I found there was a reason for that: I already wrote an article on this subject last November. To save myself needless exertion, and in the spirit of responsible recycling, I’m hereby rerunning that piece, adding only this anecdote:
Some 25 years ago my wife and I were visiting friends in Amsterdam. It was a bitterly cold winter, and Penelope was wearing a fur coat. “You must be very brave,” said our Dutch friend. “Women have been attacked in the streets for this.” “If any bastard as much as looks at Penelope askance, he’ll end up in the canal,” I replied.
Then I looked at the herds of seven-foot Dutchmen roaming the streets and realised how empty and boastful that promise was. Later I was jolly glad I didn’t have to act on it – I can’t swim. Anyway, here’s that bit of retrospective:
The palace has announced that the Queen’s new garments will henceforth use only fake fur. Yet Her Majesty will continue to wear her existing fur outfits, of which one suspects she has a lifelong supply.
That has encouraged some columnists to reassure the few remaining conservatives out there that the gesture was merely symbolic. That’s true – but it’s the wrong kind of symbolism.
The argument against furs, meat, leather, hunting and so forth is merely symbolic too. Few New Agers shed any other than crocodile tears at the plight of minks: their rancour resides not in the text but in the subtext, in connotation rather than denotation.
At base, this is the sartorial extension of class war. It’s not that they love furry animals; it’s that they hate people who wear their pelts to keep warm and look good.
More broadly, they hate the civilisation that historically worships God, not animals; one weaned on the Genesis belief that all living creatures were created to serve man – and only for that purpose.
Arguing against New Age savages logically is pointless. Logic is helpless against statements emanating not from reason, but from the putrid swamp of sinister emotions.
Logically, the argument against furs doesn’t hold water for a second. To inject a modicum of sense into it, one would have to explain why wearing a coat made of ewe’s skin is wrong, while wearing shoes made of the same material or eating meat from the same animal is acceptable.
Pretending to be reasonable, some New Agers make the next step and also denounce both the shoes and the meat, which idiocy is lamentably acquiring some following. But that next step is a giant leap into neo-paganism: worshiping animals and even claiming they aren’t qualitatively different from man.
Whenever I hear this, I praise the New Agers for their ability to judge themselves so realistically. What’s important to remember is that this lot are typological equivalents of all anti-Western fanatics, whatever their ostensible cause. As often as not they are the same people.
Whether they demonstrate against furs, meat, nuclear power, capitalism or fossil fuels, in their viscera they are screaming hatred of our civilisation and its religious, intellectual, moral and legal underpinnings. All those things, in other words, that Her Majesty has undertaken to uphold in her realm.
Lest we forget, she’s not only the head of our state but also the Supreme Governor of our established church, which, for all its oil-trading hierarchs, female bishops, bouncy castles and increasingly demotic liturgy, remains residually Christian.
It’s possible that the Queen is our last monarch to accept the traditional title of defensor fidei, Defender of the Faith. But accept it she did and, from what one hears, sincerely.
That’s why it’s her sacred duty to defend not only the faith itself, but also the culture and civilisation based on the faith. And, while Genesis is unequivocal on the role of animals, I struggle to find anywhere in the Western historical, religious and philosophical sources an injunction against wearing furs, eating meat or wearing leather shoes.
‘Western’ is the operative word because other civilisations encourage the worship of animals, such as cats or cows, and even some insects. That’s their privilege, and I’m not going to be my usual cultural supremacist self and claim that their creeds are inferior to ours. Suffice it to say in this context that they are alien and frequently hostile to ours.
Western civilisation has existed for about 3,000 years, yet only in the past few decades has enmity to furs begun to claim a high moral ground.
The underlying assumption seems to be that modern people, who managed to kill the better part of 300 million people in just the twentieth century, more than in all other centuries combined, have raised morality to a dizzying height their predecessors were unable to scale.
Our monarchy’s remit is to act as the bulwark against deadly neo-pagan perversions, not as their conduit and endorser. Defaulting on that duty, in matters big or small, jeopardises the very existence of the monarchy.
I’m sure Her Majesty had her arm twisted to sign her name to that New Age nonsense. One wonders if there’s still enough spunk left among the British to untwist it.