One sane man in a mad world

Our time is supposed to be the natural development of the Age of Reason. Yet upon even a cursory examination this Reason strikes one as rather, well, unreasonable.

The US president talking about the virtue of robbing the rich… the French president actually robbing the rich… men becoming women… women turning into men or alternatively bishops… the human rights of the rain forest and seals… women who outnumber men treated as a minority… neither individuals nor families nor states paying their way… millions of babies aborted not to cramp the parents’ style… non-stop wars… mass murder as an expression of diversity… multiculturalist mayhem killing off any real culture… men marrying men, women marrying women… Western countries ruled by transparent and not very bright spivs… pickled animals as art… a Nuremberg rally combined with an orgy as ‘popular’ music… reversion to windmills preached by the same people who equate technology with progress… six-year-olds taught about condoms…

If this is Reason, one wonders what Madness would look like. But then one stops wondering and takes the old quotation marks off the mothballs. This ‘reason’ is indeed madness, and God only knows where it will end.

On second thoughts, it’s not just the deity to whom the future is as clear as the past. Granted, no man can equal God’s omniscient foresight. Some, however, can almost do so.

Such men are called prophets, and one of them saw right through the euphoria universally felt just as the Age of Reason was unfolding – and long before thousands of heads rolled.

His name was Jacques Cazotte (1719-1792), and he had enjoyed some modest renown since the 1772 publication of his fantastic tale Le Diable amoureux.

The French still respect writers (thank goodness), and at that time writers were knocking God off his perch. A century before Nietzsche everyone who was anyone already knew that God had died, to be replaced by Messrs Voltaire, Diderot, Condorcet, d’Alembert… well, anyone who put pen to paper in defence of Reason.

Cazotte wasn’t quite divine, but he was at least angelic. Hence he was welcome at the Olympus where the new Gods consumed their ambrosia chased with Burgundian nectars.

At one such gathering, in 1788, Cazotte was blessed by proximity to true divinity. CONDORCET HIMSELF! Chamfort! La Harpe! The Duchess de Gramont! De Malesherbes! Bailly! Out with God! Come the revolution! Up with Reason and Philosophy! Down with fanaticism and superstition (the diners’ term for Christianity)!

Toasts to that overdue development were drunk, scabrous stories were told, wit sparkled, then back to the revolution against God, soon may it come.

“Don’t worry, Messieurs,” said Cazotte, who until then had kept silent. “The revolution you so desire will come, soon. Very soon. Trust me, I’m a prophet.”

Another outburst of exhilaration, another toast to the revolution, all including Cazotte drained their glasses. Then he spoke again: “But do you know what will happen to each of you when it does come?”

The diners braced themselves for more toast-inspiring fun, but they were in for a letdown.

“You, Monsieur de Condorcet, will always carry poison on your person, which you’ll take in prison just before your execution… you, Monsieur, will die on the scaffold… so will you… so will you… you, Madame, will be taken to the scaffold with your hands tied behind your back and then beheaded… you, Monsieur, will cut your own veins only for the executioner to finish the job that very day…

“And all that will be done in the name of Reason, Philosophy, Liberty and Equality. These will be the new gods at whose altar you’ll be sacrificed.”

“And what about me?” asked the playwright Jean-François de La Harpe, struggling not to laugh.

“Yes, I forgot,” said Cazotte. “All this will happen within the next six years, when you, Monsieur, will become a Christian and miraculously survive.”

“Oh well,” laughed the others. “If we die when La Harpe becomes a Christian, then we’ll all live forever.”

“No you won’t,” insisted Cazotte. “And neither will Their Majesties. They’ll die on the scaffold too.”

Thereby everybody present instantly became an accessory to a capital crime. Laughing about the death of God was one thing, nice clean fun. But predicting the execution of the monarch was sheer sedition, which was no joke. Some people simply didn’t know where to stop.

Cazotte was asked to leave and he headed for the door. By way of a parting shot, one of the guests asked what he predicted would happen to Cazotte himself. Out of curiosity.

“Why, I’ll die on the scaffold too,” said Cazotte and walked out.

So he did die, four years later. And so did everyone else present, more or less exactly the way Cazotte had prophesied. La Harpe did undergo a spiritual crisis in prison, surviving and emerging as a Catholic and conservative. It’s thanks to him that the story became known.

Now I believe in prophets and prophesies, but this belief isn’t wholly mystical. It stands to reason, no quotation marks, that even this side of the Bible some people may be blessed with extraordinary foresight, just as others are blessed with genius for music.

If Bach could elucidate eternity with his Passions, then why couldn’t someone else, Jacques Cazotte in this case, see just a few years ahead? No reason at all.

Or perhaps his wasn’t a prophecy in any mystical sort of way. It’s just possible that Cazotte was an intelligent man whose thought wouldn’t be clouded by Voltairian effluvia and the general enthusiasm for it.

Some people are like that, you know. They, in Kipling’s words, can keep their heads when all around them are losing theirs, an act of anatomic self-preservation, if you will.

This wouldn’t enable them to second-guess God, but second-guessing people is much easier, if seldom altogether easy. Such seers may come across as prophets, whereas in fact they are only endowed with the power of thinking clearly and dispassionately.

That’s where real reason starts. And that’s where ‘Reason’ gets its quotation marks.

Suddenly we realise that it’s nothing but semantic larceny – like ‘liberalism’ which is anything but, like ‘democracy’ under which demos is more powerless than under the most absolute of monarchies, like ‘equality’ of all being equally ruled by a spivocratic elite.

Jacques Cazotte, where are you when we need you so badly? Please come back – and feel free to bring some likeminded friends along.

Blair, Miliband and Balls, paragons of public self-service

“Mr Blair is still in public life, but he is not bound by its principles,” said Andrew Bridgen, MP. “That needs to be changed.”

Mr Bridgen is mistaken. Tony is bound by the principles of public life hand and foot. What he understands, and Mr Bridgen doesn’t, is that principles mustn’t be confused with ideals.

The ideal of public service is just that – to serve the public. The principle of public service, as it has evolved over the last few decades, is to serve the chaps lording it over the public.

Every giant modern enterprise, be it a major charity, a global corporation or indeed the state, is operated mainly – and increasingly solely – for the benefit of the operators.

Politics no longer has anything to do with service. It’s about self-service, a goal towards which a modern spivocrat unswervingly strives in office or thereafter.

When in office, the spivocrat enjoys immense power, both for its own sake and as the launch pad it provides for skyrocketing into private life.

Out of office, the spivocrat parlays his political clout and connections into personal wealth.

Such is the principle, and shame on Mr Bridgen for confusing it with the risibly obsolete ideal of public service.

What raised his ire was not so much the nine-digit fortune Blair has amassed since leaving office as his client list. More and more it begins to resemble a Who’s Who of World’s Tyranny.

Having been rewarded with millions of pounds by the Kazakh dictator Nazarbayev, Blair now stands to earn considerably more millions from the despotic regime of Azerbaijan. Seems like the ruling Mafiosi can’t even conceive of building a £45-billion oil pipeline to Europe without Blair’s advisory services.

One wonders exactly what he advises them on. I doubt Blair knows the difference between a pump and a compressor, or between either of them and a word processor. I also suspect that what he means by ‘flange’ has nothing to do with pipes.

What Blair no doubt offers is mediation between the Azeri bribers and the bribees in the European governments involved. The bribes may be a straight cash transfer, a barter of services or simply an IOU. That doesn’t matter either in moral or in practical terms.

It helps an essentially criminal enterprise (all state-sponsored, and most other, enterprises in Azerbaijan are essentially criminal) to have a spiv on the go who can pick up the phone, call, say, the Turkish PM and be put through straight away.

This kind of access is worth millions, and millions is what Blair is going to get – at a time when his past activities in office are increasingly coming under scrutiny. The details needn’t detain us here, but they do provide a lesson in geography.

From dubious dealings with IRA chieftains to dragging Britain into foolhardy military adventures, to his mysterious dealings with Putin’s thugs and their Italian cronies, Blair’s record in office is questionable at best.

But even if he never faces trial, which many of his critics are demanding, even his legit activities as PM re-emphasise the real principle of public life.

While succeeding in beggaring (I hope this is the correct spelling) the country over 11 years in office, Blair laid the foundations for personal enrichment beyond the imaginings of any previous prime minister. He is also the first former prime minister openly shilling for other states, all of them unsavoury.

Like priest, like parish, as the Russians say. It turns out that Blair’s capable disciples Ed Miliband and Ed Balls knew about the impending 2008 crisis a year before it happened, but kept that knowledge to themselves.

The Eds, who both held key economic posts in the last Labour cabinet, were begging Gordon Brown to call a snap election in 2007 because “the economy was about to fall off the cliff”, with Labour losing power as a result.

That by itself is perhaps a lesser crime than having driven the economy to the cliff in the first place, an undertaking in which the glorious trio so ably assisted the Prime Spiv Tony.

Still, at least they could have warned the public they were supposed to serve that a disaster was imminent. There would have been much both individuals and corporations could have done to soften the coming blow.

Alas, the principle of public service came into play, and the two Eds chose to protect their careers rather than their country.

When queried about this disgrace, Miliband’s spokesman didn’t even bother to deny it. “It’s ancient history,” he said. “We are concentrating on the 2015 Election.”

The cynicism is truly refreshing, and exactly what we’ve come to expect from our ‘leaders’. Rather than turning red with shame and immediately resigning from all public offices, this lot want to reach for the brass ring again.

And the scary thought is that they just may get it. In that case the two Eds will be neighbours at 10 and 11 Downing Street, and there has to be a role for the balsa man Peter Mandelson.

Nothing can drag him to the bottom; that chap just doesn’t sink. Sacked twice from Blair’s cabinet for failing to live up to its stratospheric moral standards (see above), he then embarked on a career similar to Tony’s, if on a smaller scale.

That involves extremely shady contacts with Russian gangsters, such as Oleg Deripaska, who has entertained Mandelson on his yacht. To prove that the principle of public service doesn’t vary from party to party, our present Chancellor also partook of Deripaska’s hospitality.

I’d pay serious money for a recording of the festivities, but even in its absence one could venture a reliable guess. After all, I doubt that Deripaska’s interest in Mandy was romantic. Mandy is already happily married to another man and, as far as I know, Deripaska isn’t that way inclined.

No, it was just more of our spivs putting into practice the current principle of public life: feathering their own nests while befouling ours. 








Atheism can make even a clever man sound stupid

Dominic Lawson, usually a lucid social and political commentator, has just broken an immutable rule to which there are no known exceptions:

Atheists must never, under any circumstances and whatever the provocation, talk about religion, and especially argue against it.

Whenever they do, they are absolutely guaranteed to sound stupid and vulgar, no matter how clever they are otherwise. Even if their names are Dave (as in Hume) or Manny (as in Kant), whenever they broach this particular subject they sound as dumb as any old Tom, Dick or Harry.

One reason for this is that people not driven to God by their faith seldom take the time to ponder and study religion deeply enough, and this is invariably communicated in the first couple of sentences they utter.

Granted, it’s impossible for a reasonably educated Westerner not to have a sketchy knowledge of Christianity. But if a little knowledge was a dangerous thing to Alexander Pope, a sketchy knowledge of Christianity is a downright deadly thing, especially when it isn’t lifted by intuitive faith.

The more complex and subtle the subject, the more brutally is the ignorance of it punished, and no subject even begins to approach the subtle complexity of Christianity. Hence an atheist who knows little about it, and understands even less, is bound to sound silly when offering his views on religion, and ten times so when arguing against it.

Dominic Lawson is a case in point. Not a stupid man by any means, he blithely, and possibly in a fit of journalistic hubris, violated the aforementioned rule, suffering the predictable consequences.

Actually, he admitted to being ignorant, perhaps deeming himself to be above ridicule, but more probably because he doesn’t even realise that what he admits to is indeed ignorance. To wit:

“But when someone says that he ‘loves the Prophet’ – or indeed, as American preachers are especially fond of intoning, that he ‘loves the Lord Jesus’ – those devoid of religious faith don’t just find this strange: we struggle to understand what that ‘love’ could feel like.”

Fair enough: such love, strangulated by quotation marks, is less instantly comprehensible than the feelings one has for one’s spouse or children. But people who ‘struggle to understand’ a subject should refrain from offering strong views on it, or especially from implying that this lack of grasp elevates them to a higher intellectual plateau.

Mr Lawson has a rather tasteless tendency to use newspaper articles to proclaim his love for his wife and children. In this instance he strongly implies that this emotion is superior to the one he ‘struggles to understand’.

Yet Christ unequivocally establishes the pecking order of love:

“If any man come to me, and not hate his father, and mother, and wife and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

This was a rhetorically emphatic expression of a postulate that later found sublime development in much theology and philosophy.

Any love is a particle of God’s love for man and, derivatively, man’s love for God. Since a part is by definition smaller than the whole, love for one’s mother or daughter exists on a lower plane and, in case of a conflict, must be sacrificed.

As Aquinas put it, “Love is the mother and root of the virtues… Love comes to permeate lower virtues.” And further: “When a human act does not conform to the standard of [divine] love, then it is not right, nor good, nor perfect.”

I’m not suggesting that Mr Lawson should read Summa Theologiae or, God forbid, believe a single word of it.

All I am saying is that it’s vulgar to dismiss a vast philosophical subject with a public-school sneer of “I struggle to understand…”, implying that one’s own understanding resides in the ultra range above this nonsense, whereas in fact it languishes way beneath even the infra range.

Mr Lawson proceeds to vouchsafe to us the information that he is married – happily! – to an ‘observant Catholic’, with whom he often disagrees on religion without, however, diminishing their nuptial bliss one iota. I must say I was pleasantly surprised at the news of Mrs Lawson’s piety.

Not having had the pleasure of meeting her personally, I’ve formed my judgement of her innermost convictions solely on the basis of her own writings. These suggest that she mainly worships in the temple of the Goddess Diana, as in the late Princess of Wales, of whom Mrs Lawson was a friend.

Be that as it may, the loving couple seem to disagree on the effect of, and inspiration behind, the symphonies of Anton Bruckner, which produce in Mr Lawson “admitted feelings of ecstasy”, rather than the somnolence these interminable works so often induce in lesser men.

Apparently Mrs Lawson ascribes her hubby-wubby’s ecstasy to some unwitting religious catharsis, while he objects that “those feelings are completely abstracted from notions of humanity and morality (let alone the composer’s faith).”

Judging by her friendship with Diana, I doubt that Mrs Lawson pitches her arguments at a particularly deep level. That is regrettable, for discussing such matters in a cursory way is a bit like pondering modern computers on the basis of the abacus.

Suffice it to say that to any serious philosopher of aesthetics such ‘complete abstraction’ would sound downright daft.

“Music is the moral law,” wrote Plato, and Aristotle added that this law was to be strictly enforced: “Any musical innovation is full of danger to the whole state… when modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state always change with them.”

Agree or disagree, there isn’t a whiff of ‘abstraction’ there, and neither is one to be found in the works of Hegel, Kant, Schiller, Shaftsbury, Kames – well, of any aesthetic thinker of note.

Considering that the foundations of Western music were laid at a time when music was little more than liturgical accompaniment, this belief in ‘complete abstraction’ is at best naïve.

That is clear even before we’ve touched upon the nature of artistic inspiration in general and musical inspiration especially – or before we’ve talked about the intricate interplay between the inspiration of the composer, performer and listener.

Such matters ought to be discussed, never mind argued pro or con, seriously or not at all. Otherwise one runs the risk of coming across as, in Chesterton’s phrase, “the village atheist talking to the village idiot”. Even worse, the former can easily begin to sound like the latter.

Daddy’s little girl and other sex news

Incest is best, according to an 18-year-old American girl who ‘has always identified as bisexual’, and there I was, thinking that ‘identify’ is a transitive verb.

Though she and her father have been ‘dating’ for two years, they now realise co-habitation without marriage is sinful. Consequently they plan to move to New Jersey (the only state where incest is legal), tie the knot and have children.

According to the young lady, this is the most natural thing to do because she and her parental fiancé have much in common.

Specifically, they are both aroused by neck biting, which these days would be sufficient grounds for marriage even in the absence of genetic affinity.

Several papers on both sides of the Atlantic have carried this story, with none being unfashionably judgemental. Some have commented on the possible genetic implications for the happy couple’s offspring, weighing the odds of innate defects.

Generally speaking, 25 to 50 per cent of children born to this form of parental love develop problems, ranging from idiocy to infertility. Some papers cited the scientific evidence, but, as a man of the humanities, I’d be more interested in the moral aspects of such unions.

Playing devil’s advocate, one could mention that incest produced two tribes mentioned in the Bible, Maobites and Ammonites.

Both were started after Lot and his two daughters escaped from Sodom for moral reasons. Somewhat incongruously Lot then got drunk on two consecutive nights and ‘knew’ his daughters, who each gave birth to a son.

Genesis doesn’t mention any genetic defects suffered by the boys, who each went on to beget children and eventually produce the two aforementioned tribes.

Now, the Biblical threesome had a few valid excuses, which our two neck biters can’t claim.

First, having escaped from Sodom and settled in a cave, they genuinely thought they were the last people on earth. Their opportunities for hanky-panky were considerably more limited than in any American state, with the possible exception of Alaska and the river bottoms of Louisiana.

Second, the daughters had a genuine demographic concern about their father’s seed going to waste, thereby consigning the human race to perdition.

Our neck biters can’t possibly have the same excuse, for they must realise that mankind is unlikely to come to a screeching halt just because they desist from incest. 

Third, Lot’s daughters still didn’t feel that such arguments would cut much ice with Dad. That’s why they got him so pissed that he didn’t have a clue what he was doing or to whom.

Mind you, when the daughters got pregnant, Lot must have cottoned on to what had happened, if only on the balance of statistical probability. After all, the concept of immaculate conception hadn’t yet been introduced, and he was the only male in the cave, which to Lot meant the world.

However, Genesis doesn’t go into that kind of detail, proving yet again that the Bible isn’t journalistic reportage and shouldn’t be read as such.

In any case, the paternal neck biter was completely in command of his faculties when he ‘lay’ with Daddy’s little girl. In fact, according to her account, they had discussed the situation rationally before she sacrificed her virginity at the altar of paternal love.

The word ‘degeneracy’ moves to the forefront of my available lexicon, but using it would be judgemental, which is the last thing one can afford to be these days.

In any case I’m sure that before long the loving couple will be treated as pioneering trailblazers. Since American jurisprudence has borrowed from us the reliance on precedent, the trail the neck biters have blazed will eventually lead to a further expansion of the concept of marriage.

If two men or two women can marry, why not father and daughter or mother and son? Oedipus, schmedipus, they say, as long as he loves his Mum.

In an unrelated episode another young American woman, a devout Christian, has struck a counterblow for sexual propriety.

Veronica Partridge, a pretty, happily married woman, has decided not to wear leggings any longer. Unlike the neck biters, she knows her Scripture, specifically the Sermon on the Mount.

There Jesus explained that “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her have committed adultery with her already in his heart.” And adultery, as we all know and lament, is a sin specifically mentioned in the Decalogue.

Mrs Partridge noticed that, whenever she wears leggings, every man over age five commits this brand of adultery by looking at her thighs and bottom. Against every modern commandment, she partly blamed herself for inflaming men’s passions and leading them astray.

Excuse me? What kind of troglodyte rubbish is that? A woman can walk stark naked and blind drunk through a deserted street at night, but if a lone passer-by as much as lays a finger on her he’ll end up in the pokey faster than you can say ‘it’s never a woman’s fault’.

And now a woman (!!!) says that what she wears may just affect what a man does! Nonsense, absolute bloody nonsense.

It’s those oglers’ own fault, and they are jolly lucky that we have no law – yet! – punishing rape committed in one’s heart.

While applauding Mrs Partridge’s Christian probity, and complimenting her on her old-fashioned views, one still thinks she needn’t have bothered.

She is indeed a shapely young lady, and most men would find it hard not to look when she wears revealing clothes. But Mrs Partridge also sports a huge nostril ring, which should quickly douse any leggings-inflamed passion with ice-cold water.

Any man of taste would be appalled by this demonstration of unleavened paganism. Even if, unlike Mrs Partridge herself, he isn’t a devout Christian.

If you can stand some avuncular advice, dear, keep the leggings but lose the nose ring. God will forgive you for the former but just may punish you for the latter.     



This little piggy isn’t going anywhere near Oxford

As a life-long champion of the ethos of share-care-be-aware, and chairman (and so far the only member) of the Charles Martel Society for Multiculturalism, I welcome every call for religious sensitivity, no matter how seemingly risible.

Every time our Muslim friends have a bit of fun with Kalashnikovs or Semtex such calls become more urgent, and the high moral ground from which they are issued reaches a new plateau.

Well, I’m sorry it has to take violence to make a point that already must be clear to anyone, and not just a life-long champion of multi-culti rectitude like me.

But at least the point is made, and I’m happy to observe that it is heeded. Those French cartoonists, kosher shoppers and zealous protectors for Islamic sensitivity didn’t die in vain.

In a move long overdue, Oxford University Press has banned all references to pigs and pork in its publications, not to offend Jews and Muslims (in that order).

To be honest, I’ve never met a Jew who vociferously objected to seeing pork sold at London or New York supermarkets. Some of my Jewish friends don’t eat pork, but they don’t openly mind others tucking into their bacon sarnies.

But hey, that’s just one man’s experience. I’m sure that even as we speak there are blokes somewhere up in Golders Green loading 30-round mags into their AKs to shoot up every purveyor of Cumberland sausages in London.

And speaking of London, the publisher’s courageous action immediately shamed me into ringing my local estate agent.

I was suddenly made aware of how offensive the name of my area of London must sound to Jews and, as an afterthought, Muslims. Fulham! Get it? Ful-HAM!

Yes, I know the etymology of Fulham has nothing to do with pork products, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is the potential for offence, and our – just! – law says that a racial or religious insult is anything the victim says it is.

Actually, my first call went to the Hammersmith & Fulham Council (a doubly offensive name!), to inquire in a rather imperative tone if they had any immediate plans of changing the name to, say, Lambersmith & Fullamb. It’s only after they answered in the negative that I decided to move, possibly to Hampstead…

Oops, this just goes to show how deeply entrenched religious prejudice is even in a life-long champion of religious equality. No, scratch Hampstead – along with Birmingham, Rotherham, Hamburg or any hamlet in his creation.

Oxford University Press have started a laudable academic trend, and long may it continue. I assume that their next step will be to complement book publishing with book burning.

Books by both Roger and Francis Bacon will be the first into the bonfire, followed by every reproduction of paintings by the other Francis Bacon, every edition of Hamlet (both the play and Faulkner’s novel) and Pygmalion, all zoology texts that as much as mention either pigs or porcupines, along with every collection of nursery rhymes that include the one about little piggies going to market or, for that matter, staying at home.

I am happy to see that this worthy initiative has been indirectly supported by both Pope François and President Francis… sorry, I got their names the wrong way around. An understandable mistake, for on this issue the two men speak as one.

President Francis stated his intention to protect all religions equally because Christianity and Islam are indeed equal, especially Islam.

“French Muslims have the same rights as all other French,” he said. “We have the obligation to protect them.”

He didn’t expand to specify that those rights include the right to protect their brittle religious sensitivities with SMG bursts, but, considering the time the announcement was made, this is a natural inference.

At least this seems to be the inference Pope François made, when he explained that those who get shot for telling jokes about other people’s faiths have only themselves to blame.

“It’s normal,” explained His Holiness. “You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.” Except, dare one add, Christianity, what with its silly notion of turning the other cheek.

I can’t imagine that Pope François will be looking for an alternative career in any immediate future, but President Francis definitely will be, after France’s next election. Not to worry, he has a bright future with Oxford University Press.   

Do you get the impression that our authorities, both political and spiritual, are making a pig’s ear out of our civilisation with their porkies?

One just wishes they sat down and pondered both the meaning and the potential consequences of their pronouncements. Then perhaps they’ll realise that our countries are rapidly heading for an outburst of civil violence bordering on civil war.

I’m sure by now they’ve had second thoughts… Yeah, yeah. And pigs will fly.   

Some more materialist twaddle from our ‘leaders’

“Security and prosperity go hand in hand,” explained Dave and Barack Hussein in a jointly written, or rather ghost-written, Times article.

“We reaffirm our belief that our ability to defend our freedoms is rooted in our economic strength,” they added.

This belief, if they indeed hold it, is staggering in its ignorance and feeble-mindedness. Yet again I am scared out of my wits realising what kind of nonentities are leading us – all the way to calamity.

These chaps are trying to peddle the notion that our security will increase pari passu with the growth in the number of i-Pads per capita. They seem to think that the richer we become, the better equipped we’ll be to defend ‘our freedoms’.

Yet history shows that the truth is almost exactly opposite to this wishful thinking. Wealthy civilisations and countries, great or small, have regularly fallen to impoverished barbarians with lean and hungry looks.

The ancestors of today’s Germans were dirt poor compared to the mighty Romans, which didn’t prevent Alaric from sacking Rome in 410 and taking over the western empire.

Closer to our own time, the combined wealth of Western Europe was much greater than that of Nazi Germany, yet we know what happened in 1940.

Even closer to our own time, it took Obama’s partial namesake Saddam two days to devastate Kuwait, even though his own country languished at a much lower GDP per capita.

It wasn’t with billion-dollar ICBMs but with cheap Stanley knives that a handful of Muslims defeated the security of the world’s superpower to bloody its nose on 11 September, 2001.

Before putting their names to this demonstrable nonsense the two spivocrats ought to have glanced at how a more intelligent man than they are, R.G. Collingwood, explained why armed attacks from without or within carry the day:

“Such attacks never succeed unless the thing that is attacked is weakened by doubt as to whether the end which it sets before itself… is worth achieving. On the other hand, this doubt is quite capable of destroying a civilisation without any help whatever.”

In other words, what enables a civilisation to repel attacks is its metaphysical strength, not its physical bulk or the size of its coffers. A destitute 11-stone mugger hell-bent on getting a few quid for his daily fix will easily humble a 15-stone billionaire who has no spunk to defend himself.

The West today is that billionaire, soft of spirit and therefore of muscle, whose hedonistic pursuit of luxury has rendered him incapable of putting up a fight.

Why, our illustrious co-authors, or rather co-signers, have succeeded in neutering their wills and castrating their minds to such an extent that they are even incapable of identifying our enemies, much less resisting them.

Their article was ghost-written in response to the Paris massacre, and they don’t even know who the true culprits were, or rather they know but are too craven to tell.

They hide behind the smokescreen of nebulous neologisms like ‘Islamism’, suggesting time and again that Islam as such, a ‘religion of peace’, has nothing to do with violence.

Why, Dave is even agitating for Turkey’s joining the EU, at exactly the time when Atatürk’s secularising reforms are about to bite the dust. If his tireless efforts to destroy whatever is left of Europe succeed, another 75 million Muslims will gain the right of automatic settlement anywhere here.

Assuming that the widely bandied proportion of potential jihadists among all European Muslims indeed stands at ‘only’ 10 per cent, that’ll add another 7.5 million wild-eyed vampires craving our blood.

But then of course the jihadists-to-be will be seduced and pacified by our Macs and Nokias, if you believe Dave and his co-signer. They ought to remember that such devices can be used not only to pick up one’s e-mails or to log on a porn website but also to detonate a bomb by remote control.

It’s precisely the West’s preoccupation with material prosperity, at the expense of spiritual strength, that is making it impotent to respond properly to internal and external threats.

The co-signers don’t understand that, for otherwise they would have talked not about bolstering ‘global growth’, but about bolstering Christianity, the only proven source of spiritual and moral fortitude in the West.

However, they know that electorates care about their financial, not spiritual, resources. And in our sham democracies whatever electorates want they get, or rather get to hear. These are the rules of the game in which the co-signers are professional players, and ones who believe it’s the only game in town.

This doesn’t speak highly for their intellect or rectitude. But we keep electing such spivs to the highest offices, so what does it say about us? 





It’s not just Jews who should fear anti-Semitism

Islamic terrorism is the talk of the town right now, which is understandable in view of last week’s events.

Yet few realise or, to be more accurate, dare to say that large, and largely radicalised, Muslim populations don’t just produce armed terrorists who kill people. They also excrete cultural toxins that poison the air.

Of these toxins anti-Semitism is one of the deadliest, mainly because antidotes to it are historically weak in Europe.

It’s not the Muslims who pioneered hatred of the Jews. Europeans can legitimately claim priority rights, which claim they re-emphasised in such a convincing manner at the time when my parents were young.

However, the sheer horror of the Holocaust shocked Europeans and strengthened the efficacy of the antidote.

A passing remark that the Jews collude to control the whole world as they already control the banks was no longer seen as innocent banter. It was seen as a first step on the road to Auschwitz.

Hence such remarks got to be regarded as infra dig in polite society, and for the next 70 years Jews had a relatively quiet time in Europe. No one thought anti-Semitism had disappeared. Yet everyone felt relieved it was dormant.

Anti-Semitism was hibernating like a bear in winter. Just like that animal it could be awakened by a prod with a long stick. That came in the shape of the burgeoning Muslim populations.

Once their size reached a certain critical mass, they formed a formidable electoral bloc and began to exert a powerful political influence. In our sham democracies it doesn’t take long for political influence to become a mighty cultural force or even, if the influence is strong enough, a dominant one.

Politicians in search of easy votes began to cater to Muslim attitudes, and Muslim attitudes to Jews are largely informed by a line in the hadith (record of Mohammed’s words and deeds):

“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

There are other lines in Muslim scriptural sources that take a kinder view of the Jews, but these days Muslims tend to heed this one above all others. No doubt the presence of a Jewish state in the mostly Islamic Middle East has something to do with it, but Muslims themselves could explain this phenomenon much better.

What interests me here is facts, and they are disturbing. Both physical and verbal attacks on European Jews have been growing exponentially for the last decade or so, while a revolting combination of political correctness and political expedience prevents our ‘leaders’ from stamping out the emetic nastiness.

London police report that between April and Christmas last year the number of anti-Semitic hate crimes doubled compared to the same period in 2013.

According to the latest poll, more than half of British Jews (58 per cent, to be exact) doubt they have any future in Britain and are seriously considering moving elsewhere.

One can say with certainty that they are unlikely to use continental Europe as a possible refuge. For, compared to their continental co-religionists, the Brits have it easy.

Within one month last summer eight synagogues were attacked in France, with one firebombed by a 400-strong mob. While last week four Jews were butchered in a Paris kosher supermarket, another such emporium was smashed and looted last year, to the accompaniment of a mob braying “Death to Jews”.

Jewish cemeteries and synagogues are being desecrated throughout Europe with various verbal messages and graphic images, of which swastikas and porcine heads seem to be favoured.

In Germany Molotov cocktails were last year tossed into a synagogue previously destroyed in the 1938 Kristallnacht, while imam Bilal Ismail asked Allah to destroy Jews “to the very last one”.

Anti-Israeli rallies throughout Germany were inductively expanding the object of their hatred from Israelis specifically to Jews as such. Their slogans also testified to finely honed poetic sensibilities, with this one my particular favourite: “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.”

Catchy slogans tend to have an inspiring effect, and a wave of attacks on Jews, Jewish shops and restaurants, along with a brushfire spread of anti-Semitic graffiti, have been reported throughout Europe. 

In Rome, dozens of Jewish business owners came to work one morning to find their windows decorated with swastikas and graffiti saying “Jews, your end is near”.

In Amsterdam two Jewish women committed the egregious offence of displaying Israeli flags on their balconies. The punishment was swift: one was beaten up, the other was the victim of arson. In Belgium, a Jewish shopper was informed that her custom wasn’t welcome.  

In Spain a popular playwright explained that Jews have only themselves to blame because they are incapable of living peacefully with others: “No wonder they’ve been so frequently expelled.”

Maccabi Haifa footballers were assaulted in Austria, and their match with SC Paderborn had to be cancelled.

In France incidents of anti-Semitism have increased seven-fold in the 2000s compared with the 1990s. The government refuses to let Jews defend themselves with firearms, and it won’t defend them itself, for any such defence would have to start with the acknowledgement of the dominant Muslim component in the anti-Semitic attacks.

Jews, their ability to sense danger honed by the events of 70 years ago, are leaving in droves. By some reports, 100,000 of the 500,000 French Jews have fled the country, with many settling in Israel.

In a way they are fortunate in that they have somewhere to run. The rest of us aren’t so lucky, and many of us don’t even sense the danger, which is a shame.

Europe hasn’t seen anything like this since it was ruled by Nazi gauleiters, and, though ostensibly out to murder only isolated groups, mostly Jews, those chaps were in fact killing our whole civilisation.

The Nazis weren’t diabolical because they murdered Jews; they murdered Jews because they were diabolical. The other satanic regime, that of the Soviet Union, was also virulently anti-Semitic, and only Stalin’s death prevented Soviet Jews from suffering the red answer to the brown Holocaust.

Anti-Semitism is a disease, but it’s also a symptom of a much deeper underlying malaise. None of us is immune to it, and only all of us together can inoculate our societies.

Decadence isn’t just sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll and homomarriage. It’s also anti-Semitism, and it doesn’t just threaten Jews. It threatens the whole society. Us all.









Peaches and crime: the ordeal of Gen. Petraeus

When a sixtyish man is habitually called ‘Peaches’ by any woman other than his wife, he isn’t just courting the woman. He is courting trouble.

It’s not just ‘Peaches’ either. At that stage of his life a man shouldn’t acquire, within however limited a circle, any nickname deriving from fruit, domestic pets or the more ferocious animals.

If he does find himself with a name other than the one his parents gave him, the ensuing trouble may come in different forms.

Since the female name-caller typically tends to be younger than the gentleman in question, he risks cardiac arrest trying to keep up with her sexual vigour.

If the young lady widely spreads her affections beyond her elderly swain, he risks contracting the kind of disease that, while merely a nuisance for a younger man, would make him the laughingstock of the clinic.

If he is married, and the affair becomes public knowledge, he risks losing his wife, along with much of what he has amassed during decades of tireless toil.

If he occupies a sensitive position, especially one with access to classified information, a scandal may jettison him onto a life on the lecture circuit.

Gen. David Petraeus, the ‘Peaches’ of my story, successfully avoided the first kind of trouble over his affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell and, one assumes, the second.

Mrs Petraeus hasn’t left him either, and neither has half of their communal property. He lost his job as Director, CIA, but, if anything, that gave him a chance to increase the size of the communal property with lucrative consultancies and speaking engagements.

The tawdry details of the affair did make Gen. David ‘Peaches’ Petraeus look frankly ludicrous, and that seemed to be the real downside at the time.

All sorts of details came out, including the more intimate ones of his trysts with the muscle-bound Paula Broadwell. Apparently she and the super-fit general would turn it on under the desk in his Langley office, presumably to the accompaniment of jangling sounds made by the silver-coated frames enclosing the pictures of Mrs Petraeus and ‘the kids’.

Personally, I’ve always assumed that in order to produce a kid one has to have sex with a goat, rather than Mrs Petraeus, but then we must make allowances for the Americans’ peculiarities of language, custom and morality.

Referring to a child as a ‘kid’ is one of their many linguistic quirks, now being exported to our shores along with sugary drinks, baseball caps worn backwards and verbs made out of nouns.

One of their more quaint customs is insistence on displaying on office desktops triptychs of family photos, augmented if necessary by additional frames to accommodate extra ‘kids’.

That is de rigueur for any self-respecting American executive, while miniature copies of the American flag are optional but highly desirable, especially for an executive in a government job.

The photos are there to demonstrate unswerving devotion to family values, which is why they are usually turned to face the visitors’ chairs. The flags’ function is to reconfirm the office-holder’s allegiance to the constitutional and moral values of the good old US of A.

Both sets of values may justifiably be deemed to have been compromised when the desktop symbols thereof are rocked as if in an earthquake by what’s going on under the desk.

But at least the general did do it under the desk rather than on top of it, which would have meant knocking the symbols off with a mighty sweep of an arm, or else risking an injury to Paula if parts of her body came in contact with the metal frames.

Americans’ sexual morality, as professed rather than practised, is still largely informed by the dubiously Christian sects that insist on the literal reading of the Seventh Commandment and Jesus’s subsequent expansion on it.

Hence a little foray outside marriage vows that would be regarded as a forgivable indiscretion in England and par for the course in France, in America is seen as a sacking offence for anyone in a position of public trust.

That’s what happened to Petraeus when the affair made the papers. The disclosure came as a result of Paula’s continual harassment of another woman, a putative rival for Peaches’s affections. The woman went to the police, the police intervened and harvested a rich crop of pornographic messages in the e-mails the lovers had exchanged.

That brought into question not just the general’s moral fibre but indeed his suitability for the top intelligence job in the world. After all, even a rank amateur untrained in spying tradecraft knows not to leave a paper or electronic trail when cheating on his wife.

Hence Petraeus’s enforced resignation was justified, if only for the incompetence he had demonstrated in the skills of his new profession.

Unfortunately, however, the e-mails revealed more than just the general’s ability to express himself romantically in the language of porn magazines.

For a search of Paula’s e-mails showed a wealth of classified material she had apparently received from the general, including access to CIA communications. Suddenly what started out to be naughty began to look criminal.

Under such circumstances the FBI and Justice Department are usually rather quick on the trigger. However, since a celebrated four-star general was involved, it has taken them two years to recommend that felony charges be brought.

Yet recommend it they have, and Gen. Petraeus is in danger of losing more than just his wife’s good graces. If charged, tried and convicted, he faces a long prison term.

The general denies any culpability in the matter, and has let it be known that he won’t accept any plea deal. This may be a bluff or a profession of genuine innocence.

I hope it’s the latter, and I wish Gen. Petraeus every luck in the world. This, however, doesn’t prevent me from having nightmares about the kind of people on whom the security of the world depends.

O when the spivs go marching in

Yesterday Paris, along with many other cities around Europe, fell victim to a nauseating display of mandated sentimentality.

It was as if Diana, or rather her mangled body, had come back to whip up a frenzy of public sorrow.

Candles, flowers and other paraphernalia of grief were everywhere. I didn’t see any teddy bears, but some of the 1.5 million mourners must have brought a few. Anguish just isn’t complete without fluffy toys.

One almost expected to see an expertly saddened Tony Blair declare to the Paris mob that the victims of the Muslim atrocity were ‘people’s cartoonists’. One almost expected the London mob to harass the Queen with shrieks of ‘Show us you care, ma’am!’

In reality, the French tricolore was projected on the building of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, as if the battle after which the square is named had gone the other way. ‘Je suis Charlie’, screamed the crowd of people few of whom are Francophones and many of whom can’t even speak English properly.

But of course Paris claimed pride of place for the unprecedented scale of mawkish mourning. You ought to remember, mes amis, that grief is at its most poignant when it’s private and dignified. A single tear sliding down an otherwise stony face betokens sorrow. A crowd screaming Je suis Charlie! betokens a human herd.

Still, the spectacle would have been almost bearable if my old friends hadn’t acted in the capacity of shepherds. There they were: Angie and Dave, François and Junk (as Jean-Claude Juncker likes to be called by his mates), marching at the head of the herd and indulging in public foreplay for the cameras.

I was especially moved by the picture of Angie, her head on François’s shoulder, his arm embracing her warmly.

Isn’t Angie aware of the chap’s track record? A girl puts her head on François’s shoulder and before long his motorcycle helmet will turn up at her doorstep. Perhaps Angie feels she’s past the age of consent and therefore on safe grounds. A false sense of security, that, if you ask me – François abhors discrimination.

I really think yesterday’s grief was a misplaced and largely faked emotion for everyone other than the victims’ friends and families. A much more appropriate sentiment, as discrete from sentimentality, would have been rage.

Instead of ‘Je suis Charlie’, the demonstrators should have been shouting ‘J’accuse’.

And the objects of appropriate rage were all there, at the head of the rally, putting their heads on one another’s shoulders and looking oh so statesmanlike.

They should have been pinned to the wall and asked, fists at their noses, how they allowed this tragedy to happen and what they are going to do to make sure such tragedies don’t happen again.

Those 17 people didn’t die in an Alpine avalanche or a car accident. They were monstrously murdered by the enemies in our midst, those born within our civilisation but committed to destroying it.

The monsters didn’t operate in a vacuum. They operated in a poisoned atmosphere largely exhaled by our political establishment. You know, Dave, Angie, François, Junk et al, with their jolly friends and illustrious predecessors.

It’s they, our governing spivs, who in pursuit of their nefarious political ends have allowed unlimited Muslim immigration to our countries.

They, who have encouraged the immigrants and their offspring to live, if they so choose, lives of isolation from, and hatred of, the civilisation that took them in.

They, who have excreted or at least fostered the cocoon of political correctness protecting the enemies in our neighbourhoods.

They, who have hamstrung our security services and emasculated our police.

They, who do nothing, and will do nothing, to rid our societies of those who have declared war on us and now regard themselves as combatants behind enemy lines.

They, who out of cowardice and fear for their own political future refuse to acknowledge that there is a war on.

They, who lead the lemmings of our inert, ill-educated, anomic masses to the edge of an abyss and tell them to march on.

Yet, if they devoted themselves less to public relations and more to public safety, there would be much they could do.

Some understanding of the scale of the looming disaster would be a useful start. One hears BBC types claim that merely 10 per cent of the Muslims sympathise with jihadists. If true, that sounds almost innocent – unless we translate percentages into absolute numbers.

There are 38 million Muslims in Europe. Ten percent of that is 3.8 million who feel that the Charlie murderers did the right thing. Among them are thousands of activists like Mizanur Rahman of Palmers Green.

Those who ‘insult Islam’, declared this London-born preacher, ‘can’t expect a different result’. ‘Britain,’ he added, ‘is the enemy of Islam’. If only. Unfortunately, it’s the other way around.

As shown by the 1917 Bolshevik revolution and the 1933 Nazi equivalent, it doesn’t take millions of supporters and thousands of activists to destroy a country. Thousands of the former and dozens of the latter can do the job nicely.

Once we’ve understood what is really happening, all kinds of measures could be introduced to prevent the likes of Rahman and millions of those who heed sermons of hate from inflicting upon us a repeat of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, or something worse.

Norway provides an example to follow. There anyone expressing jihadist sentiments is quickly deported without much fuss. Over 10,000 Muslims have been deported in the last few years, and the violent crime rate in the country has fallen by almost a third.

Among the deportees were hundreds of Norwegian citizens, which destroys the myth of citizenship offering an ironclad right to stay. Rather than being an unconditional lifelong licence, citizenship involves a reciprocal arrangement.

Protectio trahit subjectionem, subjectio projectionem (protection draws allegiance; allegiance, protection) is an old legal principle. Applied to the situation at hand, it’s clear that, as Rahman and the 150,000 British Muslims who regularly log onto jihadist websites feel no allegiance to Britain, Britain would be justified in taking their passports away and kicking them out.

Jihadist websites should have the same (preferably even greater) stigma attached to them as paedophile websites. Anyone following them religiously, as it were, must be punished by large fines and get a criminal record, with repeat offenders imprisoned and then deported.

Any mosque in which one jihadist word has ever been preached, must be shut down and ideally razed, with the preachers themselves treated as accessories to murder and their congregations as lists of suspects.

Anyone convicted of terrorist offences, be it perpetration or planning, must go to prison for a long time and then be deported. Had the French authorities applied such measures to the Kouachi brothers, the tragedy of Charlie Hebdo wouldn’t have happened – having already served prison terms, they were on every conceivable international list of villains.

All Muslim immigration must be stopped forthwith, and every Muslim visitor treated as a terror suspect until the situation improves and Britain (or Europe, if you’d rather) has been cleansed of dangerous elements.

Should any country finance, arm and train terrorists, this must be regarded as an act of war and dealt with accordingly.

Specifically, France and therefore Nato must summarily declare war on Yemen, where one of the murderers received such competent infantry training. Some hideous punitive damage, military or otherwise, must be inflicted on the country for its rulers to realise that hostilities towards the West don’t pay.

The list of things our spivocrats should do and won’t do could go on and on. But that would be an exercise in futility, for what they actually will do is more of the same: meaningless talk, empty gestures and well-rehearsed shows of solidarity aimed at winning the next election.

Je ne suis du tout Charlie.

Europe and Russia are polls apart

Sky News has treated its viewers to a deep insight while commenting on today’s newspapers.

Their format for this part of the show involves bringing together two or three variably objectionable hacks and asking them to pick a story that caught their eye.

One of the stories selected this morning came from The Times. Apparently, according to an unidentified survey, Europeans in general and Brits in particular wouldn’t fight for their country.

Sky News didn’t cite any specific figures, but they are worth mentioning. Only 27 per cent of the Brits said they would take up arms, while the corresponding proportions for France and Germany were 29 and 18 per cent respectively.

‘Oh well,’ said the female commentator who inhabits the more objectionable end of the scale. “Obviously they only say they wouldn’t want to join the army. That doesn’t mean they won’t stand up for their beliefs.”

She didn’t offer an example of beliefs that, according to her, Europeans would find worth fighting for, but contextually she probably meant such vital causes as multiculturalism.

I agree. It would be churlish to refuse to fight for multiculturalism, especially after its salient points have been so powerfully demonstrated in France over the last couple of days.

Equally impossible would it be to offer conscientious objections to another hypothetical cause probably dear to the woman’s heart: homosexual marriage.

Not even the current profusion of pictures showing a happily prenuptial Stephen Fry, whom anyone with a modicum of taste must find revolting, would dampen the martial ardour of principled Brits.

Inscribe homomarriage on the banners, blow the bugle, and millions will flock to the recruitment offices, falling over themselves in their irresistible bellicosity.

Now defending their country from its potential multicultural enemies is a different matter altogether. That’s where Europeans in general and Brits in particular draw the line.

The same poll, incidentally, says that 76 per cent of Muslims in the Middle East would kill and be killed for their countries, while for Pakistan this figure is 89 per cent, almost everyone.

If true, this is cause for alarm. It’s also grounds for questioning the Muslims’ taste.

De gustibus… and all that, but to die for Pakistan? I don’t see the point. It would be so much easier to move to the East End of London, which has roughly the same demographics as Pakistan, but a higher standard of living and a still lower chance of being stoned (to death, that is).

I don’t know what to make of this poll. Call me an incurable romantic, but I find it hard to believe that if Britain is attacked by, say, Russia, 73 per cent would be happy to let Putin’s storm troopers do to Doncaster and Lincoln what they’ve already done to Donetsk and Luhansk.

It’s more comforting to believe that the poll reflects the Brits’ feelings about not the immediate future but the recent past.

Many must find it hard to envisage hypothetical if, to me, utterly possible wars against Russia or the multi-culti multitudes. Much easier is remembering the actual foolhardy forays into foreign lands instigated by Blair who, one hopes, will one day be tried for war crimes.

Most respondents probably felt that, if that’s what modern war is like, they want no part in it. Still, as the poll left the possible casus belli open-ended, the pacifism professed by Europeans is rather worrying.

And it’s hugely worrying if juxtaposed with a similar survey conducted by the Russian Agency for Social Research.

This is to be put in the context of the unceasing, unrelenting and uncontested war propaganda assailing Russians everywhere they turn.

Putin’s Goebbelses enjoy the same tight grip on mass communications as the original Goebbels had, and they use it with the same shameless mastery. Brainwashing in Russia competes with money laundering as the country’s chosen hygienic practice.

Both succeed famously, as witnessed by Putin’s offshore billions and the results of the poll in question, which have been published by the sociologist Vyacheslav Baliasnikov.

When asked “Would you support invading the Ukraine with troops?”, 56.8 per cent of the 4,200 respondents replied in the affirmative.

The second question moved from the general to the specific: “Are you ready to be conscripted into the army to fulfil this mission, or to send your child to war?”

Yes, answered 52 per cent, we are ready “both to kill our brother Slavs ourselves and to send our children into the meat grinder,” reports Baliasnikov.

“Invasion of which country by Russian troops,” pressed on the survey, “would you support?” The Baltics came at the top, immediately followed by the USA and Japan.

Amazingly, Israel came close to the bottom. Judging by the reported exodus of France’s Jews, Israel might do better in similar French polls, but I’m not aware of any.

However, here is how Baliasnikov, comments on the poll conducted by his organisation: “I congratulate Putin. He has succeeded in creating a state of such stratospheric scum that I’m no longer scared. I’m simply disgusted.”     

So am I, Vyacheslav. But, comparing your poll with ours, I’m scared as well.