Official: Wills is God

God evidently can no longer save the Earth from warm weather unaided, as he did during much warmer periods in the past. But not to worry: help is on the way.

Verily, verily I say unto you, I have come to save the planet…

In his forthcoming documentary, HRH Prince William takes on the daunting task normally reserved for the deity. It’s his “duty”, he says, to leave the planet (presumably the Earth) in better health for future generations: “Someone has to put their head above the parapet and say, I care about this.”

Leaving aside the hackneyed phrasing and the woke use of a plural pronoun after a singular antecedent, one wonders how closely HRH follows the news. Not very, is my guess, if he really thinks we suffer from a dearth of Greta clones.

What we really are short of is serious discussion of the issues involved, one that doesn’t depend on the fraud of ignoring any evidence contradicting woke pieties. Instead we get hysterical girls with learning difficulties sputtering spittle and screaming ignorant bilge at the top of their voices.

The latest spur to Wills’s restless conscience was applied by his trips to Pakistan and Tanzania. In the former, he saw the adverse effects of melting mountain ice and interpreted that unfortunate development in the light of his extensive knowledge of climatology, volcanology, astrophysics, history and at least a dozen related disciplines.

The end is nigh, a disaster is looming, explained Wills. And then he segued into a rhetorical device he has never heard of – anaphora, the repetition of the same word at the beginning of each sentence:

“And yet, we still don’t seem to be picking up the pace and understanding it quick enough.

“And I think the young are really getting it.

“And the younger generation are really wanting more and more people to do stuff and want more action.”

Wills didn’t specify how young one has to be to “get it”, but he didn’t have to bother. For the only things the young of any age “get” better than their elders is drunk and laid, while the only “stuff” they do better comes in little packets bought in dark alleys.

If you wish to contest this generalisation, by all means particularise it. Try to remember yourself as you were, say, at 20. Other than the things I mentioned, what was it that you “got” then, but have since forgotten? Conversely, I bet you understand more things now than you did at a tender age. I for one blush with embarrassment recalling what an idiot I was.

If an issue is predominantly supported by the young, even those less crazy and better educated than Greta (whom Wills admires), then the safe assumption is that it’s ridiculous. The young do in fact understand things “quick enough” (someone ought to have taught Wills the difference between adjectives and adverbs), but hardly ever deep enough.

Then William and Kate were filmed hugging rhinos and feeding carrots to Tanzanian children… sorry, got that wrong. It was the other way around, of course.

That gave HRH Wills an opportunity to rail against big game hunters, especially poachers, while showing that zoology is yet another subject he has mastered: “They want this horn, which is effectively nail, and that is all it is, it’s fingernail. This is where the horn belongs, on a live rhino and that’s where it should stay.”

What if the animal dies of old age? Can we please have the horn then?

In any case, just a fingernail a rhino’s horn may be, but it’s not the same as those adorning our hands. That particular fingernail belongs to a wild animal who, given half the chance, will eviscerate anyone coming close.

If rhinos were to become extinct, I wouldn’t shed many tears. After all, some 99 per cent of the creatures who have ever inhabited “the planet” are no longer with us, and somehow we’ve managed to muddle through.

Speaking of tears, that’s what Wills had to fight back courageously when shown a collection of 43,000 poached elephant tusks impounded in Tanzania. Expressing himself with his customary elegance, HRH said: “It’s a mind-blowing number of tusks, it really is. You can’t get your head around it.”

Every sign points at the lamentable fact that our future king really can’t get his head around anything other than the latest wokish fad. Alas, he doesn’t just look like his late mother.

And he certainly isn’t like his grandmother, who, on her coronation, took the oath to uphold Christianity. One of its fundamental tenets, first enunciated in Genesis, is that everything in life was created to serve man, and only for that purpose.

That doesn’t mean that poaching elephants, or indeed any other animals, should be encouraged or indeed allowed. Hunting in general should follow rules that enforce a responsible and frugal treatment of nature.

But criminalising the production of ivory altogether is nothing but pandering to the more hare-brained aspects of our wokish modernity. Ivory has all sorts of ornamental uses and an extremely important functional one: it’s irreplaceable as the material for piano keys.

That’s how elephants fulfil the biblical commandment to serve man, and we should thank them for it. But we emphatically shouldn’t sentimentalise animals and revert to their worship, so characteristic of pagan and pantheistic cults.

Wills is essentially a jerk waiting for a knee. Modernity obligingly supplies many such knees, but the very purpose of monarchy is to act as a timeless institution, the leitmotif running through the country’s history and binding it together.

When this institution falls into Wills’s hands, I shudder to think what will happen to it. His father is no towering intellect either, and nor is he averse to a bit of nature worship, to the point of chatting up plants and engaging in foreplay with trees. But at least he can speak proper English.

Mysticism against religion

In his 1972 play Artist Descending a Staircase, Tom Stoppard wrote a perceptive line when he might have only wanted to write a witty one: “Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets; imagination without skill gives us modern art.”

Religion can be found at this address

This is one of those rare occasions when a thought is debatable in its immediate sense (not all modern art is without skill), but acquires a deep meaning when expanded to a general principle.

The highest forms of human activity don’t just require a natural aptitude – they also need to be expressed within a tight discipline. Without an inner discipline, music becomes cacophony, an argument becomes an exchange of rants, poetry becomes gibberish, and art becomes Damian Hirst.

This unbreakable symbiosis of content and form is especially prevalent in Western culture, springing – along with most of its other aspects – from the unity of God and man in the person of Jesus Christ.

The realisation that the ultimate truth of spiritual content could be contained within the physical confines of a human body shaped Western culture in unique ways. It’s in this synthesis that the West began to seek perfection, eschewing Hellenic reliance on form as its own content.

Predictably, as the West moved away from Christianity, it also began to lose the traditional unity of form and content. It was as if they went their separate ways, each trying to rely on its own resources only.

Many artists – and I am talking about real artists here, not charlatans like Hirst or Emin – began to look for perfection in form only, typically finding out that, emptied of its contents, the outer shape tends to collapse and disintegrate.

Faith and church also went in opposite directions, demonstrating that anticlericalism is the anteroom of atheism. The church gradually got to be seen not as the essential depository of religious truth, but as a sort of hobby venue, superfluous to the self-expression of man’s mystical intuition.

This broke the bottle that alone could contain the wine. The wine didn’t become liberated; it became a messy puddle on the floor.

This was accompanied by the same lexical confusion that’s so characteristic of every walk of modern life. Just as politics lost essential distinctions between freedom and liberty, law and justice, democracy and republic, representatives and delegates, religion and mysticism got to be perceived as synonyms.

In fact, they are closer to being antonyms. Natural mysticism isn’t a religion, though it can be the first step along the way.

Mysticism is amorphous; it’s a hazy instinct that hasn’t yet reached, and may never reach, God. It’s nebulous content in search of a form, not yet sure of itself and therefore uncertain which form, if any, will suit it best.

Only religion can steer a man to God, by crystallising a vague longing into faith and offering a moulded shape into which the longing can flow. The shape is well defined: whereas amorphous mysticism has to remain abstract, religion is always concrete. There exists no religion in general. There are only specific religions, each with its own revelation, dogma and rituals – its own way of looking at God and his world.

Mysticism, on the other hand, can only exist in general, and in that sense it is not merely different from religion but indeed opposite to it. That’s why many who flirt with mysticism often use it as a stick with which to beat religion on the head.

Since religion is both higher and grander than mysticism, it tends to subsume it, channelling it into religion’s own reservoir. Mysticism, on the other hand, sometimes refuses to be diverted into that conduit.

Mysticism relates to faith the way anarchy relates to liberty. At its most recalcitrant, it may rebel against faith to protect what may appear to be its freedom, but is in fact its amorphousness. When such a rebellion occurs, it may be expressed in ways that are not only non-religious but also actively anti-religious. Thus, while ‘an atheist Christian’ doesn’t sound plausible, ‘an atheist mystic’ does.

The mystical atheist happily coexists with another widespread modern type, the clerical atheist. These are exceptionally clever people who don’t believe in God but recognise the social and moral utility of the church.

They reduce Christianity to its morality and realise that modernity is demonstrably remiss in producing a viable replacement. The point I usually make when arguing with clerical atheists is that, if they believe Christianity is false, then it’s not a solid foundation on which to build a successful society. If Christianity isn’t true, it’s useless.

Arguing with clerical atheists is pointless; arguing with mystical atheists is impossible. Their reason seems to be as amorphous as their spiritual longings.

Many of them find solace in inward-looking Eastern creeds, especially Buddhism (as they understand it). When transplanted into Western soil, such faiths, or rather philosophies, encourage the innate solipsism of modernity. They liberate man from accountability to an entity not only outside him, but also infinitely higher than him.

By replacing prayer with meditation, such Westerners look for truth within themselves, unaware that themselves is all they can find at that site. They believe, wrongly, that such pseudo-spiritual transport will enable their minds to soar to heaven. In fact, it pushes their minds down to the ground, where high reason is replaced with quotidian rationalism.

For a Christian the absolute is unknowable completely. For a Buddhist the absolute is completely unknowable. It’s beyond human understanding, and paradoxically that appeals to the modern Western rationalist with a mystical dimension. He acknowledges nothing higher than his own commonsensical reason.

Therefore whatever lies outside his common sense either doesn’t exist or might as well not exist. To him, rationally unknowable means practically nonexistent. Thus mixed with Western rationalism, Buddhism – or any other abstract mysticism – naturally segues into Western godlessness.

It’s amazing how Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day, that of atonement, evokes thoughts that go beyond elections, infections and depredations. One is reminded why our civilisation is called Judaeo-Christian, not Buddhist, mystical, spiritual or rationalist.

Cops are dying to be cops

Close to retirement after 30 years in frontline policing, Sgt Matiu Ratana sought a safe haven. He had done his bit of hazardous duty.

Sgt. Matiu Ratana, RIP

His new job, at the Croydon Custody Centre, definitely seemed safer than patrol duty. Or so Sgt. Ratana thought.

Two days ago he was shot dead at his station by a Muslim terrorist suspect. Those shots ought to reverberate throughout the whole society, not just law enforcement.

Actually, they did reverberate, and it’s those echoes that reveal the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of our woke modernity.

The BBC reported the murder an hour or so after the shooting. Following the usual waffle about Sgt. Ratana’s sterling character, about half the space was devoted to a mendacious argument against armed police.

After helpfully informing us that only 17 British policemen have been shot dead since the war, the report explained that: “The fact is that there are very few criminal guns in circulation – and the culture of policing has never seen it as acceptable to be universally armed.”

I recall American bumper stickers, saying: “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns” and “It’s better to have a gun and not to need it than to need it and not to have it.” Both can easily cross the ocean and work just as hard in Croydon and other such places.

Handguns were outlawed in Britain in 1996, making it impossible for law-abiding citizens to protect their families from vicious felons. The latter, however, have no problem obtaining firearms. Apparently a handgun can be bought for as little as £30 in the mean streets of Croydon.

Thus that first bumper sticker applies here as well. What about the second?

The BBC shows how easy it is to deceive by choosing arbitrary subsets of data. The impression they seek to convey is that a gun is only ever needed as protection against other guns.

But that’s a fallacy. A man stabbed or clubbed to death is just as dead as a victim of a bullet. Similarly false is the idea of proportional defensive force peddled by the ‘liberals’.

Their assumption is that a man being attacked with a knife or a baseball bat (British sports shops do brisk business in those, even though no one plays baseball) shouldn’t be allowed to defend himself with a gun. Instead he too should grab a knife or a bat, however making sure he doesn’t really hurt the attacker. If he does, he may well end up being the one in the dock.

True, our policemen don’t have guns. But don’t they need them?

They don’t, says the BBC. After all, they are unlikely to be shot. Fair enough, British criminals don’t see guns as essential accessories. Unlike their American counterparts, they are more likely to favour stabbing, slashing or clubbing weapons.

It’s with such implements that 10,399 police officers were injured in 2018 (I have no later data), with a further 20,578 assaults that didn’t result in injuries. How many could have been prevented had the officers carried something heavier than a truncheon and a Taser? Most, I dare say.

However, our police are disarmed in even more vital ways. They are prevented from doing their job, being encouraged instead to act as a branch of social services. Here’s how our anti-terrorist police describe their Prevent programme on their official website:

“We work with local authority partners and community organisations to help find solutions and work to support and protect vulnerable people… Following assessment, many referrals to Prevent do not result in any further police action. In some cases other organisations such as health, housing or education step in to provide support.”

The vulnerable people the anti-terrorist police should protect aren’t potential terrorists but their future victims. Steering youngsters away from recruitment by terrorist Muslim cells may involve taking care of their health, education and housing, but that’s not the natural purview of the police. If they simply stuck to investigation, apprehension and isolation, they’d be more successful.

Then another question arises: how could a suspected terrorist carry a concealed weapon into a police station? Didn’t the arresting officers search him?

Er… they did, but they didn’t do it very well – partly because they didn’t know how, and partly because they are scared stiff of being too zealous in searching BAME suspects – a charge of racism is looming.

A police patrol stopped the Sri Lankan, already known for terrorist links, in the street and performed a cursory search. They found his pockets bulging with drugs and revolver rounds. Unlike the former, the latter have no useful purpose in the absence of a gun from which they can be fired.

Hence the police must have assumed that such a weapon was secreted somewhere on the chap’s person. So it was, in his trousers at the base of his spine, but a pat-down found nothing — pathetically. Now, I realise that our police are laudably encouraged to learn nothing about handguns, but even small ones are sizeable, hard metallic objects.

Not finding it while patting a man down is a zenith of incompetence, crying out for an explanation. A Met spokesman duly provided one: “He would never have been placed in a van and taken to the police station had they known he was still armed.”

That’s comforting to know. You mean they would have taken the revolver away from him? I’m not sure about that. Might be a violation of the Sri Lankan’s human rights and yet another manifestation of institutional racism.

The only policeman authorised to perform a more thorough search is the sergeant on duty at the Custody Centre, in this case Matiu Ratana. Yet, when he entered the room where the Sri Lankan was held, the latter performed a contortionist feat.

Though handcuffed behind his back, he managed to pull the weapon out and, shooting from behind his waist, first kill Sgt Ratana and then wound himself in the neck. The second act seems well nigh impossible to me, but then I shouldn’t underestimate the athletic suppleness of young men.

The police officer paid with his life for the ideological emasculation of law enforcement, yet this never comes up in any reports. Not a single one, however, fails to mention the irrelevant fact that the murderer is autistic, and also that no terrorist motive existed.

Now, anyone who has ever shot handguns knows even the ability to hit the proverbial barn door requires regular practice. Firing accurate shots from behind one’s back betokens extended, serious training in the art of killing.

So here we have a Muslim suspected of terrorist links, who knows how to hide a revolver on his person so well that even a police search can’t find it. He has clearly received advanced pistol training (not easily available in the UK) and can hit a target even out of an acrobatic position. He then uses his training to murder a policeman.

Why did he do all that if not for terrorist reasons? Because he’s autistic of course. Need you ask?

Following this horrendous incident, people are beginning to talk, albeit cautiously, about the need to change police procedure. Empty talk, that. No procedural changes will work until society rediscovers its spunk, its commitment to defending itself from erosion and its members from crime.

Having said that, I begin to consider the moral, intellectual and political shift required to let the police do their job and I sigh hopelessly. It’s never going to happen, is it?

Furries on the march again

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.

At least nobody took issue with Penelope’s garments in Moscow

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.

Will Harry ever shut up?

Just as I was incensed yesterday about US congressmen meddling in our affairs, Americans have every right to be aggrieved by Prince Harry blatantly advising them to vote for Biden in November.

Mr and Mrs Windsor

He didn’t do that in so many words, but the meaning was so transparent that he might as well have done. Someone ought to explain to Harry certain basic truths he obviously can’t figure out for himself.

First, he is rather the opposite of bright. A man of his woefully inadequate intellect is in no position to lecture anybody on anything.

Second, our celebrity culture is such that even nonentities feel entitled to pontificate publicly if their name is readily recognised by the masses. However, acting on that perceived entitlement makes them look even more, rather than less, pathetic.

Harry’s name is recognised by the masses for one reason only: he is a prince of the realm. By all accounts he was a good soldier, but such men don’t benefit from name recognition unless they’ve performed an act of spectacular heroism or perhaps reached a senior general’s rank.

Third, the status of a prince of the realm confers rare privileges, while at the same time imposing ironclad responsibilities. Benefiting from the former while ignoring the latter is worse than inane and tasteless. Since it undermines the very essence of our constitutional dispensation, irresponsible behaviour on the part of the royals is borderline treasonous.

Fourth, being a prince of the realm or, for that matter, any royal involves the forfeiture of some rights the rest of us take for granted. One of them is the freedom of expressing political views publicly – and certainly campaigning for political parties even at home, never mind abroad.

Fifth, while the life of a private subject of Her Majesty belongs only to him and his God, the life of a prince also belongs to the whole nation. Some royals, especially those not burdened with excessive intellect, may find that onus unbearable. However, they must bear it for any number of historical and political reasons.

Sixth, however passionately Harry is obsessed with his wife, she is a typical Hollywood starlet with next to no talent and transient good looks. Marrying Harry was Meghan’s shortcut to enduring fame, which is a time-honoured stratagem for young women on the make.

However, Meghan insists on using her new-found fame as a platform from which to vent her hare-brained woke views on every conceivable subject. It’s beyond her modest abilities to fathom that, by marrying a royal prince, she has stopped being just Meghan Markle. Instead she became HRH the Duchess of Sussex, an important cog in the wheels of the British constitution.

The Queen must act with alacrity to put an end to this obscene road show. The HRH title, along with all other royal insignia, must be immediately removed from Harry and Meghan de jure, as it already has been de facto.

It’s not enough that they are no longer working royals – they must be taken down from the royal perch altogether. Moreover, they, like the Duke of Windsor (another royal henpecked by an American femme fatale) back in the ‘30s, must be banned from entering Britain, unless explicitly allowed to do so by the prime minister in each case.

Harry should keep his officer’s rank, provided he reverts to the name he used in the service, Harry Windsor. I for one will be interested to see the ratings of those Netflix films produced by Mr and Mrs Windsor, rather than the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. So, no doubt, will Netflix.

We must recognise the vital role played by the monarchy in Britain’s constitution, which is to say her very essence. For Britain, more than any other European country, is defined by her political arrangement. This is arguably the country’s greatest contribution to Western civilisation, much envied and often emulated by others throughout history.

The constitution has evolved over the centuries, but it has remained essentially intact for over three centuries, despite Tony Blair’s constitutional vandalism. But even in his zeal Blair discovered that no part of Britain’s political structure could be removed without jeopardising the whole.

Thus, much as he wanted to expunge the very notion of a Lord Chancellor, he only succeeded in downgrading the office, not eliminating it. Blair found out that too many political and administrative cul-de-sacs await any train trying to bypass that vital stop.

Yet the monarchy is even more important, by several orders of magnitude. If it collapses, Britain will be plunged into a hopeless political chaos, compared to which the economic damage done by Covid (avidly assisted by our craven, spivocratic government) will look like a marvel of order.

The republican sentiment at the grassroots is strong, and every time a royal violates his brief it gets stronger. Hence Harry’s idiotic shenanigans threaten his whole family and therefore the country.

When that’s the case, both Whitehall and the Palace must act quickly and decisively. In 1936 Stanley Baldwin knew what to do under such circumstances. Boris Johnson, who fancies himself a historian, should study history not just out of academic interest.

Congressmen playing marbles

A group of 18 US congressmen have issued an open letter, demanding that Britain return the Elgin Marbles to Greece on pain of losing any hope of a trade deal. The letter is enunciated in a language reminiscent of notes starting with the words “if you ever want to see your children again…”

Evidently Brexit offers exciting possibilities not only for global trade, but also for blackmail – with Britain on the receiving end.

That Americans are cast in the role of blackmailers adds an interesting twist to the very notion of the ‘special relationship’. Some US legislators can’t seem to be able to get their heads around the fact that Britain is a sovereign country entitled to conduct her affairs as she sees fit.

This doesn’t make us off limits for criticism, legitimate or otherwise. But neither is Britain a weedy nerd to be pushed around by a schoolyard bully.

It’s clear that we need a trade deal with the US, and presumably vice versa. But trade deals are just that, mutually beneficial arrangements for exchanging goods and services. They shouldn’t be used as levers of political influence.

Under normal circumstances, that is. No international relations, including trade, ought to exclude a moral aspect altogether. Sanctions and embargos imposed on evil states are perfectly justified, if seldom effective.

However, I doubt that many Americans see Britain as one such state, for all her demonstrable failings. Therefore making trade contingent on our compliance with an unfair and historically ignorant demand, especially when accompanied by veiled threats, is nothing but unvarnished blackmail.

The group of congressional blackmailers came from both parties, and it’s nice to see a cross-party consensus on at least one issue, if no other. The tone of their letter is menacing:

“We remain appreciative of your efforts and good will in support of the historic special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States, and look forward to strengthening that relationship through the accomplishment of matters such as this.” In other words, do as we say – or else.

I’ve been unable to obtain the list of the 18 signatories, but I suspect many of them must be of Greek origin and hence subjects to an intricate lattice of loyalties typical of Americans. One doubts the cohesion of a nation, where so many people retain not only a cultural interest in the land of their distant ancestors, but also tribal and political sympathies – but that’s beyond my scope here.

I’m surprised Turkish Americans haven’t yet demanded that the Elgin Marbles be returned to Turkey. After all, at the time Lord Elgin removed them, Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire.

But for Lord Elgin, the Marbles wouldn’t exist: the Turks were burning them to obtain lime for construction purposes, and some priceless sculptures were irretrievably lost. Elgin, ambassador to the Ottomans at the time, managed to save the Marbles and transport them to London at a staggering personal cost, £70,000 (at a time when £500 a year was seen as an enviable income).

This issue has always attracted rebels in search of a cause. One such possessor of a flaming social conscience is George Clooney, who a few years ago demonstrated his cultural credentials by saying that “Even in England the polling is in favour of returning the marbles to the Pantheon.”

Which Pantheon, George? The one in Paris or the one in Rome? Oh hell, Pantheon, Parthenon, who cares as long as your heart’s in the right place (even if your brain isn’t). And a current poll shows that 64 per cent of Britons want to keep the Marbles, mainly, I suspect, because Britons tend to close ranks in the face of blackmailers.

Both sides to the debate make obtuse legal arguments, and I’m not qualified to act as a referee. I do know, however, that Britain should be at the bottom of the queue when it comes to returning art to previous owners.

The collection of the Parthenon (Pantheon?) Marbles at the British Museum wasn’t looted, which is more than one can say for the collections of some European museums, such as the Louvre.

Many of its treasures were stolen during Napoleon’s campaigns, yet nobody raises a hue and cry about it. And even some masterpieces in American museums were looted by the Nazis from Jewish families before eventually crossing the ocean.

US legislators try to blackmail Britain on other issues as well. Some of them are deeply concerned about HMG’s intransigence in its negotiations with the EU. That concern is also expressed by dangling a trade deal over our heads like the sword of Damocles.

It’s touching to see how selflessly those chaps devote so much of their valuable time to pondering issues that are none of their business. This, at a time when their own country is rent asunder by race riots threatening to engulf the whole country in flames, and when America is running up a Covid death toll much higher than ours, both absolutely and relatively.

All that is accompanied by bows towards the ‘special relationship’, understood as one between a wirepuller and his dummy. That’s exactly what it has been ever since the US threw its massive weight behind the task of dismantling the British Empire.

During the war, which Americans insist they won for us, the country’s real special relationship was with Stalin’s Russia, not Britain. Though the former entered the war as Hitler’s ally, Stalin got US lend-lease aid for free, whereas Britain had to beggar herself trying to pay for it. In fact, it was only in 2006 when the debt was finally settled.

My avuncular advice to US congressmen: chaps, leave Britain alone and mind your own business, which is far from being good. If you think you can profit from a trade deal, we’ll be happy to sign it. Otherwise you can flog your chlorinated chickens elsewhere.

Totalitarianism isn’t TB

By the time tuberculosis symptoms appear, it’s already too late to treat the disease, went the medical opinion in the pre-antibiotic era.

Teapots and kettles: her colleagues called Kristie Higgs a “Nazi”

Totalitarianism isn’t like that: even its early symptoms are there for all to see. However, it’s a distinction without a difference, for people either fail to recognise inchoate totalitarianism for what it is, or else ignore it altogether.

Hence there’s a distinct danger that totalitarianism will triumph with the deadly effect of tuberculosis in the pre-antibiotic era. And when it does, it will indeed be too late to do anything about it.

Totalitarianism escalates; given an inch, it’ll gradually claim a yard and then a mile. But then everything about modernity, including its congenital totalitarianism, is progressive.

That the rights of Englishmen are beginning to cough up blood is undeniable. The latest incidence involves Kristie Higgs, a Gloucestershire school assistant sacked for daring to oppose creeping woke fascism.

As a Christian, she regards education in the fine points of homosexuality as “brainwashing our children” and doesn’t “believe in the modern ideas of gender fluidity and transgenderism”.

Moreover, in her Facebook posts Mrs Higgs correctly described compulsory classes in sex education as “a vicious form of totalitarianism aimed at suppressing Christianity”.

This led to the following exchange between her and the school’s barrister at the subsequent tribunal hearing:

“Do you believe that because of your religious views you can post anything you like, no matter how reactionary?”

“I believe that if it goes against the word of God, people need to know about it. I love God but I also have to follow the law of the land, but it doesn’t mean I can’t disagree.”

So you could, Mrs Higgs, when Britain was still a free country. But you no longer can disagree, our incipient totalitarians won’t allow it. So far (the operative words) they’re unable to take your life, but they can certainly ruin it.

This is far from being the first case of British Christians suffering persecution for refusing to repudiate their beliefs and proselytise them, just as Christ told them to (“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…”). The severity of punishment doesn’t yet match the experience of Christians in the Soviet Union, but such things have a natural accelerator built in.

What Mrs Higgs said about the propaganda of gender-bending applies to modernity at large. It too is, potentially at least, “a vicious form of totalitarianism aimed at suppressing Christianity”.

In fact, if there is a discernible animus all modern revolutions share, it’s a revolt against Christianity in general and its apostolic confessions in particular.

That’s why Catholicism was banned on pain of death in 12 of the first 13 American colonies; why the American revolutionaries, most of them deists at best, were so keen to separate church and state, with the Founders competing against one another in the stridency of their attacks on traditional denominations; why the French revolutionaries committed unspeakable atrocities under the banner of secularism; why the Soviets and the Nazis set out to exterminate or at least suppress Christianity.

However, as we are finding out, the bathwater of religion is impossible to throw out without also losing the baby of culture, civility and morality. And those are the only restraints able to keep totalitarianism in check, preventing its seed, planted in every modern state, from growing to luxuriant maturity.

The war on Christianity has been won on the secular background, but iconoclasm doesn’t stop even after the icons have been smashed. That’s why modern savages, such as those running that Gloucestershire school, react so violently to any recalcitrant holdouts.

And that’s why Miss Higgs’s appeal to the Bible and Christian moral teaching, while noble and correct, is unlikely to save any souls other than her own. Yet her argument can be made just as effectively without a single reference to Scripture.

I’m not saying it could be won, but it certainly could satisfy the strictest logician. Specifically on the issue of gender-bending, one can invoke reams of scientific evidence showing it’s impossible for a man to become a woman and vice versa. They can only succeed in becoming freakish sideshows, adding new arrows to the ideological quiver of modernity.

An argument from freedom can also be made on purely secular grounds. Parents must be free to withdraw their children from sex-education classes if they feel such ‘education’ is damaging to the child morally, intellectually and psychologically. Similarly, school employees have a right to oppose such classes without suffering repercussions.

I hope Mrs Higgs wins her tribunal case, but I’m not holding my breath. Appeals to real, as opposed to bogus, civil rights ring as hollow to our totalitarians as do quotations from the Bible.

However, it’s critical that the few holdouts among us heed the warning signs better than our typological precursors did in Russia and Germany. We should stand fast, refusing to cede those inches in the knowledge that they can ineluctably add up to miles. Totalitarianism must be fought everywhere its symptoms appear, even if they seem trivial.

We should refuse to succumb to totalitarian usages shoved down our throats; we should continue to appeal to basic human liberties; we should quarrel with school administrations promoting totalitarian takeover; we should march, non-violently, in defence of liberty; we should uphold real education based on real books, real music, real science; we should insist on the freedom of religion guaranteed yet assaulted by all Western governments; we should spring to the defence of Kristie Higgs and other victims of neo-totalitarianism.

And, all else failing, we should remember the old saying: even if none of it can be resisted, all of it can be despised.

Virtue comes at a price

For Princeton University the price may be quite steep: $75 million. That’s the amount of federal funding the university has received – fraudulently, according to a self-lacerating admission by its president, Christopher Eisgruber.

Hotbed of racism

Actually, Dr Eisgruber didn’t make that admission in so many words. He simply signalled his virtue to the outside world, saying things any respectable scholar has to say these days if he wishes to remain respectable.

The underlying assumption is as simple as truth itself. Any institution founded before the advent of new morality, one based on race, sex and sexes, is congenitally racist, homophobic and misogynist. Variously abject mea culpas are therefore de rigueur, repenting such sins singly or, depending on the situation, collectively.

In that spirit Dr Eisgruber wrote a letter to the university community in which he honestly admitted that Princeton has always been, and still remains, shaped by systemic racism.

“Racism and the damage it does to people of color nevertheless persist at Princeton as in our society, sometimes by conscious intention but more often through unexamined assumptions and stereotypes, ignorance or insensitivity, and the systemic legacy of past decisions and policies,” he wrote.

Dr Eisgruber understands the essence of the modern ethos, but he hasn’t quite mastered its vocabulary. His prolix admission could have been replaced by the voluminous term ‘unconscious bias’.

Take it from someone who grew up in the Soviet Union: if you want to criminalise thought and attitudes, you must make sure any resulting indictment will be irrefutable and applicable to the whole population.

‘Unconscious bias’ is, by definition, a prejudice of which the culprit is unaware. Since the burden of proof in thought crimes is always on the accused, he can’t possibly prove that something he doesn’t know doesn’t exist. QED, off with his head, or whatever punishment is deemed appropriate in the rarefied air of the proverbial groves.

However, as I said, Dr Eisgruber’s heart is in the right place, even if his language needs work. “Racist assumptions from the past also remain embedded in structures of the University itself,” he continued.

Be warned: some readers may find the facts cited in support of this doleful acknowledgement too disturbing. However, if you are made of sterner stuff, brace yourself: Princeton has “at least nine departments and programs organised around European languages and culture, but only one, relatively small, program in African studies.”

Sorry, let me take a moment to settle my nerves. If that’s not a case of criminal – I insist on this adjective – racial bigotry, I don’t know what is. For what other explanation can there be for so much more attention given to European culture? This is Jim Crow all over again, with campus lynchings but a step away.

What? European culture is more significant, is that what you’re saying? Look at yourself in the mirror, you reprobate. Scowling at you is the mug of a potential Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Having typed the full stop at the end of his letter, Dr Eisgruber must have smiled with the satisfaction of a job well done. Little hobgoblins of the past slain, virtue signalled, historical sins expiated. Back to business as normal.

Er, not quite, said the US Department of Education and then the White House. DoEd stated that: “Based on its admitted racism, the U.S. Department of Education is concerned Princeton’s nondiscrimination and equal opportunity assurances in its Program Participation Agreements from at least 2013 to the present may have been false.  

“The Department is further concerned Princeton perhaps knew, or should have known, these assurances were false at the time they were made. 

“Finally, the Department is further concerned Princeton’s many nondiscrimination and equal opportunity claims to students, parents, and consumers in the market for education certificates may have been false, misleading, and actionable substantial misrepresentations.”

Hence, wrote the triply concerned DoEd to Dr Eisgruber, “You admitted Princeton’s educational program is and for decades has been racist… The serious, even shocking nature of Princeton’s admissions compel the Department to move with all appropriate speed.”

In other words, Princeton has made fraudulent claims and tricked millions out of the government on false pretences. As a minimum, the university may have to pay the money back. As a maximum, criminal charges could be a possibility.

“Hey, wait a minute!” I hear Dr Eisgruber scream. He didn’t mean it literally! All he meant was that, when Princeton was founded almost 300 years ago, some of its trustees owned slaves, as one did in those days. That dripped drops of tar into the honey barrel of Princeton’s DNA, and the university has since been working tirelessly to purify itself.

Dr Eisgruber’s letter was the latest cleansing procedure, that’s all. Spiritual decontamination, not factual admission, can’t DoEd see it?

Too late for that. Dr Eisgruber stated his principles unequivocally and now he must bear the consequences, however unjust and unintended. Oh well, as they used to say, a principle isn’t a principle until it has cost you money.

Dr Eisgruber evokes the memory of those early Crusaders who beggared themselves for the privilege of reclaiming the Holy Land. Like them, he’ll go down in history as a selfless fighter for a noble idea. Unlike them, he’s not laying his life on the line.

Dr Eisgruber’s courageous stance may only cost his university some money and him his job. But, on the positive side, he earned my gratitude. Rare are news items these days that have made me laugh so loudly and gleefully.

‘Kill whitey’ and other funny jokes

The other day the black comedienne Sophie Duker cracked a side-splitting, knee-slapping joke on a BBC panel show.

Mass murder isn’t always funny

Race came up for discussion, as it always does nowadays, and Duker chipped in with a show-stopper: “When we say we want to kill Whitey, we don’t really mean we want to kill Whitey.” After a well-timed pause she added: “We do.”

Somewhat strained laughter all around, even though, whatever else this ‘joke’ may be, it surely isn’t funny. Yet other panel members, all of them white, knew they had to treat any idiocy coming from a black celeb as the acme of wit. One could also detect slight, does-she-mean-it nervousness.

All this is to be expected from all the parties involved: Duker, her woke colleagues and of course the BBC. In fact, the Corporation responded to the ensuing outcry on social media with a statement of unequivocal support for Duker and everything she advocates, including, one assumes, the murder of 90 per cent of BBC leadership and 86 per cent of its entire staff, all irredeemably white.

However, that incident provided valuable material for the columnist Sarah Vine, poor Michael Gove’s wife. Miss Vine took exception to Miss Duker’s humour, which does her credit. But then she undid her good work by again showing herself for the intellectually challenged barbarian she is.

Miss Vine explained she first learned the term ‘whitey’ (which she helpfully identified as being of American origin) from the 1970 song Whitey on the Moon by the black proto-rapper Gil Scott-Heron. Since Miss Vine was three when the song came out, her familiarity with it testifies to the enduring power of true art.

Indeed, this is what Miss Vine thinks that song is: “Scott-Heron speaks of struggling to meet his rent even though ‘Whitey’s on the moon’. It’s a powerful lament, a true work of art that urges the listener to see the world from a different point of view.”

Since I don’t possess Miss Vine’s firm grasp of counterculture, I had to look up Scott-Heron on Google and the masterpiece in question on YouTube, if only to refresh my understanding of what constitutes a true work of art. So here’s the first verse:

“A rat done bit my sister Nell./ (with Whitey on the moon)/ Her face and arms began to swell./ (and Whitey’s on the moon)/ I can’t pay no doctor bill./ (but Whitey’s on the moon) Ten years from now I’ll be payin’ still.”

Since this is a precursor of rap, even Miss Vine must see that the song has no musical content whatsoever. Hence she must believe that its true artistry comes across in the lyrics, inspired by “the Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver, who argued that the Moon landings were nothing more than a distraction from the crippling poverty among America’s black communities.”

Implicitly, this source of inspiration confers incontestable artistry, which implication I find hard to accept. Eldridge Cleaver was a communist – and black supremacist – terrorist who took refuge in Cuba after a deadly shootout with Oakland police. The current BLM and NFAC mobs trace their provenance to the Black Panthers and other similar groups committed to perpetuating the ghetto mentality of American blacks.

But true enough, Cleaver’s influence is manifest in Scott-Heron. For his truly artistic lyrics are worse than moronic – they are symptomatic of the race war whose flames are still being fanned into a revolutionary inferno.

I know it’s tactless to try making sense of songs, especially those impeccably consonant with the zeitgeist. But since we’ve agreed that these lyrics are a depository of true art, such pedantry seems to be justified, for art can withstand exegesis.

The underlying thought is that Mr Scott-Heron’s protagonist can’t pay his medical bills because “Whitey’s on the moon”. (If you wonder what would happen to a white rapper singing of a similar embarrassment caused by ‘multi-millionaire spades in the NBA’, you are a racist – which you probably are anyway. Aren’t we all?)

In other words, he sees a causative relationship where none exists. Unless he thinks, which he probably does, that the money committed to the space programme could have been better spent on even greater handouts to blacks and other ‘socioeconomically disadvantaged’ groups.

Since most people employed in America at the time were covered by medical insurance, the brother of the girl on the receiving end of that rat bite clearly didn’t have a job.

Moreover, it’s a fair guess that he hadn’t worn out too much shoe leather looking for one. It was so much easier to live on benefits and carp about the absence of fairness in the world. In other words, rather than a human agent, he is described as merely flotsam on the crest of a social wave.

This is false economics, poor philosophy and puny thinking in general. It “urges the listener to see the world” not just “from a different point of view”, but from a stupid, divisive and extremist one.

But then of course who are we to argue with true art? Or with Miss Vine, for that matter.   

A kiss isn’t just a kiss

If not reciprocated with sufficient enthusiasm, it’s an imprisonable felony. Former Tory MP Charlie Elphicke found that out the other day, when he was sentenced to two years in prison for two counts of sexual assault.

Was chemical castration considered?

One count involved the self-described ‘naughty Tory’ inviting a thirtyish woman to his house for a drink, then kissing and groping her without permission.

The other count came after Elphicke tried to kiss another woman and put his hands on her breasts. Two counts, two years, there’s a certain harmony there.

Yet the sentence is bad news, and not just for the ‘naughty Tory’. It’s one of those miscarriages of justice that undermine the very basis of legality.

The men among you should strain your memory and try to recall whether you ever tried to kiss or feel up a reluctant woman, ever had your hand knocked off a reluctant knee. I bet you did, if only in your testosteronal youth. Did I? I insist on my right not to incriminate myself.

If such behaviour isn’t merely boorish but criminal, then we all – well, most of us – have committed criminal acts. Hence the law that sent Elphicke down criminalises practically the entire male population and, I’m guessing here, a fair chunk of the female one as well.

This in itself is criminal: if everybody is a felon, nobody is. Hence this law is meaningless, which makes it harmful.

The greater the number of meaningless laws on the books, the less respect people will feel for the law in general. And less respect will become outright contempt when people realise that increasingly more laws have nothing to do with justice and everything to do with idiotic fads imposed by subversive pressure groups.

But fine, let’s agree for the sake of argument that kissing a woman against her will is a heinous crime. However, there’s the issue of commensurate punishment.

A friend of mine, an expert on such matters, has calculated that burglars serve, on average, three days per burglary. And long is the list of crimes, such as theft, burglary and mugging, that practically never draw a custodial sentence on first offence.

Yet Elphicke, who had no previous, was treated more harshly than thieves, burglars and muggers. Remember that neither ‘victim’ was raped or hurt in any way. They were mistreated and mishandled, as it were. Either of them would have been justified in slapping Elphicke’s face, or perhaps have her boyfriend do so later with more pow.

Had they felt that further action was in order, they could have complained to the Tory whips, who would have certainly censured the libidinous MP for misbehaving. But the whole ethos being shoved down our throats led them to report Elphicke to the police, who then saw fit to pass the case on to the CPO – and then the jury, sufficiently primed by said ethos and the judge’s instructions, saw fit to convict.

I do hope this monstrous verdict will be overturned on appeal. Yet even if it is, the damage has been done – to the law, relations between the sexes, the very notion of justice and therefore to us all.

A quick question: Do you think a dweller of a Brixton council estate would have received the same punishment for the same offence? And if the answer is no, as it has to be, are our courts waging class and political war? In addition to enforcing every wokish fad? Don’t answer that.