15 Apr

Our wonderful social repair

Who holds the trophy for the most misleading statements in an article of about 1000 words? I don’t know, but Fraser Nelson, writing in the Daily Telegraph on Good Friday, must be pretty close. The gist of his piece is that, while church attendance has declined dramatically, the country is enjoying a moral renaissance.

Mr Nelson claims, “Britain is midway through a phase of social repair.” Leave aside for a moment the question of how he knows we are “midway” through this wonderful revival – Are we nearly there yet? – and whether the alleged social repair will be completed, what evidence does Mr Nelson produce to justify his obvious cheerfulness?

First, “Some time around  the turn of the century, social problems stopped growing.” But is the current epidemic of mental illness among children not a significant social problem? Is endemic bullying, so pervasive among people of all ages, that children as young as four are telephoning their distress to the NSPCC not a social problem? Then there is the other social problem of ubiquitous online abuse about which I listened to yet another broadcast documentary not ten minutes after I had finished reading Mr Nelson’s article. Has he never heard of the widespread addiction to prescription drugs? We’re not drinking as much as we used to, he says, but our towns and cities still resemble deserted battlefields in the early hours of weekend mornings. Are the prisons not stuffed to bursting and more violent and drug-ridden than ever? And we have seen a 40% rise in incidents of knife-crime over the last eight years.

None of this looks like “social repair” to me.

Secondly, Mr Nelson says, “Teenage pregnancy stands at the lowest rate since records began in 1969.” Really? But there are 200,000 abortions in Britain every year and 50,000 of these are performed on teenagers – higher than the numbers in any other member state of the EU. Is this annual cull, this relentless massacre of the innocents, not a social problem?

Thirdly, “”While Britain now has a secular culture, it’s still one marinated in Christianity, the values survive.” What values are these? Does he mean we are all still marinated in the well-known Christian values of Equality, Diversity, Inclusivity and Political Correctness and the New Testament virtue of homosexual marriage?

Fourthly and hilariously, Mr Nelson says, “Churches are abandoned and converted into pubs.” No they’re not. They are being converted into mosques. And the pubs are closing faster than the churches.

“Midway through a phase of social repair”?

God deliver us from the state we’ll be in when this phase has been completed. 

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06 Apr

Leave means Remain

Here’s a little quiz for you…

When is a Brexit not a Brexit?

Answer: when it’s Theresa May’s Brexit.

What does that mean?

It means that we shall have the appearance of Brexit while in reality all our ties to the EU will remain in place.

To quote John McEnroe, “You cain’t be serious!”

Oh yes, I’m being very serious.

Give us some examples of what you mean, then.

Easy. Already Britain is in the process of translating all the myriad EU laws and regulations which bind us into British laws and regulations where they will still bind us.

Anything else?

Yes, Mrs May says that free movement of populations – that the EU Shengen Agreement or, in a word immigration – will stay in place even after we’ve left.

She can’t say that!

She can and she did – yesterday. Here’s what she said about our continued accommodation to the EU:

“Once we’ve got the deal … it will be necessary for there to be a period of time when businesses and governments are adjusting systems and so forth,”

Well, there’s bound to be a period of transition.

And it will last forever.

This is dreadful – but she’ll never get away with it. Parliament will hold her to account to aim for a genuine Brexit.

But Mrs May will get around that. Indeed she did so yesterday by making her remarks about free movement when parliament is in recess and while she was out of the country.

But she promised “Brexit means Brexit”

And so it does. And “soap” means “soap.” But there’s soft soap and there’s hard soap. Mrs May’s line is in soft soap. And she has always been a Remainer, remember.  What we shall end up with is the word “Brexit” but not the substance of Brexit. May will say, “Brexit changes everything” – which, being translated, means “Everything will stay the same.”

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04 Apr

The mellifluous regiment

I’ve taken to listening to Woman’s Hour, because its presenters have such agreeable voices. But why do they harp only on one subject – women? Is that really all they’re interested in? Most of the real women I know – not the politicised BBC types – are interested in all manner of subjects. I think they should rename the programme Feminist Solipsism Hour. Are men interested only in men? I don’t think so, and I know I’m not: I’m interested in women for a start. But Woman’s Hour is a study in monomania. They are in thrall to the ideology of antisexism.

They are interested in politics, up to a point, but not much beyond the suffragists. English Literature consists of the Brontes, George Eliot, Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Maria Edgeworth and Doris Lessing. If they talk about music on the programme, it has to be about Clara Schumann or Fanny Mendelssohn. Though, credit where it’s due, they did once do a feature about the astounding Hildegaard of Bingen who ranks several notches higher than Clara and Fanny. They will talk about Florence Nightingale, though they prefer Mary Seacole because this gives them opportunity to indulge their subsidiary ideology, antiracism.

They remind me of the mystical communists who look forward to their atheistic version of the end times: the punishment of the capitalists and the dawn of the communist utopia. They are panting for their own wimmin’s paradise: that great and glorious day when all women will be hod-carriers on building sites – stripped to the waist? – and whistled at by brawny men sitting on the pavements and engrossed in their needlepoint. Progress has been made towards this feminist parousia, but there is still a lot of work to be done and women need to show tireless vigilance.

Still, they regularly give thanks for past successes, milestones on the road to utopia. For example, the other day, the script went something like this: “D’you remember the bad old days and the Ladybird learning to read books featuring Peter and Jane? Jane was always in the kitchen helping mummy and Peter was out in the street washing the car with his dad?”

They can hardly contain their scorn for a bygone age when things were so cliched and unliberated.

But here I draw the line, girls. Here I object. For however much times have changed between the era of Peter and Jane and our wonderfully progressed and emancipated age, that picture of boys washing cars and girls making jam tarts was actually how things were fifty years ago.

Again we notice their resemblance to communists in their fixation on rewriting history.

What damage would be wreaked on the historical tomes if they were to be consistent and insist on role-reversal in ancient Rome: Priscilla would have to be portrayed as an apprentice charioteer and Markus a trainee vestal virgin.

Ladies, you may work to change the present and the future to your hearts’ content. But leave the past alone. It was what it was, for better or worse.

I shall still listen though. As I say, they have such mellifluous voices. That Jenni Murray, for example: you’d never think she comes from Barnsley. 

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03 Apr

Confessions of a Europhile

It’s time I came clean and owned up: I am a Europhile.

But, before all my fellow Brexiteers disown me, I must make clear that the Europe I love and daily thank God for has nothing to do with that monstrous tyranny in Brussels. I hate and despise the EU: its unelected Commissioners; its extortionate fraud called the customs union which sets British taxes and disbars us from trading freely with the rest of the world; its manifest corruption demonstrated by its refusal to publish audited accounts for two decades; its doctrine of universal rights derived from the blood-soaked philosophy which guided the French Revolution; its thorough atheism by which it has banished Christianity from the public realm; its relentless invention of new business taxes and regulations which stifle Britain’s economic prosperity and which have produced catastrophic unemployment among the young throughout the continent, impoverished Italy, Spain and Portugal and brought Greece to the edge of economic collapse and social disaster. Most of all I despise the EU for its suicidal immigration policy which is importing millions of members of an alien and vicious ideology  – people who have repeatedly declared their contempt for the West – to live among us and so transform our continent until it comes to resemble the s*** heaps from which these hordes are glad to escape.

I fail entirely to understand the minds of the Remainers who regard this tyrannous servitude, this blatantly repressive regime, as freedom and as a paragon of the liberal values.

Have I made myself clear? Good – then I will tell you of that Europe which I love and for which I daily give thanks.

It is the Europe which, in the early Middle Ages, began to fashion the modern world: the monks, their monasteries, their agriculture and their learning; the common Latin language and the universities as the bedrock of scholarship; logic, philosophy; men such as Anselm, Aquinas, Duns Scotus and Francis Bacon.

Then there are the sublime creations of European literature, music , art and sculpture: The Divine Comedy; the paintings of Giotto; Gregorian plainchant; the invention of polyphony which produced the classical musical tradition; Tallis, Byrd, Purcell, Bach, Haydn, Schubert, Mozart and Beethoven; the public schools; hospitals and hospices; the trades guilds and the livery companies; the Gothic and the Romanesque, a cathedral in every city and a parish church in every village; the practical virtue of charity; Europe’s scientists, mathematicians, astronomers and medical doctors who have enriched our understanding and our wellbeing.

All these blessings and wonders – and many more besides – were and are the creation of the Europe I confess I love.

I confess, but I do not apologise

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