17 Aug

Rees-Mogg versus the Mockers and the Gigglers

Why is Jacob Rees-Mogg so mocked and derided? Theresa May said she “giggled” when it was suggested he might be a candidate for the Tory leadership.

“Giggled”? That’s nothing: I wept when the stupendously incompetent and inept Theresa May was promoted to high office.

In fact Rees-Mogg is by no means universally mocked. That still considerable number of sensible and informed people, who can read behind the blather of the headlines and the idiocy of the political commentators, see in Jacob much to admire. His speeches and articles are well-received.

But he is derided. Never mind: he is derided only by those people for whom we ought to reserve our derision. You know who I mean: the political timeservers, the consensus-mongers, the whole flatulent rabble of politicians who, since the end of the Second World War, have seen their task only as managed decline. In other words, Jacob is derided by the mediocratic establishment.

It is easy to see why they despise him. He is not one of them.

He speaks English and writes elegantly while his detractors in politics and the press only babble, more or less ungrammatically, the cliches which they believe the people want to hear.

He tells the truth. For instance the truth that if you reduce taxation you actually produce more revenue for the exchequer.

The political class in the parliamentary parties and in the press would have us believe that money belongs to the government and that policy is the business of politicians as they decide how much money they will allocate to the docile population. Rees-Mogg speaks the truth plainly when he says: “The government doesn’t have any money of its own. It has only that which it extracts from the public through taxation.”

And he adds, “The public sector doesn’t generate any money at all, but only recycles that made available to it by the private sector.”

And Jacob actually knows something worth knowing. He has what Denis Healey  described as a “hinterland.” He is a classicist and a music lover. Compare and contrast with such as David Cameron who prefers to hang out with the head-bangers at pop festivals. Or Peter Mandelson and Gideon Osborne who once liked to be seen with Russian oligarchs on their yachts.

He has a sense of humour – not to be confused with the witless gurgling of politicians trying to tell a joke and the posturing belly-laughs of their hearers..

Jacob has an acute and informed political sensibility derived from his reading of history, the Greek philosophers and the Roman poets. What do his detractors know? The best of them know only management studies and the worst of them the positivistic claptrap of PPE. These people are monochrome political wonks. What does he know of politics, who only politics knows?

Almost worst of all – I’m saving the absolute worst of all for the end – Jacob is a traditional family man and attends the Catholic Mass in Latin. And there is conspicuous hostility to both those persuasions on the part of the politically-correct diversity-mongers and equality-salesmen in the the administrative class

So what, according to his uncultured despisers, is Jacob’s worst fault?

Why, he is a traditional Tory of course. That is, as the fatuous Mrs May, remarked of “the nasty party.”

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08 Aug

God gets it right at his second attempt

God got it wrong first time round and was told to try again.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office funds an institution called Wilton Park which has just published a report Opportunities and Challenges: the Intersection of of Faith and Human Rights of LGBT+  Persons

“Evangelical Christians in the Global South – mainly Africa – should be expected to re-interpret the Bible to make it compatible with LGBT+ ideology.”

This agency, supported by the British Government demands “direct action” and says, “Religious leaders should be held to account for their promotion of hatred against LGBT+ people. Queer lawyers and their allies are well-placed to challenge hate speech through administrative law and litigation.”

The churches must be obliged to provide “enlightened textual exegesis.” There should also be “…teaching of LGBT+ in Sunday schools and Queer theology in colleges training people for the church’s ministry.”

The report denounces missionaries and Christian teachers for “spreading prejudiced views”

The Wilton Park report calls for “the improvement” of the Bible, particularly of accounts of “Sodom and Gomorrah which perpetuate hatred.”

I quite agree. I have spent my life as a theologian and I confess that for all those years I took the Bible to be the Word of God. But, following my enlightenment by my LGBT+ friends and by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, I now see that the Bible is a wretched travesty, a primitive and pernicious denunciation of homosexual behaviour which, thankfully, our enlightened and emancipated understanding reveals to be one of the greatest blessings received in the whole history of the human race. Not only do I approve, therefore, of the rewriting of biblical texts to demonstrate God’s Original Error and to prove what a holy and blessed thing homosexual behaviour is, but I shall make my own contribution to this new vision by offering a fresh translation of the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

“ And it came to pass that the Lord did look down upon the cities of the plain, even upon Sodom wherein dwelt the shirt-lifters and upon the whole company of them that did bat for the other side  which wast called Gomorrah. And the Lord repenteth of the wrath that wast aforetime kindled in his heart against them and all their doings which (in the days wherein God erred) he declared were abominations. And behold, the Lord said, ‘I will no more cause mine anger to be poured out upon them, neither will I destroy them in my judgement. And I will cause their works, even unto their shirt-lifting and their batting for the other side withal, to be blessed and to be honoured among all men…and women and among them that wist not what manner of creature they be.’

“So the Lord set his pink ribbon in the heavens as an everlasting sign that he would no more wax wroth against them that were in the olden time called an abomination but which are from henceforth to be called them in whom the Lord delighteth. And lo the Lord spake unto them and said, ‘I will give unto every man and woman and unto them which wist not what manner of creature they be boxed sets innumerable of Judy Garland movies and The Lamentations of Stephen Fry even unto every one of them in his/her/their own cottage.’

“And they all arose and with one accord said, ‘How come we shirt-lifters, brown-hatters and them that do bat for the other side to hear in our own polari the wonderful works of Stephen Fry?’

“And behold, the pillar of salt which aforetime wast Lot’s wife (Let him that readeth understand) wast turned into Judy Garland. So the multitude of them lift up their voices and sang Candle in the Wind.

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05 Aug

Children of the Revolution

Our children and grandchildren will put Jeremy Corbyn into Number Ten.

They will do this because, while their parents and grandparents belong to the nasty  generation, the youngsters are the nice generation. They believe Corbyn.stands for  a future that will be kind, gentle and generous – in a word a nice future.

As a paid up nasty, I tell them that Corbyn is an extreme socialist demagogue, that socialism has never worked anywhere and that, when it is practised thoroughly as Corbyn intends, it will impoverish the people and compromise their liberty.

The nice young people tell me I’m only saying this because I’m nasty.

They complain about “austerity” and “the cuts.” Nastily, but truly, I tell them there have been no cuts and the country is spending and borrowing more billions now than it was five years ago, more in fact than it has ever spent and borrowed

They youngsters say that such truths as this are simply part of being nasty and that we ought to look for alternative truths, their truths, nice truths.

I say, “But that just means you’ve lost the meaning of “truth.”

“You’re just being bigoted and nasty again, granddad!”

I tell them that Corbyn is an IRA sympathiser, that he invited members of this terrorist group to the House of Commons only weeks after they tried to murder the British cabinet in the Brighton bomb. I tell them that Corbyn refers to the terrorists Hamas and Hezbollah as “our friends.”

They tell me not to say such nasty things.

I tell them that Corbyn is an admirer of Chavez and Maduro, that he agrees with their economic, social and political policies and he wants to see more of their sort of socialism in our country. I add that people in Venezuela are scavenging  dustbins for food, that the country is the most murderous in the world, that there is imprisonment without trial, torture and the kidnapping and illegal incarceration of the political opposition.

The youngsters reply, “Why do you say such nasty things?”

“Because they happen to be true.”

“True for you, perhaps, granddad, but not for us. For your truth is different from our truth. Because you are nasty but we are nice.”

Then the youngsters recite all the nice things which are now features of their lives but were not available in the nasty old days, granddad’s days: “We have safe spaces in all our universities, so we’re not exposed to the ideas and opinions of speakers who offend us.”

I  say, “But I thought the purpose of a university was to teach critical thinking – a place where ideas of all sorts are exposed and examined: in other words, an intelligent space which upholds the principle of free speech.”

They rebuke me: ”But we don’t want the sort of free speech which says all these offensive and nasty things!”

“Why do you want to pull down statues of the celebrated men and women of the nation’s past?”

“Because they had nasty ideas. They were empire-builders. They weren’t feminists. They didn’t support LGBT equality.”

“So you want to expunge their memory from the public realm, to make them non-persons as the Soviets used to do to those who had fallen from favour. You want to rewrite history.”

“Yes, because some of this history we find offensive and nasty, and we don’t want to have to hear about it.”

“But those who don’t understand the past will be compelled to repeat its mistakes.”

“No we won’t: because they were nasty people and we are nice people.”

“Why did you vote – two or three times in some cases – to remain in the EU and be governed by an unelected commissariat over which you have no democratic control?”

“Because the EU is such a nice idea.”

Finally, it’s the turn of the nice young people to ask me a question: “Why do you think we believe all the nice things we do believe?”

I am obliged to admit: “It’s my fault, that and the fault of my generation. For fifty years we have ensured that youngsters become sentimentalised and infantilised through a lousy system of state education.  Consequently you can’t think straight and so you’re at the mercy of all the propagandising and social engineering of Britain’s institutional leftism. I admit I am of the nasty generation and quite the nastiest thing we ever did was to inflict this sort of schooling on all you nice young people.”

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03 Aug

The Sex Olympics

A new plague is stalking the land. It’s not the black death and it’s not cholera, but much more serious than either of these. I know it’s serious because it was the first item on the SKY News website this morning. It’s called binge viewing and it’s destroying the sleep and, says SKY, the lives of those afflicted.

Sadly, this virulent plague chiefly affects people described as “vulnerable”: that is the hordes of intellectually challenged, morally depraved and aesthetically numb who sit up all night watching tawdry shows such as Game of Thrones. Binge viewing, we were informed, is “a syndrome,” so victims who are made to suffer by Game of Thrones are very likely to have their sorry condition aggravated by the fact that they are also addicted to Strictly Come Dancing or Britain’s Got Talent or that top of the range nuts ‘n’ sluts show Say Yes to the Dress in which very fat women – both black and white, so there’s nothing racist about this – giggle and squeal as they try on ludicrously expensive wedding gowns which are then paid for by their fathers.

Back in the 1960s there was a remarkable and at the time shocking television play called The Sex Olympics. The premise was that there would come a time when, under a totalitarian government, millions would gawp endlessly at actors fornicating on screen. This fantasy has now been realised and it’s called Love Island.   

I recall a telling remark by C.H. Sisson: “What makes St Augustine so interesting is that he lived through times very much like ours – and rejected them.”

Indeed, Augustine describes a state in which people are, “…unconcerned about the utter corruption of their country – ‘So long as it lasts’ they say – so long as it enjoys material prosperity.” The downfall of the Roman Empire was preceded by a whole series of financial crises. It was overwhelmed by mass immigration and threatened by barbarian violence. The comparisons with our own time are very striking. Augustine prophesied against “…rulers who are interested not in the morality, but the docility of their subjects; they are regarded not as directors of conduct but as controllers of material things and providers of material satisfaction.”

Doesn’t that make you think of extravagant loans to people who could never afford them; of laws to encourage 24/7 shopping and 24/7 boozing; of the whole world turned into advertisements? Art and culture debased, as Sir Peter Maxwell Davies once remarked of a Damien Hirst exhibition, “…into manufactured artefacts without content, with just a brand tag supposed to guarantee market value.”

A civilisation cannot survive on such debased conduct, on pretend values which are really valueless.

Augustine describes a society where: “Full publicity is given where shame would be appropriate; close secrecy is imposed where praise would be in order. Decency is veiled from sight; indecency is exposed to view. Scenes of evil attract packed audiences; good words scarcely find any listeners. It is as if purity should provoke a blush and corruption give grounds for pride.”

Here we are again on the eve of destruction. Pizza and porn are today’s bread and circuses. Binge viewers everywhere, sit back and enjoy the Sex Olympics.

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02 Aug

Well, well Welby

There are varieties of fatuity – and then we come to Archbishop Justin Welby.

Yet again this week he offered to the nation the benefit of his boundless wisdom and called for a cross-party commission to negotiate Britain’s departure from the European Union. He said major decisions should be “taken off the political table.”

Even someone with less perspicuity than Welby – always supposing such a person could be found outside Bishopthorpe Palace – would understand that Brexit and the whole business of Britain’s negotiations with the EU are political  issues and so it is nonsense to suggest that they be removed from the political realm.

We might as well suggest that when Welby sits down with his fellow bishops to discuss, say, a fresh translation of The Athanasian Creed, the matter should be “taken off the theological table.”

Besides, when Welby wades in as he has with his dazzling moral superiority on full beam, you would think that even he would understand that such an intervention is itself a political act. Thus incoherently he uses a political statement to declare that the matter should not be political.

The Archbishop’s first language is gibberish

He told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme: “Can the politicians not put at the front of their minds the needs of the United Kingdom to come out with a functional, working system for Brexit, and agree that certain things are, as it were, off the political table and will be decided separately in an expert commission, or commission of senior politicians led by someone that (sic) is trusted in the political world?”

Welby would benefit from reading the well-known primer for infants and juniors Janet and John Look at Polity. For the decision to leave the EU was a political choice made by the British electorate. What we did in the referendum of 2016 was to express our will and then hand the matter over to the politicians whose job it is to work out the details

He wants “an expert commission” or “a commission of senior politicians led by someone that (sic again) is trusted in the political world.”

Does such a paragon exist?

What he really wants is a nanny – someone who knows best.

I wonder that Welby hasn’t noticed that Brexit is a divisive issue and a sizeable minority of the electorate voted against it. Any “expert commission” would of course itself be contentious from its appointment, with one side claiming it to be independent and the other side accusing it of bias

Crying for nanny is of course a characteristic of the infantile mind.

Like weak men everywhere, Welby has a craving for authority, for someone to tell him what to think and what to do. Plato would have provided him with such figures. Plato called them Guardians which the Latin philosophers translated as Custodes.

And they immediately asked the question, Quis custodiet ipsos Custodes?

Who Will Guard the Guardians?

Round of applause, please everyone. Let’s hear it for the Archbishop of Cant.

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