All posts by petermullen

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. 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
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.”

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
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. 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
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

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
31 Mar

Carey the patriot: Welby the fascist sympathiser

It is encouraging to read that George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury (1991-2002), has suggested that Donald Trump might be a “good Samaritan” for the dispossessed American working class – the millions scorned, neglected and betrayed by the US political elite for decades. As the result of the presidential election in the US, the vote for Leave in Britain and the growing strength of anti-elitist parties throughout Europe have shown, millions have declared their contempt for the elite of “liberal” intellectuals, apparatchiks and career bureaucrats who have dominated the political scene throughout Europe and the States since the second world war. People have lost patience with the elite’s culture of entitlement and thrown them out.

Naturally, George Carey is already being excoriated by members of the political establishment and by the left-liberal sections of the media from which they draw their support.

Members of this establishment can barely contain their rage over the fact that both here and in the US they are effectually being disestablished.

Contrast George Carey’s refreshing statement with speeches by Justin Welby in recent months. Welby urged us to vote Remain in the EU referendum, assuring us that there is nothing in Christianity in general or the Church of England’s doctrines in particular to disapprove of the EU. Thus he showed his ignorance of The Thirty-nine Articles which are central to the constitution of the Church of England and to which Welby himself was obliged to give his assent upon the occasions of his ordination and consecration. Article 37 says, “The Queen’s Majesty hath the chief power in this realm of England.”

Not under EU rules, she doesn’t: for the EU works consistently for the abolition of the nation state.

And then there is the small matter of Welby’s having sworn the Oath of Allegiance to her Majesty. In better days, he would have been put in the Tower for airing such views.

But then Welby thinks himself enlightened and progressive, as all members of the left-liberal establishment do. He is in fact a leading representative of that arrogant culture of entitlement, of career bureaucrats and operators of the management cult of ordered decline:  that failed establishment which the people have belatedly rejected.

Welby has condemned both Trump and anti-EU, anti-immigration “populism” as “belonging to the fascist tradition in politics.”

And nobody laughs!

I’ll leave Trump out of this for the time being – at least for long enough for us to discern his political direction. But to condemn fascism while supporting our membership of the EU is a species of doublethink of which George Orwell would have been proud:

Consider: the ruling EU Commission is unelected, a self-appointed, self-perpetuating privileged committee of commissars; in effect a politburo. They are entirely unaccountable to the European electorates. The EU has not published audited accounts for twenty years, so we have no idea how much of our money they are spending or indeed of what they are spending it upon. There is no democratic process in the EU for the making of policy. The so-called EU parliament is a rubber stamp for the Commission. Thousands of new rules and laws are made every year and then imposed on the member states. Effectually, the EU governs by decree and diktat.

Is there a word for this? I say there is, and the word is “fascist.”

Well said, George! Is there the chance you might stage a comeback?

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
30 Mar

Lies, damned lies and democracy

I am getting fed up with the misuse of the word “democracy.”

Last week all the papers screamed that the atrocity in Westminster was “an attack on our democracy.” This week the same papers are screaming that Mrs May’s signing of the letter to tell the EU that we’re leaving was “the reclaiming of our democracy.”

Democracy – demos, the people and cracy, rule – implies that voters have genuine choices. But this is not so, and that’s why the word is being misused. Of course, we have all these party labels: Con, Lab, Lib and Loony, but they all implement the same policies. And these policies all add up to socialism. We are forever being told by the politicians and the media (and especially our intellectually-challenged bishops) that we live under a capitalist system, but this is very far from the truth.

Nearly 50% of Britain’s GDP goes to the public sector. In so called communist China it is only 17%. At the height of their totalitarian tyranny, the Soviets were only spending 10% more than we do today. Never mind the anti-capitalist rhetoric, examine the facts…

You are taxed on your wages. Then you pay 20% VAT on nearly everything you buy with the money on which you have already been taxed.

Scandalously we are taxed even on our meagre pensions.

Fuel taxes are at an outrageously high level. If we have a car we pay road tax. If we drink or smoke, the price of our pints and fags is artificially inflated by taxation. Governments ask people to save, so to reduce the burden of taxation. But the prudent who do save are paid little or no interest. In fact, with rates as they are, savers – especially among the older generation – are actually losing money by their thrift. If we do save, we are taxed again on the minuscule interest

If we do our bit by buying shares in British companies, we are taxed on our dividends. There are further taxes on share dealing. The state broadcasting propaganda department fiercely polices an annual tax called the TV licence. The industrial, commercial, financial and manufacturing companies which generate income for the country pay large sums in Corporation Tax and other business taxes. And, in the form of Inheritance Tax, we have to pay up again even when we’re dead. British businesses which ought to be leading our economic recovery are prevented by labyrinthine corporate and state regulation.

Is this what the bishops condemn as “capitalism”? These levels of taxation and regulation are combining to hinder economic recovery. And such taxes are required only because the government needs them to pay for its massively expanded army of civil servants, its quango mountain, its legions of useless box-tickers, its lousy education system, the failing and disgracefully corrupt NHS, and its bloated state welfarism. Then there are the bishops’ hysterical protests against “the cuts.” The truth is that this government will be borrowing and spending more when it leaves office than it did when it came in. Whatever economic and social system is currently being operated in our country, it is not by any shadow of meaning capitalist.

It is socialism through and through. And it’s what you’ll get whichever way you vote – for our prized “democracy” is a lie and a sham

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
29 Mar

Our racist church

Why has the Church of England turned racist?

Martyn Snow, Bishop of Leicester, has just announced that there is to be a new appointment designated “bishop for ethnic mi minorities.” Why? Because, says the Bishop of Leicester, the church is “too quintessentially English,”

Leave aside for the moment the question of how one can be “too” quintessentially anything – for “quintessence” is what it says it is: the very quick and soul of a thing. But, as the modern services demonstrate only too clearly, our church authorities are not too familiar with the English language, what will go into it and what won’t.

The whole point of the Church of England is that it was always meant to be quintessentially English. It is, after all, the national church. Read the divines who were most eminent in its creation, such as Richard Hooker and William Law: “Every man of England a member of the Church of England” and “The whole realm shall have one use.”

It is as if Martyn Snow does not even satisfy himself with his coinage “too quintessentially English,” for he blathers on a bit further and adds that the new bishop for minorities is deemed necessary because the country, and particularly the Leicester area, has experienced “cultural changes.” We must respond to these cultural changes, says Bishop Snow, “by enabling greater representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Christians.”

In what ways are BAME Christians not “enabled” presently? Does the Bishop of Leicester mean to suggest that a white English priest cannot or should not minister to black or Asian Christians?

On that score, would he say that a black or Asian priest cannot or should not minister to white English Christians?

The very notion of a bishop for minorities is at best patronising. Actually, it is blatantly racist. If you really wish to marginalise someone, assign him to a special group..

We know from forty years experience that the hierarchy and synod always follows secular fashions, only, like some prince consort, one dutiful step behind. The secular fad being followed here is the disastrous policy of encouraging multiculturalism which separates people into “communities” on racial grounds and creates undesirable ghettos.

When this was practised in South Africa, it was rightly condemned as Apartheid. When it is practised here, it is lauded by all the same “liberals” and “progressives” who took to the streets to protest about the segregation that was the rule in South Africa.

The notion of “communities” is fatal to the establishing of an integrated society. There is one community to which we all belong: one church, one realm, one England. This was the Elizabethan Settlement which has given us a decent set of political liberties for 400 years. This settlement has been adjusted and refined over the centuries by, for instance the accommodation of dissenters through the repeal of the Test and Corporation Act (1828) and the Catholic Emancipation Act (1829)

It should not be beyond the wit even of our contemporary senior ecclesiastics to allow similar adjustments to be made to extend membership of the one English community to those of other faiths

Dump the patronising attitude towards so called BAME Christians. And ditch the implicit racism.

The living symbol of our national integrity is the Monarch who is both head of state and supreme governor of the Church of England.

You might say the genius of this settlement is precisely in that it is quintessentially English.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
27 Mar

“Goose brought back from the dead”

Let no one say that Christians lack seriousness

Church Times informs us that there has just been a conference of Christians in Waterloo about the place of animals in the church’s faith. The discussion was organised by a society calling itself Sarx – which might be considered rather inappropriate as sarx is the Greek word for flesh; specifically it is the derogatory term used by St Paul to refer to the sins of the flesh or the bondage of the flesh. These sarky Christians proclaim their love for animals and complain that the church generally does not regard the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air sufficiently highly. But if these folk insist on a Greek tag, I suggest they might think of renaming themselves Soma – the respectful word for body.

Christians still don’t love animals passionately enough, but we are getting better. David Clough, Professor of Theological Ethics at the University of Chester, argued that “Things are changing in the Church” which was now at a “tipping point”. Those in attendance could be “at the vanguard for providing a new understanding about the place of animals in Christianity.”

He alleged that our concern for animals had been “disenfranchised. . . It is there, but we do not think we have permission for it from our faith or the Church we belong to. For some animal lovers, that puts them on the fringes of the church, or makes them give up on the church altogether.” This was “odd,” he said, as there were “strong biblical and theological reasons” to care.

I really don’t recognise my fellow Christians in Professor Clough’s description. And I have always welcomed well-behaved dogs at our services. Usually the dogs are better behaved than those children encouraged to run around, shout and generally “express their personalities” by modern parents.

Professor Clough complains that Christian animal lovers are often thought to be “cookie” or “weirdoes.” Professor Clough is no weirdo and he can prove it, citing his hero St Werburgh “…who raised a goose from the dead.”

When Professor Clough had sat down, up marched the keynote speaker Dr Tony Campolo, a Baptist minister and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University, Philadelphia. He demonstrated he was no weirdo either as he spoke movingly of “…something sacramental” in his wife’s “spiritual connectedness to our poodle, Jamie.” He added. “Whales have been heard singing a new song every year, which is more than you can say for most Evangelical churches..”

I’m with him on that one!

I’m no cookie weirdo either. I once had a budgie called Steve that could sing the Hallelujah Chorus and Snowball, a lady hamster that could play Beethoven’s Opus 111.

O brave new church that hath such people in it!

I shouldn’t wonder if they ended their conference with the hymn Nearer my dog to thee.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
23 Mar

Christian Europe RIP

All over Britain escaped horses are running through the streets and that deafening noise you can hear is the slamming of stable doors. We are told that there will be more armed police on the streets today “to reassure the public.” They were patrolling the streets yesterday, but they couldn’t prevent the slaughter.

The hills are alive with the sound of cliches. Mrs May is of course leading the way: “We will never allow evil to drive us apart.”

But, haven’t you noticed, prime minister, we have been apart for years as they choose to segregate themselves and live in ghettos?

A senior policeman described the attack as “An Islamist act of terror.” I don’t know what this means. No one can know what it means – because it doesn’t mean anything. What’s the difference between “Islamist” and “Islamic”?

Yesterday’s attack is (as usual) being described in all this morning’s papers as “a tragedy.” It is not a tragedy. A tragedy usually connotes a great person being brought down by a single fatal flaw: Caesar’s ambition, Hamlet’s indecisiveness etc.

Yesterday’s attack was an atrocity, a bloody outrage crying to God for vengeance.

Naturally, the television companies are delighted. They have some real news for once and it’s live, all captured on camera, SLAUGHTER AND MAYHEM BROUGHT TO YOUR FRONT ROOM IN HIGH DEFINITION COLOUR.

It’s better than the Cup Final –  we can send for a takeaway and watch all those action replays of violent death. And, just as with all those talking heads who come on afterwards to review the match, we now have innumerable “experts” offering “analysis” – ie helping us slam all those stable doors.

A friend wrote: “Hell! When shall we reach the tipping point?”

I’ll tell you: there isn’t going to be a tipping point.

The day after 9/11 I abandoned a conference in Oxford and took a train to the City of London to be with my family and my parishioners in case devotees of the well-known religion of peace and love decided to repeat their New York successes in Britain’s capital. The headline in The Daily Telegraph screamed AMERICA AT WAR. Small comfort: I thought to myself, “Well at least this outrage will put an end to all the politically correct nonsense. Now the West will wake up!”

No, it didn’t. If 3000 deaths in New York, followed by more in Bali and Madrid, and in scores of cities since, is not enough to rouse the West to take decisive action against violent Muslim imperialism, then nothing will.

Mohammed’s hordes have waged war on the West for 1400 years. In AD 732 they suffered an outright military defeat at Tours at the hands of the Christian warrior Charles Martel. At the Battle of Lepanto and at the Siege of Malta, Europe was delivered again by Christian knights. The last time our enemies threatened serious insurrection – that is until the present insurgency – was at the Siege of Vienna in 1683 when the Christian Jan Sobieski defeated a Turkish army of some 200,000 men.

There is a saying: “When Allah is strong, God is weak.” God is not weak, but Christianity in Europe has evaporated – or rather it has been banished from public life by the forces of militant secularism.

Muslims have been telling us for the whole of those 1400 years that their aim is the conquest of Europe. They have never stopped announcing this intention. So why do we not believe them?

The Islamic cause is greatly assisted by our suicidal policy of allowing mass immigration and by the far higher birth rate in the Muslim population.

I don’t blame the Muslims for wanting to acquire Europe. It’s a much better place than the filthy, barbaric countries from which the millions of immigrants and would-be conquerors emerge.

I blame ourselves. We are not being defeated. We are giving up without a fight. Europe is dying by her own hand.  

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
15 Mar

Achtung, Juden!

When an example of Jew-baiting is condemned by Diane Abbott as “disgusting,” we know it must be pretty vile. And so it is. In London’s Stamford Hill, yards from an Orthodox synagogue, a sign has been erected featuring a picture of a traditional Jewish man wearing a fedora. The image is set within a red triangle – the usual symbol for a warning.

Jews in those parts have had to get used to vicious treatment and there have been thirty-two cases of such abuse in the last month alone: an eight year old was beaten up and a Jewish woman was greeted by a thug giving her a Nazi salute.

In January 2015, Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) produced its first Antisemitism Barometer Survey. CAA questioned the British population about their attitudes towards Jewish people. The survey showed seven antisemitic statements to respondents and asked whether they agreed or disagreed with them. 45% of British adults believed at least one antisemitic stereotype to be true, 26% believed two or more antisemitic stereotypes to be true and 17% believed three or more antisemitic stereotypes to be true.

A subsequent report by CAA quoting data from Ipsos MORI found significantly elevated antisemitic attitudes among British Muslims.

As the youngsters say, “Like, how surprising is that?”

The problem has become much worse over the last twenty years. In 1997, there were recorded 219 attacks on Jews and by 2015 (the last year for which figures are available) this had risen to 1168 – a nearly six-fold increase

Jew-baiting is not just an occupation for yobs and oiks. As George Orwell reported in the middle of the last century, antisemitism has always been endemic in the British. It is common among otherwise “respectable” people on the non-yob, literate right. I witnessed an instance first hand…

Twelve years ago I was at a private lunch in North London and one of my fellow guests was Michael Wharton who wrote as Peter Simple for The Daily Telegraph. I can’t remember how, but the topic turned to Hitler. Mr Wharton turned out to be something of a supporter and he claimed that the Fuhrer had been much traduced, that he was generally misunderstood and that he had had many good points. I commented, “He slaughtered a lot of people.”

Mr Wharton replied sardonically, “Oh no, he didn’t slaughter many people.”

Jew-baiting is nasty enough when it’s perpetrated by brown-shirts, black-shirts and assorted louts. It’s especially vile and shocking to see antisemitism rife among the urbane and the educated, people who “ought to know their manners.” 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail