Category Archives: society

02 Dec

The fully-integrated lunatic fringe

Opinion research company Policy Exchange has conducted a survey of the views of 3000 Muslims living in Britain.

It declares that 93% wish “to integrate fully” into the British way of life. Now, to integrate fully is, by definition, to share a consensus. This doesn’t mean that everyone has to agree with everyone else about everything. But it does mean that a person integrated into a society will tend to share the important things, including beliefs, in common within that society.

How to square Muslims’ expressed with to belong with some of their beliefs? I don’t mean their religious beliefs. I mean the fact that, according to Policy Exchange, 96% of Muslims do not believe that Al Q’aeda perpetrated the 9/11 atrocities in the US. 31% believe that the Americans themselves carried out these attacks. And 7% say the Israelis were responsible.

Here’s another Muslim belief – or rather disbelief: only one in four Muslims believes that extremist Islamic views are held by any Muslim anywhere.

Every previous opinion poll among native British people has shown that the overwhelming majority is convinced that the 9/11 attacks were the work of Al Q’aeda. And every non-Muslim living in Britain knows that there are extremist Islamic views, leading to acts of terrorism: for we have all seen these crimes enacted on our streets and in our tube trains.

A group of people who refuse to believe known facts is not accurately described as “fully integrated”:  more appropriate phrases would be “lunatic fringe” and “in denial.”

I have one question to Muslims living in our country: If you say you wish “to integrate fully” into mainstream British society, then why don’t you?

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26 Nov

How to get on the telly

What’s the best qualification to get to appear on TV? Certainly, to be a young woman with large breasts – or, in the case of Ed Balls, a middle aged man with the same. Belonging to a rock band might get you on BBC4. I remember when that channel was opened, the BBC advertised it as “a place to think.” Well, they’ve given up thinking now as some evenings – particularly Fridays – are given over entirely to pop music. You could change your career and become a supermodel or a Premiership footballer. If all else fails, try dressing yourself up and pretending to be David Attenborough or Stephen Fry.

None of these devices – not even the last – is guaranteed to work.

There is, however, one foolproof route to success: have one of your relatives murdered. It helps if it’s a teenage son or daughter or a devoted husband in his forties.

There have been a few successes using this method this week alone, but respect for the dead and sympathy for the bereaved forbids mention of their names.

You would think that after such a grievous loss, the bereaved relative would wish most of all for privacy, to be left alone to reflect, even to pray, and to try to come to terms with the terrible event. That’s what used to happen. But now we live in the days prophesied by Andy Warhol when “Everyone is famous for fifteen minutes.”

After the verdict is announced, the fulminating widow appears outside the court and denounces “the scumbag” who killed her husband, whom she describes as “my rock.”

Or the grieving father faces the TV cameras beside “a roadside shrine” and describes his eight year old daughter – murdered by an “animal” – as “lovely bubbly.”

All these televised grievers have completely mastered the psychobabble that the media requires. the verdict has all;owed them to “achieve closure” and so now they can “move on.”

There is something inappropriate, mawkish and frankly creepy about all this. Grief is not a suitable subject for display and publicity. And the best way to assuage your grief is by not advertising it.

Kierkegaard said, “There is a sign in Copenhagen which forbids spitting in the street. I wish there were a similar prohibition on sentimentality.”

But in our blatant therapeutic culture, fame trumps all.

I think it was Anthony Burgess who commented that the highest accolade of our times is “You woz on the telly!”

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02 Nov

Our glorious diversity

I’m not sure how well the engineering industries are doing in Britain today, but social engineering is thriving. Professors Ted Cantle and Eric Kaufmann have produced a report showing that in some urban areas the white population has more than halved in twenty years.

Some of the largest declines were in Slough, where the white population fell from 58.3% to 34.5%; in Birmingham, where it decreased from 65.6% to 53.1%; and in Leicester, where it declined from 60.5% to 45.1%. In the London borough of Newham, whites make up only 16.7%.

The study found even more marked changes when it examined the figures at ward level. In one part of the Blackburn and Darwen authority area, only 7.8% of the population was white British, down from 42.3% in 1991.Smaller council areas in Birmingham saw declines from 40.4% to 11.2% in Small Heath and from 30.7% to 7.2% in Handsworth. This trend was repeated in parts of Bradford, Luton and in many London boroughs.

Professor Cantle said, “White people are leaving urban areas in disproportionate numbers – and they avoid moving to diverse areas when they do move. But we can’t say that is white flight because the motivations are many and various.”

Oddly, Professor Cantle proceeded to contradict himself, admitting that interviews he had carried out in recent years as part of the study had highlighted a sense among some white British people that the area they had lived in was “no longer for them.”

In one case a community cohesion officer in Yorkshire told Cantle he was the first Asian to move into a particular street and that within three years virtually every white British family had gone. “Some of those families made no bones about it. They said they are moving out because ‘they’ are moving in.”

Professor Cantle told The Guardian that politicians must urgently tackle this increasing ethnic polarisation:

“White British families should be encouraged to remain in ethnically-diverse areas in order to reverse the trend and to choose, rather than avoid, diverse areas when they do relocate. White families should also be encouraged to make similar choices with respect to placing pupils in diverse schools; in other words, they should be encouraged to create a positive choice for mixed areas and a shared society.”

In his book The Islamic Republic of Dewsbury, Danny Lockwood offers a different explanation for these huge movements of local populations. Having lived in that part of Yorkshire all his life, Mr Lockwood is also an experienced journalist, the owner and publisher of The Press, a weekly newspaper in nearby Batley. He knows what he is talking about. In his book, he describes in precise detail how “they” move in and, by relentless attrition, street by street, intimidate the white population until their lives become intolerable and they leave.

He describes his book as, “The story of a cultural revolution and social decay in the once-proud Yorkshire mill town of Dewsbury and a chronicle of more than twenty years of failed multi-culturalism.”

This experience is not confined to Dewsbury, but replicated in all the districts and boroughs studied in Cantle’s and Kaufmann’s report. I heard a similar story when I was Rector of St Michael’s, Cornhill in the City of London. One day in the barber’s, I asked him, “D’you still walk to work in the mornings?”

He replied, “It would be a long walk from Epping Forest!”

“But I thought you lived just down the road in Tower Hamlets?”

“Used to, but we moved out. Wife and daughters insulted in the street – and worse. Threats. Violence. Other stuff you don’t want to hear about. Nearly all my neighbours have moved out as well. Life is much better in the Forest.”

Cantle and Kaufmann say that people such as my barber and white residents of the multiracial districts they discuss should stay where they are. But why should they stay and suffer intimidation?

To me, the most interesting fact about multiculturalism and glorious diversity is that the metropolitan elite who engineered it tend not to choose to live in such areas themselves.

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28 Oct

All in the mind?

The prevailing wind is a westerly. That’s why we get so much muck blown over from the USA. The current bit of muck is Halloween. This was never popularly observed until comparatively recently and in one sense it epitomises our infantilisation. It demonstrates the truth of G.K. Chesterton’s remark: “When men stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing; they believe in anything.” It says much about the sort of society we are when, instead of celebrating All Saints’ Day on 1st November, we keep Halloween (All Hallows’ Eve) the night before.

Some Roman Catholics and many Evangelical Christians become very exercised by this celebration of Halloween and warn that it can lead to the worship and glorification of evil. I suppose in a few extreme cases it could, but the real purpose of this “festival” is to make a lot of money out of it by selling masks, costumes and other such tat – as with that other fatuity, Fathers’ Day.

It’s gormless – but no more gormless than the countless celebrations of gormlessness that we go in for these days in our dumbed-down junk culture. For instance, this morning there was a serious discussion between supposed adults on The Today Programme about emojis – those silly faces and doodles which people append to their communications on the varieties of antisocial media. Particularly puerile was the fact that they were talking about designing emojis for older people. So there was one with bingo numbers for eyes and another with a reprimanding stare. is that what oldies do, then: get their heads down in the bingo hall and look up again to scowl at their neighbours?

Our infantilisation is now surely complete.

But there is something nasty about even a pretend celebration of the dark powers – whether you believe that devils exist or not. What certainly exists – and exists very powerfully – is the human imagination. And it is but a short step from pretend to reality – as we notice when violent images watched on TV stir up some people to go out and commit violence in real life. Only last week, a teenage girl was so distressed by a horror series she watched on TV that she did away with herself.

Why can’t people get it into their head that mental events are  real?

St Augustine taught that psychological reality is spiritual reality and moral reality. He said that, if you want to acquire a particular virtue – say kindness – you should pretend that you have this virtue already. Try doing little acts of kindness and you will gradually become a kind person: in the same way that (given a fair wind) you will be able to play the piano if you practise for long enough. Augustine, the master psychologist, actually said, “You must become a hypocrite.” Hypocrite is the old Greek word for an actor.

Be careful which parts you act out then. Choose warily the stuff you want to pretend or to practise.

Be careful what you wish for – you might get it!

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27 Oct

Something glorious in the state of Denmark

D’you think we might borrow the Queen of Denmark? Would the gracious lady consent to come and speak to our political leaders – most suitably perhaps in the House of Lords?

In a book, compiled with the Danish journalist Thomas Larsen, Queen Margarethe said that migrants arriving from south east Asia had “prospered”, but those coming from the Middle East “have had a hard time finding their rhythm in Denmark.” 

And she admitted that the sheer scale of the new arrivals seen across Europe over the last eighteen months had changed her views on immigration which, as a young woman in the 1960s, she and other Danes saw as “exciting.” 

Speaking about the cultural values some migrants bring with them, she said: “We cannot pretend that it wears off by itself. It won’t. Many of us thought that people who come to a strange place are a kind of a blotting paper that absorbs everything new.

“The task becomes harder, however, when so many people having various backgrounds and a particular religion arrive at once. They risk isolating themselves regardless of their will.” 

Queen Margarethe, who ascended the throne of Denmark in 1972, pronounced a scathing verdict on today’s EU politicians whom she accused of betraying European values in the name of political correctness: “If you can’t formulate what you stand for, it is hard to tell others about it. It needs to be worked on and every once in a while you need to put your foot down with somebody and say ‘Hey! That won’t do’.”

The Queen of Denmark’s views on immigration are the same as those of most people in Britain – with the exception of our political leaders. Most of us would say that immigrants (in manageable numbers) are welcome, on the condition that they don’t implant an alien and antipathetic religion and culture on our country. Generations of immigrants have, for the most part, adopted our British way of life and customs: Jews, West Indians and Poles have integrated happily and successfully. Hindus in particular have made a wonderful contribution to our national life. I was a schoolteacher in Bolton, Lancashire when the tyrant Idi Amin threw out the Asians from Uganda. Their business people revitalised the town’s economy and greatly improved the functions of local politics and civic life. The Hindu children attended my daily Christian assemblies.

They did not do as so many Muslim immigrants into Britain have done: intimidate the locals until they move out, and so create ghettos where they practise a parallel system of jurisdiction. It is many years now since Bishop Michael Nazir Ali warned our politicians and senior churchmen that there are indeed many Muslim ghettos in this country.

Our politicians and bishops didn’t want to know. They have betrayed the British people and stoked up a social cataclysm. The opposite of integration is disintegration – and sooner than you think. 

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15 Oct

Progressively worse

Hillary Clinton is promising “a progressive presidency.” I was wondering what this piece of jargon might mean when happily I received a clue – from the horse’s mouth, you might say.

Emails between two of Mrs Clinton’s closest colleagues have been made public. John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign, and Sandy Newman, president and founder of the campaign group Voices for Progress, have disparaged what they refer to as “Catholic Middle Ages teachings.”  

Why, when modern types seek especially to denounce a particular viewpoint, do they refer to it as of the Middle Ages or Medieval?

Some of the most profound philosophical and theological thought was gifted to Europe and the world by Medieval churchmen. Adapting Plato and Aristotle, they established a system of logic and enunciated fundamental presuppositions of rational thought which, despite the efforts of 17th and 18th century detractors, continue to provide a basis for metaphysics and epistemology. Aquinas, Duns Scotus, Anselm and Francis Bacon were among the clearest and most imaginative thinkers of any historical period. It is no overstatement to say that such men as these created modern Europe. And their creation was embodied in the founding of the first universities, the great cathedrals, schools, hospitals, the beginnings of western music in Gregorian plainchant and that near-miraculous administrative instrument, the parish.

These were only some of the achievements of an age so contemptuously sneered at as “Medieval.”   

Another of Hillary’s “progressives,” John Newman, wrote: “There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a Middle Ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic church.”

But Christendom was not a dictatorship. It provided a decent set of political liberties. If it’s dictators you’re looking for, John, look no further than your cherished “progressive” modernity: Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot. No “Medieval dictatorship” slaughtered human beings on a scale anywhere approaching the genocides committed by those men – who were fervent atheists, by the way. And there were more people killed in the wars of the “progressive” 20th century than in all previous wars put together

In another email, John Halpin of the Centre for American Progress mocked the conservatism of Catholics, especially converts: “They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.”

It is difficult to attach any meaning to a statement as clumsy and convoluted as that, but I think we get the gist.

Medieval Christianity at least provided some practical guidance for our discerning of what is right from what is wrong – which the moral and social squalor of absolute ethical relativism cannot do. No doubt the practice of chastity is arduous, but the “progressive” alternative is unspeakable: every person, regardless of their, “gender” an opportunity for casual sexual gratification and millions of the unborn ripped untimely from the womb simply because people are sexually incontinent.

Listen – Hillary, John and Sandy – to words written by T.S. Eliot in 1934:

“Why should men love the Church? Why should they love her laws? She tells them of Life and death, and of all that they would forget. She is tender were they would be hard, and hard were they like to be soft. She tells them of Evil and Sin, and other unpleasant facts. They constantly try to escape from the darkness outside and within, by dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.”

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27 Sep

The Church of St Jargon & All Gobbledegook

The Church of St Jargon & All Gobbledegook – formerly known as the Church of England – is affectionately called “Jarg’s” or “Gobs” by its devotees. It is “a resource  where exciting things are happening.” Last year, for example, they appointed Mike Eastwood, Liverpool Diocesan Secretary, to the “exciting” two days a week job of Director of the nationwide Reform and Renewal movement, aka “The Welby Babes.”.Mike has held exciting posts before his current appointment. He was Director of the Directory of Social Change – and they don’t come more exciting than that in the social engineering and class warfare sector!

The official announcement of Mike’s appointment mentioned that he had previously worked for the not quite so exciting Resourcing the Future Task Group and that, “He brings knowledge of the Church to support the programme into the delivery phases.” His responsibility at R&R will be, “…to bring the current work streams together and co-ordinate the activities in a way necessary for delivery.”

When we read such invigorating sentences as these, we can see at once that the new name, The Church of St Jargon & All Gobbledegook was chosen with brilliant aptness. 

The announcement continues in the same exciting style: “Mike will retain his role in Liverpool, with some changes in day-to-day activities to ensure manageability of workload.”

The tired old C. of E. is in its death throes – thank God. The stuffy old diehards, Prayer Book lovers and the like are dying off too. The numbers attending church show relentless decline. We should see this as a blessing, as the dead wood makes way for the exciting new ethos of R&R with its stimulating rock music “worship groups,” its informal, pass-the-parcel style liturgy and its scintillating shoals of “management teams.” 

The chronic shortage of priests is “enabling” R&R “to explore exciting new possibilities for lay leadership.” 

The future is bright. The future is all Jargon & Gobbledegook (with charismatic choruses obbligato).

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08 Sep

There but for the grace…

Do we now live in an autocracy? Is the prime minister the only public servant in the country who is actually doing something? Is Mrs May the Queen’s first minister, or only the general factotum?

We see her here, we hear her  there: this wonder woman is everywhere.

“May slams Southern Trains shambles…May backs grammar schools…May to lead trade talks…”

And, when she has a minute, perhaps she’ll go out and choose my Christmas cards for me.

If there is a minister responsible for the efficient running of the trains, surely that should be the minister of transport. Grammar schools: that’s the secretary of state for educashon innit? And perhaps trade talks have nothing to do with ministers of the Crown and should be left to businessmen who know what they’re talking about?

Churchill was known as something of an autocrat, a man who liked to get his own way. But he knew he couldn’t do everything. He delegated.

Quite apart from the fact that no one person can have day-to-day knowledge of all the nation’s affairs and exercise control over the whole sphere, it is not the job of the prime minister to manage the minutiae of public life: her job is to guarantee the integrity of her administration. She is not there to poke her nose – however considerable – in at every verse end. She appointed her ministers. She should trust them to get on with the job; and when they fall short, it’s her privilege to sack them. She is certainly not there to provide headlines for the press.

There are many ills for which Theresa May is to blame, but this isn’t one of them. I think the rot started with the appalling Tony Blair.

Now there was an autocrat. When I think of Blair, I recall Winston Churchill on Sir Stafford Cripps: “There but for the grace of God goes God.”

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01 Sep

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Here come our minders again. Here come the thought police. We’ve all been naughty – both Leave and Remain – in the EU referendum campaign. “It was dogged by glaring democratic deficiencies” with voters turned off by big name politicians and negative campaigning, says the Electoral Reform Society.

The Electoral Reform Society attacked both sides of the referendum campaign, saying people felt “ill-informed” by the “dire” debate.

Of course the debate was dire. It was hustings red in tooth and claw, a first-rate political punch-up. Have these nannies in the ERS never witnessed a political campaign close up before, complete with lies, scandals, rotten eggs and jiggery-pokery wholesale? That is the nature of political campaigns – I’m delighted to say.

As for the accusation that the public were “ill-informed,” well, who’s fault is that? If the public wishes to be informed, then the public  must inform itself. We know a politician is lying to us every time we see his lips moving. It’s not the duty of political opponents to fight according to the Marquis of Queensbury rules. Politics is a bare knuckle fight and there will be blood.

So, when they’ve finished smacking the bottoms of both Leave and Remain, what do the apparatchiks, prigs and trendies in the ERS recommend?

They call for a “root and branch” review of the way referendums are run. There should be “a public body appointed to intervene when misleading claims are made by campaigns, to review the broadcasters’ role and to publish a rule book to govern the conduct of campaigns.”

And then, as a prelude to the repudiation of Original Sin, the ERS will monitor every political speech and itemise every “misleading” claim.

Impossible. For who is to decide which claims are misleading? It is conflicting claims which are the very issue and substance of political campaigns.

And who, pray, are to be made members of the “public body appointed to intervene”? A committee of MPs perhaps with their well-known devotion to truth? Or the BBC with its famed lack of bias? Maybe the ERS itself?

This chastisement from the sanctimonious busybodies in the ERS marks a new low in the ongoing process of politically-correct thought control

Never mind Project Fear. This is worse: it is Project Infantilisation.

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27 Jul

Is it weak to keep your trap shut?

Prince Harry says: “It is OK to suffer, but as long as you talk about it, It is not a weakness.”

I sympathise. He has had a an emotionally tough start in life since his mother was killed in a car crash when he was only twelve. I’m sure that sometimes it is helpful to talk about one’s sufferings, though I’m suspicious when it comes to the various “talking therapies.” I was once in a drinks reception in a livery hall in the City of London and found myself in conversation with a Freudian psychiatrist. He asked me what it was like to be a priest and I answered as honestly as i could. I said, “But it must be difficult to be a psychiatrist and have to sit there listening to someone’s outpourings for hours.”

He replied, “Who listens!”

It’s good to talk, they say. And perhaps the buttoned-up heart and the stiff upper lip are not always the best responses to our troubles. But over these last few decades we have swung so far in the other direction with our armies of agony aunts and counsellors. There’s something sickening about all this emoting, letting it all hang out.

I remember an accidentally hilarious, and very telling incident, from 1994. A posse of journalists was taken across to Normandy to report on the commemorations of the D-Day landings of fifty years earlier. The commemorations included some re-enactment of the battle. Upon their return, the journalists were offered counselling.

An eighty-year-old veteran commented: “I was there for the real thing in 1944, and we weren’t offered any bloody counselling! We’d have told ‘em where to stick it!”

I cannot stand the way we medicalise human pain and misery.

Actually, I try to take my guidance from a quite different source:

“He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)

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