Category Archives: society

30 May

Have you used it yet?

Do you remember that line towards the end of Tony Hancock’s classic sketch The Blood Donor  when Tony, having given a pint of his blood, keeps phoning the clinic to ask what’s happened to it: “Have you used it yet?”

I thought of this when Eastbourne Tory HQ rang me up for the second time and said, “You’ve received your postal vote. Have you used it yet?” It’s unusual, to say the least, to receive such attention from politicians. So what’s the cause of this sudden outbreak of solicitousness?.

Blind panic, that’s what.

For the Lenin lookalike Jeremy Corbyn is coming up fast on the blind side. Who would have thought it – that a leader who has produced an economic policy which would condemn the whole nation to the debtors’ prison is, with just over a week to polling day, being taken seriously by an increasing proportion of the electorate? Add to that the fact that he’s a Jew-baiter with friends in the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah, a mourner at the memorial of the Palestinian mastermind of the lethal attack on the Munich Olympics of 1972. Not to forget that he invited leaders of the IRA to the House of Commons not long after they had bombed Mrs Thatcher and her cabinet in Brighton.

The truth is that Corbyn  sees Tories as bigger enemies than any of the terrorist organisations which want to kill us.

He is no friend of the armed forces whose activities he wishes severely to restrict. His policy on nuclear deterrence is straight out of the madhouse as he declares he will keep it but would never use it.

He is so deluded when it comes to the historical record that he thinks the 1400 years war which Islam has waged against Europe is all the fault of Tony Blair.

A Corbyn  cabinet would contain caricature loonies and apostles of the politics of envy such as Emily Thornberry and the comically incompetent Diane Abbott.

So why would any even moderately sane person toy with the idea of voting Labour next week?

Elementary, my dear voters: elementary.

There is no Tory alternative.

May has shifted her party light years to the left. More power to the unions. More intervention in the economy – well, she said clearly last week she doesn’t believe in “the untrammelled free market.” So she’s setting about trammelling it with even higher business taxes and ever-more regulation.

Theresa May has always been a preposterous attention seeker and control freak. Now, aged 60, she disports herself like a frisky teenage girl. Her long career at the home office was a disaster. Wholesale rape and abuse of underage schoolgirls by Muslim men? The answer. Do nothing. Infiltration of schools by militant Islamists in Birmingham? Nothing. Charged with bringing immigration down to “the tens of thousands”? Nothing again. Well, not quite nothing. She claimed she was powerless to reduce immigration, “Because I’m bound by the EU’s Shengen rules about the free movement of populations.” Having so said, she then voted Remain! How’s that for joined-up thinking? The best that can be said of Mrs May is that she’s rather dim.

Do you still think that Brexit is safe in the hands of such a serially incompetent woman?

Rank and file Tories are a merciful crowd and they could perhaps forgive her all her errors and make allowances for her inconsistencies. But what grass roots Tories cannot do is retain affection for a leader who has turned against the party’s natural constituency and its core supporters . Her most recent policy announcements make it very plain that she does not believe in the right to own one’s own home and to hand on the value of of this inheritance intact to one’s children. That’s the Tory political equivalent of an Archbishop of Canterbury saying he doesn’t believe in God.

Are we all fools? After all, none of Theresa May’s left wing policies should have come as a surprise. Years ago she gave us fair warning when she declared the Tories of Margaret Thatcher’s governments “the nasty party.”

She is fiercely ambitious. And her ambition is to be remembered as the opposite of Margaret Thatcher.

We Eastbourne Tories are a fairly docile and biddable lot. But this bloody difficult woman has got our dander up.

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26 May

The celebration of innocence is a British value

“They will never win…They can’t kill our values…”

Two of this week’s headlines in the gush and schmaltz sheets otherwise known as our newspapers. I had thought that was about it when it came to British values: gush and schmaltz – and, of course, appeasing the enemy.

But I was mistaken and so I apologise. From those same newspapers I have just learned that another of our values is the celebration of children’s innocence. Apparently we love the little ones and we will do anything to shield them from physical harm and moral corruption

(Pity then that we did nothing for years about the hundreds of Muslim men who systematically raped and otherwise sexually abused underage schoolgirls in a score of our towns and cities. But I’m sure that was just a rare lapse, so we can – as the home secretary at the time, Theresa May and her police forces did – turn a blind eye to it. All in the interests of appeasement, naturally)

According to the gush and schmaltz sheets and the gush and schmaltz telly, we have been particularly strenuous in our nurturing of children’s innocence this week. Parents, uncles and aunts, friends and brothers and sisters from all over the north of England took their preteens to Ariana Grande’s pop concert in Manchester.

Unfortunately, owing to our other value of appeasing the enemy, some of these youngsters were slaughtered. Put it down to another disagreeable lapse. We know it will never happen again.

All was for the fluffiest in the fluffiest of all possible worlds. Lots of pink. Rabbits’ ears

(The teddy bears put in their appearance later)

Here is part of what the delightful Ariana sang to the innocents:

“All you get, skin to skin. O my God…”

(So you see God too is part of our British values)

“…Don’t ya stop boy. Something about you makes me feel like a dangerous woman. All gals wanna be like that. Bad girls underneath like that.”

I was so captivated by the charm and innocence of these lyrics that I craved more. So I went into Ariana’s website. Here in an innocent state of semi-undress she pouts (innocently of course) as she sings an innocent little sexy number for the innocent preteens. As she does so, we see scenes of couples engaged in vigorous copulation. One couple on a car bonnet. Another couple – a charmingly whimsical touch, this – in a launderette. A big black man with a little white girl – no doubt in celebration of our other British value of antiracism – in an office. Finally, a  reassuringly cosy domestic theme emerged as the couple did it in the kitchen .

Can I just ask you all, at this particularly gushy and schmaltzy time, to put away your habitual cynicism and rejoice with me in our British values?

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21 May

Sexual Apartheid

The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, has appointed Fr Andrew Woodward, priest-in-charge of St Mary’s Kemp Town and Rural Dean of Brighton, as the first Bishop’s Liaison Officer for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex LGBTi community in the Diocese of Chichester.

Fr Andrew’s job specification is to provide the bishops and parishes with up to date information about the pastoral needs of the LGBTi community and to make the church’s ministry among this community more effective.

The priest will “represent the church in this community so as to build bridges and enable pastoral support for a substantial group of people who feel the Church is alienated from them.”

A spokesman for the diocese added: “Many in the LBBTi community feel they are tolerated but not included.”

Dr Warner says: “This post is about pastoral bridges in line with our diocesan strategy, know, love, follow Jesus. It is primarily about building, opening and crossing new and existing bridges towards great understanding and mutual flourishing.”

The Bishop added: “I think it is important to stress that the post holder is not expected to be an advocate for change in legislation or theological position. Neither should the creation of this post be understood as establishing a particular policy change or a new direction of travel in the Diocese’s position on same-sex issues.”

For this relief, much thanks

Of course it is the responsibility of the church’s ministers constantly to be looking for ways in which to make their ministry among all people more effective. But I’ve got news for them:

There is no such thing as “The LGBTi community.”

There are individual LGBTi people but they do not live in community. Those who identify themselves by one of the letters LGBTi are simply making public their particular sexual preference.

Why anyone should wish to make public what always used to be regarded as a sensitive, personal and private matter is a question that defeats me. But nowadays, it seems, many  feel the urge to advertise their sexuality. And the love that once dared not speak its name now shrieks at us at the top of its voice from lewd processions along the high street.

Inexplicably, perversely, this display is called “Pride.”

I wonder, is it only sexual deviants who are expected to announce to the general public their preferences? Perhaps I ought to draw together a crowd of my “straight” friends and process with a banner reading, “WE SLEPT WITH OUR WIVES LAST NIGHT.”

But there is a bigger issue and it centres on that word “community.”

Chichester diocese tells us that LGBTi people “feel alienated.” Well then, why do they insist on alienating themselves by self-identifying as a distinct community? Groups setting themselves up as “communities” received its reductio ad absurdum some years ago when The Independent newspaper, in all seriousness, wrote about, “London’s sadomasochistic community.” In the face of such utter barminess, satire becomes impossible.

The self-ascription of the word “community” by specific separatist groups actually destroys community and creates a multiplicity of sects. When this was practised in South Africa, the British political establishment condemned it as Apartheid. Why then when the very same thing is practised here is it applauded as “a celebration of diversity”?

There is one community in this country and we are all part of it. And to say otherwise is to destroy all possibility of social cohesion. Why don’t the authorities – religious or secular – understand this plain truth?   

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19 May

A canting fraud

The dictionary defines “trammel” as “a hindrance or impediment to free action.”

Kindly bear that in mind for a moment.

Publishing the Conservative party’s election manifesto yesterday, Theresa May said, “We do not believe in untrammelled free markets.”

We should be grateful when any politician offers us such a plain, unequivocal statement. It follows from her words that she believes in trammelling or hindering free markets. We can express this in fewer words. Mrs May might have spared herself the bother of uttering the long word “untrammelled.” What she said yesterday means simply, “We do not believe in free markets.”

In fact the phrase “untrammelled free” is a tautology.

So there you have it from the mouth of a Conservative prime minister: the Conservative party does not believe in free markets.

Then it has ceased to be the Conservative party.

Mrs May’s speech was full of interesting phrases: “”We reject the cult of selfish individualism.”

This is meaningless. It’s like saying, “We’re against sin.” Of course we are. But individualism doesn’t have to be selfish. As Adam Smith and scores of others have pointed out, by pursuing his individual interests, a man often benefits many others. Make a £million by designing a better mousetrap and you will not only have enriched yourself but  made a huge contribution to the entire community.

That speech of Mrs May’s is crammed full of philosophy – but it isn’t Tory philosophy. She concluded lyrically: “True Conservatism means a commitment to country and community and to the good that government can do.”

There are indeed two good things that government can and should do: defend us from foreign enemies and keep the peace in our streets. Then it should get out of our lives.

The wretched woman Theresa May is a canting fraud: a socialist fraud at that.

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03 May

The very devout LGBT community

Frau Merkel has met Vladimir Putin for talks.

Now that must have been a momentous occasion against the background of global insecurity, wars, rumours of wars, tensions and terrorism on three continents. What would have been Angela Merkel’s most pressing concerns? Surely the civil war in Syria which has been going on for six years. She would have asked Mr Putin to use his influence over Turkey’s dictator Erdogan and urge him not to flood Europe with millions of imperialistic Muslim migrants. She would have voiced the apprehension of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the face of an energised Russian military presence on their borders.

And Vlad, a man with a keen sense of history and given to plain speaking, he would have stated his concerns about Prussian militarism. I can almost hear him framing his sentences: “Three times during the last 150 years, you Germans have waged war on Europe with the aim of domination: in 1870 under Bismarck, 1914 by the Kaiser and again in 1939 by Hitler. The Russian people are apprehensive about the foreign policy intentions of your Fourth Reich.”

I suppose, if their talks had been purposeful and sincere, the two leaders might even have felt their way towards a common understanding.

In the context of the current international instability, all the topics I have mentioned must surely have been on the table? Instead, the headline report on this summit meeting informed us, “Mrs Merkel asked Mr Putin to use his authority to clamp down on the homophobia currently oppressing the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered community in Chechnya.”

No doubt this is a good cause but, compared, say, with the genocide of Christians throughout the Middle East and in many parts of Africa, it is hardly the most severe threat to international peace and harmony. It’s as if in 1938 Joachim von Ribbentrop had begged Comrade Molotov to ease the parking restrictions on the over eighties nudist basketball team in Minsk.

But I suppose I ought to understand that the former things have passed away and that, in our diverse, non-sexist, non-racist, post-modern, post-truth, fake news world, our priorities have altered beyond recognition. Rather than occupy  themselves with the possibility of nuclear war or Muslim terrorism  and Islam-inspired wars in a score of countries, leaders of the world’s great powers meet to discuss the prospects for sexual deviants in an outlying province.

It is the language in which Frau Merkel’s plea was made which puzzles me most. In this modern world of ours, we seem to have developed a very strange vocabulary. Frau Merkel did not refer to the allegedly persecuted Chechnyans as sexual deviants, but as “The LGBT community.”

I didn’t know these people had formed themselves into a community. What sort of organisation is this? Is it like a monastic community with plainchant, Bible readings, a rule of life and the keeping of the ecclesiastical hours? Is the LGBT community in Chechnya devout? Do they start each day with the office of Prime followed by Matins? I feel sure they will want to include Sext.

I shall just have to get used to the fact that we no longer employ the conventional categories or even speak the language I learned as a child. As Wittgenstein said, “Change the language and you change the world.”

And how, Ludwig! And how!

O brave new world that hath such people in it.     

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26 Apr

Two Spectators but differing perspectives

Every week, a friend in Alice Springs sends me The Spectator Australia which is really the London version with perhaps  ten pages at the start given over to Australian  matters. Consistently, these pages are conspicuously better than the rest of the magazine. Let me give an example from the edition for the Easter weekend. After a shocking account of violent assaults by Muslims on Christians in Sydney. Aussie Spec’s editorial continued as follows:

“One of the obvious causes of what is called ‘Christophobia’ is the poisonous, amoral, cowardly effect of left wing political correctness and the simpering attitude of many ‘progressive’ Christian clergy towards Islam. Rather than seeing what has historically been a violent and uncompromising religion as possibly posing an existential threat to their own beliefs, many clergy now choose to embrace Islam in the name of ‘multifaith dialogue’. The effectiveness of this suicidal approach can be seen in France where more than 2000 mosques have been built in the last ten years while 60 churches have been closed – many becoming mosques. Where are the Christians defending their ancient faith? Carry on doing nothing and get ready to bury Jesus Christ once and for all.”

Why do we never get such plain speaking out of the truth in our London edition?

Those early pages in the Australian version unfailingly present a conservative opinion on all political, social and economic affairs.

They make the rest of the magazine – ie the London material – look like what in fact it has become: a collection of evasions and euphemisms and indeed of the very political correctness which the Australian editor deplores.

As a regrettable consequence, we no longer have a mainstream conservative weekly magazine in Britain

(Rev’d Dr Peter Mullen 3 Naomi Close Eastbourne BN20 7UU    01323-655832)

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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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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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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

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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.

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