Friday, 22 September 2017


Pat Buchanan on Donald Trump's UN speech this week.

"For America has no divinely mandated mission to democratize mankind. And the hubristic idea that we do has been a cause of all the wars and disasters that have lately befallen the republic."If we do not cure ourselves of this interventionist addiction, it will end our republic. When did we dethrone our God and divinize democracy?"And are 21st-century American values really universal values?"Should all nations embrace same-sex marriage, abortion on demand, and the separation of church and state if that means, as it has come to mean here, the paganization of public education and the public square?"

How the Ottoman Empire manged multiculturalism

Ileana Mercer wrote this earlier this year.

"An interesting new book, reviewed by one Barnaby Rogerson, makes the point that the Levant of the 18th century was peaceful and prosperous (and surprisingly libertine), because it was made up of “a grid of self-governing communities.” Integration between disparate communities was not enforced. And surprise, surprise: communities freely chose to live in complete segregation. This freedom fostered “remarkable tolerance” among diverse communities across the cities of the Levant of that time. “Deals before Ideals, City before State, Trade before Politics,” as the reviewer puts it. This freedom of association was the source of strength. These autonomous ethnic communities were free of the top-down, punitive, forced integration that has become the hallmark of the 19th-century nation-state that usurped their authority."

Something like this existed throughout the Ottoman Empire, except in Moldavia and Wallachia, where under the Capitulations (the treaty that no one can find a copy of) Muslims were not allowed to settle. Dalibor Denda, my Serbian historian friend, told me that Serbian (Christians) had some kind of autonomous life through the Patriarchate of Peć (Ipek) from 1557 to 1763 mostly thanks to Serbs who converted to Islam and took the highest positions within Ottoman administration.

Jordan Peterson and the transgender wars

'Because thoughts aren’t like that,’ he says. ‘People mostly think by talking. Not only do they think by talking, but they correct their thoughts by talking. If you deprive people of the right to think, then you doom them to suffering. You doom their stupidity of its right to die. You should allow your thoughts to be cast away into the fire — instead of you.’

A very interesting interview with Professor Jordan Paterson, a Jungian and Christian, who is in trouble for many offences, including refusing to use the preferred gender pronouns of people "who don’t identify with their biological gender". He sounds fascinating and brave.

At this point, to my astonishment, Peterson begins to weep. He talks through his

The Scottish tide has turned

I think Effie Deans is right when she tweeted to me:
Until Brexit vote Scottish nationalism looked like winning in the end. Now it doesn't. 2015 was dangerous moment. Now it has passed


Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.

Doris Lessing

Do in thy lifetime what, in the hour of death, you will wish you had done.

Goffines Devout Instructions.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

It is every migrant’s dream to see the tables turned

It is every migrant’s dream to see the tables turned, to see long lines of Americans and Britons in front of the Bangladeshi or Mexican or Nigerian Embassy, begging for a residence visa.

Suketu Mehta, Indian-born New York-based author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

1984 rears its ugly head again

Retweeted Ben Sixsmith (@BDSixsmith):
Within weeks we've gone from toppling Confederate statues to erasing names of Nobel Prize winning scientists. The slippery slope is real.

Jeffrey Ketland is right

"I'm reasonably sure that the driving force behind every SJW is "purity": a kind of moral purification, reminiscent of the original Puritans. This Puritanism is visibly central to the pervasive, ultra-toxic American Ideology of "social justice", with all that it entails: purification rituals, denunciation of deviance, mass hysteria, ostracism of imagined witches, etc.

"Who aside from the original Puritans were so obsessed with purity? The Jacobins. The Bolsheviks. The Nazis. Mao's Red Guards. The Brotherhood. American feminists and SJWs."

Let's keep Hitler out of it

ALL references to Hitler in political discussions should be ignored. The harm that man continues to do 72 years after his death is incalculable.

May trying to 'seize power' like Hitler, Vanity Fair editor says

Trump argues for healthy national egoism

"Trump's UN 'hate speech' criticised"
The BBC headline shows their disapproval, but I think it was a good speech (though I have some big caveats), praising 'independent sovereign nations'. No wonder the BBC hated it.

I liked these words
"In America we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone."
He praised nation states. He probably doesn't know the phrase 'healthy national egoism', but this is what he believes in and think makes for peace. The liberal wars of recent years certainly didn't.

Wonderfully, he talked of the great harm mass migrations do to the countries the migrants leave and enter.

More quotations

“The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.”

Donald Trump speaking at the U.N.

From The Times Diary

Reporting on the Rohingya: “The Tip of a Huge Iceberg of Misinformation”

This article gives another side of the story of the Rohinga that we are told - I have no idea where the truth lies but I had searched in vain on the net for another side. 

The tube bombers were refugees

The suspects in the latest London tube bombing, which could have killed many people were it not for the criminals' ineptitude, are two refugees.

What a shock.

One of the suspects was arrested because he continued to wear the distinctive red hat caught by the TV cameras. Thankfully, these people are not intellectuals.

What do we do? More police, more restrictions on extremism on the net? 

No, Great Britain urgently has to amend our adhesion to the Geneva Convention on

Do evil people know they are evil?

I think from my experience that evil people usually know they are evil. 

On the other some evil people like Lenin and Stalin (Stalin was certainly a psychopath, though Lenin and Hitler are more complex) think they are doing bad that good may come of it.

Was Genghiz Khan who killed forty million (about a tenth of the world's population) evil?
He probably thought he was a hero. How would Homer have judged him?

I wrote some thoughts on evil people here.

Most evil people are psychopaths and psychopaths are well aware that they are very

5 immigration quotations

"We've massively overestimated our ability to bring people in and massively underestimated how much they will change us."

Douglas Murray

“Yes, God loves the English … but in their own land.”

Saint Jeanne d’Arc under interrogation

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Three quotations

If you’re BORIS-NORIS then you’re reckless, and act without considering the impact of your behaviour.

(A Glossary of Dorset Dialect, 1863) 

Four quotations

Replying to 
Until Brexit vote Scottish nationalism looked like winning in the end. Now it doesn't. 2015 was dangerous moment. Now it has passed

Stefan MolyneuxVerified account @StefanMolyneux  4 seconds ago
The whole purpose of propaganda is to make the obvious seem obscure, or offensive.

Douglas Murray, 'The Strange Death of Europe'

By 2015 more British Muslims were fighting for Isis than for the British armed forces.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Top ten enclaves

Here is an interesting list of enclaves made by John Rentoul, maker of fascinating lists. I had only known about one of them, Llívia, in Spain but surrounded by France. When the Treaty of the Pyrenees of 1659 gave all villages north of the Pyrenees to France the Llívians adduced evidence that Llivia had been accorded the status of city by a Roman Emperor. It therefore remained in Spain. It is Catalan, as are the villages given to France.

This is interesting:

Since the rationalisation of the India-Bangladesh border last year abolished Dahala Khagrabari, the world’s only third-order enclave (a piece of India inside a piece of Bangladesh inside a piece of India inside Bangladesh), Baarle’s second-order enclaves are as complicated as it gets – there are pockets of the Netherlands inside some of the Belgian enclaves. The border is so complicated, said Robert Kaye, “they operate a front-door rule where the country of your front door determines which law applies”.

Sunday, 17 September 2017


Gerald Brenan:

The only test of work of literature is that it shall please other ages than its own. 

Kristian Niemietz (@K_Niemietz):

There should be a German word for "a person who is notionally on the right, but who spends most of their time talking leftie drivel".

Jonathan Spyer:

A hollowing-out of European culture has taken place over recent years. The elites of the continent are united by a set of joint perceptions deriving from a shared experience of

There are more beheadings than there used to be but, on the plus side, there's a much wider range of cuisine

I am watching this absolutely fascinating (and very alarming) interview with Douglas Murray on the Mark Steyn Show. So should you. 

Two of the best thinkers we have.

Both men fear that we are seeing the early stages of a war in Europe.

Mark Steyn, inimitably, says that we are in the torture dungeon but the safe word doesn't work. I am unfamiliar with sado-masochism, but I get the joke. If it is a joke.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The recent past is a foreign country

I wrote this on 16 June 2016, just before the murder of a pro-EU Labour MP, Mrs. Jo Cox, by a man who shouted out, as he did so, "This is for Britain".

I firmly expect Great Britain to vote to stay in the EU next Thursday, but let's all enjoy every single blissful moment of these halcyon days when our German and other European rulers think we might leave. This is the last moment when Great Britain roused herself to become a free country. After we vote to stay in, it will probably resemble what Claude Cockburn's tutor told him life was like after Oxford: just a long slow slope to the grave.

Bertrand Russell said ‘Collective fear stimulates herd instinct and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd’. I see a lot of this coming from the In camp who seem almost to hate or despise the Outs. Especially they seem to hate UKIP and despise the working classes. The viciousness is born of fear. I find it disgusting but it is what politics and democracy are about.

Whatever your views on Brexit what a great argument this referendum is for lots more referendums. Though of course there is not really very much room in the EU for referendums.

The opinion polls today show Leave up to 7% ahead of Remain and the bookmakers, who are always the best place to look to find out what's going on, today give Leave an astonishingly high 30% chance. I give it a lot less (5-10%?) but what does impress me is that the polls are swinging towards Leave, despite the attempts of the government the IMF and most of the establishment to terrify electors with (continued here).

Friday, 15 September 2017


“He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins. For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices, it fosters negligence, and incites not only the wicked but the good to do wrong.” St. John Chrysostom

"He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that." John Stuart Mill

"If boys can be girls, and girls can be boys, why can't girls and boys also be unicorns?" Douglas Murray

Trahison des clercs: 'Germans are antisemitic and deserve to be replaced'

An unnamed "German intellectual" told Douglas Murray that 

"the German people were anti-Semitic and prejudiced and deserved to be replaced."

(From 'The Strange Death of Europe'.)

This remark reminds me of two others made by German politicians that I cam across.

A German Christian Democrat MP, one Martin Gillo, put this on his website (but then took it down):

"According to current calculations, people with an immigration background will be the majority of the [German] population as early as 2035. That is less than a generation… A new age begins in 2035! It will be an age when we ethnic

Bomb on London tube

An "improvised explosive device" was detonated on a Tube train in south-west London during today's morning rush hour, Scotland Yard says. Twenty-two people are being treated in hospital, mostly for burns. No-one is dead. The bomber is on the loose and dangerous.

The blast at Parsons Green tube station is being treated as terrorism, police said, having previously said it wasn't. (Perhaps they had thought it was a schoolboy prank.)

A Facebook friend of mine (who's a veteran tabloid journalist and left-wing) posted this:

Bomb blast in London Metro. Liberals are now looking for the Muslim Hero who'll give water bottle, tissue papers to the victims.

Martin Amis misses England

Martin Amis plans to move back to England one day, he tells the Guardian. 

“I miss the English … I miss Londoners. I miss the wit. Americans aren’t as witty as Brits, because humour is about giving a little bit of offence. It’s an assertion of intellectual superiority. Americans are just as friendly and tolerant as Londoners, but they flinch from mocking someone’s background or education.”
Is it good form for us English to mock someone’s background or education?

Americans are very scornful and superior too, not so much about class but about attitudes they identify as deplorable - which are often closely linked to class. Being bigoted is being vulgar. 

Today's the Duc de la Rochefoucauld’s 404th birthday

Il ne faut pas s'offenser que les autres nous cachent la vérité, puisque nous nous la cachons si souvent à nous-mêmes.

[We should not be upset that others hide the truth from us, when we hide it so often from ourselves.]

On parle peu quand la vanité ne fait pas parler.

[When not prompted by vanity, we say little.]

"‘British jobs for British workers’ is a fascist incursion into mainstream politics"

In case you need persuading that the Guardian is a poisonous newspaper, much less reasonable than the Daily Mail, here is an article from today's issue that argues that

‘British jobs for British workers’ is back, a fascist incursion into mainstream politics

"Thanks to leaked proposals we now know that the guiding principle of the government’s post-Brexit immigration plan is to put British workers first.......

"Gordon Brown, appallingly, used the term while Labour prime minister in 2007 but he did not invent it. As was highlighted in parliament by the then Conservative leader David Cameron, such slogans could be found in leaflets from the National Front and the British National party 

"Go back to the 1930s and you find Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, declaring: “No more admitting of foreigners into this country to take British jobs.” At that time, the foreigners he meant were Jews."

It's laughable, but millions of Guardian readers buy the newspaper and buy this argument. Is it possible to unbrainwash these people? They include the schoolmaster class, who are rearing the next generation.

Hillary Clinton is “not very bright” - something she has in common with Theresa May

During his Sunday night interview on the US television show 60 Minutes, Steve Bannon said something I already knew, that Hillary Clinton is “not very bright.”

This is one of the things she has in common with Theresa May. They are also both introverted and (not the same thing) shy. Both are boring speakers, partly because they never have much to say that's interesting (though I except Theresa May's remark that a

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Extreme gore

George Osborne, until last year British Chancellor of the Exchequer (Minister of Finance) and now Editor of the Evening Standard, is said to have told more than one journalist at the paper that he would not rest until Theresa May, who failed to give him a job last year, was “chopped up in bags in my freezer”, according to Esquire magazine

The French invasion of Germany in 1939

I am very ashamed that I had forgotten about the French invasion of Germany in September 1939, till I read about it here. One German strategist thought that had the French continued they could have defeated Germany. How different the world would be now had they done so.

Eastern Europe would, in many ways, resemble Western Europe, France would be the dominant power in Europe, America would not interfere in the affairs of the Eastern

The decline of the West and the loss of Homeric virtue

"Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law, when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice."
G. K. Chesterton

People are too apt to think war is a great evil and no cause worth dying and killing for, and yet the West has launched a number of disastrous and foolish wars recently, not from self interest but for liberal values. The older I get I see how few wars were worth fighting. Worth fighting by England at any rate, which has almost never been endangered since 1066.

On the other hand men (how I dislike inclusive language) are very frightened of moral corruption which they identify with being racist, sexist, ageist, Islamophobic or Eurocentric.

Edward Luttwak has written a fine essay about Europe's loss of heroic, Homeric virtues.

'Italy is saving Europe's honour in the Mediterranean'

'Italy is saving Europe's honour in the Mediterranean'
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said yesterday, in his State of the European Union speech. The Italian navy is effectively a taxi service for African illegal immigrants without papers. Juncker also called for equal amounts of fish in fish fingers in Eastern and Western Europe. He threatened that Great Britain would suffer as a result of Brexit and argued for a much more centralised EU.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

We refugees don't want to live in the same country with you

I just finished Douglas Murray's The Strange Death of Europe with a very heavy heart, but also I am grimly delighted that a leading British writer, completely respectable and widely respected, has stated clearly and very perceptively the problem Europe faces. 

But I cannot see a huge change in opinion coming quickly enough to save things.

Two pages before the end of the book is this story.

In the meantime elected officials and bureaucrats continue to do everything they can to make the situation as bad as possible as fast as possible. In October 2015 there was a public meeting on the small city of Kassel in the state of Hesse. Eight hundred immigrants were due to arrive in the following days and concerned residents had a meeting to ask questions of their representatives. As the video recording of the meeting shows, citizens were calm, polite but concerned. Then at a certain point their district president, one Walter Lubcke, calmly informs them that anybody who does not agree with the policy is‘ free to leave Germany’. You can see and hear on the tape the intake of breath, amazed laughter, hoots and finally shouts of anger. Whole new populations are being brought into their country and they are being told that if they don’t like this they are always free to leave. Do not politicians in Europe realise what could happen if they continue to treat European people like this?
Douglas Murray  ends The Strange Death of Europe with a quotation from Aras Bacho, an 18 year-old Syrian refugee in Germany. On the internet a longer quotation is available from Der Freitag, October 2016, as follows. 

"We refugees... do not want to live in the same country with you. You can, and I think you should, leave Germany. And please take Saxony and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) with you.... Why do you not go to another country? We are sick of you!"

Four quotations from Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

It’s Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach’s 187th birthday. She was an Austrian and a major German language novelist. Here are four of her aphorisms.
In misfortune we usually regain the peace that we were robbed of through fear of that very misfortune.

Dennis Skinner asks a very sensible question about Turkish immigrants

Dennis Skinner, the elderly and very left-wing Labour MP, has always opposed Britain's EU, EC and EEC membership and voted for the EU Withdrawal Bill, or so-called Great Repeal Bill, on its second reading on Monday. 

Dennis Skinner is about as left-wing as Jeremy Corbyn. Both are members of the hard-left Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs. When the Group met two years ago to decide who its candidate for the Labour leadership, the choice was between Dennis Skinner and Jeremy Corbyn. Skinner was 83 and didn’t want to do it. Corbyn was 66 and didn’t mind. None of the group imagined that their candidate would win.

Pascal Bruckner on the invention of Islamophobia

The excerpt below is by Pascal Bruckner in a piece about the invention of Islamophobia

The term “Islamophobia” probably existed before these bureaucrats of the empire used it. Still, this language remained rare until the late 1980s, when the word was transformed little by little into a political tool, under the pressure of British Muslims reacting to the fatwa that the Ayatollah Khomeini had pronounced against novelist Salman Rushdie, following his publication of The Satanic Verses. With its fluid meaning, the word “Islamophobia” amalgamates two very different concepts: the persecution of believers, which is a crime; and the critique of religion, which is a right. A newcomer in the semantic field of antiracism, this term has the ambition of making Islam untouchable by placing it on the same level as anti-Semitism....


The Remainers' Damascene conversion to parliamentary government

"MPs have quite simply betrayed our democracy " by implementing result of democratic vote. 

“The majority of MPs have quite simply betrayed our democracy - that must never forgotten”

Tweeted by Henry Porter and (predictably) retweeted by A. C. Grayling.

The Remainers' Damascene conversion to parliamentary government restores one's faith in human nature.

Truly there is more rejoicing in heaven....

'Nothing has changed in 25 years to ease my concerns about Islam'

Two years ago today Charles Moore, who is always interesting, wrote this article entitled, '
Nothing has changed in 25 years to ease my concerns about Islam'. One point he makes is that:
"Significant numbers of Muslims do see a faith-run, faith-defined state as the ultimate goal in this life."

Free speech

I always loved second-hand bookshops above all things - they were my true alma mater, not my university. But now I see that they are also the last bastions of freedom of speech and freedom of thought.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017


"Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset."
St. Francis de Sales

"Catholics are born for combat." 

Pope Leo XIII

"There is too much fighting in history, as if men only were brought into this world to send one another out of it. It nourishes false notions of our being, and chief and proper end, Mr. Croftangry.”
Sir Walter Scott's Mr. Fairscribe in 'The Surgeon's Daughter'

'But would it be worth reading?'
Cleanth Brooks on being told that European history would have been no different if there had been no poetry.

“When I wake up in the morning, and I feel good, I tell myself: ‘Today may be the last day of my life.’ That is my sense of urgency."

Josef Koudelka

In the future, everyone will be White House Communications Director for 15 minutes

This one is pretty. 

Why Hillary lost - thoughts prompted by her new self-exculpatory book

Democrats lost in 2016 not because of Hillary but because of the Democratic Party. The second big loser was the GOP. Trump defeated both for good reasons.

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Why good people turn into monsters

"Nazis are bad and must be opposed."
"People who enable or defend Nazis must also be opposed."
Makes sense!
"Unlawful violence is perfectly acceptable when opposing Nazis and their enablers."
Wait, I'm not sure I'm on board with that ...
"Anyone who opposes the use of unlawful violence against Nazis is also a Nazi enabler."
What? No! I'm one of the good guys!
"Also, if you think about it, all American institutions and capitalism itself help support white supremacy, therefore all are Nazi enablers and eligible for violent retribution."
Hey, I think you just declared war on literally everyone who isn't currently in the room with you.

From an article on 

Migrant boats have started heading to Romania

Kit Gillet, the best foreign journalist writing in Romania, has published an article in the Guardian about the recent new trend: migrants trying to make the perilous crossing on the Black Sea between the Turkish coast and Romania. It started in the last month or so and there have so far been six incidents.

'Gabriela Leu, a spokesperson for UNHCR Romania, says that while it was difficult to draw a conclusion from a handful of incidents, “what is clear is that when legal avenues are closed, people fleeing war and persecution take desperate measures to find safety”.'
They are not fleeing war and persecution. They are coming form Turkey where they are perfectly safe.

Steve Bannon holds George W. Bush in total contempt

I miss Steve Bannon. This is from his interview on television at the weekend:

"I hold these people in contempt, total and complete." 

"George W. Bush and his entire national security apparatus, which included people like Condi Rice, Brent Scowcroft, Colin Powell and Dick Cheney."

I completely agree

The sanctity of the revelation of Mahomet

"Since 1989 the texts, ideas and even images of Islam have become so heavily policed and self-policed even in Western Europe that it would be understandable if a young person becoming politically and religiously aware in the last few decades might have arrived at the conclusion that the one thing our societies really do hold sacred and impervious to ridicule or criticism are the claims and teachings of Mohammed."
Douglas Murray - 'The Strange Death of Europe'

[Had Charles Tours not defeated the Muslims in 704] "perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet."
Edward Gibbon - 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

“I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse.”
Richard Dawkins, the scientist and proselytising atheist, 2010

Monday, 11 September 2017

Since 1989 the world has been remade by nihilists, intellectual nihilists and ones who kill

Image result for derrida smoking

I was at Cambridge in my second term when Colin McCabe was denied tenure because he was a structuralist.

No one had any idea what a structuralist was, not even people reading English. Certainly not the people who wrote for the papers, who descended on Cambridge in a scramble. I tried to understand it and read a book by Roland Barthes but failed. Then I started work and forgot it.

Today, this very day, I see I have understood almost nothing about the story of my own lifetime. It was French Marxist intellectuals like Derrida who made the Sargasso Sea in which we are becalmed. He taught that categorisation is a form of exclusion, serving the interests of maintaining power, discriminating against excluded groups. Words are oppressive. It is morally necessary that language has to be remade to avoid victimising oppressed groups. Political correctness, a new kind of Stalinism.

Most serial killers read the Guardian

I read the Guardian most days and pray for the day, which will probably come soon, when it goes bankrupt and a malignant tumour is removed from the British body politic.

Lord ('Dear Bill') Deedes, who was a lovely man, found the letters hilarious and began his day happily chortling at them. I have a good sense of fun but I always found them terrifying. They induce despair.

Most serial killers read the Guardian

Well, that is not necessarily true, but Denis Nilson and Harold Shipman do, according to the late Frank Johnson. Johnson thought this was because of a feeling of superiority to ordinary people. Serial killers are driven by hidden rage and the destructive rage of the Guardian appeals to them.

Nihilism is the link. Love of destruction. Hatred of the beautiful.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

'Why do we still assign gender to children at birth?'

John Lewis, the British department store, has announced it will remove “boys’" and “girls” labels on children’s clothing. The Priory School in Lewes, East Sussex, has banned skirts for new students as part of its gender neutral clothing policy. A writer in the left-of centre newspaper the Independent suggests here that England should consider not registering babies as boys and girls.

I have no comment to make, except that 
men and women were created to complement one another, which is why men are so utterly different from women.

The Strange Death of Western Europe and why is Eastern Europe different?

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I am currently reading, am deeply depressed and alarmed by and am lost in wonder at Douglas Murray's new book, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam. Please read it people, if you read only one book this year.

The opening sentence is:
Europe is committing suicide.
and he continues
By the end of the lifespans of most people currently alive, Europe will not be Europe and the peoples of Europe will have lost the only place we had to call home.
He deals with Eastern European attitudes to migrants in a couple of pages and says this, under the rubric "Why is Eastern Europe so different?"
"....In January 2016, when the Swedish authorities, the European Commission and others began publicly to acknowledge that the majority of people they had taken in the previous year had no right to claim asylum in Europe, Jean Claude Juncker continued to insist on the Commission's proposed quota system to share out the migrants between each country. Slovakia refused to have any


"Even today, I think one’s relation to one’s alma mater is fraught with haute-bourgeois peril. In descending order of coolness are:

1. Dropped out of prestigious college;

2. Graduated from prestigious school, never bring it up unless asked—then as joke;

3. Graduated from prestigious school with honors, bring up quickly, no irony;

4. Graduated, have become garish, cheerful head of alumni booster committee."

Paul Fussell, Class: A Guide Through the American Status System

Had Israel not prevented Assad having the bomb, would Syria be at peace now?

Had Israel not prevented Assad having the bomb would Syria be at peace now? 

Or would Syria have made a solitude with the bomb and called it peace? Would an atom bomb be used in a civil war like Syria's, where the populace of any given region probably does not support the forces ruling it?

Interesting questions, which occurred to me reading this article by Zev Chafets, a writer was a senior aide to Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Mr. Chafets thinks Begin's

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Syrian war is ending – and Assad has won

According to Robert Fisk writing in the Independent a couple of days ago, the Syrian war is ending – and Assad has won.

This is good news for Russia, Iran, but most of all for Syrians who want peace. It's bad news for Turkey, the Saudis and the Saudis' de facto ally, Israel, who prefer ISIS and a failed state to a victory for Assad. It is not such bad news for Qatar who are now on reasonable terms with Iran.

The journalists have told us since the war began and even after Russia intervened that the regime could not win, but journalists only know what people they trust tell them. Alistair

Hungary's battle over migrants

We may agree that Hungary has been mean-spirited in taking such a tiny number of refugees (especially when it produces so many economic migrants); that the state-funded campaign against George Soros is both absurd and unpleasant, and that the country could have absorbed, say a couple of thousand genuine Syrian refugees, many of whom are highly educated and would contribute to society. But should an external court have the right to tell any nation who can, or should, live within its borders? This is a question that goes to the very heart of what the EU is: a gathering of sovereign nations, or a centralised quasi-federation? On balance, I think it should not. The over-reach of European institutions is causing a growing backlash. Brexit is only the beginning.

Adam LeBor

David Goldman is right about Korea

Dr. Kissinger was almost right about Korea, in what National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster called a "great op-ed" in the Wall Street Journal, in which he said only China can do anything about Korea. David Goldman (Spengler in Asia Times) was right when he commented
Bottom line: we are beholden to China to leash its North Korean dog. It is depressing to read, and depressing to hear it praised at the highest level of the Administration. There is a unique winning move on the chessboard available to the US, namely a crash program for ballistic missile defense to neutralize North Korea's nuclear capability. Anything Pyongyang sends up, we shoot down. Exclude that option and Kissinger is right.


"Literature is useless. If it were to serve something, the leftist scum who influenced intellectual debate throughout the 20th century could not even exist. This century, unfortunately, has just been completed; it is time to return one last time (one may at least hope) to the misdeeds of "left intellectuals", and the best thing is probably to mention 'The Possessed', published In 1872, where their ideology is already fully exposed, where its misdeeds and crimes are already clearly announced through the scenes of murder. But how did Dostoyevsky's hunches influence the historical movement? Absolutely nowhere. Marxists, existentialists, anarchists and Leftists of all species have been able to thrive and infect the known world exactly as if Dostoyevsky had never written a line."
Michel Houellebecq, "out of the 2002th century", the new French Magazine, April 2002

Free movement within the EU is disastrous for Eastern Europe

An interesting article on the BBC about the vertiginous decline in population in Bulgaria. Exactly the same thing is happening in Romania. Free movement of people within the EU, a design fault in the original EEC in 1957 but which did not matter until 2004, is having disastrous consequences for Eastern Europe.

This applies equally to Romania. Agriculture here is dying, despite the Common Agricultural Policy which should be helping.

When the Communists took power after World War Two, they brought in collective farming and many agricultural workers found work in new factories.
After Communism fell, in 1989, and collective farms were broken up, that trend

Africans conquering Europe

Africans would long ago have conquered Europe had they had the power and technology to do so. Instead, on the whole luckily for everyone, Europeans conquered them.

Persecution of Christianity in Britain

Homosexual marriage is the moment when Europe moves from being post-Christian to anti-Christian.

I love Jacob Rees-Mogg, of course, but why is he praised/attacked simply for being a conservative + Christian? Because those things are becoming rare in the England.

Mr. Rees-Mogg, the British 'Member [of Parliament] for the Nineteenth Century', a Catholic (and a soul-mate), went on television having been told he was going to be asked about Brexit and was then ambushed with questions about moral issues. He admitted, very tentatively, that he disapproves of abortion and sodomy. He had to be tentative about his

Is Romania Europe’s Prettiest Country? It Just Might Be

Parts of Romania are in danger of becoming pretty-pretty but have not got there yet, apart from the now repellent Sighisoara. Unfortunately Romania will be spoilt by tourism, a particularly baleful aspect of globalisation. But it is still alive and interesting at the moment.
This article is written by an unsophisticated American writer for unsophisticated American readers, but the pictures are, well, pretty.The second photograph down is very close to where I live. 

This, on the other hand, is the Romania I love.

Hillary took a nap as election results came in

Bill Clinton told his wife 'You might lose,' Clinton writes

Hillary Clinton's memoir is about to appear and I read this in the New York Post.

In her forthcoming memoir ‘What Happened” (out Tuesday), Hillary Clinton takes perfunctory responsibility for losing the election before spending nearly 500 pages blaming: Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, “rash FBI director” James Comey, Barack Obama, the Russians, sexism and, finally, the American people for not liking her enough.

She certainly has proven unable genuinely to take responsibility for her defeat and this points to a narcissism exceeding even Obama's and Trump's. 

Mr. Obama told her the night before

Two anniversaries today

(Acknowledgements to Tom Deveson.)

It’s 2008 years today since the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.
Three Roman legions were ambushed and destroyed by German tribes.

It’s 504 years today since Flodden Field:
The King of Scots and thousands of his men were killed by Henry VIII’s army.

1984 is a nightmare from which we have not yet woken

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
George Orwell, 1984

People who thought we didn't have to worry about the predictions in 1984 coming true after the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe were mistaken. The Russians were never going to establish Communism in the West, but now universities are doing creating something like the world of 1984, step by step. I fully understand why people gravely dislike Trump but, for good or evil, this is the reason why he is now President of the USA.

Friday, 8 September 2017


Loneliness clarifies. Here silence stands
Like heat. Here leaves unnoticed thicken,
Hidden weeds flower, neglected waters quicken,
Luminously-peopled air ascends;
And past the poppies bluish neutral distance
Ends the land suddenly beyond a beach
Of shapes and shingle. Here is unfenced existence:
Facing the sun, untalkative, out of reach.

Philip Larkin

The Dimbovita, Monday evening by Octav Dragan

Image may contain: sky, cloud, twilight, bridge, outdoor and water

Edward du Cann has died

Sir Edward du Cann, bounder, smoother than silk, once the seemingly perpetual Chairman of the 1922 Committee (the Tory backbenchers' trade union), has died. Simon Hoggart in Punch said that, asked the time, he replied: 
What time do you want it to be, dear boy?
Alan Watkins, whose Observer column brightened my Sunday mornings, said
Talking to Edward du Cann was rather like walking downstairs and somehow missing the last step. You were uninjured but remained disconcerted.
I remember the Private Eye headline, over a

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Diana and the politics of emotion

Image may contain: 1 person, close-up
Diana interviewed by Martin Bashir in 1995

Diana, Princess of Wales changed the monarchy and changed Britain in a way that is still very evident today.

Diana's famous sad-eyed TV interview with Martin Bashir in 1995, in which she said there were three persons in her marriage, was a cleverly stage managed display of fake emotion. There were, in fact, several other people in the marriage too. She made displays of emotion mandatory, especially when she died, which is why Theresa May lost a lot of what support she still had (not much) by not crying at the Grenfell Tower and why Corbyn wept at the mosque where a British Muslim was murdered by a white man (but not at the locations where the reverse happened). Even H.M the Queen now emotes though she found the Diana epoch hard to adjust to. I remember that Diana was said to have tried having a heart to heart with the Queen and to have said, 'I need space'. A mystified HMQ replied, 

'Well, Kensington Palace is not exactly bijou'.

A few men spoke of freedom, while Europe talked of beer

The ninth edition of the Oktoberfest beer festival will take place in Brasov starting tomorrow, and will welcome beer lovers until September 17. That's what the daily newsletter I receive tells me. I don't drink beer very often and know nothing about German beer festivals, but isn't it a month early?

There are almost no more Germans left in Brasov or Transylvania, but German Transylvania is reborn for commercial reasons, as a beer festival. This is probably what will happen to Europe. It will live on in restaurants, theme parks, tourist activities. Farms will be replaced by golf courses and housing estates. Inhabitants of towns and cities will also be slowly replaced.

The Eastern European revolution against refugees

The EU can survive Brexit. Far more dangerous, writes Bruno Waterfield in The Times, are the culture wars around immigration and national identity.

I am not at all sure that these culture wars amount to much. They certainly don't yet, though I hope the Polish and Hungarian


How can man know himself? He is a dark and veiled thing; and whereas the hare has seven skins, the human being can shed seven times 70 skins and still not be able to say: ‘This is really you, this is no longer an outer shell.’ Besides, it is an agonizing, dangerous undertaking to dig down into yourself in this way, to force your way by the shortest route down the shaft of your own being. How easy it is to do damage to yourself that no doctor can heal. And moreover, why should it be necessary, since everything – our friendships and hatreds, the way we look, our handshakes, the things we remember and forget, our books, our handwriting – bears witness to our being. But there is a means by which this absolutely crucial enquiry can be carried out. Let the young soul look back upon its life and

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

English journey one year ago

From a year ago.

I tried to remember why Coggeshall was famous and then remembered it was because of Jeremy Bamber, a psychopath who killed his sister and her children for an inheritance and still claims to be innocent. Remembering suddenly, while buying pies, I asked the butcher about Bamber. He said there had been a lot of murders in Coggeshall and not all solved.
Something about the way he said it made me ask myself if he had committed an unsolved murder. I looked anxiously at my pie.
Read more here.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

War won't break out in Korea

Donald Trump is doing exactly the right thing in trying to scare China into pressurising Kim, but I do not see why Kim would back down. As Putin said, he'd let his people eat grass first. Why? Because he's mad? No, because he wants to stay alive and in power for the next forty years and an H Bomb will let him. The person to blame for all this is, of course, George W Bush and his idiotic Axis of Evil and much worse than idiotic invasion of Iraq.

As Steve Bannon said two weeks ago, there is “no military solution” to North Korea.
“Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.”
And of course no-one, not China, not South Korea, not Russia, not Japan, wants regime change in North Korea. It would be far too destabilising and unleash the mother of all migrant crises. However, Kim does not know that.

5 quotations

One might as well legalise sodomy as recognise the Bolsheviks.
Winston Churchill to David Lloyd George in 1919.

Every country has the government it deserves.
Joseph de Maistre

Cardinal Mazarin could not suffer unhappy people around him. When he considered employing someone, his first question was, "Is he happy?" This really meant: "Is he lucky?" By means of this, the wise and superstitious Mazarin surrounded himself with the best people in the government.
Memoirs of the Duchess of Orleans, Princess Palatine (so it wasn't Napoleon)

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Fairly low-level Islamist insurgency but European elites are enfeebled

This article, from one year ago today, seems to me to read well and be no less topical, so I am repeating it.
In the last year there have been a lot of Islamist massacres and far more failed attempts, the British voted to leave the EU, the USA elected Donald Trump as president but not much change has taken place, that I can see, in attitudes to Islam or immigration in Europe.
The terror attacks in Nice and Wurzburg are the latest manifestations of what should now be seen as a still fairly low-level Islamist insurgency taking place in a number of west European countries.
Johnathan Speyer, an Israeli political analyst who has written for The Guardian and The Jerusalem Post, was recently banned by Facebook for life for using these words.  Some time later, after a lot of publicity, his

Diana – Queen of Tarts

This genuine press apology is a contender for the best of all time.

Diana has now incredibly been dead for twenty years. The world rotates on its axis and we go about our lives but Diana is no longer here. 

The quality press sneered at coverage of her and the Royal Family but the history of royal families is the history of Europe. When I visited the Taj Mahal it was the famous photograph of her alone there (apart from hundreds of pressmen out of shot) and Diana's cynical bid for sympathy from the public that was in the forefront of my mind. Certainly not the visit by the King-Emperor George V in 1912.

Alex Woodcock-Clarke has kindly given me permission to reproduce his brilliant little essay about Diana, Princess of Wales. I do so not just because Alex is an absolutely brilliant comic writer, but because I agree with every word and did so back in the time when 85% of England was for Diana and a handful of gnostics sympathised with the Prince. May she rest in peace.


Why the People’s Princess was actually the Queen of Mean who invented a new cult of self-serving, self-inflating victimhood – and got the world’s poor to worship at it.

Ted Kennedy tried to get the Russians to help him win presidential election

How Ted Kennedy tried to get the help of the Soviet leader to help him win the 1984 presidential election. Andropov seems not to have taken up the offer.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Catholicism and mental health

Carl Jung found that none of his patients were Catholics and thought this was because Catholicism has symbols and ritual. He said all his patients in the second half of life had essentially the same problem. Their inability to take a religious view of life.

Proportions of young people who are Muslims in Germany, France and Great Britain

This article makes a case for 14.7% of people under 32 in Germany being Muslim, despite official statistics. This compares to the survey last year in which 25% of 15 year olds in France said they were Muslim. In 2011, the census showed that 8.8% of under 25 year-olds in Britain was a Muslim, a nugget which received almost no press attention.


The past is a beautiful sunset.

Calistrat Hogas

Whether you believe you can or can't - you are always right. 

Rocsana Borda

I am most anxious to enlist everyone who can speak or write to join in checking this mad, wicked folly of ‘Women’s Rights,’ with all its attendant horrors, on which her poor feeble sex is bent, forgetting every sense of womanly feelings and propriety.