Friday, 25 May 2018

New Zealand adds “sex work” to “employment skills” for those wishing to migrate

The New Zealand immigration service has added “sex work” (as prostitution is increasingly described) to the list of “employment skills” for those wishing to migrate.
Julie Bindel, The Guardian, Monday 30 Apr 2018

Tweets just now

Lauren Southern (@Lauren_Southern):
Tommy Robinson has just been sentenced to jail for 13 months. There is a UK reporting ban. No one there is allowed to talk about it.
Mark (@markantro):
Tommy Robinson, jailed for 13 months. His crime? Reporting on child rape gangs outside of court.
What has happened to the UK?!?!
Historians will view today as a milestone in the UK's downfall.
Brittany Pettibone (@BrittPettibone):
The U.K., it seems, has become a safer place for grooming gangs than it is for the people who report on/expose them. #FreeTommy

Sam White (@SamWhiteTky):
23,000 Islamic extremists living in Britain, but it's ok, because the guy who talks about them is in jail.

Malcolm Muggeridge (@malmuggeridge):
It was the Catholic Church's firm stand against contraception and abortion which finally made me decide to become a Catholic...The Church's stand is absolutely correct. It is to its eternal honor that it opposed contraception, even if the opposition failed.

British class system

The British class system more than anything keeps together a country increasingly divided by mass immigration.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Abbott declared support for IRA defeat of Britain


[Diane] Abbott, who will become home secretary if Labour wins the election, said in the 1984 interview that Ireland “is our struggle — every defeat of the British state is a victory for all of us. A defeat in Northern Ireland would be a defeat indeed.”

Andrew Gilligan
May 21 2017, The Sunday Times

Oxford and Cambridge stand for elitism and hierarchy, not equality - this is the point of them

I do not believe that Oxford and Cambridge colleges discriminate against black or brown applicants or state school pupils - I am certain that quite the opposite is the case. They went out of their way to recruit non-white students back in my day and I am sure it has not changed. David Lammy, the worst sort of populist demagogue, thinks having a father who is a peer gives you an unfair advantage. I doubt it does but I rather think it should. 

Criticism of the BBC "for broadcasting the interview with Mr Bannon, which some felt gave his views a platform"

Steve Bannon, of blessed memory, was interviewed by the BBC on Newsnight and outrageously said that Martin Luther King might have approved of Mr Trump's economic measures and attempts to protect the jobs of American workers. The BBC News account of the story ends thus: 
there has been "some criticism of the BBC for broadcasting the interview with Mr Bannon, which some felt gave his views a platform".

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Quotations

People triggered by blood probably shouldn’t be in medical school. People triggered by ideas probably shouldn’t be in university.Stefan Molyneux 

“A nation that cannot get angry about the slaughter of its own children is a nation that has lost its moral anchor.”
Brendan O'Neill 




"You wouldn't believe the things they have said about me. They have said I am Georgian... forgive me for saying this... even much uglier things, they have even called me an Armenian, but I am Turkish."
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a 2014 interview on the NTV news network

'The nation state is the political masterpiece'

What matters more even than freedom and tradition is the nation. It's a truism and yet I bet in our day many people, who are not Marxists, do not agree. 

Normans were never more than 5% of the English population and the Norman conquest was part of our nation being formed. It took centuries, but our Norman conquerors eventually intermarried with us and became English, unlike in Ireland where the Normans remain separate from the Irish to this day.

Jews and Huguenots were no more than 1% each. 

You have to go back to Vikings, who raped, plundered and conquered us in the Dark Ages, to see immigration on as big a scale as we have now in England. 

Pope Francis's sly game

A very insightful and thought provoking article on 'Pope Francis's cunning long game' suggests that the Pope is deliberately undermining Church doctrine in a well reported but oblique way, in unrecorded conversations with non-Catholics that they then repeat to the press. 


The word I'd use, I am afraid, is sly. For a long time I have thought the Pope sly and really a not very pleasant man, even perhaps narcissistic. He, a number of times, seems to try to get plaudits from non-Catholics for apparently casting doubt way on Catholic teaching, but without quite making it clear that this is what he is doing. 

The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed.

Bernard Lewis and Edward Said

I rejoice in this attack on Edward Said by Dominic Green in The Spectator, especially as it deals even-handedly with Bernard Lewis and his share of responsibility for the invasion of Iraq. 

I thought that Said's Reith lectures were intellectually not third but fourth or even fifth rate. On the other hand, Said was right that the Israelis had behaved badly to the Arabs and he did not help persuade Bush 2 to launch the unjust and tragic invasion of Iraq.
"Lewis ... said that the Arabs were the authors of their own misery, and that the ‘return of Islam’ meant that unhappy Islamists were going to share their misery with the rest of the world. No doubt his death is being quietly celebrated in departments of Middle Eastern Studies the world over."

"Lewis was an Orientalist before Edward Said made that a term of abuse. Said was not a scholar of the Middle East, but a polemicist from the Middle East. He was also an intellectual impostor. Ever since Orientalism came out in 1978, proper historians have concluded that it would be a masterpiece, if only it were true. The only people who take Edward Said’s books seriously are, in no particular order of irrelevance, academic poseurs, chippy lefties, and the legions of chippy academic lefty poseurs churned out by the departments of Middle Eastern Studies."

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Bernard Lewis: Will the future see an Islamised Europe or a European Islam?

Bernard Lewis died at the weekend and I thought it appropriate to republish this from a year ago.



In 2010 the greatest historian of the Middle East, Bernard Lewis, predicted that by the end of the decade Iran would abandon political Islam, while Turks adopted some form of Islamist rule. The old man might yet be right.

He also said in 2010 that Muslims were making their third attempt to conquer Europe, an attempt which seemed to have a much better chance at success than the first two as it took the form of peaceful migration rather than military aggression. 

“The only question remaining for us to answer regarding the future of Europe is will it be an Islamised Europe or a European Islam?"

Seen



"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential." - Sir Winston Churchill


US bank Morgan Stanley estimates that the energy needed only for mining Bitcoin will represent some 0.6% of the world energy consumption in 2018.


WikiLeaks Retweeted WikiLeaks
Harvard has announced that Hillary Clinton will receive a medal for "transformative impact on society". But there is only one society she truly transformed. Libya--from the most developed society in Africa, into a smoking, ISIS-infested ruin

Monday, 21 May 2018

Two flawed heroes have died: Richard Pipes and Bernard Lewis

Bernard Lewis died two days ago, two days after another of my very favourite historians, Richard Pipes. 

Both were Jewish Americans and emigrants, Pipes having fled Hitler and Lewis having, less understandably, given up being a British subject.

I love both men's work and recommend their books very highly. I understand that Pipes' fiercely negative view of Bolshevism in his Russia Under The Bolshevik Regime is

Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray in a godforsaken world

Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray have much in common. Both are very intelligent, very eloquent, very charismatic. Neither is particularly conservative but common sense is now considered right-wing. Both think like human beings rather than ideologues. Both have flourished on the internet and above all both are trying to find something with which to replace belief in God.

As Douglas Murray put it,

Having been for some years, as Roger Scruton has put it, downstream from Christianity, there is every possibility that our societies will either become unmoored entirely or be hauled onto a very different shore. Very unsettling questions lie dormant beneath our current culture.

There is, for instance, that question which Ernst Wolfgang Böckenförde posed in the 1960s: “Does the free, secularised state exist on the basis of normative presuppositions that it itself cannot guarantee?” It is rare to hear this question even raised in our societies. Perhaps we sense the answer is “yes” but we do not know what to do if this is the case.

In his book The Strange Death of Europe, he paints a picture of a continent where instead of believing in God we believe in nice holidays.

I remember Sir Roger Scruton advised people that it was a good idea to try to believe in God, which gave me the impression that he too doesn't.

The truth is that conservatism without Christianity is in big trouble. So is civilisation.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Diaries

Tallulah Bankhead: 

"Only good girls keep diaries. Bad girls don't have time."

Fanny Burney, March 1768:

"To have some account of my thoughts, manners, acquaintances and actions, when the hour arrives in which time is more nimble than memory, is the reason which induces me to keep a journal."

Gwendolen in "The Importance of Being Earnest"

"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train."

Quotations

Joseph Campbell:

"If you want to know what a given society believes in, look at what its largest buildings are devoted to."

Chris Beck
'Claire Lehmann’s Forum for the Intellectual Dark Web':

“Lehmann contributed to a number of publications before launching Quillette, but claims the Australian media blacklisted her as soon as she started criticizing feminism. She rejects the ‘blank slate’ view that feminists, and progressives in general, have made a centerpiece of their dogma. It’s the belief that humans are strictly the product of culture and socialization, and the rejection of the idea that humans are born with certain innate characteristics.”

Romania and Turkey are the least well educated countries in Europe


This map says Romania and Turkey are the least well educated countries in Europe.

Since WHEN was Turkey in Europe? 

Balkan countries not in the EU are a blank space, unless Turkey is still a Balkan country.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Eyeless in Gaza


I was originally angry with the Israeli army for killing fifty civilians trying to storm the border with the Gaza Strip, but reading about it - in particular what was written by Colonel Kemp, a retired 
British officer, in the Telegraph - it seems the Israelis did what they could to avoid fatalities and are not to blame for the civilian deaths. 

The army did not shoot indiscriminately and it has now been revealed by the Palestinians themselves that 50 of the 62 dead were Hamas members.

Hamas wanted to breach the wall and
 to flatten the fence at numerous points to allow hundreds or even thousands of Gazans to enter Israeli towns, overwhelming the Israeli security forces ability to protect the townspeople from the infiltrators, thus requiring the Israeli security forces to use lethal force against all those who infiltrated.

Similar demonstrations have taken place each week since March. The reason that this

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

In Ireland the past is not dead, it is not even past

My grandfather's grandfather (or great grandfather) came to England from County Cork in Ireland in around 1860. My father always wanted to trace our family history but never did and nor have I nor probably ever will. 

I therefore do not know where exactly we (meaning my paternal line) came from. But I do know where we left from, or at least I think I do. 

Though they might have embarked for England from Kingstown, now Dún Laoghaire, the port of Dublin, my granddad's grandparents probably left from Queenstown (Cobh), the port of Cork where I spent a happy twelve hours at the weekend. 

It was from Queenstown that millions of Irishmen and women left their island for England, Canada or the USA, after the terrible famine that killed so many while the British Whig government, pursuing free market economic theories, did little.

John Dominic Crossan, the Irish-born American New Testament scholar and heresiarch, said the wisest thing about Irish history and probably about history in general.
I still hold two truths with equal and fundamental certainty. One: the British did terrible things to the Irish. Two: the Irish, had they the power, would have done equally terrible things to the British. And so also for any other paired adversaries I can imagine. The difficulty is to hold on to both truths with equal intensity, not let either one negate the other, and know when to emphasize one without forgetting the other. Our humanity is probably lost and gained in the necessary tension between them both. I hope, by the way, that I do not sound anti-British. It is impossible not to admire a people who gave up India and held on to Northern Ireland. That shows a truly Celtic sense of humor.

The English on the Irish

Dr Johnson: "The Irish are not in a conspiracy to cheat the world by false representations of the merits of their countrymen. No, Sir; the Irish are a fair people; -- they never speak well of one another."

Monday, 14 May 2018

Ireland is still her old-fashioned self in places


I am sitting in a bar watching Eurovision in Cobh, pronounced Cove. Cobh, formerly Queenstown and before that Cove, is a little port for big cruise ships in the very large and very deep natural harbour of Cork. Cobh is very Irish, not yet EU-ised. Even the waitresses are still Irish, not East European. It's a little like a Cornish port but Irish, meaning beery, peasant, articulate, funny, incredibly friendly.

I am thinking to myself that it’s strange being in a country similar to England which has no class system and some religious belief. Though much less religion than forty years ago.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Mafia is sending Africans to Italy and Germany houses refugees' relatives

Professor Roland Benedikter blogging in the LSE blog site, says today:
Meanwhile, with no stable government in sight, the problems the country [Italy] faces are serious. For example, leading Mafia expert Roberto Saviano in a new book estimates that around 80% of the “migration business” in the Mediterranean is in the hands of the Italian Mafia. Worth at least 60 billion euros a year, this is arguably a more lucrative and ‘ethical’ trade than drugs or arms trafficking and it is employing a growing number of the southern Italian youth who are becoming existentially dependent on the continuous stream of illegal migrants.
And given the absence of state power, ‘shadow powers’ as they are called in Italy can expand their outreach. Italian army general Vincenzo Santo has observed that he believes the flow of migrants in the Mediterranean is being controlled from Italy’s coastlines.

Meanwhile the German Cabinet has approved a new refugee family reunification law. From August 1, the new migrant family reunification law will allow "subsidiary" refugees ("subsidiary" means they do not have full asylum and are not allowed in theory to stay indefinitely) to bring their relatives into Germany.
Deutsche Welle reports that

Under exceptional circumstances, even allow migrants in Germany flagged as potential Islamists to apply for family reunification, provided they can prove to authorities that neither they nor their relatives will pose a threat.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Dusk, Dâmbovița, Octav Dragan

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All Muslim terrorists in Europe are Sunnis, so why is Iran the great threat?

This post from a year ago is topical still on the day the USA pulls out of the Iran deal. The Iran deal could have been better but was much better than letting the Iranians continue to develop the capacity to make a bomb. Critics of the deal say that it allowed Iran to continue to threaten America's allies and sponsor terrorism. I think those two arguments, which I just heard advanced on the BBC World Service news by a neo-con called Richard Goldberg, who is 'a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies', are misconceived. The allied tail has wagged the American dog too long.

Obviously, the USA and UK should never have invaded Iraq. They should have launched a short punitive expedition into Afghanistan in 2001, restored the monarchy and then allowed the Taliban to come back. Nation-building was always (a liberal) folly: Afghanistan and Iraq were not post-war Germany, as should have been clear.


But having broken it, as Colin Powell warned, the USA bought Iraq. Leaving Iraq alone led to ISIS. So what is the solution?


I don't know. Unfortunately, the USA may now back the Israeli-Saudi-Sunni alliance against the Shia crescent (Iran, Syria, Hezbollah). I hope Mr. Trump resists this temptation.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Steps at Balamand University, Lebanon



How absolutely wonderful. I note however that the Divine Comedy is very islamophobic for a place like Lebanon.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

A future Archbishop of Canterbury worried about mass immigration

The modern Anglican clergy's keenness on multiculturalism and immigration contrast with Anglican clergy in previous ages.

It is misleading to argue that England has always been a nation of immigrants. Immigration levels until the last two generations were low, unlike on the Continent. According to the reliable Migrationwatch, more people came to the UK in the single year 2010 than to the British Isles in the whole period 1066-1950. 

Nevertheless, there were always immigrants in England and in the Middle Ages their number was not negligible. A survey of foreigners in England in 1440 listed by name around

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Mini-holiday in Transylvania

Romania, which had four days off a year when I immigrated here, now has more holidays than I can count. A hot beautiful four day holiday just came to an end.

We spent the 'mini-vacation' in Sibiu and drove as far as Hunedoara Castle. It was my first visit, but a dauntingly long queue put us off. We returned mid-afternoon but the queue still looked an hour long and we drove on.
Ceausescu built a belching iron works next to the castle of John of Hunedoara, to show the victory of socialism over monarchy and the old order, but the works has been demolished, putting many out of work and the castle remains, the mainstay of the town's economy. 

Tourism has replaced iron and steel as the engine of economic growth. We grow rich by taking in one another's washing.

Quotations


Anglo Macron hype/hate has nothing to do with his actual performance. For liberals he must succeed, for socialists, nationalists he must fail. All ideologies sense of what must happens converge on Macron right now.


New York Times: "Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were Right!"


I used to support the Democrats in US politics, back in the day of Carter and Reagan. I have changed and so, even more, have they.

I stopped being a Democrat after Bill Clinton had been in office a few months but I was neutral in 2000, strongly backed Gore in 2004 and hesitantly backed Obama, despite his being a European-style Social Democrat and his enthusiasm for horrible things like partial birth abortion, because of his colour, but also because of anger at the way Republicans had ruled since 2000 and because John McCain seemed like another George W. Bush.

Evening sky in Bucharest by Octav Dragan

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Monday, 30 April 2018

Sibiu or Hermannstadt

They just drew back the ceiling at the Hotel Imperatul Romanilor in Sibiu to let in a sunny April morning. It's one of my favourite hotels, old, a bit down at heel, a faded grand dame. Its real name is the Romische Kaiser and it was founded in 1555, which is not old by English standards but is by Transylvanian standards and unheard of in where I live, in Wallachia, on the other side of the Carpathians.

Sibiu in 1999 when I first came was stunningly beautiful and as decayed and broken as Havana or Rangoon. Now it is rather depressingly well painted and tidy, but this is good, I remind myself. And there is still a fair amount of peeling paint if you leave the Big Square. It draws many tourists who are having breakfast beside me but it is not an over painted tourist gem like Brasov.

Sibiu is full of lovely Catholic, Protestant and Unitarian churches and lovely town palaces built for German noblemen. It was built by Germans and the majority of the people here were German until most were expelled after the war for the sins of their countrymen far away. The rest mostly went to West Germany in return for large subventions for Ceausescu or left after the revolution. About two thousand remain, one of whom left for Bucharest where he is the current President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis.

Ethnic displacement happened in cities throughout Eastern Europe that were once occupied by Germans and Jews. It happened to the Ascendancy towns of Southern Ireland. It will presumably happen in London and Paris, where the imperial monuments built by conquering peoples are increasingly inhabited by the descendants of the conquered.

Some good news - Amber Rudd goes

It is right that British Home Secretary (Interior Minister) Miss Rudd resigned. We have moved on a long way from Crichel Down when a cabinet minister resigned because of a mistake by civil servants that he could not possibly have known about. But a minister is responsible for what is done by his department. She should take responsibility for her department's mistakes.

Like the useless Theresa May whom she replaced as Home Secretary, she got where she was because Messrs. Cameron and Osborne (as the great Frank Johnson said, they sound like a firm that makes wallpaper) wanted women in top jobs. 


This is why she was parachuted into the Commons a mere eight years ago. This is so unlike Mrs. Thatcher, who overcame much prejudice because of her sex and still insisted that feminism was poison.

Some elderly and middle aged people from what is misleadingly called 'the Windrush generation' (the first ship that landed in Tilbury with West Indian immigrants was called the Empire Windrush, but the word Empire is always dropped and some of the immigrants in question came twenty-five years later) have been threatened with deportation when they were not knowingly illegal immigrants. They came to England as children when they did not need papers of their own and do not have any. 


This is unacceptable, incompetent and heartless, is a reason why Amber Rudd should go, especially as she was economical with the actualité, but it should not be used as a reason to forget about genuine illegal immigrants. 

What is important is that many more real illegal immigrants be deported. Targets are for once a good idea. Instead this mess will be used to forget about deportations.

Miss Rudd is a cleverer, prettier version of Theresa May, equally untalented, equally unconservative and equally authoritarian. I hope her idea of sending people to gaol for reading extremist pages on the internet is forgotten as quickly as she is, but I fear we have not heard the last of her or that proposal. I hope Michael Gove replaces her.


The good news is that she will not now replace Theresa May when she in her turn goes, which I hope will be fairly soon.

Who should? 

Michael Gove probably. Theresa May has shown that Brexit needs to be implemented by someone who campaigned for it and believes in it.

Friday, 27 April 2018

There is no France B or Europe B

President Macron liked this line from his speech in the USA so much that he tweeted it as a meme.





He is said to be very intelligent and clearly is, but not intelligent enough, or not sufficiently sceptical by disposition, to see through the climate change scare.


Or to see the much bigger danger confronting France, which is this.


There is nowhere for the French to go if they ruin France.


And they are ruining it, through their immigration policy.

Prince Louis

Lewis is the English spelling. Macaulay wrote about King Lewis XIV.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Tweets

Migration Watch UK‏ Verified account @MigrationWatch
A new home will need to be built in England every five minutes, night and day, in the period until 2039, just to house future migrants and their families


Fr. Marc Lyden-Smith‏ @frlydensmith
Who you become is infinitely more important than what you do, or what you have.

Thomas Sowell‏ @ThomasSowell
“We are among the biggest fools in history if we keep on paying people to make us hate each other. Whether it is called by pretty names like 'multiculturalism,' 'diversity' or 'gender awareness,' that is what it all boils down to.”


Tom Gallagher‏ @cultfree54

 'The nation that gave the world John Milton and Thomas Paine and John Stuart Mill, among history's greatest articulators of the centrality of freedom of thought and speech... now puts people on trial for telling jokes or singing songs'.

95% of Romanians believe in God, as opposed to 28% in Great Britain

72% of Americans believe in a divinity, according to a Pew survey this week.


According to a Pew survey last year 88% of Eastern Europeans (including the population of the former Soviet Union in Europe and the Greeks) do so.

95% of Romanians believe in God.


The one country in the former Soviet bloc where belief in God is unusual is Czechia, where 66% of people do not believe in God. I think this is because Catholicism was forced on the Czechs by military might, as it was on Hungary and France, but the figure for believers in Hungary, which does not seem a religious country, is 59%. The full figures from the survey last year are here.

In France it was 27% in 2010 but, by contrast, a couple of years ago 25% of French children of 15 told a survey that they were Muslim.


28% of people in the UK believe in God according to a survey in December 2016, of whom many are Muslim, Hindu or belong to other exotic faiths. Of the Christians, many are of Eastern European, African, Caribbean, Filipino or Cypriot stock. The figures for Northern Ireland also skew the figures. 

Monday, 23 April 2018

Robert Tombs: universities now teach civilisations, not western civilisation

In an article in The Times today historian Robert Tombs says that Cambridge now avoids the history of Western civilisation.
'In my own university, Cambridge, once-popular courses called “The Expansion of Europe” and “The West and the Third World” have long been replaced by a decentred “World History”. Simon Schama and Mary Beard now celebrate not “Civilisation” in their BBC TV series but “Civilisations”.'

God save the new prince

This blog greets with delight the prince who was born today.

How Prince William's birth seems to me. I have good reason to remember that evening well.

Quite unbelievably BBC Radio 4 news put the new prince in 3rd place! After, first, free citizenship for the Empire (why is that word always omitted?) Windrush immigrants and, second, the creation of Stephen Lawrence Day! 

(That's unbelievable in itself. Why not Drummer Rigby Day?)

Barbara Bush subverts careerism

The third choice that must not be missed is to cherish your human connections: your relationships with family and friends. For several years, you’ve had impressed upon you the importance to your career of dedication and hard work, and, of course, that’s true. But as important as your obligations as a doctor, lawyer, or business leader will be, you are a human being first and those human connections—with spouses, with children, with friends—are the most important investments you will ever make. At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend, or a parent. . . .
Whatever the era, whatever the times, one thing will never change: Fathers and mothers, if you have children—they must come first.

The late Barbara Bush, who died on Tuesday, in her commencement address to the 1990 class of Wellesley College, the leading U.S. women's college.

The FBI men who guarded her for decades guarded her coffin at her funeral.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Quotations from Sir Roger Scruton

"Conservatives should study the ideas and arguments that prevail on the left. There is always something to learn from these, if only which way the wind of resentment is now blowing. And lifting your eyes from this joyless stuff, you will thank God that you are a conservative."

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Enoch Powell: "In the Middle East our great enemies are the Americans."


"Ah, Enoch, dear Enoch! He once said something to me I never understood. He said, "You know, I've told you all I know about housing, and you can make your speech accordingly. Can I talk to you about something that you know all about and I know nothing? I want to tell you that in the Middle East our great enemies are the Americans." You know, I had no idea what he meant. I do now."

Sir Anthony Eden to Andrew Freeth after the Suez Crisis

Was Enoch Powell a racist?

Asked in an 1969 television interview as to whether he was a 'racialist' Enoch Powell replied: 
If you mean being conscious of the differences between men and nations, and from that, races, then we are all racialists. However, if you mean a man who despises a human being because he belongs to another race, or a man who believes that one race is inherently superior to another,then the answer is emphatically "No".

The global village

Manuel Castells: “Elites are cosmopolitan, people are local”.

Samuel Huntington: “A major gap is growing in America between its increasingly denationalised elites and its ‘thank God for America' public.”

Thomas Friedman: "When I was growing up, my parents told me, 'Finish your dinner. People in China and India are starving.' I tell my daughters, 'Finish your homework. People in India and China are starving for your job."




Friday, 20 April 2018

Antisemitic riots in England in 1947 and antisemitism in England today

Anti-Jewish feeling in England is said to have become a thing, thanks to the Labour Party and the progressive young. This article on the 1947 anti-Jewish riots is therefore now topical.

In 1947 the non-white population of Great Britain was estimated to be about twenty thousand. The Southern Irish had not yet completely ceased to be British and the largest ethnic minorities were Poles (160,000) and Jews (up to 400,000). 

Some allegations of anti-semitism (a lot in fact) boil down to the unpleasant tactic of calling people who oppose Israel's policy towards Arabs as anti-semites. But there is more to it than that as this article written by a young Labour supporter proves. As he says,

Corbyn is often described as a nice guy, and I’m sure he is in person. But it’s no coincidence that the anti-Semitism epidemic within Labour really kicked off when he became leader. He appealed to the young, and it’s the young these days who refuse to see Jews as an authentic minority. For them, Zionism is now a synonym for white supremacy, neoliberalism and western colonialism. As the years pass, the historical association changed. So now, for my generation, Jews are not oppressed. They are the oppressors.
Jews, having been hated for centuries for being Asiatics in Europe, are now, you see, hated for being Europeans in Asia.

What is also depressing is the widespread hatred of colonialism among the young, something which not only morphs into hatred of Jews but hatred of Europeans.

I have come across at least four British anti-semites over the last few years: two on the right and two on the left. Back in the 1980s in London it was an attitude I came across among some upper class people and people who aspired to mix with the upper classes.

I used to have a British Bengali Muslim friend, now dead, whom I suspected of being anti-Jewish (he was anti-Israel) and whom I probed on a whim. I asked him if, had he been in Germany in the 30s, would he have joined the Nazi Party?

His reply was:
Well, I don't really like joining movements.
I presume that he sympathised with the Nazis and it was the Jews that were his reason. 

He voted Labour and read the Guardian. He was kept for most of his life by the British state but, after his death, a common (British Indian Hindu) friend told me he was 'extremely racist'. I assume he was an anti-British racist, as well as anti-Semite, even though he always fell in love with white girls.

[Even I have finally given up on not using the word anti-semitism incorrectly. People who like Arabs are not anti-semites, of course. They may be anti-Jewish.]

Quotations

To the man-in-the-street who,
I'm sorry to say,
Is a keen observer of life,
The word intellectual suggests right away
A man who's untrue to his wife.

W H Auden



The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are.


Henry Hazlitt

The Iron Gates

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Warning

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The Lost Heart of Asia



I am just rereading Colin Thubron's The Lost Heart of Asia which I first read in the mid-90s, about his journey to Central Asia just after the USSR split up. 


It is quite marvellous and the perfect introduction to Uzbekistan. I wish I had reread it before my recent visit, though I did read his Shadow of the Silk Road about his return in 2006.

Uzbekistan is a place whose heart has been ripped out by communism. Lovely people but half destroyed by atheism, materialism, socialist internationalism and deracination. 

Had the khanates of Samarkand, Bokhara, Kokand and Khiva been British not Russian protectorates they might be something like the UAE now, with gold and plutonium instead of oil. Though thinking about Dubai that does not seem such an attractive idea.


For decades I only travelled in post-Communist Europe and I still find it rather depressing to go to Western Europe. All that shininess and affluence make my heart sink. Now I travel around Western Europe because it has the best monuments and to exotic places like Iraq and Mozambique, because I wanted to see the world, but I realise it is only Eastern Europe and the especially the former USSR that I really love - where people are human and normal. 

I loved Uzbekistan, as I expected to. Colin Thubron says he is in love with the whole of Asia but for some reason I am not.

China, Vietnam and Laos which still are Communist and Cambodia, which was Communist, do not greatly interest me. I wonder why not.

Is it because Uzbekistan was ruled by Russians and is therefore less Asian? No, because Indochina was ruled by the French. 


A lot of it is to do with the attraction of the Muslim world. I am a proud orientalist who thought Edward Said's critique of orientalism vapid and uninteresting. I found Pakistan more appealing than India.

The attraction of the Mohametan world and the former Soviet bloc. Former Soviet Central Asia is where the two circles overlap and it has the poetry of inaccessibility and obscurity.

"At the moment you see we have no feeling about ourselves as a nation. History is the key and the Soviets took ours away. We were sold a mass of Bolshevik stories and nothing of our own." An Uzbek talking to Colin Thubron in 1992. 


I detect faint echoes of this in present day Western Europe.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

That was the news

Some people prefer just not to follow the news. I think it's a duty. Perhaps in a macabre way it's even a dark pleasure. But no not a pleasure.


Winnie Mandela who said 
"Together, hand in hand, with our matches and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country"
died and was praised in the Western press. Necklaces meant burning people alive by putting tyres around their necks filled with petrol.


When F.W. Klerk, who dismantled apartheid and freed Nelson Mandela dies, his obituary will be unflattering.


Emmanuel Macron talked about the threat to democracy from populists, by which he meant the threat to democracy from politicians who offer to do what the public wants. He won widespread praise for this.


In England a male voice choir was ordered to admit women.


Canada announced she will no longer discriminate on the grounds of physical disability when deciding which immigrants to accept.

Tweets

Tara Ann Thieke‏ @TaraAnnThieke
Basically I don't want to hear a single supporter of the Iraq War offer their foreign policy advice without long, sustained mea culpas and explanations of why they should now be heeded. The burden of proof is on them, not on war skeptics.


Scott Greer (@ScottMGreer):
Principled conservatism: the president can drop bombs wherever he feels like but we can't deport criminal aliens

Robert Fisk's search for truth in the rubble of Douma makes him doubt whether there was a chemical attack

Please read this article. After visiting Douma and speaking to many people there, Robert Fisk doubts there was a chemical attack in Douma.

I don't have any direct information and was beginning to think the British and French governments may have been right about the Syrian government using chemical weapons, until I read this.

The truth is that I am sure the inhabitants of Eastern Ghouta , which was blockaded rather than besieged from 2013 until last year, did not want to be blockaded because they

Censorship and fake tweets


Something very strange happened to me yesterday. Can anyone give me advice?


I was told my Twitter account was being temporarily limited for 8 hours because of a tweet I sent.


This was very annoying but the tweet in question (below) is not one I sent or retweeted though it has my 'avatar'. 



Paulvew
@paulica44
@BourneWolf @AlfDubs @paullewismoney @stellacreasy @YvetteCooperMP @guardian @ThangamMP @safepassageuk @HelpRefugees @refugeecouncil @KateGreenSU Syrian refugees have already been involved in terrorist murders in Europe.

The people it was sent to are not people I know.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

“Like the Roman, I see the River Tiber foaming with blood”

"All quotations are out of context." (Enoch Powell)

Two weeks ago an extraordinary thing happened. The BBC World Service made the fiftieth anniversary of the murder of Martin Luther King its first item on the world news. 

Was the fiftieth anniversary of anyone’s death ever before, since the world began, first item on the news around the world? Lenin’s perhaps, in the Soviet bloc in 1984, but not worldwide.

Two weeks after the murder of King and fifty years ago today, Enoch Powell, a member of the British Conservative Shadow Cabinet, gave his famous and misnamed 'Rivers of Blood' speech, in which he warned in very highly coloured terms of the consequences of continued immigration from the former colonies into Great Britain. 

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Syria: the morning after the night before

It looks like America, England and France bombed locations in Syria at the cost of $240 million but no lives. Russia and Syria seem willing to take this without retaliation. This is what the ill-named Mad Dog Mattis counselled. A relief. Things can go on as before.

Donald Trump has shown he has more moral courage than President Obama - or is it immoral? His habit of threatening war with Russia in tweets certainly adds to an unpredictability factor that has a deterrent effect, on Russia and on North Korea, but he should not be acquitted of blame. 

He has intervened in a country where America has no genuine interest and this could be a precedent for further intervention. 

He was elected to keep out of foreign adventures. His supporters want him to protect America from invasion by illegal immigrants, not to protect Syrians from chlorine bombs.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Quotations



The gentleman has universal sympathies and is not partisan. The small man is partisan and does not have universal sympathies.
Confucius

The gentleman is dignified but not arrogant. The small man is arrogant but not dignified. Confucius



"I do find that the left have a tendency to suffer actual pain if exposed to non-left opinions."
Ruth Dudley Edwards

Godless communism

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This Godless Communism, 1961, a story in volume 17, issue number 2 of Treasure Chest, a monthly comic book published by the Catholic Guild in the USA from 1946 to 1972. Each issue featured several different stories intended to inspire citizenship, morality, and patriotism. 


Tweets today

Matthew Goodwin
✔@GoodwinMJ

"What is the root of the defeatism on Brexit? It is a distrust of your own people. You'd rather get in bed with other elites and liberal cosmopolitans than your own community. They want Brexit to fail, to teach 'the people' a lesson"


CJC‏ @Chris_Cheetham
“When war breaks out, people say: "It's too stupid; it can't last long." But though a war may well be "too stupid," that doesn't prevent its lasting. Stupidity has a knack of getting its way; as we should see if we were not always so much wrapped up in ourselves.” ― Albert Camus

Thursday, 12 April 2018

2 former British Ambassadors are sure that Assad is not responsible for chemical attacks

I was opposed to a strike on Syria in 2013 but have been thinking through the arguments this time. 

The 2017 strike by the Americans seemed worryingly like the start of a US intervention but in fact had no consequences apart from showing that Trump was not a Russian stooge, repairing the damage to US prestige caused when Mr. Obama did nothing after his red line was crossed and killing some innocent people. 

If Assad is responsible for using chemical weapons this time the 2016 strike did not deter him.

But is he?

I am very reluctant to think this is a trick by Western governments but is it a false flag operation by others unknown? The Saudis? 

How can we know?

But we do know this.

A former British Ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, thinks that the Syrian government did not use chemical weapons this time. The former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, is certain that Assad is not guilty. I think two former Ambassadors saying this means the case against Assad is not proven. 


I have thought about it - we should keep our hands off Syria

[Published in Taki's Magazine.]


The BBC 5 o'clock news started with the most extraordinary and chilling words I have heard in fifty years of watching or listening to the BBC News. 
Russia and America edge closer to war over Syria.
Previously the most chilling words I had heard were 
Russian troops have entered Czechoslovakia.
I should say that I see virtually no possibility of fighting between America and Russia, but virtually is not absolutely.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Taken today by Octav Dragan

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Today was a heavenly day.

They lie and lie about Viktor Orban


"What is happening in Hungary today can accordingly be interpreted by stating that the prevailing political leadership has today attempted to ensure that people’s personal work and interests, which must be acknowledged, are closely linked to the life of the community and the nation, and that this relationship is preserved and reinforced. In other words, the Hungarian nation is not simply a group of individuals but a community that must be organised, reinforced and in fact constructed. And so in this sense the new state that we are constructing in Hungary is an illiberal state, a non-liberal state. It does not reject the fundamental principles of liberalism such as freedom, and I could list a few more, but it does not make this ideology the central element of state organisation, but instead includes a different, special, national approach." Viktor Orbán’s Speech at the 25th Bálványos Summer Free University and Student Camp, Romania, July 30, 2014. 

The words 'illiberal state', much quoted, look very different in context. He meant conservative and national as opposed to liberal. It is clear from the context that 'iIlliberal' was a mistranslation - it is defined as

Monday, 9 April 2018

Frank Furedi: for anti-populist ideologues democracy is an afterthought

Polling booths in Hungary were kept open as voters still queued at 7pm when they were due to close



Frank Furedi says very truly:
For anti-populist ideologues democracy is an afterthought - especially in places like Hungary. Why because the people are unreliable and then to vote the wrong way. And yet they dishonestly go on about threat of dictatorships.
He has written a very good article which says everything you need to know about the election result. It includes this insight.
The emergence of Hungary as the bad boy of Europe has little to do with its supposed plunge into authoritarianism. As I argued in my book, Populism and the European Culture Wars, the pathologisation of the Orban regime is largely due to its promotion of national sovereignty and its willingness to uphold traditions and values, including those of Christianity. It is hostile to those who would dismiss the legacy of Europe’s past as the ‘bad old days’. Hungary is hated by the Western political oligarchy for the simple reason that it dares to challenge post-traditionalism, identity politics and anti-humanism.

Easter in Bucharest - acknowledgements, Octav Dragan

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What did I think of Uzbekistan?

Tashkent is a very eery, quiet place with wide roads, few cars and few pedestrians. The Bradt Guide said Samarkand was bustling but it was nothing of the sort. It too was almost deserted. Neither city had a centre or much life.

The mosques were beautiful, over-restored for the benefit of tourists but empty of worshippers. Islam I felt was repressed by the Communists much more than was Christianity in other parts of the Soviet Union and this repression continues now, though

Hungary delivers a kick to globalism

"Not in nationalism does one find the main key to the epoch of the early Soviet years, but in the destructive whirlwind of internationalism, estranged from any feeling of nationality or traditions." Solzhenitsyn

Viktor Orban and the coalition he leads has won a third landslide victory in a row in Hungary with a thirds majority in Parliament, large enough to amend the constitution. The more right-wing party Jobbik came second with 20% while the reformed Communists won only 12%.

Brussels will take it very badly. 


The untruths in the media shock me. The Daily Telegraph's Peter Forster said a few minutes ago that
Viktor Orban won another landslide with a campaign drenched in ethno-nationalism and unabashed anti-semitism.

Friday, 6 April 2018

BBC World News in Samarkand

The BBC World Service starts the world news with today being the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's murder. I find this quite bizarre. It reminds me a bit of the Soviet Union celebrating Lenin.

Now the BBC is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the sell-out of Northern Ireland. The BBC loves it but regrets that the two communities are still two communities.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Tamburlane's tomb

I saw the tomb today of Tamburlane in Samarkand and must now read the play by Marlowe, which I can download on my kindle. 

I found the Samarkand Necropolis much more beautiful. Here among many others are buried Tamburlane's favourite two wives. He had 90 legal wives and very many concubines.  

He is responsible for the death of perhaps 17 million people, perhaps 4% of the world's population. He is naturally regarded as a very great man and a national hero of the Uzbeks, despite being no more Uzbek than Boadicea was English. Coach parties swarm converge on his tomb. 

How will Hitler be regarded in 700 years?

Nobody knows.


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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

From beyond the far distant Oxus



Alim Khan, the last Emir of Bukhara, delighted to watch his enemies boiled in oil. I am enough of a Tory to think he was slightly better than the Bolsheviks who deposed him.


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The Registan in Samarkand. Lord Curzon, as he then wasn't, thought it the noblest public square in the world. Now I can agree with him. 


Sandy Arbuthnot in Greenmantle knew some interesting places in Samarkand and Sir Fitzroy Maclean, as he then wasn't, walked here through semi desert from Bokhara, followed by an NKVD man in an ill-fitting dark suit.


I read once that Tennyson's poems are like objects that you hold in your hand and are one moment astonishing diamonds and the next pieces of coloured glass.

Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand are like that.


Each of them in turn has impressed me at first sight as the most impressive place I ever saw in my life, but each, like some famous beauty, on closer inspection proves to have had a lot of work done to make her stunning. 


I am never sure what is centuries old, what Brezhnev era and what created under the unlamented dictator who died last year.


A German designer who comes here because Bukharan patterns are alive and German ones lifeless (at first I thought she meant patterns of life but she meant patterns) told me that if the Acropolis were in Uzbekistan it would be completed and roofed. This is exactly right. 

The Soviets were not romantics: romanticism was bourgeois and decadent.  They saw no poetry in ruins. Nor did President Karimov after he sloughed off Lenin.

It could be much much worse. They are building a huge tourist centre close to the Ark in Bukhara, the fortress from which the Emir watched his enemies killed with cruel and unusual punishments.

Already Bukhara has 150 mostly small hotels but still the number of tourists is relatively few. Samarkand and Bukhara feel remote despite the occasional coach party, often of Indians.  

Marrakech is perhaps equally beautiful but it is a tourist trap and now almost as familiar as Bournemouth or Southend. Though these things change fast.

Gertrude Bell was the first white woman to enter Samarkand but when she left she noticed advertisements for charabanc excursions.


Enoch Powell said the life of nations like the life of men is lived in the imagination. Travel is lived entirely in the imagination and being somwhere distant and little visited fires the imagination. 

Lord Byron proudly said 'I have seen the ruins of Ephesus' but so can anyone for the price of a budget flight to Ismir. Lord Curzon boasting about Samarkand still moves us to envy.

I arrived in time to see the fairly deserted Registan at Samarkand tonight at dusk, the birds making a deafening noise and the tourists gone. I envy myself.

Part of it is the name. Samarkand like Madagascar, Persia and Mozambique captivates by the sound of its very name. We visited Lalish the Yazzidi holy village because Noemi loved the name. Names contain magic.

We are not far from the Oxus here.