19 May

Let’s hear it for the populists!

It looks as if the character of our Brexit is going to be softer than a soft-boiled egg. It was always going to be so – not just because of the strenuous efforts of Remainers in all parts from the House of Lords, the left wing press and even including the Church of England, but because Theresa May has repeatedly declared herself to be a Remainer. There was never a chance that she would deliver what the people clearly wished for – and voted for in the Referendum. I have said so before, but I make no apology for repeating myself for the issue is by far the most momentous political decision made by the British people in a century. So I said it before and I’ll say it again, as I did in this blog last year: “May will wreck Brexit.”  And now she has done.Jacob Rees-Mogg’s terminology is exactly right and we are going to have Brino, Brexit-in-name-only

The word – well, at least the polite word – most commonly used by the Remoniac establishment for Brexiteers is “populist.” And suddenly I discover there are populists everywhere.

This morning The Independent reports: “Two  populist, Eurosceptic parties have reached an agreement to form a government in Italy, the Eurozone’s third largest economy, setting up the single currency bloc for a possible new crisis. March’s national elections in Italy delivered a hung parliament, but also left the virulently anti-immigrant Lega Nord and the radical anti-establishment Five Star Movement as the two parties with the most seats. After a week of intense wrangling, the leaders of the two parties – which have sharply divergent outlooks in a host of areas – announced on Friday that they had agreed upon a common programme.”

Great! – who said there’s never any good news!

Certainly The Independent doesn’t like it. Look at some of the other words the newspaper uses alongside “populist”: “virulent” and “anti-establishment” for example.

(You’d never get a reference in The Independent – or any of her sister red sheets – describing a “virulently pro-immigration” party)

Suddenly the word “populist” is, so to speak, popping up all over the place. In Hungary, Mr Orban’s sensible, patriotism is dismissed as “populist” – and that’s when Orban is not being excoriated as as  a “fascist” or damned as a “Nazi”

Elsewhere there is the “populist” Geert Wilders, founder of the Dutch Party for Freedom which has long warned of the threat posed to The Netherlands in particular and Europe generally by massive Muslim immigration.

And in Britain UKIP and unreconstructed Tories of the old school – but are there any left? – are always dismissed as “populist.”

So I pondered long: what and who is a “populist”?

There’s a simple and straightforward answer: a populist is someone who is very popular – but who is thoroughly disapproved of by the left wing papers and the BBC 

14 May

It’s BECAUSE it’s successful–stupid!

“Israel’s 70th birthday” is all over the news. I suppose then that Abraham was the nation’s original patriarch in the 1940s and 50s, Isaac came along in the 1960s – about the same time as The Beatles – and I could swear I saw Joseph in his coat of many colours by the bandstand here in Eastbourne only last Thursday. Well, really!

Moses was a legendary character from around 1250 BC, but we know that King David was an historical figure who made his capital in the old Jebusite city of Jerusalem in the 9th century BC. His son Solomon built the first temple there, and the reigns of those two monarchs are well-documented in the Old Testament books Kings and Chronicles. We know also that Jerusalem was captured by the Babylonians in 586 BC and the people were carried off into exile: “By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept when we remembered thee, O Sion” (that is Jerusalem) – Psalm 137:1

But the biblical legends go far back into the second millennium BC when “Melchizedek, King of Salem (Jerusalem) brought forth bread and wine and he was the priest of El Elyon (The Most High God)” – Genesis 14:18

So the Israelis can claim an association with Jerusalem which goes back many centuries, and so it’s not surprising that they should now declare the ancient city to be their capital once again – though of course this irritates the left wing press and especially the BBC no end

The second and dominant part of the name Jerusalem connects with the word שלום (shalom), meaning peace, while the root of this word, שלם (shalem), denotes completeness, wholeness and soundness. In Greek, the first part of the name Jerusalem resembles the words ιερος (hieros), meaning sacred, and ιερευς (hiereus), meaning priest.  Back to Melchizedek, the legendary priest-king whose name means King of Righteousness.

Why do all the world’s lefties hate Israel? And why has antisemitism – a despicable thing never entirely dormant – returned with renewed ferocity? It’s been around a long time. The prophet Isaiah described Israel as “despised and rejected” – Isaiah 53: 3. Isaiah also identified Israel as God’s Suffering Servant. Certainly the people suffered under the Babylonians and again at the hands of the cruel Antiochus Epiphanes. And many times since in pogroms and genocides.

That’s some of the history which The Guardian and the BBC speak not of. Never mind, let’s adhere to the brief history referred to in the media’s short term memory and go back to the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948. Since then, Israel has been forced to fight four defensive wars. The country is a tiny sliver of civilisation in a vast desert of barbarism. Its enemies – on all sides – declare every day their intention to obliterate the country.

But what about the Arabs, especially the poor “Palestinians”? Why does Israel deny them the living space they demand in the form of the so-called “two state solution”?

Well, Israel has tried that. In 1998 the Israeli leadership held talks, sponsored by Bill Clinton, with the “Palestinian” leader Yasser Arafat at Camp David and all sides appeared smiling on the lawn to agree on that two state solution. But then the treacherous Arafat returned to Ramallah and declared the second Intifada – a terrorist uprising – against Israel. By all accounts, when she heard the news, Hillary Clinton’s language was unrepeatable.

In 2018 Israel has a strong leader in Benjamin Netanyahu whose first name means “son of right” and whose surname means “YHVH God has given.”

Historically and in modern times, Israel has shown itself to be one of the most brilliantly successful nations the world has ever seen. Its achievements in philosophy and theology, in the arts, science and medicine are unsurpassed. It is the only genuine democracy in the Middle East.

Why then should all the lefties treat Israel as a pariah?

Let me try to explain: they hate Israel precisely because it is successful.

12 May


The government has promised £50miilion to support the expansion of grammar schools. It’s small change when compared with the £2billion each week we pay to the EU. But, credit where it’s due, it’s a start

Naturally the socialists who run state education are against it.  The teachers’ unions have accused the government of pursuing an “elitist policy” during a funding crisis. Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said: “The government cannot point to a single piece of evidence that shows strong educational benefit of this misguided policy. While it may benefit a small minority, it will not close the gap between rich and poor pupils and if anything will increase the divide.”

Let me interrupt Mr Brook’s secular sermon for a moment to say that education is not meant to be social engineering but about the business of teaching and learning.

Some perspective wouldn’t go astray: there are 3268 comprehensive schools in England and only 163 grammars. So, while grammar schools are certainly a good thing, they are a side issue.

The nub of the matter is that state education in this country is so poor that it amounts to a betrayal of our children, child abuse. The government actually comes close to admitting this fact. The department of education’s own statistics show that 43% of pupils leave school after eleven years of compulsory, full-time education unable to read, write and count efficiently.

In the OECD rankings, the UK comes 23rd in literacy and 24th in numeracy: behind South Korea, Japan, Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Belgium and…. Oh forget it – just about everywhere really.

The teachers’ unions have a single explanation for this abysmal showing and it is that “we” – by which of course, being socialists, they mean the state –  don’t put enough money into state schools. This is not the explanation. How can it be when education expenditure on junior and secondary schools has increased by 900% in the last fifty years – and that is in real terms, after allowing for inflation?

The problem is with the whole ethos and style of state education. Often it is informal to the point of formlessness. “Child-centred” – which seems to mean letting the children do just as they like. Here’s a bit more jargon from the educational pros: “open-plan”; “non-structured”; “non-selective”  and above all, in that verbal icon, “comprehensive.” This last word – “mixed ability” is a variant – connotes a classroom where children who find learning easy are obliged – by the lying socialist mantra “equality” – to be dragged back to the same pace as those who find learning difficult.

The concept of “knowledge” has been abolished as the traditional idea that teachers were supposed to impart information – actually tell their charges something – has been anathema for the last fifty years. Unsurprisingly, today’s children know nothing, or next to nothing – as indeed is revealed in those appalling OECD rankings in literacy and numeracy and the education department’s own figures which I have quoted already. If the children are not meant to be at school to be informed, why are they there? Answer, “To express themselves.” But no one has a self to express until that self contains something. And they are meant to be “creative.” But you can’t be creative until you’ve mastered the basics. Tell it to Mozart who said, “I had to sweat and struggle once that I might find it easier now.”

Or, as C.H. Sisson said, “We learn by rote before we learn by light.” The Collect for the Second Sunday in Advent stresses this truth and we are admonished to “Hear, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest, that by patience…” Impossible if you’re running about all over the place and generally “expressing” yourself. What self?

The awfulness is compounded by the fact that the highly-unionised teachers themselves know next to nothing too. How could they when, given half a century of comprehensive education, they have all come up through the same failed system? Moreover, the near anarchy of the comprehensive school classroom does not encourage intelligent and competent men and women to consider spending their working lives there. So, if they yet have a desire to teach, they go into the grammar schools or the private sector.

Whenever the subject of education comes up, the totalitarians – such as the Leeds Grammar School boy Alan Bennett – who want to abolish the grammars and all private schools, I am always told. “It’s all right for you: you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth.” Silver spoon? Wooden spoon, more like. I was brought up in Armley, that is in the same grimy Leeds suburb as Alan Bennett. A question: if grammar schools don’t improve social mobility, how did Alan “make it” then? By the way, Alan’s father had the local butcher’s shop and was widely known to be “a miserable bugger” – which might account for a lot. 

May I finish by telling you about my schooling in the 1940s and 50s, which was excellent? Armley County Primary School was a Victorian building between the jail and the Leeds-Manchester railway line. When trains passed, great clouds of white steam would fill the playground – what we called “the yard” – and we laughed as we momentarily lost sight of one another! There were forty-three boys and girls in my class. Our desks were in lines. I sat next to Josephine Wilson who was adorable and had very hairy arms. We learned times tables by chanting them out loud. We learned to read by phonetics, by being read to for hours on end and by being introduced to books – by being enrolled in Armley Municipal Library (Junior Section). Aged about eight, I read Hans Andersen, the Brothers Grimm, The Coral Island  and A Christmas Carol. By the age of eleven, we had learned fractions and decimals, parts of speech and the beginnings of clause analysis. No silver spoons, then: some of my classmates wore clogs. Others went hungry, so that if someone was eating an apple at playtime, a small crowd would gather round to beg the core. We had morning assembly – unashamedly Christian – every day: a Bible story read from The King James Version, a hymn and a prayer.We were taught to sing. And we listened to Handel’s Largo and the overture to The Marriage of Figaro on Old Macdonald’s wind-up gramophone. (I suppose Mozart wrote it to “express himself”!) We trekked beside the tram tracks to Armley Park to be coached at cricket. We were given a third of a pint of milk a day in a glass bottle 

By contrast with these poor but glorious beginnings – which amounted to a real start in life – today’s state education is plain lousy. What words can we use to evoke the intellectual, moral and spiritual bankruptcy of it? It is institutionalised child-neglect.

“Or what man is there of you whom, if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone.Or, if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent” – Matthew 7: 9-10

PS Some years ago there was an advertisement in The Times Educational Supplement for a post in a “grammer” school. Says all that needs to be said about the education establishment, dunnit? 

11 May

GDPR: Goddam Data Prote-ction

Simon Richards, chief executive of The Freedom Association, has come all over strange with me.

I’ve known Simon for nigh on twenty years: we’ve been to cricket matches together; I’ve attended countless TFA meetings; and we’ve been out for scores of lunches and dinners. Then suddenly, he writes to me and asks if he can have my permission to continue to write to me. I was flummoxed. Simon is a stout Brexiteer, a better-off-out man if ever there was one. He doesn’t go in for bureaucratic procedures. So what was it all about – could he have permission to keep writing to me and phoning me up? Was he joking? Well, in that case, what sort of a joke was it? Not a very funny one. Has he been watching too many old videos of Monty Python?

But hang on, it’s not just Simon who’s come all over funny with me. I buy a specialist diary every year called The Parson’s Pocketbook. I’ve bought it through the post from Preston in Lancashire every year since my ordination in 1970. And very handy it is too with all the saints days, feasts and fasts and the table of lessons for every day of the year. Now the supplier of that book has written to ask if he can keep on writing to me.

There’s seemingly no end to it. Every day another letter or email asking the same weird question. I’ve been chaplain of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots since 1999. In fact I was at one of their court meetings only yesterday. But now they’re writing to ask the same damn fool question. Ditto the Fuellers Company of which I’m a Freeman. Ditto my friend Edward Spalton of the Campaign for an Independent Britain.

Any minute now I’m expecting a letter from my wife asking the same question – even though we’ve just breakfasted together

Well, finally I’ve found out what all these letters are about. They are required by the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which come into force this month.

What’s the source of these regulations? I’ll give you one guess: the EU of course. Their purpose is supposed to be to ensure our privacy. That’s fine by me: I like to be private – but I don’t want privacy at the expense of contact with my friends. What sort of nonsense are we embarked upon when someone from whom I’ve enjoyed receiving messages for half a lifetime suddenly has to ask my permission to continue to do the same?

It’s bureaucracy, and bureaucracy is mad. But it’s not just mad: it’s malign. Bureaucracy – particularly state bureaucracy – is not at all about defending my privacy but about control.

And the new GDPR mightily inconveniences me – and not just me, but you and everybody else. I have to write to tell welcome correspondents that they are at liberty to carry on corresponding. This lunacy puts me to some trouble. What if, by an oversight, I forget to give permission? Will they never write to me again? Shall I be altogether cut off from the land of the living, like a dead man out of mind?

Let me think about it.

Meanwhile, Simon, I’ve ticked the box on the form you sent me and returned it in the prepaid envelope you kindly supplied. So please don’t stop writing to me…

10 May

The Truth that Makes Us Free

It was the day when Ed Miliband finally went off his head. Fortunately, this happened in the House of Commons and the sage Jacob Rees-Mogg was on hand to calm him down

As all socialists do, the Labour party was aiming to curtail the freedom of the press in yesterday’s debate about what has become known as “Leveson Mark II.” Under new proposals, newspapers would have been legally obliged to pay the costs of mischievous litigants – even when the court had found against them. Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, was the man all set formally to propose these new strictures on the press. Can you imagine the results if members of The House of Commons had passed this iniquitous Bill? Rogues, scoundrels, anyone with a vested interest or crudely on the make or to settle personal scores would have been able to make all manner of false claims – that is to lie to the court – and yet still have his costs paid after the court had judged he was telling lies

Yesterday’s vote was a damn close run thing which the government won with a majority of only nine.

If the government had lost, the law of the land would have institutionalised perjury and financially rewarded the telling of lies.

Of course, we would have expected the Labour party to vote for this iniquitous motion nonetheless. But it was disappointing, if not entirely surprising, to note that five Conservative rebels voted with Labour: Crispin Blunt, Peter Bone, Ken Clarke, Dominic Grieve and Philip Hollobone.

I shall remember those names.

The DUP voted with the government and saved the day 

So what was Ed Miliband’s tantrum all about?  He told ministers that their decision to axe Leveson had been “contemptible” and it was a “matter of honour about the promises we made” to the victims of phone hacking, saying the then Prime Minister David Cameron had pledged in 2012 to launch the second part of the inquiry, Leveson Mark II. That was when Mr Rees-Mogg applied the poultice and  quietly reminded the feverish Red Ed that today’s ministers are not bound by the policies and intentions of their predecessors. If they were so bound, any political change involving statutory process would have been rendered impossible: in other words, the abolition of practical politics

There were pleasing reactions outside the House. It’s always a delight to see the sanctimonious self-regarding luvvies in Hacked Off – John Cleese and Hugh Grant for instance – being sent away with a flea in their ear. Hacked Off actually backed the new draconian legislation which was being proposed. They claim that the vote “was not the end” and the “fight goes on in Parliament and the courts.”

Oh here you are, John and Hugh – you can borrow my hankie! 

Meanwhile, the News Media Association, which represents local and national newspapers, said the freedom of the press had won the day in the face of “dangerous anti-media” proposals. Had the proposals become law, local newspapers would have been wiped out by their having to pay the costs of thousands of lying litigants.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said the proposed new legislation would have made it “near impossible” to uncover stories of abuse, and he highlighted the work of The Times’ chief investigative reporter Andrew Norfolk, who uncovered the Rotherham child abuse scandal.

Yesterday’s vote was a victory for truth. We should never forget this. For it is the truth that makes us free.

10 Apr

Dig your own grave

Let me try to put his in context…

In the next few days the USA military will launch an attack on Syrian army bases. This will not be merely symbolic but real. But it won’t amount to very much

The reason for this attack is said to be righteous outrage against Assad’s use of chemical weapons against civilians. This use is verified and we have the pictures to prove it: so now we enjoy a unanimity of condemnation which extends even to that moral squalor which goes by the name of The Guardian.

All “civilised” and “democratic” and “liberal”  opinion agrees that Assad must be punished

And – Guardian readers all – rest assured Assad will be punished

Assad will receive the unbearable punishment of the slap on the wrist

The world’s media will look at the TV footage of the CIA’s drone attacks, cruise missiles, fast jet fighter-bombing and so on – and sit back with satisfaction

Assad’s chemical weapons attacks have nothing to do with the real-politic that pertains in the Middle East

Let’s instead look at the reality.

Israel last week launched an attack on a Syrian military airbase,

Ben Netanyahu followed up this attack by saying (in effect): “We did this because the base we attacked was full of Iranian Republican Guard, and we will not tolerate a strong Iranian presence on the borders of Israel. Do something, Donald – or we will”

So Donald will “do something” amounting to doing nothing

In this way the cowardly West continues to dig its own grave

08 Apr

Murder Most Avoidable

Fifty-one – and counting – people murdered in London since the beginning of the year. The Metropolitan Police must be very concerned. But Commissioner Cressida Dick insists, “This is a horrible, horrible spate of deaths but there is no crisis.”

What would be a crisis Ms Dick – a hundred deaths, two hundred? Well, you’re in charge, so what do you intend to do about it? She answers: “We need to reduce the number, particularly the number of young people, who are dying in street attacks.”

Really? You don’t say! We ought to examine the career of a person capable of making such an anodyne, asinine statement.

Cressida Dick is a policewoman – but not such as we used to see in the street in the olden days. She is not the sort of copper we might expect to find plodding Letsby Avenue. Let’s give her the full title: Commissioner Cressida Dick CBE QPM, the daughter of two senior academics, educated at the Dragon School then at Balliol College, Oxford and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Just the sorts of places where you can learn how to give anodyne answers, and where you don’t even need to wear size tens. Cressida is not your typical copper. She is – what shall we say? – a theoretical copper. Shape without form, shade without colour. Paralysed force. Gesture without motion. And she has an MPhil in Criminology to prove it.

She knew she was intended for superiority from that day – sometime in her mid-teens, I would imagine – when she realised that she belonged to the liberal elite and all the prizes awarded by its culture of entitlement would soon fall into her lap. She was fast-tracked for high office in 1993 and – I mean fast! – appointed Superintendent only two years later. That culture of entitlement is multifarious, enabling its members to flit from one exalted position to another. So in 2015 it was announced that she would be leaving the police force for a Director General’s role at the Foreign Office. Then in 2017 she flitted back to the Met on her appointment as Commissioner. I would not have been surprised if, in the meantime, she had served a spell as Archbishop of Canterbury. She self- identifies naturally – I mean unnaturally – as homosexual.

So what will this theoretical copper do about the non-crisis epidemic of murders in the capital?

Not very much. She will make a few speeches and sign rather more newspaper articles than usual. She will turn up for the telly the morning after another murder, or three. In other words, all appearance and no reality. She will pursue the futile policy of studied inactivity and wait for things to calm down. Good grief! – you don’t expect theoretical coppers actually to do anything, do you?

Something can be done. The active police – not the theoretical police – have intelligence, and with this intelligence they are able to identify the sorts of people who are likely to be carrying knives and guns. And so, as they say, apprehend them. This is called stop and search. Unsurprisingly this intelligent tactic worked. But, by deliberate act of policy, incidences of stop and search have declined by 65% since 2011. They declined further after 2015 when Theresa May, the longest-serving and most incompetent Home Secretary since 1945 – probably ever – decided, as she put it, “to rein in” stop and search because this “inflames tensions between the police and black people.”

But what if it was – and it was – mainly black people who were carrying guns and knives and committing crimes of violence? Well, rein in stop and search just the same, of course. Better have an epidemic of murders than offend the canons of political-correctness.

Baroness Lawrence, the mother of the schoolboy Stephen murdered twenty-five years ago, said this week on the anniversary of her son’s death: “The government needs to get a grip. Look who’s dying. If that amount of kids (sic) were in the white community, d’you think something would have been done?”

Baroness Lawrence is on to something – sort of. Yes, the government should support the forces of law and order precisely in those areas where the stabbings and shootings are being committed by those shown by long experience to be the likely perpetrators. That means stop and search. And to hell with political-correctness.

S’common sense innit? You don’t need an MPhil in criminology to understand that.

07 Apr

Hats off to the BBC!

I switch on Radio Four just before seven o’clock in the morning for the weather forecast, listen to the news headlines and then turn off before the relentless barrage of propaganda from the lefty clones who present The Today Programme have chance to reduce me to a gibbering wreck. But this morning I was late and, by the time I’d switched on, Britain’s very own version of Pravda was in full swing.

They were discussing this weekend’s election in Hungary in which Prime Minister Victor Orban is seeking another term.

This is how the unbiased, balanced, public service BBC presented the matter: “The populist leader Victor Orban is expected to be re-elected with a large majority.”

I pondered ever so hard what this word “populist” might mean. Clearly it was more than enough to send the state broadcasters on Today into a decline. 

The distress in the voice of Sarah Montague – or it may have been Humphrys, Robinson, Husain or Webb –  I can’t remember, they’re all identikit mouthpieces – was palpable. But my mind was stuck on a word they used to introduce that news item. As we noticed, Orban was described as “populist.”

Anyway, one of the Today clones interviewed an “expert” on Hungary. This man informed us that, while three years ago immigrants were pouring into Hungary in their tens of thousands, now the influx has been halted. Orban has built a wall to keep them out and he makes sure that it is patrolled by soldiers. The expert went on to say, “Unemployment is less than 4% and wages are increasing at the amazing rate of 10% each year.”

Why wouldn’t the man in the Budapest street or the woman pushing her pram through Paprika Park vote for Victor Orban? I thought to myself: Orban pursues very popular policies. And then it dawned on me like a vision, the answer to my puzzlement: a “populist” leader is a “popular” leader whom lefty broadcasters dislike.

I was keen to find out more about Hungary, a country in which the people seem to like and admire their prime minister – an opportunity which I only wish we enjoyed in Britain. Where might I find the information I was seeking? Why, the BBC website of course. Where better to find a balanced, unbiased account?

The BBC website told me that Orban’s policies are “controversial.” Not among Hungarians – Sarah, Justin, John or whoever is holding the mic at the moment. Or the Hungarians wouldn’t vote so overwhelmingly in Orban’s favour.

The BBC also told me: “Orban alarms other EU leaders with his brand of nationalism and populism.”

And there the BBC is dead right! Naturally, the unelected apparatchiks and international bureaucrats in the European Commission have nothing but contempt for the idea of the nation state and for the wishes of its people.

So hats off to the BBC for such a clear and accurate explanation of what’s going on in Hungary this weekend 

03 Apr

The Company He Keeps

We learn much about a man by observing the company he keeps.

Over last weekend, Jeremy Corbyn attended a Passover celebration in Islington organised by Jewdas, a near-anarchist organisation described, with eloquent restraint, by The Jewish Chronicle as “a Jewish diaspora group known for its far left anti-Zionism.” Among their more socially-acceptable activities was the organisation of an anti-fascist Yom Kippur ball.

In May 2015, Jewdas took more than thirty people on its inaugural Birthwrong – the satirical mockery of the traditional Jewish doctrine of birthright – trip to Andalusia. This was advertised as “a trip for anyone who’s sick of Israel’s stranglehold on Jewish culture and wants to get away on a raucous holiday. See Maimonides! Get pissed! Do some Jewish tourism! Spend Shabbat with Andalusian Jews! Shvitz in a hammam! Visit a communist village! Get pissed!”

In other words, last weekend’s gathering was one at which Jeremy Corbyn would have felt entirely at home.

Jewdas members have a favourite party game in which a cheerleader calls out names of prominent British Jews and everyone boos. They have a particular dislike for Stephen Pollard, editor of The Jewish Chronicle whom they regularly abuse as “a non-Jew.”

They frequently preach the destruction of Israel: “Israel is a steaming pile of sewage which needs to be disposed of.”

Hearing those words must have greatly cheered Mr Corbyn, the avowed friend of the terrorist organisations Hamas and Hezbollah.

I’m left with just one thought: I wish I could get through to the snowflake, airhead youngsters who are so beguiled by “Jeremy” that they intend to make him prime minister.

I have found much to dislike about many politicians over the years, but I would never have described any one of these as evil – until Corbyn emerged out of his very own steaming pile of sewage.

21 Mar

Our New Whited Sepulchres

There are things to admire about John Gray’s article The Dangers of Higher Education in the current issue of Club Comment, the magazine of The Monday Club.

Gray suggests that perhaps the world would not be better managed if those in charge were intellectuals: “History offers no support for the belief that the world would be better ruled by graduates or PhD’s.” He supports his view with evidence – examples of intelligent, educated men who made catastrophically misguided judgements in political life.

He cites the philosopher Martin Heidegger who was an enthusiastic Nazi, Kim Philby who spied for the USSR and Eric Hobsbawm who remained a card-carrying Communist despite knowing all about Stalin’s purges and genocides and the atrocities committed by the Soviets in their suppression of uprisings in Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968)

Gray’s article is intelligent and readable, but there is one omission so startling that only an academic could have made it: there is not a word about right and wrong in his piece, and he writes as if there is no such thing as morality in public and political life.

Instead these misguided men were simply easily led. The poor things were “often more easily taken in by mass delusions.”

Now I say that if a man possesses the intellectual capacity to understand the vileness of Communism and Nazism but persists in his allegiance to one or other of these foul ideologies, then it is not his intelligence which is in deficit, but his morality.

Heidegger understood Hitler’s programme only too well, but he maintained his support for him. A man who does such a thing does not lack brains, but he conspicuously lacks morality. In a word, that man is wicked. And i don’t care if he does happen to be Martin Heidegger, the author of Sein und Zeit.

Kim Philby was well aware of Stalin’s genocides and yet he supported the USSR until his dying day, becoming a traitor to Britain, his own country, in the process. That was an irretrievable wrong.

Eric Hobsbawm is the most culpable of the three because, as an eminent historian, he had intimate knowledge of the machinations of the murderous Soviet regime. But he was a devoted Stalinist to the end of his days. The word to describe such a man is evil.

How could John Gray not notice these things staring him in the face? Why no mention of the overriding ethical nature of the matters he discusses?

Because he wouldn’t want to be seen as “judgemental.” And that despite the fact that the capacity to form moral judgements is the one thing which renders meaning to the phrase “the dignity of man.”

I am a student of Plato who in The Republic declared that philosophers should be our kings. But we should notice what Plato meant by a philosopher: not some tenured theoretician scratching around on the edges of Deconstruction and the other diseases of Postmodernism, but one who is devoted to the Form of the Good.

When Christianity took over from Plato, we recognised this Form of the Good as God.

Gray’s colossal omission really arises out of the fact that he is himself a representative of the class he doesn’t think are fit to run the world.

He suffers from the terminal impediment of being an intellectual.