18 Jul

Princess Elizabeth and the Hitlerjugend

Was the Queen a member of the Hitler Youth when she was Princess Elizabeth, aged six?

You might be led to think so if you turn to the seven pages dedicated by The Sun – sister paper to The Times’ – to showing the young princess making the Nazi salute. I don’t think so. The princess, with her sister Margaret and her mother Queen Elizabeth, were clearly egged on by Uncle Teddy – the inadequate creep and narcissistic dandy who was soon after to abdicate the Throne and travel with the sybaritic gold-digger Mrs Simpson to be photographed giving help and comfort to Adolf in Berlin.

The year was 1933, when Hitler came to power. His election victory was on all the front pages and obviously the Nazi salutes were part of an ill-considered party game or charade concocted by the treacherous Prince Edward.

Princess Elizabeth’s attitude towards the Nazis can be inferred from her enthusiastic active service during the Second World War in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) – the women’s branch of the army.

What, apart from bald sensationalism, could have persuaded The Times’ sister paper to make a song and dance out of this trivial incident eight decades old?

A nasty streak of republicanism, that’s what. There is plenty of anti-monarchy stuff in the British press, amounting to a colossal gesture of ingratitude for the unsurpassed devotion to her people and country which the Queen has demonstrated  throughout her life.

If the toads and snides in the Murdoch organisation are looking for the hint of treachery, they are looking in the wrong place. But I can tell them where to look.

In the 1930s the traitors were the whole British political class and establishment; every political party supported the appeasing of Hitler who was given a free hand to take what he wanted in Europe.

There was one man, with a very few colleagues and friends, who saw that  that toadying to Hitler would not bring peace but catastrophe.

If you’re looking for signs of treachery in 1930s Britain, don’t pick on a child’s silly charade.

The very emblem and image of treachery was that picture of Neville Chamberlain waving his piece of paper, while foolishly proclaiming “Peace for our time!”

17 Jul

Come into my (nuclear) parlour

This marvellous nuclear deal between the West and Iran, aka The West’s sell-out to the duplicitous ayatollahs over the issue of Iran’s uranium enrichment programme is already producing consequences likely to cause a disaster for British subjects. David Cameron – smelling the money – has cuddled up to President Rouhani in a twenty-minutes phone call. Both leaders declared that the deal struck in Vienna could and should lead rapidly to improvements in relations between Iran and Britain, improved trade and better security.

President Rouhani tweeted that Cameron had welcomed the deal and “Iran’s constructive role in the negotiations.”

At this point in the conversation, Dave was seen to fall to his knees and purposefully place his head in the giant mousetrap prepared for him by Rouhani.

So the deal is constructive, is it? Constructive for whom? Not for Israelis who must continue to live under the threat of nuclear annihilation. Not for Britain, now left to deal with the increased risk of terrorist atrocities perpetrated by Iran. But certainly and solely constructive for the Iranians who will now be able to develop their atom bombs more or less unhindered and spend the $160billions coming to them from lifted sanctions on their violent jihad against the West.

Rejoice ye Hezbollah and give thanks all ye Houthis, for thou art about to receive a generous pay-rise!

I can still hardly bring myself to believe that the West’s pusillanimous leaders could fall for such a trick. They have carried appeasement well beyond anything dreamed of by the treacherous Chamberlain, Halifax and Butler in the 1930s.

But there is one aspect of this “peace dividend” which is beyond fantasy.  Rouhani tweeted:  “The British Prime Minister has expressed interest in re-opening embassies and expansion of ties in the framework of mutual interest and respect, plus combating terrorism in the region.”

Re-opening embassies? What was it John McEnroe used to say to the umpire, “You cain’t be serious!”

Iran has form when it comes to embassies. Are we to forget the seizure of fifty-two American diplomats in Iran in 1979 and their captivity for 144 days? Or the Iranian Embassy siege in London in 1980? Then there was the storming and subsequent ransacking of the British Embassy in Tehran as recently as 2011.

Does a man – even a man as weak and gullible as Cameron – propose to hand the barbarous Iranian regime further opportunities for hostage-taking and political blackmail?

I can just imagine Rouhani’s next tweet: “’Come into my parlour,’ said the spider to the fly.”

16 Jul

Che Guevara among the fishermen

Pope Francis has been taken to task. Asked why he had rarely spoken of hard-working, tax-paying families, instead concentrating on the marginalised and poverty-stricken, he said: “You’re right. It’s an error of mine not to think about this,”

Well, it would indeed be nice to see him take a few minutes off from his effusive rhetoric about the picturesque poor. True, Jesus commanded his disciples to care for the poor, but his attitude towards poverty was rather more complex than that of Guardian-reading sentimentalists. Jesus actually called the poor blessed. Why? “Because theirs is the kingdom of God.” And when he was anointed with expensive ointment, a Guardian-reading disciple protested, “This ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.”

Jesus replied, “Ye have the poor always with you, but me ye have not always.”

That wasn’t very Christian of Christ, was it, Francis?

Jesus also said that it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven, the province of the poor. So you would think that the Pope might be led to have sympathy for the rich and spend more time and effort helping them in their hard task of entering the kingdom.

Francis’ predecessor Benedict XVI is one of the greatest theologians since St Augustine. Francis –  great self-publicist as he is and a close friend of vox pop – is no theologian. But he must have attended Sunday School when he was a nipper. There he would have read, or had read to him, the Gospel stories in which Jesus has much to say about the poor, but where he is also seen spending much time with the rich and influential.

He eats often in the houses of rich Scribes and Pharisees. He also eats with “publicans and sinners.” But when we hear that word publican, we should not imagine that it connotes a scene in which Jesus likes to go out of a night with his disciples – the lads – for a few pints at The Rose & Crown in downtown Capernaum. The publicans were not landlords. They were public servants – actually tax-gatherers for the occupying Roman power. Naturally, they were loathed by the poor.

Jesus loved the poor? Of course he did. But he also loved those well off enough to put on a wedding that lasted ten days, attended by numerous guests. Not only did Jesus attend the wedding – with the lads – but when the wine ran out, he created a further 180 gallons of the stuff.

The Son of God who said, “Blessed are the poor” also said, “I am come that ye might have life; and have it more abundantly.”

The Pope and just about every bishop and clergyman you have ever heard are so fond of preaching that mawkish Christmas sermon about Jesus being born into poverty in a stable. As if the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity had been a lesser condescension if he had been born Mayor of Tunbridge Wells.

He wasn’t born into poverty. His earthly father was of the house and lineage of King David. Joseph was an established craftsman and a member of the middle class,

We know the Pope is a Catholic – but does he read the Bible? 

13 Jul

Equality is bad for you

The so called agreement just announced between Greece and the EU will have a devastating impact on poor people in Greece. This agreement effectually confiscates Greek assets and imposes the most severe austerity on the Greek people. It was concluded in order to preserve the Euro – the instrument for ensuring the survival of the EU’s centrally-planned, one size fits all, European economy.

Socialists try to create a more equal society. They believe in levelling. Unfortunately, owing to the nature of socialism itself, that philosophy always ends up achieving the opposite of its aims. The other day, Alexander Boot put this in a nutshell in his persistently enlightening blog where he says we must not confuse the socialists’ slogans with their practical policies:

“All socialist economies (which is to say all modern economies) have the widest gap between the rich and the poor. And, the less developed the socialist economy, the greater the gap, the harder the poor are hit. For example, in the 19th century, the era of dog-eat-dog capitalism, the average ratio of income earned by US corporate directors and their employees was 28:1. Yet in 2005, when socialism had made heavy inroads into the post-New-Deal US economy, this ratio stood at 158:1.”

There are comparable figures for Britain

In other words, the less money there is around, the more of it will be grabbed by the rich and the poor will consequently get poorer.

This is the truth expressed by Friedrich Hayek in his classic The Road to Serfdom (1944)

In fact, all socialist roads lead to serfdom. When socialism is practised moderately, the poverty of those in the lower reaches of the social scale is quite moderate. Where socialism is practised more thoroughly, poverty consequentially becomes more severe. Where socialism is practised absolutely – one might say ideally – the poverty of the poorest is absolute too. Moreover, extreme socialism always ends up in dictatorship, the oppression of the people and, in the most notorious cases such as the USSR under Stalin and China under Mao, the socialist experiment culminates in gulags and mass slaughter: by Stalin at least twenty millions and by Mao around sixty millions.

But socialism sounds so promising, so nice, kind and humanitarian. So what goes wrong? It is always the same thing which goes wrong: the replacement of the free market by the planned economy.

The free market has raised more people out of poverty than any other economic system in the history of the world. So why are such notable humanitarians as the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury so down on it?

I described socialism as an experiment. Why do we keep on repeating an experiment which always fails?

As Einstein said, “To keep on doing the same thing while expecting different results is the first sign of madness.”

09 Jul


The BBC has done us a great service by revealing that between 2010 and 2014 more than 11,000 honour crimes were recorded by the police. We are even given the definition of an honour crime which is “one committed to protect or defend the reputation or supposed honour of a family or a community.”

Diana Nammi, director of the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation – a charity that provides support to Middle Eastern women living in the UK who are the victims of honour crimes – said the figures suggested incidences of the crime remain “consistently high” in the UK and that the issue is “not going away.”

She said: “Unfortunately the figures do not show the real extent of the problem. So many crimes are unreported because the perpetrators are often the victim’s own family. We need a national strategy for all agencies – including police forces, courts, and schools – to be trained and to work together to end this problem.”

A police spokesman said, “These crimes go largely under the radar of local agencies, including the police. The number of crimes reported is certainly only a very small proportion of total crimes committed.”

These crimes are usually committed against women and include beatings, abduction, imprisonment in the victim’s own home, ostracism and female genital mutilation.

Estimates of how many women and girls have been subjected to FMG in Britain range from 65,000 to 137,000. FMG has been illegal in this country for thirty years.

In all that time, not a single perpetrator has been convicted.

Unfortunately, the BBC report doesn’t tell us which community is overwhelmingly responsible for this disgraceful practice. But I have my suspicions and I can understand why prosecutions are not brought against the barbarians, bigots and sadists who subject women ands girls to this torture in the name of religion and cultural integrity.

I’m pretty sure that the practitioners of FMG are mainly Methodists – give or take a handful of low church Anglicans. These people are very sensitive and they don’t like to be accused. When they are accused, they complain that they are being subjected to “Methodismophobia” or, as it might be, “Low churchophobia.”

And immediately the police back off for fear of giving offence to these Methodist and Anglican communities.

This must stop. The police must be given authority to enter the chapels, tin tabernacles, manses, bring-and-buy sales and coffee mornings and root out the atrocity of FMG once and for all.

08 Jul

The meaning of TEC

I recall the intense pleasure when I was first first taught the rudiments of the differential calculus donkey’s years ago: this seemingly miraculous, and charmingly simple, means of calculating increases and decreases in rates of change. Well, I don’t think the editors of Church Times needed the calculus to measure the catastrophic increase in the pace of the decline – literally dismemberment – of the Church of England. That newspaper is really the house journal of the C. of E. and it is read by more than 90% of the clergy and a good proportion of the laity. The current edition must give them all pause for thought, for it has devoted ten pages to consider the “apocalyptic” decline of the English church which, some claim, will barely exist in twenty years’ time. Most churchgoers are elderly or old. Their numbers are not being replaced. Thus – we might say rather late in the day – appraised of the crisis, we have those ten pages of head-scratching in CT, as sociologists, clergy, theologians and religious pundits cast around for what might be done.

On the basis of the well-known fact that those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it, we should ask first what has been going on in the English church in the last half century which has – shall we say – coincided with its collapse. Let me mention a few of what seem to me to be the most significant features.

The last fifty years have seen the rise of theological reductionism. Bluntly, this means that ancient doctrines, always previously proclaimed as true and the foundational beliefs of the church have been, in the jargon, demythologised. So Jesus was not born of a virgin and he didn’t rise from the dead. His miracles were really “acted parables” – that is more jargon for the claim that they didn’t actually happen.

Concurrent with theological reductionism has run a fifty years programme of liturgical “reform” which has seen the discarding of The King James Bible and The Book of Common Prayer. This means that there is no longer observance of the rule that all the realm shall have one use. In fact, these changes mean that you have no idea what you’re going to find in a church service until the service begins. It’s a sort of churchy babel in which no two churches do the same thing and many priests and ministers seem to do as they like.

In addition to these changes, the bishops, the clergy and the synod have endorsed the secular mores of the age.

I have commented enough on these matters and I will not do so again here, but conclude with a single observation:

In those churches where the ancient doctrines are still taught as true, where traditional scriptures are used and where the moral teaching which stood the church apart from pagan practices is still taught, there is life and growth. Churches in Africa, Central and South America and parts of the Far East are burgeoning.

By contrast, the churches which have most successfully modernised themselves are failing, and – perhaps this is where the calculus comes in – those modernising more rapidly are also failing faster.

The church which has modernised itself to the greatest extent is the Episcopal Church of the USA (ECUSA).

Recently this institution changed its name from  ECUSA to The Episcopal Church, known widely as TEC

Some, basing their remark on observation, say that TEC stands for The Empty Church

07 Jul

A woman of evasions

Ten years ago I was living in the City of London, only three hundred yards from St Paul’s and the Rev’d Canon Lucy Winkett who came on Thought for the Day this morning to reflect on the bombings of 7th July. It was a strange performance. Ms Winkett began by saying that one of the first indications something was amiss was that mobile phones weren’t working. This, she said, “Cut us off from one another.” It made me wonder how people were not cut off from one another before mobile phones were invented. But then she got serious:

She said that on 7/7, “Prayer became less a petition and more an accusation, and for many God was indicted.”

I confess I had to go to the BBC’s website and play that sentence again and again to try to discover its meaning. I still haven’t discovered its meaning, so I shall have to resort to asking questions and hope that someone reading my blog will be able to help.

Question: Why bring poor old God into it? I thought the atrocities committed that day were perpetrated by a group of Muslim lads from Yorkshire. Surely, if anyone is to be accused or indicted, Lucy, they were the ones?

Question: Was God being blamed because political correctness demands we don’t blame the Muslims – in spite of what the historical facts reveal?

Then Lucy reached her peroration and told us firmly that “the easy language of faith” is inadequate for the understanding of what happened on 7/7

Question: What is easy about faith and its language?

I can speak only from personal experience and a lifetime’s conversations with teachers and friends about the matter of faith, and I can tell you that neither they nor I has ever felt that faith and the language of faith come easily.

Question: Of whom was Lucy speaking when she mentioned users of the easy language of faith? I’ve never met any.

Question: Is there, please, someone reading this who does find that faith comes easily and therefore that its language can be described as easy?

Perhaps there is only one person who finds faith and its language easy. Perhaps that person is Rev’d Lucy Winkett?

Can you hear me, Lucy?

06 Jul

The collapse of the Fourth Reich?

Is Greece about to take her leave of the Fourth Reich?

“Fourth Reich” – what’s that when it’s out? Surely Germany is a model of modern democracy, having thrown off long ago all that Fascist nonsense and the ambition to control Europe? That’s what it looks like on the surface. But the fact is that what Bismarck failed to achieve by military means in 1870, the Kaiser by similar means in 1914 and Hitler again in 1939, Frau Merkel has accomplished by peaceful process.

Well, peaceful if peace may be defined as a bullying economic hegemony accompanied by consistent financial punishment of the southern states in the EU. EU economic policy – which really means German economic policy –has caused permanent recession in Italy, Portugal, Spain and, of course, Greece, with high unemployment and cuts in wages for those fortunate enough to be still in work. Youth unemployment in those countries is at a catastrophically high level – in Greece over 60%.

This is hardly a recipe for the peace and stability which the EU compliments itself on having established and sustained for forty years.

I have suggested here that Germany dictates events in Europe. That’s not quite true. She does it with the connivance of France. So we should really speak of the Franco-German axis – an extension of the collaboration which existed during the Second World War.

But now Greece is showing that, to quote Yeats, “the centre cannot hold.” Perhaps today we are seeing the beginning of the end of the European Project?

The EU as presently constituted never could hold as a satisfactory political arrangement. For that, there would need to be a single currency. Well, there is a single currency, isn’t there, the euro? On the face of it, yes. But a single currency is not workable when imposed upon countries with such disparate economic bases. For while Germany is a modern, industrialised technocracy producing and exporting top-of-the-range motor cars, washing machines and a thousand different sorts of gadgets and machines, the southern states are still largely agricultural: Greece, in particular, survives (or barely survives) on olive oil and tourism.

In order to preserve the illusion of the EU, two things are required: subsidies from the advanced nations of northern Europe – principally Germany – and ever fiercer demands – also issued by Germany – for permanent austerity in Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece.

You can try this solution if you like, but you can’t keep it up. First, because the German people are fed up of paying taxes to support the inefficient southern regimes which they regard as a shambles; and secondly, as we see today in Greece, the people of the southern nations will not put up with perpetual austerity.

A Grexit is a distinct possibility – though never underestimate the lies, fixings, institutionalised skulduggery, threats and bribes with which the leaders of the corrupt bureaucracy of the EU will resort to in order to preserve the facade of political union.

And if the Greeks leave, the other southern countries might think about following them.

Personally, I should like to see Britain lead the rush for the door: better off out. 

05 Jul

Prayers before a capitulation

Here are three prayers issued by the Church of England for the minute’s silence in commemoration of those slaughtered on the beach in Tunisia.

“Father, you know our hearts and share our sorrows.We are hurt by our parting from those whom we loved: when we are angry at the loss we have sustained,when we long for words of comfort,yet find them hard to hear,turn our grief to truer living,our affliction to firmer hope in Jesus Christ our Lord.Amen.”

”Lord, have mercyon those who mourn who feel numb and crushed and are filled with the pain of grief,whose strength has given up. You know all our sighing and longings:be near to us and teach us to fix our hope on you through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

”Lord, do not abandon us in our desolation.Keep us safe in the midst of trouble,and complete your purpose for us through your steadfast love and faithfulness,in Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.”

No mention of the rightness of our cause in waging war on a terrorising barbarism, only the gospel of touchy-feeliness.

“Numb and crushed…strength given up.” There speaks the church militant! I’m only surprised that these prayers were not accompanied by a rubric saying, At this moment the officiating priest shall raise a white flag.

What a falling off there has been from better days and better ways! In AD 732 the Christian Charles Martel fought the Battle of Tours to halt the Muslim takeover of Europe. Again in 1571 an alliance of Catholic maritime states repulsed the Muslim threat at Lepanto.

So here is a prayer in time of war from The Book of Common Prayer (1662) – a book which, of course, the C. of E. has discarded:

“O Almighty God, King of all kings, and Governor of all things, whose power no creature is able to resist, to whom it belongeth justly to punish sinners, and to be merciful to them that truly repent: Save and deliver us, we humbly beseech thee, from the hands of our enemies; abate their pride, asswage their malice, and confound their devices; that we, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore from all perils, to glorify thee, who art the only giver of all victory; through the merits of thy only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.”

And here is the second verse of the National Anthem:

”O Lord our God arise,

Scatter her enemies,

And make them fall:

Confound their politics,

Frustrate their knavish tricks,

On Thee our hopes we fix:

God save us all.”

I look forward to the day – not to be long delayed – when the pusillanimous, faithless, gutless C. of E. issues A form of prayer for a people who died of political correctness.

04 Jul

The sage Russell Brand

I can’t promise to do every day what I am about to do but, just for once, let me be the bringer of glad tidings. The philosopher, sage, seer and political genius and all round offensive loudmouth creep Russell Brand has declared he is off to Syria. I’m sorry I am not able to bring you the further good news that he won’t be coming back.

His Syrian expedition raises a serious question: can we afford to lose this man who works so hard to add to the nation’s merriment?

Brand alleges that the British government is using Islamic State, as an excuse to impose terror measure on the “domestic population.”

He adds: “The threat of IS is conceptual and abstract, unless you’re in Syria.” That sentence is inane even by Brand’s high standards of hyperbole. How about the thousands massacred by IS in Mosul, those slaughtered in the Kuwait mosque last week or the people murdered on the beach in Tunisia? Incidentally, Brand says the one minute silence for the British people killed in Tunisia was “bullshit.” 

He says the threat from IS is only conceptual but “the threat of David Cameron is real.”  

He says British attitudes towards Muslim youth are to blame for all the young men and women leaving the UK to join IS.

“What frame of mind would I have to be in to leave my house in f***ing East London and say, ‘Right, I’m going to the desert to kill some people?” 

Happily, I can answer that question. The state of mind that persuades young Muslim men to become murderers for IS is psychopathic fantasy – just as the corresponding state of mind in Muslim girls who go off to be sex slaves is wishful thinking. Wait until these lasses get there and see how they’re treated by their gallant “husbands”!

This is the Russell brand who said, “I like threesomes with two women, not because I’m a cynical sexual predator. Oh no! But because I’m a romantic. I’m looking for ‘The One.’ And I’ll find her more quickly if I audition two at a time.”

Why stop there Russ? Become a Muslim and you can have four.

Oh dear, if he goes to Syria we shall lose the spiritual teacher who said, “Say I feel all sad and self-indulgent, then get stung by a wasp, my misery feels quite abstract and I long just to be in spiritual pain once more – damn you tiny assassin, clad in yellow and black, how I crave my former innocence where melancholy was my only trial.”

He’s a student of human psychology as well: “The most insightful thing I ever heard, was overheard. I was waiting for a rail replacement bus in Hackney Wick. These two old women weren’t even talking to me – not because I’d offended them, I hadn’t, I’d been angelic at that bus stop, except for the eavesdropping. Rail replacement buses take an eternity, because they think they’re doing you a favour by covering for the absent train, you’ve no recourse. Eventually the bus appeared, on the distant horizon, and one of the women, with the relief and disbelief that often accompanies the arrival of public transport said, ‘Oh look, the bus is coming.’ The other woman – a wise woman, seemingly aware that her words and attitude were potent and poetic enough to form the final sentence in a stranger’s book – paused, then said, ‘The bus was always coming’.”

Let him go – this Brand is well past his sell-by date.

But before he goes off to kill or be killed – or both – let me quote his one saying which will be a true prophecy once he signs up to IS:

“Life is not a theme park, but if it is, the theme is death.”