Saturday, 18 November 2017

Many things will die out with my generation

Many things will die out with my generation, which is to say people born in the 1960s. European ethnic states, Christendom, or at least the idea that Europe is Christian, cash, cheque books, land lines and telephone kiosks, much of the English countryside, high streets, masculine dominance. Free speech is already restricted, except in the USA and Eastern Europe. Mothers who cook each evening. Lard. Smoking, I hope. Newspapers made of paper. Privacy. 

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Kids are great, you can teach them to hate everything you hate

To quote Homer (Simpson)
"Kids are great. You can teach them to hate everything you hate."
This applies to parents but also to teachers and academics, to nationalistic late 19th century German teachers and left-wing modern British ones.

Romania is lucky that here teachers, like poets and priests, are conservatives, not as in England left-wing.

'We Romanians are individualists'

A Romanian friend of mine said to me 

'We Romanians are individualists but not in the way the Irish are individualists. The Irish are a race of geniuses - we just can't stand one another'. 

Good advice for life

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

J.R.R. Tolkien

When the jail sentence comes, it is best to face it with wintry realism, devoid of bitterness or self-pity. 

Jonathan Aitken

It's awf'lly bad luck

It's awf'lly bad luck on Diana 

Her ponies have swallowed their bits

 She fished down their throats with a spanner 

And frightened them all into fits.

Sir John Betjeman

'Awful', 'frightful' and 'terrible' used 
to be emphatic, or in other words as what grammarians call gradable adverbs, were slang invented by British upper class young people (I was going to write youth but that conjured up an image of inner city gangs) in the 1870s. I know this from Trollope's deservedly forgotten novel Is He Popenjoy? Now it seems those words are going out of fashion, along with 'rather' and 'fairly'. If this professor is right. 

He thinks this may be because they sound middle or upper class. I wonder why it's undesirable to sound middle or upper class.

Saul Bellow disliked Romanians using British words like 'frightful' and I even taught one anti-American Romanian friend to say 'frightfully' in order to annoy Americans. But 'frightfully' is very old fashioned and upper class. It went out a long time ago.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Gordon Brown's memoirs sound unpickupable

From Lord Mandelson's review of Gordon Brown's memoirs. 
Modernisation is too often caricatured as privatisation in this book, and fails to grasp that New Labour’s reform agenda was not in opposition to social justice, but the only way in a changing world to achieve it.
I agree with his lordship on this . This is what the people who think Mr Blair was not left-wing fail to understand. He was hugely successful at transforming Britain in a left wing direction because he presided over economic growth and won three landslide election victories. His two great mistakes, from a Labour point of view, were announcing that he

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Three quotations

You must eat life or it will eat you.  Proverb - but from which country?

I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. Albert Schweitzer

To the liberalism they profess, I prefer the liberties we enjoy; to the Rights of Man, the rights of Englishmen. Benjamin Disraeli

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Many happy returns of the day, Mihaelas, Mihais and Gabis

Image result for mihai gavril lemn icoana

Today is St. Michael and St. Gabriel's Day and people in Romania named after the two archangels receive calls from their friends. Saints' days function pretty much exactly like birthdays. 

King Michael of Romania celebrates his saint's day today. 'O good old man, how well in thee appears the constant service of the antique world.' Many happy returns of SS Michael and Gabriel's Day to His Majesty and all Mihaelas, Mihailas, Mihais, Gabriels and Gabrielas. 1.3 million Romanians out of about 20 million are named after the two archangels.

St Michael's and St Gabriel's day is traditionally the last warm day of the year but this year it doesn't feel warm. 

How nice to live in a country suffused with folk Christianity, where saints' days are universally celebrated, even by atheists. Romania is in many ways more civilised than England.

Shepherds bake a special kind cake today, named “turta arieților” (“the cake of the rams"), today rams are let loose among the sheep and one shepherd – usually the youngest – throws the cake high in the air. If it falls down face-up, many lambs will be born in the spring. If face down, the sheep will have few lambs.

Archangels and angels are not given very much attention these days by the devout in post-Protestant countries like England or America (one exception is this book by Dr. Martin Israel), but in late antiquity they were very much venerated and still are by Romanians, who understand that religion is about the supernatural.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Chaos theory and sexual harassment

Mr. Obama became president because a TV actor wanted sex with his wife outdoors. His own wife, not Mrs. Obama. John Rentoul examines in this article the butterfly effect and the British sexual harassment scandal.

Do not be deceived by Dame Judi Dench exposing herself to Kenneth Branagh and all the other odd disclosures. This witch hunt seems to be about sex but it's really about Theresa May's powerlessness and Brexit.

The British newspapers make no sense today

Press standards in England are abysmal. It seems the information stolen from Appleby, as far as I can see, reveals perfectly respectable tax avoidance not culpable and illegal tax evasion.The papers talk about the need for gun control in America after the latest massacre, but the killer was shot by a brave, armed bystander. There is no intelligent analysis of the Russia-Trump story or the sexual harassment allegations. The Telegraph is almost as bad as the left wing press.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Chancellor of Oxford: Safe spaces at universities are 'fundamentally offensive'

Another story about lack of free speech and Oxford University.

The Chancellor, Lord ('Chris') Patten, addressing the Oxford Union on Thursday afternoon said:

"I was in Hong Kong three or four weeks ago, talking to young men and women who face going to prison because they argue for free speech, and I come back to Britain and I find that people want universities to be full of safe spaces where you can't speak your mind.
"There is a huge difference between having an argument with someone and having a quarrel with them. It's one of the reasons that I find safe spaces at universities or no-platforming so fundamentally offensive.
"It's nothing to do with my view of what university should be like. University should be regarded as liberal, with liberal values of free speech."

The left is the enemy of free speech in China, England and Europe.

But the left includes supposed conservatives like Angela Merkel, who is anxious to prevent free speech on Facebook and Twitter. There are many English equivalents of Mrs. Merkel.

I was shouted down for 40 minutes at Oxford University

Pro-choice students screamed to prevent anti-abortion speakers being heard

Another depressing story. A small meeting of people opposed to abortion in a room at St. John's College, Oxford was in effect prevented from taking place by left-wing yahoos.

Universities should delight in hearing and debating every point of view including fascist and communist ones.

Instead views that were pretty universally held fifty or sixty years ago are shouted down or banned.

Gentle reader, you know all this. What is to be done?

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Why I side with the Spanish government

Various readers have taken issue with my congratulating the Spanish government for its manliness in dealing with the illegal Catalan referendum and half hearted attempt to secede.

After General Franco's long drawn out death King Juan Carlos (why do we not call him John Charles in English?) brokered a settlement whereby the Civil War divisions were put aside. Since the Islamist bombings catapulted Zapatero's socialists to power the left has sought to reopen the settlement and achieve the goals of the Republicans at the expense of Catholic Spain. 

The Brexit referendum did not lead to hate crimes or to murder

This story might interest Romanian and East European readers who have been led to believe that the outcome of the Brexit referendum was the product of anti-East European racism.

As the Daily Mail showed a year ago, there was no rise in "hate crimes" in Great Britain after the Brexit referendum. None at all. Nor was the killing of a Pole, shortly after the referendum, in Harlow, Essex a hate crime. 

Shockingly the verdict in the manslaughter trial did not receive much coverage, very unlike the killing itself. 

Friday, 3 November 2017


Men can only be highly civilised while other men, inevitably less civilised, are there to guard and feed them. George Orwell

Good wood, bad wood - the same smoke but not the same flames. Nicolae Iorga

What we are heading towards is some awful world where everyone is expected to be completely asexual. This is actually inhumane. Laura Perrins

Thursday, 2 November 2017

People who have sex change operations can end up 'badly damaged'

Transgender people can end up 'badly damaged' says Lord Robert Winston

Speaking on Today on Radio 4, he said that 

"Results are horrendous in such a big proportion of cases"


"What I've been seeing in a fertility clinic are the long-term results of often very unhappy people who now feel quite badly damaged."

What Lord Winston is reported as saying about sex change operations is very shocking indeed, except it's not because it is not a surprise. It's shocking too that the Telegraph doesn't know how to refer to peers, but this very much pales in comparison to the horrible consequences of botched or misconceived sex change operations.