Saturday, 30 January 2016

Cruelty, boldness, language, vice

I am afraid that woman appreciate cruelty, downright cruelty, more than anything else. They have wonderfully primitive instincts. We have emancipated them, but they remain slaves looking for their masters, all the same. They love being dominated. 
Lord Henry Wotton in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray

Every woman adores a Fascist.
Sylvia Plath

The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all. 
Ted Hughes

Learning another language is to acquire another soul. 

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
Thomas Jefferson

She'll still trudge on in tasteless Vice,
As if she sinn'd for Exercise.
Lord Rochester

A wave of Pitts

I am an 18th century Tory, with 19th century neo-Gothic crenellations.

The European ship is going down

I just heard the BBC World Service interview someone from the Danish institute for Human Rights who complained that the Danish government will require migrants to wait three years before they can bring wives and children into Denmark and fears other countries may copy this. He likened the Danes taking migrants' belongings as a contribution for their keep to the Nazis stripping Jews of theirs. There was no-one to put another side of the argument. I am afraid the hard things people like Rod Liddle say about the BBC are

Compassion and foreign policy

Compassion, especially Mrs. Cameron's compassion for Libyan rebels destroyed Libya. Mrs Merkel's compassion is helping to destroy Europe. I prefer foreign policy to be driven by national interest - it seems to do much less harm than compassion. I wonder if women are especially prone to thinking of foreign policy in terms of compassion and if this is an

Long live Cecil Rhodes

I am pleased Oriel College, Oxford will be keeping the statue of Cecil Rhodes.

Britain should take pride in her imperial past. The British Empire was a much greater and more benign one than the Roman empire. (And Rhodesia was much happier before black rule than now under Mugabe and a new name.)

The empire's achievements include Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, the USA and Canada, the colony that stayed at home to look after mother.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Lord Weidenfeld, a notable asylum seeker, on Muslim immigrants

Lord Weidenfeld the publisher is dead, another famous party-thrower whom I never met. I never was a social climber and this is something I regret. He was short, fat and ugly and hugely successful with women. I remember he is said to have told Barbara Amiel as a chat-up line

I am the Diaghilev of cunnilingus.
My source is probably Private Eye and certainly unreliable.

I am more of a fan of his (inactive) partner, the late Nigel Nicolson, who was a very good writer like his father, Sir Harold Nicolson. Weidenfeld achieved a lot, but the reason why I am blogging about him is because of an interview he gave on BBC Radio 4 in March last year. Among other things, he said that if things became hard for them as a result of anti-Semitism 

Jews could go to Israel but...the rest?

'I am what is not': Iraq's oldest monastery has been destroyed by ISIS

Iraq's oldest Christian monastery destroyed by Islamic State

says the BBC headline. The Mar Elia monastery has been razed by ISIS. The story is here.

Oh no, oh no, oh no. 

It would be a lie to deny that this moves me much more than the deaths of thousands. William Golding said that it was indefensible to care more for the survival of Salisbury Cathedral than that of a child, but wicked or not, of course I do.

Looking on the net, I see that the Mar Elia monastery was built in the late 6th century, renovated in the 17th century and was in ruins by the 20th century. Some parts of it though were clearly very ancient.

I was lucky enough, a few years ago, to visit an even older monastery in Iraq, the Mar

The silence of the feminists: the dog that didn't bark in the night

Feminists, I hope, will be reminded of Cologne every time they talk about rape for many years to come. I hope worse things do not happen for them to ignore.

The almost complete silence from feminists about the events in Cologne on New year's Eve 
has been deafening. Feminists talk about a non-existent Western rape culture but not about sex crimes committed by Muslims throughout Europe, which are now suddenly being openly discussed in the previously craven press. 

Click here for a Guardian article that does touch gingerly and laughably on the subject, no doubt written on the orders of the editor. (The writer muses about whether the affluence of young German women, evidenced by their mobile telephones, led to the assaults.) 

Yet when, during a recent television interview, a cricketer asked a woman journalist to

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Cologne changes everything

I am very pleased that migrants committed the Cologne mass sexual assaults this New Year's Eve and not in two or three years' time, when millions more refugees had been admitted to Europe. The same logic makes me grateful that Muslim fanatics murdered many innocent people in Paris in November, rather than waiting ten years. 

Cologne might be of lasting and huge significance to European history. Europe, or rather

Monday, 11 January 2016

Algiers is uncooked

I thought of several distant countries to visit at Christmas time when nothing happens for two or three weeks. In the end England seemed more appealing and a short-haul or medium haul trip to somewhere warm on Boxing Day. I was resigned to going somewhere unadventurous like Malta when suddenly I thought of and immediately decided on Algeria. Looking it up I found that not only was it pretty cheap to get to but, to my disgust, Her Majesty’s Government no longer advised her subjects not to visit. Only the great south, the Sahara, was to be avoided.

For countries to be interesting they must, of course, fulfil two criteria. Getting a visa should be difficult and/ or time consuming and, when you tell people you are going there, they should warn you that you might be killed. Algeria fulfilled both these two.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Beauty and money

It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But it is better to be good than to be ugly. 


Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness. 

Leo Tolstoy

Beauty always promises, but never gives anything. 

Simone Weil

Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked. 

Saint Augustine

When I was running about this town a very poor fellow, I was a great arguer for the advantages of poverty; but I was, at the same time, very sorry to be poor. Sir, all the arguments which are brought to represent poverty as no evil, shew it to be a great evil. You never find people labouring to convince you that you may live very happily upon a plentiful fortune. -- So you hear people talking how miserable a King must be; and yet they all wish to be in his place. 
Dr. Johnson.

Those who have some means think that the most important thing in the world is love. The poor know that it is money. Gerald Brenan