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37 Comments on Letters to the editor

  1. Dear Sir,
    Just finished reading Roger Watson in the autumn edition, on Scottish politics. Nothing to disagree with, but even he falls for some traditional misconceptions, eg, that the Jacobite rebellion was a Scotland/ England fight.
    The rebellion was a dynastic civil war, with a dash of religion thrown in; in their move into England, the Jacobites hoped to gain the support of English sympathisers.
    Culloden was not, ‘a colossal defeat by the English’. It was won by British Government forces, and although figures vary, perhaps one third comprised of lowland Scots Protestants.
    William Ballantine
    North Britain

  2. Dear Myles.

    This is the second time that I’ve had a ‘404’ page not found’ notice. The latest is to your posting ‘How labour and Whitehall will kill Brexit by a thousand cuts’.

    Is some dark force screening my access?

  3. Well, that’s the consultation stage of the Law Commission review of the proposed inclusion of ‘Trans’ people in the list of ‘protected’ categories. I wrote in protest, not against Trans’s nor anyone else, but against the principle underlying the legislation, and have been assured, in delightfully friendly terms, that my email response will be ‘analysed’.

    It seems that we are now to have a ‘review’ of the Human Rights legislation – not before time of course but will it really deal with this piece of Newspeak?

    NB – for anyone recently arrived from outer space, human rights are what we used to have before the lawyers and the bureaucrats and liberal fatheads found a way to make money out of the notion.

  4. Today, I received my copy of Kevin Hickson’s book ‘Britain’s Conservative Right since 1945: traditional toryism in a cold climate’. It is quite an expensive book and, although I don’t buy books by the square inch, I was surprised at the modest size and very modest publication quality. The page paper is nice quality but the covers are rather cheap. I wasn’t expecting a gold-leaf embossed leather-bound tome but something a little more pleasing than paper-covered binding with no dust jacket and it’s ironic that a book on traditional British conservatism should have been printed in Holland. I trust that the content will not disappoint.

  5. Many of the books I have in my modest library come from reading the book reviews in The Salisbury Review and the latest, which I received a couple of days ago, is Christopher Booker’s book: Group Think. I am a great admirer of Christopher Booker after reading his and Richard North’s book on the genesis and progression from a pan-European idea to the now E.U. – ‘The Great Deception’. However, my admiration for him has been severely tarnished on reading page 24 in ‘Group Think’ where he describes Enoch Powell as ‘a racist’ who was elected in 1964 as a Conservative M.P. Anyone who has read Simon Heffer’s excellent biography on Enoch Powell will learn that Powell was palpably not a racist and was elected as a Conservative M.P. in 1950 and remained a Conservative M.P. until 1974. Booker goes on to describe the part in Powell’s 1968 speech in which he quotes Virgil – ‘Like the Roman, I seem to see the river Tiber foaming with much blood’ – as ‘black immigration causing rivers of blood’ which is the damning misquote used by the popular press to destroy the essence of Powell’s speech and capitalised on by Edward Heath to eliminate a rival. I feel that the reviewer, John Jolliffe, has let me down by not mentioning this very poorly described reference by Booker to a crucial episode in the social change in Britain that his book sets out to explain so much so that I have no desire to continue reading the book.

  6. I am a ‘graduate’ of Common Purpose from 1996. I had a three day introductory session then 12 hours a month with other middle and senior managers from the public, private and voluntary sectors. I described it, at the time, as Anti-English Lessons. I recognise now that it was intended to be cultural-Marxist indoctrination. It is dangerous, subversive and should be closed down.

  7. How interesting to see the film ‘Dr Zhivago’ being re-broadcast by BBC. Alas, it was on channel BBC4, so unlikely to catch the attention of younger audiences who learned nothing about the horrors of Communism from lessons at school. If this was an attempt to prove that they’re not a bunch of latter-day-liberal-loonies, I guess they’d better try harder.

  8. Everyone who reads this should send it immediately to their MPs and copy to Downing Street. Demand your MP brings this up in Parliament and don’t take NO for an answer. ~Be a damned nuisance and keep rattling their cages !

  9. From: Douglas Carson
    Subject: To the Editor
    Date: 21 July 2020 at 20:43:52 BST
    To: info@salisburyreview.co.uk


    In the Summer 2020 edition, Mark Griffith (Common Purpose: Marxism’s Freemasons) attempts to make a case that Common Purpose has somehow managed to infiltrate and possibly even subvert the British establishment. However Mr Griffith provides no evidence to support his claim.

    The best he can offer is that David Cameron is a ‘graduate’ of Common Purpose, whatever that may mean. The former Prime Minister, as Mr Griffith points out, gave us a Brexit referendum which he expected to win. However, the referendum delivered the wrong result from Cameron’s point of view and he promptly resigned. Hardly a triumph then, for Common Purpose or the larger Marxist conspiracy.

    Mr Griffith then cites the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police as his other example of a Common Purpose infiltrator but, alas, she is only an ‘alleged’ graduate. Alleged by whom exactly, and on what evidence? Mr Griffith does not tell us but instead he asks could ‘Common Purpose be connected to her [Ms Dick’s] success?’ Answer comes there none.

    Mr Griffith then tells us about the founder of Common Purpose, Julia Middleton. Ms Middleton is clearly a bad hat because she not only edited Marxism Today in the 1980s but she also, heaven forfend, wrote a book about Quality Circles. I was a professional engineer in the late 1980s when Quality Circles were in vogue and I can assure your readers that they were about improving the quality and efficiency of manufacturing processes. They were most emphatically not about infiltrating the upper echelons of the state. Perhaps Mr Griffiths is confusing his Quality Circles with his Marxist cells.

    Mr Griffith asks us to consider who it is who still co-ordinates the daily slurs and attacks on the ‘straw-haired duo, Boris and Trump’. Again, he doesn’t answer his own question directly but tells us that Gina Miller and George Soros show no signs of giving up: an implicit accusation. He informs us that the correct pronunciation of Mr Soros’s name is ‘Shorosh’, though how that is germane to his argument is not clear. Mr Griffith hastens to reassure us that he personally does not see Mr Soros as an ‘evil genius or puppeteer’. In which case why mention him at all? Nor is any connection established or even suggested between Ms Miller, Mr Soros and Common Purpose.

    Mr Griffith reminisces about the Leninists he knew in the 1980s and acknowledges that their influence has hugely diminished. Meanwhile the real leftists have benefited from adroit opportunism and the use of business networks. Of course this is unsporting of the leftists and no one could possibly accuse the straw-haired duo of similar tactics, could they?

    Finally, Mr Griffith concludes that Common Purpose, now elevated by him to the status of a movement, has strongly penetrated the senior ranks of British police forces, apparently on the basis that one senior police officer is ‘allegedly’ a ‘graduate’. Worse, they have taken over the entire establishment. As he admits earlier in his piece, such accusations are as old as freemasonry and are very hard to prove.

    It is regrettable that Mr Griffith makes no attempt to prove his accusations. Instead he relies on innuendo, unsupported allegations and irrelevancies. Readers of the Salisbury Review deserve better.

    Douglas Carson

  10. Plus ce change plus c’est la meme chose.

    A reminder from a 1960 comment “What is wrong here” by Peter Simple in ‘The Stretchford Chronicles’.

    “Aid for the Underdeveloped Countries” is one of the great rallying calls of today. This idea is a soothing, often anaesthetic balm for the agonised guilt of liberal consciences. It is also a heady intoxicant for technologists eager to get on with the work of transforming the world.

    Ancient civilisation and primitive tribes alike, they infer, must be industrialised as quickly as possible, for “industrialisation”, it is said, “the the sole hope of the poor”.

    The same liberal people will maintain that colonialism is a curse and must be abolished. Yet if what they say about urgent need for industrialisation is true (and it is a much as one’s life is worth to question it), then the underdeveloped countries may be doing themselves a great disservice by getting rid of their western rulers. The investors and developers of scientific techniques, forming coherent and at least potentially efficient governments, are hastily expelled by nationalist agitation, only to return in reply to anguished appeals next day in a confused, wasteful and often impotent form as officials of the United Nations, and rival fighters in the cold war (note – now china?) or both at once.

    If, as we are continually told, the industrialisation of the underdeveloped countries is absolutely all that matters, then this seems a remarkably circuitous way of going about it. The underdeveloped countries might have done better to stay colonial.

  11. Catching up on my reading, and only just finished England my England, by Alistair Miller ( Winter edition ).
    One point, when he says he never met Scots who consider themselves British. Scotland is now like Ulster, in that the constitution is the big dividing line. In a very split society, one group is now more British than the British.( in a patriotic sense ).
    He is obviously an English nationalist; I abhor nationalism whether Scottish or English, and am with Einstein in calling nationalism an infantile disease!

  12. Sir,
    Andrew continues to defile the SR – last 3 posts, calling someone a moron, the next one bastards, now painfully lumpen abuse directed towards the Irish . I take your point about not falling into his trap but he clearly derives confidence from the fact that his potty-mouthed intrusions go unchallenged. Has the the SR unwittingly become his Care In The Community provider?

  13. Just a thought. Has anybody seen the relationship between Cov (whatever) and the Orson Welles broadcast (can’t remember the date) about the Martian Invasion. Lots of panic about nothing!!

    • It was 1938 and they now say a lot of people thought it was a German attack being announced, not paying full attention, and rattled by reports of subs and warships off shore. Not so mad perhaps?
      I hope you’re right about CV. At the moment you have only Bolsonara in your corner and he makes Mr T, for all his manifest qualities, look like a vicar’s daughter (if vicar’s daughters are still like they were when I was a swain).

  14. Dear John Stevens

    Thank you for your comments. You will see at the end of the article that I express my gratitude to the Christian Brothers for not only my education but for the tens of thousands of other boys all over the world who benefited similar. The idea that the magazine should only publish articles with the ‘correct’ alignment, in case the enemy should benefit, is not my idea of press freedom. If Marx rose from the grave and wrote me a decently written article, I would put it on the front page.


    Myles Harris

    You might be interested in a book about the Christian Brothers, not immediately to hand (next week perhaps) which describes their sacrifice in bringing literacy to millworkers in the late 19th century.

    • Myles, I thought your gratitude was satirical. My only knowledge of the CBs comes from novels by William Trevor and he didn’t like them.

      • What did the Protestant William Trevor know about the Christian Brothers?
        They were a fine body of men, now unjustly maligned by atheistic materialists.

  15. Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2020 10:46:50 +0000
    To: Salisbury Review
    Subject: Spring 2020, A Lesson in Metaphysics, Myles Harris

    Holding no brief either for or against the Roman Catholic Church or the Christian Brothers, I read Myles Harris’s article with some interest.

    The burden of the first few paragraphs, that Catholic schools taught Catholic doctrine, is hardly news. The attentive reader will however glean that Dr Harris also learned Physics and Shakespeare, the kind of subjects I learned in my (non-denominational) state Grammar School. He was presumably taught them well enough to go on to A Levels, University and a professional career and should perhaps have some gratitude for this at least.

    The nub of the matter is that Dr Harris was inattentive in class and was punished for it. So would I have been. Lines at my school were the most common reward for inattentiveness but the stick was regularly used for more serious misdemeanours. The masters of the lower school were many of them ex-army officers who could I am sure have given “the monk” a run for his money. It may be a cliché, but I don’t think it did me any harm.

    The punishment in Dr Harris’s case seems to have been meted out with undue zeal and severity but we are told nothing of the history of the matter; it would in particular be interesting to know whether Dr Harris had been a model pupil up to the time he started doodling in his exercise book that morning. It would not be surprising if “the monk” was sexually frustrated and he was clearly a heavy smoker; so were millions at the time. I can see nothing to warrant dubbing him a “madman”.

    The biggest objection to Dr Harris’s article, however, is one that I hope he as editor will take to heart. It appeared in a journal which prides itself on antagonising the liberal-left and (to quote your new masthead) holding “absolutely the wrong opinion on everything”. This article, by contrast, if you excise one or two non-PC remarks about Irishmen, could have appeared word for word in the Guardian or the Independent. It is not for this that we subscribe to the SR.

    John Stevens

  16. Dear Sir,
    John Beveridge must not be allowed to get away with repeating the canard that all Labour governments end in economic failure. Things in general were in a poor shape when Ramsey MacDonald’s minority government lost power in 1924, the postwar boom having petered out under the previous administration (the Zinoviev letter did not help, either), but it would be hard to say that things got materially better under the Conservative administration which took over.
    The financial crisis of 1931 which saw off Ramsay MacDonald for the second time was partly the result of the Wall Street crash (nobody ever accused President Hoover of being a socialist), partly the result of the UK’s return to the gold standard, the work of Chancellor of the Exchequer Winston Churchill (likewise). We might note in passing that the incoming government soon abandoned the gold standard.
    In 1951, unemployment was vanishingly low and living standards were rising. The Labour party polled almost a quarter of a million votes more than the Conservatives and their National Liberal allies combined; won the most votes that Labour has ever won; and won the most votes of any political party in any election in British political history, a record not surpassed until the Conservative Party ‘s victory in 1992 . In spite of that, they lost – blame first-past-the-post, not financial incompetence.
    In 1969, the last full year of Harold Wilson’s first administration, the UK had a current account surplus for the first time in many years. This was achieved against a background of full employment and a continuing rise in living standards. Nevertheless, Edward Heath won the election for the Conservatives in 1970. It did not take long for Anthony Barber to unleash the infamous boom which takes his name, a mess to which Wilson would return.
    To be fair, the election of 1979 will always be remembered for uncollected rubbish in the street and dead bodies unburied. While Denis Healy had, with the help of the IMF, restored the UK’s finances to sanity, irresponsible union power had grown in the Seventies: a nettle which no Labour government could afford to grasp.
    The election of 2010 was held not long after the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. For all his faults, Gordon Brown can hardly be blamed for that. Indeed, he attracted international praise for his swift and decisive reaction to the event which haunts us to this day.
    Mr. Beveridge’s main point is the rise and rise of what may be called Political Correctness or cultural Marxism, which the left has eagerly embraced, much to the bewilderment of its former base. To be honest, I much preferred them when they were more concerned with the economic welfare of the masses than with the “appropriate” use of pronouns.
    Yours faithfully,
    Joseph B. Fox

  17. Brian Ridley on Science.
    Hoyle was right to mock the Big bang theory surely. Is it not a physical fact that something cannot be created out of nothing? So what was there before the alleged Bang? And what is the expending universe expanding into?
    Seems to me the only possibly universe is one that has always existed and always will and that is neither expanding not contracting being all that exists. Surely it’s more likely that observations made by astronomers or physicists that say different are illusionary than that something was created from nothing and is expanding into nothing?

  18. Surgical Harm.
    To think that so many agencies scoured South America for Dr Mengele when he was in a London clinic all along.

  19. It’s a pity Roger Scruton has left us.
    but his memory lives on.
    Without his liberation of hearts and minds of Czech Capital, Czech population might still be downtrodden by popular misconceptions.

  20. Dear Sir
    The death of Roger Scruton was a real stomach-gutting shock. A unique, truly great Englishman. There was a small – yet significant – coincidence in our political trajectories, his justifiably major and mine comparatively minuscule: we got an early stimulus from finding Oswald Spengler’s magnum opus in our respective grammar school libraries. What a sad way to go! What a loss for his family – and our civilization!
    David Ashton

  21. Dear Sir,

    The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced their intention to retire from royal duties; or, as our more proletarian newsheets put it, “Harry and Meg to quite the firm.” And by “the firm,” they mean, of course, the royal family. But the conceot of the royal family is only a spurious modern contrivance.

    In this country the political reality is that we have an heredity Monarch who should receive our homage and be afforded due sustenance and protection. Appropriate care should be taken of her heir and a decent courtesy extended to her Consort.

    The so-called royal family is merely that ancillary group of aristocrats – or hangers-on, depending on the scope of one’s vocabulary – who receive gratuitous funding by the taxpayer to enable them to fulfil their “royal duties”: that is to allow their names to appear on the letterheads of various charitable quangos.

    Yours faithfully,

    Rev’d Dr Peter Mullen

  22. Dr Berenice Langdon’s piece on cannabis in the NHS is excellent and informative. Far from being a ‘soft’ drug and miracle medicine, cannabis is a prime factor in countless cases of mental illness, suicide and psychopathic violence. Its alleged ‘medicinal’ properties are quite clearly being used as a red herring to soften attitudes to the pleasure drug. I am pleased that sensible people like Dr Langdon have urged patience (‘We should not rush in to prescribe cannabis simply because other countries have done’) until we have all the necessary information, particularly regarding cannabidoil (CBD), which is claimed as a miracle cure for all sorts of ailments, including cancer.

    The billionaire Big Dope lobby, which has now infected our political and media classes, couldn’t care less about the tiny number of severely ill children who may or may not benefit from CBD. The real money is in the pleasure drug, which they came close to legalising last year through now-departed Liberal Democrat shill Sir Norman Lamb. They will, though, come again. If we can rubbish their ‘medicinal’ propaganda once and for all they may yet be defeated, and scuttle off back to the Brave New World of North America.

  23. How Woke was Jesus? Priestley writes about ‘biblical’ Christians when he really means Fundamentalist Christians – those who believe everything in the Bible to be the absolute word of God (despite numerous contradictions.) They ignore the sections on slavery (seen to be a good thing AT THE TIME), what you can or cannot eat, (which we now ignore), the position of women in society…etc. etc. He states that ‘faithful biblical Christians are not rejecting them (transgendered and homosexual people) but only those of their activities which are manifestly unchristian.’ Really? Are they? Has they even bothered to read the word of Jesus as in the Gospels? ‘the Christian faith has a very definite content which is set out plainly for us in the words of scripture.’ Clearly it’s not that obvious, otherwise we wouldn’t be having the arguments between the misguided fundamentalists and the modernists who wish to see sensible interpretation of the scripture in the light of 2020. How can Priestly write ‘trans-gendering cannot possibly be included in any form of Christianity … for it is against both Scripture and Reason.’ Alas, Mr Priestley, they are against neither. If you continue to think so, tell me what you think a good price would be for my daughter when I sell her into slavery? (Exodus 21 7,) exactly how should I kill my neighbour who works on the Sabboth? (Exodus 35, 2) is touching the skin of a dead pig still likely to make me unclean? (Lev 11, 6-8) And many, many more examples. Perhaps such an article is an attempt to justify a deep rooted hatred of the LGBT community? I expect better in such a serious journal. Peter Atkins

    • Peter. Slavery (like the status of women) is a baffling issue in the ancient world and it is possible that our image of slavery from the US South distorts the old reality. It might have amounted in some cases to something akin to C19th employment in mills and mines. One of Pompeii’s best homes was owned by former slaves and others prospered: what we now have as public-service professionals – medics and teachers – were often slaves. Your quotes are from the OT not the NT which is silent on slavery.

      On the trans business – while one can accept that there might be aberrant psycho-biologies which some will say are best treated as illnesses, others not, the bullying that is taking place is another matter. The Human Rights ideology is weak here: how are the rights of a man-to-woman balanced against the rights of a born-woman in female sports and spaces? We need recourse to notions of justice and charity (in St Paul’s sense 1 Cor 13). The trans ideologues take it for granted that their interests trump all others and no politician dares challenge them. A cynic might say that those men/women who compete in female sports show, by their arrogance, that they are still men all right.

      • How do these people know that they feel like women. I am a woman and I can’t begin to describe how it feels since I have nothing to which I can compare it. Perhaps they are just constipated.

    The ancients thought about this of course. Eos who had a thing for Tithonus asked Zeus to give him eternal life which, being a goddess, she had herself. The request was granted but all too literally and omitting to include eternal youth. Odysseus was offered eternal life by either Circe or Calypso (I forget which) if he stayed with her but he opted to return to Penelope. Now wasn’t that nice of him?

  25. Christmas at Foulacre Hall.
    Don’t want to make y’all enviously green, but I’m new to Peter Simple. I was laughing fit to choke when my eye caught sight of newspaper headline (‘British ISIS captives to be handed over to Assad’) and I nearly died.

  26. Sage prophet.

    I’m reading a compilation (The Stretchford Chronicles) of Peter Simple comments in the Daily Telegraph from 1955 – 1980 which are both bitingly funny and remarkably prescient and I felt compelled to quote this from 1972 titled ”Threshold of Hell’.

    ————- THRESHOLD OF HELL ———–

    “The lowering of the grievance threshold is a feature of our society”, says the Observer on the existing laws against “racial discrimination”, the attempt, so far foiled, to bring in a law against “sexual discrimination and the proposal – even more preposterous, if possible – for a law against “age discrimination”.

    “the lowering of the grievance threshold” – translated into English, what does this painful jargon mean? It means that ours is a society in which envy, spite, discontent and petty-mindedness are growing daily, and are being encouraged to grow daily by every means open to publicists and politicians.

    The normal, unselfishness relation of one human being with another human being, whether of different race, sex or age, is being systematically distorted and perverted. In the name of an unattainable equality, the individual man, woman and even child is being turned into a member of a category, a militant group moved not by human love but by inhuman malice and hatred.

    What would our society be like if this process reached its ultimate though fortunately unattainable conclusion, in which every single person saw himself as a victim of discrimination by some other person? What will our society be like if this process continues, as at present, unabated and unopposed?’

    ——————- O —————–

    Well, after nearly a half-century, we can see the result of this trend today.

  27. Dear Sir

    What to do with the daily deluge of LibDem leaflets and personally-addressed letters from Madam Jo Swinson? It seems deflating or desultory to simply toss them in the bin. These are artefacts of a party that offends the Trades Description Act, with the brazen cheek of seeking my vote when it plans to cancel the biggest mandate in British political history.

    I’m in a LibDem seat that voted decisively to leave the EU. Current MP Tom Brake has clung on for six elections, mainly due to tactical voting and UKIP thwarting the Tory challenge. But I sense that constituents have had enough. Those fake handwritten letters from Swinson, in the style of a 13-year-old ‘girly swot’ inspired by Greta Thunberg, are too manipulative for any lucid adult. Tom and Jo refer to Brexit as a ‘national embarrassment’. They are ‘winning here’, according to the few placards, but perhaps the postal votes will tell them otherwise – they do like a sneak preview, these extremists masquerading as nice moderates.

    With over a fortnight to wait for election night, can I do anything more satisfying with these desperate deliveries? I am your obedient servant, etc.

    Niall McCrae