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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.