I see that the philosopher Roger Scruton has died.
I never met him, and rather disapproved of some —by no means all— of his views (as seen in the newspapers, mainly) and activities (e.g. foxhunting), but he was an important figure in his own field and in terms of socio-political life.
He was, arguably, better known in Central Europe than in the UK. I recall seeing a whole window full of his works, in Czech translation, in a Prague bookshop. That was in 1999, 11 years after I first saw the city (in 1988 it was still under socialist rule).
“Scruton published a rueful article in the Spectator magazine, lamenting the Maoist climate of intolerance sweeping through our institutions. ‘We in Britain are entering a dangerous social condition in which the direct expression of opinions that conflict — or merely seem to conflict — with a narrow set of orthodoxies is instantly punished by a band of self-appointed vigilantes,’ he wrote.” [Daily Mail].
Naturally, those who supported his work in trying to bring greater freedom to the former socialist countries East of the “Iron Curtain” are out in force. Here is a tweet by the Jewish historian, Anne Applebaum:
Sadly, her support for freedom in socialist Central and Eastern Europe in the 1970s and 1980s was not reflected in her behaviour in blocking me on Twitter a few years ago. I had never tweeted to her, as far as I can recall, so I assume that I was blocked for purely political reasons. Not very “freedom-loving”…Her works about Stalinism are interesting (and a very important resource), though. I myself own a copy of her book, GULAG: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag:_A_History
Scruton was at one time friendly with a couple of people I knew in South London. That would have been in the 1970s. He would visit on his bicycle (an Oxbridge affectation which must have been hazardous in South London even then); he was at that time sometimes at Goldsmiths’ College in New Cross and may have taught there on occasion, though his main base was Birkbeck College (University of London) in Bloomsbury.
Scruton apparently enjoyed talking philosophy with the people I knew, but he ditched them and cut off contact after one of them was reported upon by the trash press as being “far right”. He was afraid that the connection might damage his career, which was just starting to take off at the time.
Curious to read that, in 1974-76, when he was 30-32, Scruton read for the Bar, at the Inns of Court School of Law (which I myself attended in 1987-88). He was Called in 1978, at age 34, though he never practised. I wonder why he bothered to become a barrister; because the Bar was a —small-c— “conservative” profession? Maybe because being even nominally a barrister was putting two-fingers up to his modest origins in High Wycombe, and to the father who stopped speaking to him after he won a place at Cambridge? Was that also one reason why he took up foxhunting?
Scruton was certainly interested in money, setting up private companies etc. Again, perhaps a result of financial insecurity in his earlier life.
A mixed picture. Not unflawed, but a substantial figure.
Labour and the Jews
“Charles James, author of a report which has been seen by The Daily Telegraph entitled “General Election Part Two: Why didn’t we win?”, wrote: “Many of us believe that the row about anti-Semitism has been stoked by the government of Israel and its helpers in the UK.”” [Daily Telegraph]
The country that hates trees
Sometimes it seems to me that English people hate trees. In fact, most do not, but every now and then you see newspaper reports of disputes about them, such as one seen a couple of years ago, where most of the people living in a street of surpassing ugliness somewhere in the North East wanted the only tree in the street chopped down. It was not even very tall or wild. Similarly, the neighbour-disputes about trees. In most cases, the trees are not in any way “dangerous” (an idee fixe in England— in, say, Germany, trees often grow close to houses, as indeed is the case in, say, Russia).
I attribute part of the blame to the “Thatcher’s children” types, the kind of pleb-Cons who, especially in certain kinds of neighbourhood, spend much time on “Do It Yourself” repairs and “improvements”, when not washing and valeting their prized cars. God forbid that their little gardens (probably tarmacked or gravelled in front and laid to lawn in back, with statutory tiny and pointless “water feature” as recommended by some TV “landscape” guru) should have hedges or trees that might even, at times, look slightly “untidy”.
Times such as this week, when high winds are expected, tend to bring out the anti-tree idiots, afraid that trees that have stood for decades or even centuries will be uprooted.
I think that it was Chekhov who wrote that “for some people, a tree is sacred”. Amen.
Cruelty to animals
I saw this: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/cruel-brothers-starved-horses-death-21268360 and it reminded me that the law is far too lenient in dealing with cruelty to animals.
The defendants in this case are “travellers” of some sort. I have little time for Priti Patel, but if she can screw down on such horrible riff-raff I shall applaud her.
So Clive Lewis is out of the race before it even started. I cannot think why…(well, maybe I can…). Various factors.
Lewis, like Obama, is supposedly “black” by self-description, despite being, in reality, “mixed-race”, or in the language of the people, “a half-caste”:
I cannot imagine what degree of narcissism and low self-awareness Clive Lewis must have, to even imagine that he might be a suitable Labour leader and potential Prime Minister. Incredible.
À la recherche du temps perdu
I happened to see on a map the tiny street off the Rue de Rivoli where I stayed in a small hotel with my first wife in, I think, 1990: la Rue des Mauvais Garcons (Street of Bad Boys). No doubt my harsher critics will think that an apt street for me!
I see that the Hotel Rivoli, decent but very basic, is only £95 equivalent per night even now, despite its good and central location (our room had a balcony and overlooked the Rue de Rivoli; it was one of the corner rooms shown in the photo below). I think that they charged £18 or so in the money of 30 years ago.
Harry and the Royal Mulatta— latest
“TORMENTED Prince Harry has been left “heartbroken” after cutting ties with the royals – but Meghan Markle has warned: “It’s not working for me” [The Sun “newspaper”].
The Mulatta has the Southern Californian self-centredness. Actually, the Queen has only one thing in common with MM beyond basic biology— she prefers her dogs to her offspring!
Look at this!
Good grief! Hard to believe. Harry is to the Royal Mulatta what “Johnny” was to Fanny Cradock!
“Cradock…mixed furious disdain with extreme tenderness towards her on- and off-screen partner, Johnnie, who became her third husband. Johnnie…was the TV ‘stooge’ who stood behind the chef, obeying her instructions and drinking wine while she cooked on her shows.” [The Guardian]
A typical tweet about that video, similar to many many other tweets:
This Guardian piece is worth reading:
A first for my blog: a hit from Antarctica! Someone in a frozen scientific research base? A penguin? Descendants of fugitives from the Reich, brought to Antarctica by submarine in 1945 and now living in a secret centre hundreds of feet below the surface?
Another French “blast from the past”
Les Rivieres Pourpres, a good film but one which would have been far better had half of the director’s cut not ended up being binned.
Looking at the 5 runners in the race, one can only shake one’s head. I cannot see many voters (let alone floating or swing voters) being impressed.
TV ads and soaps as propaganda
Looks like someone needs to read my blog!
An opinion poll released this evening shows that Labour’s likely share of the popular vote has declined 4 points even since the General Election. Not exactly a shock.
Labour should have stood up to the Jewish/Zionists (the “Israel lobby”) and hit back hard on issues such as the way British people are tricked, bamboozled and exploited. Never give the lobby an inch. Oh, and stop shedding fake tears over the hugely overblown “holocaust” farrago. Apart from anything else, the Second World War (in which about 80 million died, about a tenth of whom were German) ended 75 years ago!
The opinion poll indicates that 16% of voters do not favour any System party.