Mrs Proudie
Meditation and Reflection

Demands for polygamy in Italy? It is only a matter of time…

 

Goodness! As my dear friend, Lady Bracknell might have said, “To have one wife, Mr. Worthing, is a blessing: to have two is a crime!”

Dr. Vesey Stanhope, writing from his pensione on Lake Como, reports that a certain demographic in Italy is demanding that polygamy be legalised. It is only a matter of time – and I predict days – before the same cry is heard in our green and pleasant land. No wonder Mustafa Fatwah has been sporting a lascivious look of late. Indeed, if one subscribes to the logic of diversity and all must have prizes, why not? I am sure Mrs. Sharia May-Dominate, our new Prime Minister, will smile favourably on the proposal when it comes, as she believes this sort of thing confers many benefits. Well, it certainly does, in the form of child allowance, housing allowance and other blessings from the public purse. I look to the day when democracy means the interests of the majority determine public policy – not the whirligig merry-go-round of pressure-group pandering and political virtue signalling that passes for politics these days.

His Grace wrote an interesting piece this week about the Burkha, whether it should be banned from public places or not. To ban is not the British way, but then of course in the dim and distant past we had sumptuary laws forbidding specific groups to wear certain fabrics: a peasant could not wear cloth of gold for example (not that he could afford it in the first place, mind). Perhaps the way to nobble this wayward notion is for everyone in the country – every man, woman and child – to start wearing a Burkha. Not only would this be equitable and democratic, it would foil every surveillance camera in the land.

Signora Neroni, though housebound herself, keeps up with several correspondents around the world and is well-informed about current affairs. It is always worth visiting her afternoon salon to gather snippets of interest. For example, the other day I heard it whispered that Lord Fondlebum of Boy, a Labour grandee of high distinction (which speaks volumes about the others) has been involved in what can only be described as ‘Black Mischief’ with a certain Mr. Mugabe, Africa’s answer to Joseph Stalin (with added embalming fluid). Having been somewhat lavish in spending other people’s money (mainly on himself), the President-for-life is desperately in need of cash, which is where his lordship steps in, brokering a deal to ‘save’ the Zimbabwe economy. I wonder who sent him to Harare (or Salisbury as I call it) and what is in it for him? Surely the poor peer is still not paying off the loans that enabled him to buy his luxury home in London? Signora Neroni, no stranger to a Brazilian, understands from a source close to his lordship that he is also lobbying the prime minister on Hinckley Point on behalf of the Chinese, saying our position with China was ‘invidious’. One suspects he’s familiar with many invidious positions. Such a busy bee, and so flexible too. Must be the snake-oil pomade.

I must say I take pride in our well-ordered household. The Palace looks spick and span… or at least it did until our tweenies got wind of the TUC report on discrimination in the workplace. They are now working to rule, claiming that tuppence halfpenny a week is not a living wage. Mr. Slope, temporarily back from Rio after Daley ministrations, has been issued with a pinafore and feather duster and the old gentlemen from Hiram’s Hospital tasked with beating the carpets. You should see them all whacking their Wiltons in unison – magnificent.

Mr. Harding is proposing to enter our Cathedral Choir in ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and asked me to attend evensong yesterday evening to help choose the repertoire, along with other Barchester worthies. Mr. Brace, our dentist, favoured ‘Crown him with many crowns’; Ebenezer Cutts, the tailor on the High Street, wanted ‘Holy, Holy,Holy’, and Josiah Hodd, the master builder, plumped for ‘The Church’s One Foundation’. In the end, Mr. Harding preferred my suggestion, ‘Pass It On’, which is what I endeavour to do each week in this column. Until next time then, my dear friends, adieu.

  • David

    Thank you Mrs Proudie for yet another excellent and amusing round-up of the weeks events.
    As I always take the advice of this column very seriously I have already ordered my all encompassing burka; mine will be in a tasteful hue of purple (Ukip) up to waist level, topped with whatever the approved church diary advises as the correct liturgical church colours for that season. Full 360 degrees vision, all without compromising the total privacy, will be ensured by a high tech band of one way cloth at eye level, which for the warmer months will also act as sun shades through the addition of an inner plane polarising layer. Cooling will be provided by a network of small pipes running through a lightweight gillet, all driven by a tiny refrigerating unit in a discreet backpack, as used by the Formula 1 drivers for their more arduous races.
    Having taken care of the creature comforts more practical matters will not be forgotten; an small tool bar cunningly hung off an inner fold, will contain, as a basic minimum, my Swiss multitool device, two NASA standard Mole Grips and a basic set of Metric and AF spanners to overcome any mechanical problems that I could possibly encounter. Pride of place will of course be given to my ever ready Travellers Psalter and Handy Hymn Book. The total extra weight will be negligible as only the finest state of the art lightweight materials will be used. Total harmony will be achieved. I’ll get to work on the design of this “suit” asap. The first step will be to alert my tailor – he’ll relish the challenge !

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      A Burkha for all seasons…I think you will cut quite a dash!

      • David

        Well thank you Mrs Proudie.
        God’s blessings on you.

    • Eustace

      Excellent idea! All right-thinking conservative Christians should consider doing the same. The superficial resemblance between refrigeration units and home-made explosive devices should be enough to ensure the immediate imprisonment without trial under anti-terrorist laws of all burqa-wearers leading to the utter collapse of the Christian right. The loony liberals will then just fade away harmlessly.

      Secularism will have achieved its goal of eradicating superstition from our midst and we won’t have to lift a finger to do it!

      • David

        Most imaginative !

  • Ivan M

    The dastardly Linus had assured us that nothing of this sort was on the cards when homosexual marriages were approved by various Satanic Parliaments. Mustapha Fatwah can claim Mosaic sanction for polygamy. The Eustace bugger must be happy now.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Yes, there are always assurances first and mission creep second. Actually, Mission Creep is the nickname we give to the pastor of the Barchester Seventh Day Adventist Chapel…naughty I know.

      • Ivan M

        Mr Mission Creep would at worst turn out conscientious objectors, Fatwah has every chance to turn out more soldiers for Allah with multiple wombs at his disposal. Thank God for European style secularism.

      • IanCad

        You need to have a good chat over a cup of tea with Pastor Mission Creep. He will likely prove a mine of information, good sense, kindliness and charity. An altogether splendid chap.

    • Eustace

      As usual with you people, 1+1 equals a great deal more than 2.

      The Proudie woman writes as if Italian parliamentarians had already caved into Muslim demands for the legalisation of polygamy. They have not and nor will they.

      Muslims or any other group can demand whatever they like. But the definition of marriage will only be altered if the proposed measure enjoys widespread public support. Polygamy does not. Not in Italy, not in the UK, not anywhere in the Western world. Therefore polygamy will not be legalized.

      Of course I realize this doesn’t play into your Chicken Little act and that it might cramp your style somewhat as you rush about squawking about how the sky is falling. But sooner or later you’ll have to admit that it isn’t. So you might as well save yourselves the effort and concentrate instead on how to tolerate what you hate, which you have little choice but to do considering you don’t have the power to change it.

      • The Explorer

        There are lots of serial relationships these days. All that’s needed is a slight tweaking to make them simultaneous.

        If Berlesconi were still running things, polygamy would probably be on the statute books already.

        “But the definition of marriage will only be altered if the proposed measure enjoys widespread public support.” Or will it be decided by the decisions of the elites, regardless of what the public thinks. (Given that, according to the elites, the public is incapable of thought.)

        • Eustace

          Ah yes, the elites. I’d forgotten you knew.

          I haven’t been on the subspace microwave transmission system back to the Lizard Planet for a while now, so I’m a little out of the loop. But last time I looked at the Master Plan, most of you were slated for termination and incorporation into the protein supply well before the introduction of compulsory global polygamy.

          So relax. You’re fretting about something you’ll never see. We only want global Islamification to ensure our food supply (polygamy, you see…) and once you’ve been reduced to a paste and spread on my breakfast Kep-mok bloodtick toast, all your problems will be over.

          • The Explorer

            How could a superior individual such as you forget about the elites? You’re part of them.

          • Eustace

            No, all that had slipped my mind for a brief moment was the conspiracy theory paranoia that makes you believe dark forces are plotting against you.

      • CliveM

        “The Proudie woman writes as if Italian parliamentarians had already caved into Muslim demands for the legalisation of polygamy. They have not and nor will they”.

        How can we doubt someone with such a strong track record in forecasting the future and outcomes.

        Btw have you finished your move following the Brexit result?

  • IanCad

    Consistency please Mrs. P.
    Whilst commending you for referring to the capital city by its original name, and thereby honouring Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, the Third Marquess of Salisbury; It would be fitting to offer due respect to Cecil Rhodes, by calling the subject country by the more traditional and fitting name – Rhodesia.

    • Ivan M

      Old man Ian Smith was living a frugal life as a tribal elder in his spartan bungalow, while Mugabe, the Marxist was living the high life. All these African leaders excepting some like Nyerere were and are useless clowns.

    • Anton

      Southern Rhodesia, in fact.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Curses! You are right!

      • IrishNeanderthal

        Most excellent Mrs Proudie,

        With regard to certain countries along the Cape to Cairo railway, may I let Mr Chesterton give you his perspective on the matter, in an essay of his entitled

        The Sultan,

        referring to Mr Rhodes himself.

        • IanCad

          Thanks for the link, Paddy of the Short Legs. Some great reading for the weekend.
          Having quoted him several times on this blog, I’d better be prepared for some of my most cherished views to be amended.

      • Uncle Brian

        IanCad’s comment prompted me to look up Cecil Rhodes on Wikipedia, and I found this:

        His father was a Church of England clergyman who was proud of never having preached a sermon longer than 10 minutes.

        I wonder what my Lord the Bishop would have to say about that achievement.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Rhodes

        • Dominic Stockford

          This [ex] Lord Bishop thinks that to be very sad.

          • Uncle Brian

            What would you recommend as an absolute minimum, Dominic? Half an hour?

          • Dominic Stockford

            I would say minimum 25 minutes – though when a congregation isn’t used to a decent amount of Biblical exposition you do have to be careful.

  • The Explorer

    The Bible says marriage should be between one man and one woman. Modern wisdom says it may also be between two women or two men.

    But what is the mystical significance of two? Once the one-man/one-woman mould is broken, why not expand in other directions? Why not one man and two women, or three men and one woman, or as many permutations of polyamory as are made feasible by the number of bedrooms in a house?

    What is the argument against more than two? Tradition? But tradition is based on the Bible, and the authority of the Bible was discarded in framing same-sex- marriage.

    If the pragmatic argument is given that, whatever may work in extended-family Polynesian society, in close-knit, overpopulated urban Europe the most efficient model is two parents of complementary sexes then that may be the reason for the Biblical mandate in the first place. Things are not right for us because God commands them; God commands them because they are right.

    • Ivan M

      We will not get a modern. and until recently a Western type of society without monogamy. With monogamy a man is prepared to sacrifice for his society, since his progeny can benefit from his sacrifices. What good is it to him, to sacrifice his life for his polygamous landlord or king, if he has no chance at leaving progeny? The Muslims have a solution for this problem as always: turn the fellows without mates onto outsiders, steal females from other tribes instead. Islamic life in this sense, is a perfected Darwinian mechanism for reproductive success. All the other stuff from the Muslims is just special pleading.

      • The Explorer

        Of every hundred children, 53 are male. That compensates for the higher male death rate and produces rough parity between the sexes. Pairing thus seems the preferred natural arrangement.

        Where there are distortions to that – as in Chinese one-child policies, or four wives for favoured males – there’s trouble.

        • Ivan M

          Male celibacy is taken care of too with 53-47.

          • IanCad

            Six of us never get laid? I’m not talking about what usually transpires after the first few months of marriage.

          • Ivan M

            Historically anywhere up to fifty percent or more of males had no chance of getting laid. I have reason to believe that the percentage is much higher following my own possibly biased observations. For example if you’ve seen one Filipino male, chances are you that you would see able to see tens more that could pass as his brothers in the course of a day.

          • Uncle Brian

            That might depend on where you’re coming from. I remember a news item in the Evening Standard, around 1960, about a fight in a Chinese restaurant somewhere in London. There was an identity parade and one of the witnesses, a Chinese waiter, was asked to pick out the man who had started the fight. Impossible, he said, because “you Europeans all look alike.”

          • Ivan M
          • sarky

            Apologies. Think I may have taken more than my fair share.

    • bluedog

      This communicant is convinced that the origins of the different ethos between Judeo-Christian societies and Muslim society derives from the profound agricultural distinction between a static farming society with property rights (us), and a highly mobile herding society dependant on seasonal grazing opportunities in what are essentially commons (them). The ideal work unit in a static farming society is the male-female pair in which each party has what might be described as anatomically designated roles. In the herding society the business of raising children is best left to a secure camp where the mothers and offspring are protected from various threats. The men form what are in effect war-bands of light cavalry directed to mustering and other aspects of working grazing animals like camels, goats and sheep in semi-arid expanses. In this societal model it is much easier for the war-band leader to translate his power into the role of sultan and thus secure exclusive access to the most desirable breeding females. In doing this, the human society replicates the social hierarchy found in flocks and herds of grazing animals where there is invariably a dominant sire.

      • The Explorer

        Very interesting point. So what happens to the values of the herding society when it becomes a static society with property rights? (As with Muslims in Europe, or Arabs in cities derived from oil wealthl.) Does it adapt; or does it try to retain its old way of doing things?

        • bluedog

          Its values are enshrined in a codex proscribed by a deity whose word is perfect and cannot be changed. The disconnect between the evolved society and its ancestral traditions leads to great dissatisfaction.

  • Jon Sorensen

    Polygamy is coming? Great! Finally we will have a real biblical and Quran approved marriage system. Hopefully we also get polyamory so women get equal rights.

    • @ Jon Sorensen—Polygamy is coming? Great!

      ‘In cultures that permit men to take multiple wives, the intra-sexual competition that occurs causes greater levels of crime, violence, poverty and gender inequality than in societies that institutionalize and practice monogamous marriage.’—UBC

      • The Explorer

        Look what happened with the Turkish sultans strangling their rivals for the throne.

        • Ivan M

          Being one of a late Turkish sultan’s many sons must be one of the worst fates reserved for man. All of his life he is pampered and fed much as a prize Blandings pig, till that fateful day when his father dies, upon which he his hunted and killed like a wild animal. And its no use claiming fraternal bonds with the next Sultan either, as the kin-selection theorists would advise.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Maybe there is a downside just like with gambling, alcohol, smoking and religion. But personal freedom is more important.

        • carl jacobs

          But personal freedom is more important.

          The Creed of Modern Man. Responsibility? Obligation? Screw that sh*t! Personal freedom is more important. Life is all about me.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Reality does not support your claim. When Christianity was in charge minorities were not looked after. Modern Man has set up health care, unemployment benefits, support for refugees etc. During Christian domination Life is all about me, but no longer.

        • The Explorer

          The main downside is the cost of it all. It’s expensive enough running two houses or two cars. Just imagine the expense of running two women!

          • Jon Sorensen

            Why not if you like it and can afford it…

          • The Explorer

            A rich man can be challenged by even one hard-spending woman. Two women in competition with one another…

          • Jon Sorensen

            So? If they are adults and are OK with it.. why not…

          • The Explorer

            Bankruptcy.

          • chefofsinners

            Ask your wife why not.

          • Jon Sorensen

            She is OK with it. So do you now support polygamy?

          • chefofsinners

            I’d support it if I was married to you.

          • Very Churchillian.

        • preacher

          You mean like several Mothers in law ?.

      • Ivan M

        A source of murderous competition is removed when monogamy is enforced. Otherwise we would just be as in the animal kingdom where the alpha ape monopolises all the females, with the luckless ones forming bands of marauders, as we can see now in certain sub-cultures.

    • The Explorer

      Polyamory is on the way. Great, isn’t it? Men will finally be able to have as many wives or husbands, or both, as they can handle.

    • David Harkness

      Jon, why do say polygamy is biblically approved?

      • Jon Sorensen

        God’s favorite people like Abraham and Salomon were in polygamy. Their polygamy was God’s plan.

        • Ivan M

          A big timer, Moses, lived a monogamous life.

          • Jon Sorensen

            or at least he didn’t officially write about his affairs….

          • Ivan M

            It may have something to do with him, having been brought up by an Egyptian princess.

        • Politically__Incorrect

          “Their polygamy was God’s plan.”

          Not so. These things, and others in the Bible, happened but not because of Gods plan. Solomon’s harem was a failed experiment in multi-culturalism and ultimately lead to the splitting of the kingdom of Israel. Solomon tried to please his wives by allowing them to bring their cultures and religions, which were incompatible with that of Israel, into the country. It’s a familiar story really.

          • David Harkness

            Sorry p I , I just repeated what you wrote, should have read further down the blog before pitting hand to keyboard.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I guess your view is that the Bible is wrong and things sometimes don’t go according to God’s plan. Strange view you have….

        • David Harkness

          Nope, God’s plan was monogamy, man instituted polygamy, and I can think of no single example where good was the result.

          • Jon Sorensen

            You are confusing a plan and a result. My Bible says all things go according to God’s plan. I guess you have have different holy book.

          • Divine Providence is not the same thing as God being the author of evil.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Side stepping like a pro… nicely ignoring my point.

          • You made no real point. Normally, Jack would ignore your comments but he is feeling a tad bored.
            God permits man to choose evil and to go against His will. He does not force us to comply. For a variety of reasons, God allowed polygamy in ancient Israel. This does not signify His approval. Jesus was very clear about God’s intentions for marriage.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “God allowed polygamy in ancient Israel. This does not signify His approval” is assertion without evidence so I just dismiss it.

            “Jesus was very clear about God’s intentions for marriage.”
            He said OT laws apply. He did not abolish those so Jesus and God agree that polygamy is OK

        • chefofsinners

          Yes, because we all know that God created Adam and Eves.

          • Jon Sorensen

            God created Adam, Lilith and Eve, but you are reading the modern politically correct version.

          • Even in that very dubious account Lilith is cast out for fooling around with an archangel and refusing to obey Adam. Eve is sent in as a replacement.

          • Jon Sorensen

            So Lilith story is more dubious than Eve story. LOL logic…

      • The Explorer

        Jon doesn’t recognise the New Covenant. What’s in the Old Testament still holds.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Mrs P, I have heard rumours that the story from Italy is not quite correct. They actually want to legalise PolyGrip.

    Polygamy, on the other hand, has been going on in this country for a long time. Many Muslim men have several wives; they simply have no marriage certificate for them. I knew one such chap, Mustafa Harem, who had four wives. One for childbearing, one for cooking, one for cleaning, and one to reload the AK47.

  • Poly Gamy is innocent.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Not if she lives in Cardiff

      • Jack thought that it was sheep who were at risk of losing their innocence in Wales.

    • chefofsinners

      Pope Innocent was guilty.

      • Uncle Brian

        Pope Hilarius was no joke.

        • It’s said, Pope Hyginus maintained a clean and sanitary Vatican.

      • Which one? There were 13, not counting the anti-pope Lando Di Sezze.

  • David

    I recommend the work by Unwin in the ’30s who studied the effects of different ways of handling sexual energies by a wide range of very different cultures, over history. His firm conclusion was that great civilisations can only be constructed upon monogamy. Sexual incontinence also produces adverse effects, was his conclusion.

    Monogamy by ensuring that each male and female has a fair chance of mating, being married, gaining a stake in the society, and an honoured place for the offspring, stability, energy and loyalty to the upper orders and the whole society is procured. Unwed males, without access to sexual partners, can be a very dangerous species of social animal. Bigamous societies, by excluding the poorer, perhaps less able men from the company of a loyal mate, produce an underclass of bitter, disloyal and shiftless males. Competition for females produces violence or kidnappings. The multiple wives of a wealthy male don’t trust one another, whilst the numerous offspring of a rich man are often untrusting, treacherous and highly competitive regarding their siblings, especially vis a vis the eventual inheritances. It creates an unfair and divided society. The serial monogamy of western societies is far from good but polygamy is even worse.
    Polyandry is so infrequent, found mainly as a device to depress birthrates in very poor countries – like Tibet of old where two brothers on a tiny farm might share a wife, that I don’t think that there is much danger of it gaining a wide appeal.

    • Eustace

      Was this the same Unwin who co-authored and wrote an introduction to an article published in 1939 and entitled “Dark Rapture: The Sex-Life of the African Negro”?

      Anthropological beliefs on theories first published in the Fascist era should perhaps be left there. Modern scholarship tends to take another view.

      • chefofsinners

        When exactly did this Fascist era begin and end?

        • Eustace

          In Christian circles it still carries on. Unsurprising when you consider how you people love to live in the past.

          • bluedog

            Mother Nature is a fascist.

          • Eustace

            Nature has no politics. It does what it does unconsciously without any kind of intent. Calling it “fascist” is therefore nonsensical.

          • Ivan M

            Fascism is a self-defence mechanism of any society that wants to survive. It takes on different characteristics according to local circumstances according to Franco.

          • The Explorer

            When a stone falls from a height we say that it is obeying the law of Nature. That does not mean the stone is consciously thinking it must watch out for speed cameras on its way down.

            It’s fair to say that Nature in its modus operandi is more like fascism than it is like, say, social justice theory.

          • Eustace

            Stones obey no laws. Obedience requires the ability to comprehend and act on an order. But stones are not conscious. Obedience is beyond them.

            A stone falls not because it is obeying a law, but rather because the structure of the universe includes a set of fundamental forces that interact with matter to produce consistent results.

            Drop a stone and the interaction between the matter of which it is made and the fundamental force we know as gravity will cause it to fall. There is nothing fascist about such a result. It’s an unconscious and purely mechanical process as far removed from human ideas of politics as it’s possible to be.

            Gravity is not a dictator barking an order to a brainwashed acolyte of a stone, who makes a conscious decision to fall out of obedience to his master’s will. Some Christians may believe the universe works this way and therefore conclude that nature and God are fascists. But as such a conclusion would be based on pre-determined and unsupported dogma rather than impartial observation, it would therefore be entirely without merit.

            The natural world is not governed along fascist principles. It is not governed at all. It merely is. No parallels can be drawn between human systems of government and natural phenomena. “Mother Nature” is no more a fascist than she is a communist or a democrat. Any attempt to annnex “her” is just religious or political propaganda

          • bluedog

            ‘No parallels can be drawn between human systems of government and natural phenomena.’ Questionable. Similar in principle to the certainty that the Sun revolves around the Earth, or indeed, oneself.

          • Inspector General

            The natural world is what? The natural world obeys the laws of physics, among others, as our creator makes sure, here, right now. Otherwise stones will be flying all over the place, or not at all…

          • The Explorer

            Linus thinks the Universe is run by giant lizards. Humour him.

          • Inspector General

            The Inspector believes that Linus, Eustace, is influenced by a spirit anus who guides his every thought and move…

          • Andre´Kristian

            (Presence confirmed 😉

          • Inspector General

            Good day to you, Andre. That tiresome rotter goes charging around with the kind of intensity of devotion to said spirit that rather frightens an Inspector who never leaves his front door without sniffing the air first…

          • The Explorer

            “No parallels can be drawn between human systems of government and natural phenomena.”

            Mind you, Social Darwinism tried to do exactly that. Not Nature obeying politics, but politics obeying Nature.

          • Eustace

            False theories abound on every side.

            As thinking beings, humans have the capacity to make choices rather than merely respond to external stimuli. This is why political outcomes cannot be predicted with certainty.

          • chefofsinners

            The authoritarian and intolerant elements of fascism are traceable throughout history and might even be detected at a second order in post modernism’s certainty that it is impossible to be certain about anything.

      • Anton

        Same Unwin, but that book first appeared three years after Unwin died. Presumably they got permission from his estate to republish the part of his worldwide survey that pertained to Africa.

      • Inspector General

        You mean the modem PC era takes another view, of course, when opinion must be moderated or some queer fascist like you will complain…

      • The Explorer

        The politics of the scientist who discovered the properties of, say, vulcanised rubber were presumably irrelevant to his discoveries. What he found out would remain true whether he were a liberal or a fascist.

        With discoveries in the social sciences, the politics of the discoverer are more significant, and may have a bearing on the nature of the discovery. But presumably true observations can still be made regardless of the position on the political scale?

        • Eustace

          Social sciences deal in theories rather than discoveries. Many anthropologists start with a set of pre-determined socio-political beliefs and set out to “prove” them right. Only data that confirms the original hypothesis is collected. Anything else is discarded, denied or just plain ignored.

          This was especially true in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. The dominant philosophies of those eras were absolutist and admitted of no contradiction. Evidence that didn’t support them was disposed of so that only approved conclusions could be reached.

          That’s not science. It’s agenda-based pseudo-science. This is the category into which we must place the theories of men like Unwin, which is why they appeal to Christians. Anything that leads to the pre-determined outcome you have decided must be the truth is held up as a “discovery” no matter how much evidence exists to debunk it.

          • Ivan M

            Pre-determined outcome is your term for any conclusion that you find disagreeable. For example if a survey of Muslims is taken now on polygamy, they would agree that since homosexuals can marry, there is no earthly reason to object to polygamy. This counts as a pre-determined outcome in your mind world.

          • The Explorer

            Yes, good points. The question of whether anything in the social sciences can ever be more than a theory is an interesting one.

            Unwin’s methods, as you describe them, apply equally to Margaret Mead: who had great appeal for hedonists, although not for Christians. She knew exactly what she was going to find in Samoa before she even got there.

      • The Explorer

        Do the contents offend you (I don’t know the book at all), or simply the title?

        Had it been simply ‘The Sex-Life of the African Negro’ would that have been acceptable? A reasonable-enough topic for investigation, presumably: on a par with Kinsey’s ‘Sexual Behavior in the Human Male’. (The problem with Kinsey being how he acquired his data.)

    • Anton

      Yes. Unwin’s is a remarkable survey. He was secular and had a strange Freudian theory of his observations, but he was smart enough to keep this separate from the empirical data he uncovered, ie that every society which conforms to biblical sexual morality thrives (whether or not they’ve heard of the Bible), and every society which goes promiscuous crumbles.

  • Inspector General

    My dear Mrs Proudie. Nothing edifies the Inspector more than happy memories of white civilisation in Africa. A beacon of hope, it was, for God’s abandoned people in the dark continent. One recalls the joyfulness of the natives then, jumping up and down with gratitude for being part of the British Empire, and the marvellous half melon smiles off them. But alas, benign rule by their betters was not enough, and now they govern themselves. Although in Rhodesia, Mr Mugabe has relieved them of that burden and does the job for them. Whether they want him to or not. The only jumping up and down now is in rage, and it’s difficult to smile on a half empty belly.

    The Inspector feels we really ought to do something to cheer up the now wretched therein, so perhaps Barchester could get together and send them over old photographs of the time, to remind them of what they had and subsequently lost. And of course, some of your beads for the children…and as a possible replacement currency for the Zimbabwean dollar, trading at Z$1,000,000 to the bead…

    • Ivan M

      Mugabe made them billionaires. Can you do the same imperialist?

      • The Explorer

        In the time it’s taken to type that sentence you could be worth another million. Who else could do that? Mugabe presided over the fastest-declining economy in the world.

        • Inspector General

          Do you know, the are some people who said the African left to his own devices couldn’t achieve anything. That place in the records book just shows them how wrong they were…

          • Richard Harrold

            To be fair, places like Ghana show that the Africans can govern themselves perfectly effectively.

          • Inspector General

            Oh, go on then, name another…

          • Richard Harrold

            Cote d’Ivoire is doing pretty well these days, since Laurent Gbagbo was finally forced to leave office. Despite corruption and the Islamist insurgency, Nigeria is increasingly prosperous, and north-west Africa is pretty stable. Tunisia has settled down since the Arab Spring, and has largely avoided becoming embroiled in the ISIS war which has overrun neighbouring Libya, although unemployment remains worryingly high. Botswana and Namibia are doing OK, as is Gabon…

        • Politically__Incorrect

          I understand it pays not to spend too long in a shop in Zimbabwe because of the inflation rate. The few moments spent pondering over the potato means you’ll need another wheelbarrow full of Zimbabwean dollars to buy your loaf of bread.

      • Inspector General

        That’s a lot of beads…

      • Anton

        QE is working on it…

    • The Explorer

      When Mugabe thought a particular area might vote against him, he had the area bulldozed. No address, no vote.

      Still, I suppose it’s a notch up on having people vote against you and simply ignoring the result.

      • Inspector General

        Such resourcefulness!

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Ah yes, the Empire. Such splendour, such panache…a time when the British Army defended the missionaries’ position.

      • Inspector General

        {CHOKE!}

  • chefofsinners

    I have advised Lord Fondlebum to be circumspect when making ‘friends’ in Rhodesia. Robber Mugabe has made it a criminal offence for two people of the same gender to hold hands, kiss or hug, saying these ‘immoral and repulsive acts’ ‘degrade human dignity’. He would know.
    I thought the noble Lord should don a burkha and take the title Ladyman Delson. I suggested this, but to no aveil.
    I also told him that the Chinese would not mind, since they are inscrutable anyway. ‘Inscrotable? Not them as well…’ he sighed.

    However I am pleased to report that I have solved the problem of how to identify veiled women. Each one will have a unique pattern of black lines tattooed on her forearm, called a burkode.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Goodness!

  • David

    Nothing to do with narcism though is it ? He asks quizzically.
    Probably more about attention seeking or just taking the rise out of marriage per se, I’d guess.

  • bluedog

    An interesting idea but probably best left to Siamese twins.

  • Richard Harrold

    As far as I am concerned, consenting sexual relationships are a private matter in which neither Church nor State has any right to interfere.