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“As the disintegrating raft that was once the titanic Labour Party hits the iceberg of humiliation and oblivion..”

Goodness! There’s so much to get one’s teeth into this week that I have taken them out of the glass of water by my bed and actually put them in! So where to begin?

Ah yes, how about the Feast of the Holy Cucumber of St. Legaswide, which Barchester celebrates every year?  According to legend, St. Legaswide was the Abbess of a little priory in Tillitt, Herts., which, during the dreadful turbulent times of Stephen and Matilda, found itself besieged by a band of swarthy villains (or indeed, villeins) intent on ravishing the nuns. Armed only with a cucumber, St. Legaswide managed to swipe each and every one as they came in through her rere dorter, thus raising the alarm and enabling the sisters to defend themselves with kitchen implements and other produce. From then on, the cucumber was much venerated by the good nuns and brought out on many occasions, providing comfort and solace before matins no doubt. Centuries later, we still find a place for the Holy Cucumber in our hearts, if nowhere else, for we too are in danger of being ravished by a new set of swarthy villains. Thus it is that Barchester has been in the vanguard of vegetable commemoration long before the Asparagus of Worcester, and mercifully without the dressing up in costume.

Speaking of swarthy villains, there have been dark and ominous doings in the Seraglio – the Sublime Porte is not as sublime as it was, now that Sultan Erdogan has got his enabling law and war has been declared on the Kurds. Turkish he may be – a delight he is not.

As my dear friends and readers know, the Duke of Omnium keeps well-abreast of the whisperings of Whitehall, easy enough when half the permanent secretaries are related to His Grace one way or another.  He told the duchess – and she told me – that Mrs Dismay’s general election is a rather spiffing wheeze to prevent legal action being taken against thirty-or-so Tory MPs under investigation for election fraud. All this guff about ‘strengthening her hand’ is a mere distraction – remember, she learnt all there is to know about smoke and mirrors from Cast Iron Dave, who in turn learned the dark arts from the Creature Blair. One cannot help thinking that if the fragrant Theresa is the best hope we have of securing Brexit, then we are well and truly stuffed.

The Jupiter reported Sir Keir Stormtrooper’s gargled explanation of what Comrade Corbynski would do if he were in charge of negotiations with the Eurinal. We can thank the Good Lord he is not, but I have to confess I didn’t understand a word of Sir Keir’s convolutions. Luckily the Archdeacon was on hand to clarify matters.

“I’ll tell you what it boils down to, dear lady,” he said with a self-satisfied smirk, “Flapdoodle and nonsense! Corbynski’s lot simply haven’t a clue, but never fear, the writing is on the wall for them. Mrs. Dismay’s snap election should see the blighters routed once and for all, reduced to the size of a jumble sale tea-tent committee on short rations. Clothed in the garb of Britannia, the Prime Minister will brandish her trident, and Corbynski’s rump will run for cover. With so few of them they could easily shelter beneath the Abottopotomus’s overhang.”

This left me with two images I’d rather not have. It also left me none the wiser.

How do you solve a problem like Shariah? Well, according to Mr Slope, fresh from an ecumenical lederhosen-mit-schuhplattler symposium in Bad Habitzburg-am-Driblingen, Austrian President van der Bellend wants all Austrian women to wear the burkha. Perhaps his suggestion comes after the announcement that Saudi Arabia now has a seat on the Women’s Rights Committee at the League of Nations (or whatever it calls itself), despite it being a sandfly-ridden, oil-rich version of Mordor without the humour. One wonders what King Jan Sobieski, the saviour of Europe back in 1683, would think of this half-witted Bolshevik replacement for the Habsburgs? Lord save us from the Bellends of this world, we pray.

The Archdeacon says you never see a Bellend and a Corbynski in the same room together.

I beg to differ.

The Easter celebrations at Barchester were, as ever, most seemly. Mr. Harding composed two new anthems for the choir, and Easter Sunday Communion was well-attended. We were all somewhat disappointed when Her Majesty declined to favour Barchester Cathedral for the traditional Maundy Thursday ceremonies, but gratified that she sent one of her distant relations in her place. The former Grand Duchess of Saxe-Merkelburg-Multikultistein arrived at the West Door to be greeted by my Lord the Bishop and Dean Trefoil, with Archdeacon Grantly to one side pulling the latter’s strings. She did not strike me as an imposing royal – she had a rather dumpy figure brought on by excessive apfelstrudeling and an unimpressive pudding-basin hairdo (suppose it fits snuggly under the pickelhaube). Worst of all was the black bloomers or ‘trouser suit’, allowing a freedom of movement akin to the sack full of struggling kittens scooped up by our gardener prior to drowning. I was seated in the pew next to her, which enabled a brief exchange of pleasantries before Mr Slope pumped up his organ.

“We are honoured to receive you here in Barchester, Your Grand Ducal Highness..,” I began.

She turned to me with a pasty smile.

“Please, in Germany ve no longer acknowledge former titles; you vill please to call me Merki, yes?”

The pfennig dropped – I thought she looked familiar.

At which point Mr. Slope belted out the opening bars of Handel’s ‘See, the Conquering Hero Comes’.

I shall spare you the rest of the details, other than to say the Grand Duchess refused to wash the feet of the old gentlemen from Hiram’s Hospital on the grounds that they were not Syrian refugees.

And she pocketed the Maundy coins ‘…as part-payment’, whatever that meant.

So my dears, it seems I have prattled on for far too long. As the disintegrating raft that was once the titanic Labour Party hits the iceberg of humiliation and oblivion, it’s time to say adieu for this week.

  • michaelkx

    “titanic Labour Party hits the iceberg of humiliation and oblivion” I do hope you are right dear Lady. Or dear Lady we will be like the Cucumber, well and truly stuffed.

    • Manfarang

      I think you will find it more the SS Great Eastern and it is not going to be beached for some time yet.

  • CliveM

    I miss read the first line and thought it said “As the disintegrating rat”

    Anyway I feel either way works!

  • Manfarang

    Swarthy villains indeed.
    Holy basil has long been celebrated in India, the leaves are an essential part in the worship of Vishnu and his avatars, including Krishna and Ram, and other male Vaishnava deities such as Hanuman, Balarama, Garuda and many others. Many Hindus have the plants growing in front of or near their home, often in special pots. Traditionally, it is planted in the centre of the central courtyard of Hindu houses. It is also frequently grown next to Hanuman temples, especially in Varanasi.It is regarded in Ayurveda as a kind of “elixir of life” and believed to promote longevity which is why I eat phat kaphrao jae.

  • Clothed in the garb of Britannia, the Prime Minister will brandish her trident

    For 70 years now the Conservatives have portrayed themselves as a patriotic party while carrying out, in conjunction with Labour, an immigration policy which will make the British a minority and replace Christianity with Islam.

    What depth of hatred does it take to betray a nation and what depth of gullibility does it take to vote for one’s own betrayal?

    • Manfarang

      All those Muslim Poles eh?

      • IrishNeanderthal

        As you present yourself as an expert on the East, could you please tell us what you think of this article?

        Enough Said | Martin Kramer on the Middle East

        (Also recommended to all followers of this blog.)

        • Manfarang

          I don’t consider myself a Middle East expert I do however react to what are common stereotypes that a lot of westerners seem to have. This is based on the fact that I have studied about the Middle East and have lived in the Middle East and are aware of the distinctive culture of that region. However one may feel it is a mistake to say one culture is superior over another. They are different.
          The Middle East studies I did were from a most definite anti-western perspective but forty years ago I feel there was some merit in such an approach. Maybe more balanced views are emerging in that academic field now.
          Post WW2 American Middle East policies have been a catalogue of failure. Whether lasting peace and stability can be established there remains to be seen.

          • Inspector General

            Cultures, dear Manfarang, are like anything else on this earth. Good, bad or indifferent. Ergo, some are superior to others.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Absolutely.

          • Inspector General

            One recalls a film from his youth, “A Man called Horse” where Keith Harris, or possibly Richard, playing a white man living with Red Indians, had to be suspended by his nipples to prove himself worthy. That’s culture for you…

          • Pubcrawler

            A fine film. Sure it wan’t Rolf?

          • He wobbled his didgeridoo inappropriately – “diddle-iddle-iddle-um”.

          • Manfarang

            Today the American Marines have hazing.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Ah yes. Vespucci-landers also learn and develop that in college/university. Well, at least they blame the Greeks for it, and not us.

          • Manfarang

            Absolute rot. This is exactly what Said was complaining about.

          • Anton

            Untrue. He was complaining that Islamic culture got a raw deal in the West. He might have paused to wonder why so many Muslims were (and are) so keen to come here.

          • Manfarang

            Said was complaining about what he perceived as western bias by the Orientalists.

          • Anton

            Of course some cultures are superior to others. That point needs to be separated out from a debate about which.

          • Surely the real point is that certain cultures are incompatible.

          • Anton

            I genuinely don’t know what you mean. There is always one prevailing culture in any place.

          • One prevailing culture? Jack doesn’t think so. Most societies are made of a variety of sub-cultures who integrate into a whole and share something in common. However, there are some cultures that cannot live together peacefully because their values are opposed.

          • Anton

            Yes, they integrate into a whole and that is the dominant culture.

            War should be seen as the norm between cultures, not the exception. We are fallen.

          • Dominant culture? That tends to be those wielding power, wealth and influence. Cultures are always fluid.

            “War should be seen as the norm between cultures …”

            Most – if not all – wars are driven by competing economic interests and a desire for dominance, not differences in culture.

          • bluedog

            Does this argument survive scrutiny in the context of the nexus between religion and culture?

          • Jack would say so. Religion tends to be misused for perverse purposes. Can you think of many example where war, civil or between nations, has been fought for purely religious reasons without other interests?

          • bluedog

            Thirty Years war? Islamic expansionism from 632 AD?

          • Anton

            Say rather that envy and plunder allied with tribalism are behind many wars.

            Of course cultures are fairly fluid; that is why there is almost always one prevailing one at any time and place even as people shift.

          • Linus

            True. Catholics and Protestants have proven this time after time. From Saint-Barthélemy to the latest Irish paramilitary outrage, Christians have shown us they cannot live peacefully together because their values are opposed.

            Of course Crappy Jack will tell us this is because they’re not real Christians. And Muslims will tell us that the terrorists who explode bombs in the name of Allah are not real Muslims.

            What a load of old bollocks. They all believe in their cardboard cutout of a god. They may hallucinate his will to be loving and peaceful when it suits them, but poke them with the right stick and all of them are capable of becoming tools of his divine retribution.

            There’s no difference between an ISIS terrorist and a meek old Christian granny who “wouldn’t hurt a fly”. She’d pull the wings and legs off any insect and be absolutely convinced of the righteousness of her actions if it violated her particular holy shibboleths.

            All Christians are potential crusaders who’d be willing to slaughter and pillage if their subconscious told them it was god’s will. As such they’re dangerous. This is why they’ve been pushed to the fringes of society.

            The homophobic member for the Isle of Wight knows what happens when others feel threatened by his religious condemnations. He’s retiring at the next election after his abusive remarks to a young lesbian resulted in his reselection becoming – shall we say? – “unlikely”.

            And that’s how we’ll deal with these religious bigots. By giving them enough rope with which to hang themselves. Once they’re out of power and lurking on the fringes of society in their nasty little congregations spitting venom at each other (and everyone else too), if they want to fight it out among themselves, why not let them?

          • Manfarang

            By what criteria?
            Language is part of culture so which language is superior- Dutch or Flemish, Thai or Lao. Spanish or Catalan?

          • Anton

            So why does everybody want to emigrate here from other cultures?

          • Manfarang

            Everyone in the world does not want to emigrate to the UK. Good tax breaks for the super rich, and better than a war zone for the desperate. The vast majority in other countries don’t want to come.
            Some of the Gurkha soldiers who were given the right to settle in the UK have found living in a cold damp flat with little money to spare not much of a life.

          • Anton

            By “here” I meant Western Civ.

          • Manfarang

            Millions want to work in the Gulf states including many from the UK. Tax free salary and free accommodation, plenty of sunshine and crime free cities . Even when there are bad reports people still want to go there.

          • Anton

            Temporarily!

          • IrishNeanderthal

            I first came across Edward Said in the context of a student from South-East Asia who was very distressed because her supervisor was trying to force her to write her thesis in accordance with the Said’s theories, from her point of view trying to get her to lie about her own culture.

            But from finding out more about him, I began to learn why Arabs hated “Orientalists” so much. And yet it was actual Orientalists, such as those featured in James Kritzeck’s Anthology of Islamic Literature, that fed my interest in the Middle East. Similar considerations fed my interest in the Far East, and in regard to South Asia it was meeting people from there at university.

            I have posted something above in reference to Johnny Rottenborough, though you may find I am treading too delicately, like one of those birds that spends much of its time walking over lily-pads.

            Regarding Post WW2 American Middle East policies, here’s a book I highly recommend, if you can get hold of it.

            The Muslim and the Microphone: Miscommunications in the War on Terror by S.J. Masty

      • Dominic Stockford

        The only country in the EU without any terrorist attacks. Interesting, what?

        • Anton

          Hungary?

          • chefofsinners

            Thought you’d never ask. Large cod and chips please.

          • Ah, The old ones are the best…

          • Pubcrawler

            Fish on a Friday?! Papist!

          • Anton

            Jamaica?

          • chefofsinners

            Oman, Norway. I Saint Lucia but she wanted Togo.

      • HedgehogFive

        You may not like JR, but he does have a point which needs a more serious reply than that.

        In previous centuries, when European mercantile exploration was at its height, plantation owners and the like often found that the Indigenous Peoples were not a suitable workforce, so they brought people in from other places, sometimes forcibly, sometimes luring them with prospects of “a better life”. The result has been that the IPs are often reduced to a small minority in their ancestral lands.

        In Fiji, boatloads of free and indentured labourers started to be brought in from India starting in 1879. (The passengers on the first two boats were eaten by the Fijians, so with the third boatload they were better protected.) Today the descendants of these Indians roughly equal the Indigenous Fijians in numbers, which has led to some interesting politics.

        Since 1945, our contemporary merchants and nominally socialist power brokers have been doing the same to the people of Great Britain, and since ten or so years some urban areas have reached a “Fijian” situation.

        • bluedog

          An excellent analogy. The result of course could be a Fijian style tyranny run by a former military person that is ineligible to remain in the Commonwealth. As is the fate of Fiji. Move over, Theresa.

        • Indeed. Multiculturalism doesn’t work. The liberal assumption (based on the incomprehensible, evidence-defying, dogma that humanity is basically good) is that the various cultures will ultimately integrate creating a rich and nourishing cultural soup. However, in reality, the ingredients are frequently inimical and when mixed are more likely to create a bomb than soup.

          What works is a dominant culture that is sufficiently benign to allow other smaller cultures to coexist under its aegis. Where however, two or more cultures become of similar strength civil tension, even war, is the result. But liberal dogma defies all the evidence and doggedly carries on regardless.

        • Manfarang

          So all those of original European descent should leave the Americas?

          • HedgehogFive

            That is the sort of Clever Dick answer one tends to associate with Guardian readership.

            If you are one of that variety, then your settling in whatever country it is is Asia’s loss and Europe’s gain.

          • Manfarang

            Yours is a thick response. East Asia is the economic power house. It is where the economic growth is. Economic stagnation is a result of excessive conservatism .
            as will be demonstrated in the coming years by the UK. I read the Wall Street Journal.

  • Manfarang

    In these warm hot season days I have the daytime company of an Anatolian, Mrs. Leyla with her elaborate headscarves. So much for failed military coups.

  • IanCad

    A chuckle or a belly laugh – sometimes both – in every sentence Mrs. P. Except for this cautionary note: “One cannot help thinking that if the fragrant Theresa is the best hope we have of securing Brexit, then we are well and truly stuffed.” I have to agree.

    • chefofsinners

      The fragrant May?
      The fragrance of the May tree is often likened to rotting meat. Have a sniff sometime and think of our leaderette. Still, 30 million flies can’t be wrong…

  • David

    “Turkish he may be – a delight he is not.”
    Simply brilliant Mrs Proudie – simply brilliant !
    Many thanks, good lady, for this week’s most excellent piece. Your Friday column is the best entertainment on-line !

    One final shot. towards the self-serving political creatures. I tend to lean towards the suggestion that this election is, partly at least, about avoiding criminal investigations around electoral fraud for overspending on the last election. Ukip being a total mess now, I would be voting Conservative, but I shan’t, because I can’t for the life of me see anything conservative about their policies.

  • Inspector General

    Good day to you, Mrs Proudie

    One fears you have been upstaged this Friday…
    ———————————
    “Election: Green Party calls for trans youth to have right to change legal gender without parental consent”
    https://greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/manifesto/lgbtiqa-mainfesto-2017.pdf
    ———————————

    By the way, old girl, Corbyn will be around for a lot longer than many in the Labour party are hoping for. Falling on your sword after a General Election defeat is only a recent phenomenon. One does think he will return to the way it was done in the past. Only being removed from the top chair by dexterous use of a giant shoe horn. Or even as was on the continent – being dragged down to the central courtyard and tied to a post…

    • len

      Corbyn is dug into the Labour party and will prove almost impossible to remove, even when the Labour ship goes down Corbyn will be clinging to the wreckage as it floats off into oblivion

      • Dominic Stockford

        He won’t resign, he likes the 137k too much. The members, to show their intelligence, will simply keep voting him back in as leader.

        • Question his politics and leadership skills, but why attack his personal integrity?

          • len

            I have my integrity questioned (by members of a certain church) almost every time I post here.
            Why should a politicians integrity be above questioning?.
            Free speech for all, or just a select few?.

          • It’s not your integrity Jack questions but your logic and understanding. There’s no evidence Corbyn is in politics for money. None at all. In fact, quite the reverse.

          • len

            Its the ability of the Holy Spirit to carry out His function in believers that you question.

            (Which is far worse than anything you can do to me.)

            No Politicians can be above questioning about his/her motives and integrity.Not in a free society anyway.(Might get away with that in N Korea?)

          • What evidence is there that Corbyn is in politics to seek personal advancement? No one who knows anything about his political career would suggest such a thing.

          • len

            Well Corbyn cannot be in politics for the good of the Country .What else is there?

          • Manfarang

            A belief in socialism that is close to a religious faith.

          • len

            It seems that socialism/humanism is the religion of Godless man

          • He’s doing what he thinks is right for the country.

    • How long before this latest group of victims get on the compensation bandwagon in Britain?

      A lawsuit has been filed against a Catholic hospital in California for refusing an elective hysterectomy to a female who identifies as a man and who sought the procedure as part of their sex reassignment.

      The suit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Evan Minton, who had a hysterectomy scheduled for August 2016 with the Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, Calif., in the Sacramento metro area.

      Minton claims the procedure was cancelled once the hospital learned that Minton was transgender, and asked to be referred to as “he”. The hospital offered to send Minton to a different medical center.

      “We feel very clearly that they discriminated against me because I’m transgender – and that is against the law,” Minton told local media.

      http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/catholic-hospital-sued-for-denying-sex-reassignment-surgery-11828/

      • IrishNeanderthal

        The ACLU reminds me of a cartoon by Matt, about ten years ago:

        [Noise and bad language coming from the house next door]

        “Theirs doesn’t sound like a very civil partnership to me.”

        Some of the liberties that the ACLU litigate for strike me as not being very civil.

      • Anton

        Compensation bandwagon? There are things for which the Catholic church should compensate people and things for which it should not.

        • Removing perfectly healthy wombs to satisfy a disordered, delusional desire just isn’t one of them.

          • Anton

            We agree about that. “Compensation bandwagon” suggested, improperly, that all attempts to get compensation out of Rome have been unjust.

          • Jack wasn’t referring to “Rome” (it is individual churches that are sued, not the Vatican) but the discrimination compensation bandwagon. You’re really are too ready to assume the worse of Catholics.

          • Anton

            The phrase “compensation culture” and “Catholic church” in concatenation bring to mind among just about everybody precisely one thing. And that thing was not in my mind on this thread until you started protesting too much.

          • Q: Where in the original posted comment does Jack mention the Catholic Church?

            A: He didn’t.

            As he said, your default position is anti-Catholic.

          • Anton

            What else do you expect; I’m a protestant! Yours is anti-protestant because you are a Catholic. The sun shines on days when there’s no cloud, too.

          • One can be against Catholicism without being obsessively paranoid about her motives and those of her members. You’re as bad as Linus.

          • Anton

            So are you, but for your faith.

      • Inspector General

        It’s all change in the US. One of the ‘progressives’ who sits on SCOTUS is about to retire. To be replaced by a Trump type. This will tip the thing towards the conservatives. Much to PN commentators disgust, which is where this Inspector gleans his intelligence on the subject. The role of SCOTUS in the gaying of America cannot be overstated. One by one, the states who tried to avoid the agenda were overruled at Federal level. The states will be back, as they must, and this time…

    • Royinsouthwest

      When will the plod get around to arresting the Greens and charging them with “grooming”?

      • Inspector General

        Roy. It looks that the Green LGBT manifesto was knocked up by one Aimee Challenor who in Jan 16 was recorded as aged just 18.

  • Couple of good articles by *he who must not be named* in the Guardian recently.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2017/apr/27/community-is-an-empty-word-if-my-parishioners-live-in-the-far-east?CMP=share_btn_tw

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2017/apr/20/liberal-capitalism-has-rotted-our-souls-but-its-days-might-be-numbered

    Shame the Labour Party cannot connect the dots and understand one cannot be moral about the economic system and at the same time ignore personal morality concerning family life. The building block of local communities is stable families.

    • Anton

      I’ve just got hold of and watched a DVD about the epochal political debates held in St Mary’s Putney in 1647, made in 2007 while Giles Fraser was its vicar and on which he appears. A milestone in the development in the notion of political freedom of the individual.

      • Not held by members of the “New Model Army” by any chance and those scoundrels the Levellers?

        • Anton

          Yes, those awful men who sought the extension of the franchise beyond the landed, the abolition of monopolies, free trade, the restoration of common land to the poor, and religious freedom within the Reformed tradition.

          It came to nothing because that scoundrel Charles Stuart escaped to the Isle of wight to renew the war on his own people and the Army

          • In his more radical days, Jack was a supporter of the Levellers. They held positions which Cromwell didn’t support. Why were the 4 leading Levellers imprisoned for opposing Cromwell – with one being charged with High Treason for taking a principled stance against military dictatorship? Fortunately, his jury was one of his peers and he was found not guilty.

          • Anton

            Whereas in your old age you now look nostalgically back to the feudal system under which landowners bled serfs white.

            The Levellers held positions which Cromwell didn’t support publicly. You cannot know his personal views because he publicly disassociated himself from the movement, seeing no way of implementing their manifesto without further bloodshed. But notice the public response to John Lilburne’s acquittal.

          • The feudal system entailed rights and responsibilities at all levels of a nation. Democracy, with universal suffrage, doesn’t exactly produce a sense of solidarity or community cohesion; neither does capitalism. Just look around western liberal-democracies.
            The Levellers preferred a return of the Monarchy to Cromwell. Why was that? As for John Lilburne, didn’t he become a Quaker?

          • Anton

            Simple, the Levellers were bitter at Cromwell. I don’t see what Lilburne’s later trajectory has to do with we have been discussing.

            Nowhere did I deny that “the feudal system entailed rights and responsibilities at all levels”. This is another subtle change of subject when you are faced with an unpalatable truth: that this system was run essentially for the benefit of its upper echelons. This is obvious upon comparing the the difference in land ownership between the feudal system and the Mosaic system, in which every family owed its own land directly under God and did not have to pay everything above subsistence to the local thug in the castle for the privilege of growing one’s own food. A fact that the Levellers understood well.

          • All systems run for the benefit of the few – even the Mosaic system, if we are to believe Jesus. The question is: which system facilitates a sense of community and solidarity?

            In feudalism, the nobility held lands from the Crown in exchange for military service; vassals were tenants of the nobles; and the serfs lived on their lord’s land and gave him labour and a share of produce in exchange for protection. It was built on a sense of reciprocal legal and military obligations – a system of duties and rights. Feudal society also had a place for the Church, as everybody believed men were God´s instrument on earth.

            It did alright for 600 years. 100 years of full blown liberal-democracy and look at the economic, social and moral mess we’re in.

          • Anton

            If you could get hold of a time machine, would you go back to the feudal system, if whether you were a lord or a serf was determined according to lottery weighted by numbers? You should do, to be consistent with your views.

            And by the way, it is you who keep banging on against democracy. I was simply comparing two systems of land ownership.

            the serfs lived on their lord’s land and gave him labour and a share of produce in exchange for protection

            From whom? The lord of the next county, probably his best drinking mate? Your capacity for romantic self-delusion is remarkable.

            All systems run for the benefit of the few – even the Mosaic system, if we are to believe Jesus.

            Do state chapter and verse. Jesus criticised deviations from Mosaic Law.

        • Anton

          ?

          I wrote as follows (and have not edited): I’ve just got hold of… a DVD about the… debates held in St Mary’s Putney in 1647, made in 2007 while Giles Fraser was its vicar…

          Wit is wit, but how can my English be read in that way?

    • len

      The’ cement ‘that holds society together is the family unit, man woman (preferably married) and children.As you so rightly say Jack.
      And the enemy knows this far better than we do.
      So anything that destroys that family unit is being thrown at that family unit.
      Adultery, incest, financial problems, same sex relationships, all are aimed at the break up of the family unit and society.

  • bluedog

    Unerring in your conclusions, aren’t you Mrs P? Once again the enemy of the United Kingdom is showing its hand, and it is of course, the German state. Suddenly the second round of the French presidential elections assumes a very great importance to Brexit. If Macron wins, a Franco-German alliance will ensure a brutally hard Brexit. If Le Pen wins, Germany is the isolated party. As the Harold Wislon observed, a week is a long time in politics.

  • betteroffoutofit

    Ah, many thanks, Mrs. P.
    Indeed: ‘Tis time, as the dear lady says, to talk of many things; of ships and cukes and Merky Witch – and whether May has wings* (remembering that she probably doesn’t know which way is up**).

    Really, though, I did feel that the Theresa person should rightfully have stood in for HM at your Maundy Thursday rite – but maybe she was too busy in Mr. Brooke’s neighbouring Grantchester, where:
    Oh, damn! I know it! and I know
    How the May fields all golden show,
    And when the day is young and sweet, 15
    Gild gloriously the bare feet
    That run to bathe***…[and hand it all over to the vicar’s daughter for her vulgar necklaces].

    I expect HM knows what that “golden show” is about for M&M both.

    ———————
    *Pace, Mr. Dodgson and His Walrus. Oh – and Mr. Milton and that one who always thought he was flying high …..
    *** Brooke, Rupert. “The Old Vicarage, Grantchester,” lines 13-17.

  • Lienus

    Salut Mrs Proddie! Salut Rosbifs! It is I, Lienus, young pretender of the house of Borebon! I ‘ave returned with a French letter for you all! It ‘as been one ‘ell of a semaine ‘ere in France.
    Francois Fillon is fallen, brought low by ‘is Eeenglish wife. He is an Anglophile, which is ze only orientatione we do not tolerate in gay Paris.
    Your own Monsieur Farron ‘as also fallen. Fallen for the allure of gay sex! Ooh la la! He ‘as bought a few thousand votes in exchange for a mess of cottage.
    Back in France, Le Pen is rewriting ‘istory. She ‘as quit le Fronte Nationale (which is, being translated, ‘National Front’ – for you ignorant Eeenglish wiz your stupid langweedge). But zee one to watch is Emmanuel Macron. His name means ‘God is with us’. We love a bit of irony.
    Well, I would like to stay and misrepresent you all day, but I have to go and pour my bile on some disabbled people. Screw you!

    • Linus

      To her credit, François Fillon’s wife is Welsh, not English. All the same, she still managed to scupper his chances of becoming president.

      Frenchmen who marry Brits always end up regretting it in the end. From Charles III to François II to Philippe d’Orléans to Serge Gainsbourg and now to François Fillon, our history is full of youthful promise wrecked by the albatross of an ill-omened British wife.

      Whoever wins the presidential election in early May will be unencumbered by any links to Britain. I look forward to the day they unlock the fortified gates surrounding the Channel tunnel terminus near Calais and put up a big sign saying “Free Footpath to Britain This Way –>”

      When the hordes come pouring through, our immigrant problem will be solved and yours will just be starting. Good luck dealing with it all by yourselves.

      • IrishNeanderthal

        As a Celt, may I add that many of the troubles of Ireland were brought about by the French employing Erin as a catspaw against England.

        And as for your suggestion concerning the Channel Tunnel, let’s set up a massive pig farm with loads of manure at our end.

        • Linus

          The source of Ireland’s troubles are well known and has nothing to do with France.

          And by all means set up a pig farm at Dover. But tell me, how will the arriving hordes be able to tell the difference between heaving and fleshy sows and British womenfolk? They look the same. They wear approximately the same amount of clothing and have approximately similar personal hygiene. They certainly weigh, smell and sound identical.

          No, all these love-starved foreigners will merely think they’ve struck it lucky and surfaced in an all-female nudist colony.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            From your writings, I understand that you have one French parent and one English.

            Nevertheless, I do not perceive anything French about you. Rather, you appear as a very embittered Englishman who has turned his back on his own country.

            It will generally be found, I think, that the more a man really appreciates and admires the soul of another people the less he will attempt to imitate it; he will be conscious that there is something in it too deep and too unmanageable to imitate. The Englishman who has a fancy for France will try to be French; the Englishman who admires France will remain obstinately English.

            http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/All_Things_Considered.html#FRENCH_AND_ENGLISH

          • Jack’s guess: brought to England by his mother when his parents divorced and packed off to boarding school.

          • Sarky

            Sarky’s guess: just a s##t stirer!!

          • Indeed, Linus is.

          • Hmm … Jack surmises your present *difficulties* stem from the relationship between your parents.

            Let’s see what you think and feel about your own British mother:

            ” … the albatross of an ill-omened British wife.”

            ” … mercenary and grasping British women … (and their) rapaciousness.”

            ” … (no) difference between heaving and fleshy sows and British womenfolk? They look the same. They wear approximately the same amount of clothing and have approximately similar personal hygiene. They certainly weigh, smell and sound identical.”

          • Linus

            Nobody left anybody. My parents were happily married until death separated them. My father went first. My mother a year later.

            Yes, my mother was British. But she was the exception that proved the rule. She knew other British women who had married Frenchmen and then spent their lives complaining about how everything was better in England. You know, the weather, the food, the clothes, the rationing, the rat-infested hospitals, the broken-down public transport system … if it was English, it was better – even if it was worse.

            As an intelligent and realistic woman, my mother realised that a house divided against itself cannot stand. A petulant Englishwoman with a permanent chip on her shoulder cannot make a life for herself in France. So she became French. In the truest sense of the word. She dropped her childish allegiance to your ridiculous royals, admitted that French pigswill is better than English “haute cuisine” and started to dress like a real woman instead of a sexless English drudge. It helped that she kept her figure until the day she died – something for which her adoption of French dietary norms can be thanked, as comparison to her dumpy sisters who all stayed in England and ate unrelenting diets of English stodge made only too clear.

            Of course I’m aware these inconvenient facts don’t fit with Crappy Jack’s tuppeny ha’penny amateur psychological analysis. He needs me to be the product of an unhappy broken home in order to support his crackpot theories about the shining superiority of Catholic family life. Unfortunately for him, that’s exactly where I was raised: in the perfect Catholic family with a strong and benevolent father and a pretty and affectionate mother who always deferred to her husband’s authority. They were devoted to each other and to their children. I had a model relationship with both of my parents. No paternal bullying, no maternal smothering. Not only did I love and respect them, I liked them too. So did most other people.

            Crappy Jack doesn’t want that to be true though. It makes his puerile sums come out all wrong.

            Ever thought it might be because you don’t know how to count, old bigot?

          • Jack is pleased to learn your parents were blessed with a happy marriage, lived according to Catholic norms, and that they enjoyed a long and contented life with a son and daughters.
            Why did you attend boarding school in England with your sister? Did you ever let your family know about the path you decided to tread?

          • Linus

            I certainly did not attend my English school “with my sister”. What an odd idea. What man now over the age of 50 ever went to the same school as his sister? I wasn’t educated at a “comprehensive”, you know.

            As to why I completed my education in England, even in the 1980s it was evident that a firm grasp of the English language would be necessary to assure my family’s interests into the future.

            Anything more than that, you don’t need to know. The fact that you’re curious doesn’t surprise me though. Manipulators always want to find out the details of a person’s life – the better to get their hooks in and start injecting poison.

            If you weren’t such a rank amateur and so blatantly obvious in your attempts to manipulate, I might have thought the Jesuits had shaped you. But you’re an adult convert to Catholicism, aren’t you? There’s a subtlety lacking in your machinations that marks you out as a product of the proletarian educational system. Grunt + bellow = mindless obedience to the Church in Crappy Jack mathematics, I think. My attitude just does not compute.

          • What a disappointment you must have been to your parents.

          • IanCad

            You really do lower nastiness to an art form. Coupled with an undeniably clever way with words your Gallic venom becomes pure entertainment.

        • betteroffoutofit

          Brilliant idea!!! I’ve been wanting to close that tunnel thing ever since they built it.

      • Anton

        Certain immigrant communities will likely have blown the tunnel up by then.

      • bluedog

        ‘All the same, she still managed to scupper his chances of becoming president.’ A characteristic inversion of the truth. Her problem was she inadvertently told the truth in a TV interview, as you well know. Fillon himself has proved that he is the heir to Chirac, and that corruption is rife in the highest echelons of France.

        • Linus

          It is alleged that Fillon and his wife acted in concert to defraud the public purse. If found guilty, they’ll share responsibility for the crime.

          I wonder how many husbands of mercenary and grasping British women have been pushed into illegal activities in order to satisfy their wives’ rapaciousness?

          • Anton

            They’d be accomplished at collaboration, certainly.

          • Linus

            Collaboration? You mean like the populations of Guernsey and Jersey?

            Ask them about collaboration. They can also tell you a thing or two about how the British always stand by their own and rescue them from occupation, too. Well … as long as the Americans are willing to bankroll them, that is. Otherwise they’ll just leave you in the hands of your enemies…

            Who’d want to be a Gibraltarian at the moment, eh?

          • Anton

            Spain will do what its creditor Germany says, and Merkel will do what German big business says… don’t wreck terms with the Brits. Her recent comments were for domestic consumption as she has an election to win. (If she loses it’s even worse for the EU.)

            The Channel Isles were strategically indefensible in 1940. The people there did not betray each other unlike some countries where collaborators have become socialist Presidents postwar.

          • Linus

            The 27 stand united against British demands to have their cake and eat it too.

            If Macron wins next week’s election, which looks increasingly likely (although I make no predictions), it will be a hard Brexit indeed.

          • Anton

            United is easy to say before the negotiations start.

          • Linus

            It took the 27 four minutes to agree their united stance.

            Four minutes. No discussion needed. We are all of one mind.

            Any member can veto the negotiations with Britain. Germany agreed to that. Spain can shoot the talks down if Britain starts sabre-rattling over Gibraltar. France can shoot the talks down if British border police start throwing their weight around in Calais. Poland can shoot the talks down if Britain starts threatening to refuse their nationals the right to do your dirty work for you.

            At this rate there will be no agreement at all. Britain will fall back on WTO rules with all of the tariffs and barriers they imply. German carmakers will find markets elsewhere. But who’ll buy British?

            Canada and its 36 million oil-rich billionaires all drooling at the prospect of M&S curry dinners and mushy peas? They’ll keep you in luxury for the rest of your lives, won’t they?

          • Anton

            Exactly: United is easy to say before the negotiations start. Think through – for you are an intelligent man – the implications for the negotiations if we Brits come to the table *expecting* there to be no agreement. Which is precisely why we should do that.

          • Linus

            Nobody wants an agreement. That’s why it was so easy for the 27 to speak with one voice. Bridges have been burned and now the consequences have to be lived with.

            In less than 2 years time, you’re out of the Single Market. You’ll trade with us on the same terms as Argentina or the Philippines.

            There will be no agreement because nobody wants to negotiate with you. Your European trade will dry up as your produce is priced out of the market. Our trade with you will dwindle as well, but as your market represents a far smaller proportion of our exports than ours does of yours, the impact on us will be far smaller.

            It’s an impact that nobody here wanted, but now that it’s been foisted on us, we’ll learn to live with it. You’d better learn to live with the isolation you’ve chosen too.

          • Anton

            We’ll trade with EU businesses as German business pleases. Money always trumps politics. And we’ll trade with the rest of the world without EU interference.

          • Linus

            You’ll trade under the same conditions as any foreign nation, ie. with tariff barriers in place and customs procedures slowing down the delivery of your products and rendering your supply chain difficult to maintain. Stock levels will need to be high in order to ensure continuity of supply meaning your overheads will skyrocket. It will cost you far more to do business here in the future than it does now. Downwards pressure on production costs and salaries will be enormous.

            But that’s fine. You voted for Brexit so you must love the idea of doing more work for less pay. Good luck to you. You just made an already competitive environment for your companies even more cut-throat and hard to succeed in.

            Personally my days of buying British are over. And no more champagne for you. You won’t be able to afford it anyway.

          • Anton

            Predicting the future like you did about the Referendum outcome?

          • Linus

            The Irish referendum, you mean?

            And no, I predict nothing. I merely explain the prevailing attitude towards Britain. Every voice raised in Europe on the subject says the same thing: bye bye Britain, it was nice knowing you, shut the door behind you when you leave. Only in Britain do we hear hopes expressed about the having of cake and the eating of it too.

            You want out. Go then. But understand that once you’ve gone, things will not be the same as before.

            When your spouse walks out on your marriage, you ask for your keys back. If they aren’t forthcoming, you change the locks.

          • Anton

            Did you, under some pseudonym, not predict here the outcome of the Brexit Referendum to be Remain?

          • Linus

            I predicted the outcome of the Irish referendum to be in favour of equal marriage. It was.

          • Anton

            I predict that you won’t answer my question!

          • Linus

            Like all demagogues, your questions are designed to discredit your opponents. You wouldn’t ask them if you didn’t think you had a chance of undermining me.

            I have correctly predicted the outcome of many elections and referenda, which shows that my judgment has some validity. You want to demonstrate that it has none by carefully selecting one instance where I may have called a result incorrectly.

            If I got everything right I would be an infallible oracle. I’ll settle for being an astute commentator. It’s the most anyone can hope to be.

            As an astute commentator, I make no predictions about Sunday’s results. Elections have become too volatile to call in recent months. I can observe that Macron’s lead looks unassailable. Under normal circumstances it would be unassailable. But these are not normal circumstances and one gaffe, or one revelation could be enough to swing the electorate against him.

            That being the case, this race won’t be over until it’s over. At 8pm on Sunday evening we’ll know who our next president will be. I sincerely hope it will be Macron. His victory looks very likely. But we’ll see what happens on the night.

          • bluedog

            There seems to be a remarkable silence over one aspect of Fillon’s enrichment of his wife and children. At the time he was the prime minister of France, an office he held for five years under Sarkozy. Do we really believe that the payments made to Penelope and the children were unknown and not agreed to by Sarkozy? If Sarkozy was aware, why is he not being arraigned too?

          • Linus

            Your comment shows complete ignorance of the parliamentary expenses process. This isn’t surprising coming from an armchair know-it-all who in reality knows little of the world beyond the confines of his narrow little existence.

            The rules governing parliamentary expenses are not drawn up by the government. They are in parliament’s purview. This is true in both France and the UK.

            Sarkozy would have been no more aware of Fillon’s financial arrangements than any British prime minister was aware of the expenses being claimed by British MPs. It is alleged that Fillon fiddled those expenses, but at least he didn’t use the money to provide luxury accommodation for his ducks.

            If he’s guilty, he’ll be punished. And his Welsh wife with him. The children too, probably. But Sarko won’t be called into question any more than Blair, Brown or Cameron were. If he fiddled his own expenses, he might have a case to answer. But as there’s no evidence he did, I think he’s probably in the clear.

      • chefofsinners

        Yes, the entire population of France would probably make the journey. We sure as hell won’t be going the other way.

        • Linus

          Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of elderly Brits who leech off our health system. With a bit of luck the Brexit will be so hard they’ll have to pack their bags and join the lines of refugees rushing towards the tunnel.

          When they start dying in their thousands because your government’s too cheap to pay for drugs that work, Britain’s status as a third world country with a mortality rate similar to that of Bangladesh will finally be official.

          • Anton

            By then France will have a religion similar to that of BanglaDesh. Enjoy it, monsieur!

          • Linus

            France has no religion. We are a secular republic. And we enjoy it very much.

          • Anton

            I repeat: By then France will have a religion similar to that of BanglaDesh.

          • chefofsinners

            But you recognise the direction in which people would flow if the channel tunnel were unlocked.
            Perhaps you would buck the trend and do us the favour of returning to the abyss whence you came.

        • carl jacobs

          But, there are French pastries … and French wine … and … um … um …

          • chefofsinners

            And leeks and garlic in Egypt, but we have a land flowing with milk and honey.

      • “Frenchmen who marry Brits always end up regretting it in the end.”

        Wasn’t your father French and your mother English?

        • Linus

          There’s an exception to every rule, old ogre.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      How about a similar irony? One of the philosophers who, I understand, impelled the Germans towards godlessness was called Immanuel Kant. (Or was it Aluminum Tank?)

      And as for the Präsident of Austria telling the ladies of that country to wear headscarves agaist Islamophobia, that reminds me of all those well meaning folks trying to repair European relations after WW2. The message that came over to me as a teenager was “you’ve got to be nice to the Germans ’cause they’re nasty”.

  • I’m from Barcelona

    Maybe the 4th. secret of Fatima will reveal itself…

    http://ecclesandbosco.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/the-4th-secret-of-fatima.html

    • chefofsinners

      Always entertaining to watch Catholics trying to square papal infallibility with Francis contradicting his predecessors.

      • Anton

        A very close second to watching Joshua vs Klitchko!

      • carl jacobs

        Look, Chef, this is all very simple.

        1. There is no contradiction.
        2. If there is a contradiction, then the Pope is not speaking Ex Cathedra.
        3. If there is a contradiction and the Pope is speaking Ex Cathedra, then the contradiction is only apparent and what the Pope said is completely consistent with what the RCC has always taught no matter what you may think about the definition of words.
        4. If there is a contradiction and the Pope is speaking Ex Cathedra, and the contradiction is in fact real, then the Pope would be struck dead, but since he isn’t dead see item 3 of the list.
        5. This is all a nefarious Protestant plot.

        Clear?

        • chefofsinners

          The Pope is usually speaking Ex Catheter.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    I’m picking up a thread below, which started with Johnny Rottenborough saying

    For 70 years now the Conservatives have portrayed themselves as a patriotic party while implementing, in conjunction with Labour, an immigration policy which will make the British a minority and replace Christianity with Islam.

    I doubt if anybody here likes the English Defence League, but one reason such parties can thrive is because our leaders simply do not see it as their duty to defend England. The trouble is that they prefer to impose their theory of England. G.K.Chesterton wrote, in his book “Orthodoxy”,

    The worst jingoes do not love England, but a theory of England. If we love England for being an empire, we may overrate the success with which we rule the Hindoos. But if we love it only for being a nation, we can face all events: for it would be a nation even if the Hindoos ruled us.

    The theory of England that our leaders seem to possess is almost exactly the opposite of jingoism, but it is a theory nonetheless. I doubt if anybody here likes the English Defence League, but one reason such parties can thrive is because our leaders simply do not see it as their duty to defend England, but rather to follow their theories.

    This is more easily seen in the wider European context. The people at the head of the EU do not love Europe, but a theory of Europe, which they having steadily been imposing on a group of widely different peoples. For over a century, Europe has suffered at the hands of “theoreticians”. Some political examples may easily spring to mind, but they are found in a much wider context. For example, when I was young we were encourage to admire the architectural vision of le Corbusier, but recently Mr Portillo, on one of his train journeys through America, told us that such “designs for living” were inspired by the grain silos of Buffalo, NY. It is not only Germans who would like to treat the multitude of individual people who make up Europe as their own personal Playmobil.

  • Dominic Stockford
    • carl jacobs

      This is good news because … you prefer the rising tide of secularism?