JeSuisJuif2
Extremism

"If 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France"

 

The words of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls echo down the centuries of anti-Semitic Europe, where Jews have been marginalised, persecuted, reviled, expelled and turned to ash in the ovens of Auschwitz. France could survive the emigration of any ethnic group, he avers. But if the Jews leave, “France will no longer be France. The French Republic will be judged a failure.”

His comments are published in The Atlantic, in an interview he gave to Jeffery Goldberg before the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the subsequent murder of four Jews in a kosher delicatessen in Paris. Given what he calls the “intensifying crisis”, Goldberg hastened publication of certain sections of the interview because of the demographic reality that thousands of Jews are certainly fleeing France. Indeed, Stephen Pollard, Editor of the Jewish Chronicletweeted: “Every single French Jew I know has either left or is actively working out how to leave.” Manuel Valls insists that France must do more to halt the exodus. He explains:

The choice was made by the French Revolution in 1789 to recognize Jews as full citizens. To understand what the idea of the Republic is about, you have to understand the central role played by the emancipation of the Jews. It is a founding principle.

..If 100,000 French people of Spanish origin were to leave, I would never say that France is not France anymore. But if 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France. The French Republic will be judged a failure.

..Jews were sometimes marginalized in France, but this was not Spain or other countries – they were never expelled, and they play a role in the life of France that is central.

..There is a new anti-Semitism in France. We have the old anti-Semitism, and I’m obviously not downplaying it, that comes from the extreme right, but this new anti-Semitism comes from the difficult neighborhoods, from immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa, who have turned anger about Gaza into something very dangerous. Israel and Palestine are just a pretext. There is something far more profound taking place now.

..It is legitimate to criticize the politics of Israel. This criticism exists in Israel itself. But this is not what we are talking about in France. This is radical criticism of the very existence of Israel, which is anti-Semitic. There is an incontestable link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Behind anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

..The Jews of France are profoundly attached to France but they need reassurance that they are welcome here, that they are secure here.

Prime Minister Valls may speak with piercing clarity on the nature and scale of the evil, and President Hollande may be equally unequivocal in his recognition of this “new anti-Semitism” (though it isn’t entirely clear what is “new” about oppressing Jews). And yet it is reported by Haaretz (and tweeted by Channel 4’s Jon Snow) that Hollande urged Benjamin Netanyahu not to attend the Paris march for freedom and unity: “Hollande wanted the event to focus on demonstrating solidarity with France, and to avoid anything liable to divert attention to other controversial issues, like Jewish-Muslim relations or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Audibert said that Hollande hoped that Netanyahu would understand the difficulties his arrival might pose and would announce that he would not be attending.”

Which is curious, because the murder of four Jews in a kosher deli might just have something to do with Jewish-Muslim relations. And journalists have fallen over themselves to suggest that Israeli policy toward Gaza explains (if not justifies) attacks on Jewish people, institutions and economic interests. “Many critics, though, of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well,” said the BBC’s Tim Willcox to the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. The same sentiment is found in the Financial Times: basically, the political provocation known as Zionism offends against justice and peace, so taking up AK-47s against Jews – whether they are Israeli or not; whether they support Israeli policy or not – may be rationalised and justified. As Tim Willcox enlightens us: “You see, people see it from all sides.”

Don’t they just.

The suffering of Palestinians is caused not by Israel, but devised and formed by “Jewish hands”. Willcox didn’t say those hands offend and must be cut off, but he might as well have. When Jews are victimised, their businesses raided, their synagogues bombed and their cemeteries desecrated – and journalists and politicians justify this by objecting to ‘offensive’ cartoons and pointing to the plight of Palestinians – it is no wonder that Jews are leaving Europe for a safer home.

A survey published in November 2013 by the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union observed that Jews across Europe “face insults, discrimination and physical violence, which despite concerted efforts by both the EU and its member states, shows no signs of fading into the past”. Two-thirds considered anti-Semitism to be a problem across the countries surveyed. Overall, 76% of respondents said that anti-Semitism had worsened over the past five years.

In the last International Religious Freedom Report issued by the US Department of State, tucked away amidst the horrors being perpetrated in Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, we find this:

Throughout Europe, the historical stain of anti-Semitism continued to be a fact of life on Internet fora, in soccer stadiums, and through Nazi-like salutes, leading many individuals who are Jewish to conceal their religious identity.

..Rising anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim sentiment in parts of Europe demonstrated that intolerance is not limited to countries in active conflict. The European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) survey of perceptions of anti-Semitism among Jews in eight member states (Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and United Kingdom), released in November, found that in some countries as many as 48 percent of the local Jewish population had considered emigrating because of anti-Semitism.

You see, it isn’t only France: incredibly, half of the Jewish populations of many European countries are so fearful, intimidated and oppressed that they are considering leaving their homes, families and communities and emigrating to a foreign land. Cries of “Death to the Jews” ring across towns and cities as the spectre of Nazi ghettos descends once again. “They pursue the Jews in the streets of Berlin… as if we were in 1938,” says Israel’s Ambassador to Germany, Yakov Hadas-Handelsman. He has also heard chants of “Jewish pigs” and “Gas the Jews”. “Since March 2012, I am ambassador of Israel in Germany,” he said. “If someone had told me that I witnessed such hateful, incites hatred and anti-Semitic phenomena would be in public in this country, I would not probably have thought it possible.”

Jews are being advised not to go out onto the streets wearing a kippah. In Toulouse, Jewish children are shot in a Jewish school. In Brussels, people are randomly killed in a Jewish museum: if they happen to be Jews or Israelis, all the better. In Liege, a café displayed a sign in its window which said dogs were welcome, but Jews were not allowed to enter.

This is Christian Europe, which, of all the continents of the world, ought to feel the deepest shame at the rise of this “new anti-Semitism”. And the oppressors are not all hardened Islamists obligingly plotting their next spectacular on SnapChat and WhatsApp for the convenience of MI5: no, many are simply ordinary but angry, young, male Muslims, itching for some self-proclaimed imam to issue the Call to Jihad.

To these young male Muslims, the Israeli occupation of Gaza is a certain grievance, but the Jewish occupations of Paris, London and Amsterdam also need sorting. To the media, they may be male; they may be Asian or “of Asian appearance”. But no, they may not be called Muslim, for that would cause great offence. These extremists, Baroness Warsi insists, “do not follow any faith”. Sajid Javid, the first elected Muslim to join the Cabinet, is not so blind: “The lazy answer from people out there is to say that this had got nothing whatsoever to do with Islam and Muslims and that should be the end of that part of the debate,” he said. “That is lazy and that would be wrong. You can’t get away from the fact that these people are using Islam, they are taking a great religion, a peaceful religion of a billion people around the world, taking this religion and using it as their tool to carry out their horrible activities.”

The Jews are leaving Europe not because the Jihadists are coming, but because they are already here, dwelling among us. They hate Israel and they loathe Jews, but, pace Manuel Valls, we say almost nothing and do very little. Instead, we let the Jews emigrate to the United States or “go back” to Israel, and they are doing so in their thousands every year. In the Holy Land they may be surrounded on all sides by the enemies of Zionism, but at least they have in Benjamin Netanyahu the leader of a government which will not hesitate to shelter and defend them. It will even bury their martyred bodies in fortified Jewish cemeteries in Jerusalem, where their sanctified graves will never be defiled with swastikas.

  • Anton

    Prime Minister Valls most certainly did not “speak with piercing clarity on the nature and scale of the evil”, because he assiduously avoided the M-word and the I-word.

    • Dreadnaught

      Many ‘loyal’ French and other European nation share in the guilt of the Nazi Holocaust. I am under no illusion that had the war been lost many British too would have had Jewish blood on their hands and cash in the bank.
      Without doubt Muslim hatred and violence has revived anti-Semetism in the UK even after 70 years since the Russians liberated Auschwitz 25th January 1945. They even wanted to gatecrash Holocaust Memorial Day to sidetrack the activities played by Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Balkan Muslim Brigades more than happy to go along with the Nazi master plan.
      I spit on them all.

  • The Explorer

    I remember, a dozen years ago now it must be, visiting a Jewish bakery in London on behalf of a bedridden Jewish friend. The window display was sublime, but the brickwork below the glass had been subjected to graffiti.
    At the time, I put it down to white yobs. Now, I would have a different explanation.

  • PJS

    His history is also wrong. It took two years AFTER the French Revolution and the Declaration of the rights of man forJews to be given citizenship in France, during which time the National Assembly debated whether or not Jews should be admitted to the Republic. It was not at all automatic, and even Clermont Tonnerre,the champion of Jewish Emancipation, stated that the price of freedom for the Jews should be abandonment of their communal identity -“To the Jews as a nation -nothing; to the Jews as individuals- everything”. A prescient piece of history.

    • Linus

      The resolution granting citizenship to Jews was introduced into the Assemblée Constituante in December of 1789 and was one of the first social measures to be discussed.

      Its passage was delayed until 1791 because of stiff resistance from deputies representing Alsace and Lorraine, both former territories of the Holy Roman Empire and largely German in language and tradition. A majority of deputies from the historic French territories were in favour, indeed in some areas of Provence and the Languedoc, Jews had been naturalized as subjects of the French crown as early as 1787.

      In any case, all measures passed by the Assemblée Constituante are considered as founding principles of the French Republic whether they were passed on the first or last day of its existence. So it is entirely correct of the Prime Minister to refer to the grant of citizenship to French Jews as a founding principle. Quibbling over dates is both pedantic and not a little dishonourable. The Assemblée Constituante had a lot of work to do in a very short time in a country riven by disorder, chaos and disagreement. Many, many, many wrongs had to be righted and the situation of the Jews was just one of them. The deputies weren’t superhuman and they couldn’t do everything at once. But perhaps you’d only be satisfied if they had passed every measure you care about on the first day?

      • PJS

        “Quibbling over dates is both pedantic and not a little dishonourable.” How dare you! Perhaps you would care to withdraw this disgraceful comment?

        I don’t have access to the documents at this time (will do later) as it is 3:30AM. It is indisputable that the Jews were considered a separate category to other citizens; that they were not emancipated until two years or so after the Revolution; and that the debate about whether or not to give them citizenship was fierce.

        • Linus

          None of this I deny.

          What I do deny is that it makes Jewish emancipation some kind of afterthought and that our Prime Minister is therefore misleading the world when he speaks of Jewish citizenship being a founding principle of our Republic.

          It IS a founding principle. As I said above, ALL acts of the Assemblée Constituante are considered to be founding principles of our nation. The measure to emancipate the Jews was introduced into the Assemblée in 1789 but because of heavy opposition from certain quarters was not passed until 1791, i.e. still within the lifetime of the Assemblée Constituante. It is therefore a foundational part of our Constitution.

          Go find your documents, read them and feel foolish about launching an unjust and unprovoked attack on the honour of the French Republic. We fought for the right of Jews to become citizens and we won that fight and enshrined that right in our very first Constitution. Complaining about a little opposition along the way and claiming it means we don’t really care about our Jewish citizens is both insulting, immature and untrue.

  • Anthony

    I’m not the most eloquent but I think you have made a mistake here, Archbishop. I am a British Jew and the problem is not (just) Islamists or extremist Muslims. Of course the chances that I or my family will be killed in a terrorist attack are higher because we are Jewish but the chances are still very small. And I trust the British State to try and stop those attacks with all their abilities.
    The problem is that I know that the British State is powerless to stop the spread of antisemitism that comes not just from Islamists but from those who obsessively demonise Israel. Many of these people are perhaps unaware of the effects that their continual, never-ending, hyperbolic rhetoric has on British society. But the same people who will, rightly, point out that the media’s obsession with bad Muslims makes life uncomfortable for Muslims will then spend their entire time obsessing with “bad” Jews apparently oblivious of the impact that has.
    In practical terms it is more uncomfortable being Jewish in Britain because of the hysterical Israel-bashing than because of Islamists (though of course the two are tightly intertwined)

    • dannybhoy

      The two are linked don’t you think?

    • B flat

      Thank you for writing your view, with which I sympathise wholeheartedly.
      However, the people who demonise Israel do not always limit their hatred to the State of Israel, and the article cites so many examples of hatred of Jews as Jews.
      The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen spoke of the deliberate dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki as the final breakdown of Christian morality. Wars between hostile states could never justify deliberate attacks on civilians.

      I am sometimes (mistakenly) thought to be a Jew, and have sometimes been mocked or even threatened in public places. The midde-aged muslim in Bradford who threatened to cut my throat in 2001, and the teenage schoolchidren on a bus in Munich in 1998 who jeered and taunted me shouting “Jude! Jude!” with no word of reprimand from the many adults present, were the saddest. I really do feel your precariousness in Europe, and am convinced that our present leading politicians will do nothing to alleviate this.
      Archbishop Cranmer is unrealistic in writing of “Christian Europe” as if this survives. The only human hope is to recognise that the social engineering over the last three decades has disastrous consequences, of which we are only seeing straws in the wind, and that a restoration of Christian moral values in the public life of our society will give a measure of peace. That Peace, is not peace as the World gives it. My hope is only in God; may he grant you to see your children’s children grow up happy and living in peace.

      • Anthony

        I can only give my own thoughts and feelings. As an identifiable Jew I have of course been shouted at in the street as has probably most other identifiable Jews. But that has been going on for my entire life and is now the reality which Jews unfortunately have to live with. The real change that I have experienced or noticed is the level of Israel-bashing and the associated pressure and exclusion from society that follows.

  • dannybhoy

    Anti semitism in Europe has never gone away, but the driving force behind it has changed.
    In my understanding the reasons why the Jews have experienced so much historic persecution are,
    1) They are different culturally and religiously so regarded with suspicion.
    2) They didn’t fight back, so they became the whipping boys for the host nation’s ills.
    3) The Church (especially the Roman Catholic/Orthodox churches blamed them for

    the crucifixion of Christ, and their unwillingness to repent and convert.
    4) Despite their rejection they were often educated and skilled and successful in

    business -particularly as they were forced into money lending by the Church.

    There are others but these are the main ones for me. Other (pedantic) people may disagree with the order I have placed them in, that’s fine. The resurgence of antisemitism is being driven I believe by the colonisation of the West by Islam. I say colonisation because by and large they do not wish to integrate, but they make demands on the host nation, they insist on being recognised and allowances made for them.

    They* use the Western freedoms (not Islamic.,because Islam does not recognise human freedom in the same way), to rail against and attack that same host nation.

    By being in western democracies which brought Israel into being, they* are able to express their hatred of Jews and through whatever means . intimidate, cajole Western governments into taking up a more hostile attitude towards Israel.
    But no one is or should be fooled. We know that the real motivating factor is fear
    not a sense of justice.
    If it were really justice we would be railing against the Chinese takeover of Tibet for example..
    They*
    By which I mean the activists and religious leaders who have a very definite agenda and will stir up or rally their fellow Muslims as necessary.

    • CliveM

      Bit rambling but I agree with your analysis.

      • dannybhoy

        Mucho chuckles Senor..!

    • “The Church (especially the Roman Catholic/Orthodox churches blamed them for the crucifixion of Christ, and their unwillingness to repent and convert.”

      It amuses Happy Jack when Christians forget there was only one Church at Pentecost and, in the West, this was the case for 1500 years. So, anything ‘unsavoury’ prior to 500 years ago is disowned and laid at the door of Rome. Although invited back into Britain in the 1650’s, the Jews didn’t achieve emancipation in Britain until shortly after Roman Catholics in the 1830’s and, even then, it was controversial and touch and go. Was this the responsibility of Rome?

      Was Saint John a Roman Catholic? He was a member of the universal Church, certainly. His Gospel is considered anti-Semitic and there have been repeated calls for it to be censored and modified. Who was the first recorded martyr in the early and sometimes fierce disagreements between Jews and Christian? Did the Talmud contain no aggressive anti-Christian polemics? The history of antipathy between Christians and Jews goes back to the time of Christ.

      If you accept the New Testament as historically accurate, then the Jews did reject Jesus as the Christ and called for His death, the Romans being the instrument of this crime. According to their law, He was an idolater because He claimed to be God; and a false prophet who led people astray. He and all who followed Him, would be subject to their law.

      And the Church’s official position towards the Jews was that as a people they must be protected but not their faith system and not those who sought to undermine Christianity. Christians and Christian society had to be protected from them. There’s a sense in which the Church was fearful of Judaism and the Jews – their faith being in opposition to Christianity; their financial success in Europe; and their intelligence and adaptability. Disparaging documents from the Church and all the unjust actions it supported or provoked have to be read with this in mind. Of course, wicked men or ignorant men will misuse this and did so for personal gain. Envy and greed are powerful motivators. So too is an identifiable group that can be scapegoated.

      Luther and other protestants did, in Jack’s view, take matters to another level and wanted to push things. It’s a part of Christian belief that Christ will not return until the Jewish nation converts to Christianity. Cromwell didn’t invite the Jews back into England out of the goodness of his heart. There were financial and theological reasons behind this. Luther thought the conversion of the Jews would happen fairly swiftly after the ‘Whore of Babylon’ (i.e. the Roman Catholic Church) was defeated. He was a man prone to impatience and verbal violence. Hence his personalisation of Jewish resistance to the Gospel as a defect and as manifestation of an inherent evil in the race and something to be confronted head on.

      • dannybhoy

        “Was Saint John a Roman Catholic?”
        Nope, St. John was a Jew. A Jew who after following Him for about three years was conviced that Yeshua was the Meshiach, and more than that. God in human form.

        “If you accept the New Testament as historically accurate, then the Jews did reject Jesus as the Christ and called for His death, the Romans being the instrument of this crime”

        And er, this gave Christians the right to persecute the Jews or force some to convert on pain of death?
        Luther was also antisemitic in some respects, and he was wrong in that respect, but right in condemning the church for its failings..

        • “St. John was a Jew. A Jew who after following Him for about three years was conviced that Yeshua was the Meshiach, and more than that. God in human form.”

          When Saint John wrote his Gospel, he was a Christian by faith, although a Jew by birth. And because of his faith he was considered an idolater and stoned to death.

          “And er, this gave Christians the right to persecute the Jews or force some to convert on pain of death?”

          No, of course not. And nowhere did Jack write or imply anything like that. Quite the opposite, in fact.

          • dannybhoy

            Come on Jack!
            All the disciples were Jews, the Gospel writers apart from Luke were Jews. They were first called Christians in Antioch presumably by Greeks. because as you know Christ is not a Hebrew term.
            The transition from believing Jesus was the Messiah to believing He was also God, to believing their nascent faith was for everybody was a process, difficult at tomes for Jews who were brought up with the ‘Shema’ on their lops and in their hearts.
            St. Paul the Rabbi doesn’t call believers Christians, nor does St. Peter, nor James (James, a servant[ of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:Greetings.)
            Nor St John. (“my little children”, “Beloved” -must be such a lovely man!)
            So let’s get that straight. The disciples cum Apostles regarded themselves as Jews who had met with and been changed by the loving God in human form.

          • Did they worship Jesus as God who had taken human flesh?
            If they believed Jesus was the Son of God, the long awaited Anointed One, who was murdered and rose from the dead and Ascended to Heaven, they were idolaters according to Jewish law.

          • dannybhoy

            “If they believed Jesus was the Son of God, (which they eventually and perhaps reluctantly did) the long awaited Anointed
            One, who was murdered and rose from the dead and Ascended to Heaven,
            they were idolaters according to Jewish law.” (Yes, that’s right. That’s how the orthodox and loyal Jews viewed them)
            But the disciples were Jews (and died Jews) who through their contact and experience of walking, talking and witnessing what this extraordinary Rabbi did, were forced to reconsider what they had been taught, what they had believed.
            It must have been a mixture of wonderment and pride and expectation being with this Rabbi who performed amazing miracles, challenged the religious authorities and rebuked them when they stepped out of line”
            As Tevya might have said of Him,
            “He’s a good man. He’s a little crazy!”
            Yeshua turned their world upside down, and through the power of the Ruach haKodesh went on to turn the known world upside down.

          • Define Jew, Danny?

          • dannybhoy

            I thought Avi did that the other day? Someone asked him about it. Anyway, I think with your connections I would quite like to hear your definition…. 🙂

          • Old Blowers

            “When Saint John wrote his Gospel, he was a Christian by faith, although a Jew by birth. And because of his faith he was considered an idolater and stoned to death.”

            Ahem. What the heck.
            Which Bible or historical record did you glean that gem from…or are you mixing up your apostles?

            http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=228

            Premature Dementia from retiring too early when you could have carried on for a few more years. *giggles*

          • Oooops …. what Jack meant was according to Jewish Law to be stoned to death as an idolater.

            Jack was getting his Christian martyrs muddled up. (now edited)

            Good to see you remain alert.

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        Luther had piles. This accounts for him being so disagreeable.

        • CliveM

          Piles of what?

  • john in cheshire

    If the Jews leave, France will be a worse place to live. If the muslims leave, France will be a better place. The same is true for all of Europe, particularly England.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      If the French leave the place would be perfect.

      • carl jacobs

        Mrs Proudie

        But where would they go? You have to consider the collateral impacts.

        • America, of course. You have strong cultural affiliations with them and the Statue of Liberty.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            The French hate the US. They won’t come here. Nice try, though.

            On the other hand, Roman Polanski fled to France after he was convicted of raping and sodomizing a twelve year-old girl. And he was received quite happily. Art conquers all, I guess. The French have very liberal ideas about sex.

          • bluedog

            Yes, Roman Polanski once lived next door, he had an old white Rolls Royce. You could see inside the mews house where the table in the living-room had a glass top, but the legs were a woman on all fours in the doggy position. Sharon Tate was very pretty.

          • The Explorer

            Charles Manson certainly thought so. Pity he had such a screwed-up way of showing his appreciation.

          • Linus

            “The French hate the US.”

            Not the country. Just the people. And hate is too strong a word. It’s not exactly pity either, because how can you pity people who dig their own latrine, jump headfirst into the hole and sit there in their own mess refusing all offers of rescue and assistance?

            No, it’s more like … I’m not quite sure how to say it in English. But you know that feeling of perplexity and revulsion mixed with compassion and the slightest tinge of amusement you get when confronted by a crazy street person who stinks to high heaven, but thinks he’s Napoléon I or Louis XIV? It’s kind of like that, whatever the word is…

          • carl jacobs

            Envy is a terrible thing, Linus. Accept the fact that France hasn’t been relevant since Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo. It will make surrendering to the next German Army much more palatable.

            In the meantime, don’t you have some Catholic priests to guillotine?

        • CliveM

          Antarctica!

          • carl jacobs

            Clive

            Have you know pity in your heart for the poor penguins?

          • CliveM

            Some sacrifices need to be made!

      • dannybhoy

        Excellent!

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    The Jews are leaving Europe not because the Jihadists are coming, but because they are already here, dwelling among us

    At whose insistence was Islam brought to Europe? Could it be those who believe that ‘[anti-Semitism] is endemic to every Christian culture’ and that the final solution lay in making Christian countries less Christian? The nineteenth century German historian Heinrich Graetz wrote to a friend: ‘we must above all work to shatter Christianity’. Now that the shattering of Christianity is coming along very nicely indeed, the Chosen Ones are moaning about the consequences. No pleasing some folks, is there?

    • Pellam

      You have no problem casting a wide net of collective guilt over generations of Jews and even fabricating to make it fit. Rather disgusting.

    • Linus

      This is out and out anti-Semitism.

      Any more conspiracy theories and dark plots up your sleeve? Zionists? A New World Order elite? Reptilian aliens masquerading as Mrs Mountbatten and President Obama?

      You have to hand it to these people: they do crazy better than just about anyone. I think they even beat you Christians at your own game.

      • carl jacobs

        Johnny Rottenborough is not a Christian.

        • Dreadnaught

          He’s not a Secularist either.

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        This is out and out anti-Britishism like all your posts.

        • Linus

          I am not anti-British.

          I quite like the Scots.

          The few Ulstermen I’ve met have been perfectly charming, although I can’t understand a word they say.

          I don’t know any Welshmen, but I do know a lady who was born in Chepstow, which I gather makes her an honorary Welshwoman, if not in fact. She’s lovely and, curiously enough, quite a good cook.

          No, I have no issue with any of the constituent nations of the United Kingdom. Except one.

          Can you guess which?

          In any case, I propose a new National Anthem for you. One that even Mrs Mountbatten will be able to sing. It’s called “Dystopia” and the words go something like this:

          And did Those feet in ancient times
          Walk upon England’s pavements pee’ed?
          And was the Holy Lamb of God
          In England’s greasy kebab shops seen?

          And did the Countenance Divine
          Shine forth upon our muddy hills?
          And was Dystopia builded here
          Beside that blonde Satanic Heather Mills?

          Bring me my Pint of Burning Slops;
          Bring me my Alcohol-fueled Desire;
          Bring me my Chips; O bowels Unfold!
          Bring me my Chariot of Mire!

          I will not cease from Mental Plight,
          Nor shall my xBox sleep in my hand,
          Till we have built Dystopia
          In England’s grey and rain-soaked Land.

          • Wasn’t your mother English, Linus?

          • Linus

            She got out, Jack.

            My mother was proud of some parts of her English heritage, but not of others. She certainly never wanted to go back. She compared life in France with life in England and found England wanting. More and more wanting as time went by and the English descended into the fast-food and ten-pints-a-night pit they currently inhabit.

          • sarky

            Nearly splilt my beer and choked on my kebab when I read this!

          • dannybhoy

            Well Linus there are lots of us who would agree with your mother’s analysis, but we are where we are, and we hope that we will see a return to good manners and respect for learning.

            One of the reasons we loved holidaying in France was seeing parents, grandparents and children all out for a meal together, the politeness in shops etc. The absence of loutish behaviour. Lots of things. I always thought it was rather like we used to be, but we have (unfortunately) followed the American model.

          • sarky

            Really?? I take it you’ve never been barged out of a line at disneyland Paris by one of our polite onion loving neighbours then.

          • dannybhoy

            City dwellers are all the same Sark(ozy?)
            Bordeaux was an eyeopener, especially around some big church or cathedral (I forget) but it was very popular with a certain community , some of whom favoured the entrance as some kind of pissoir…

          • Linus

            Not to quibble, but the correct word is pissotière…

            As with any large French city, there is a significant population of North Africans in Bordeaux. When fully integrated they respect the same hygiene standards as the rest of us. When newly arrived they have a tendency to do what they want, where they want.

            It’s a question of education. And education takes time.

            Surely you must be confronted with this in the UK.

          • Inspector General

            ” When fully integrated they respect the same hygiene standards as the rest of us.”
            Must use that the next time a politician lies about the benefits of multiculturalism…

          • dannybhoy

            Yes. I’ve got the wet boots to prove it.
            Pissotiere eh?
            Thanks for that.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            French men go out and piss in their gardens. A dear friend of mine (English) who lives in Cognac despairs of her son-in-law (French) who strides out and points his petit pee-pee at the roses.

          • dannybhoy

            A lady of your breeding might be shocked to know that many men find a certain joie de vivre in dealing with weeds and infestations through “l’utilisation de leur appendice masculin”
            That the wife doesn’t know adds a certain frisson of dangeur…
            At least that’s what Jack and Clive told me….

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Goodness! I must remember to keep a pair of opera glasses in my trug…

          • CliveM

            He’s lying. I would never, cough, ahem you know what in the roses. Might get scratched!!

            I think Tom a Sharpe in the Wilt Alternative gives the necessary description of the risks!!

          • They have to express themselves somehow, Mrs Proudie.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Ah yes, La Gloire! Would that be a gloire de matin or (forgive the franglais) une gloire-hole?

          • Linus

            Serves you right for going to Disneyland.

            And how do you know he was French? Are you sure he wasn’t Italian? Barging is a national sport in that country. Or Spanish? Did he barge as an individual, or was the whole family involved? Were there any headscarfs in the group? If so, they were probably Moroccan or Tunisian.

            Don’t presume that every person you interact with in Paris – and especially not at Disneyland – is French.

          • CliveM

            Sarky

            Happened to my wife. Fairs, fair however he was given a very hard time by the other French around us for his rudeness to my wife. His wife was massively embarressed and dragged him away.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            You haven’t been to any of the banlieus then?

          • dannybhoy

            I haven’t and wouldn’t dear lady, and i must express dismay that such a refined creature as yourself would frequent such places..
            Perhaps.. you.. once.., lost your way?

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            I always carry a Baedeker and a Macintosh square…

          • Linus

            Your periods are starting to run into each other, Mrs Proudie.

            Is this the first sign of the menopause, or did Geraldine McEwan read for the part of Cousin Charlotte and never quite reconcile herself to being pipped to the post by Maggie Smith?

            In any case, be careful how you leap from Trollope to Forster. If you trip over your crinoline and take a tumble, you might end up face down in a Parisian gutter. And believe me, Zola’s women aren’t nearly as pampered as your twittering English heroines.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            I borrowed both from Miss Charlotte Bartlett – have you never heard of inter-library loans?

          • Linus

            I suppose if you’re going to construct a fantasy world around yourself, you may as well borrow as many colourful characters from as many stories as you can.

            Who else is living in Barchester with you? Gandalf the Grey? Lemuel Gulliver? Emma Bovary? Or are the French edited out of your little fantasy? Perhaps we just play the role of villians and ne’er-do-wells. Perhaps Boney is mounting an attack as we speak. To arms, citizens! Form your battalions! Barchester is under attack! The French are coming over walls to storm your homes and strangle your sons and your companions. Careful Mrs Proudie! Your virtue is at stake. I have in my grip a screeching little bat and when I find you, its going straight up your nightdress. That should sort you out…

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            That screeching little bat you are gripping has obviously bitten you…the frothing at the mouth is a dead give away but not a good look.

          • William Lewis

            Speaking of fast food, do you know which European country has the most McDonalds outlets per capita?

          • Linus

            We have to feed the American and British tourists something!

          • William Lewis

            piffle

          • 2% of the French eat there every day, Linus.

          • Linus

            2% of the people in France on any given day eat there, Jack.

            If you’re outside London you may not be familiar with that phenomenon called “tourist”. I know they’re thin on the ground outside the British capital. But here in France we see millions of them every year. And they have to be fed. Hundreds of thousands of meals per day. A lot of this is fast food.

            Damned lies and statistics, eh? Beware the statistician who quotes unadjusted figures at you. He’s just trying to use them as a weapon to prove a point. But he rarely checks them out or sees anything in them that he doesn’t want to see.

          • France.

          • dannybhoy

            Scotland?

          • William Lewis

            ‘fraid not. Try again but don’t look at Jack’s answer.

            I’ll give you a clue: if you have been swallowing much of Linus’s inedible twaddle of late you will be very surprised by the answer.

          • dannybhoy

            I know the answer William , but I was being silly..

          • William Lewis

            Spoil sport.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            I’d be very careful about swallowing anything coming from Linus…Mr Slope is not so particular however…

          • William Lewis

            Goodness, Mrs. P., do be careful with your wording. Some people might find a double meaning in that comment, if you catch my drift. Whether Mr Slope would be interested in Linus’s seminal contributions, I know not.

          • Linus

            Oh, I dunno…

            British. Clergyman. Notoriously single. Eager to advance himself both professionally and socially, for which of course polished French would have been a necessity in that period.

            Something tells me Mr Slope would have been very interested in me. Whether that interest would have been returned however is more debatable.

            I think he was played by a young Alan Rickman in the BBC adaptation, was he not? Hmmm … well, had I been at a loose end while trapped in an English period drama and a young Alan Rickman started making overtures, I might not have objected. Nothing interesting ever happens in English period dramas, so it would have been a break in the monotonous routine of sitting about, drinking tea, looking arch and twiddling my thumbs…

          • William Lewis

            He was very good in Die Hard I thought. We do love a good pantomime villain.

          • The Explorer

            Some years ago, I remember McDonalds research complaining that in the US the average customer took 9.4 minutes (or thereabouts) to complete a meal, whereas in France the average was 23 minutes. They were agonising about how to get the French to eat faster, and have less reverence for food.

          • Linus

            It’s got nothing to do with reverence for food. How can anyone possibly have reverence for a McDonald’s burger?

            My own theory is a little more prosaic. American gullets have been so stretched and distended by years of burger consumption, a US consumer of McDonalds basically doesn’t have to chew. He just breaks his burger up into fist sized chunks with his incisors and swallows them whole. This obviously speeds up his rate of consumption.

            I’ve seen it happen. I know it’s true. Canadians are just as bad. I know one (Anglo, of course) Canadian who swallows his burgers like you or I would swallow a pill. It’s impressive, but in a creepy OMG kind of way.

            I hope I never see it happen here!!!

          • The Explorer

            Quite. When I said “reverence for food”, I was speaking from a McDonald’s perspective: not from my own.

          • And it actually rules out your ‘defence’ that the consumption at MacDonald’s is driven by tourists.

          • Linus

            Rubbish. An American can sink three times as many burgers as a Frenchman in any given 10 minute period. And they do. Even when there are equal numbers of Americans and Frenchmen in a McDonalds “restaurant”, Americans will be eating far, far more than the French. They don’t just stop at the first burger and shake. They supersize it and then go back for seconds and thirds.

          • Surely that would drive up average consumption times? Think before you post, Linus.

          • Linus

            Sigh. Jack’s just not keeping up with us, is he?

            McDonalds identifies a “meal” as whatever they place on your tray and you walk away from the counter with. You can eat one “meal”, go back up to the counter and order another “meal”, and repeat the process as many times as you like.

            When the French eat a “meal” at McDonalds, they get up and leave after they’ve finished. Americans are more likely to go back for seconds and sometimes even thirds, which all count as new “meals”. So consumption times remain the same no matter how many trays they clear.

            Do try and pay attention before you post, Jack.

          • Ha, wrong again, Linus. Your really are poor at this. You’re living in the 1990’s.

            Remember José Bové? He who valiantly bulldozed a McDonald’s in Milau, France, to protest against U.S. trade restrictions on French dairy products. This French hero declared: “We attacked this McDonald’s because it is a symbol of multinationals that want to stuff us with junk food and ruin our farmers.” Such radicalism. Such bravery to attack a building with a machine. French media declared war on McDonalds, the epitome of malbouffe, blamed for the nation’s rising obesity rate.

            If only such bravery had been manifested against the Germans …..

            Alas, the French lost ….. again. More humiliation. More disgrace. Is there no end to it?

            McDonald’s has turned the home of Le Cordon Bleu cooking academies and the Michelin Guide of world-renowned restaurants into its second-most profitable market in the world. It has more than 1,200 restaurants in France, with a growth rate of 30 restaurants per year in the past five years alone.

            How did it do this? Not through tourism. Not through D Day landings.

            McDonald’s understood the cultural ‘particularities’ of France. You like to eat at home and like to take your time. Al that gossiping needs a space and a time, after all. And the day has to be filled somehow as the French don’t like to worl long hours. French not only meals last longer, more food is consumed through multiple courses. McDonald’s capitalised on this. They provided table-side service, particularly in taking orders from lingering diners inclined to order an additional coffee or dessert item whilst they wile away the hours in idleness – gossiping.

            The average French consumer now spends about four times what their American counterparts spend. McDonald’s also introduced McCafé in France – a range of coffees and pastries available from a separate counter. This move increased revenues by 5% but also contributed to the ’embourgeoisement’ (French snobbery) of their brand image.

          • Linus

            Calm down Jack. Your anger is taking an all too evident toll on the quality of your English. It’s sad to see a usually phlegmatic Englishman so destabilized by his Gallic man crush.

            When you start ranting about D Day, the masculine facade drops and the real Jack is revealed. Bitchy Jack, the fat English girl with a Francophobic statistic on the tip of every sharpened fingernail ready to scratch my froggy eyes out.

            “Ooh you evil French gossip, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, and we won the war!” is hardly the level of debate I was expecting from you. But I guess that’s what happens when Bitchy Jack puts in an appearance.

          • Lol … keep trying Linus. So clueless; so desperate. So self absorbed.

            Jack is showing you attention because … he must have a crush on you? Please. You must be able to do better. Once again your lack of knowledge, this time about McDonalds, reveals your foolishness and tardiness. Then a little faux temper tantrum to hide your shame. The peacock’s feathers are plucked; your image is shot.

          • Linus

            Whose comments are you reading? Clearly not mine. Your religion-addled brain is letting you down, Jack. Or maybe you just need glasses.

            The crush is all too evident. The emotional adolescent who lurks inside you is treating me mean to try and keep me keen. All this abuse, all these insults can only be cover for deeper, more intense feelings. Feelings you’re probably not even willing to admit to yourself.

            Repressed homosexuality is so common among Catholic religious obsessives. It’s certainly deeply entrenched in the priesthood. But you’re not a priest, are you? That’s clear enough. Even the most liberal of bishops would have spotted your tendency to lash out like an hysterical teenage girl and realized you couldn’t be entrusted with any kind of sacerdotal responsibility.

            I wonder if that sense of failure is what drives you to seek revenge on the men you develop online crushes on? If you can’t be a priest, the next best thing is to set yourself up as a self-proclaimed therapist, eh? A few Wikipedia articles later and you’re off analyzing your latest man crush and trying desperately to make him take some notice of you. Any form of attention will do. So you rant and rail at him and hurl personal abuse in the form of these laughable psychiatric analyses.

            If he bites and starts paying you some attention, you get what you crave: validation from the object of your desire. But that just makes you angrier than ever, doesn’t it? Because your desire is evil, so you have to punish the object of it. It’s a vicious cycle that builds in intensity until he gets so sick of you, he cuts all contact. And what happens then? I hate to think, but it probably involves penance of a disturbingly violent kind. That’s the nature of the beast you are, Jack. It needs to hurt, doesn’t it?

            I needn’t say that I pity you. You know that already. Your psychosis is deeply entrenched and there’s probably not much that anyone can do about it now. It will be with you for life. Pray hard and your imaginary god, otherwise known as your subconscious, might draw a veil over it and give you some peace in the form of selective memory loss. I certainly hope so. It can’t be easy being you.

          • You are behaving more and more like the French Kamikaze pilot who flew 30 successful missions.

          • William Lewis

            It seems to be an obsession with some. And suggests that Le Royale isn’t just for the tourists after all. Still, have to replace God with something I suppose.

          • Even so, Linus, she dispatched your sister and you to English boarding school? How unkind.

            Jack is not a fan of modern British culture. Much of this can be attributed to the Americans. McDonald’s is more profitable in France than anywhere else in Europe. Sales have increased 42% over the past five years. Some 1.2 million French, i.e. 2% of the population, eat there every day

            Some of what you write has elements of truthfulness. Be honest though, there are sections of society in France that are no better and it is on a downward path.

            Obesity levels in France have doubled between 1995 and 2004 (to 11.3% of the population). True France has the lowest obesity rate in Europe but this can change. Nord-Pas-de-Calais is the fattest region in France, with 51% of the population overweight or obese. France’s national average at 42 percent. Between 1992 and 2000, in the region, obesity in girls doubled while the total for boys grew by 195%.

            And alcohol consumption is an increasing health risk to. There are 49,000 deaths in France each year from alcohol-related illnesses – around 134 each day, with 40% of those deaths were people under the age of 65. In France, alcohol is an important cause of premature mortality. It is responsible for 22% of deaths between 15 and 34 years of age, 18% of deaths between 35 and 64 and 7% of deaths of over-65s. Indeed, death attributable to alcohol are above all cancers (15,000) and cardio-vascular diseases (12,000),

            It’s the same with crime, particularly violent crime. The worst area for violent crime is the Mediterranean coast. It’s one of the most corrupt and crime-ridden regions in Europe, particularly around Marseille and Nice. There is a vicious underworld of racketeers and drug dealers. Marseille is notorious as the centre of organised crime such as drug-trafficking, money-laundering, robbery and prostitution. There’s a growing use of guns in urban crime, and gang killings are fairly frequent in Marseille and Corsica.

            Drop the French chauvinism. Your country is no better than other European nations, except in one respect. It’s full of French men.

          • Linus

            At least one half, possibly two thirds of the fast food meals served in France every day are consumed by foreign tourists.

            On any given day in the year there are between 200,000 and 250,000 foreign tourists in France. That represents one heck of a lot of burgers.

            Weed out tourist consumption and you’ll find that France has one of the lowest per capita consumption rates of fast food in the Western world.

            Unfortunately you’re right when you say that obesity is a growing problem here. It hasn’t reached UK epidemic proportions yet, but it’s certainly growing at an alarming enough rate. This is in part due to an increase in the consumption of fast food, in part due to high levels of immigration (rates of obesity are significantly higher in immigrant communities than they are in the general population) and in part due to increasingly sedentary lifestyles common to all Western nations. France is not immune from these influences, but we have managed to resist them significantly better than most other European countries.

            If you want to eat healthily, France is the best place in the Western world to live. That’s not chauvinism. It’s a basic fact.

          • “If you want to eat healthily, France is the best place in the Western world to live. That’s not chauvinism. It’s a basic fact.”

            This is true, Linus, at the moment. Traditionally, the French celebrate good food and meal times are ‘events’. Things are changing though and cooking and eating patterns and habits are changing.

            ” … rates of obesity are significantly higher in immigrant communities than they are in the general population.”
            Linus, is that statement true? Naughty, naughty.

            You didn’t comment on drinking patterns and increasing crime. Is this all down to immigrants too?

          • Linus

            Tsk, tsk Jack! Prognosticating the future? You? A devout Christian? Don’t you know your Deuteronomy?

            Deuteronomy 18:10 “There shall not be found among you anyone who … practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens … for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord.”

            Welcome to the club, Jack. I always thought there was a faint odour of abomination about you. Considering your obsession with homosexuality, I put it down to deeply repressed man love, which is of course a thesis I haven’t totally abandoned yet. But your penchant for predicting the future must be responsible for at least a part of the aroma.

          • Tsk, tsk here you go again, Linus. One notes you’re prone to hysteria and exaggeration and use both as avoidance. And you’re back on smell and odour too. Your obsessional use of food, smells and body shapes in discussion are actually very revealing.

            Change is inherent in nature and society. In people too if they’re open to growth and development. Some things change; others don’t. Some people change; others don’t. That’s not fortune telling; it’s common sense.

            So, are you actually going to address any of Jack’s points?

          • Linus

            Tsk, tsk, you just can’t help yourself, can you Jack? Fortune telling and amateur psychiatry … tell me, have you ever thought of taking a turn as a side show attraction at your local village fair?

            While you’re there, you might want to reflect on the fact that you don’t control this or any other conversation. Neither do you set the rules or dictate to anyone, least of all me, what questions we answer. You may ask questions that I choose to ignore. That will, of course, be frustrating to you and your sense of divine entitlement, but I’m afraid you’re just going to have to live with it. Happy Jack is not in control. Neither is his god.

            You’ve already admitted that the UK suffers far more than France from obesity. And this despite your attachment to your Christian roots, your devout monarchy and your state sponsored religion.

            God hasn’t done a very good job of protecting you from all the fat plague, has he Jack? But he seems to be smiling on secular France and preserving us from the worst effects of the punishment he’s visiting on you. How can that be? Have you not been praying hard enough?

          • Ah, childish rebelliousness and hostility to authority figures to throw into the mix. This all figures. Obesity is heading France’s way.

            Was it your mother, father or sister who was/is fat – or all three, perhaps?

          • Linus

            See what happens when you let one abomination take hold of you, Jack? You’ve gone from fortune telling to bearing false witness in a few short steps. I hope you remember to confess all of these sins this week. Hang back and let the others go first, won’t you? You’re going to be in there for a long time…

            As for the cryptic remark about authority figures, I’m not quite sure I catch your drift. What authority figure would that be? Did I miss a post from the proprietor of this blog? Did an elected French official post something? Otherwise I’m aware of nobody here in possession of any kind of authority over anyone else. It’s all liberty, equality and … well, liberty and equality at least … on this blog.

          • Linus, Jack used the term ‘authority figure’ for a reason. You have confirmed his hypothesis. Think about it. And such avoidance … never mind. You have a need to disclose. It’s just a matter of time.

          • Linus

            A matter of time until they drag you away in a straitjacket to the asylum for religious loons, you mean?

            On that I think we can both agree.

            But in the meantime, by all means keep hammering away at me. It’s only an online crush and I’m perfectly happy to humour you for the time being. It must be lonely in that Catholic coffin you’ve confined yourself to. If I can bring a goal to your life other than the sterile and pointless worship of a god you know to be imaginary, I’m only too happy to help.

          • No, no, Linus. This will not do. Once again you are reverting to narcissistic bitchy queen mode. A skinny, obsessive, late middle-aged French man, prone to hysteria, has to have another tactic surely?

          • Linus

            It’s stronger than you are, isn’t it? This need to judge, control and manipulate everyone around you. It’s almost at Catholic clergy levels. But not quite. I sense some kind of flaw in there, something that Papa Ratzi would most certainly not have approved of.

            What could it be? Ah, yes. I have it! It’s the man crush. That wounded masculinity that estranges you from a proper sense of paternity and renders your vocation flawed. If it drives you to pester gay men online, the Church must take a pretty dim view of it. If they know…

            I mean, you haven’t even seen a photo of me. Are you sure you’re barking up the right tree?

          • Linus … Jack can only repeat himself:

            No, no, Linus. This will not do. Once again you are reverting to narcissistic bitchy queen mode. A skinny, obsessive, late middle-aged French man, prone to hysteria, has to have another tactic surely?

          • PaulOfTarsus

            Ah, at it again. Spreading lies and planting falsities. you are really a worthless, sick minded dote. you call others names yet you think yourself perfect & above it all – you’re what’s left on the TP when I finish my morning constitution.

            Take your meds now to quiet the voices – being a paranoid schizophrenic can be dangerous to your health, sicko.

            obviously you don’t worry about the consequences of your sinful actions though you warn others of theirs – you 2 faced hypocrite.

            ha ha – just having a bit of fun at your expense since you can’t leave well enough alone.

            Now you can get back to your gay friend – bend over for him like a nice limp wristed tart.

          • Ah, Paul of Tarsus – Proxy King of Crux and NCR – drops by.

            “Now you can get back to your gay friend – bend over for him like a nice limp wristed tart.”

            Tut, tut … did you learn that approach during your time in Catholic ‘seminary school’ or was it as a ‘clinical psychologist’ working with the criminally insane?

          • CliveM

            FYI – Italian food is healthier. Also interesting fact French male life expectancy is shorter then UK male life expectency, by about 6 months. French adult males have a significantly higher suicide rate.

            French women live significantly longer then UK women.

          • IanCad

            You like the Scots!!??
            I’m one and can’t stand the nationalistic blowhards that they are.

          • Linus

            They’re only nationalistic when there’s an Englishman in the room.

            With anyone else they’re as friendly and jovial a people as you could hope to meet. Except in Edinburgh, of course.

            Knock on a Glaswegian’s door at 4 in the afternoon and he’ll say, “Och, ye’ll not have had yer tea then?” Do the same in Edinburgh and the greeting will be “Och, ye’ll have had yer tea then…” The wind that comes off the North Sea chills the bones, but the smile of an Edimbourgeois pierces right through to the marrow!

          • dannybhoy

            You’re an old romantic Linus.
            They probably thought you were French or something….
            🙂

          • Your correct about Glaswegians and Edinburgians.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Tsk tsk…your, you are, you’re …pull yourself together dear boy, you are conversing with a French pedant…

          • Luring him in, Mrs Proudie. An old Jesuit trick Jack picked up on his travels. It’s not working so a more direct approach may be called for..

          • Linus

            Of course, stupid of me. He’s attempting to impersonate a Jesuit. Had he been a little more convincing, I might have seen it earlier. But it makes sense now. It certainly explains the inflated sense of personal importance and the clumsy attempts to control the terms of the conversation.

          • Not very good at this are you, Linus. Too much personal investment. Your first sentence is correct.

          • bluedog

            ‘pedant’? Is that the correct term?

          • dannybhoy

            My wife has a Scots son in law..
            It started off well between us and sadly and rapidly went down hill..

          • Not Clive?

          • dannybhoy

            Awwhh, you guessed!

          • Poor Clive.
            Poor Danny.

          • CliveM

            Right let’s make this clear, I am NOT Dannybhoys step son in law. :0(

          • Eh?

          • CliveM

            I least I think that would be the relationship you were alluding to!

            Unless I miss read?

          • avi barzel

            Ehem! My wife is half Scots, half Welsh. More connected to her Edinborough and Islay kin, though. (My effing spell-check on my effing device changed “Islay” to effing ISLAM!!! Twice! You chaps would have had a howler at that one for days, if I hadn’t noticed. Must always be on my toes here. It’s harrowing.)

          • CliveM

            Nowt wrong with the Scots, despite linus’s recommendation. But as one, I can agree with IanCad, some are a bit ‘blowhard nationalists’.

          • avi barzel

            Ouch. You just outed yourself. Not sure they allow Scots in here. I’ll say you’re Jewish and a friend of mine, if it ever comes up. Just back me up when Carl starts knocking my appetite for schmaltz herring and single malt.

          • CliveM

            I’ve owned up before. Actually I’m a mix, Scots and Ulster.

            But I will happily back you up over the Herring and malt with Carl. After all Canada stayed loyal to the Crown.

            Gawd Bless ‘er Majesty.

            Puts on Pith Helmit and stares nostalgically with wobbly chin and damp eyes at ‘the flag’!

          • avi barzel

            Funny, my wife’s Scots side has Ulster and Belfast, some Scottish migrants, others Irish Proddies. We could be relatives! Her Scots side are all lowlander Andersons, Camerons and for the splash of thistle-flower pink in the kilts, a few Bairds. Most are Monarchists. I’m afraid Canada is still connected to the Crown mainly because it doesn’t know how to handle the transition to a republic with issues over provinces, Native land treaties, newly minted currency and all that. That Her Majesty is the head of our government appears to be a well-kept secret and most believe that Barry Hussain Obama is our King and Justin Bieber our Queen.

          • CliveM

            My Ulstet family are an eclectic mix of Irish, Anglo Irish, Scots and Huguenot. But big crossover between Ulster Protestants and the Scots.

            My fathers side, pretty solidly lowland/border Scots.

            Their is a Jewish convert in the extended family (2nd Cousin)! I often wonder what my Great Granfather would think as he was an Evangelist for the Bretherin!!

            I have never met her, but get the impression fairly secular Sephardic Jews. Suspect she converted because of children.

          • IanCad

            That is funny!

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Time I think to petition the crown to renew the ancient claim to the French throne…then we could have you arrested. In the meantime, we must acknowledge – and be content – that only your development has been arrested.

          • Linus

            There is no French throne to claim.

            I know news travels slowly over La Manche, but you’d think that after more than 225 years, the message would have been received and understood.

            Perhaps your faculties have been deranged by your enormous consumption of hobnobs? I know one is enough to put me into a pre-diabetic coma…

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Then let me send you a crate load immediately…

          • Linus

            Please do. I have a distant cousin who runs a few pigs on his property. He’s always looking for new ways to increase his yield. I should imagine pigs fed on hobnobs would fatten at record speed. If they don’t just curl up and die, that is…

            Worth a try though. If it works for the English…

          • Well said. Get Slope to deliver them and assist in their consumption. He and Linus can compare gullets and swallowing capacity.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Well, chop off the heads of the brightest and the best and what do you get? Robespierre, Marat… St Just…urgh!

          • bluedog

            If you want to restore French monarchy, we can donate a Duke. His daughters both have French Christian names and would fit in admirably with the BCBG set.

          • Linus

            We don’t and thank you but no thank you.

            But even if we did, the duke of Pork, sorry … York, would hardly be a suitable candidate for any throne, let alone a putative French one.

            Admittedly the last king of France was also fat, slow and inbred. But his reign was an unmitigated disaster. So why would we want history to to repeat itself?

            Does this duke of yours speak French? Could his dumpy daughters do justice to French couture? Slapping Chanel gowns on their broad Windsor backs won’t suddenly transform the poor girls into willowy French sirens. And potato sack chic just isn’t a market in which French design excels. They’re much better off staying where they are. British frocks make all women look like frights, so they’ll stand out less and live happier lives as a result.

            In any case, your duke doesn’t have any sons and the French throne has always been governed by Salic law. So why choose a king without an heir? What would the point be?

            There is actually a remnant of our former royal family still alive and well and living in Paris. If ever we decide (in some parallel universe, maybe) to restore the monarchy, they will probably be our first port of call. The effects of centuries of consanguinity are just as evident in that line as they are in your own royal family, but at least they speak French and their women know how to stay height/weight proportionate and wear couture.

            No, an Englishman as king of France is a contradiction in terms. You might as well ask Gérard Depardieu to take over from Mrs Mountbatten when she finally pops her clogs…

          • bluedog

            ‘In any case, your duke doesn’t have any sons and the French throne has always
            been governed by Salic law. So why choose a king without an heir?’

            Surely there is some little 17 year old Francaise of suitable breeding, with child-bearing hips and an accommodating nature, who could oblige? After all, our Duke is both unmarried and vigorous. A civil wedding to satisfy the secular obsessions of the French state could be arranged. After all formalities have been completed, one can imagine the cheers, the excitement and the peal of bells as the Dauphin emerges in his mother the Queen’s arms from his Christening in Notre Dame.

          • Linus

            Well, as you seem to be in the grip of some kind of drug-induced fantasy, I’m afraid that pulling the plug on this conversation might send you over the edge into a full-blown psychotic episode. So, in the interests of letting you down gently…

            Salic law not only states that the occupant of the French throne must be a male, it also requires that he be born of a legitimate marriage recognized by the Catholic Church.

            So, unless Sarah Ferguson is still fertile and her husband (in the eyes of the Church) is able to sire a son on her, or unless you’re willing to have her assassinated to make way for a younger bride, Andrew’s chances of begetting an acceptable heir look a great deal slimmer than he does.

          • bluedog

            ‘… it also requires that he be born of a legitimate marriage recognized by the Catholic Church.’

            No problems here. The Roman Church is sufficiently commercial to be able to offer a dispensation or annulment where pressing matters of state are involved. Of course, HRH would be required to submit to Rome. But then Paris is said to be worth a mass.

          • Linus

            So Airmiles Andy would get a second wife, eh? How’s that for a slippery slope?

            Somehow I don’t think he’d get away with it. Muslims would be up in arms demanding polygamy for all. Feminist groups would freak out and accuse the Church and the monarchy of promoting the oppression and objectification of women. There would be civil chaos and probably a national strike.

            No monarchy could survive that.

          • avi barzel

            A hilarious exchange between you and Bluedog, Linus.You two need to chat much more often which is why I up-voted both of you. I don’t for a moment believe that you’re French or just learning English. Nor that you hate the English; your breath-taking facility with “their” a language suggests not only genius, but a powerful love of England and the English. Just my opinion.

          • Linus

            My mother was English. I learned the language at her knee. In a very real way, it is my mother tongue. But I am not English. I am French. My first language is French and my greatest love and loyalty belong to France.

            Which is not to say that I don’t have a deep connection with England and the English. Not always a happy one, unfortunately. There are things I like about England and there are things I loathe. I enjoy visiting England, but I’m always glad to get back home to France. And when the English do things that are just plain wrong-headed, which sadly is all too often, I feel entitled to speak my mind, as one does en famille, especially when dealing with rustic cousins from the country whose education one feels obliged to take in hand.

          • avi barzel

            And my mother was culturally “French.” Sort of. Alliance Francaise school which was de rigueur for well-to-do Jews in the Balkan country we lived, and a year in a boarding school in France, which even for a staunch Zionist, probably topped a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Although her family, like most, was religiously observant, (until that ended under the Communists) most Jews and upper class Christians were politically secularist and republican, connected to the wider world culture and distrusted the clergy and feared monarchism and theocracy. And for sound reasons.

            I think you need to understand the outlook of our British friends here a little better. With a several centuries-old tradition of stable, parliamentary monarchy, a large
            and industrious middle class, and a sophisticated, well-ordered Church, all under a system of laws and customs, they don’t really understand the attraction a secular republican government with even lip-service to universal rights and egalitarianism can have to those not so fortunate. They have no idea how thoroughly a class of corrupt, violent swine in clerical garbs, in cahoots with
            demented autocratic monarchs and their hand-selected ministers and functionaries can destroy a country and its people. What they can see is that the British system of governance, which I happen to think has been the best the world has seen (and happens to be inimitable by most cultures), is being dismantled by crude secularism, a reversion to a primitive Paganism.

          • Linus

            We’ll have to agree to disagree.

            Take the following example. Obviously I support equal marriage. But many of my fellow citizens (mainly those who live in Versailles, but there are others too) do not. I also know that many of the British do not support it.

            Let’s compare the reaction of the French and British when equal marriage laws were passed in each country, shall we?

            French opponents of the law came out (sic) and demonstrated en masse, creating a climate of tension and conflict that prevented the government from taking the new measures as far as it would have liked to. Equal marriage and adoption were introduced, but the ban on medically assisted procreation and surrogacy for gay couples was confirmed. It’s unlikely that any future government will touch the issue again, for fear of stirring up a hornets’ nest of protest. The protestors didn’t achieve all of their objectives, because equal marriage and adoption are here to stay. But they did manage to make the government understand that a substantial percentage of the population, although not a majority, is not in favor of any further change. Not yet, at least. And probably not for a generation.

            Contrast that with the reaction in Britain. When parliament passed the equal marriage laws, a few fundamentalist Christians threw a tantrum, but virtually every other opponent just shrugged their shoulders, grumbled a bit and went on as though nothing had happened. They’d been arguing that equal marriage would make society disintegrate, would deprive children and fathers of their human rights, and would probably end up making the island of Great Britain flip over and perish in fire and water. To them it was the end of the world, and yet they just shrugged their shoulders, grumbled a bit and went on as though nothing had happened.

            Is that the sort of citizen “the best system of governance in the world” produces? A creature so apathetic that he accepts the end of the world with a shrug of his shoulders and a grumble?

            The Manifs Pour Tous absolutely appalled me. To see so many of my fellow citizens on the streets demonstrating against the extension of a basic human right to a minority they felt didn’t deserve it made me sick to my stomach. But had they just shrugged their shoulders, grumbled a bit and stayed at home, I would have been even more shocked. Apathy kills democracy. And judging from the British reaction to something so many of them found so unacceptable, it seems pretty clear to me that in the UK democracy is on life support and may not live out the night.

          • avi barzel

            Well, if we’re going to agree to disagree, Linus, here’s my take.
            First of all your example is a poor one. Most people opposed to same sex marriage don’t object to two same sex partners considering themselves “married,” or even having the same civil rights as married people. They object to being forced to redefine their own definition of marriage. Human unions and families are a serious business involving culture and religion and for the state to jump in and introduce a new definition which everyone has to honour is a major step.
            Secondly, people didn’t holler about the end of the world and then, when the legislation was passed over their heads, just shrug. People gradually accepted same sex unions because they believed the promises. What was promised is that these new rights would not impinge on their rights to define marriage as it has been defined for millennia and compel them to comply in their personal, religious and business lives. That is clearly out the window; in schools, at job sites, businesses and socially, anything that is short of cheerful acceptance or “celebration” of these unions as bona fide or “equal” as you insist, marriages is now sanctioned. This is where the opposition is and may even build.
            And thirdly, taking to the streets and demonstrating for legislative issues is not a sign of greater seriousness or, God forbid, of a more democratic society. It’s not a British political tradition. It’s a behaviour reminiscent of riots and pogroms. No government should make decisions on how many people take to the streets on any given issue. To do so would mean that we are ruled by the will of the mob, or more exactly, by those who have the charisma or the finances to excite or bribe an intimidating mass of people. How this particular issue will play out in Britain and nations with British parliamentary traditions is yet to be seen. Proper democracy moves slowly, deliberately, with a lot of debate, compromises and shifting of alliances.

          • bluedog

            Good comment, Avi. In France Sarkozy has announced as part of his platform for the presidential campaign in 2017 that he will repeal Hollande’s SSM legislation if elected. There are two conclusions. Firstly polling and focus groups suggest this is a vote winner. Secondly Sarko needs to avoid being outflanked on the right by Le Pen. Hollande will lose due to the economy and his general ineptitude, so France may be the first democracy to dump SSM.

          • avi barzel

            Thanks. And that’s certainly a surprise, your news. If France does that, the effect will be monumental. Finally, someone saying that the emperor has no clothes. The narrative that’s been built is that SSM is progress and progress can never be reversed because, well, it can’t. An immutable cosmological law, or something like that. And when it’s reversed it will be clear that no one’s human rights are being violated. Partnership rights will remain, same sex couples will be able to find churches to “marry” them, but that no one will be compelled and sanctioned for not going along.

          • bluedog

            You’re right. We will withdraw the Duke of York’s candidacy immediately, failure is not an option.

            We do have a spare bachelor prince, Harry. Not previously offered because the cry, ‘God for Harry, France and St Michael’ doesn’t have the right ring to it. However, through his late mother Diana, Harry is legitimately four times descended from His late Majesty King Edward III, whose own mother Isabella Valois of France was the only daughter of King Phillip IV of France.

            It can thus be argued that Harry has a better claim to the French throne than the current Orleanist pretenders, mere popinjays with their self-conferred titles. The Feminist groups you rightly fear would be assuaged by the abrogation of the Law Salic.

          • Linus

            Problem is we can’t abrogate the Salic law because, as any Catholic fundamentalist-cum-royalist Versaillais will tell you, it was instituted of God in the time of Man’s innocency and is therefore immutable.

            So sorry, your plans to foist another dismal Windsor prince on us are once again thwarted. Although I will say that Harry was an advance on your last offer. We liked his mother despite her massive English nose and poor taste in men.

            Problem is that Harry (probably) has Windsor genes in him, so he’s bound to go bald and run to fat sooner or later. Even if he were an eligible candidate for the French throne, he’d therefore fall at the first hurdle. What would it do for our “image de marque” to have a flabby ginger pudding as head of state? Hollande is bad enough, but at least we’ll be rid of him in a few years. At a conservative estimate, Harry could hang on for at least another half century. He’d end up looking like prince Albert de Monaco and that, I’m afraid, is something we could never permit.

          • bluedog

            A disappointing response, perhaps you are better off with your presidential circus. Comparing the Windsors with the Grimaldis is bizarre.
            ‘Hollande is bad enough, but at least we’ll be rid of him in a few years’ What then? Sarko v2 or Le Pen? It just gets worse. One supposes Sarko is preferable. Having married Mick Jagger’s ex-concubine, Sarko will always boost the circulation of the celebrity magazines which helps to keep the masses amused.

        • Inspector General

          Well said, madam!

    • B flat

      I know Linus does not read articles which he pretends to answer, thus muddying the waters, but I see nothing at all that attacks or defames the Jews in your informative posting.

      • Johnny Rottenborough

        @ B flat—Your kindness is appreciated. Perhaps I should have made clear that my first quote is from Sidney Hook’s 1949 article Reflections on the Jewish Question in Partisan Review 16:463-482, and that Hook was a Jew. Graetz was also a Jew and his quote comes from AS Lindemann’s 1997 book Esau’s Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews, page 91. My apologies if the quotes appeared to be from anti-Semites.

        • avi barzel

          Ah…I should have read on. You quote from modern histories and papers. What a fascinating collection you have. Lindeman and a shit-load of yellowing 30s and 40s journals that must be worth quite a mint by now. My kingdom for a few more quotes to put it all in context. Usually found in proceeding pages and chapters. If it’s not too much to ask. Because, you see, some unkind bastards out there might think you pulled these secondary…or is it tertiary now?..sources (with maybe a leetle beet of fecking about) from, you know, those antisemitic websites everyone else seems to get all this wonderfully collated shit from.

    • avi barzel

      Go on, don’t be shy, quote your sources, Johnny.

      Are you saying Jews brought Muslims to Europe? Truly? The Venice agreement, the Eurabia project, the immigration policies of the EU, part and parcel of the betrayal of Israel to the Arab fascists and the fictitious “Palestinians” for oil contracts and promises of peace from Muslim terror….all that cleverly engineered by Jews? Such as the ones converted to carbon particles in Treblinka and Sobibor or a handful of lickspittle Jewish communists? A “final solution” for Christianity? Is that your own clever term or were you, um, inspired by the respectable savants you are known to follow?

      And you quote Graetz? From his apologetics on his11th volume of his Histories, surely? Or, oh don’t be coy now, from your personal library’s collection of his epistles and from the original Hoch Deutsch? Es ist treu? Or perhaps from secondary contemporaneous commantaries such as Treitschke’s pamphlets? How lucky I am tonight to run into a fellow aficionado of the Romantic historiographers and the the Wissenschaft des Judentum genre!

      • Johnny Rottenborough

        @ avi barzel—From the nineteenth century, Jews in the United States played a major role, I dare say the dominant role, in opening up the US to non-white, non-Christian immigration. It places too great a strain on credibility to argue that Jews in Europe were not doing the same. After the Holocaust, European Jewry found itself pushing at an open door; American Jewry’s triumph came with the 1965 immigration act. Given that Jews believe Christianity to be inherently anti-Semitic, a belief bolstered by, as the Jews see it, centuries of persecution at the hands of European Christians, it is perfectly understandable that Jews wish to shatter Christianity. Why be coy about it? I’m glad you like the Hook and Graetz quotes. Months after first discovering it, the Graetz quote still stops me dead in my tracks, and I’m not even a Christian, more a sympathizer.

        • avi barzel

          What a delight to find that an obscure 19th century Jewish historian hereto known mostly to a handful of post-grads in Jewish studies departments is making a splash among studious Storm Front website scholars like yourself. Keeping them awake at night, even. kids nowadays have no appreciation for the past, so to see someone almost reliving it by being “stopped in his tracks” gives a fellow a boost of hope for humanity.

          And to be associated with the demise of Christianity, the collapse of Western Civilization and the muddying of the Lily-White Race is truly flattering. Shows you that even one percent of the population can achieve so many things, even in the midst of a majority of its members being exiled, “pogrommed,” disenfranchised, thrown into cattle cars and ovens and such. Today they call it “multitasking,” I think. An inspiration to today’s feckless goofs. Too generous you are with your boundless flattery, Johnny. Really, you shouldn’t have…it’s almost embarrassing.

          So easy to lose track of issues in these heady discourses, but as a fan of 19th century intellectual to-dos, I’d really like that background on the Graetz quote ( even boring evidence of its veracity) that appears to have inspired you so. Much obliged, again.

          • Johnny Rottenborough

            @ avi barzel—Irony is a poor substitute for considered debate and wears thin with surprising rapidity. Knowing that you will label as fake every quote from Jews that shows your community in anything less than a glowing light, I see no point in establishing the veracity of any quote beyond giving the source.

          • avi barzel

            Perhaps so. But irony is a fair substitute for calling someone a shit-for-brains lying antisemite. For example. Keeps the gentlemanly, polite discourse creaking along, it does.

            Anyway, you didn’t provide the source; you provided dubious citations without context by a source you mysteriously avoid divulging…I really don’t believe you dug up the info in old history books and discontinued journals by your lonesome self.

  • saintmark

    Old anti-Semitism came from the far right, new anti-Semitism comes from the far left and it’s hatred of Israel.

    • IanCad

      No, old anti-Semitism came from the left. That is, if you are alluding to the Germans.

      • Albert

        It’s worth recalling the extreme anti-Semitism in the USSR. But then, I suppose that as Communists are bad, the Left thinks Communism is a right wing ideology. Just as Stalin was religious, but Martin Luther King wasn’t according to Hitchens.

  • Linus

    French politicians avoid mentioning religion because our Republic is based on secular values. Religion is a private matter that has no place in political discourse.

    Valls was speaking of the Jews as demographic group rather than as a religion. A demographic group being targeted for persecution by another demographic group within the Republic. This is the failure he talks about. It is the responsibility of the Republic to ensure that all groups within it understand, respect and live by Republican values. They’re welcome to their religious beliefs, but they must respect the rules by which we all live.

    There was an interesting report on French TV a couple of nights ago about radicalized Muslim youth who are leaving France for Syria and the Islamic paradise they believe awaits them there. Despite an official policy that forbids people from leaving the country and subjects them to police surveillance once they’ve been identified as being potentially linked to terrorist groups, it was clear from the report that no real attempt is made to detain these individuals. They’re waved through passport control like any law-abiding citizen and one has the distinct impression that whatever the official policy may be, the government is only too relieved to see the back of them.

    I hope there won’t be an exodus of law-abiding Jews from France in the coming months. I hope that radical Muslims who want to bring down the Republic will decide to leave. Their exit from France doesn’t seem to be controlled, but their re-entry certainly will be. Once they leave they’ll never be allowed back in. If they can’t integrate and respect the right of all French citizens to live our lives in peace, they do not belong here. It’s as simple as that.

    • Dreadnaught

      France will not allow for Border Control which facilitates free movement of jihadis within the EU. We should all carry 2 passports National and European. They could be bar-coded and examined at every border it would not affect free movement. Why don’t they just do it!

      • Linus

        If jihadists are leaving France for another Schengen country then no, their passports are not checked. But if they’re boarding a flight to Turkey or any other Middle-Eastern country, they most certainly are.

        If you think that border controls should be reinstated between all members of the EU, well that’s something that’s open to debate and there are arguments for and against it. The knee-jerk insular English reaction is to demand controls at every border. That’s what you do in the UK, but it doesn’t stop thousands of sans-papiers sneaking into your country every year, does it?

        Border controls are only part of the story and certainly not the silver bullet that will stop all jihadists exporting their creed around the world. ALL borders, even the most tightly controlled, are porous.

        • Dreadnaught

          Its not a knee jerk reaction we’ve been pushing at it for it for years.
          Illegals seem to be having a grand old time of it courtesy of the Burghers of Calais non?

          • Linus

            It’s your standard knee-jerk reaction whenever anything goes wrong. Close the borders and protect Fortress Britannia! If you didn’t have a natural moat, I wonder how you’d cope? You wouldn’t be quite so smug if you couldn’t pull up the drawbridge and blow raspberries across La Manche.

          • bluedog

            Come on, the hexagon has water on three of its sides and mountains on two others. You just need to do a proper job of defending the open border.

          • Linus

            Your border is closed and still you have thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of illegal immigrants wandering your streets.

            No border can ever be impervious. We live in an era of mass migration and thinking that closing the border and putting up “No Entry” signs will stop the flow of people is naive in the extreme.

            You could always try mining your side of La Manche, or patrolling it with gunboats and submarines that can blow ships full of asylum seekers out of the water. Many will still get through, but you can hunt them down and imprison them in internment camps while they’re awaiting trial. As the courts will be overloaded with cases, they’ll probably spend several years behind bars waiting for their cases to come to trial, so overcrowding will soon become a problem. But in typical British fashion, you’ll turn a problem into an opportunity and start building more internment camps to hold them. The building industry will boom!

            Is this what life under Ukip will be like? Barbed wire and electric fences everywhere. Internment camps dotting the landscape. Expensive to run, I should think. You’d better make the prisoners work to pay their way. Turn each camp into a profit centre and if they don’t generate enough income, cut the prisoners’ rations. Burials will be far too expensive, so when they die of starvation, cremate them and sell their ashes as fertilizer…

            Frightened yet? You should be.

          • bluedog

            Indeed, judging by toilet paper sales, recorded electrical power consumption and other reliable indicators the UK population is heading towards 70 million, of whom 10 million are almost certainly illegal immigrants and Muslims to boot. This may be an exaggeration but not by much. As a result some investment banks are forecasting that the British economy will shortly return to its rightful place as the largest in Europe.

            In my view this is a questionable assumption. The Muslims’ idea of ‘work’ is to buy a taxi, or open a restaurant that sells curried goat to their cousins or run a newsagency that sells the Karachi Times and Dabiq. No wonder the service sector in the UK continues to grow, the current account deficit buckles under the weight of imported goat meat, and because the Muslims operate a cash economy, tax receipts never cover government expenditure on the welfare benefits they also claim.

            Whether Nigel Farage (was that once Faraj?) has the answer to these problems remains to be seen. It is clear that Cameron does not, but now his potential successor Boris Johnson is waiting in the wings it may get worse. If Boris becomes PM his Ottoman genes and his Turkish cousins will combine to reverse the EU into a restored Ottoman Empire and all will be lost. Albanians and Bosnians will be dispatched as Ottoman gauleiters to the capitals of Europe, except of course London where Boris will reign supreme. His inaugural blessing by the Grand Mufti in the Hagia St Paul will be the social event of the year.

          • Linus

            Between 6 and 7 million illegal immigrants in the UK? Incredible! Ukip are certainly going to have their work cut out arresting, interning and deporting that many. You’re going to need a LOT of internment camps.

            How many, I wonder? Let’s think about this.

            Using the average UK prison (which I believe houses around 550 individuals) as your model, more than 10,000 internment facilities will need to be built. If you spread them evenly across the UK, that’s a minimum of 100 per county or council area, based on 6 million internees. If there are 7 million, obviously you’ll need even more.

            If you decide to make the facilities bigger in order to reduce the overall number, you’ll need to take into account the security and health risks posed by confining large numbers of people in close quarters. Also, in order to comply with human rights legislation that requires minimum standards of housing for each inmate, and security concerns that prohibit dormitory-style accommodation where prisoners can congregate in large groups to organize mass break outs, riots and other forms of resistance,
            you’ll be forced to confine each internee to an individual or two person cell. This obviously puts an upper limit on the size of the facility, as each cell block will need to be properly serviced, maintained and guarded.

            UK prisons are relatively small, but if you take the largest prison in the US (Louisiana State Penitentiary) as an example of what’s feasible, you could house as many as 6,300 internees in one facility. That still means nigh on 1,000 facilities will need to be built, or around 10 per county.

            Covering an area of 28 square miles, Louisiana State Penitentiary employs 1,800 staff. So for 1,000 similar facilities, 28 000 square miles of land would have to be found, which represents nearly a third of the total land area of the United Kingdom (obviously a higher proportion of the inhabitable land, but let’s assume for the purposes of this calculation that you could build an internment camp on the top of Ben Nevis … I’m sure that’s where some Ukip members would like them to be sited!)

            To staff these camps, 1.8 million jobs would need to be created, which would almost completely wipe out unemployment in the UK. Or so you might think, but remember that the majority of employees in an internment camp would be working as prison guards, which is a demanding job requiring very specific skills and training. Not every unemployed person in the UK would be suited to such work, so any shortfall would have to be met by … wait for it … immigrants!!! Oh no!!! The very thing you want to avoid…

            Anyway, if we ignore that problem for a moment, the average salary in the United Kingdom for a prison guard is £21,351 per annum. If we factor in lower salaries for other positions such as cleaners, kitchen staff, etc. and arrive at an average salary of £18 000 per annum, the annual payroll costs alone for all of the internment facilities would be in the order of 32.4 billion pounds, rising to 40.5 billion pounds once National Insurance contributions are factored in.

            The average cost of maintaining a single prisoner in the UK in 2014 was £39,600 per annum. Multiply that by 6 million and you arrive at board and maintenance costs of a further 238 billion pounds a year, for a total cost to the UK taxpayer of nearly 280 billion pounds per annum to staff, maintain and supply all of the internment facilities needed to deal with your clandestine immigrant population.

            That’s around 38% of total UK government expenditure for 2014.

            Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Each new prison place in the UK costs approximately £120,000 to build. So the cost of constructing these internment camps would be around 720 billion pounds, which is almost 100% of government expenditure. Taxes would have to rise by nearly 140% in the first year to pay for it all, although in subsequent years you’d only be paying 40% more tax than you do now. And many thousands of construction workers would have to be recruited from overseas. Drat! More
            immigrants! Just what you don’t want!

            You may object that I’m not taking account of deportations, and that the population of the internment facilities would soon diminish as immigrants were sent packing. And you would be correct. But how many could be sent back, in what time scale, and how much would it cost?

            Around 4,600 illegal immigrants were removed from the UK in 2013 at an average cost of approximately £25,000 per removal. That’s around 115 million pounds per annum, a paltry sum in comparison to what it would cost you to run the internment camps. But those 4,600 cases meant the court system was working at capacity. Twice the number of cases would have overloaded it completely. 10, 20, 30 times the number of cases,
            which would be the numbers needed to make a dent in the internment camp population, could not be dealt with. And it takes time to remove an illegal immigrant. On average, at least 18 months for the case to proceed through the courts and for a final removal order to be issued and acted upon. Most illegal immigrants arrive in the UK without a valid passport or identity papers, so that if they’re caught, they can’t be identified and sent back immediately. So as part of the deportation procedure, these documents must be obtained from the immigrant’s home country before he can be sent home. The length of time it takes to establish an individual’s true identity and have a passport issued in his name can be upwards of a year. It would therefore take a minimum of 2.5 years before the first 4,600 immigrants in the camps could be removed. At that rate, 1,304 years would be needed to remove all 6,000,000 immigrants, although obviously they would all be long dead by then. But they would die in detention and you would have to house, feed and pay for them for the rest of their natural lives. And if they started to have children, the legal complications – and the costs – could go on for generations…

            So, at a conservative estimate, not taking into account new births, and assuming an average detention time of 30 years per immigrant, the total bill for dealing with your illegal immigrant problem would be no less than 9 trillion pounds, or approximately 12 years of total current government expenditure.

            What price Ukip, eh?

          • bluedog

            Brilliant! An outstanding piece of analysis. I’m tempted to plagiarise the whole thing and send it to the Home Secretary Theresa May, with an invoice demanding payment for my freelance consultancy work. But I won’t, nor would I.

            It is important to emphasise the difference between the official population per the 2011 Census, 63.2m, and the estimated population based on anecdotal evidence. The latter figure is based on estimates by the nation’s grocers and supermarkets on the number of mouths being fed, using certain assumptions. The figure calculated is around 70m, which equally tallies with estimates of household sector electricity demand per capita. So if the estimated figures are right, about 10% of the population disappears on census night. It seems unlikely that the full 10%, say 6m, are illegals , but one way or another it seems that number of people prefer not to be counted.

            London has an estimated population of 8.4m which puts the missing 6m in perspective. It is hard to believe that there are more than 500,000 illegals, but with the huge discrepancy in the figures its difficult to guess what is going on. As long as I can remember London has had a population of 8m, but it is self-evidently far more crowded that it used to be, say, 25 years ago. The missing numbers may well be hidden in the metropolis.

            The traditional British practice with unwanted population is to transport them to an empty continent well away from the homeland. This is no longer as easy as it was. Unwanted EU citizens can be sent packing relatively easily. One can envisage the UK leasing premises in some African hell-hole like Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea and building a corrective facility there.

          • Linus

            Bear in mind that the figures I quote are very approximate and it’s possible that I may, in a few cases, have counted certain costs twice. I’d say there’s a 10-15% margin of error in my calculations, which could make the final figure as low as approx. 7.5 trillion pounds.

            Also bear in mind that I haven’t even looked at the figures involved in tracking down 6 million clandestine immigrants. How many police would have to be recruited? It takes the coordinated efforts of several police staff to bring a single criminal to justice. How many would be needed to deal with 6 million?

            I also haven’t estimated the likely costs of any major outbreak of infectious disease in the internment camps. Coming as they do from all over the world, if you place them cheek by jowl in a confined space it could spell disaster. While a high mortality rate amongst internees would decrease ongoing expenses associated with detention, increased demand on the health service could cost hundreds of billions and stretch those services to breaking point. The entire resources of the NHS across the whole country would not be able to cope with the extra load of an outbreak of highly infectious disease in a single camp.

          • bluedog

            George Freidman of Stratfor has addressed the problem highlighted by the CH massacre and comments as follows:

            ‘Europe’s sense of nation is rooted in shared history, language, ethnicity and yes, in Christianity or its heir, secularism. Europe has no concept of the nation except for these things, and Muslims share in none of them. It is
            difficult to imagine another outcome save for another round of ghettoization and deportation. This is repulsive to the European sensibility now, but certainly not alien to European history. Unable to distinguish radical Muslims from other
            Muslims, Europe will increasingly and unintentionally move in this direction.’

          • Dreadnaught

            I somehow get from you, the image of a disgruntled Englishman-abroad: characteristically they are more bigoted towards the English than the ethnic French and despised as a result.

          • Linus

            *Shrugs shoulders*

    • dannybhoy

      Good post Linus, but I reckon the Jews will leave France in increasing numbers, because as should be obvious to everyone by now, Jews are not aggressive nor demanding. The radicalised French Muslim youth will return to France to help spread the Umma’h into Europe. As far as I can see the bloody chaos of the Middle East, Syria and Iraq will come to Europe, and have the same effects here as it is there. As stable, peaceful, tolerant unarmed societies we will struggle to contain it.

      • Dreadnaught

        Can’t see it getting that far; more than likely the Shia-Sunni will lock horns over Mecca. Saudi Arabia is the more likely next battle ground, if they fall – switch off the fan!

        • dannybhoy

          Well, I think Europe is in for a really rough time, and whilst I accept that these groups will fall out with each other, we won’t be sitting around eating popcorn…

        • IanCad

          You could well be right. Iran holds a strong hand.

    • Albert

      Religion is a private matter that has no place in political discourse.

      The only people who think that are normally not religious. I cannot separate my religious beliefs from my public and political life. Thus, according to you, I cannot participate in public and political life. Nor can any serious Christian. Or Jew. Or Muslim. Some tolerance.

      • dannybhoy

        Well said Albert.

      • Linus

        Participate all you like. Just leave God at home. Or if you have to bring him with you, make like Paris Hilton and keep him out of harm’s way in your handbag.

        You can spout all the political principles you like and they can be as influenced by Christianity as you want them to be. But you don’t have to present your rules as God’s rules to people who don’t believe in him. You’ll just get their backs up and force them to oppose you in everything you do no matter how much they might agree with some (obviously not all) of what you propose. There is such a thing as the spectre of a return to theocratic rule.

        I wouldn’t vote for any political party that openly espoused Christianity no matter how much of their manifesto I agreed with. But a party with exactly the same program presented in a secular manner might (I say “might”) garner some support from me. Enough for me to consider it as an acceptable coalition partner for the party I really supported, for example.

        • Inspector General

          There’s a thing! The Inspector won’t vote for any political party that openly espouses homosexuality. So goodbye Conservatives. Unfortunately that makes this man a bigot, whereas you are a man of principle. Image that, a blighter like you held in higher esteem over a decent fellow like yours truly…

          • dannybhoy

            Well said Inspector, nor would I.
            I don’t dislike them, I treat them as equals, I would go their assistance and protect them, but when it comes to the agenda of groups like Stonewall, no. As a Christian I do not believe that their agenda is good for society.

          • Inspector General

            It takes guts to take on the uber people you know!
            Well done, Sir!

        • Albert

          First of all, Linus, as a Catholic I tend to argue my positions philosophically when discussing with non-Christians- i.e. I seek out the positions of agreement with others and try, as far as possible to express myself in those terms. Similarly, when speaking to Protestants, I try to defend my positions on the basis of the authority that they accept – namely the Bible. This capacity of Catholicism to defend itself on terms shared with others, even though it may require a self-denying ordinance, is deeply admirable, and I note that other traditions, secular or religious, don’t seem to be able to do so, or not as well.

          But you don’t have to present your rules as God’s rules to people who don’t believe in him. You’ll just get their backs up and force them to oppose you in everything you do no matter how much they might agree with some (obviously not all) of what you propose. There is such a thing as the spectre of a return to theocratic rule.

          Well let’s turn this on its head:

          But you don’t have to present your godless rules as rules to people who believe in God. You’ll just get their backs up and force them to oppose you in everything you do no matter how much they might agree with some (obviously not all) of what you propose. There is such a thing as the spectre of a return to the Reign of Terror/State Atheism.

          Do you see the problem? I’m in favour of you contributing in society from your secular point of view. That follows from my belief in democracy and equality. I expect you to have the courage and the intellectual content to be able to allow your position to be placed under the spotlight by those who do not agree with your perspective. Similarly, I expect you to allow the same of me. If we don’t allow that, then all we are saying is “You are welcome to contribute, but you can only contribute those things with which I disagree, and within the framework of my choosing.” That would be a way of me imposing Catholicism or you imposing godlessness.

          That’s not the kind of political world in which I wish to live. Is it the world in which you wish to live? If you say yes, then you have undermined the very tolerance on which your position is based and your position dissolves in its own acid. If you say no, you need to modify your attitude to religious contributions to political and public life and make it as tolerant as my Catholic position.

          • Linus

            Here in France our state is secular. Those are the ground rules and if you want to participate in the political process you have to respect them. You don’t have to be an atheist. But you do have to present your political arguments in secular terms, because those are the only terms that are acceptable to the whole nation.

            You can be a Christian and still fully participate in the political life of a secular state. The same cannot be said for Atheists in theocracies, where often expressing their opinions may be a crime.

            The UK is not exactly a theocracy. Nor is it fully secular. It has elements of both, although secularism is fast becoming the norm in political life. There’s a reason for this. Secularism is the only system that provides everyone, Atheist, Christian, Jew and Muslim, with a level playing field. It does not favour one religion over another. Neither does it favour itself. All mention of religion: the presence or absence of God and whether it’s right or wrong to believe in him, is avoided in a secular state. So everyone has the right to believe what he believes and nobody is forced to participate in a form of worship his conscience cannot accept as part of his duties or responsibilities within the body politic.

            It is no sin for a Christian minister of state or councilor to carry out civil government in the name of the law. But it would be deeply immoral to force an Atheist, or a Muslim, or a Jew, to carry out civil government in the name of Christ. A Christian political system would discriminate against all other faiths (or the absence of faith) by its very nature. A secular political system discriminates against no-one.

          • bluedog

            ‘Secularism is the only system that provides everyone, Atheist, Christian, Jew and Muslim, with a level playing field. It does not favour one religion over another.’
            But can’t you see, this is the fatal weakness of the French Republic? It may have taken 200 years to manifest itself, but any state needs foundational values, and rightly or wrongly, those values tend to be encapsulated within the religious beliefs of the majority of the citizenry. France was and is a Christian nation from its ancient origins. The history of France is full of saints, you have a saint as a king, and yet you have now created a vacuum that is being filled, legitimately, by Islam. You should be terrified of the consequences.

          • Linus

            We have no kings and recognize no saints. Not as a nation, at least.

            Our foundational values of liberty, equality and fraternity are what make us strong and united. When was the last time more than 3 million British citizens descended into the streets to demonstrate their loyalty to the founding principles of your nation, whatever they may be?

            Religions and gods come and go. Only secular values are timeless.

          • bluedog

            ‘We have no kings and recognize no saints. Not as a nation, at least.’

            By divorcing yourselves from the past you have lost control of the future.

            You are right, at no time have three million British felt the need to march, reflecting their fear of what lies ahead. There, but for the Grace of God, go we.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            You had kings and once recognised saints…then it became a bloodbath and things went downhill. The Third and Fourth Republics were abysmal. It could of course be argued that the constitution of the Fifth Republic is remarkably monarchical (in an Orleanist sense)…and you ended up with scooter-sex-beast Hollande…

          • Linus

            We can vote Hollande out of office. When does the next election for the position of duke of York come around?

            Besides, Hollande wasn’t married, so no bond was broken. I don’t have much time for the man, but he’s done nothing that impugns his position as president of the Republic.

            It’s odd to hear our president criticized for his love life by someone from a country whose royal family virtually invented the concept of the sex scandal. And was she really only 17? That’s statutory rape, isn’t it? If proven, of course.

          • bluedog

            Well, she was just 17
            You know what I mean
            And the way she looked was way beyond compare
            So how could I dance with another (Ooh)
            When I saw her standing there

            Okay by Lennon & McCartney and the age of consent is in the UK is 16. Ticks all the boxes.

          • Linus

            The age of consent in Florida, where the alleged crime took place, is 17. Even dukes of York must comply with local legislation. I mean, you’re not telling me you think your royal family is above the law, are you?

          • bluedog

            There is no record of the Duke going to Florida when Roberts may have been there. Of course the Royal Family is not above the law, in any way. And don’t even think of implying that there might be political interference that could arguably pervert the course of justice.

          • Linus

            Let’s see what the outcome is before we start to talk about political interference, shall we?

            I have to admit, I can’t imagine any political heavyweights putting their necks on the line for Airmiles Andy. But they might make an effort for his mother’s sake.

            If she falls off her perch before the end of this affair, he might be in trouble. But if she hangs on for another few years, he’ll probably be OK. Given the woman’s grim determination to outlive her eldest son (and who can blame her?), I’m guessing his younger brother doesn’t have that much to worry about. But if Charles starts looking peaky and wan any time soon, she’d better set Andy up as governor general in one of those dubious British Crown dependencies that don’t have extradition treaties with the US. The Turks and Caicos Islands, maybe. Or, irony of ironies for a rejected candidate for the French throne, Saint Helena…

          • bluedog

            One would think that the Falklands would be more familiar territory for the Duke, given his earlier experience there. Dreadful climate.
            As for St Helena, I have in my possession four beautiful glass wine carafes embossed with a gold crowned ‘N’. Now where did they come from…?

          • Linus

            Les îles Malouines ?

            You can’t send him there. Argentina will overrun them soon enough and you know what happens to fat Englishmen with a sense of entitlement in that country. If not, ask Jeremy Clarkson…

            No, the more I think about it, the more suitable Saint Helena seems in every way. It’s remote. There’s a suitable house all ready for him at Longwood. The culture is extremely accepting of child abuse and sexual exploitation. It really would seem to be the perfect choice…

          • Do you always play the part of ‘bitchy gossip’, Linus? You do it very well for a man. Do you have any masculine friends at all? Other than those who you play the queen to, that is.

          • Linus

            Starting to get under your skin, am I Jack?

            Don’t worry old boy. Just loosen your collar, take a deep breath and think of England. Pray hard and you’ll overcome these feelings you’re starting to have for me.

            And if not, well you can always look to Origène for solutions to your predicament.

          • Better, Linus. Not by much but at least you’re not whining “libel”. Now, if only we can get you fight back like a late middle-aged man and not like a girl swinging her cheap handbag or a prima donna who supposes everybody is interested in her.

          • Linus

            A sexist as well as a homophobe, eh Jack?

            You really do have all the talents, don’t you?

            Do you consider yourself to be a prime example of how late middle aged men should fight back? Stupid question – of course you do! I’ll warrant you consider yourself to be a prime example of every stereotypical masculine virtue. It’s the kind of guy you are. Jesuits (real or otherwise) don’t often suffer from self-esteem issues, no matter how obese they are, or how poor their personal hygiene may be. They honestly believe they’re so close to God, they can’t tell where they leave off and he begins…

            Ah well, all delusions aside, how’s the man crush sitting with that rugged masculine self-image? Is it provoking any itches where you dare not scratch?

            If Origène seems to be too radical a remedy for you, why not try Bonhoeffer’s solution? Airline tickets to Turkish destinations are going cheap at the moment and I’m sure once you’re over the Syrian border, martyrdom in an Isis camp will keep your mind off all things carnal.

          • Fixated on weight and personal hygiene, Linus. And such narcissism. One is forming a clearer picture with your every post.

          • Linus

            One tailors one’s remarks to one’s interlocutor, Jack.

            I have to talk about things you can understand otherwise there can be no exchange.

            You’re English, therefore you’re extremely likely to be overweight. And like most overweight people, personal hygiene is always going to be a challenge for you. And therein lie two ready-made topics of conversation that can animate any discussion with an Englishman.

            What would we talk about otherwise? Football and Top Gear?

            Were you Italian or Spanish, no doubt our conversations would have been quite different. But you’re English.

            I rest my case.

          • Lol …. but you have no “case to rest”, Linus. Happy Jack is not of English parentage. Alas, your attempt at rationalisation falls. What other subjects have you talk about? These subjects pepper all your exchanges. And such stereotypes … so, so revealing.

          • Linus

            Following every move I make, are you? Typical of the online stalker. Your obsession with me is clear to see. Everyone but you realizes a man crush when they see one.

            Come on Jack, why not admit it? You want to have my babies. Sorry, but I’m already spoken for.

          • Lol …. another ejaculation (something said quickly and suddenly) that is premature (without thinking). This seems to be a recurring issue, Linus.

            Jack does not live in England.

          • “Come on Jack, why not admit it? You want to have my babies. Sorry, but I’m already spoken for.”

            Linus, did Mummy and Daddy not explain these things to you? No wonder you are so mixed up. Guess you never got over that fixation on you mother, the envy of your sister and the need for your father’s approval.

            Linus, Jack hates to break this to you. No matter how hard you try you cannot have babies with another man. This is true. Really, it is, How unfair, you shriek. Where is the Égalité in this, you demand. God made man and woman different. He must have been unaware of the French Constitution. Anyway, there it is. Now, we know you really, really don’t relish all the messy body contact involved in ‘intimacy’, so this information will be a mighty relief for you.

            Have you had this discussion with your intended?

          • Linus

            Why so troubled about reality all of a sudden, Jack? Reality never seems to matter to Christians when they’re dreaming of heaven and the angels. So why should a trifling little matter of biology stand in the way of you having babies? Don’t you believe in miracles? Is this god of yours so powerless that he can’t make you conceive? Dear me, so there are limits to his omnipotence after all!

            Never fear! Have faith! All you need to do is pray. And pray. And then pray a bit more.

            First of all, pray that God transforms my opinion of you, from crazy religious obsessive closet case projecting his own self-loathing onto any openly gay man he encounters, to holy and virtuous progenitor of strong sons. Because if he doesn’t, your plan falls at the first hurdle. But have faith! He may make the scales fall from my eyes and transform my opinion of you from nut job to nubile, in which case you’re in with a chance.

            Once you have me where you want me, the next step will be to pray for a miraculous conception. It may seem impossible, but ask and ye shall receive! If God can part the Red Sea, turn water into wine and cast demons into the deep, then surely he can transform your phoo-phoo into lady parts and provide you with a womb! Not quite sure how that will work, but doubtless we’ll be able to figure it out when the time comes. And then 9 months later you’ll be cradling a babe in thine arms. A miracle child. Dare I say, a second …?

            Just think of it Jack! The fruit of our love may well raise you to be, if not Queen of Heaven, then at least her Première Dauphine. A place for you on the steps of the Throne of Heaven, a nice sparkly crown, and millions of faithful venerating you with the words “Je vous salue Jack ! Plein de graisse ! Vous êtes béni parmi tous les pédales ! Et le fruit de vos ……. est béni!” Don’t worry, I’m sure the Church will fill in the blanks in a way that spares you any unnecessary blushes… ☺️

            As for me, well rather like Joseph, I expect I’ll just fade into the background and maybe have a church or two named after me. How does Saint-Linus de la Semence Miraculeuse sound? That will be sufficient for me, because after all, this is your show, isn’t it? I wouldn’t want to overshadow the performance of a lifetime.

          • This is one of the most peculiar and deranged posts Jack has read in all his years of blogging. He is speechless.

          • Linus

            Jack is speechless!

            Praise de Lawd!

          • Yes, its a first.

          • dannybhoy

            “Religions and gods come and go. Only secular values are timeless.”
            You’ve got that wrong Linus my friend.
            Secular values change quite quickly.
            The thing about the three million united citizens? Yes it’s good,and possibly when we have a terrorist outrage people here may do the same.
            But let’s be honest here Linus, one or two terrorist attacks with large numbers of casualties, the crowds will melt away through fear and anxiety.

          • Linus

            Islam terrifies me no more than any other religion.

            France is profoundly secular in outlook and it will take more than a few radicalized Muslim youths in the suburbs to change that. They make a lot of noise, commit a lot of crime and generally make a nuisance of themselves. But they don’t represent a threat to the integrity of the State.

            I’m used to the “catastrophism” of Christians though. You exaggerate everything in an attempt to frighten people into believing they’re in danger and only you and your god can save them. One episode of terrorism does not mean that Islam is poised to take over France. To imply that it is would be a cynical and manipulative political ruse designed to persuade people they must choose Christianity or be killed by jihadists. It’s the kind of tactic the FN uses to scare people into voting for them. Luckily anyone with a bit of intelligence can see right through it and recognize the demagogue who’s peddling it for what he really is.

          • bluedog

            ‘ One episode of terrorism does not mean that Islam is poised to take over France.’ What of the zones sensible where the French police only go in strength? Bit by bit France is being eroded, as is every other western nation where the Muslims have settled and established their own societies.
            Deny it if you will, but one day you will notice the difference even though you are currently in denial, which saves you from confronting reality. Terrorist acts are a disaster for the Muslims, because the kuffar are alerted and become afraid. The freedom provided by a secular society is all they need to continue their expansion until democracy delivers its reward. No wonder the ‘moderate’ Muslims are outraged by the terrorist hotheads, these boys are an obstacle to progress.

          • Linus

            The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

            Sorry Chicken Little, I don’t buy it.

          • bluedog

            There would have been those who thought the same thing in Constantinople, and more recently, Mosul.

          • Albert

            Those are the ground rules and if you want to participate in the political process you have to respect them.

            So if you are unable to separate your religion from your politics you cannot participate in French national life. But if you have no religion then you can.

            But you do have to present your political arguments in secular terms, because those are the only terms that are acceptable to the whole nation.

            That cannot be true. Secular arguments are not acceptable to all people. An argument based on the assumption that world is Godless, must necessarily be rejected by anyone who believes in God.

            You can be a Christian and still fully participate in the political life of a secular state.

            No you can’t, you have to leave God behind, you said so yourself.

            The same cannot be said for Atheists in theocracies, where often expressing their opinions may be a crime.

            Which is irrelevant, since I am not defending that.

            There’s a reason for this. Secularism is the only system that provides everyone, Atheist, Christian, Jew and Muslim, with a level playing field.

            That isn’t true. If I am an atheist then all of my opinions can be brought to bear on a political topic. If I am religious then only some can. So the French constitution does not uphold religious equality, but rather, discriminates against religious people, in favour of materialists. Put the matter another way, does a constitution which requires you to present your political arguments in secular terms more favour an atheist or a religious person?

            So everyone has the right to believe what he believes and nobody is forced to participate in a form of worship his conscience cannot accept as part of his duties or responsibilities within the body politic.

            It seems to me that you think that one either has a French model of secularism, or one lives in a theocracy. This is a false dichotomy, and it comes, I am sure from France’s unhappy history of religious intolerance, in which, the non-religious were far more violent than the religious. Please don’t get me wrong, I love France. But I think there are better models of equality – those which allow everyone to contribute everything they want to. I would define a proper secularism as one not which requires certain beliefs cannot be included in the public forum, but one which does not foreclose against any religious opinion. In a mature debate, some opinions will fall by the wayside – that’s democracy.

          • Linus

            Government and religion are two separate things.

            For example, everyone, be they Atheist, Christian, Muslim or whatever can agree with the statement that we are all equal before the law.

            The Atheist will believe we’re equal because that’s what we’ve decided to be.

            The Christian may believe that we’re all equal because God created us that way.

            The Muslim may not believe we’re all equal at all, but he can still agree that for the purposes of the law, we will all be treated as if we were equal. As long as he agrees to abide by that rule, he doesn’t have to believe it’s objectively true. So he won’t have to compromise his religion.

            Secular government obliges nobody to compromise their religion. Even in the case of the recent introduction of equal marriage, government officials who for religious reasons feel they cannot officiate at same sex weddings have the option to deputize someone else or relinquish their mandates. The same has always been true for those who feel they cannot officiate at the weddings of divorced persons, although I might note that I’ve never heard of anyone resigning over that principle, whereas they beat their breasts and complain of religious persecution when the state asks them to marry other couples they consider to be illicit.

            Secular government is the only framework that all citizens can agree on. If a secular state required a renunciation of all belief in God, I would agree that it would be impossible for Christians to participate in it. But this is not the case. Your faith is your own affair. But government is everybody’s affair. So it must be acceptable to all sections of society. In the presence of competing religions, government can only be carried out if everybody agrees to lay religion aside and work from commonly agreed secular principles.

          • Albert

            The Atheist will believe we’re equal because that’s what we’ve decided to be.

            The Christian may believe that we’re all equal because God created us that way.

            That’s an extremely honest statement, but doesn’t it reflect the very problem? The atheist believes in equality because he has chosen that. The Christian believes in equality because he believes it to be true. That means that the atheist can stop believing in equality or waive it if he wants. Now the problem is that in a secular society, with a secular constitution, it is the atheistic version which is most likely to be in the driving seat, for any doctrine that says people are equal, and that equality be something real and not chosen, is going to rely on a metaphysic that isn’t likely to be secular. And so in France people are secular only for so long as the materialists want to believe that.

            Government and religion are two separate things.

            But Government has to be based on morality, and morality cannot (for the religious person) be separated from their religion. That is my point. The secular notion you have espoused seems not to fit with reality, only with what non-religious people think religion ought to be about.

            I’m never sure I know what the non-religious person bases his morality on – at least, assuming he is a materialist, anyway. What’s clear is that a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim cannot subscribe to the moral nihilism that may well lurk beneath the veneer of Western secularism. And since we cannot be sure where the equality comes from, that’s a problem. I just don’t see how your position fits with reality.

            If a secular state required a renunciation of all belief in God, I would agree that it would be impossible for Christians to participate in it.

            But it does ask me to leave God out of things, and this I cannot do, so the difference is minimal.

            In the presence of competing religions, government can only be carried out if everybody agrees to lay religion aside and work from commonly agreed secular principles.

            That is false. I agree the state should not impose religious beliefs, but you are labouring under the misapprehension that the secular position is neutral – it isn’t.

            Beyond that, I commend France for the things you have said about registrars etc. Here, Christians have lost their jobs over such things. All in the name of tolerance, of course.

          • Linus

            We’ll have to fight it out at the ballot box then.

            I’m quietly confident that secularism will win the day. So Christians will just have to put up with secular government in the way that all minorities must put up with governments they didn’t vote for.

            Unless you’re arguing for special rules for Christians, which will also mean special rules for Muslims (better known as Sharia Law), then you’ll just have to adapt yourself to the rules laid down by the secular majority.

            Of course I speak as a Frenchman. A Christian government has no chance of being elected here. I doubt it has much of a chance in the UK, either. Revolutionaries almost always overestimate their support base, and a few new faces in church on Sunday don’t translate to a massive majority in favour of biblical rule.

            But let’s see how the next elections go, shall we? I guess we’ll know then if your god has worked one of his miracles. Or not…

          • Albert

            But Linus, that’s all I’ve been arguing for: democracy does not foreclose against certain positions. That’s all I’m saying.

          • Linus

            In practice yes, democracy does foreclose against certain positions.

            If a Muslim demands an eye for an eye, democracy closes that position right down and tells him he must abide by another set of rules.

            The trouble starts when the rule that democracy imposes is incompatible with democracy itself. Thus voter-approved bans on equal marriage can be legitimately overthrown when they are judged to be incompatible with the democratic process as enshrined in the Constitution.

            The voice of the people is not always supreme. Indeed it can often be erratic, irrational and profoundly anti-democratic. It must always be judged according to a Nation’s foundational guiding principles and, if found wanting, discarded as an example of ochlocratic excess.

            Slightly off the point, but still worth saying I think.

          • Albert

            If a Muslim demands an eye for an eye, democracy closes that position right down and tells him he must abide by another set of rules.

            That’s not foreclosing, that’s after the event. No one should say “Because you are a Muslim, you cannot contribute your religious views to the discussion, simply because they are religious.” Rather, on hearing that view, the demos may say, “No thanks.”

            Thus voter-approved bans on equal marriage can be legitimately overthrown when they are judged to be incompatible with the democratic process as enshrined in the Constitution.

            Presumably, the constitution is, in principle open to revision by the electorate?

            Who judges when the democratic voice is to be ignored in a democracy? You are sounding as if you are saying “You can vote, so long as you vote within a certain framework.” That sounds like Eastern Bloc democracy to me, which of course, most of us don’t think is democracy (Stalin’s comment about the USSR being the most democratic country in the world, notwithstanding).

          • Linus

            The Constitution may only be revised in Congress. This means a joint session of the Assemblée Nationale and the Sénat. A majority of 3/5 of the votes is required for any changes to be approved. A positive result must then be submitted to all voters in a referendum.

            Few propositions for constitutional change pass the first hurdle of being able to command a supermajority. This is how a dictatorship of the slim majority is avoided. When a large minority objects to a change, it can’t be steamrollered through unless a consensus of opinion can be formed to support it.

            As an aside, this is why equal marriage is here to stay. It can only be abolished by constitutional revision, and gaining the necessary supermajority of votes would require a shift so fundamental in French politics that it would mean the Left’s parliamentary representation would virtually be wiped out. Even allowing for the current popularity of the FN, this is functionally impossible. A core of 40% of French voters is solidly left-wing and solidly behind equal marriage, and around 20% of right-wing voters of all parties, even some FN voters, also support it.

          • Albert

            That sounds like a good system, Linus. It’s reasonable for the constitution to be inflexible, but it must be possible for democracy to change it if it really needs to change.

            I’m interested in why same-sex “marriage” has been made constitutional. Are you able to answer that.

            I would bet on it lasting. Sure it will take radical change, but that happens every now and again. Who in 1980 would have given Communism only 10 more years of life? Few if any 1750 would have anticipated the French Revolution in less than 40 years. Who, looking at Germany in 1923 with its problems of inflation would have anticipated it would have an empire from the Atlantic to the Volga in less than 20 years. Who in 1900 would have expected a man on the moon in less than a life-time (recall, there was not even powered flight in 1900, and no one knew how to escape earth’s gravity.) Everything changes here. The Left will be no more powerful than monarchists are in France now. And in that day, the Church will still be left, still preaching the same message.

          • Linus

            The good thing about fantasies is that they’re free and you can build your own and turn the world into whatever you want it to be. Only it will just be in your head. That can be enough for some people.

            I’ve explained elsewhere why constitutional revision will be necessary to invalidate the equal marriage laws in France, so I won’t repeat myself. Suffice to say that once a right is accorded, only a change in the Constitution can rescind it. Theoretically. It’s never actually been done.

            So I’m quietly confident that equal marriage is here to stay. Unless Christ descends from heaven in a glowing chariot, or however he chooses to make his next stage entrance, zaps the French parliament and forces us to live by biblical law.

            If that happens then clearly equal marriage will be no more. I just don’t think it’s very likely, that’s all.

          • Albert

            I am not making any claim for what the future will look like beyond two things: eventually, the world will change so that the Left will no longer be in charge and the Church will survive that change. It’s a fantasy to imagine the Left lasting for ever.

            so I won’t repeat myself.

            Pity. I haven’t seen the argument.

            So I’m quietly confident that equal [sic] marriage [sic] is here to stay. Unless Christ descends from heaven in a glowing chariot, or however he chooses to make his next stage entrance, zaps the French parliament and forces us to live by biblical law.

            It needn’t be that radical, I don’t think. It will just require a change in economics or politics – something we don’t expect, which we can’t foresee. It will happen, for no Empire or constitution or political system lasts for ever. From this side of the channel, BTW the French Left already looks on its last legs, for the simple reason that the French economy (as I understand it) cannot continue as it is.

        • So you don’t believe in free speech then.

  • carl jacobs

    So as the Jewish citizens of France prepare to leave, we suddenly have clear evidence (again) about why Israel exists. At the end of WWII, many Europeans wanted the Jews in the refugee camps to simply disappear… uh… go back home. Good thing they didn’t.

    • dannybhoy

      There was no way the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust could be expected to remain in Europe. In this regard we British acted shamefully by blockading those ships trying to bring them to what was then Palestine and the camps on Cyprus..
      We who call ourselves Christians have to acknowledge our own failure to stand up for the Jews then, and not ignore our responsibilities now.

    • Uncle Brian

      I don’t know what the statistics are about the depletion of the Jewish community in France, but I suspect that the destination of preference is North America, not Israel, however emphatically Netanyahu may have been preaching his aliyah message.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Although I am a Protestant Christian I have Jewish antecedents. Technically speaking it can be said that I am Jewish. I am not Israeli however. My general support for Israel comes not from faith or belonging, but from concern about a body of people who have been persecuted from pillar to post for generations. It’s time it stopped.

    • dannybhoy

      Your mother is Jewish, Dominic?
      I am amazed at how many folk here have a Jewish connection! I actually find it heartening. Our Lord in the flesh was Jew, He loves the Jewish people, and whatever the theological differences about sin and deity, the Jews are the living evidence of God’s faithfulness to His Covenant people.
      Their contributions to the world in all areas of life is astounding despite that persecution.

      • Dominic Stockford

        She is, but (sadly) don’t mention it in her presence. My great grand parents were both practicing Jews.

        And yes, the spread and the contributions of God’s people are comforting to me too.

        • dannybhoy

          Well. that’s lovely. I have a very good book “After Long Silence” by Helen Fremont, one of two sisters whose parents were in denial about being Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.
          They were brought up as Catholics to protect them.
          Well worth a read.
          God bless your mother.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Thank you for that pointer.
            Savitch is the ancestral name – common among European Jews, too common to trace.

          • dannybhoy

            Heredity is an extremely powerful influence. How it works, i.e how those genes communicate to our consciousness I don’t know, but blood calls to blood, no doubt of that..

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Dear dannybhoy. do lend that book to Linus, it might inspire him…

          • CliveM

            The pages would be stuck together when he got it back.

          • dannybhoy

            Aah,
            you mean with crumbs et confiture…

          • CliveM

            I no speeky frenchy.

            Shouting in a load voice!

          • dannybhoy

            Dear lady I would if course be honoured to please you, but not sure Linus would benefit from it. The true story relates how as the girls grew into their teens they realised that although they attended church, they never stayed for Mass.
            They also realised that their parents never talked about their own family history.
            Anyway how it developed revealed the state of deni

      • IanCad

        I wonder if I qualify? My wife’s first husband was Jewish.
        Over the years Efrem and I have often pondered over our relationship.
        “Husbands in Common.”
        “Brothers in Grief.”
        Lordy! If my wife gets wind of this I’m a dead man.

        • dannybhoy

          I don’t think so Ian. For a man or woman to be properly recognised as Jewish, the mother has to be Jewish.
          I knew a young chap briefly in Israel who had a gentile mother and Jewish father. He was a very solemn serious bloke and was quite taken up with trying to figure out where his allegiance lay.
          We know of course that not all Jewish people are godly or good. There have been and are some real rogues, just as there were in the Tenakh. There are good and bad everywhere, but I would argue that Jewish people tend to be much more aware of morality and godliness, perhaps because history has ensured they never forgot it..

        • bluedog

          ‘Step-husband’ is the term my father used to use for the first husband of his second wife.

    • Uncle Brian

      I don’t know what the statistics are about the depletion of the Jewish community in France, but I suspect that the destination of preference is North America, not Israel, however emphatically Netanyahu may have been preaching his aliyah message.

  • Inspector General

    What the Inspector is having is a real hard time with muslims like memsahib Warsi who say that Jihadists are nothing to do with Islam and that Islam is a religion of peace. Now, this man cannot say he’s read the Koran cover to cover, but he has come across enough selected passages as illustrated to us by the likes of Mr Rottenborough and many others that show the Jihadists are Islam’s purity factor, and that those who don’t also aspire to the unpleasantries in that awful book are muslim lite in comparison, so to speak.

    One realises that like Marxism, Islam can only become a religion of peace once all opposition is exterminated. Whether it be Jew, Infidel (that’s the Inspector apparently, among others), unbeliever, non-believer or the wrong type of muslim. Does Warsi appreciate this, one wonders.

    Surely it’s not asking too much for news media editors and their journalists to attend Islam awareness courses and bone up on this evil which does now, and will in the future continue to, fill so much of their pages. But if they do, they need to make sure the courses are conducted by non muslims, or, even better, ex-muslims. If Warsi or some other wool puller is in the chair, don’t bother turning up. You already know the agenda you will be spoon-fed.

    • Shadrach Fire

      Inspector; The so called Moderate Muslims need to face up to the fact that Islam calls for violence in order that it expands. Even if they did overcome all, there would be a very repressive regime everywhere just like exists in the Middle East now.

  • Inspector General

    I say, fellows. Just seen the new cover that Charlie Mort’s come up with. Some people never learn, what!

    No doubt the widow of the editor will once again blame the French state if Johnny Murderous Bastard Islam turns up again next week. Bloody socialists. Never take any responsibility for their own reckless conduct but expects the government to keep them wrapped up warm and safe and their whatever continually wiped…

    • Uncle Brian

      I like the cover, Inspector. By this stage, one more Mohammed caricature isn’t going to make a measurable difference, is it? The Religion of Peace was going to go on attacking Charlie Hebdo anyway, particularly after Sunday’s demonstration of massive public support.

      • Inspector General

        Not sure you fully understand the monster, Brian. The prophet has been re–insulted by his image re-appearing, and this time in the Guardian. He now has to be re-avenged.

        Hmmm. Used up tonight’s allocation of ‘re’s…

        • Uncle Brian

          They’re printing 3 million copies of the “Survivors’ Issue”. Three million. The murderers have created a readership figure for Mohammed caricatures that Wolinski & Co. could never have hoped to achieve by their own unaided efforts.

          Good for the Guardian, by the way. What about the rest of Fleet Street?

          Our Brazilian news channels have been showing the cover, but I don’t think I’ve glimpsed it so far either on the BBC or on CNN.

          • Inspector General

            Shouldn’t think you can move in the Guardian now for armed policemen. What price, the right to insult…

          • The Explorer

            On ‘Question Time’ last week, Dimbleby read out the BBC code of conduct. It forbids showing representations of Muhammad.

          • Uncle Brian

            You mean Brazilian broadcasters are better at their job than poor old Auntie? Can’t say I’m surprised.

          • CliveM

            Out of interest is their a big Islamic community in Brazil?

          • Uncle Brian

            No, on the contrary, very small, I think, though I’d have to look up the statistics. There’s only a single place in Brazil where the police have been worried about Islamic terrorist activity and that’s a place called Foz do Iguaçu, on the Paraná River, at the spot known as the Triple Border, where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay all meet. It’s an easy place to slip in and out of any of the three countries, unobserved by the authorities..

          • CliveM

            Does that mean either Paraquay or Argentina do have?

            I was listening to a reporter from the Mirror admit that one of the reasons they hadn’t printed the Charlie cartoon is fear.

          • Uncle Brian

            I don’t think so, Clive, but I’d have to do some googling to make sure. In any case, you never hear very much about Muslim communities here, though the TV networks can always rustle up an imam or two when needed for a debate programme.

            One incident that I recall was this: during the US invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein, Brazil offered to take in a few thousand Palestinians who were living in a refugee camp in Iraq, somewhere in the war zone. After mulling it over the Palestinians said thanks but no thanks, they’d checked on the crime statistics in Brazil and decided they were safer where they were.

          • CliveM

            ROFL ;0)

          • Uncle Brian

            On the other hand, in several of the larger Brazilian cities you’ll find a St Andrew’s Society. In São Paulo I used to go along regularly to their booze-ups. I never came across any English, Welsh, or Irish equivalent, though.

          • CliveM

            St Andrews Societies! Spend their time doing Burns Suppers and reading Rabbie Burns.

            Personally I avoid them. Nostalgic ex pats of the Celtic type can be wearing!!

          • IanCad

            I heard him on “Any Questions” He would not let it go.
            Good for him.

          • Merchantman

            It was shown on BBC following the lifting of pics of prophet.

          • Uncle Brian

            The BBC has amended its code of conduct and is now allowing itself to show pictures of Mo? That’s good news! Where I live, though, we don’t get the real BBC, only the World Service Television, where self-censorship may still be going on. I’ll keep an eye out. Thanks for the tip.

          • Uncle Brian

            The BBC World Service half-hour news programme that began a few minutes ago, at 10 p.m. GMT, opened with a report from Paris. They showed a few moments of this morning’s Legion of Honour ceremony at the Prefecture of Police and then showed bundles of this week’s Charlie Hebdo being loaded into a lorry. A voiceover described the cover illustration but, as I suspected, it wasn’t shown on screen.

        • CliveM

          What are you suggesting they might target the a Guardian next?

          Oh well every cloud etc

          • Inspector General

            Yes.

            Right then, which one of you bastards added “hopefully” after the Inspector spoke…

    • avi barzel

      One understands your sentiments and logic, Inspector, and I was swayed by the practical realities, namely that is irresponsible to court danger. At the same time, Carl had a good argument. If society accepts Muslim “offense” to the cartoons and their “reaction” as valid, who’s to say that down the road they will not claim offense at Christian claims or symbols? It is a tough call. Perhaps caution is required in the very short term, but the state should be required to act quickly and decisively to protect free expression?

      • Dreadnaught

        Not so long ago here, Prison authorities had to rotate lavatories so that the bare arsed muslims didn’t crap in the direction of Mecca. There is a long litany of accommodations made to placate the religion of peas.
        Enough is enough is too much, already!

        • avi barzel

          Interesting. One wonders hoe they managed that. Did the Muslims refuse to hold their crap until the authority cried “uncle”?

          • Linus

            I don’t understand that allusion. As my main reason for being here is to keep my English rubbed up, would you mind explaining what it means?

          • avi barzel

            You mean “cry uncle” ? I think it comes from a bullying game among kids where the bully twists his victim’s arm, taunting him to yell out “uncle!” Anyone who can access such vintage idiomatic expressions like “having my English rubbed up” is ….”well ahead of the game.” But you should be asking others; English is my third language and the greatest, still ongoing, challenge.

          • CliveM

            I think you’ve got it beat!

          • bluedog

            Thanks for the explanation of ‘uncle’. I was perplexed too.

          • Linus

            Ah, I see. I’ve never heard the expression. My English cousins certainly never used it. Could it be an Americanism?

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Well, you certainly manage to rub the English up the wrong way…

          • bluedog

            At least Linus has a sense humour and can post without indulging in the leaden pomposity and pretension of some. Not a reference to you, Madame, of course!

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Goodness! Well I hope not…leaden pomposity is more in Archdeacon Grantly’s line…and Signora Neroni is pretension personified. I am but a humble bishop’s wife and homemaker baker of hobnobs and lady of letters….ahem!

          • Dreadnaught

            The example was set for them in the seventies with the IRA Dirty Protests in the Maze Prison, where they fouled the cell walls and doors with crap and flooded the floor with piss until demands were met.

        • Uncle Brian

          I’m not quite sure about the expression “had to” in the first line of your comment, Dreadnaught. Wouldn’t “chose to” be closer to the truth?

          • Dreadnaught

            Brian, they gave in, as this country has always given in since they know they will sooner or later be hit with accusations of Human Rights violations and its cheaper to call in the plumbers than call in the lawyers.
            I’m sure they would have eaten the shit if they thought make the bastards happy keep the peace. They practically let the muslims run the prisons.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Why not get the lawyers to do the plumbers’ jobs? At least the lawyers could earn their money in an honest way then. Furthermore the prison authorities could sue them when the lawyers made a botch of it. Normally lawyers are never held to account no matter what they do.

      • Inspector General

        Avi, one puts his hands up. The Inspector does have an agenda when it comes to Islam. Diffusing the blasted thing. Now, the best way of doing that is to make plain the danger of it. It is remarkable that we don’t even need to amplify or exaggerate the danger. The danger is all too plain, and instead of stubborn defiance of it, to wit, publishing cartoons of the prophet daily, we need to foster fear in the general population that doing that is not a good idea, the consequences we have seen.

        The difference between fear and defiance is what each will lead to. Fear means something will be done about reducing that fear, defiance means that we think that despite all, we are still in charge, and little needs to be done.

        • avi barzel

          Greetings on your New Year, Inspector! I’ve essentially put up my hands as well on this topic. On one hand, Carl’s point is unassailable from a (classical) liberal perspective and yet I view the Charlie antics as essentially rude, an immature blunderbuss approach which insults people who have nothing to do with this particular battle and fails to project a clear, principled statement. On the other, I would prefer if our Canadian media would “man-up” and publish all offending cartoons on the grounds that it would be topical and to spread around and diffuse the risk to those who exercise the important right to be offensive.

          As things are now, though, the only thing that’s being diffused is the original purpose of the Mohammed cartoons. And oddly enough, Charlie Hebdo’s cover leads the way. Instead of being loyal to the original contempt of Mohammed and his followers’ fanaticism, it cleans him up, humanizes him and…incongrously…portrays him as someone who would sympathise with the Paris victims. This poltroonish absurdity, the cleaned up, “respectful” PC memorial march…with Abbas, the PLO terrorist no less, in the front ranks…and the mewling by the media, cultural elites and governments, scores one for Muslim terror, zilch for free expression. And that’s the thrust of the diffusion; the massacres will be criminalized, deemed as aberrations by unrepresentative lunatics or criminals and Islam’s dignity will continue to be protected, while Christians and Jews will continue to be mocked under the guise of free and brave expression. But we are all Charlie now, the whole world included, so we can move on, I guess.

          • Inspector General

            Very good post Avi. And you are so right. The West has taken Mohamed, given him a wash, whispered something in his ear about paedophilia not being the done thing, given him a suit and stood him on a podium where he can call back his followers who, to a man, are doing everything the prophet was against. One really wishes this be an exaggeration and not what politicians are trying right now to achieve…

          • avi barzel

            Hush, Inspector! I think that you are giving them an idea. Since Islam is incapable of fixing itself, Western intellectuals and governments will graciously step in to tart Mohammed up, spread around a ton of bullshit about how Islam is misunderstood and bring in a slew of laws to shut anyone who thinks otherwise up. O, what the Hell, it won’t be your fault…I think the process is already underway.

          • CliveM

            I may reluctantly wish the cartoons to be printed, but I am not Charlie.

          • avi barzel

            Here, all the media was going on about the importance press freedoms, the right to offend and so on, but when push came to shove, rationalizations came out and only one major newspaper in Canada, the National Post, reprinted some of the offending images and the new cover. Charlie should not have been left alone, with everyone essentially wondering what they’ll do next and if they’ll dare.

          • CliveM

            A Daily Mirror journalist was being interviewed on BBC Radio this week and asked why the Mirror hadn’t printed any of the cartoons. He admitted fear and safety. He did also say he thought it a mistake not to, citing the reason you gave. Spreading the risk.

            Just goes to show what violence can achieve.

            I will never buy Charlie whatever, but sadly it is necessary that it is for a period at least supported.

          • avi barzel

            I would have bought one, whilst holding my nose, but here in Canada, where we apparently get 100 every week between Toronto and Montreal , we got extra copies, which got snatched up.

            My wife will be texting me the pre-Shabbat shopping list this morning and I wonder whether there will be a run on kosher chickens and frozen gefillte fish in solidarity with us defiant kosher supermarket shoppers. I can just see it; masses of Torontonians from all walks of life, bravely marching down Bathurst Street, arms linked to links of Lazar’s link sausages (on special this week), chanting, “je sui cacher!”

          • CliveM

            Oh dear, now I feel guilty. Have never been to a kosher Super Market!

            However if my local Aldi sold it, I would buy it.

            Only this once however, I bet it costs more…..!

          • avi barzel

            O, yes, it costs more. Close to double for the meat. But it’s bad enough that Mrs Silver somehow appears to cut in the line in front of me every week, and Rabbi M distracts with the latest commentary on what the Rambam would had said to Rashi about the rising price of Pacific salmon filets while deftly grabbing the best cut of brisket, and now I’d have to worry about you?

          • CliveM

            At twice the price, you don’t need to worry. My wife is having the vapours simply at the thought!

          • Hello Avi

            Yes there’s nothing like a pastrami, brisket or sabich sandwich for pre Shabbat lunch….

          • avi barzel

            There is, but I picked up the minhag of a half-fast on erev Shabbat. I get my coffee and cereal since I’m up before dawn anyway and as the day involves catching up to stuff and preparing, I don’t notice, especially with the early start in the winter. Mid-summer is a bit of a challenge.

          • Hi Avi,

            Aside from the main fasts, I only personally fast on the anniversary of my parent’s deaths, although my grandfather apparently fasted if he’d had 3 nights worth of bad dreams.

            Anyways,tzom kal, have an easy fast and, gut shabbes, shabbat shalom!

    • avi barzel

      Here’s Carl’s bit from yesterday:

      … We don’t need to have a conversation about the moral limits of speech. There is no abuse of freedom in these cartoons when viewed from the perspective of legal guarantees extended to citizens. It’s true that every man will give an account for every idle word he speaks. That has nothing to do with the civil law. There are other ways to deal with vulgarity and mockery. Not the least of which is to ignore it. Who gives a damn about some cartoon published in some Left-wing atheist rag? So they hate us? Why should we care?

      This is a direct attempt to assert ownership over the Islamic narrative by means of violence. Next time it won’t be some scatological reference. It will be the doctrinal offense of asserting that Jesus was crucified. That’s the problem, Jack. Offense is an inherently subjective and undefinable standard. You should’t create a law the enforceability of which turns on the subjective opinion of the victim.

    • avi barzel

      Here’s Carl’s bit from yesterday:

      … We don’t need to have a conversation about the moral limits of speech. There is no abuse of freedom in these cartoons when viewed from the perspective of legal guarantees extended to citizens. It’s true that every man will give an account for every idle word he speaks. That has nothing to do with the civil law. There are other ways to deal with vulgarity and mockery. Not the least of which is to ignore it. Who gives a damn about some cartoon published in some Left-wing atheist rag? So they hate us? Why should we care?

      This is a direct attempt to assert ownership over the Islamic narrative by means of violence. Next time it won’t be some scatological reference. It will be the doctrinal offense of asserting that Jesus was crucified. That’s the problem, Jack. Offense is an inherently subjective and undefinable standard. You should’t create a law the enforceability of which turns on the subjective opinion of the victim.

  • DanJ0

    I read that a fair few of them have come to the UK, along with other French citizens escaping Hollande’s tax policies. Hopefully, we can provide a safe refuge to those who would rather stay in Europe.

    • CliveM

      Hopefully you are right. I do worry though that it is only a matter of time before their is a UK atrocity.

      • Inspector General

        Or a grammar atrocity…

        • William Lewis

          Syntax error.

        • CliveM

          Thank you Linus, oops Inspector.

      • Uncle Brian

        What about 7 July 2005, Clive? Three bombs on Tube trains and one on a bus in Tavistock Square. Doesn’t that count as an atrocity?

        • CliveM

          Hi Uncle Brian

          It does. However I was meaning a specifically anti Jewish atrocity, like an attack on a synagogue.

  • Albert

    I visited a synagogue some years ago. As we all chatted afterwards, a young man on a bicycle went passed and shouted anti-Semitic abuse. I was shocked by the fact that it happened at all, but what particularly disturbed me was that the Jews I was speaking didn’t bat an eyelid, they really didn’t react at all – it was evidently something they have to put up with frequently.

    Since you ask, the young anti-Semite was white. I doubt he was part of the extreme right, BTW.

    • dannybhoy

      Albert,
      “but what particularly disturbed me was that the Jews I was speaking
      didn’t bat an eyelid, they really didn’t react at all – it was evidently
      something they have to put up with frequently.”
      That’s right, and that’s why Jewish people tend to be very guarded around us gentiles, and really, who can blame them?
      In my time in Israel I met some very kind, educated and moral people. I always say that I regard that time as a great blessing which gave me some different slants on my own faith and how we as Christians should live.

    • avi barzel

      Among the Haredim, the “ultra-Orthodox,” it’s a long standing custom to ignore taunts and accept such things as the penalty of Exile. In Europe, most Jews are understandably scared. In North America the authorities take a far more proactive approach to such disturbances and with hot-headed Jewish Defense League types and experienced volunteer security teams and patrols, Shomrim, antisemites tend to think twice about causing disturbances. I heard that just last week some idiots started yelling at a family on the main street of our neighbourhood, got slowed by traffic in front of them and out of nowhere a couple of young guys in ordinary high school kid outfits who didn’t appear “Jewish” ran up to kick-in the passenger side window, dent a rear fender and tear off one of the side mirrors before the car with the scared-looking hooligans huddled on the floor inside could speed off. None of the passerby apparently saw a thing or could remember who the neighbourhood boys were.

      • Dreadnaught

        Brilliant!

    • avi barzel

      Another incident, Albert. This past summer a friend’s wife and his 16 year old-daughter were walking over to another synagogue and had to cut through a couple of neighbourhoods. The first was an Italian one and then another one of…well, another ethnic composition. In the Italian neighbourhood a gang of scary looking boys surrounded them and declared themselves as their “escorts,” and strutting and glaring like hoodlums, politely escorted them through the iffy neighbourhood, right up to the synagogue. For sure they were strutting for the pretty daughter, but their chivalry was nevertheless appreciated. We are lucky to be neighbors with and in parts blended in with the Italian neighbourhood, whose folks spend a lot of time in their gardens and front porches keeping an eye on “their” Jews. It’s an odd relationship.

      • Dreadnaught

        Sort of restores your faith in humanity (and the young) Nice one Guys

      • They’ll have been good Catholic lads, Avi.

      • They’ll have been good Catholic lads, Avi.

        • avi barzel

          Yes, it’s a Catholic neighbourhood, with two Catholic schools. Many have secularized and moved to other areas over the years, but Toronto still has a visible and solid Italian community with its unique stores, bakeries, sports clubs and community centres. Where the latter is concerned, Jews and Italians use each others’ community centres depending on which one has a particular sports facility or program.

          • Good job it isn’t a French neighbourhood. Imagine …. Fist sign of trouble and off they’d run.

            French history: They turn on their friends and surrender to their enemies.

          • Linus

            Jack’s history: claims to be a Christian but is really a latent homosexual who abuses and insults the gay men he crushes on and berates them for their imagined effeminacy, which is really Jack’s own image of himself projected onto them.

            When revealed for what he really is, insults their national origin in a mean attempt to divert discussion away from his own sexuality.

            What’s next Jack? Are you going to discover a Jew in my family tree and start hurling anti-Semitic abuse at me as well?

            “Judge Christianity by its followers,” a friend once told me. “Vicious bigots and homophobes to a man, and the closet cases are the worst of all.”

            He’s been proven correct many times. Jack is just the latest in a long line of psychopathic Christians whose path my own has unfortunately crossed. In the 1940s they’d have put him in charge of a concentration camp. In the year 2015 all he can do is vent his frustration and hatred on a blog.

            While I’m glad his kind no longer has the power of life and death over anyone, it’s rather sad to see how little progress the human race has made in three quarters of a century.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Pot calling kettle methinks…

          • Linus

            The pot is proud to be what he is. Pity the kettle is so ashamed he feels he has to pretend to be a frying pan.

          • dannybhoy

            Linus,
            This is the french vesion of a windup I take it? Jack is to all appearances a good learned Christian Grandad. A decent man.
            You seem to have experienced some awful stuff for you to be so angry and hurt. That’s a terrible thing.

          • Linus

            Let’s just say that Jack pings louder than Julian Clary on my gaydar. It’s the obsession with all things gay that gives it away. All those crackpot theories about the “root causes” of homosexuality reveal a man desperate to find excuses for himself. The most hateful homophobes are always closet cases. There’s no other plausible explanation for such obsessive behaviour.

          • Linus, homosexuality an intrinsic moral disorder. A perversion having its roots in early childhood experiences. The inclination can be resisted and controlled. You are a text book example of this.

          • Linus

            Jack, homosexuality is a naturally occurring and morally neutral variation of human sexuality. If suppressed it will create psychological tension and stresses that will present as neurotic and/or obsessional behaviour patterns. You are a textbook example of this.

          • Linus, you have not though this through.

            If homosexuality was “naturally occurring” the bodies of mammals would reflect this. They don’t. Same sex attraction occurs in humans because of psychosexual maladaptation due to arrested development. It is an aberration. Sex is nature’s way for species to reproduce. That’s why men and women are sexually attracted to one another; it’s why male and female genitalia are complementary and it’s why the sex act provides mutual pleasure. All the ‘bits’ are in the right place for this happen naturally. Homosexuality is not a “neutral variation” of normal sexuality. It is borne of disturbance and, unless addressed, leads to an impoverished life.

          • Linus

            Homosexuality occurs in many animal species. Are they suffering from “psychosexual maladaptation” too? Did their fathers desert them, or were their mothers a bit too bossy? Maybe the other penguins, or dolphins, or zebras rejected them, or they were no good at ball games, or something…

            My body reflects my sexual orientation very well indeed. I have all the bits I need to do what’s required. So does my partner. Mutual pleasure hasn’t been a problem so far. And our sex life is completely “open to the possibility of life”. If either of us gets the other pregnant, you can be sure we’ll take the responsibility of parenthood very seriously indeed. It hasn’t happened yet, but as I reflected in another post, if God wants us to be fathers, he can make it happen. Or do you doubt his omnipotence?

            Really Jack, I wonder how much of a Catholic you really are. You’re so busy telling God what he can and can’t do, I wonder if you really understand what a creator-created relationship is supposed to be like.

            But how silly of me. I completely forgot! Your god is just a projection of your own ego onto the universe, so whatever you are the creator, aren’t you? Whatever he can do, you can do, right? Which must be why your god is so very, very small.

          • Did you know dogs shag lampposts, Linus? Animals cannot control urges and will ‘copulate’ randomly.

            Did your father desert you, Linus? And your mother was bossy?

            For an atheist you talk an awful lot about God.

          • Linus

            Animals cannot control urges? You’ve obviously never owned a dog, Jack. My late lamented labrador could very patiently wait by a bowl full of food, drooling away but not moving a whisker until I gave her permission. Animals are capable of a good deal of self control.

            In any case, if an animal forms an emotional and sexual attachment to another animal of the same sex, this is proof positive that homosexuality is naturally occuring. Male penguin couples don’t just “shag” each other randomly. They form lasting pair bonds. If there’s a spare egg going, they’ll hatch it, feed it and raise it as if it were their own. That’s more than an “urge”. It’s a fully developed relationship.

            And regarding your impertinent and intrusive questions about my parents (you’re a nosy old bugger, aren’t you?), as you’re only fishing for more personal information about me so you try in your amateurish and clumsy way to manipulate and control me, I think I’ll keep my counsel and let you guess for yourself.

            Was my father a warm and trustworthy figure in my life, or was he cold and distant? Was my mother an attentive wife and affectionate mother, or was she domineering and critical? Did my parents stay together or divorce? I’m afraid you’ll never know, although I don’t doubt for a second that you’ll fill in the blanks for yourself and come up with a fictional narrative of my life that will correspond exactly to your crackpot theories.

            You see what you want to see, Jack. You cherry pick the evidence discarding anything it doesn’t suit you to believe. You’re a truly dishonourable, manipulative and contemptible person. A model Christian indeed!

          • Happy Jack was sorry to learn about the loss of your Labrador; fine dogs. You do appear to have been a very controlling owner what with withholding permission from her to eat. Poor thing. Of course, being a bitch, she would not have displayed overt sexual behaviour with lamp posts. However, your anecdote does demonstrates that animals can be trained to exercise self restraint. There is a moral in there.

            Animals engaging in homosexual behaviour is hardly “proof positive that homosexuality is naturally occurring”. Most of this behaviour has been observed in zoos. Captivity does strange things. Similar phenomenon occur in human prisons too. Jack now has this image of you and your ‘pair bondee’ as a couple penguins, holding wings and waddling about in Antarctica desperately on the look out for a spare egg or two to hatch.

            Apologies if my questions about your parents were received as “impertinent and intrusive”. Jack is a curious person. Still, from your musings, it is apparent you are at least reviewing their impact on your development.

          • Linus

            As any labrador owner will tell you, imposing discipline on these dogs is extremely important otherwise you will soon find yourself relegated to inferior status in your own home. Labradors are strongly hierarchical and always want to improve their status in the pack, so there’s a constant struggle for supremacy and they need to be handled firmly. Setting rules and boundaries early on and reinforcing them often is imperative. With labradors the easiest way to do this is to control their food intake and only let them eat on receiving the appropriate command.

            If that’s what you call “controlling”, then fine. If it adds another layer of ridiculousness to the crooked image of me that you’d like me to think is a true reflection of who I am, then who am I to argue? It’s all in your mind, of course. You were clearly standing under the Devil’s looking glass when it broke into a million fragments, and one of them ended up in your eye too, as well as little Kai’s. Did it happen in Copenhagen? And did the Snow Queen come for you too? Perhaps not. You may not have been young and nubile enough for her.

            But it seems you want me to come running to you and pour out my heart so you can get your claws into me and manipulate me to your heart’s content. I suppose that’s what your strange and twisted mind thinks of as “love”. I call it a psychological disorder, possibly PPD, however I’ll leave a definitive diagnosis up to the professionals.

            There is no question of my ever coming to you for anything, Jack. So get that fond hope out of your head right now. Your vicious, insulting and manipulative behaviour makes you the last person I would ever consult about anything of a personal nature. As a curiosity and a blowhard you’re of some interest on this blog – it’s always salutary to know just how crazy crazy can get – but otherwise there is no reason for us to interact.

          • Ah, la vache ! Such defensiveness. Avoir une araignée au plafond !

            It is good that you are familiar with the story of the Snow Queen. Innocent love redeeming the boy imprisoned by cold evil. Take heart. Jack notes that even here your preoccupation with body shape intrudes.

            Avoir une araignée au plafond. Jack merely wants to assist.

          • Linus

            You want to control and direct, which you call “assistance”, although the only thing it assists is your desire to manipulate others.

            That’s your spider on the ceiling, only it isn’t harmless. It’s got big poisonous fangs and it’s looking for fresh meat to paralyze and devour.

            Sorry Jack. Someone else will have to be your next victim. I’m wise to you and won’t get caught in your web.

          • Translation: “OK, you win, I concede, I give up, I surrender, no more, have mercy, leave me alone.”

            Se il vous plaît pardonnez Jack français.

          • Linus

            Sad Jack the bully boy can’t bear being told to go away because his entire self image is defined by his ability to control and manipulate other people. Someone recognizing him for the twisted manipultor he is and escaping from his clutches is the greatest defeat imaginable for him.

            Never mind Jack, you can’t win ’em all. Just think of me as the one that got away. I’m sure you’ll find another victim soon enough. If all else fails, you must have a family member you can take out your rage and frustration on. A downtrodden wife, maybe? Or a submissive daughter? It will have to be someone you despise as much as you so clearly despise yourself. So women and gays will be your victims of choice.

            Shame for whoever that might be, but quite frankly anyone who’s stupid enough to put up with you probably deserves their fate, so it’s hard to feel sorry for them.

            In the meantime, you can probably deal with your feelings of frustration by praying to that imaginary god of yours and asking him to punish me appropriately. Dreaming about the agonies I’ll suffer for trampling on your sovereign right to use and manipulate other people should be of some comfort to you, at least until you can line up your next victim.

          • dannybhoy

            Hello again Linus!

            “All those crackpot theories about the “root causes” of homosexuality reveal a man desperate to find excuses for himself.”

            To be fair, part of caring for other people is “borrowing on their glasses” so as to try and see the world as they see it.

            Although the process of entry into the world is the same for all of us, there are all kinds of factors that affect how we are welcomed, and how welcomed we feel in our first few days on earth.I have worked with people quite a lot in my life. Personally I have learnt that
            a) I can be quite selfish .
            b) I can be quite blind to the kindnesses given me byothers especially my wife, and not so eager to return them!
            c) I am prone to selfishness and blindness!

            So if people try to understand your pov, it’s not always for wrong reasons, is it.

            I did want to ask you how you judge the mood in France at the moment. I was and am against this bravado thing of issuing yet more copies of Charlie Hebdo. I think it will provoke more terrorist attacks all over Europe, although I am also quite sure they were coming anyway.
            Obviously the French government can’t keep soldiers on the streets indefinitely, so what do you see happening?

          • dannybhoy

            I enjoyed Italian hospitality for a couple of months outside of Venice en route to that country we should not talk about…
            I read somewhere once that the Italian lifestyle is the most admired in Europe.
            Sorry to prick Jack’s papal balloon, but there was a Jewish ghetto outside of Venice…
            “Venice is considered one of the world’s most beautiful and romantic cities. Its canals and streets remain the same as they were hundreds of years ago. For Jews, however, Venice is also a place with a dark history; it is where the world’s first ghetto was instituted and the quality of Jewish life often shifted with the whims of the ruling power.”
            http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/Venice.html

            Like all peoples there are good and bad Italians (think Mafia, Roberto Calvi…)
            but in general they are a warm, friendly people, as are most Mediterranean peoples. Personally I think it’s the sun and living so much outdoors. Israel is very similar of course, but sometimes your view of the sun is obscured, especially in Southern Israel….

          • Albert

            I’ve enjoyed your stories, Avi. I don’t know whether to be impressed by the Jewish arrangements, or shocked that they are needed. I suppose I know they are needed sadly, so perhaps I think European Jews need something similar. How terrible!

            I was in Toronto a little while ago. I wonder if the Italian area is around St Paul’s Basilica, Power Street. I didn’t notice the area looking particularly Italian, but the church made me feel like I was in Rome!

          • avi barzel

            That would be at Queen and parliament streets. No, that area has hardly any Italians left. Like the Jews, they drifted to the north-west, the Italians to the Dufferin St Clair area, the Jews to Bathurst and St Clair, and both stretching and migrating north to the suburbs. I was brought to Toronto in 72 and the demographic and urban landscape changes have been substantial, something you never saw in major European cities, although with massive immigration in the 80s…the one apparently engineered by my coreligionists, according to the blog’s Jewish history expert, Johnny…I imagine there have been a few things added here and there.

          • Albert

            Yes, that’s the place. Fabulous church and I really enjoyed Toronto!

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            I too have visited Toronto – I think the area where the Bishop and I stayed was called York…anyway, we were visiting York University at the time. As an excursion we went to see the Sky Dome…I think the word is ‘awesome.’ Apropos of nothing, I hope you are wearing those virtual long johns I sent you last year, Avi. Must be quite nippy in Toronto now.

  • The Explorer

    Israel is only one factor in Islamic anti-Semitism, for the problem would still exist if Israel were annihilated.
    However, Israel is, it seems to me, the decisive factor in current western anti-Semitism because of PC. PC seeks victims, and has made Muslims the victims of Israeli aggression.
    As one who is at the same time philo-Semitic and implacably opposed to PC, it is upsetting for me that the shakers and movers of the Frankfurt School (and therefore, the founders of PC) – Adorno, Horkheimer, Gramsci, Lukacs, Marcuse, Munzenberg – were, without exception, Jewish. And one of the troubling legacies of their thought is western hostility to Israel.
    They were not RELIGIOUS Jews, of course, for they were, without exception, atheists. I see their atheism as more important than their Jewishness in defining them – for they were atheists before they were anything else – and in that thought I take some comfort.

    • Dreadnaught

      How can you have an atheist Jew?

      • dannybhoy

        You can. Believe me, but ask a Jewish person…

        • Dreadnaught

          And the Falasha?

          • dannybhoy

            I don’t know any personally, but last time I was in Israel I met young Ethiopian Jews who hadn’t been in Israel that many years.Maybe they were Falshas.

          • Dreadnaught

            Correct! Rather blows the ‘Race’ argument into the weeds. It also strikes me that Hitler should be labelled a Christian atheist if the case holds.

          • Inspector General

            The Jews are a people, not a race.

          • Dreadnaught

            Jews are people who share in the Jewish religion; that’s why Israel exists as a democratic nation not a Jewsh theocracy; a nation that is open to access by non-Jews.

          • CliveM

            You can also be a Jew and an atheist. Interestingly as far as other Jews are concerned you can’t be a Jew and a Christian. Which is why some say that Milliband may become Britains first Jewish Prime Minister (atheist) but Disraeli isn’t (Christian, although Jewish heritage).

          • dannybhoy

            I don’t see the Jews as a race, rather a people held together by a common set of beliefs. Loosely held by some, with different ‘denominations’, cultural influences and degrees of education. For example the founders of modern Israel like David Ben Gurion was a Jew, but not a religious Jew. Most who founded kibbutzim weren’t religious in any way, but socialists even communists. Yet they regarded themselves as Jews, and certainly Hitler would have seen them as Jews..
            Sometimes as a minority your identity is reinforced by the majority..

          • The Explorer

            Look up Lukacs. It says he was Jewish. It also says he was an atheist. That’s all I’m trying to say.

      • The Explorer

        As dannybhoy says, this would be better explained by someone Jewish. But the concept involves both race and belief system. The Devout, I believe, were originally Gentiles who had adopted Judaism.
        Conversely, it was one of the things that confused people in the early days of Nazism. How could converts to Christianity be targeted? For the Nazis, biologically-driven as they were, blood and not belief was what defined you. The same would have applied to Jewish atheists (especially if they were Marxists).

        • Dreadnaught

          Your right in the 20thC Hitler did indeed tag Jews as a race because it suited his agenda.

          The same would have applied to Jewish atheists (especially if they were Marxists).

          No – they were French, German, Russian, Italian etc.

        • dannybhoy

          “The Devout, I believe, were originally Gentiles who had adopted Judaism.”

          Wot? Who’s the Devout??

          • The Explorer

            Gentile converts to Judaism before the time of Christ. A lot of them then became Christians. The word has since changed its meaning.

      • avi barzel

        Jews who define themselves as “culturally Jewish” and are not religious. Those who maintain their connection to the peoplehood, Secular Jews who maintain what they believe is an ethnic or a tribal affinity. A few who observe commandments, respect the Torah, count themselves as People of Israel, yet cannot maintain a state of belief and may claim that the “prime directive” in Mamonides’ 13 Articles of Faith are not binding and that the Torah does not, specifically and clearly, require a belief in God.

        See a pretty fair expose at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_atheism

    • dannybhoy

      Yes I have read this before Explorer..
      “the shakers and movers of the Frankfurt School (and therefore, the
      founders of PC) – Adorno, Horkheimer, Gramsci, Lukacs, Marcuse,
      Munzenberg – were, without exception, Jewish. And one of the troubling
      legacies of their thought is western hostility to Israel.”
      Why this should be I don’t know, although Jews have been involved in many revolutionary movements, most notably the Russian Revolution.
      I can’t really figure out what the end goal is meant to be; totalitarianism, chaos?
      What do you think?

      • The Explorer

        For the Frankfurt School, destroy the West socially in order to implement the Marxist economic revolution. Generate social chaos in order to enable a new economic order.
        Norman Podhoretz has a book entitled ‘Why are Jews Liberals?’, treating Jewish political liberalism as self-evident fact. It may be an oppressed group sympathising instinctively with the underdog. This can backfire. Stephen Steinlight points out the results of the US 1965 Immigration Act. This (with heavy Jewish influence in the decision) opened the US to world=wide immigration. The result has been so many Muslims that they will soon outnumber US Jews. When they do, and start to influence voting patterns, that will impact on US policies to Israel. Steinlight sees an element of unintended self-destruction. .

        • dannybhoy

          Yet they know that the Marxist thing cannot work except through totalitarianism, so why try to do it again, I wonder.
          “Norman Podhoretz has a book entitled ‘Why are Jews Liberals?’, treating
          Jewish political liberalism as self-evident fact. It may be an
          oppressed group sympathising instinctively with the underdog.”
          That’s a very good point and one I have observed in more personal circumstances…

  • Pubcrawler

    ” the Israeli occupation of Gaza is a certain grievance”

    An occupatin which ended in 2005, of course. For all the good that seems to have done.

    • dannybhoy

      The Hamas Charter explains all…
      http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/1609.htm

      • IanCad

        Danny, A timely link. These guys don’t beat around the bush.

        Many here may not have the time to digest this gem of Muslim amiability so I have taken the liberty to copy a few of their choice declamations.

        “Israel will exist, and will continue to exist, until Islam abolishes it, as it abolished that which was before it.”

        “The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,’ except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews.”

        “We demand that the Arab countries around Israel open their borders to jihad fighters from among the Arab and Islamic peoples, so they may fulfill their role and join their efforts to the efforts of their brothers – the Muslim brethren in Palestine.”

         
        “Israel with its Jewish identity and Jewish people is challenging Islam and the Muslims. May the cowardly know no sleep–“
        Consistent, clear, and chilling.

        • dannybhoy

          Thanks for that Ian.

        • Uncle Brian

          I’ve been told that the gharqad tree is a thorn bush of some kind, but exactly which kind I’ve never found out. I wonder whether it could possibly be the same as the “burning bush”
          in Exodus 3, which is also a thorn bush, called sneh in Hebrew.

          • IanCad

            Interesting observation UB. I wonder if Avi could shed some light on it.

          • avi barzel

            No, haven’t the fogiest.

          • dannybhoy

            I think it was a ‘nes’ bush. If there exists such a sneh bush or even a community of such bushes, it wouldn’t be unusual. Interesting of course, but that a voice would speak to him from the bush makes it hard to classify.

            Here’s an even more amazing thing from Exodus 24..
            (You have to read the whole thing to get the context, but guess what?!)
            “9 Moshe, Aharon, Nadav, Avihu and seventy of the leaders went up;
            10 and they saw the God of Isra’el. Under his feet was something like a sapphire stone pavement as clear as the sky itself.
            11 He did not reach out his hand against these notables of Isra’el; on the contrary, they saw God, even as they were eating and drinking.”

            My question is,
            “Who was minding the Store?”

          • Old Blowers

            Seriously. No man has EVER seen the Father, so it has to be Christ. Think you will find there are 3 full owners of said business. There is always someone there in charge!!!

          • dannybhoy

            That’s right sir.
            Then there’s this person….
            ” For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 and
            to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by
            translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king
            of Salem, that is, king of peace. 3 He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest for ever.”

            I think these are called theophanies.. but it’s part of why scholars and theologians came to believe in the triune nature of the one God.

          • dannybhoy
          • Uncle Brian

            Having glanced at some of those illustrations, Danny, I can safely say I’ve learnt my lesson. The gharqad tree is a subject I shall never mention again in polite company.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes, but you did find it didn’t you. I’ve seen that bush in the Negev and Sinai deserts many times. I loved the desert, and going up what is thought to be Mount Sinai early in the morning is most beautiful.
            When you consider that Moses spent years wandering around in the desert ’til God said it was time to move into his ministry….
            Amazing.

          • Uncle Brian

            You obviously know the region much better than I do. The only Middle Eastern country I’ve ever been to is Israel, and even so the only bits of desert I’ve seen, very briefly, were in the Jericho-Dead Sea area and up in the Golan.

          • dannybhoy

            You’ve been, that’s great!
            Did you do a group tour?

          • Uncle Brian

            No, I’ve never travelled around in Israel as much as I’d have liked to. Most of my limited time there has been spent sitting at a desk in Haifa. Maybe next time!

    • prompteetsincere

      The Islamic occupation of Biblical Israel is the greatest offence:
      to JHWH + Genesis 28:13-15.

  • The Explorer

    Sweden seems to be even more affected than France. In Malmo, I believe, the problem is acute.

    • IanCad

      English Viking (now resigned from this blog) addressed this Malmo problem a couple of years ago.

      Absolutely shocking rape statistics.

      As I recall; nearly 75% of the rapes are by young Muslim men.

      The West doesn’t have a problem. Islam does.

      They must put their house in order. Pronto!

      • The Explorer

        The rapes, I think, are an attempt to impose Islamic dress codes and make Swedish girls dress modestly. But there’s also a systematic attempt to make life intolerable for Malmo Jews, and drive them out. Even though they were there before the Muslims.

        • dannybhoy

          It’s also an act of intimidation, as well as lust of course.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Swedes are told their culture is not worth saving – by their own politicians…

          • CliveM

            Are they?

          • bluedog

            So where does that leave ABBA?

    • David

      Indeed, and Norway and Denmark also have problems, but Sweden is leading down this slippery slope.
      As they congregate in mono-cultural areas ghettoes develop. Employers react by being wary of employing people with such addresses, and so the cycle of poverty and self-imposed separation spirals downwards, all building resentment and hostility towards the host nation.
      Islam never seems to change or reform itself. So unless individuals decide to leave Islam, which of course is made very difficult for them, few individuals embrace the freedom and prosperity on offer in the west.
      I see little cause for optimism with this huge self-imposed problem. We have been led into this by the arrogance of the politicians of the left. They ignore the lessons of history, and the facts of the theologies concerned, and stumble forwards looking at the world through the lens of the theoretical dogmas of their Marxist inspired approach, all totally disconnected from reality.

  • David

    The deep seated enmity of Muslims for Jews is unending. Many on this blog, being theologically well aware, know about its origins, described deep into, near the beginning of the Hebrew Bible, the Christian OT.

    Because of that continuing history, which is still very much alive, you cannot have Jews and Muslims living in the same space, in the same country. Those of the political left who decided to permit large-scale immigration of Muslims into European countries, as they believed that all religions were just so much old nonsense, and about to all die out anyway, have brought huge, on-going problems onto their countries. In fact the evidence is abundant, almost global, that Muslims are not interested in co-existence with other cultures and faiths. Fleeing from the problems in their own Muslim majority countries, they nevertheless on arrival any where, seem to immediately set about replicating the very societies, with the same laws and traditions that caused the problems and the poverty from which they have fled.

    Amongst religious leaders only Archbishop Justin Welby has had the courage to identify the global pattern of Muslim atrocities against Christians. Amongst heads of State only the Egyptian President has urged Muslim religious leaders to set about reforming the message. Amongst British political leaders only Farage has spoken out describing the situation as it truly is. With other leaders I see only the “moral cowardice” and denial of which Farage spoke.

    • William Lewis

      In a nutshell, Sir.

    • dannybhoy

      Well said David.

  • The Explorer

    I found myself in argument yesterday with someone who argued that the undoubted Islamic hostility to Jews is related to Israel. He cited the respect for the “People of the Book” shown in the Qur’an. He saw that as denoting equality.
    As I pointed out to him, being a Person of the Book only means the right to dhimmi status: rather than the starker choice of conversion or death. The only good Jew (or Christian) is the one who converts to Islam.
    For those Jews who persist in their error, the Qur’an says…. But don’t take my word for it. Read it for yourself: 2:63-66, 5:59-60, 7:166

    • dannybhoy

      There is a very good book called “The Dove Flyer” by Eli Emir. It’s about a Jewish family in the Jewish community in Baghdad back in the ’50s. They were being expelled to Israel, and for anyone who wants to understand what it means to be a Christian or a Jew in an Islamic society, it’s a good place to start.
      There are still many Christians who see the Jews as Christ killers, shylocks, aggressors and usurpers in Israel. Needless to say I think they are wrong.
      Not that everything Israel does is wonderful and right; of course not. There are policies which I believe to be counter productive and inflammatory, but one has to balance that with the search for peace and security, and the Muslim’s attitiudes to things Jewish and Christian as the Explorer mentions above.
      I think a new thing is happening in our world. I think besides reaching out to all people God wants Christians to draw nearer to His Covenant people. He wants us to read about them, understand them, invite them to our services, and make them welcome.
      I don’t agree with replacement theology. Salvation is of the Jews and we are grafted do believe that Jesus is coming back. I believe that the Bible teaches He is coming back to Jerusalem and that Jerusalem will be in the hands of the Jewish people..

      “17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root[b] of the olive tree, 18 do
      not be arrogant towards the branches. If you are, remember it is not
      you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith.”
      from Romans 11

      • The Explorer

        We seem to agree about a lot. I’m not an advocate of Replacement Theology either.

        • dannybhoy

          “We seem to agree about a lot.”
          Hmm.
          That’s scary.
          There must be something we can have a row about?

          • The Explorer

            Save disagreement for Linus.

          • dannybhoy

            Linus is okay. He’s not an evil man. An angry man maybe. But he communicates with us and is responded to with civility.
            ~~~~~~~ Wanna argue?!!

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Linus is French. QED

      • Dreadnaught

        I think besides reaching out to all people God wants Christians to draw nearer to His Covenant people

        Sad to say this is where I couldn’t disagree more. Do you seriously believe it is rational to explain the animosity inbred in Islam towards the Jews is his doing?

        Even if I did believe in the power of gods, specially a god who is love personified, the maker of everything imaginable; I would not
        willingly align myself with it.

        • dannybhoy

          I had to read that twice to see what you were saying!

          “Do you seriously believe it is rational to explain the animosity inbred in Islam towards the Jews is his doing?”
          Would you like to explain how you got there from what I wrote?

          • Dreadnaught

            Is your God (if all omnipotent) using the plight of the Jews to draw Christians near to the people of the covenant for a purpose of reconciliation?

          • dannybhoy

            I explained it earlier. God wants all men to be saved. Not all men will. Scripture believing Christians believe that Christ Jesus will return.
            Where will He return to? The same place He left, Israel. Zechariah says “They (the Jews) will look on Him whom they have pierced and mourn for Him…”
            The Jews are God’d Covenant people, even though they rejected Christ and have different theological views.

            Either you believe that God created this cosmos and us in it, or Christianity is just a club with a set of rules to live by, like a Celestial troop of Boy Scouts, and this world will go on for ever and ever…

          • Dreadnaught

            Your answer is not clearly addressing my question of your statement. What do you mean by Christians ‘drawing nearer to’ Jews or the State of Israel?

          • dannybhoy

            I mean in reaching out to the Jews here in our own country. No mention of Israel here..

            “I think besides reaching out to all people God wants Christians to draw nearer to His Covenant people. He wants us to read about them, understand them, invite them to our services, and make them welcome.”
            It was the Christian church was it not that said it was okay to persecute the Jews because they killed Christ and denied Him, and refused to convert. Or was it some other group??
            It was the Church that in large part stood silent whilst the Jews of Europe were taken off to be murdered?
            Or was that somebody else?
            So what I am saying is that given all that is going in we should stand by the Jews and reach out to them.

          • Dreadnaught

            What do you mean by ‘reaching out’? You seem to be in one minute talking materially and in the next in some other dimension. So difficult to follow as I only function in the former.

          • dannybhoy

            You don’t know what ‘reaching out’ means?
            We reach out to people around us all the time whether in friendship or sharing our faith or standing up for a cause..

          • Dreadnaught

            Ok. I give up.

          • dannybhoy

            Anyone else able to better explain what ‘reaching out’ means?

      • IanCad

        Danny,

        Replacement theology, fulfillment theology, supercessionism – call it what you will – is employed, by those who oppose the doctrine, to cast the dark stain of Antisemitism on those who adhere to its tenets.

        Nothing could be further from the truth. Many of the most vocal supporters of Israel hold the belief that the Nation of Israel has little to do with end-time events. That backing is based on the principle of equity, not some recent eschatological imaginings by the likes of Tim LaHaye or Hal Lindsey.

        Galatians 3:28 should clarify things.

        • dannybhoy

          “Galatians 3:28 should clarify things.”

          Erm, No.
          Romans chapters 9,10 and 11 should make it clear….

          Your verse and chapter is all about how we who are in Christ shall live by faith, not by obeying/being justified by the Law.
          Totally different issue.

          Rabbi Saul’s chapters in Romans are talking about the historical nation of Israel, the Covenant People
          And let’s face it Ian, has the Church got a much better record in their relationship and obedience to God than the Jews to Israel?
          It’s all by faith in God’s forgiveness and salvation and redemptive power. If God has abandoned His Covenant people, what makes you think He wouldn’t abandon us?

          • IanCad

            Danny, Not giving you the brush-off but a comprehensive response would take time.
            Let me just say that Romans is referring to Spiritual Israel not literal Israel – the modern state if you will.
            There are no Gentile gates in the New Jerusalem.
            We are grafted in.

          • dannybhoy

            Ian,
            Not to use the dust pan on you, but Romans 9,10 and 11 are talking about the Jews who rejected Christ, some who persecuted the Jewish believers as Rabbi Saul did. In other words the Jewish people.
            Not all will be saved we know, but a remnant will be.
            Just as not all gentiles will be saved either. The Church is made up of saved people from all time and all nations, all one in Christ.
            But it remains true, “Salvation is of the Jews.” God revealed Himself to the Jews and made them into a people, a Holy Nation unto God.
            Again not that all were holy or righteous, but the nation was called to be, and the promises were made to the nation and all those who were obedient and repentant.
            I believe the founding of the State of Israel was brought about by God through human agencies.

  • Dreadnaught

    With respect blog admin.
    Short (2.20min) vid. Nigel Farage addressing the EU in clear unequivocal straight talk post 9/1/15.

  • Ivan M

    The Jews in France would be a good catch for the Zionists. Highly educated, very cultured and largely liberal people amounting to half a million, who would be an asset in any society. Fellows like this Netanyahu have been playing this booga-booga game since God knows when. The famous biologist Francois Jacob in his scintillating autobiography – In the Castle of my Skin – relates that he was targeted for the aliyah train, but he told them to f**k off. Jews in France made the France of today, that is their home, they should live or die there. Not be hustled into driving out the Arabs in Palestine on behalf of the Likudnik idiots. If it is indeed it is the case that the Muslims (which I do not believe to be true) have an irredeemable hatred for the Jews, what good could come out of concentrating the Jews in that strip in the Middle-East?

    It should be obvious to all who follow the dynamics, with a clear mind, that on the guiding principle that one should not let a crisis go to waste, this shameless ambulance chaser, a c**t like those who hustle for business outside funeral parlours hopes to scare enough talented Frenchmen to make up for the Israeli shortfall. So far it seems all they are getting are oldies who hope to stretch their pensions, and the prayer mat people, not the high IQ fellows.

    • Ivan M

      Sorry the book is – The Statue Within . Thousand apologies

    • bluedog

      Ivan, do a bit of homework and you will find that Israel is about the only developed nation with a birth-rate over replacement level, at around 3.1. This is not the work of the Israeli Arabs either, but reflects the fecundity of the Orthodox Jews. So to talk about ‘the Israeli shortfall’ is factually incorrect, the Jewish population is expanding rapidly.

      ‘what good could come out of concentrating the Jews in that strip in the Middle-East?’ An excellent point. It worries this communicant that so many of the Jewish people are concentrating themselves in such a high risk location. This is not too suggest that Israel shouldn’t be supported, it should, but it does seem to be an exercise in putting too many eggs in one basket. It is therefore of great importance that Jews feel able to continue living in Europe.

      • Ivan M

        Hi bluedog, I refer to the shortfall to people of ability, necessary to sustain a technologically advanced society. This is why the Likudniks are after the Frenchmen, although the majority of French Jews would sooner identify with the mildly socialistic Israel of yesteryears, now slipping into dreamtime. Frankly I don’t get this business of the Israelis always invoking the spectre of another Holocaust to scare people. The fact of the matter it takes a motivated and highly capable people like the Nazis to carry out such things. The Muslim terrorists are small potatoes who unfortunately give the slip once in a while.

        • bluedog

          Thanks for clearing that up, Ivan. However, I can easily understand the Israelis’ concerns about another Holocaust. The possibility of Pakistani bombs ending up in Saudi Arabia, together with the emerging threat from Iran, sets the scene for a macho ‘lets see who can take out Israel first’ competition. Big league Muslim terrorism.

          • Ivan M

            Bluedog, realistically the only way to prevent such things is universal nuclear disarmament, or in the interim a nuclear free Middle East. The terrorists need to get through only once. If about twenty dead people are enough to scare us into apocalyptic fears, imagine what a few hundred thousands would do.

          • bluedog

            The trouble is, universal nuclear disarmament is a completely unrealistic proposition. Nobody is going to give up their nukes after the Ukrainian betrayal.

            Like Israel, the UK is too small to survive a nuclear attack and remain a functioning state. Which raises an interesting point about the UK’s entire defence posture, currently predicated on ‘second strike’. This means the UK has foresworn first strike, largely one suspects because the US allegedly has final say on the use of the UK’s Tridents. Consequently the US has right of veto over the survival of the UK. Not good. We need a government to dump Trident and get an independent deterrent that enables first strike.

            With the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims in Europe entering melt-down, one hopes UK planners are thinking about the defence implications. If they’re targeting solely Russia and China, they could be making a big mistake. Pakistan could be the real threat, with Saudi Arabia and potentially Turkey not far behind.

          • Ivan M

            bluedog,

            I imagine that the finest minds in the intelligence and security communities worldwide are dedicated to forestalling any such outcome. For all the talk of first strike or second strike, the surviving parties will ensure that all taken down together eventually.

          • IanCad

            “Nobody is going to give up their nukes after the Ukrainian betrayal.”
            Let’s not forget Libya either.

        • avi barzel

          Just saw this stupidity…a shortfall of tech people in Israel? And they new to poach from…the French? Where do you get your ingenious strategic analyses from?

    • avi barzel

      Clueless as ever, you are, Ivan. First of all well over 100,000 Jews have already left France over the last two years, most of them with portable and sound businesses or desirable professions. Most have left for Britain, Canada and Australia, countries where they are quietly welcomed for their capital and skills. The ones who are stuck and feel stuck are the poorer Jews of the suburbs, whose neighbourhoods border on or are being overrun by hostile Muslims. They need to know that Israel will move, welcome and settle them and this message must come from the head of the government. Your assumtions that French Jews wish to live and die in France is just an assumption; a country where you must hide your identity and which cannot or will not protect you is not a place anyone wants to be in if there are viable options.

      • Ivan M

        Avi, who says the French are not protecting the Jews? What are all those Holocaust laws for? For jerking around the FN? If you have one leg in country A and another in country B, it is inevitable that you’ll fall between the stools. It is the duty of the French Jews to stay and fight.

        • avi barzel

          They are protecting Jews with “Holocaust laws”? How does that help them for when they are walking down a street, playing in daycare centres, praying in synagogues or shopping for their Sabbath dinner? All these are proven high-risk activities now. One leg here and another leg there? And who are the French Jews supposed fight and with what? You’re talking sheer gibberish, Ivan.

      • dannybhoy

        You know that there is a lot of French influence in Israel, as well as British. I seem to remember being told that Israel kept a lot of the British laws, but architecturally you will see a lot of French influence too. Jews from Morocco, Algeria and elsewhere still speak French as well as Arabic.
        Also Jewish people have been living outside of Palestine/Israel for the longest time. Travel became very popular once that Thomas Cohen
        opened his travel agency…… 😉

    • Anton

      Ivan, people who need to use the f-word and the c-word to make their point generally have a pretty weak point.

      If you want to know the Muslim attitude to the Jews then read the Quran, (suras 8&9), the Hadith, and ibn Ishaq’s Sira Rasul Allah (an ancient biography of Mohammed which Muslims accept as authentic). Based on what you say above, you will be educated.

      Ask Francois Jacob or his children again in another 10 years, as the inevitable demographics unfold.

      How many times have the Arabs of Palestine been offered a 2-State solution by the Israelis and turned it down?

      • Ivan M

        Anton, read the my posts in Cranmer’s previous blog. I don’t need you to teach me about the Qeeran or the Middle East.

        • Anton

          With great respect, I’m debating you here.

          • avi barzel

            Yeah, Anton, get with it. Don’t you loyally follow Ivan’s special in-depth reports and incisive analyses on events in Israel and the state of world Jewry like the rest of us?

    • dannybhoy

      You really don’t need to use semi swear words to make your point. Your comment is clear enough without them.

  • Anton

    On this day of the Hebdo funerals, the BBC website reports that “President Francois Hollande vowed to protect Muslims who, he said, were the main victims of fanaticism, along with people of other religions.”

    Is this man sane?

    • dannybhoy

      Erm, No.
      He’s the President of a multicultural nation in which has approximately 6 million offended Muslim citizens…..

      • avi barzel

        He’s a lickspittle and a poltroon, but he’s technically correct. Muslim on Muslim violence generates the greatest number of terror victims wordwide. Although how he plans to protect them from themselves is a mystery. Safety-certified ISO suicide vests? Yoga and meditation classes for coping with rage over cartoons and piggy banks?

        • dannybhoy

          Avi,
          I think probably most leaders of European nations are struggling with this situation, and are afraid of the consequences.
          How I see it is that western nations are used to peace, prosperity and coddling by the State. Citizens are polite and law abiding, the general mentality is that we tolerate most lifestyles and practices as long as they don’t impinge on me.
          Since the ’60s though the Muslim presence has mushroomed in Europe and the UK, and these guys have a different set of values to us.
          Our sociologists and liberals and educationalists and well meaning handwringers are always ready to make excuses allowances or extra provision, but it doesn’t change the fact that these guys feel angry, don’t accept our values, resent us interfering in the Islamic world regardless of intent, and they will bite you if you upset them.
          That’s what our enlightened, humanistic, irreligious liberal leaders are starting to realise, and they’re running scared.

          • avi barzel

            Don’t feel too lonely in your predicament, Danny. Things are filling up too here, with the beginnings of no- go zones in Toronto and Montreal and exclusively Muslim prison wings. People here who used to kvetch about the “flood” of Hong Kong Chinese now feel a tad sheepish. The complaints were about how their kids study like fiends, crowd the libraries until closing time and unfairly skew the grading bell-curves for their party-animal colleagues. Or about the too many signs with Chinese characters on stores and about the inhumanity of rising values of mansions. The horror. O, the horror.

          • dannybhoy

            Huh!

            I didn’t know the Hong Kongers came to Canada. They work really hard, study hard and are generally a credit to their adopted homelands.
            I could probably dig up some evidence to prove it, but I believe the people of Hong Kong were sad to see the British leave.
            This is why politically I believe we made the greatest mistake in joining in with Europe instead of building an economic trading bloc with the former colonies with whom we had so much in common.

          • dannybhoy

            Avi,
            Shabbat Shalom by the way, and God bless you and yours.

          • avi barzel

            Thanks! And a peaceful Sunday and blessings to you and yours, Danny and Clive. I better get going with dinner or my wife will do jihad on my butt when she gets home.

          • avi barzel

            PS, and worst of all, Danny, while the Hong Kong crowd may have injected a few billion into our economy and generated tens of thousands of jobs, this will never make up for their driving up the price of scotch single malt. Aren’t you glad your government didn’t want them in ’99 and chose the current tea-totallers to grace your skyline with those pretty tower things?

          • dannybhoy

            Lol!
            I don’t mind Irish whiskey, but brandy is my favourite tipple, Wine of course. Then real ale. Some lagers are pretty good…

          • CliveM

            Port, cider, wine, beer, lager, G&T but not whisky.

            At least not at the same time!

          • dannybhoy

            How are you old chap?
            May I wish you a very good weekend and warm regards to your long suffering wife and child?

          • CliveM

            Feeling great, wife bed bound and child doing well.

          • dannybhoy

            Feeling great cos wife is bed bound?
            Shame on you!

          • CliveM

            The peace and quiet………

            Bliss.

          • avi barzel

            Oh, just made a cocktail out of that. Thought you were sharing a recipe until I saw the second paragraph.

            Anyway don’t feel too bad about your government snubbing Hong Kongers. Most are Christians…involved, wealthy, generous, well-dressed, polite, regularly church-going Christians. How deadly monotonous, compared to the excitement you got going with the Friday crowd. And imagine trying to find parking or a pew at tour church on Sundays.

          • dannybhoy

            I would be more than happy to attend a good Jewish act of worship Avi.
            I love that holy, low pitched, melancholy musical vibration that somehow reverberates within me.
            “Avinu Melkeinu, Avinu, Melkay-enu..”

            It makes me think of so many families and individuals who suffered, died or remain tormented because of their Jewishness.
            If I think that, surely Adonai, Eloheinu does too.

          • avi barzel

            Not in my synagague, Danny…o, you’re welcome to it, but the discordant cacophony from our motley crew may not be what you’re thinking of. We have all shades of orthodoxy, Hasids, Litvaks, Yekkes, Sephardim from everywhere, visiting Israelis, Modern O’s, former Reform and Conservative, converts and people who just plain can’t sing, but love to. And then, there’s Yours Truly’s voice as well. It is very jolly on the Sabbath, though.

          • dannybhoy

            Avi,
            “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:”
            A time to indulge, and a time to disillusion…..

          • CliveM

            It was Bliar who with his usual flair for decision making got it completely wrong.

            We will let the head chopping jihadists in and greet them with open arms, but the useful, the peaceful and the prosperous, we will slam the door in their faces.

          • CliveM

            Dannybhoy

            Whatever you do, don’t get between Avi and his single malt.

            It wouldn’t be pretty, know what I mean?

            Another near fatality avoided!

          • dannybhoy

            I remember a lovely cartoon joke I kept for many years, depicting a London pub with a little, bespectacled city man at the bar with a pint of beer.
            Besides him stands a huge Irishman in a mud spattered donkey jacket,
            who turns to the little city gent and says,
            “Oi’d love to buy you a drinkh sorrh, but I haven’t ahnny money….”

  • D. Rose Gregory

    It is really not Christian Europe. It is secular. There is a spiritual void. Ce n’est vraiment pas l’Europe chrétienne. Il est laïque. Il y a un vide spirituel.

    • cacheton

      Just because it is secular does not mean it has to be spiritually void. Judging by recent comments of the Pope, that physical violence can be expected as a reaction to certain words (and therefore sanctioning physical violence), he has demonstrated the acute spiritual poverty of that institution he is supposed to be spiritual leader of. The spiritual void is inherent in western religions, which is why the west is becoming secular.

      • D. Rose Gregory

        To say you expect something is not to say you condone it. If I go up to a man I know to be violent, spit in his face and slander his mother, I expect he is going to slap my face, beat me up or kill me. I don’t condone his actions, but I expect them. But you are right, the spiritual void is also in many churches, but a church building is not God or Jesus. The real church is in the hearts and souls of the people. Where did the French people go to hold their remembrance ceremony for the slain cartoonists -to Notre Dame, a church. Notre Dame rang its bells, a rare occurance (The surviving memers of Charlie Hebdo laughed at this act of grace). People want to cling to a belief system, however tainted it may be. The church can be reformed but the people who want to reform it must work from within the church. To throw out Jesus and God because the church did some bad things, is throwing out the baby with the dirty bathwater.

        • cacheton

          ‘People want to cling to a belief system, however tainted it may be.’

          Yes but the work of a ‘spiritual’ institution is to help people become conscious of the taintedness of belief systems and take people beyond them. If a so-called spiritual leader, especially given recent events, says it is normal to degrade a situation by using violence as a method of showing one’s displeasure/offense/whatever to some words, he is showing that he does not understand this.

          Furthermore he equates the reaction to a verbal insult about one’s mother, a physical person, with a justified reaction to a perceived insult to one’s faith. As I read in one of the comments on a newspaper’s website, ‘Are we supposed to take the existence of the Pope’s mother on faith?!’

          Is it really too much to expect the pope to have integrated the spiritual teachings of the bible? I think people are justified in being dismayed, as I am, that he obviously hasn’t. What hope is there that people from within the church can reform it if the pope demonstrates such poor spiritual leadership?

          • D. Rose Gregory

            Cacheton, he didn’t say it was fine to use violence. He said it was expected. Even the cartoonists themselves said they expected to be attacked; that is why they had bodyguards. You are twisting the Pope’s words.

          • cacheton

            Here are the Pope’s words.

            ‘If my good friend Dr Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch. It’s normal. It’s normal.’

            The pope is saying HE would react like this. Therefore he has not integrated the most basic teachings of the bible. Observing that others who are not spiritual leaders routinely act like this, and therefore it is likely they will again, is one thing; a so-called spiritual leader saying he would also act like this is quite another, proving he is not actually a spiritual leader at all.

          • D. Rose Gregory

            Well, Cacheton, it’s always fun to pick on an important world figure like the Pope, but that isn’t exactly what Jesus would do either, is it? I think one would almost have to see the Pope’s face to see exactly how he meant the remark to be taken. Would the Pope punch someone in the face; I doubt it. It is normal to expect retribution of some sort (getting cursed at, getting hacked, getting the silent treatment) when you purposely attack someone verbally, in writing or with your fist – absolutely yes. The Pope should have worded this better, but I expect it is hard to have reporters, some of them malicious, hanging on every word you say.

          • cacheton

            I also doubt the pope would punch someone in the face. It is only ‘normal’ to expect retribution from emotionally and spiritually immature individuals, and even though it observable that lots of those exist, I think more should be expected of the pope. That is not ‘picking on him’, any more than expecting the leader of a bank to have a basic knowledge of how money works, for example.

            And I think you could start a reform of the church with your remark ‘I think one would almost have to see the Pope’s face to see exactly how he meant the remark to be taken.’ If you applied that to the bible, things really could change!

            Except that then there would be multiple debates on what the pope’s facial expression actually ‘meant’ ….. Oh dear what a mess.

          • D. Rose Gregory

            I think the Pope defended his comment with a bad example, but I think his point is well taken that if you go around provoking dangerous people, you should expect retaliation. And Charlie Hebdo did expect it and they still should if they continue to provoke. As we can see, the Islamic terrorists aren’t joking! I agree with your second point. Many of the stories and comments in the Bible would be better understood if we could have been there to see them happen or hear them said. However, that can’t be, so we have to go with the accounts we have. That is why clergy and religious scholars are constantly and have constantly over the years, studied the scriptures and debated them. Debate is a good thing. It helps people come to understandings and consensuses. I hope that we have come to an understanding in this little debate.

          • cacheton

            I agree debate is a positive thing, but how do you do that with people who are ‘provoked’ to violence by things which are not physically violent to them? Most of us do not want to live in a country where we can ‘expect’ physical violence in retaliation for drawing a cartoon, any cartoon. How can we come to an understanding or consensus with people who will not, or cannot, explain why they are offended?

          • D. Rose Gregory

            They are offended because they love their prophet. They really, really, really, really, really (a thousand reallys) love their prophet. You are dealing with true love. Have you been in love? How did you feel when someone said or did something against your loved one? I love Jesus Christ. In my mind he died to save me from my own shortcomings. I feel the same revulsion at the Charlie Hebdo cartoons portraying God being sodomized by Christ as the Muslims feel about the Mohammed cartoons. I am not physically violent and I don’t live in France where this garbage is thrown in my face. I don’t think you can debate with the violent terrorists. Unfortunately, immigration policy over the years has allowed too many fundamentalist Muslims into Europe (and elsewhere) who cannot assimilate because their religion does not allow divergence from it’s strict tenets, one of those tenets being to convert and conquer, by force if necessary, infidels. Christianity believes in free will, so Christians may attempt to convert people to a belief in Christ, but they know they cannot force people to believe something. Strict Muslims don’t care if you don’t believe; you must behave as though you do to please them. Now, if I thought French life, for example, was going to offend me, I would not move there. Historical forces from long ago caused Muslims in other countries to be quasi-French. They were made to adopt the French tongue and were taught French ideals. They were expected to feel allegiance to France and fight for her in war. According to some sources, there was a lot of brutality imposed by the French on, for example, the Algerians. In time French-speaking foreigners came to France seeking a better life. France is known to have a generous social welfare program. Many native French people did not like the lifestyles of these new intruders, though they might have liked their willingness to work for low wages. Muslims typically have many children and native French people, nowadays, have few. Europeans and Americans get many abortions too, which limits their population growth. I doubt Muslims do this. Therefore, a boom of Muslim population compared to native. Packed together in and near cities, with vastly different views about right and wrong, human rights, gender, sexuality, faith, violence as a means to an end – well, a powder keg. Then the economic recession takes opportunity away, poverty leads to a rise in crime and groups solidify for protection against their foes. Someone lights a match to the powder keg (this time Charlie Hebdo) and voilà! God save France! I love the French. They are some of the nicest people in the world.

          • D. Rose Gregory

            “There are four questions of value in life… What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living “for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is same. Only love.”
            ― Johnny Depp

          • cacheton

            OMG where do I start? What a long post!

            No, you are not dealing with true love. You are dealing with projection. Do you know anything about psychology? Google psychological projection. It is largely unconscious, as it originates in the unconscious mind – which I suspect is similar to ‘the spirit’ referred to in your Johnny Depp quote – and it is powerful.

            This is why so-called ‘moderates’ cannot condemn the violent actions of people belonging to the same faith as they do, because they recognise that they share the same projection, and because it is unconscious they cannot let it go. Sometimes they would consciously like to condemn the violence, but they can’t because it is forces in their unconscious mind which are involved here. Have you ever heard an interview with a religious leader being pressed on whether he (usually he) condemns the violence? They wriggle and squirm but they don’t say they condemn it, or they say they do very quickly but go on to say that this is not the same version of whatever religion as they practise. The belief that a book (bible, koran) contains direct communication from/about the object of the projection serves to solidify the projection in the mind of the person, who then uses that book to justify whatever they want. Words can of course be twisted under the force of projection, but unfortunately both of those books contain passages which do not need any twisting to justify violence, hatred, etc.. You also see nonviolent people justifying the existence of these passages in their preferred book, ‘That’s not actually what it means’ etc etc, which can be rather amusing and entertaining, but when people are murdered as they were in Paris it is obvious that projection is really not funny.

            I lived in France for 12 years. These cartoons are not thrown in one’s face, you buy the magazine if you like that kind of thing. I didn’t. But these cartoons are showing people their projections, without violence. If you think they are ‘garbage’ then that is a sure sign you have a projection! And if you are driven to violence because of it, that is not a sign of ‘true love’ (I am assuming you mean unconditional love here) any more than it is demonstrating ‘the peace of god which passeth all understanding’.

          • D. Rose Gregory

            Well, I have not lived in France, but I am assuming these papers are on newsstands, right? And a passerby must see the cartoons on the front cover. That is rather the point of putting them on the front cover. Now, if I am wrong and the papers are covered or kept under wraps like a porn magazine, then I take back my statement about that. As for my projection, what I have is a belief. I believe there is a God and his son was Jesus Christ. I believe Jesus was on this earth to give his life for my sins and the sins of mankind. I love him because he first loved me. This is the basic story of Christianity that millions of Christians around the world know and understand. They love Jesus; they don’t just project him. This may be the crux of the problem. Many, many people in Europe and elsewhere today are atheists and they don’t know what it is like to be a person of faith. I am a woman and I do not know what it is really like to be a man. I can imagine, but I will never really understand. I am American and I will never really understand what it is like to be French or British, and Europeans are vastly clueless about what it is like to be an American. What would you die for? What would you kill for? Me, I would kill for my country in time of war if I was called on to do so by my government. I would kill for my family in defense of their lives. I would kill to save the life of an innocent under bodily attack. My God does ask me to kill for him. I live by the New Testament which asks me to love my brother, do good to those who despise me and turn the other cheek. I have heard reputable people who have read the Quran say that on almost every page there are demands for Muslims to convert or kill the infidels. I should pick up a copy and read it myself. Maybe we all should. It would help us understand.

          • cacheton

            I have not read the Quran either, but I have read the bible. There are plenty of demands to slay enemies, dash out brains etc. There are also some profound spiritual teachings, and my biggest criticism of the church is that most people, including the ‘leaders’ seem not to be able to tell the difference between what is and what isn’t a spiritual teaching. That ‘belief’ you talk about is conscious, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to tell me what it was! Projection is unconscious, therefore you do not consciously know you are doing it. But when people say they love people who are not physically incarnate, like Jesus, they actually mean they love their idea of who he was, the symbol he stands for – unconditional love in human form. But this is THEIR idea, THEIR divinity, THEIR own unconditional love from which their ‘spirit’ is made (thanks Mr Depp); it comes from INSIDE themselves, and they have projected it (unconsciously lets remember) onto something they believe is outside themselves, with the result they think it is separate from them. The problem is made more acute by the religions whose symbols these are TELLING the people who have projected onto them that they REALLY ARE SEPARATE and that if they should ever believe otherwise that is blasphemy. Thus Jesus is not an example to follow, we are taught that it is actually not possible ever to be like Jesus.

            The point about cartoons, or anything else in fact, is that you will see them through the lens of your unconscious projection. If you have no projection you would see, on last week’s Charlie Hebdo cover, an arab man looking sad holding a placard. Anything more than that, such as ‘They are insulting us’, ‘stupid religious people’, or ‘oh no what’s going to happen now’ etc etc would be added on by the projection of the person looking, the first probably a Muslim, the second an atheist and the third a frightened individual.

          • D. Rose Gregory

            Cacheton, Christians follow the New Testament, the Gospel (Good News) for modern man. Love your enemies as yourself, let he who is without sin cast the first stone, if someone strikes you on one cheek turn to him the other, hope, faith and charity – the greatest of these is charity, if someone demands your coat, give him your shirt also. Christianity teaches peace, but not every person who calls himself a Christian will be peaceful because all people are sinners including all Christians. Christians experience the love of God in their lives everyday and they experience the power of prayer in amazing ways. They experience these things because they are tapping into the power that exists in the universe and that comes from a spiritual life. There are different types of intelligence, and one of these is spiritual intelligence. I love God because he first loved me, because he formed me in my mother’s womb and he will be there to receive me when I die. So I have little fear of life or death. Faith and scientific reasoning are two different things. Where reasoning leaves off, faith picks up. Reasoning cannot answer all of the questions of life such as why am I here and what will happen to me after death. Atheists will give their “religion’s” answer to those things, but those are just their beliefs. They will never prove the nonexistence of God. The people at Charlie Hebdo are Atheists and they are haters of other people’s faiths. They are trying to make all faith in God look ridiculous in an effort to lead people away from the truth. “By their fruits you shall know them.” The Bible is the name of a book and in the English language, it should be capitalized.

          • cacheton

            ‘Atheists will give their “religion’s” answer to those things, but those are just their beliefs.’

            And everything you wrote up till that sentence is ‘just your belief’ too.

            They will never prove the nonexistence of God, but neither will believers ever prove his existence. This is a non-argument.

            I do not know who the people at Charlie Hebdo are, but I do know something about projection. God, the Divine, the Truth, Unconditional Love are not ridiculous, but some of the doctrines and baggage that religions construct around them are. Have you ever seen a drawing depicting God? What did he look like? How is it possible to depict God in a drawing if he is all of creation and actually looks like everything? It isn’t possible, of course, therefore there is no reason to find any drawings offensive because they are not accurate depictions of God.

            Unless you have projected your divinity onto an exterior God and think the drawings are saying something about him of course!

            Except that this is obviously someone else’s idea about him, not yours, so why does it upset you?

            Because you have exteriorised him and therefore made him vulnerable to attack. Put him back inside, where he originated, and where he belongs, and you will cease to be offended.

          • D. Rose Gregory

            No, nobody can prove or disprove the existence of God. Belief in God is a belief. I have read from several sources that the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo were hard core atheists. Some of them were also Communists and most if not all Communists would like to see faith in God wiped off the earth. God is a power although he has been depicted in human form in art throughout history. Some of the most beautiful paintings, tapestries and friezes in the Louvre and other museums and cathedrals depict God. The reason that it is insulting to draw God being sodomized by Jesus who is in turn being sodomized by a triangle representing the Holy Spirit should be obvious! That is an insult directed at all Christians everywhere. It is basically saying “F__” your God.” That is the worst thing anyone could say. That is an insult and any person of faith would find that insulting. If Charlie Hebdo drew a picture of your father in that way you would be offended. So why shouldn’t people be offended when they depict God the Father of the Christians being shown doing that? Of course it is offensive. It was meant to be offensive. Charlie Hebdo, the staff, had malice in their hearts and disease in their minds when they went about making that cartoon and others. Charlie Hebdo brought shame to France and that is a horrible thing to do! God save France! Non, personne ne peut prouver ou de réfuter l’existence de Dieu. La croyance en Dieu est une croyance. Je ai lu de plusieurs sources que les caricaturistes à Charlie Hebdo étaient difficiles athées base. Certains d’entre eux étaient également communistes et la plupart, sinon tous les communistes voudraient voir la foi en Dieu rayé de la terre. Dieu est une puissance bien qu’il ait été représenté sous forme humaine dans l’art à travers l’histoire. Certaines des plus belles peintures, tapisseries et frises du Louvre et d’autres musées et cathédrales représentent Dieu. La raison pour laquelle il est insultant pour dessiner Dieu étant sodomisée par Jésus qui est à son tour d’être sodomisé par un triangle représentant le Saint-Esprit devrait être évident! Ce est une insulte dirigée contre tous les chrétiens partout. Il dit essentiellement “F__” ton Dieu. “Ce est la pire chose que ne importe qui pourrait le dire. Ce est une insulte et tu le sais. Si Charlie Hebdo a dessiné une image de votre père dans cette façon vous serait offensé. Alors, pourquoi ne devrais ‘t les gens être offensé quand ils dépeignent Dieu le Père des chrétiens étant montré le faire? Bien sûr, il est offensif. il était destiné à être offensant. Charlie Hebdo, le personnel, eu malice dans leurs cœurs et dans leurs esprits la maladie quand ils sont allés de faire ce dessin animé et d’autres. Charlie Hebdo a honte à la France et ce est une chose horrible à faire! Que Dieu sauver la France.

          • cacheton

            ‘Belief in God is a belief.’

            For some people god is not only a belief, it is a belief grounded in experience. Experience first, belief afterwards.

            ‘If Charlie Hebdo drew a picture of your father in that way you would be offended.’

            No I wouldn’t, I would find it completely and utterly uninteresting and not worthy of any attention whatsoever.

            ‘That is the worst thing anyone could say.’

            Please explain why.

            ‘any person of faith would find that insulting.’

            I explained why in my last post, but I have a sneaking feeling it was not understood.

            ‘Charlie Hebdo brought shame to France’

            Quite the opposite – haven’t you had any interviews on your media in the US with people saying how proud they are of their freedom of speech, and even if most don’t buy Charlie Hebdo they absolutely recognise the right, some even would say the responsibility, to publish? We have here in the UK, and I would know that anyway from having lived there. By the way I don’t know what program you use to do your translating into French but many of those sentences are weird and a couple incomprehensible.

  • Hard Little Machine

    France with no Jews is simply evolving into the France France has always wanted to be.