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Monthly Archives: May 2017

May 22nd, 2017

Trump and Bergoglio: Birds of a Feather

More about how much Pope Francis and Donald Trump have in common.

A reader who prefers to remain anonymous (and has sound reasons for this) has drawn my attention to further clear similarities between the two world leaders…

Neither Trump nor Bergoglio are readers of serious books on theology or politics/economics. In fact, both hold academics in low esteem and aren’t bothered by their ignorance or verbal errors that follow.

Both tend to take disagreement personally and to slag off opponents, often with crude and unjust insults, never publicly used by previous office holders.

Both men tend to act as dictators, riding roughshod over laws and established custom when they think they are in a winning position.

Both are outsiders who have made little effort to adapt themselves to the demands of the office, thereby giving their staff the unending task of putting some kind of consistency to their sometimes contradictory remarks.

May 20th, 2017

A Trump-Bergoglio Love-In?

That very insightful blog “Ignatius His Conclave” notes that there has been much speculation about the forthcoming meeting between Pope Francis and President Donald Trump.

Liberals have been portraying Trump and Francis as opposites in some Manichaean struggle. Francis is seen as the Anti-Trump whose wisdom, mercy and compassion contrast with the bluster and belligerence of the President. Francis is the bridge-builder; Trump the unchristian builder of walls.

Most of this is nonsense.

Far from being a cataclysmic confrontation, the meeting is likely to be a huge success. The two men will discover how much they have in common.

Both are shameless populists; both are foolishly garrulous; and both prefer to govern by diktat rather than consensus. Both are pursuing a reformist agenda with little time to spare. Both have a declared aim to “drain the swamp”; and both are faced with an apparently immoveable bureaucracy.

With so much in common, the things upon which they disagree – like capitalism and Islam – can easily be set aside in the ensuing love-fest.

May 5th 2017

Desensitising faggotry

A straw in the wind?

Some time ago blogger Ann Barnhardt predicted that “tolerance of faggotry will morph into participation in faggotry, or execution”.  A bit over the top, surely? you might think.  Well, think again.

A few days ago she had an e-mail from an engineering supervisor who works for a well-known aerospace firm (presumably American). This company now requires special “tolerance” training  for what are described as “straight white males in leadership roles.”

On this course, training participants were required to hug each other for at least 10 seconds, to desensitise them to participation in homosexual activity. The organisers were quite open about this. Alone among about 30 participants, your man refused. “Then when the lisping fag teacher started screeching at me I walked out. Since the training was mandatory and I walked out I can be fired for that, and probably will be.”

As Ann comments:  “Your reward for this act of personal integrity will not be in this world, but in heaven.”



May 2nd, 2017

Why Bristol Is Bristling

I’ve mentioned before that I have a soft spot for Bristol, where I had my first job as a journalist. It’s been much in the news of late, because of a row over the 17th-century philanthropist and entrepreneur Edward Colston, who is honoured by an imposing statue in the city centre. The problem is that in addition to all his charitable works, Colston was heavily involved in the slave trade. Slaves and sherry are reputed to be the two commodities on which the wealth of Bristol was founded.

Image result for edward colston

             Edward Colston

Today everyone without exception knows that slavery is utterly evil. But that has not always been the case. If you read St Paul’s Epistle to Philemon, you’ll see it’s an appeal to an early Christian slave owner to take back a runaway slave whom St Paul had persuaded to return to his master. In the British empire it was only in the late 18th century that people began to appreciate how appalling the slave trade actually was. In the case of Spain, this happened much earlier: in the 16th century Friar Bartolomé de las Casas OP, originally a slave owner himself, was hated by many colonists in South America because of  his powerful denunciations of the trade.

The pressure for the removal of Colston’s statue, and the renaming of other Institutions in the city including the Colston Hall, comes mainly but not exclusively from PC agitators of the kind who  demanded (unsuccessfully so far) that the statue of the imperialist Cecil Rhodes should be taken down from the front of Oriel College in Oxford.  There are two main questions that immediately arise in such cases: how far back in history should one go; and should this cleansing apply to misdeeds condemned as such by most right-thinking people at the time they were committed, or should it apply as well to actions that we would condemn today?  There is no reason to think that Colston was living with a bad conscience: hard-headed businessman as he was (like many wealthy Bristolians), he doesn’t appear to have been hard-hearted as well, though he can’t have had much imagination. It’s doubtful if he ever gave a thought to the possibility that the slave trade should be condemned.

My first editor Eric Price increased the circulation of the Western Daily Press from 12,000 to around 80,000 in less than 10 years, at a time of general contraction in the newspaper industry.  I wonder what he would have thought of this dispute.  I suspect he would have written a series of angry editorials on the theme “Hands Off Edward Colston, Bristol’s Greatest Benefactor!”, thereby increasing the paper’s circulation by another 1,000 or so.

My own view is that anachronistic campaigns such as those against the likes of Edward Colston and Cecil Rhodes have rightly been denounced  as “virtue signalling”, by people with too much time on their hands. “Look at me, I’m such a caring person!”