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Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
I ought to make a housekeeping post w/r/t Bapton Books, and our new titles, and all that, but you can get all that here and here and elsewhere.

Instead, it is my duty here and now to say this. I have never agreed with La Rowling on politics (I mean, really, Gordon Bloody Brown?). I have seen, in the fandom she spawned - and that is the mot juste - BNFs come and go (and sometimes, regrettably, stay and slowly take over everything, like so many Teutonic twats); execrable prose; failures to Britpick; and of course rampant Lefty groupthink.

Heretofore, only the press of other business has prevented me in continued enjoyment of and participation in this fandom despite all these vexations.

No longer.

I ceased watching the films early on, after Mr Rickman revealed himself as being what Orwell should have called objectively anti-Israel and objectively anti-Jewish.

In light of La Rowling's descent into the same contemptible madness, for all that she at least has resiled from full 'divestment' and boycott (NOT Geoff) insanity, I am severing my connexion with her and all who sail in her forthwith.

After 1 January or so, all my Potterish posts shall be removed, here and elsewhere. Those wishing to preserve them for their own re-reading want to download them before then.

That will be all. You may go.

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If you aren't following this blog, you want to begin before you bang on abt economics:


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For new friends and auld acquaintance.Collapse )

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I don’t wish to shout, but....

Each and all and every man jack of you, wherever you may chance to live, I call upon: to give your aid now. Even if it means not buying a book for Christmas. Even if it means not buying our books for Christmas.

If you cannot make a contribution as I am shortly to suggest, I really do expect you at the very least to direct all your friends and followers to these links, and advert them to the appeal.

As I should hope you might have heard, a succession of gales and storms have battered the UK. There is flooding. There is danger to life as well as to property. Amongst the areas affected are the River Eden (including – although it’s not nearly so bad there as at, for example, Appleby-in-Westmorland – the Upper Eden, including Mallerstang); and the confluence of the Rivers Severn and Vyrnwy, at Melverley.

I therefore strongly urge you to make such contributions and assistance as you can manage to:


The Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team.

The Cumbria Wildlife Trust (you might, if you like, earmark the Upper Eden Support Group).

The Upper Eden Community First Responders Team;

and, in Melverley, and Oswestry generally, to contact, and enquire of as to what help is wanted,

The Rector, S Peter Melverley;

Melverley Village Hall; and

The Oswestry & District Agricultural Society.

All are, I believe, Registered Charities.

Let’s get cracking.

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… Mr Wemyss gives an appropriately British salute to the Americans.

These, Sir, are my reasons for not entertaining that high opinion of untried force, by which many Gentlemen, for whose sentiments in other particulars I have great respect, seem to be so greatly captivated. But there is still behind a third consideration concerning this object, which serves to determine my opinion on the sort of policy which ought to be pursued in the management of America, even more than its population and its commerce, I mean its Temper and Character.

In this Character of the Americans, a love of Freedom is the predominating feature which marks and distinguishes the whole: and as an ardent is always a jealous affection, your Colonies become suspicious, restive, and untractable, whenever they see the least attempt to wrest from them by force, or shuffle from them by chicane, what they think the only advantage worth living for. This fierce spirit of Liberty is stronger in the English Colonies probably than in any other people of the earth; and this from a great variety of powerful causes; which, to understand the true temper of their minds, and the direction which this spirit takes, it will not be amiss to lay open somewhat more largely.

First, the people of the Colonies are descendants of Englishmen. England, Sir, is a nation, which still I hope respects, and formerly adored, her freedom. The Colonists emigrated from you when this part of your character was most predominant; and they took this bias and direction the moment they parted from your hands. They are therefore not only devoted to Liberty, but to Liberty according to English ideas, and on English principles. Abstract Liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found. Liberty inheres in some sensible object; and every nation has formed to itself some favourite point, which by way of eminence becomes the criterion of their happiness.

… They were further confirmed in this pleasing error by the form of their provincial legislative assemblies. Their governments are popular in an high degree; some are merely popular; in all, the popular representative is the most weighty; and this share of the people in their ordinary government never fails to inspire them with lofty sentiments, and with a strong aversion from whatever tends to deprive them of their chief importance.

If anything were wanting to this necessary operation of the form of government, religion would have given it a complete effect. Religion, always a principle of energy, in this new people is no way worn out or impaired; and their mode of professing it is also one main cause of this free spirit. The people are protestants; and of that kind which is the most adverse to all implicit submission of mind and opinion. This is a persuasion not only favourable to liberty, but built upon it. I do not think, Sir, that the reason of this averseness in the dissenting churches, from all that looks like absolute government, is so much to be sought in their religious tenets, as in their history. Every one knows that the Roman Catholick religion is at least coeval with most of the governments where it prevails; that it has generally gone hand in hand with them, and received great favour and every kind of support from authority. The Church of England too was formed from her cradle under the nursing care of regular government. But the dissenting interests have sprung up in direct opposition to all the ordinary powers of the world; and could justify that opposition only on a strong claim to natural liberty. Their very existence depended on the powerful and unremitted assertion of that claim. All protestantism, even the most cold and passive, is a sort of dissent. But the religion most prevalent in our Northern Colonies is a refinement on the principle of resistance; it is the dissidence of dissent, and the protestantism of the protestant religion. This religion, under a variety of denominations agreeing in nothing but in the communion of the spirit of liberty, is predominant in most of the Northern provinces; where the Church of England, notwithstanding its legal rights, is in reality no more than a sort of private sect, not composing most probably the tenth of the people. The Colonists left England when this spirit was high, and in the emigrants was the highest of all; and even that stream of foreigners, which has been constantly flowing into these Colonies, has, for the greatest part, been composed of dissenters from the establishments of their several countries, and have brought with them a temper and character far from alien to that of the people with whom they mixed.

… Permit me, Sir, to add another circumstance in our Colonies, which contributes no mean part towards the growth and effect of this untractable spirit. I mean their education. In no country perhaps in the world is the law so general a study. The profession itself is numerous and powerful; and in most provinces it takes the lead. The greater number of the Deputies sent to the Congress were Lawyers. But all who read, (and most do read,) endeavour to obtain some smattering in that science. I have been told by an eminent Bookseller, that in no branch of his business, after tracts of popular devotion, were so many books as those on the Law exported to the Plantations. The Colonists have now fallen into the way of printing them for their own use. I hear that they have sold nearly as many of Blackstone’s Commentaries in America as in England. … This study renders men acute, inquisitive, dexterous, prompt in attack, ready in defence, full of resources. In other countries, the people, more simple, and of a less mercurial cast, judge of an ill principle in government only by an actual grievance; here they anticipate the evil, and judge of the pressure of the grievance by the badness of the principle. They augur misgovernment at a distance; and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze.

… Then, Sir, from these six capital sources; of Descent; of Form of Government; of Religion in the Northern Provinces; of Manners in the Southern; of Education; of the Remoteness of Situation from the First Mover of Government; from all these causes a fierce Spirit of Liberty has grown up. It has grown with the growth of the people in your Colonies, and increased with the increase of their wealth; a Spirit, that unhappily meeting with an exercise of Power in England, which, however lawful, is not reconcileable to any ideas of Liberty, much less with theirs, has kindled this flame that is ready to consume us.

The temper and character which prevail in our Colonies, are, I am afraid, unalterable by any human art. We cannot, I fear, falsify the pedigree of this fierce people, and persuade them that they are not sprung from a nation in whose veins the blood of freedom circulates. The language in which they would hear you tell them this tale would detect the imposition; your speech would betray you. An Englishman is the unfittest person on earth, to argue another Englishman into slavery.

I think it is nearly as little in our power to change their republican Religion, as their free descent; or to substitute the Roman Catholick, as a penalty; or the Church of England, as an improvement. The mode of inquisition and dragooning is going out of fashion in the Old World; and I should not confide much to their efficacy in the New. The education of the Americans is also on the same unalterable bottom with their religion. You cannot persuade them to burn their books of curious science; to banish their lawyers from their courts of laws; or to quench the lights of their assemblies, by refusing to choose those persons who are best read in their privileges. It would be no less impracticable to think of wholly annihilating the popular assemblies, in which these lawyers sit. The army, by which we must govern in their place, would be far more chargeable to us; not quite so effectual; and perhaps, in the end, full as difficult to be kept in obedience.

… Perhaps, Sir, I am mistaken in my idea of an Empire, as distinguished from a single State or Kingdom. But my idea of it is this; that an Empire is the aggregate of many States under one common head; whether this head be a monarch, or a presiding republick. It does, in such constitutions, frequently happen (and nothing but the dismal, cold, dead uniformity of servitude can prevent its happening) that the subordinate parts have many local privileges and immunities. Between these privileges and the supreme common authority the line may be extremely nice. Of course disputes, often, too, very bitter disputes, and much ill blood, will arise. But though every privilege is an exemption (in the case) from the ordinary exercise of the supreme authority, it is no denial of it. The claim of a privilege seems rather, ex vi termini, to imply a superior power. For to talk of the privileges of a State, or of a person, who has no superior, is hardly any better than speaking nonsense. Now, in such unfortunate quarrels among the component parts of a great political union of communities, I can scarcely conceive anything more compleatly imprudent, than for the Head of the Empire to insist, that, if any privilege is pleaded against his will, or his acts, his whole authority is denied; instantly to proclaim rebellion, to beat to arms, and to put the offending provinces under the ban. Will not this, Sir, very soon teach the provinces to make no distinctions on their part? Will it not teach them that the Government, against which a claim of Liberty is tantamount to high-treason, is a Government to which submission is equivalent to slavery? It may not always be quite convenient to impress dependent communities with such an idea.

… If then the removal of the causes of this Spirit of American Liberty be, for the greater part, or rather entirely, impracticable; if the ideas of Criminal Process be inapplicable, or if applicable, are in the highest degree inexpedient; what way yet remains? No way is open, but the third and last—to comply with the American Spirit as necessary; or, if you please, to submit to it as a necessary Evil.

… All this, I know well enough, will sound wild and chimerical to the profane herd of those vulgar and mechanical politicians, who have no place among us; a sort of people who think that nothing exists but what is gross and material; and who therefore, far from being qualified to be directors of the great movement of empire, are not fit to turn a wheel in the machine. But to men truly initiated and rightly taught, these ruling and master principles, which, in the opinion of such men as I have mentioned, have no substantial existence, are in truth every thing, and all in all. Magnanimity in politicks is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill together.

– Edmund Burke, 22 March 1775

Gentlemen, Sir, I have been charged with giving birth to sedition in America. They have spoken their sentiments with freedom against this unhappy act, and that freedom has become their crime. Sorry I am to hear the liberty of speech in this house, imputed as a crime. No gentleman ought to be afraid to exercise it. It is a liberty by which the gentleman who calumniates it might have profited, by which he ought to have profited. He ought to have desisted from this project. The gentleman tells us, America is obstinate; America is almost in open rebellion. I rejoice that America has resisted. Three million of people so dead to all feelings of liberty, as voluntarily to submit to be slaves, would have been fit instruments to make slaves of the rest.

– Pitt the Elder, 14 January 1776


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one can say only, Ha’makom yenahem etkhem betokh she’ar avelei Tziyonvi’Yerushalayim.

That there are mourners to mourn in Zion is specially the legacy of one of the greatest men ever to live, whom we mourn this day: Sir Nicholas Winton MBE.

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Or, Why I Have Been Absent.

On All Hallows Eve 2014, Mr Pyle suffered a heart attack, and, on 7 November, underwent a treble bypass surgery. (Mr Pyle asks that I clarify: he remains a bass-baritone, not a treble. It was not that sort of surgery.) During his ongoing recovery and medical leave...

  • I have taken on many of the administrative duties at Bapton Books in his stead;

  • I am finishing up Evensong, the sequel to Cross and Poppy;

That last project is one I have mentioned once or twice before now, but is now very much to the fore: Britain By the Slice, in two volumes, along a gridline North to South and along another East to West.


It now has a Kickstarter appeal which I advert you to; we should be greatly obliged for any assistance.

I hope, when pressure of work somewhat more readily permits, to be more visible here.

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Operation DYNAMO did the impossible in a thoroughly British way.

From the moment that the French defences at Sedan and on the Meuse were broken at the end of the second week of May, only a rapid retreat to Amiens and the south could have saved the British and French Armies who had entered Belgium at the appeal of the Belgian King....

HMSS Grafton, Grenade, Wakeful, Basilisk, Havant, and Keith were lost. But the Army was got away. The RAF suffered losses; but the RAF won through. And the little ships, like Nelson at Trafalgar, created an immortal and imperishable memory: Royal Daffodil and Medway Queen, Lightoller’s Sundowner, Bluebird of Chelsea, Tamzine, Marchioness; the RNLI lifeboats, Abdy Beauclerk, Cecil and Lilian Philpott, Charles Cooper Henderson, Charles Dibdin, Cyril and Lilian Bishop, Edward Dresden, E.M.E.D., Greater London, Guide of Dunkirk, Herbert Sturmey, Jane Holland, Louise Stephens, Lucy Lavers, Lord Southborough, Mary Scott, Michael Stephens, Prudential, Rosa Woodd and Phyliss Lunn, Thomas Kirk Wright, and Viscountess Wakefield; the Isle of Man Steam Packet vessels, Mona’s Isle and Mona’s Queen, Fenella, King Orry....

However, the German eruption swept like a sharp scythe around the right and rear of the Armies of the north. ... Behind this armoured and mechanised onslaught came a number of German divisions in lorries, and behind them again there plodded comparatively slowly the dull brute mass of the ordinary German Army and German people, always so ready to be led to the trampling down in other lands of liberties and comforts which they have never known in their own.

I have said this armoured scythe-stroke almost reached Dunkirk – almost: but not quite. Boulogne and Calais were the scenes of desperate fighting. The Guards defended Boulogne for a while and were then withdrawn by orders from this country. The Rifle Brigade, the 60th Rifles, and the Queen Victoria’s Rifles, with a battalion of British tanks and 1000 Frenchmen, in all about 4000 strong, defended Calais to the last. The British Brigadier was given an hour to surrender. He spurned the offer, and four days of intense street fighting passed before silence reigned over Calais, which marked the end of a memorable resistance. Only 30 unwounded survivors were brought off by the Navy and we do not know the fate of their comrades. Their sacrifice, however, was not in vain. At least two armoured divisions, which otherwise would have been turned against the British Expeditionary Force, had to be sent for to overcome them. They have added another page to the glories of the Light Division, and the time gained enabled the Gravelines waterlines to be flooded and to be held by the French troops.

Thus it was that the port of Dunkirk was kept open. When it was found impossible for the Armies of the north to reopen their communications to Amiens with the main French Armies, only one choice remained. It seemed, indeed, forlorn. The Belgian, British, and French Armies were almost surrounded. Their sole line of retreat was to a single port and to its neighbouring beaches. They were pressed on every side by heavy attacks and far outnumbered in the air.

When a week ago today I asked the House to fix this afternoon as the occasion for a statement, I feared it would be my hard lot to announce the greatest military disaster in our long history. I thought – and some good judges agreed with me – that perhaps 20,000 or 30,000 men might be re-embarked. But it certainly seemed that the whole of the French First Army and the whole of the British Expeditionary Force north of the Amiens-Abbeville gap, would be broken up in the open field or else would have to capitulate for lack of food and ammunition. These were the hard and heavy tidings for which I called upon the House and the nation to prepare themselves a week ago. The whole root and core and brain of the British Army, on which and around which we were to build, and are to build, the great British Armies in the later years of the war, seemed about to perish upon the field or to be led into an ignominious and starving captivity.

That was the prospect a week ago.

From Dunkirk, 338,266 men were evacuated to the UK, including the French soldiers, many of whom returned to France only to participate in its surrender. Of some 100,000 French soldiers rescued from Dunkirk, but some 3000 joined the Free French.

The enemy attacked on all sides with great strength and fierceness, and their main power, the power of their far more numerous air force, was thrown into the battle or else concentrated upon Dunkirk and the beaches.

… Meanwhile, the Royal Navy, with the willing help of countless merchant seamen, strained every nerve to embark the British and Allied troops. Two hundred and twenty light warships and 650 other vessels were engaged. They had to operate upon the difficult coast, often in adverse weather, under an almost ceaseless hail of bombs and an increasing concentration of artillery fire. Nor were the seas, as I have said, themselves free from mines and torpedoes. It was in conditions such as these that our men carried on, with little or no rest, for days and nights on end, making trip after trip across the dangerous waters, bringing with them always men whom they had rescued. The numbers they have brought back are the measure of their devotion and their courage. The hospital ships, which brought off many thousands of British and French wounded, being so plainly marked, were a special target for Nazi bombs; but the men and women on board them never faltered in their duty.

Meanwhile, the Royal Air Force, which had already been intervening in the battle, so far as its range would allow, from home bases, now used part of its main metropolitan fighter strength, and struck at the German bombers, and at the fighters which in large numbers protected them. This struggle was protracted and fierce. Suddenly the scene has cleared, the crash and thunder has for the moment – but only for the moment – died away. A miracle of deliverance, achieved by valour, by perseverance, by perfect discipline, by faultless service, by resource, by skill, by unconquerable fidelity, is manifest to us all. The enemy was hurled back by the retreating British and French troops. He was so roughly handled that he did not harry their departure seriously. The Royal Air Force engaged the main strength of the German Air Force, and inflicted upon them losses of at least four to one; and the Navy, using nearly 1,000 ships of all kinds, carried over 335,000 men, French and British, out of the jaws of death and shame, to their native land and to the tasks which lie immediately ahead. We must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations. But there was a victory inside this deliverance, which should be noted. It was gained by the Air Force. Many of our soldiers coming back have not seen the Air Force at work; they saw only the bombers which escaped its protective attack. They underrate its achievements. I have heard much talk of this; that is why I go out of my way to say this. I will tell you about it.

There never had been, I suppose, in all the world, in all the history of war, such an opportunity for youth. The Knights of the Round Table, the Crusaders, all fall back into a prosaic past: not only distant but prosaic; but these young men, going forth every morn to guard their native land and all that we stand for, holding in their hands these instruments of colossal and shattering power, of whom it may be said that ‘When every morning brought a noble chance, And every chance brought out a noble knight’, deserve our gratitude, as do all of the brave men who, in so many ways and on so many occasions, are ready, and continue ready, to give life and all for their native land.

Wars are not won by evacuations. Yet the BEF had been saved and preserved. The weary squaddies, landing once more on Home soil, were given tea, and passed through by Naval personnel, including one quiet, diligent, unobtrusive Naval officer whom a few weary soldiers recognised with a sudden shock: His Majesty the King.

The troop trains with the rescued aboard clacked and puffed their way through the Kentish Springtide. At halt and station, the WI and the Mothers Union greeted Our Lads come back from France with lemonade and biscuits; and as the trains steamed through the Garden of England, the villages XI paused in their matches, and raised their caps and flourished their bats, and cheered.

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government – every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the new world, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

– the Rt Hon. the Prime Minister, 4 June 1940

This is Dunkirk Day.

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After the current writing frenzy is over, I shall, I promise, respond to all the kind comments awaiting such response.

I am all too aware that to a few of my readers, Wolvo is, simply, where Fr Paddick is from, in the Village Tales novels; and, to far too many LJers in A Certain Fandom, merely where a member of A Popular Beat Combo, M’Lud is from.

But I wish to speak of the place and of its place in our national life, by way of proem to a larger point.

In doing so, I begin by quoting extensively from my own The Confidence of the House: May 1940, a work of history readily available through most good booksellers, ahem. On 8 May 1940, the Hon. Member for Wolverhampton was a Liberal, Mr Geoffrey Mander: one of the great men, and great House of Commons men, of the last century.

Mr Mander was no idle hon. Member. Mander Brothers were the leading manufacturer of ink, paint, varnish, and related chemicals in the Empire, certainly: but the Mander name stood for rather more than that. For two centuries, they had been custodians of that Midlands, Radical, Dissenting tradition of good works, probity, and commercial honour to which the Chamberlains had aspired. Mr Mander had in 1931 negotiated with Ernest Bevin, Major Attlee’s personal answer to a Brendan Bracken or a Horace Wilson, the first 40-hour week in Britain. Mr Mander, small, sandy, and fiercely bantam, an unappeasable foe, had patronised the arts and presented his family home, as black and white and uncompromising as its owner, to the National Trust in 1937. Mr Mander had been a magistrate in his twenties, the son of a mayor of Wolverhampton, the grandson, through his mother, of a member of the parliament of the Dominion of Canada, the scion of generations of Manders who had relieved the poor, protected the Nonconformists, and reformed the penal laws; he had long been the Liberal spokesman on foreign relations, adamant against appeasement, devoted to the destruction of the dictators, a standard bearer for collective security, for arms and the Covenant of the League of Nations. He was a Great War officer of the Royal Flying Corps, an Inner Temple barrister, the bitter foe of the Peace Pledge Union, and the past master of the forensically unanswerable question in the House. He had personally slanged and been slanged in the public press by Mussolini, who treated him as a feared and not-to-be-despised equal.

He was a Mander. His forebears had helped bring down the slave trade, had torn down the ‘Blood Money’ act, and had passed the Dissenters’ Chapels Act 1844. In his family’s home that gave the name to their baronetcy, The Mount, Tettenhall Wood, had Lloyd George announced that he was calling the General Election of 1918. More than that: he was Wolverhampton. In the last General Election, he was one of but three Liberal candidates who carried an urban constituency against both Labour and Conservative challenges. In 1918, after calling the Coupon Election at The Mount, Lloyd George had given his ‘homes fit for heroes’ address in Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre. From the days when Wolverhampton was a wool staple town to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution when it manufactured locks and keys, through to its eminence in iron, steel, coal, and inks and varnish and chemicals from Mander Brothers, and the installation of Britain’s first automated traffic signals in Princes Square, Wolverhampton had been the Manders, and the Manders, Wolverhampton. Wolverhampton was free-trading, free-thinking, largely Dissenting, serious, prosperous, and honourable, as were the Manders, looking down a trifle upon nearby Birmingham of the Chamberlains. Serious, witty, elegant, scrappy, cultivated, commercial, honest and honourable, the small, spare Mr Mander was one who, incarnating his constituency, was the manner of man Joe Chamberlain and even Lloyd George had, perhaps, aspired to be.

Seventy-five years on, Wolvo, like much of the Midlands and the North, is a shell of what it had been. I should now like to advert your attention to the work of a certain Labour MP of our own time, who is now toying with standing for Leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party, the historian Tristram Hunt. That work, Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City, which is likewise available at most good booksellers’, is really quite good, and makes the same sort of points – perhaps a little uncomfortably now for an ambitious Labour MP known to have written it – about localism, the devolution of power to cities and regions, the shrinking of the State, the renewal of civic pride, the necessity of capital, the worth of the middle and capitalist classes, and the moral and political qualities and philosophies necessary to make … well, to have made, and now to remake after Labour destroyed them, Northern Powerhouses: in Brum and Wolvo, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, and Glesca.

These were the examples which London followed, and followed so well as to eclipse the rest of the nation in wealth and power more even than its natural advantages had previously allowed, racing ahead despite the drag-effect of stupid, Leftist policies whilst these other cities were dragged wholly down by them.

Wolvo, Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Doncaster, Manchester, Liverpool, and Glasgow are prime samples of the sort of places where we as One Nation, on a cross-party basis, must repair the wanton destruction of decades, and which we must together restore to their former glory. Britain is not Britain as she might be and once was if Halifax and Hartlepool, Derby and Sheffield, are not what they were, or so long as Wolverhampton is not what she was in the days of Mr Mander (afterward Sir Geoffrey Mander): the Wolverhampton I described above.

To do this wants the Labour Members and councillors I mention below, and such Tories as Eric Pickles and William Hague and Michael Gove and David Mundell.

The Labour Party as the party of the Milibands and Harriet Harperson, rent-a-demo and Islington-and-Notting-Hill-champagne Socialists, Len McCluskey and Russell Brand, Gordon Brown and Ed Balls and Andy Burnham gazing plangently through his mascara, is dead as mutton, and a good thing, too. The party of envy, metropolitan faddishness, Rochdale, and Cool Britannia deserves to die out. And it is doing just that. In much of the North and the Midlands, the current opposition to the Conservative Party is, judging by the second-place finishes in the General Election and the seats won on councils, bloody Ukip. I need hardly labour the point as regards Scotland.

Labour as the party of the working man and woman, even in an economy far different to that which birthed it, in which the worker was down t’ pit hacking away at coalface, must however not die – although it must not become further, or remain so far as it is, the wholly-owned subsidiary of the troughing, rent-seeking, antidemocratic public employees’ unions.

The question is how; and in part, therefore, the question is who.

Labour want new management and new philosophers: to seek whom it must bury the dead past and cast off the TUC and other union shackles.

If Labour is to have a future, it must look back to its better past: that of Bevin, not Bevan; of Major Attlee and of Geoffrey Le Mesurier Mander. I should think it wants a temporary leader who can preside over and guide, soothe and inspire, its period of necessary introspection and re-invention; and when that is accomplished, it wants a new, fighting leader of common sense and the heart and head for the task.

If I were a purely partisan Tory, I should advise Labour to continue its descent into irrelevance and stupidity. But I love my country far more than I love my party, and my country wants a Loyal Opposition to hold the government of the day to account, whoever has a majority in one or another parliament.

And therefore, much as it should be a problem to Tory dominance, I say this. I hope Labour take the time to get it right. I hope that whilst they do so, they have the great wisdom to put in, as caretaker, a great and decent man and a great House of Commons man: the Rt Hon. Frank Field, Member for Birkenhead. And I hope that when they are sorted, they choose as Leader to fight the next election either these men, or Members of like calibre: Simon Danczuk MP (Rochdale) or Dan Jarvis MBE, late Major, the Parachute Regt, MP for Barnsley Central.

The country requires this.

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Galloway gone. And much credit to my wine merchants in my getting through night. Hoping Balls' bollocking imminent.

Have had eggs & Milibacon; shall do work now away from Net; shall check in later w/ thoughts.

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Let's make that a political gravestone. Or mill-i-stone.


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I have despised him since his SpAd days. I have loathed him since the Conservative and Unionist Party chose the wrong David as Leader. I have, in fact, when I thought of him at all, disdained him for a goodish part of my life.

He’s sopping Wet. He’s an invertebrate. He’s a eunuch. (I speak politically and metaphorically.) He’s the incarnation of everything wrong with the upper middle classes. He’s a minatory example of why fagging ought never to have been abolished at school. He’s a symbol of all that one detests about BNC.

He’s the second coming of Ted Heath.

He has no particular principles and an overdeveloped sense of his own worth, importance, and entitlement. As a result (and here is yet another unintended and dire consequence of the abolition of fagging), he is lazy, and bereft of an intellectual hinterland quite as much as of any particular principles. He is part of that generation of modern politicians who demand to lead without ever having served in any way. He’s the overfed face of the jeunesse dorée: a gilded fly. He is by instinct a troughing, rent-seeking, little statist: rather a grandee than a grocer. He is what we get in a country which has unwisely abolished National Service and which allows people into politics who have never held a proper job. He is a media construct. He’s the Vicar of Bray.

He is also, of the choices on offer, the only possible choice to be PM, in that he is, for now, the Leader of the only party which can possibly be trusted to govern the UK.

[Why Labour must not govern.]

We do not elect Prime Ministers in the way in which Yanks elect presidents. We elect governments; and their leaders may change without further intervention.

Ed Monolith Miliband leads the party which humbugged us all – including humbugging the Conservatives and the GW Bush administration – into the Iraq War, which ought perhaps to have been fought, but not in Mr Tony’s way and not at Mr Tony’s behest and not on Mr Tony’s ‘I want a Falklands Bounce of my own’ timetable.

The fratricidal Mr Miliband is personally responsible, even aside from the incompetence, cowardice, and treachery of Mr Obama, for the present condition of Syria, and the rise of Daesh: and there remain serious, unanswered questions as to his role in the unexpected rejection of action in Syria when the House voted it down. Such votes are not risked absent soundings through the Usual Channels, and discussions on Privy Council terms; and it is very difficult not to conclude that Mr Miliband, as Leader of the Opposition – an Opposition neither Her Majesty’s nor Loyal –, did something unprecedently dirty, and ratted. If this is true, and it is not easy to see how it cannot have been, not only ought Mr Miliband be precluded from leading his party, let alone his country, he wants to be hounded permanently from public life.

Mr Miliband, if installed in Downing Street, should be so installed without a majority or indeed without the greatest number of seats of his own. That is how the system works; and I have no quarrel with the system, as such. But Mr Miliband has been, since he stabbed his brother in the back, the abject creature of Len McCluskey: it was neither the Labour Party nor its Parliamentary cadre who chose him over his brother, but the union paymasters alone.

And this is a hallmark and a portent. For if Mr Miliband were to become PM, it should necessarily be by grace of and at the whim of yet further puppet-masters: ones who bear no good will to the nation.

Mr Miliband not only cannot admit that his party bears a grave responsibility for the late Crash, and must never be trusted with economic governance again until its stables are cleansed; he – hiding, not infrequently, behind the old Blair-Brown feud – dodges his personal responsibility, with Mr Balls, for the disaster, which has their grubby fingerprints on every spreadsheet.

Mr Miliband explicitly intends to wreck the UK economy all over again, if he gets the chance, in the service of his cod-Marxist doctrines. And that should be so were he left to himself.

And, for Mr Miliband to be PM, he should not be left to himself. Or even Left to himself.

Mr Miliband has made an opening to the Left, and proclaimed the absence of any enemy to the Left. Well, who are these people with whom he is willing to make common cause?

They are those who, at the most perilous moment in foreign affairs since July 1914, would at the least (SNP) strip the nation of its nuclear deterrent, and at the worst (the Greens) abolish HM Forces.

They are the people who have done this.

They are those who refuse to allow the people to have a vote on continued EU membership, less because – to paraphrase Macaulay on bear-baiting – the people might answer contrary to their wishes, than because it allows the people to answer at all.

I am very fond of Douglas Carswell. I am not terribly fond of much of Ukip. It exists because of the folly of Mr Cameron. But its enemies are good enemies to have: statists and fascists of the Left, who, in their metropolitan self-righteousness, consider any means justified to stop Ukip and silence it. In a democracy. In the throes of a general election. By vandalism and threats and shoutings-down.

These are Mr Miliband’s allies and supporters.

And then there is the SNP. They are not merely wrong. They are evil. Deeply, deeply evil.

Mr Miliband and his party are not content to beggar you: they openly desire to strip you of your freedom of speech, they wish further to criminalise speech, and they explicitly support utterly un-British restrictions upon freedom of the press and of publication – and, quite nakedly, do so in the interests of the powerful, the rich, and politicians.

The SNP are worse. They are evil. And racist.

A party of believers in democracy, having demanded a ‘once in a generation’ referendum and lost it by eleven points over all and in every constituency save three, should accept that result.

The SNP are not believers in democracy. They do not accept that result, they engage in wild claims to deny its validity, and their definition of ‘a generation’ is now measured in months.

A party with a principled devotion to referenda and direct democracy should welcome an EU referendum and accept from the outset whatever its result may be.

The SNP do not have a principled devotion to referenda and direct democracy; wish to veto an EU referendum; and assert that, if there should be, and they don’t like the answer, they must have the power to reject the result.

A party in a democracy does not arrogate to itself the claim to speak, alone and unchallenged, for the nation, as a one-party state, or denounce any dissent as treason and indeed ‘race-treason’, or define the nation they represent in explicitly racial terms, or demand control of the state broadcaster and the loss of any independence it has.

The SNP – yes, that’s right, got it in one.

Leaders of democratic parties in a democracy do not erect self-aggrandising menhirs in the best Soviet style as political acts. Mr Miliband’s threat to do so – in violation, I note, of planning law – is an imitative act, inspired by … wait for it … the prior act of Wee Eck Salmond of the SNP.

The SNP are in fact everything which Ukip has been claimed to be by its worst enemies.

And Mr Miliband, whatever he says, is prepared to strike hands with the Schottische Nationalsozialistiche Arbeiterpartei.

Why not? Labour, whilst Mr Miliband’s soft, never-done-a-hand’s-turn-of-work little paws were amongst those on the levers of power, created the Scots mess, blatantly to make Scotland a permanent Labour satrapy, and (oops!) called the Nats from the vasty deep. And Labour, and Mr Miliband, will do a deal with anyone who claims to be on the Left.

They were happy to include in their ranks, and truckle to, Lutfur Rahman until he became too noisome an embarrassment to ignore; and now that the election is tight, their paymaster backs him once more.

They ran Rochdale and Rotherham.

They have been willing to crawl through any sewer to preserve the gerrymandering without which the Conservatives should be looking at an outright majority these past six months of the campaign.

They will tell you how they hate injustice and inequality, particularly sexual inequality, and then clamour to address segregated audiences – and propose legislation which should outlaw criticism of these, and of injustice and inequality, for electorally valuable groups.

Why ought anyone to imagine they’d not do backroom deals with the Nats, even at the price of destroying the Union? And be not deceived: with the Nats, there is no other end, no other goal, and no lesser price.

I detest David Cameron. I loathe the Cameroons.

And I am, of course, voting Tory all the same: Unionist all the same. Please join me. The risks are too great not to do so.

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Bennett N’s latest wheeze: a bit of right-on maundering about polymarriage (which sounds as if it involves root veg., or possibly persons educated (in theory) at a polytechnic, both of which pretty much describe Greens and Lib Dems, who are, commonly, vegetables with plate-glass degrees) which should have inspired Peter Simple: has had one merit.

It has sparked Yet Another Perfect Column by Anne-Elisabeth Moutet.

The only annoying aspect of this is that, once again, it is evident that the best writer in British journalism today … is French. And yet, somehow, even Nigel must, surely, not mind terribly that this is so.

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What with champers for the new princess; juleps for the Kentucky Derby; and a glass or two of the creature raised to mark and mourn the death of the great Ruth Rendell.

(HMQ must be rather torn, now I think of it, between the excitements of the new great-grandroyal, and the races.)

Of course, there’s the question of the new princess’ name. I imagine there are courtiers and civil servants and not a few politicians hoping that nothing is decided and revealed until after the General Election. (And in that sense, it’s as well it wasn’t a prince. Thanks to HM uncle the abdicator, there’ll likely never be another David; whereas there commonly is an Edward. Mind, neither Nicks nor Nigels have ever made the running in Royal names.) Naturally, it’s unlikely that child will have ‘Ruth’ as one of her names, despite everything.

Whatever happens, there is likely to be some subtle nod in the naming to the Home Nations, and Scotland not least. Wales might hope for the inclusion of ‘Angharad’ or ‘Elen’ or ‘Gwenllian’, but....

A quick look at all four Home Nations suggests that the following are suitable names which have appeared regularly as the names of princesses and of consorts in all four, or have a certain suitability for historic reasons. K/Catherine is one; Margaret is very much one (Owain Glyndŵr’s consort was a Margaret); Mary of course is consistently used; Marjorie ought by rights to please the Scots; and there have been Joans in Scotland, Ulster, Wales, and England as consorts and princesses born, in plenty. Anne is also a sound choice.

But whatever may be chosen at the christening, Welcome, Your Royal Highness, and may you live long and happily in a United Kingdom.


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We will remember them.

In other Commonwealth and related news, i condole with all those touched by the tragedy in Nepal. I suggest that HMG show practical symapthy by sending aid through, and by, and with, the Brigade of Gurkhas.

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as GKC did say.

England, Shagsper, brass bands … what more is wanted?

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands;
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear'd by their breed, and famous by their birth
… This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world....

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A very happy birthday, Ma'am.

And innumerable happy returns of the day.

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Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant Hapus!

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[The funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, 30 January 1965]

‘Upon the mighty Thames, a great avenue of history, move at this moment to their final resting place the mortal remains of Sir Winston Churchill.’ The date was 30 January 1965. The speaker, General of the Army Dwight D Eisenhower USA, GCB (Hon.) OM (Hon.), late Supreme Allied Commander Europe, late President of the United States, on this day in cold, misty London to bid farewell to an old and cherished friend.

The Right Honourable Sir Winston Churchill KG OM CH TD PC DL FRS, Royal Academician, honorary citizen of the United States, Nobel Laureate in Literature, twice Prime Minister, twice First Lord of the Admiralty, late Chancellor of the Exchequer, late Home Secretary, late Minister for Defence, late President of the Board of Trade (the King – Edward 7th – had presented him with a stick, upon the silver band ’round which was engraved, For My youngest Minister), late Leader of the House, late Minster of Munitions, late Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, late Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, late Secretary of State for War, late Secretary of State for Air, late Secretary of State for the Colonies, late Leader of HM Loyal Opposition, late Leader of the Conservative Party, for four-and-sixty years almost without interruption a Member of Parliament – for Oldham, for Manchester North West, for Dundee, for Epping, for Woodford –, late Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, late Father of the House, late Oldest Member, late Elder Brother of Trinity House, was gone to God, with all due honour in the land of old and just renown.

I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me, is another matter.

He had died on 24 January: seventy years to the day from the date of his father Lord Randolph’s death. By Command of HM the Queen, he was being accorded a State Funeral, the first for a commoner since that of the duke of Wellington on 18 November 1852.

His body had lain in state in Westminster Hall for three days; around the bier gleamed the candles last used for the lying in state of the Iron Duke, a century and more before.

Now, upon a grey, foggy, and bitter day, his funeral was held, at St Paul’s Cathedral: a dreary, hollowed-out day in the grey, dreary, hollow Britain of the colourless, hapless Harold Wilson. The great dome of Wren’s cathedral rose, iconic, above the mists and fogs and smokes, as it had famously risen above the fires of the Blitz; as Churchill, whether below the gangway or upon the Front Bench, had, in any office and in none, towered thus roundly and Baroque above his colleagues and opponents.

He had saved his country in 1914, as Kitchener had known: ‘There is one thing, at least, they can never take away from you. When the war began, the Fleet was ready’; he had saved it again in 1940 – and after. Retiring PMs were commonly awarded an earldom; the Queen had meant to offer Winston a dukedom: that of London (which should have been one in the eye for his cousin Bendor – Hugh, 2d duke of Westminster – had he lived to see it, for Bendor had been an arch-appeaser and indeed sympathetic to Hitler at least to the outbreak of war). Winston, a House of Commons man to his fingertips, had declined.

The gun carriage which bore his remains, his coffin covered with the Union flag and his honours, was pulled by Naval ratings: the former First Lord’s body was being taken to St Paul’s. Never again, in a crisis, should the Admiralty receive the welcome signal, ‘Winston’s back’; never again. Never again.

It was 30 January 1965: the man who had died upon the anniversary of his father’s death was being buried upon the anniversary of the birth of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: the Feast of Charles 1st, King and Martyr.

The slow procession made its way past St Margaret Westminster, the parish church of the House of Commons, where Pepys had married, and Macmillan had married, and where Winston had married Clemmie in 1908. It passed the Palace of Westminster – Big Ben’s voice, in the Clock Tower, stilled for this day, from the procession’s start until midnight, in tribute to another, greater voice now stilled – and No. 10, past the Admiralty, past Fleet Street which had reported him and had taken him in as a war correspondent. Pacing beside the gun carriage, solemn, slow, the Guards party and the escort of the Few processed beside all that was mortal in Sir Winston.

They were young men who should carry the coffin, the weight of history on their shoulders. They were old men, in the main, who should be the honorary pallbearers.

The Right Honourable the earl Attlee KG OM CH PC FRS was old and frail, now. But he had been once Major Attlee, the last man save the divisional commander to leave the beach of failure at Gallipoli; and between 7 and 10 May 1940, even as Hitler had commenced his long-awaited invasion of France and the Low Countries, it had been Major Attlee MP, with others who had been at Gallipoli and seen that the failure there was not in the planning by the First Lord but in the timid half-measures of the commanders in the field – men such as the late Admiral of the Fleet Sir Roger Keyes, Member for Portsmouth North, afterward baron Keyes, and Col. Josiah Wedgwood, Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme, afterward baron Wedgwood – and Hon. Members such as the Liberal Leader, Sir Archie Sinclair, Member for Caithness and Sutherland, afterward viscount Thurso, who had served as Winston’s 2i/c in the trenches, with 6th Bn the Royal Scots Fusiliers in 1916, who had torn Neville Chamberlain from his place and made Winston PM – and Clem his Deputy Prime Minister.

Harold Macmillan – not yet earl of Stockton – had been PM until October 1963; but he was, on this day, altogether Captain Macmillan, old soldier of the Great War, late MP for Stockton-on-Tees, one of the anti-appeasement backbenchers of the 1930s, the Glamour Boys who rallied at last around Winston in May 1940 to save the world.

Their leader before that rallying had been Captain (late temporary Major) Eden MC, who had resigned the seals of office as HM Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in protest at appeasement. He had as PM – Macmillan’s predecessor; Winston’s heir – thrown all into confusion and clouded his own prior accomplishments; but the earl of Avon, as he now was, was here on this day in right of his actions in the Thirties, his staunch service in Winston’s Cabinets, and his being the great man’s nephew by marriage.

Sir Robert Menzies KT CH FAA QC MP, the Australian prime minister who had led that great Dominion into war in 1939 and been after 1941 a regular advisor to Churchill’s War Cabinet on imperial defence, now once again prime minister of Australia, remained fighting fit at the age of one-and-seventy years; but he felt the cold.

Winston’s Cabinet Secretary in the war years was also amongst the honoured few: the Rt Hon. the Lord Bridges KG GCB GCVO MC PCFRS, son of the Poet Laureate and grandson, through his mother, of the architect Alfred Waterhouse RA FRIBA: an apt sort of civil servant to serve the artist and the bricklayer of Chartwell.

With him stood the Rt Hon. the Lord Normanbrook GCB PC, who as Sir Norman Brook had been Winston’s Cabinet Secretary in his postwar Ministry, with his plain, Wolverhampton-bred common sense and his startling efficiency so needful to govern Winston’s racing engines.

Pug, also, was there, Winston’s old military staff chief, afterward Commonwealth Secretary and Secretary General of Nato: General the Rt Hon. the Lord Ismay KG GCB CH DSO PC, tough and passing wise.

So also was the late Governor-General of Australia, GOC 14th Army in Burma, old soldier of the Dardanelles campaign, the Rt Hon. the viscount Slim KG GCB GCMG GCVO GBE DSO MC KStJ, the unforgotten commander of the Forgotten Army.

There stood also Marshal of the Royal Air Force the viscount Portal of Hungerford KG GCB OM DSO & Bar MC, Chief of the Air Staff in the war.

There also stood the late Vice-Chief of the Imperial General Staff, the late High Commissioner in Malaya who had steadfastly beat back the Emergency, late GOC-in-C Eastern Command, the late intelligence chief and head of the German Directorate of the Special Operations Executive, the father of modern counter-insurgency responses, Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer KG GCB GCMG KBE DSO.

There also stood the late postwar Governor-General of Canada, GOC-in-C in Burma, the Middle East and North Africa, and Allied Armies in Italy, FM the Right Honourable the Earl Alexander of Tunis KG GCB OM GCMG CSI DSO MC CD PC PC(Can), urbane and indomitable.

And there stood also in his cherished splendour the Last Viceroy and first Dominion Governor-General of India, the refulgent Dickie, late Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia and all the rest of it: that former Serene Highness of Battenberg, Admiral of the Fleet the Rt Hon. the earl Mountbatten of Burma KG GCB GCSI GCIE GCVO DSO PC FRS, Chief of the Defence Staff.

All were overshadowed by the man now dead, at whose command they had brought fire and sword against the enemy upon land, at sea, and in the air, had kept the home fires burning, had set occupied Europe ablaze. There was no Force of which he had not been a notable ornament, from the Army to the Naval Division at Antwerp to the development of the tank to his early days as a pilot and eventual ministerial responsibilities for the RAF; no tactic from armour to intelligence to fleet operations to infantry to the last days of the cavalry he had not known; no theatre of war unfamiliar to him.

At his lying in state, three hundred thousand people had filed past his catafalque. A million people lined the route of the procession. St Paul’s could not hold that number; but there were some six thousand souls there to honour him who had saved them, amongst them six sovereigns and fifteen heads of state; and 350 millions, one in ten of the world’s population, who watched on the telly. On the next day, Sunday 31 January, and the days after, in Bladon churchyard, some 125,000 mourners were to file past the newest grave.

Every nation save China had sent a delegation to the funeral. De Gaulle was there, and Marshal of the Soviet Union Ivan Stepanovich Konev; President Lyndon Johnson was not, forbidden by his doctors to fly the Atlantic, allegedly owing to a bad cold but almost certainly owing to a recurrence of his old heart trouble, which it was impolitic to mention. It was a Saturday, the Sabbath; and David Ben-Gurion, late premier of Israel, the state over whose rebirth Winston had presided as a leading midwife from the inter-war period on, walked to the cathedral from the Savoy.

Breaking with precedent and precedence, HM the Queen and the Royal party, preceded by the Lord Mayor bearing the Sword of Mourning, entered before the coffin, Her Majesty and Princess Margaret and HM the Queen Mother dressed in mourning as at the obsequies of HM the King thirteen years prior, when the Queen, the Queen Mother, and Queen Mary had been the subjects, all in black grief, of a famous photograph, the ‘three queens in mourning’.

The hymn rolled out: Who would true valour see....

The Archbishop of Canterbury – craggy, massy Dr Ramsey, regal in vestments – took the service, the old, authentic service from the Book of Common Prayer.

I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept....
Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay.
In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succour, but of thee, O Lord, who for our sins art justly displeased?
Yet, O Lord God most holy, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.
Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not thy merciful ears to our prayer; but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour, thou most worthy judge eternal, suffer us not, at our last hour, for any pains of death, to fall from thee.

A grey and cold and lowering day it was, for all the funeral pomp, for all the hymns. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord....

The National Anthem followed. God save our gracious Queen.... A generation raised on Housman, as Winston had been in the days of the Queen-Empress Victoria, could hardly help but to recall the poet’s answer:

Oh, God will save her, fear you not:
Be you the men you’ve been,
Get you the sons your fathers got,
And God will save the Queen.

A trumpeter played the Last Post. Silence fell. Then a single trumpet answered, in defiant affirmation, with the Rouse, the reveille.

The honorary pallbearers were men no longer young. Lord Attlee, who had not stumbled in office, staggered a trifle on the cold steps; the young Guardsmen, the actual pallbearers, bearing the weight of oak and lead and history, had all they could do not to stumble also and to let the coffin fall. Yet they held on. ‘The nose of the bulldog has been slanted backwards so that he can breathe without letting go,’ had Winston once said.

Sir Bob Menzies spoke to the Commonwealth and to the world from the crypt of St Paul’s.

As this historic procession goes through the streets of London to the Tower Pier, I have the honour of speaking to you from the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral. I do this in two capacities. One is that I, Prime Minister of Australia, happen to be, in point of time, the senior Commonwealth Prime Minister, and therefore speak on behalf of a remarkable world organization which owes more that it can ever express to our departed leader, Sir Winston Churchill. He is one of the famous men whom we thank and praise.
My second capacity is more personal and more intimate. I am sure that you, most of you, have thought about Sir Winston Churchill a great deal, and with warmth in your hearts and in your recollections. Some day, some year, there will be old men and women whose pride it will be to say: ‘I lived in Churchill’s time’. Some will be able to say: ‘I saw him, and I heard him – the unforgettable voice and the immortal words’. And some will be able to say: ‘I knew him, and talked with him, and was his friend’.
This I can, with a mixture of pride and humility, say for myself. The memory of this moves me deeply now that he is dead, but is gloriously remembered by me as he goes to his burial amid the sorrow, and pride, and thanks, of all of you who stand and feel for yourselves and for so many millions.
Many of you will not need to be reminded, but some, the younger among you, the inheritors of his master-strokes for freedom, may be glad to be told that your country, and mine, and all the free countries of the world, stood at the very gates of destiny in 1940 and 1941 when the Nazi tyranny threatened to engulf us, and when there was no ‘second front’ except our own. This was the great crucial moment of modern history. What was at stake was not some theory of government but the whole and personal freedom of men, and women, and children. And the battle for them was a battle against great odds. That battle had to be won not only in the air and on the sea and in the field, but in the hearts and minds of ordinary people with a deep capacity for heroism. It was then that Winston Churchill was called, by Almighty God, as our faith makes us believe, to stand as our leader and our inspirer.
… There have been, in the course of recorded history, some men of power who have cast shadows across the world. Winston Churchill, on the contrary, was a fountain of light and of hope.
As I end my talk to you from the crypt of St Paul’s, with its reminders of Nelson and Wellington, those marvellous defenders of long ago, the body of Winston Churchill goes in procession through the streets of London; his London, our London, this most historic city, this ancient home of freedom, this place through which, in the very devastation and fire of war, his voice rang with courage, and defiance, and hope, and rugged confidence.
His body will be carried on the Thames, a river full of history. With one heart we all feel, with one mind we all acknowledge, that it will never have borne a more precious burden, or been enriched by more splendid memories.

The coffin passed out from St Paul’s and into history. To Tower Pier it passed, and thence to the teak and oak MV Havengore for its journey down the Thames.

Ike described the scene.

As I, like all other free men, pause to pay a personal tribute to the giant who now passes from among us, I have no charter to speak for my countrymen – only for myself. But if, in memory, we journey back two decades to the time when America and Britain stood shoulder to shoulder in global conflict against tyranny, then I can presume – with propriety, I think – to act as spokesman for the millions of Americans who served with me and their British comrades during three years of war in this sector of the earth.
To those men Winston Churchill was Britain: he was the embodiment of British defiance to threat, her courage in adversity, her calmness in danger, her moderation in success. Among the Allies his name was spoken with respect, admiration, and affection. Although they loved to chuckle at his foibles, they knew he was a staunch friend. They felt his inspirational leadership. They counted him a fighter in their ranks.
The loyalty that the fighting forces of many nations here serving gave to him during that war was no less strong, no less freely given, than he had, in such full measure, from his own countrymen.
An American, I was one of those Allies. During those dramatic months, I was privileged to meet, to talk, to plan, and to work with him for common goals.
Out of that association an abiding – and to me precious – friendship was forged; it withstood the trials and frictions inescapable among men of strong convictions, living in the atmosphere of war.
The war ended, our friendship flowered in the later and more subtle tests imposed by international politics. Then, each of us, holding high official posts in his own nation, strove together so to concert the strength of our two peoples that liberty might be preserved among men and the security of the free world wholly sustained.
Through a career during which personal victories alternated with defeats, glittering praise with bitter criticism, intense public activity with periods of semi-retirement, Winston Churchill lived out his fourscore and ten years.
With no thought of the length of the time he might be permitted on earth, he was concerned only with the quality of the service he could render to his nation and to humanity. Though he had no fear of death, he coveted always the opportunity to continue that service.
At this moment, as our hearts stand at attention, we say our affectionate, though sad, goodbye to the leader to whom the entire body of free men owes so much.
In the coming years, many in countless words will strive to interpret the motives, describe the accomplishments, and extol the virtues of Winston Churchill – soldier, statesman, and citizen that two great countries were proud to claim as their own. Among all the things so written or spoken, there will ring out through all the centuries one incontestable refrain: Here was a champion of freedom.
May God grant that we – and the generations who will remember him – heed the lessons he taught us: in his deeds, in his words, in his life.
May we carry on his work until no nation lies in captivity; no man is denied opportunity for fulfilment.
And now, to you Sir Winston – my old friend – farewell!

The winter sun was pale amidst the mists and scudding cloud. Bishop Andrewes and TS Eliot knew such days:

It was no summer progresse. A cold comming they had of it, at this time of the yeare: just the worst time of the yeare, to take a journey, and specially a long journey, in. The waies deep, the weather sharp, the daies short, the sun farthest off in solstitio brumali, the very dead of Winter....

Nineteen guns for a head of government. The massed pipers at Tower Hill. The coffin transferred aboard Havengore at Tower Pier, and vanishing upriver into the mists.

Out of a sullen sky, sixteen English Electric Lightning fighters of the RAF streaked past in final tribute. The dockers’ cranes, with whatever emotions old men now variously claim, dipped in salute as the vessel passed.

At Festival Pier, the troopers of the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars, which as the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars had been young Winston’s first regiment, took charge of the honours for their late Colonel-in-Chief.

With his corse, they travelled Westwards, towards the sunset. The funeral train was drawn by the Battle of Britain Class steam locomotive No. 34051 Winston Churchill; the van was the former Southern Railway van, S2464S. The train passed through Barnes and Twickenham, Virginia Water and Ascot, Wokingham and Reading, Didcot and Oxford, to Long Hanborough and at last to Hanborough station hard by St Martin Bladon: out of the Home Counties, into the shires, to Oxfordshire on a Winter’s afternoon, through the sweet English landscape Winston had saved. At every station, level crossing, and halt, in the fields and streets and on the hills and downs on which he had been resolved if necessary to fight and never to surrender, the way was lined with mourners, thousands of mourners, a family of grief and love and loss.

In Bladon churchyard, the family gathered alone for the commital.

Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.
I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, From henceforth blessed are the dead which die in the Lord: even so saith the Spirit: for they rest from their labours.
O merciful God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection and the life; in whom whosoever believeth shall live, though he die; and whosoever liveth, and believeth in him, shall not die eternally; who also hath taught us, by his holy Apostle Saint Paul, not to be sorry, as men without hope, for them that sleep in him: We meekly beseech thee, O Father, to raise us from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness; that, when we shall depart this life, we may rest in him, as our hope is this our brother doth; and that, at the general Resurrection in the last day, we may be found acceptable in thy sight; and receive that blessing, which thy well-beloved Son shall then pronounce to all that love and fear thee, saying, Come, ye blessed children of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world: Grant this, we beseech thee, O merciful Father, through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.

There were, by firm decision, but two wreaths placed upon the grave.

To my darling Winston.
– Clemmie;


From the Nation and Commonwealth. In grateful remembrance.
– Elizabeth R.

These sufficed. A man so great as to merit every imaginable mark of memory bears a greatness too large to be in want of any. For it was as it has ever been and ever shall be, as Thucydides records Pericles as stating with Churchillian force:

For the whole earth is the tomb of famous men; not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions in their own country, but in foreign lands there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men. Make them your examples, and, esteeming courage to be freedom and freedom to be happiness, do not weigh too nicely the perils of war.

Or as the First Lesson at second Evensong of the Feast of All Saints puts it, from Ecclesiasticus, the Forty-Fourth Chapter, beginning at the first verse,

Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us. The Lord hath wrought great glory by them through his great power from the beginning. Such as did bear rule in their kingdoms, men renowned for their power, giving counsel by their understanding, and declaring prophecies: Leaders of the people by their counsels, and by their knowledge of learning meet for the people, wise and eloquent are their instructions: … All these were honoured in their generations, and were the glory of their times. There be of them, that have left a name behind them, that their praises might be reported. And some there be, which have no memorial; who are perished, as though they had never been; and are become as though they had never been born; and their children after them. But these were merciful men, whose righteousness hath not been forgotten. … their glory shall not be blotted out. Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore. The people will tell of their wisdom, and the congregation will shew forth their praise.

Here endeth the Lesson.

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Here is a depiction of Moses, or Musa.

Here is another, by Buonarotti.

(The first is in the US Congress.)

Both are three-dimensional. They ‘Cast a Shadow’. And there is nothing like the plastic arts, when representing a human form, to get the gentry now in the news, bent wholly out of shape, as they say. And to Muslims, Moses – Musa – is a Big Deal, and a prophet.

Here is Jesus: a very naughty boy to Jews who yet await Moshiach; the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son, the Son of God, Christ Jesus, to orthodox Christians; to Muslims, as ‘Isa’, a prophet ranking just behind Muhammad.

And here he is again.

And here are two representations, made by Muslims for Muslims, of Muhammad.
Maome2 386px-Muhammad_15142

And one – also Muslim – showing all three.

And here, as it is, after all, news, is a Charlie Hebdo cover.

The last four images – not merely the last – are rarely shown by craven journos and publishers, even in scholarly works, even in news reports turning upon just such images.

This is not surprising. Cowardice has ceased to surprise. There’s always a ‘reason’ – for which, read, ‘excuse’ – for ignoble pusillanimity. ‘Politesse’ is one commonly advanced.

Sod that.

A few journos are at least being honest, and one can appreciate their position. Dan Hodges in the Torygraph has admitted he is too afraid now to republish any image of Our Mo. The Jyllands-Posten has said openly that after nine years in the firing line, it is not inclined to provoke the murderous barbarians yet again: ‘We have lived with the fear of a terrorist attack for nine years, and yes, that is the explanation why we do not reprint the cartoons, whether it be our own or Charlie Hebdo’s. We are also aware that we therefore bow to violence and intimidation.’

Understandable enough. After all, for nine years that newspaper, like Charlie, stood almost alone, just as Sir Salman had done for rather longer, with cowardly peers refusing support, blaming them for provoking the crimes committed and threatened against them, keeping their heads below the parapet, feeding the croc in hopes of being eaten last. Unforgivably, governments were equally invertebrate, gelded, and appeasing.

Had that not been the case in the Rushdie affair, the J-P should likely never have been put in such existential fear. Had the abject cowards of the press and politics stood with Sir Salman and the J-P, and Taken Steps, there’s a good chance Charlie were today unmolested. A dear friend of ours in Fleet Street and whatever Rue Fleuve is the French equivalent, might not be mourning friends and colleagues.

But that should have taken courage. So of course it didn’t happen.

By publishing the above images, we here shall have been found, by our Jewish friends, slightly tedious, perhaps. We shall hardly have ruffled the Laodicean placidity of the modern Christian. But we have given a certain small but numerous minority who profess to follow Islam a sufficient excuse – and should have done had we merely posted an image of Moses; or breathed; or existed without submitting to them – to seek to kill us.

Well, they may try. Mr Wemyss’ view is that The Craven is part of the amalgamated Hunt now known as the Vine & Craven, and not otherwise a group to be joined; and suggests that Islamist jihadis seeking him out and wanting directions may enquire down the local or at the parish church. He can promise them, to quote Harold king, six feet of English earth, or more if they are tall men. As for Mr Pyle, he merely notes he lives in Texas, where even the little old blue-haired church ladies are packing heat and have marksmanship badges, so....

And after all,

To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his Gods.

Oh – and, finally: Ceterum censeo Islamismum esse delendam.

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Here are a few principles. They are the agreed principles of the partners in Bapton Books. It strikes us – as Borno State, in Nigeria, burns and Islamists hold hostages at (of course) a kosher shop in Paris and in Dammartin (where is Jeanne d’Arc when she’s wanted) – as important to state them anew.

(Yes, we quite realise many of you begin bricking it when principles are mentioned.)

Nothing excuses terrorism, murder, the deadliest form of censorship, and All That. Nothing.

‘“Blasphemy” laws’ are tyrannical.

The right to mock, insult, barrack, jeer, offend, and, yes, ‘blaspheme’ is a universal and – to borrow from some Enlightenment Englishmen-Abroad – inalienable right. It is an absolute right.

Censorship is evil.

Censors are shits, cowards, poltroons, incipient tyrants, bootlickers and creatures to incipient or actual tyrants, or a combination of any or all of the preceding.

Those who defend, support, excuse, or temporise in any way with terrorism are worse.

Those who defend, support, excuse, or temporise in any way with censorship are worse.

The term for them is Orwell’s: they are objective pro-fascists. When, of course, they are not fascists themselves.

There is no ‘right’ to be protected from being offended. NONE. Those who pretend there is such a right are shits, cowards, poltroons, incipient tyrants, bootlickers and creatures to incipient or actual tyrants, objective pro-fascists, actual fascists, or a combination of any or all of the preceding.

The shits, cowards, poltroons, incipient tyrants, bootlickers and creatures to incipient or actual tyrants, objective pro-fascists, actual fascists, or a combination of any or all of the preceding, who are indulging in ‘yes-but’ editorialising and blaming the victims for provoking their own murders are morally inferior (if that were conceivable) even to persons who blame actual rape victims for actually being raped. They are, in short, shits, cowards, poltroons, incipient tyrants, bootlickers and creatures to incipient or actual tyrants, objective pro-fascists, actual fascists, or a combination of any or all of the preceding.

There is no such thing as ‘hate speech’. It is a construct developed in the interest of censorship by shits, cowards, poltroons, incipient tyrants, bootlickers and creatures to incipient or actual tyrants, objective pro-fascists, actual fascists, or a combination of any or all of the preceding.

Specifically, the law, in a country with any pretensions to freedom, must never recognise such a (purported) category as ‘hate speech’. (Yes, we know the Continentals do, in a misguided attempt to rejoin the human race after their XXth C behaviour, and it’s infected the UK and is being pushed – by shits, cowards, poltroons, incipient tyrants, bootlickers and creatures to incipient or actual tyrants, objective pro-fascists, actual fascists, or a combination of any or all of the preceding – in the US; but the Continent is governed by shits, cowards, poltroons, incipient tyrants, bootlickers and creatures to incipient or actual tyrants, objective pro-fascists, actual fascists, or a combination of any or all of the preceding.)

Prior restraint’ of speech – including art, actions, performances, and public assembly – by the State, and prosecution of speech after the fact, it having been uttered, can be justified only when and if the speech poses an immediate and overwhelming threat to public safety and security (‘Oh, look what I have found: the plan to rescue the Dammartin hostages! I’ll Tweet it!’) or is calculated or CLEARLY liable to provoke REASONABLE people actually then present into an IMMEDIATE breach of the peace. Or of course if it’s kiddy-fiddling (for which even prior restraint is justifiable), or a Ponzi scheme or some such fraud (which of course merits subsequent prosecution and might under very special circumstances justify prior restraint).

Civil liability for speech as above defined cannot and must not invoke the power of the State to effect a prior restraint and must be governed by the actual laws of tort and of damages. (Nota bene: you cannot libel the dead. Yes, that includes religious figures.)

You are of course free not only to disagree, but freely to express your disagreement with these principles, and even – were you capable of it – to argue against them. Whereupon we have the absolute right to mock, insult, barrack, jeer at, and offend you, by the simple expedient of noting quite loudly that you have outed yourself as a shit, coward, poltroon, incipient tyrant, bootlicker and creature to incipient or actual tyrants, objective pro-fascist, actual fascist, or a combination of any or all of the preceding. Or Anjem Choudary (but we repeat ourselves).

We have little use and less respect for those choosing to ignore – as our feed rather suggests many are so choosing – actual macro-aggressions in favour of their pet King Charles’ heads just now.

And of course, whatever the subject, we close by repeating, each of us, in unison: Ceterum censeo Islamismum esse delendam.

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