This death does not become us

Debating the death penalty on GRIPT MEDIA

Posted by Michael Kirke | Sep 26, 2019 | Comment Ireland

In the wave of disgust, horror and revulsion which has cascaded over us with the revelations of the barbaric treatment of Kevin Lunney (earlier this month), angry questions come spontaneously into our mind. Among those are questions about the very humanity of the perpetrators. We also ask what kind of punishment is appropriate for those who dream up and execute such cruelty.

This was not, thank God, a case of murder. Nevertheless, there is very good reason to see it as notice of intent to commit murder – even multiple murders. We then ask if, by removing the death penalty from our statute books all those years ago, we have not deprived ourselves of the fear factor which might deter these monsters from such acts.

But this is not the response we need. This is not the solution to the moral depravity of these people, no matter how desperate we feel in their presence.

Sometimes good and compassionate people are scandalised by the views of those who are vehemently opposed to abortion and euthanasia but who also defend the principle of the death penalty for murder. They maintain that there is no moral difference between those who take the life of the unborn and those who are prepared to condone the state taking the life of criminal in certain circumstances.

There is a difference and this confusion of moral categories is unhelpful for anyone who opposes the death penalty on reasonable grounds. Equating, morally, these two human issues is not going to help us deal with the real moral problems associated with capital punishment in our time.

(Read the full post here on GRIPT MEDIA)

What comes from a flawed reading of human nature

I feel uneasy about doing this. Greta Thunberg is a child and as someone who worked for a number of years as an educator, I respect both the dignity and the vulnerability of children. However, this child has been weaponised by an unscrupulous cadre of adults who pay lip service to a totally flawed reading of human nature – and therefore, of children. They must be called out for what they are. We can only intercede trough Greta’s Guardian Angel that she may be rescued from their clutches sooner rather than later.

What I give you is something posted on The Spectator (UK) Coffee House newsletter and which might help bring us all to our senses to see what is going on here. It is written by Dominic Green and called The Apotheosis of St. Greta.


What I give you is something posted on The Spectator (UK) Coffee House newsletter and which might help bring us all to our senses to see what is going on here. It is written by Dominic Green and called The Apotheosis of St. Greta.

‘You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words’ is perhaps the whitest thing anyone has ever said at the UN. What is the correct answer? Is it (a) Go to your room? Or is it (b) Forgive me, to make it up you, Daddy and I are going to set the entire course of human civilisation on a new track?

The correct answer — if you want to see your name in the Times or get a slot on CNN, and if you want to avoid getting mobbed by climate cultists — is of course, to apologise, mortify the flesh, shove tofu plugs into your every orifice, hail Greta Thunberg as the most radical and relevant UN debutante since Yasser Arafat, and then praise the pigtailed prophet of planetary paranoia for ‘staring down’ the dark emperor of pollution, Donald Trump.

The emissions you can smell aren’t carbon, but methane. If you watch the footage, Greta leans forward excitedly at Trump’s approach. It’s almost as if she’s expecting he’ll do the same as every other leader, and seek her blessing, like the MPs who declared a ‘climate emergency’ for her, or Jean-Claude Juncker, the unelected president of the EU, who made a show of kissing her hand when she came to pour brimstone on Brussels. But Trump keeps going, completely oblivious, and obviously with more important things to do than to kiss her ring.

How can you stare down someone who doesn’t even know you’re there? Magical powers. The acclamation of Greta Thunberg is as profoundly irrational as the millenarian cult of purgation and redemption that she advocates — puritan in its authoritarian demands, lascivious in its sensitivity to pain. The intrusion of this kind of sub-religious foolishness into politics is always a bad sign. It shows that we are in an environmental crisis, and that the world is coming to an end. But which environment, and which world?

The environment that is dying is the liberal democratic order in which we live. The world that is coming to an end is political: the post-1945 order, led by the United States. The form of Great Thunberg’s protest is familiar to any student of medieval Europe, the civilisation that produced the Children’s Crusade and Joan of Arc. The content of her protest is a deliquescence of Protestantism into narcissistic terror.

‘We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth,’ says Greta. She was five years old when the wheels came off the European economy in 2008, and stole the dreams of a generation. The Swedes, like most other Europeans, have given up on procreation. Their demography is sustained by massive immigration which, their leaders tell them, is necessary in order to maintain the tax base and the welfare system.

Environmentalism is for rich white people, and so is life without religion. ‘The eyes of all future generations are upon you,’ Greta threatens. ‘And if you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you.’ This is prophetic, and pathetic too, in its faithless Lutheranism and reverse predestination.

The visionary child speaks on behalf of every unborn generation. She knows what the future will say, and who will be saved and who will be damned in memory. If only she could apply it to something useful, like prognosticating the result of the Kentucky Derby and using the proceeds to build a vast geodetic dome so that the elect could survive in a benign microclimate while the sinners wheel their recycling bins to the lip of the burning pit, then climb in and tip themselves into the flames.

‘You come to us young people for hope? How dare you!’ Greta says, as if she’s reading Nietzsche on her boat trip cross the Atlantic. This anger is as close as she gets to the morbid heart of the environmental sub-religion. But the people she cites are explicit that economic growth must be stopped, and population growth too. No air-conditioners for the Indians, no children for the Africans. Hence Bernie Sanders’ semi-senile admission that the ‘saving’ of the planet on terms amenable to wealthy white lefties will require population control — in effect, a global programme for the sterilisation of non-white women. Greta, of course, doesn’t talk about the dirty stuff.

An earlier angry Euroteen, Fred Nietzsche, noticed that there is always something filthy and furtive about a prophet. ‘Whenever on earth the religious neurosis has appeared,’ Nietzsche wrote in Beyond Good and Evil (1886), ‘we find it tied to three dangerous dietary demands: solitude, fasting and sexual abstinence’. Greta came to New York in the ostentatious solitude of a racing yacht. In her auto-hagiography, she describes how she stunted her growth by starving herself. She is a child bride, betrothed to the earth as in some tedious Nordic saga.

‘What was eccentric and sick in his nature,’ Nietzsche wrote of his prophet, ‘with its fusion of spiritual poverty, faulty knowledge, spoilt health and overexcited nerves remained concealed from his own eyes and from the eyes of those who looked at him. He was not an especially good person, even less an especially wise person, but he signified something that exceeded all human measure of goodness and wisdom.’

A culture without purpose seizes on a false prophet because she signifies a faith that it has lost. This is why the cult of St Greta attracts converts in the affluent classes of western Europe and North America. American pollution and carbon emissions have been falling for decades, and the majority of the world’s pollution and carbon emissions come from India and China, but the stations of her martyrdom are in Stockholm, London and New York. Not just because the Chinese police would make short work of her and her PR handlers if they tried any nonsense near the Great Hall of the People, but because this daft circus only means something in the decaying West.

As with all apocalyptic visions, the sure way to turn them from warnings to realities is to follow their prescriptions. If Western governments commit themselves to zero-growth economies and demographic wastage, they’ll quickly collapse beneath the twin challenges of Asian economies and mass migration. Our environments will be ruined and our world ended — just like Greta said. It would take a heart of unmelted ice not to laugh.

Dominic Green is Life & Arts Editor of Spectator USA.

Is this the condition of academia today?

Standpoint magazine has published an edited version of a lecture given by Nigel Biggar as part of “Academic Freedom Under Threat: What’s to be Done?”, a conference held at Pembroke College, Oxford, in May this year.

Bigger is a historian and a principled one. He is also now a victim of an unthinking, politically correct and powerful clique being allowed to wield power by a cowardly academic majority which has lost its way in a morass of relativism.

At the heart of his story is this:

“Judging by the behaviour of my critics, the result is that we now have a generation of young academics many of whom, not having been taught the virtues, are displaying all the vices”.

For a thousand years universities have been at the heart of our civilization. Can it withstand the forces of barbarism – which are all around us – if this is the condition of academia now? Is it over?

Biggar writes:

First, the story, then the analysis, and finally the proposals.

In early December 2017, my wife and I were at Heathrow airport, waiting to board a flight to Nuremberg, where we were going to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Just before setting off for the departure gate, I couldn’t resist checking my email just one last time. My curiosity was aroused when I saw lying in my inbox a message from the University of Oxford’s Public Relations Directorate. So I clicked on it. What I found was, first of all, notification that my Ethics and Empire project had become the target of an online denunciation by a group of students, followed by reassurance from the university that it had risen to defend my competence to run such a thing. So began a public row that raged for the best part of a month. The eminent imperial historian who had conceived the project with me abruptly resigned. (At the time he twice cited personal reasons. However, unknown to me, he later published an online notice explaining that his resignation had been provoked when the programme for 2018 moved in a direction he found uncongenial. That was most odd, since the only thing discussed about the 2018 programme was its general topic, and the only thing agreed was that it would focus on medieval empires. And all that had been settled five months earlier.) Further online denunciations appeared, this time manned by professional academics, the first comprising 58 colleagues at Oxford, the second, about 200 academics from around the world.

So what had I done to deserve this opprobrium? Three things. In late 2015 and early 2016 I had offered a partial defence of Cecil Rhodes during the Rhodes Must Fall campaign in Oxford. Then, second, in late November 2017, I published a piece in The Times, arguing that we British have reason to feel pride as well as shame about our imperial past. Note: pride, as well as shame. And a few days later, third, I published an online account of the Ethics and Empire project. Contrary to what the critics seemed to think, this project is not designed to defend the British Empire, or even empire in general. Rather, it aims to select and analyse critiques or evaluations of empire from ancient China to the modern period, in order to understand and reflect on the ethical terms in which empires have been viewed historically. My personal intention is to use the fruits of this collaborative project to develop a sophisticated and nuanced ethic of empire.

The row about empire has taught me several important things. During the debate on the motion “that Rhodes must fall” in the Oxford Union in early 2016, the concerted applause of the supporters of the proponents gave the impression that 95 per cent of the audience was ranged against me. But then I decided to stop listening and to look instead. And what I saw was that every time the supporters erupted, most members of the audience were actually sitting on their hands, keeping stumm. In the end, the proposition won narrowly—betraying a discrepancy between the overwhelming appearance of dominance, and the very narrow reality.

A second thing I learned was how zealous minorities can sway uncertain majorities. Before Christmas 2015 the Fellows of Oriel College, in response to the noisy student campaign in favour of Rhodes Must Fall, voted to remove a plaque commemorating Rhodes from one of its buildings. They did so, because a small minority of colleagues, mainly historians with no expertise in empire, supported the students’ case and seemed to know what they were talking about, and so the majority, who knew next to nothing about the history but were aware that decent people do not speak up in favour of capitalism or empire, deferred to them. However, when the press unleashed a storm of protest and alumni became seriously and publicly upset, the Fellows of Oriel reversed their decision the following month.

Which brings me to my third insight: the discrepancy between what passes for common sense in universities and what passes for common sense in the general public. In the empire row of December 2017, both the press reaction and the email correspondence I received indicated that the general public was astonished and appalled by the intemperate views and behaviour of my academic critics.

Among the people who wrote to encourage me were some of the grandchildren of the subjects of empire. One British Indian consultant in palliative care wrote to me to say that his grandfather had been among those in the Jallianwalla Bagh in Amritsar in 1919, when General Dyer’s troops opened fire on an unarmed crowd. Nevertheless, he agreed with me that we British have reason for both shame and pride in our imperial past. What’s more, the Ethics and Empire project includes two British Indians and one British Iranian, all of whom think as I do that “empire” is a variable phenomenon, whose moral qualities deserve thinking about. So when my critics claim to speak with the authority of champions of the victims of empire, or at least their descendants, they really don’t.

Although I was initially unnerved to be object of the scorn of 58 Oxford colleagues, on further reflection I noticed that 58 out of more than 1,600 academic and research staff in the Humanities and Social Sciences is not so considerable. What is more, most of them were not historians and few of them were senior. Further still, not one of them was an ethicist, which might have given them pause, before they presumed to damn a project entitled “Ethics and Empire”, but it did not. The truth is that I was the only professional ethicist in the room.

In general, therefore, what I learned from the empire row was that, in the case of my noisy anti-imperialist critics, the emperors are actually rather naked.


What, then, do I think is the problem? In brief, an alarming lack of moral virtue. Let me explain. I take for granted, and I teach my students, the duty to be scrupulously fair in representing what other people say and write; and if there are ambiguities, also the duty to interpret them charitably in the direction of the strongest possible construction. Only then should one begin to criticize, for only then will one’s critique be maximally cogent. The ability to be fair and charitable to views that one really dislikes or that threaten things you really care about takes patience and courage. The ability to be fair, to give credit where credit is due, and to learn from uncongenial or threatening views takes courageous humility and honesty. So: fairness, charity, patience, courage, humility, and honesty. These are not technical skills; they are moral virtues. And if we academics do not teach them—and model them—to students, then we can expect intemperance, arrogance, ideological deafness, distortion, and defamation. It is my view that university teachers cannot help but promote intellectual virtue or vice, and that we have a civic duty to promote the former. But in over 30 years of teaching in universities I have never once heard a colleague own such responsibility. Indeed, any suggestions on my part that they should own it have usually been met with a mixture of bafflement and suspicion. Judging by the behaviour of my critics, the result is that we now have a generation of young academics many of whom, not having been taught the virtues, are displaying all the vices.

It has been my consistent experience of the critics, first, that they are not interested in what I actually say or write. They seem uninterested in the give and take of reason. Early on I wrote and published three responses to their online denunciations. To date, not one of the over 250 signatories, two of them in this college and a stone’s throw away from my office, have bothered to respond.

Instead they persist in false, unargued attributions. Have I ever said that the white race is biologically superior to other races, and naturally destined to rule the world? No. And yet, according to Dr Priyamvada Gopal of Cambridge University, I am a “racist”, a “supremacist”, and a “bigot”. Have I ever said that I think the British Empire was an unalloyed good? No. And yet, according to Professor Jon Wilson of King’s College London, my view is simply that (and I quote) “Empire is great!” Have I ever asserted that British imperialism generally “introduced order to the non-western world”? No. But that didn’t stop the literary critic Nilanjana Roy from attributing such an idiotic claim to me. My critics’ zeal propels them beyond what seems to me the boundaries of reason. And most of these people have university degrees, many of them have doctorates, and some occupy senior posts in our most prestigious academic institutions.

Instead of reasoned arguments against what I actually say, what my critics have offered are ad hominem attacks upon my person. I am, of course, white, male, getting closer to my sell-by date, and—as a denizen of Christ Church, Oxford—terminally privileged. Therefore, nothing that I say could possibly be worth listening to and whatever comes out of my mouth is, according to Dr Gopal, “vomit”. It is quite true that the limits of my own privileged social experience and position could make me deaf to the voices of the victims of empire. It could do, but it need not. After all, privilege has evidently not stopped the ears of Gopal and Wilson. And besides, as I’ve indicated, the voices of the victims of empire, or of their descendants, don’t all say the same thing. Some of them actually agree with me, not with my critics.

Such critics appeal, not to reason, but to authority—the authority of an alleged consensus. This manifests itself in claims that things I have asserted—such as a balance in favour of the benefits of empire—have been long “discredited” among right-thinking people. Well, quite apart from the fact that I have never asserted such a thing, I am not impressed by sheer appeals to authority. (And here’s another irony: I say that as a religious believer, indeed, as an Anglican priest!) While I respect the prima facie authority of a consensus of experts, it has been known to get it wrong.


So much for the problem and its components. What has my recent experience taught me about the solution? First of all, the support that I have received from the very top of my own university has been enormously important. From the very beginning the university authorities have defended my right to pursue whatever daft research on the ethics of empire I choose to, provided it’s not obviously illegal.

However, rhetorical support from the top is not a sufficient solution, because it doesn’t necessarily prevent subtle but substantial problems further down the institutional hierarchy. It doesn’t stop colleagues applying illiberal political criteria to the admission of students or to the appointment of senior members. Nor does it stop vulnerable, junior, untenured colleagues from having to ask that their names be kept off the list of participants at meetings like this one—not this one, as it happens, but like this one—lest senior colleagues find out and damage their career prospects. I first raised these issues in the in-house Oxford Magazine early last year, hoping that it might stimulate frank discussion among us. But so far, to my knowledge, what I wrote has been met with complete silence. So if support for academic freedom from the top is the first part of a solution, open discussion of these issues further down the totem pole is the second.

The third is access to independent streams of funding. In 2016 my historian collaborator on the Ethics and Empire project and I submitted an application for 50 per cent funding to an internal university research fund. Despite our considerable experience in submitting and evaluating applications, this was turned down because it was supposed to lack “diversity” and because those involved were all drawn from elite universities. That would have been the end of the project, were it not for the fact that, as director of the McDonald Centre, I have at my disposal an independent stream of funding. So if dissident thought is to flourish in universities it needs to have access to funding that is beyond the control of university committees who apply criteria such as “diversity”, which are politically biased, morally dubious, and beyond question.

Finally, perhaps most crucially, academics have to be persuaded to take responsibility for promoting in students (and future citizens) the virtues of fairness, charity, patience, courage, humility and honesty. The importance of this is demonstrated by the story of Damian McBride. In 1999 McBride became the “spin doctor” of Gordon Brown, then Chancellor in the UK Government. He continued to play that role for the next 10 years and into Brown’s tenure as prime minister. His unscrupulous (by his own admission) ruthlessness in serving his master earned McBride the nicknames “Mad Dog” and “McPoison”. In 2009, overreaching himself, he precipitated a scandal that propelled him out of Downing Street and into public disgrace.

Four years later, a chastened McBride published his own account of how his life had come to such a pass. The title of the book summed it up: Power Trip. Chapter Two, entitled “Warning Signs”, begins, “I wasn’t always a nasty bastard, but you could argue the signs were there”. One of the signs came to light during his student career at Peterhouse in Cambridge. Frequently the source of physical violence, and indirectly responsible for setting fire to one of the college’s 13th-century buildings, McBride succeeded in pulling the wool over the dons’ eyes with a combination of avoidance, obfuscation and diversion. As he sums it up: “I left university hooked on the intricacies of power and policy-making, with a talent for avoiding the truth . . . , a win-or-die competitive streak, a penchant for negative, thuggish tactics, and a reckless disregard for the consequences of my actions.”

If university teachers do not take responsibility for promoting virtuous intellect, adolescent students will receive the general impression that real adults don’t care about such things. So when they leave the womb of their alma mater for the Big Wide World—or when they stay safely within it, growing from student into professor—they will embark, not at all upon a moral adventure, but on a power trip.

Desperate Democrats?

A new fragrance

Is there no end to the arrogance, the blind arrogance, of the promotors of abortion here in the United States? But it is not only their arrogance which astounds, or their apparently wilful blindness. It is their determination to blatantly hoodwink and deceive.

But deceit has always been at the heart of abortion. The deceit stretches from the denial of the simple truth that a life is a life is a life, all the way to the litany of deceits which gave this country the Roe v Wade judgement and the media manipulation of events surrounding the tragic death of Savita Halapanaver which brought Ireland into this evil empire

In many ways this new wave of deceit has something of the flavour of desperation about it. As they see the increasing momentum of the swing away from their cause among moderate voters, the majority of whom now do not want the extreme provisions of abortion up to birth – and even beyond – they are now telling bare-faced lies to push their case.

As the body of scientific evidence mounts, destroying the lie that the the child in the womb is no more than a clump of cells, and as the rational and emotional recognition of that lie increases, their desperation grows.

Their latest fiction goes well beyond the category of fake news, so far beyond it that one wonders what kind of malaise must be affecting the deductive mental processes of those advancing it. And it seems to be an infectious disorder.

Lawrence Tribe is a Harvard law professor. He has tweeted the following “warning” to his followers:

White Supremacists oppose abortion because they fear it’ll reduce the number of white infants and thus contribute to what they fear as non-white “replacement.” Never underestimate the way these issues and agendas are linked. This turns “intersectionality” on its head.

Whatever about ‘intersectionality”, one is really left wondering where his head is.

Ignoring the fake categorisation of all conservative-leaning Americans with the ugly “white supremacy” label, this is a patently absurd reading of the real demographics of the US.

Obianuju Ekeocha and others took him to task on Twitter and he began to protest about being misread. That added to the mystification and deepened our concerns about his capacity to make any judgement.

Ekeocha tweeted in response:

In 2015,NYC pregnancy outcomes statistics showed👉🏾23,116 black babies were born while 25,698 were aborted.

More killed than born.

A black baby is 2.7 times more likely to be aborted than a white baby.

But don’t let facts get in the way of your pre-packaged narrative😏

However, their name is legion, and in support of Tribe, Marissa Brostoff in a Washington Post column last week came in behind him with the view that “antiabortion politics” can provide “cover for white nationalist sentiments.”

William McGurn sees a wider strategy behind this bizarre linking of the pro-life movement to a repulsive minority ideology. It is all about Trump and the next general election here.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal this week he suggests that their strategy may be something different – instead of blindness, what thy have is 20/20 vision. They think that by tarring pro-lifers with white nationalism they will distract attention from the agenda the Democrats have rallied around as they head into 2020. That agenda would include federally funded abortion on demand up to the moment of birth—and even after birth, if necessary.

But, he says, the pro-life proposition is nothing if not simple: Human life begins at conception, and every human life is equal in dignity and worth. Whatever else it might be, it is incompatible with white supremacism. Perhaps, he suggests, that’s why so many African-Americans, especially African-American women, have been leaders in the pro-life cause.

Mildred Jefferson, the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, was a founding member of the National Right to Life Committee. Kay James, now president of the Heritage Foundation, founded Black Americans for Life. Before he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984, Jesse Jackson spoke of abortion as “genocide.”

Black pro-lifers, alas, are treated as if they don’t exist. Quick example: How many outlets even reported the National Day of Mourning that concluded this past Saturday with a prayer service in Birmingham, Ala., for all the black lives lost to abortion? One of its leaders was Alveda King, a niece of Martin Luther King. Another was Catherine Davis of the Restoration Project, who notes that the estimated 20 million black abortions since Roe v. Wade in 1973 are more than the entire African-American population in 1960.

But facts don’t matter these days; narratives do, even when they are absurd. So when Ms. Brostoff went looking for a living example of white supremacy hiding behind a pro-life mask, she found author J.D. Vance. If Mr. Vance is a white nationalist, he sure stinks at it: As he noted on Twitter , he has a “bi-racial family and non-white son,” and he wrote a book, “Hillbilly Elegy,” chronicling not white superiority but white dysfunction.

By contrast, who was it who said frankly that the Supreme Court legalized abortion in part because it was concerned about “growth in populations that we do not want too many of?”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has tried to walk back her remark because of its plainly eugenic implications. But that’s the point. Eugenics have been used to justify abortion from the start. It wasn’t Mr. Vance who worried the “more rebellious members” of the black community might start thinking “we want to exterminate the Negro population.” It was Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, speaking of the Negro Project—a campaign to get African-Americans to have fewer children.

I think that what McGurn is talking about with Gerard to RBG is referenced here.

Contrary to this twisted pseudo-liberal narrative, McGurn points out how close the pro-abortionists are to the hard-core white supremacists. He cites a post on, where someone writing under the name Aylmer Fisher warns against “the pro-life temptation,” because abortion helps weed out “the least intelligent and responsible members of society,” who are disproportionately “Black, Hispanic and poor.”

Ditto, he says, for Richard Spencer, the white nationalist who in May 2017 led protesters carrying torches and shouting “you will not replace us” after the Charlottesville, Va., City Council voted to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a downtown park. Unlike pro-lifers, who want to be “radically dysgenic, egalitarian, multi-racial human rights thumpers,” Spencer says, “we want to be eugenic in the deepest sense of the word.”

Whether this is driven by a desperation bred of wilful blindness in the face of a rising sun of truth – the incontrovertible truth that the child in its mothers womb is a living human being sharing the beating of its mother’s heart until its own can begin to sustain it – or a callous and lying political strategy or a strategy, surely this will fail.

Why? Because, as McGurn says, calling a spade as spade:

Against these white nationalists stand the pro-lifers, and not just on behalf of African-American babies. They also speak for the unborn child with Down syndrome, for the child conceived in rape or incest, for the unplanned pregnancy that will undeniably crimp any career plans a mother might have if she carries the baby to term. These are all hard cases, and the clarity of the pro-life proposition—the insistence that each of these lives is no less precious than any other human life—can make for a difficult political sell.

But no pro-lifer ever said life is easy. We say life is beautiful.

Mad dogs and Englishmen

Noel Coward’s famous song, Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun may need to be revisited – with a little bit of reworking – in the light of a report in today’s Daily Telegraph. It reports that a British watchdog, its Equality and Human Rights Commission, has a secret proposal on its desk to compel girls’ schools in England and Wales to admit boys who present themselves for admission as girls. Or whatever. God help us. With clearly rabid watchdogs like that roaming the streets they better all say goodbye to the sun. A dark age has arrived.

Is it any wonder that the home-schooling movement is taking off at record speed?

The paper reports:

Girls’ schools would have to admit transgender pupils under proposals being considered by the equalities watchdog. The confidential Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) draft guidance, leaked to The Telegraph, reveals schools could be set to consider admissions of trans students to single-sex schools on a “case-by-case approach”. Schools were supposed to be issued with the first official national guidelines on transgender children in March 2018. However, following repeated delays, it has never been published. However The Telegraph can now reveal details which have never before been made public.

Is transgender madness a bottomless pit?

The EHCR report says that: “A refusal to admit a trans pupil to a single-sex school which is the same as the trans pupil’s sex recorded at birth would be direct sex discrimination. Admitting such a pupil will not affect the school’s single-sex status. 

“A pupil who has transitioned, or wants to, must be allowed to continue to attend the school; to remove them would amount to direct gender reassignment discrimination.”

The document also says: “An admission policy of only admitting pupils in accordance with their sex recorded at birth would particularly disadvantage trans pupils, and would be indirectly discriminatory against trans pupils, unless it could be demonstrated to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.”

For good measure, in case you did not know, these (courtesy of the Telegraph again) are samples of the new language being dictated to us:

Gender-neutral terms | Checklist

Forefathers – ancestors, forebears

Gentleman’s agreement – unwritten agreement, agreement based on trust

Girls (for adults) – women

Housewife – shopper, consumer, homemaker (depends on context)

Manpower – human resources, labour force, staff, personnel, workers, workforce

Man or mankind – humanity, humankind, human race, people.

So, watch your language.

New world disorder, old world disorder

I’m here in California, in San Francisco, deep in the heart of liberal progressivist America. I arrived from Ireland over a week ago and as I did so I wondered would I be experiencing something of a culture shock, would I be falling out of the Irish frying pan of PC liberalism into the West Coast fire of ultra-liberalism? Honestly, there doesn’t seem to be too much of a difference.

San Francisco at first sight might make you think it was the Holy City of God itself. It is not only that its very name suggests something of that. It’s that wherever you stand you will be within sight of some boulevard or street proclaiming the patronage of some angel or saint. But all is not as it seems. It is told as a joke, although one suspects that it might not be, that a native was asked was there any city in California which did not have a religious name? “Yes”, he said, “Sacramento”.

So, which is the frying pan, which is the fire? Really, it’s hard to say.

While the nation once designated as the “Island of Saints and Scholars” might not yet have reached West Coast America’s distance from its faith-filled past – it is well on its way to parity.

What is different here – or what initial impressions suggest is different in progressive America – is that cultural push-back is more vibrant, more energetic, in the face of the more extreme excesses of the illiberal liberal establishment. People are speaking up for their human and Christian values and rights here in a way that people in Ireland are still largely not daring to do. But push-back is a two-way street.

One powerful example of this vibrancy was a response by a young Latino mother who wrote an open letter to Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic presidential hopeful – although at 1% in the polls currently, that is probably too strong an epithet. Buttigieg, like our own prime minister, Leo Varadkar, is gay and happy to be so. The problem is that they not only want to be free to live their lives as they choose, they insist on everyone holding that there is no objective moral difference between their choices and moral choices made within the framework taught by Jesus Christ and his Church for close on 2000 years. The same goes for the Harris ‘twins’, Kamala here and Simon back in Ireland, pushing for unlimited abortion on both sides of the Atlantic.

There are no amphitheatres now, no lions, but the demand of the empire of liberalism is the same: worship our gods, just say you do; do not stand against us and we will tolerate you.

The agenda of those who call themselves Social Justice Warriors is not just driving for tolerance, it is driving for an acceptance of an equivalence between the moral principles of radically different ways of life. To achieve that they want to change the moral codes and customs of society, they want to convert the minds and hearts of all members of society whose moral principles are different from theirs. That is the “push back” Buttigieg is exhorting his followers to engage in.

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is a man in a same-sex marriage. Ana Samuel took exception to a tweet from Buttigieg with a sub-text that anyone who refuses to cheer for same-sex marriage or support the Left’s sexual ideology is a bigot—someone who is out to harm Mayor Pete and his family.

Buttigieg tweeted @PeteButtigieg:

People will often be polite to you in person, while advancing policies that harm you and your family. You will be polite to them in turn, but you need not stand for such harms. Instead, you push back, honestly and emphatically. So it goes, in the public square.

Politeness won’t wash. Smiling and smiling while being being a villain comes to mind – to paraphrase Shakespeare. In Ireland, Varadkar, Simon Harris, Katherine Zapone – another gay Irish government minister – are all busily seeking to shame anyone who disagrees with them into acceptance of behaviours they consider objectively immoral.

Mayor Pete, Ana Samuel wrote, cuts both ways.

As a Latina mama in touch with a number of other Latinas with traditional family values, I can tell you we are faced every day with people who are “polite to us in person” but who advance and execute policies that assault our values, harm our families, and hurt our children.

Enough Is Enough, she cried, as a parent demanding her natural human rights. She recognises that behind Buttigieg’s self pitying gauntlet-tweet was a whole agenda of sinister social programming. What these people want, on both sides of the Atlantic, is to undermine the entire heritage which all faithful Christians want to hand on to their children and on which their personal happiness, in this world and the next – as well as the well-being of our society, depends.

I’m talking about policies that undermine our parental rights and duties by seeking to indoctrinate our children in progressive sexual ideology without our consent and sometimes in spite of our explicit protest. Consider just a few examples:

The public schools in my area where reading assignments from the Language Arts curriculum ask: “What is heteronormativity and how is it harmful?” (Mind you: this is a question from the school district’s recommended language arts curriculum for eighth graders, not from a single health teacher or counselor. It is not unusual for the LGBT theme to find its way into history classes, foreign language studies, and even STEM courses. The explicit goal is to normalize LGBT lifestyles throughout curricula).

Pediatricians who ask to see our teenagers alone and then push to prescribe them contraceptives or ask them about sexual behaviors that we find offensive. Our teens themselves bring these pediatricians’ inappropriate behavior to our attention. (One OBGYN slipped a prescription for oral contraceptives stealthily to a 14-year-old daughter of a Mexican friend of mine, after she had explicitly stated to his face that she did not wish to see her daughter on oral contraceptives.)

Sex education classes in which our kids are taught unproven Freudian-Kinseyan doctrines that “sexual repression” will cause neuroses (“express yourself, don’t suppress yourself”), and which preach about topics like abortion, masturbation, condom use, sex toys, “outercourse,” oral stimulation, and rectal intercourse, with all the humor and scientific grounding of a Saturday Night Live sketch, while refusing to seriously address the short and long-term medical and psychological health risks of those actions.

Public library programming where unicorns, rainbows, gingerbread persons, drag-queen story hours, and other symbols of progressive sexual ideology make an appearance, so that we must regularly steer our toddlers clear of the propaganda. With our middle-school children, it’s much harder to opt out. Trendy middle-school books (published after 2014) that appear to have fairly innocuous plots frequently feature an LGBT teen or gay couple, ever-so-gently normalizing the ideas that are so conflicting to our consciences. (Avoiding these storylines isn’t easy, since book-review websites regularly delete or block parents’ reviews that warn of LGBT elements, so we cannot even alert other parents of the real content within these books.)

And last but not least, the latest round of violence against children: efforts to entice children to question the reality of their sex through school gender-transitioning ceremonies, pronoun-sensitivity training, and other transgender propaganda. Parents have historically enjoyed the right to direct the education and upbringing of their children, under the correct presumption that parents—rather than school counselors, psychiatrists, teachers, government bureaucrats, or any other persons—are best able to act in their children’s best interests. Now, activists are pushing courts to allow minors to receive puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones against their parents’ objections.

Mr. Mayor, it is hypocritical for you to cry foul about policies that “harm you and your family” while your side pushes for government intrusions into the parent-child relationship at the most fundamental levels.

Mr. Mayor, it is hypocritical for you to cry foul about policies that “harm you and your family” while your side pushes for government intrusions into the parent-child relationship at the most fundamental levels.

At some point, we say “enough is enough.” Basta.

Toleration for You, but Toleration for Me Too

Mothers tend to emphatically care about the welfare of all children, regardless of their family’s origin or current form. We also tend to emphatically care about every LGBT person—recognizing our common humanity even when we do not agree with their lifestyle choices. When we are polite to you, we are coming from a place of deep moral principle and authenticity. It’s not a superficial cover up for our true beliefs about you. You are rights-bearing individuals (like all of us) endowed with human dignity.

Although our home countries have often been viciously anti-gay places, there is a deep understanding among Hispanic mothers that those who identify as LGBT have suffered a lot, and that many have lived a life of hurt, harm and pain. We feel great sympathy for your suffering. But the ideas you have developed from painful experiences are not always sound ones. And we can distinguish between the two: between affectionate concern for you as a person and disagreement with your ideas. So please stop shutting us out of the conversation by the intellectually dishonest rhetorical expedient of implying or saying that we are bigots. We are the opposite of bigots.

We are prepared to co-exist peacefully and tolerate a great deal of what you propose, but not at the expense of losing our own ability to practice and preach our own values and freedoms. We are happy to work side-by-side with you, to have you as our coaches, neighbors and friends, but don’t cross the line and tell us what sexual values to cherish and uphold.

Check Your Financial Privilege

Blacks, the poor, and children have always paid a disproportionately heavy price for the breakdown of marriage and sexual morality in society. Marriage between husband and wife has historically been the institution that best offers women, children and the poor a decent shot at a peaceful, stable, financially secure, socially connected life.

Please note that I’m not blaming the erosion of marriage on the LGBT movement. No, we in the mainstream did that all on our own. However, the LGBT movement has further eroded marriage, and in a more shocking way. It is not a good idea to tell society that you don’t need a member of the opposite sex to have a baby or that kids don’t need a mom and a dad because they will do fine in any kind of arrangement. That’s not true, and there’s plenty of empirical data to prove it.

Respecting the truth about sexuality and marriage is also the least expensive. Friend, it takes a lot of money to circumvent nature. It takes upscale health insurance to pay for those doctor’s visits to the urologist, OBGYN, and additional medical care linked to sex outside of marriage, rectal intercourse, or cross-sex hormones. It takes a lot of money to pay for that surrogate rent-a-womb so that two men can have a baby. Even if she’s from a third world country—and easily exploitable—it’s still expensive (and the ethics don’t look good). It also takes a lot of money to go through IVF, usually requiring dual-income households.

The fact is, permanent, monogamous, exclusive marriage between husband and wife is the cheapest and highest quality deal on the market. It’s the most financially accessible way to have a child and the safest way to experience sexual pleasure. It also provides some built-in sexual complementarity: a family environment that educates in sexual diversity by example and is more likely to offer balanced childcare, with both sexes offering their unique and invested perspectives on how to raise the children.

Amigo, I’m sorry, but these are the truths of nature. Hijacking nature with cutting edge technology may sound attractive to those who can afford the niceties of upper-class life, but not to those working to meet their basic daily needs. (Do you think getting a sex change is cheap? Don’t you think the poor have other things to think about?) Your agenda requires a lot of extra cash—either that, or socialized medicine. And many of us Hispanics have fled from countries like Cuba and Venezuela (and increasingly Argentina and Mexico) precisely because socialist policies in our home countries turned despotic.

Ask yourself: is the lifestyle you are setting up as a pattern for others to follow replicable and sustainable? Or does it further destabilize the family form that has provided the greatest financial and social stability to women, children, and the poor? The evidence consistently points to the latter.

You play the victim card, but it’s well-off same-sex couples who can afford to cushion themselves and their children from the costly effects of the progressive sexual lifestyle. You can redirect your children’s attention away from the gaping absence of a mother or a father towards a good education, nice clothes, memorable experiences, and recreation. However, your lifestyle cannot be sustained by millions of people who make less money than you. The mothers in my circles know this, and we care about those poor children—and their mothers and fathers, too.

The weight of the past fifty years of social science evidence is virtually unanimous in its conclusion: children—and societies—do best when kids are raised by their married, stable, biological parents. Separate a child from his or her biological mother or father, and you’ve made that child much more likely to experience internal conflict, significant pain and suffering, relational struggles, and a host of other issues.

Challenge Accepted

So yes, be polite to us, and we will be polite to you. But we know that we are in an intense battle for the hearts and minds of our children. We mothers may be underground and quiet, we may not be marching in the streets, and we may not be debating you in public. But we are meeting for coffees in our homes, talking privately with our school teachers, spreading thoughts the media refuses to print, and speaking freely while the First Amendment still means something. Yes, so long as we still enjoy the freedom of association in this country, we will continue to meet and organize, to speak and teach.

Mothers are very good at educating and protecting our children from harm when we believe they are in danger. This time, that danger is the sexual ideology of the Left.

So that is what American Christians are up against. Don’t doubt it. We are up against the same in Ireland – perhaps not as explicitly stated as it is on the western side of the Atlantic. The Irish strategy is probably even more Machiavellian. But it is coming and indeed is already there in the policy-planning of government departments responsible for education, family and social welfare.

We have a few Ana Samuels – but we need more.

About Ana Samuel

Ana Samuel, PhD, is the daughter of Mexican immigrants, the wife of an Argentine immigrant, and the mother of six awesome children. She completed her undergraduate studies at Princeton University and her doctoral degree from the University of Notre Dame before becoming a foundingmother and the Academic Director of CanaVox.

Her open letter first appeared in the website, Public Discourse.

Poor Enid Blyton – who would have thought it would come to this?

Surely the greatest cultural malaise of our time has reached epidemic proportions? Logic and every kind of healthy self-awareness has gone out the window. Now even the Royal Mint, the heart of Britain’s proud currency has lost its head.

Toby Young, that thorn in the side of of all pompous nutters tells us, courtesy of The Spectator:

Who knew the Royal Mint, of all places, had been captured by the cult of political correctness? According to the Mail, the Mint’s Advisory Committee decided not to put Enid Blyton on a 50p coin to commemorate the 50th anniversary of her death because she is ‘a racist, sexist, homophobe and not a very well-regarded writer’.

That’s an odd statement, since it suggests that had she been a better-regarded writer, her racism, sexism and homophobia would have been overlooked. Perhaps that’s the Mint’s rationale for not removing Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare from the £10 note and £20 note respectively, in spite of their liberal use of anti-Semitic caricatures.

Read his full piece here

Demonising the masses

Brendan O’Neill, in his newsletter today talks sense, as he usually does.

Meghan Markle’s best friend says the people criticising Meghan over her woke blather and eco-hypocrisy are really just ‘racist bullies’. It’s a view shared by many in the chattering classes. You couldn’t have asked for a better illustration of the elitism of identity politics. Accusations of racism no longer have anything to do with real racism. Rather, the ‘racist’ tag is used by the establishment to write off ordinary people who get ideas above their station, whether by voting for Brexit, questioning mass immigration, or – horror of horrors – criticising a royal. Identity politics is increasingly the means through which the elite demonises the masses and elevates itself as a superior, more enlightened caste of people. And they have the nerve to call us prejudiced.

Where good intentions can sometimes lead

Remote control: San Francisco, the new centre of power in Ireland?

Hell, they say, is paved with good intentions. Good intentions gave us the Protestant Reformation. One part of the world sees that epoch as one of the better things that happened in our history. Another part of the world gets a definite whiff of sulphur from it. The same applies to the French Revolution – not even all the French are are unambivalent about that one. Karl Marx, and his offspring, the Russian Revolution, was undoubtedly inspired by a desire to better the lot of mankind – but very few people are today in any doubt about the hellish misery, death and destruction which flowed from that package of good intentions.

It seems that modern capitalism is now, with good intentions, attempting to reform itself according to the new ethics which we call political correctness. But the shallow philosophical foundations of the ethics of political correctness provide no basis for any stable political or economic framework for society. It is as wrong-headed as the extremist readings of mankind which the Enlightenment or the murderous logic of dialectical materialism left us with.

The Economist cover-story this week asks what companies are for. The magazine notes how a growing number of people want big business to help fix economic and social problems.

“Even America’s famously ruthless bosses agree”, its editor-in-chief says, Zanny Minton Beddoes, says. “This week more than 180 of them, including the chiefs of Walmart and JPMorgan Chase, overturned three decades of orthodoxy to pledge that their firms’ purpose was no longer to serve their owners alone, but customers, staff, suppliers and communities, too.

“That sounds nice. However, this new form of collective capitalism will end up doing more harm than good. It risks entrenching a class of unaccountable CEOs who lack legitimacy. And it is a threat to the dynamism that is the source of long-term prosperity—the basic condition for capitalism to succeed.”

Ireland is a country which, small as it is, has left a mark on the world. Not too many would argue that this mark was for ill rather than for good. If it did so it did it in spite of dungeon, fire and sword. The power which governed it, over four long an painful centuries, attempted to impose the Protestant Reformation on its people. It failed.

Eventually the Irish people broke free of the hegemony of the British Empire. Independence was won in the early twentieth century and the new Republican-inspired State sought to make its way in the world alone. It was too much and in the last third of the century it bargained – or bartered – its sovereignty with the embryonic new State which is the European Union. It’s independence now is a very notional thing. It has also become the European footprint for a very large segment of the corporate world.

This corporate powerhouse is the foundation of Ireland’s prosperity and Ireland’s elected government is now beholden to the twin masters of the European super-state and a handful of giant American corporations for the massive level of employment they bring to the country and the tax revenue this generates.

This brings us back to the Economist. This, of course, is not the dimension of the new direction of capitalism which preoccupies the writers of What Companies are For. But it is a dimension which is very real for the Irish – or at least some of them.

The Irish are already very aware of the significant soft power which these corporations and European political institutions have exercised, overtly and covertly, on the moulding of its social policies. Abortion ideology, gender ideology and neo-Marxist relativism, permeate the social culture of these organisations Ireland’s recent changes in social legislation are simply following this script to the letter.

But if over many centuries the Irish resisted the efforts of an external power to undermine and subvert its traditional Christian reading of what human existence means, they no longer do so.

The majority of the Irish have overcome their rebellious instincts and are now happily accepting the “nice” collective capitalism bestowed on them by the benevolent dictatorship of of “unaccountable CEOs who lack legitimacy.”

A Nation Once Again was an anthem composed by the Irish patriotic poet, Thomas Davis, in the nineteenth century. Today it has a rather hollow ring.


The painful death of liberalism

PIERS MORGAN: Populism is rising because liberals have become unbearable. In my core, I’m probably more liberal than not although fundamentally I see myself as a journalist and I like to see both sides and I can argue both sides of all these things, but liberals have become utterly, pathetically illiberal and it is a massive problem.

What’s the point of calling yourself a liberal if you don’t allow anyone else to have a different view? This snowflake culture that we now operate in, the victimhood culture, the everyone has to think in a certain way, behave a certain way. Everyone has to have a bleeding heart and tell you 20 things that are wrong with them. I just think it is all completely skewed to an environment where everyone is offended by everything and no one is allowed to say a joke.

If you said a joke ten years ago that offended somebody, you can never host the Oscars. So now there’s no host for anything. The Emmy’s now just said they’re not gonna host either, so hosts have gone, and soon, every award winner will go because everyone’s a human being and we’re all flawed, so no one can win awards anymore because there will be no platform before they even get on the podium, so then no hosts, no stars. Then no one can make any movies because we’re all flawed, so no actors, so suddenly, where are we?

The liberals get what they want, which is a humorless void where nothing happens, no one dares do anything or laugh about anything or behave in any way that doesn’t suit their rigid way of leading a life. No thanks. So what’s happening around the world? Populism is rising because people are fed up with the PC culture. They’re fed up with snowflakery, they’re fed up with people being offended by everything and they’re gravitating towards forceful personalities who go: “This is all nonsense!”

Which, by the way, it is in most cases. So why are we surprised? I’m not surprised. It doesn’t mean to say I agree with all of it, but it means I can understand it, and I understand why the liberals, my side, if you like, are getting it so horribly wrong. They just wanna tell people, not just how to lead their lives, but if you don’t lead it the way I tell you to it’s a kind of version of fascism. If you don’t lead the life the way I’m telling you to then I’m going to ruin your life. I’m gonna scream abuse at you. I’m gonna get you fired from your job. I’m gonna get you hounded by your family and friends. I’m gonna make you the most disgusting human being in the world.

Watch the clip here via Real Clear Politics:

Watch the full interview here: