Sunday, 27 June 2010

Doing things differently

If football is the new religion I am now an English athiest. I no longer believe. I have never seen a team of eleven individuals paid so much money and loved so much do so very little. If Winston Churchill had seen the latest England performance he might have been moved to have said that never in the field of international football have so few owed so much to so many.

There was no passion, no conviction, no imagination, no intelligence, no luck, nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Once again the English FA have paid millions of pounds for that.Millions of pounds which will now deepen the pockets of another failed foreign manager.

If anyone had any sense they would have had a Great Britain team long ago. It would have reflected the true spirit and success of this country. And, this success would have brought about more than one World Cup win. I am conviced of that. But the British will continue to handicap themselves to be less than the sum of their parts for no better reason than this is the way we have always done things.

Get rid of the overpaid footballers and put in a team which reflects British football. A team from the Championship with only British players ought not to be too hard to find. I think they would beat Germany.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Envy breeds unkind division.

I have read this morning that the Unions are now threatening strike action because of public service cuts. Can this be true?

Oswald Spengler once said that Socialism working class capitalism. If this is true then it might explain why the Unions can see no further than filling their own pockets instead of realizing that times have changed.

And, times have changed because the New Labour party most union memebers have supported over the past thirteen years wasted £1,000,000,000,000 of public money and created the same amount of national debt. This has invited the new Tory coalition government to put right what Labour have done wrong.

But a new generation of class warriors now seek confrontation. Unite is the union now representing well over two million members. It is a union which has gained millions of pounds of tax payers money and this has inevitably encouraged its more radical members to re- enact an age old class war.

It might be hardly noticed by some but this is actually a safe option because most other forms of difference in Britain today are no longer fashionable; ethnicity, religion, gender all are to be celebrated in Multicultural Britain. But cultural prejudice persists involving age or class which are more or less tolerated in our society today. Why? Neither age nor class have anything to say about Multiculturalism.

So the class war continues unabated. The Summer of love is now looking like turning into a Summer of discontent. But it will be a discontent expressed by Socialist malcontents who unsurprisingly seek personal gain over national unity.

"When envy breeds unkind division: There comes the ruin, there begins confusion."

William Shakespear's, Henry 1V.

See links:

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Ripeness is all

My experience of China tells me that respect for the aged is not exclusively a religious imperative. In China the responsibility of caring for the elderly exists in almost every family and most families in China do not believe in God or any transcendent diety. What they have is immense respect for someone who has preceeded them. Some say that those who are older are not necessaily better educated but that is besides the point. It is the experience of life that is at least as important as any other factor in accumalating wisdom - traditionally thought to be the preserve of the older man or woman.

In Britain we live in a society where youth culture is seen as somehow better and a government which was only recently voted out of office ie New Labour who cared so little that their Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, stole pensions for his own policy wealth re-distribution. Britain, unlike China, offers a welfare state and this has changed the role of the family in caring for the elderly. This is no bad thing in itself. But the State can rarely provide love or everyday conversation. Some speak of Rights and that they will take no lessons from other countries. An unfortunate attitude, I think.

Each society is different and there are many things to learn about the world and our place in it. This does not mean that I am a cultural relativist. I happen to think that some cultures and societies are more advanced than others but I would not wish to live there and then tell them how they should live. Those that seek a new life ought to accept that must be some things that attract them to their new host country. Otherwise, why leave? If I live in another country I am there on their terms.

Today, many young people, especially those from inner city backgrounds demand respect. A political party has recently emerged with this name but much good it has done them. The elderly seldom demand respect but since everyone will one day grow old it would make sense to value those who are older than ourselves. Grandparents are often a loving source of connexion for children who are born into a world which increasingly celebrates youth culture. We do not need to imitate the East because British culture has its own evolvement and progress.

In broken Britain crabbed age and youth cannot live together. But this need not mean the end of respect for those have already contributed a lifetime to society. There will be examples where this is not the case, of course, but by and large there is much to honour especially since many octogenarians and older fought for the freedom that the youth of Britain often takes for granted.

Scientific research reveals that the human brain does not reach maturity until about thirty years of age. This sounds very optimistic. Perhaps wisdom is ageless.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Pictures of reality

Is Atheism is a state of mind? It is a question I ask since it is sometimes said that religious belief is merely a state of mind. If so, why can we not explain atheism in the same way?

My view on things theological chimes with the Danish philosopher, Soren Kirkegaard who is once supposed to have said:

"The objective truth can be known subjectively."

I believe this is true not only because of my own subjective experience but that of others. Atheists are apt to dismiss personal explanation. I think this is a mistake especially when about 25% of the people in this country are reported to have had some kind of religious experience.

Reductionism may seek to explain that what 'really' happens is because of a chemical reaction in the brain. This may be so but this does not refute religious or spiritual experience. It is simply an observation of the micro physical effects.

Man is a religious animal which infers the existence of spirit/soul. But do animals have a soul?

My answer would be yes they do but one unlike that of Man. Something happened to the animal we call Man about 50,000 years ago which increased our consciousness and gave us the ability to be creative and use language; a big bang of the mind.

Some 20,000 years later cave paintings and tiny figurines appeared in a variety of different places around Europe. Evidence not only of Man's newly evolving creative power but also of a desire to transcend the confines of the immediate environment.

This desire found further expression in ritual and religion and has shaped Man ever since to be more than the sum of his parts. Transcendence in art and a reverence of beauty can often point to something greater than ourselves.

What is love? Is it man made or does love exist outside of ourselves? Are we a channel or conduit for love or religious expression? These questions remain even after Atheism.

Yet another atheist from Oxford

I have just read Richard Dawkins latest book entitled, The God Delusion. I realize that Dawkins is a well respected man in the scientific community and so hesitate to say anything critical. However, I am wondering whether I am correct in my thinking that his views on religion are, largely, reductionist?

For example, he writes: "The proximate cause of religion might be hyperactivity in a particular node of the brain".

The proximate cause of religion might indeed be the node of the brain but it may also be many other things apart from biochemical reactions in the mind. And, even if it were, it does not necessarily mean that this furthers an atheistic view. In other instances he employs psychology or biology or chemistry to not only explain particular aspects of religious belief but also to assert a strident atheism.

Perhaps, his atheism is temporary. It is well known that atheism can, and does, lead to a deeper faith. I doubt if it will in this case but you never know.

It will be interesting, however, to see what happens to the views of the liberal left intelligensia as British society and culture becomes increasingly concerned with religion and other issues evolving from multiculturalism.

In the meantime, does anyone agree that Dawkins views on religion are reductionist?
ps By the way, what is it with atheism and intellectuals based in Oxford?

Did political correctness cause the latest economic crisis?

The recent economic collapse has produced several theories as to its cause. I have listened to several BBC debates on Newsnight where speculation abounds on this issue and sometimes more besides. Some say the cause of the current economic crisis was caused by greed; the less attractive side of our human nature.

By this I assume that the inference is that greedy capitalists have bitten off rather more than they can chew by lending to those who did not have the ability to repay on debts incurred. This is the landscape of mortgage lending in America or, Sub Prime, as they say over there in the States.

As we all know the Sub Prime market collapsed last year. Those responsible were a collection of culprits; individuals, lenders and/or financial institutions. Or were they?

What I did not know is that in America lenders had a quota of Sub Prime that had to be sold to ethnic minorities. And, if lenders failed to lend an appropriate quota of funds then the financier or Sub Prime lender would be fined. In other words financiers were forced to lend money to those who might not have the funds available to repay on a loan.

So, or so it would appear, money was lent according to politically correct doctrine; not according to sound financial common sense which ought to be more concerned with the ability and likelihood to repay on loans received.

Can it be true? Is my information correct? Did political correctness cause the latest economic crisis?

If this synopsis is without foundation in fact or truth please convince me otherwise and I will join you in condemning the greedy capitalists.

My country and, Muslim people

I often stay at a Muslim hotel in Bangkok. Not just because it is inexpensive compared to many other choices but because the guests and staff are as polite and friendly as can be. The rooms are clean and spacious. Everything is tip top although waiting for a flight home, applying for jobs and attempting to get back my medical insurance at the same time takes longer than you might think.

Anyway, the reason for this blog is to say that every Muslim I have ever met has actually been friendly or polite. I cannot recall ever meeting a Muslim who isn't. Of course, I have seen pictures and know that extremists threaten British society with much harm but let us find some perspective here.

I am against Multiculturalism as a doctrine of ideology. Whether it has been introduced by the left liberal middle class from England or elsewhere I have no idea. Perhaps, it is an ideology to salve some aspect of conscience. One can only guess at the reasons why anyone would expect every race, religion and language to exist shoulder to shoulder on an overcrowded island without incident.

Indeed, what emerges from multiculturalism is the very opposite of tolerance as people look to find ways to retain their identity. This is natural and need not be considered as an extreme position. Every country has people who are proud of their ancestors and I see no liberal left reason why the people of Britain should be any different from anyone else.

Man defines himself by his differences; rather than his similarities. This is something the adherents of multiculturalism fail to understand. What they also fail to understand is that if law after law must be passed so that people do not attack each other, then there must be something wrong with society itself. Indeed, this is the broken multicultural society created by the authors of left liberal ideology, New Labour and their desire to create a client state. My opinion.

My critique is entirely against the ruling elite of Britain who are, to my mind, completely out of touch with the people they govern. Nobody asked for the broken society that they are responsible for creating. I am not against Muslims. I am not afraid of them. I am afraid of extremists and this includes extreme Muslims. I prefer to travel on the London tube on Friday mornings. Then, I feel much safer.

But nearly all Muslims - I cannot at this moment think of any exception - that I have met in England, Thailand, India, Qatar, Bosnia and, from Turkey or elsewhere, have usually been far more polite, and certainly less troublesome than people from my own country.

From my observations there is something noble in the way of life of Muslims who do not follow extremist hatred and violence. I admire that. I have no doubt that I respect most Muslim people. As for the people who represent the liberal left ideology of the BBC, The Guardian newspaper and , The New Labour Government, I must admit that I cannot abide any of them.

They have ruined my country.

Funny old world, isn't it.

Views on Western Civilization: A letter to Left Liberals

I am posting this blog for the sake of posterity. It was written a few years ago and I would like to keep it on file here.

I feel there is a need to say more about the value of Western Civilization. It is my contention that many overlook the importance of Christianity as a model for society. I too have done this. But I am taking more time to understand our origins which now shape the society and culture we have inherited and live in today.

I have been critical of Multiculturalism. I still am. I cannot see how a British New Labour Government can expect a society to run smoothly if it has had a policy of uncontrolled immigration. England is an already overcrowded small island. It is not America. I believe this debate is about common sense. But some are intent on crying "racism" as soon as a discussion takes place. Shame on them.

My intent is to open up a debate that has been crying out for attention. To expect a society to tolerate every religion, creed and language is a noble idea based upon the evolvement of Human Rights law in secular society. Although, this law is not so well received in countries which do not share a Western Christian tradition.

And this is yet another essential point. British society is changing. Not all change though is for the better. In this view I remain conservative.

Whether it is realistic to expect societies to transform themselves for the sake of Human Rights law is open to discussion. What I suspect has happened is that the Government, New Labour, have abused their power and the democratic process by creating a client state. And, that uncontrolled immigration was not simply a matter of negligence but Government policy to assist it in holding onto power.

But these are mainly political contentions. My aim here is to highlight the importance of the tradition and culture that is now the world's great inheritance. A Europeanization which many now refer to as Globalization.

So how did Western Civilization evolve into the society we have today?

To my mind it is to a self critical, liberal, tolerant Christian culture and tradition which has forged and shaped the secular society that liberals enjoy today.

In many ways Christianity has argued itself out of power and influence to accomadate a Christocentric view. The classic example of this is perhaps the fight against slavery by William Wilberforce. Christian ideas about equality encouraged others. Eventually, women and womens suffrage.

All this happened in a Christian society which became more Secular by the minute. All this began two thousand years or so ago because one Man, Jesus Christ said, "the Sabbath was made for Man; not Man for the Sabbath." This was revolutionary thinking and freed Man from excessive religious legalism. In other words, a law of love; not a love of law.

What we have today, and that includes womens equality, has evolved from Christian consciousness and ideas about equality. Without which we would be the same as any other Civilization.

What do you mean by that? I hear you ask.

Well, if we examine women's rights - in almost every country in the world which does not have a Christian religious tradition -you will find that women are often held in some disregard. Certainly, there is little chance of equality unless there are exceptional circumstances.
One only has to travel to any of the following countries to test the validity of this observation; China, Japan, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Iran, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, North Korea, Qatar etc etc. I have visited or lived in seven of these countries but I do not think I need to travel to every country in the world to make this case. As it is I have travelled to nearly thirty different countries and this experience has shaped my opinion.

The view expressed here embraces Christianity and not just Catholicism because any attempt to provide an overview on Christian thinking and its affects on society necessarily demand it. To talk only about Catholicism, is, in this context, like painting a picture of a tree without its branches.

Lastly, I wish to quote Joseph Ratzinger from his book on Jesus of Nazareth. He writes about the solid ground of a Christian belief that guarantees the dignity of man by rooting it in the dignity of God:

"In the antithesis of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus stands before us neither as a rebel nor as a liberal, but as the prophetic interpreter of the Torah. He does not abolish it, but he fulfills it, and he does so precisely by assigning reason its sphere of responsibility for acting within history."

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The varieties of religious experience

William James wrote a book about it in the early 1900's. It might equally have been entitled, "The varieties of spiritual experience". Many people in the history of Man have had a spiritual or religious experience. In fact so many that, if I can recall this correctly, James concluded that about a quarter of all people in the UK at that time may have had a religious experience. Some may not have a religious context to place their experience which is why I use the terms "religious and spiritual" interchangeably. Also, some are reluctant to admit of any such experience. The world can be cruel to those who do not conform with its materialist understanding or view on things. Nevertheless, many have had religious experiences and continue to do so. In 1989, I became fascinated with everything "New Age". I even thought of myself as some sort of secular Buddhist. I dabbled in almost everything you can think of; Past life regression, Astrology, Tarot cards, Transcendental meditation, Stuart Wilde lectures etc etc. But all this began a year earlier, in 1988 when I attended a lunchtime seminar on relaxation in the city of London. To cut a long story short my first meditation led to an experience of being reborn.I actually recall this, not only in terms of sensation, but in visual terms of consciousness and passing through a birth canal. At the end of this tunnel was brilliant white light. I thought to myself "what is at the end of this light"? To my utter amazement the vision and sensation continued. My consciousness, or what I assume to be consciousness, showed me endless forests and green hills. I recall that no one was visable and that there was both complete silence and peace. My consciousness observed all this a few hundred feet from the ground. An inner voice told (one I have not heard before or since) that this was Eastern Europe 50,000 years ago.

Afterwards, I felt blissful. Although, alone in this particular experience. In fact I later realized that what seemed like forever was just a few minutes in real time. I believe I had had a religious/spiritual experience. Possibly a lack of faith in any particular religion at that time meant that it was without religious imagery. But no doubt about it, it was a spiritual experience. For some while after this I tried to make sense of the significance of "Eastern Europe 50,000 years ago". What did this mean? There seemed no rhyme or reason to it. Subsequently, though, I have gathered enough information to guess that the begining of human language may have evolved at around this time. I suspect that human consciousness at this time might have taken a leap via deus ex machina or, what many call, God.

Anyway, I digress. After a further few years I explored further and dabbled even more. Eventually, I began to have "out of body experiences". Every three or four months I would drift off into sleep expecting complete rest only to find that I was above myself looking down. Not so bad you might think. Perhaps even quite entertaining. Except that after a while a panic can set in after you realize that you might not be able to return from whence you came. Eventually, though, I did. Several times. But the experiences continued. And, became more sinister in content. Without going even deeper into this I decided I must do something about it. So, I picked up a Bible and prayed. I also gave up my managerial job in Government work and did a degree course in Theology. The "out of body experiences" vanished. And, just a few years ago, I became a Catholic.

I realize there are some, perhaps many, who will assume that this is a psychological condition and that no other explanation will do. Fine. I happen to think differently. Not everything is reductionist. We cannot explain all religious or spiritual experiences as psychological. I believe Man is a religious animal with a conscience and soul which requires expression. Indeed, to deny this fundamental expression of human nature will lead to mental illness. In our secular world think how much mental health issues seem to be increasing concern. And, why so many people in todays secular materialist world view find relief in recreational drugs. And, the increasing numbers of people who search for meaning in a world which appears to care little about anyone.

When I first read William James whilst taking my Theology degree all those years ago I never thought I would be recommending his book now. And, I never thought I would be writing this.

From 'isms to 'obias

Back in the days when Lefties thought that the Environment explained human behaviour (1970's) and never conceived that genetics would one day revolutionize human understanding of this naive politicized view we never considered we would now have not only " 'isms" but also, " 'obias".

In days past, we had: Socialism, Communism, Trotskyism, Internationalism, Stalinism, Racism, Leftism, Liberalism, Nazism, Fascism etc etc.

Now we also have: homophobia, xenophobia, Islamaphobia, commitmentphobia, arachnophobia etc etc.

So what has happened and why has the suffix changed?

Does this suffix change mean an end to (usually lefty liberal) ideology and the beginning of (usually lefty liberal) personal abuse?

In other words, a change of tactic. Instead of changing the world through a process of ideology they now want to insult you and change your mind at the same time.

Personally, I think the suffix change reveals exactly this. Most people in Britain were unaware, until the past few years, that they had been discriminating against anyone in particular. Now, or so it appears, we are all criminals. Now we are all, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamaphobic etc etc.

Have we not heard all this before?

And, are we not, we English, the most tolerant people on the planet to take this abuse day in, day out? It appears that the "isms" have now evolved into "obias".

Good luck all and, as Dave Allen may once have said, "may your (politically correct) God go with you".

Memories of a wartime London childhood

Dad & WW2

Some have talked about their experiences during WW2. Too early for me. I was born in late '58. But I have talked with my Dad on many occasion about what happened. This is the gist of a few conversations over the years.

My Dad had three memorable near miss type of encounters. The first experience was when a "landmine" type device exploded before it hit the ground on its journey into the back garden. The initial blast threw the boy, who became my Dad, across the floor of the bedroom.
His Mother had only just left the kitchen- adjacent to the garden- and would have been killed or seriously injured had she not have, a few moments beforehand, walked away and into the lounge. The front door was blown out as were all windows. Within a few hours, however, everything had been replaced by the community Watch.

On another occasion, aged 15, and whilst working at the Standard Telephone Exchange in North London in late 1944, he was forced to dodge another missile. After arriving earlier than usual for work a frantic announcement came out over the tannoy for everyone to "get down". He heard the "whoosh" which was a good sign but it was close. Too close.

Moments later a VI (or V2) Rocket hit the Exchange. It was an obvious communications target. I am surprised though at the accuracy. Those German scientists certainly had their finger on the button of new technology that is for sure. I wonder where NASA or the Russian equivalent would be today without those innovative Nazi's?

Anyway, a rocket had hit its intended target and exploded like a fireball into some vats of acid; you can imagine the scene. Many people died. My Dad left his employment shortly after this event. His education had not been good so he decided to take himself to Pittmans College.

On another occasion while out walking in Southgate N14 he and a school friend passed a large block of flats converted into an old people's home. Whoosh!!.... then, a massive explosion. The Home, and everyone in it, were gone. They had walked passed where the explosion had occurred only minutes beforehand. Some call this fate, I suppose.

But all in all, as a young lad in London, I think he enjoyed the War. Looking up into the sky to see spectacular arial dogfights as the RAF battled the Luftwaffe. Hearing the beautiful, smooth, rumble type sound which characterized the Spitfire Rolls-Royce engine.
On the horizon, looking over from a vantage point of North London, East London could be seen ablaze.

Often, he went out collecting shrapnel. It may have been dangerous but it was exciting for a lad. Even if it was sometimes grim for many of the adults or those more involved. Maybe a few of the Health & Safety Commissars of today ought to reflect on what life was like back then. What they seem to have achieved is a suffocation of all existent possibilities in life.
There also appears from our ongoing conversation- he is now almost Eighty -a deeper sense of community in the way people lived back then.

For the generation before me there definitely seems to have been a common identity and spirit forged from adversity and in having a common enemy to fight against. Winston Churchill's speech about "...fighting them on the beaches...", could be heard blaring out of nearly every radio, in almost every home, in almost every street.

Of course, street crime was more or less non existent back then. Those of the liberal left persuasion will attempt to argue otherwise. Lacking a common enemy we now fight and bicker amongst ourselves. I hope the Conservatives can fix it.

New Labour have made British society far worse by depending on a format of never ending spin, politicking and Left Liberal social ideology.

As we have all seen this has resulted in the madness of political correctness and uncontrolled immigration on a scale beyond all comprehension.

British soldiers in WW2 never fought for that. They never fought for the cynical abuse of power seen today by those in our Government. They never fought to see a broken multicultural society. They fought to end Fascism; not to see a return of it in the form of Left Liberal ideology.

It is not an exaggeration to say that some miss WW2. Not the death and injury, of course. But some miss the bringing together of those in the community who not only shared common values but found a sense of belonging in being British in an uncertain world.
I know my Dad does. And, he is not the only one.

Monday, 14 June 2010

The Lizard

Peering over a cliff edge at the seagulls below,
a memory of being with you;
we exchanged places with birds and flew,
soaring high into the wind.

Crashing waves witness,
as did green, brown and blue;
sculptured rocks listened intently,
while time unfolded.

Ships sail no more abandoned,
lost to times passing;
I seek nothing more
than what life may bring.

The Legacy

A few weeks ago I received a petition asking me to sign up to get Teresa May removed from her post as Home Secretary. Why?

According to Left Wing nutters Teresa May is a homophobe. What evidence they have is not fully explained. So what exactly is her crime?

Perhaps she voted against civil partnerships. Perhaps she voted against Section 28. Perhaps she voted against abortion rights. Then again, perhaps she did none of these things. But more importantly what the hell has it got to do with those who claim to represent the Left if she did vote against their wishes?

What is clear is that many on the Left do not like democracy. I have realized this much over the years. Unite, Britain’s largest union of two million members is now planning more strike action against British Airways. Should they succeed in destroying British Airways it remains to be seen whether the airline can ever rise phoenix like from the ashes of politically motivated strike action.

Unravelling the mess made by New Labour will take time. A £1,000,000,000,000 New Labour debt will see to that. Some say that the true figure is really double the amount mentioned here. But it is not just about the dire state of national finances.

Jeff Randall writes:

‘As part of a grand plan for permanent office, more than one million immigrants were handed British passports (80% first generation arrivals vote Labour) and 900,000 workers added to the public-sector pay roll.

New Labour have changed parliamentary borders which meant that a 30% vote for Labour produced about 300 seats, whereas the same percentage for the Conservatives delivered only 200 seats.

In short just about everything that could have been done to bend the system in New Labour’s favour was in place by the time the election was called.’

I can see how many feel intimidated by the Left. The constant diet of moral drivel and claims to the moral high ground are all too apparent on MyT let alone in the world of politics itself. Political correctness has often been used by the Left to silence opposition on matters relating to immigration or homosexuality.

Some call this left liberal fascism. Whatever it is called it is not democracy. It is not what most people vote for. It is not even what most people want. But they have been bullied into line by a minority. This sounds almost reminiscent of Bolsheviks and Mensheviks; more like liberal communism than liberal fascism.

As time passes I have come to realize that without absolutes what anyone says is subjective and a matter of opinion. The problem for those who seek the moral high ground is that they attempt to gainsay others based on nothing at all except unthinking conformity with prevailing fashion. The tragedy has been that those who best exemplify this – HMS New Labour and all those who sail in her – is that they are completely unaware of this fact. Hence the arrogance and duplicity.

New Labour are now about to have a leadership contest. Is it to be Ed Balls or, Ed Milliband? Or, his brother, David?

Whovever wins expect more of the same. More political correctness. More intimidation. More claims to the moral high ground. More moralistic drivel. And, more attempts to brainwash society into allowing New Labour the power to do even more damage to the country I used to know as Great Britain.