‘The problem is that the EU has become extremely bureaucratic,’ [Archbishop Smith] told Vatican Radio. ‘With this real fundamental desire to become more integrated, like a European [United] States – that, many of us find hard to swallow.
‘I don’t think that is the right thing to do,’ he said.
‘The euro hasn’t worked particularly with the poorer countries in Europe – Greece, Portugal, Spain to an extent. It is not working with the euro and all of us are glad that we didn’t go into the euro because of the different economies on the continent of Europe.
‘I am very sceptical of the arguments the Chancellor makes. When he does a budget each year very often by the end of the year his forecasts are all over the place.
‘When you look at the budgets even after 12 months very often the Chancellor is wrong because you can’t pin the economy down like that because it is so involved with the world economy which goes up and down.’
He added: ‘Most people are completely puzzled. They don’t know what the real arguments are and then they hear these scare stories like the Chancellor saying in 14 years’ time we will £4,000 plus less (worse off).
‘With great respect to the Chancellor of the Exchequer I think it is ludicrous. He doesn’t know, and we don’t know.’
May 24, 2016
May 10, 2016
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The Labour Party did badly in last week’s local and devolved elections. They lost their overall majority in Wales and they were driven to a humiliating third place in Scotland behind the Tories. They did not, however, do quite as badly as some had feared/hoped. Only one council changed hands and Labour won the London mayoralty. Many have suggested that this is in fact the worst possible result for Labour. Although the overwhelming majority of Labour MPs would dispose of Corbyn tomorrow if they could, they know that the tidal wave of Marxists and other extreme leftists who joined Labour or registered as supporters in the wake of Ed Miliband’s rash change to the party’s rules would immediately reelect Corbyn (or his anointed successor of he didn’t stand). The only way for the MPs to prevent this would be to insure that no leftist got on the ballot paper by withholding the 35 nominations necessary. Disastrous as the Corbyn era has been for Labour he has still exercised patronage as leader and shown that the previously inconceivable take-over of the party by the hard left is possible. While in 2015 Corbyn needed charity nominations from supporters of other candidates (keen to show their sympathy to the left and pick up their second preferences) in order to get on to the ballot, it is by no means clear that Corbyn (or John McDonnell the shadow chancellor if Corbyn didn’t stand) would now struggle to reach the 35 MPs required. As a result the centre and right of the Labour Party are holding off on any coup. They need Corbyn’s failure to be undeniable and gruesome in order to make sure there are fewer than 35 MPs willing to nominate him or one of his faction for a second leadership election. Last week’s results were not gruesome enough. At the moment, even if they did manage to keep Corbyn and company off the ballot, it would look like a bizarre stitch-up as most of the membership/supporters would want to vote for him.
All this reflects a deeper problem. Labour lost ideological coherence under Blair. The non-Marxian Socialist core was eviscerated. Only non-Socialists and Marxists were left. Anti-capitalist non-socialists, who were a significant force at the inception of the Party in 1900 (enough for Keir Hardie to expressly deny the party was socialist), disappeared long ago. The non-socialists who reigned under Blair had no real reason for being in the Labour Party other than the fact that they were insufficiently posh for the Tory party and too concerned about their careers to be in the Lib-Dems. For them the Labour Party was a public relations firm that marketed the colour Red. It had no real conviction other than a rejection of the libertarian right of the Tory Party and of social conservatism. The base, such as it was (membership fell dramatically while Blair was in power), was far to the left of the leadership. The prospect of Corbyn’s leadership genuinely renewed the base but it renewed it from the ranks of disillusioned Marxists and sub-Marxist anti-capitalists. Now the MPs are held hostage by a party they do not remotely represent. Corbyn, who does represent this new party, has no prospect of ever securing a majority in the country as a whole or in Parliament especially now Scotland is lost to Labour. The Labour Party is the second party in the UK today purely for historic reasons. In reality, a two party system based on the Tories and the Liberals (as it was before universal manhood suffrage) would be far more representative.
The one great chance for the Labour left to retain Labour’s position as a major party and retain their control over the Labour Party is Islam. Islam is growing, it constitutes a genuine social base upon which a stable political movement might be founded. Immigrants tend to vote left even when it is against their interests. Labour politicians have shown great willingness to allow Islamic community leadership to effectively colonize the party machinery in key regions of the country. They have repeatedly addressed Muslim sex-segregated meetings despite their own extremist gender-ideological commitments. The Labour left’s hatred of the United States, its loathing for the Christian patrimony of the West and its desperation to find oppressed masses to play the part of the proletariat in their rusty ideological drama disposes them to overlook a multitude of sins on the part of Islam and its adherents. This I fear is the reason that Labour was only humiliated and not devastated in last week’s elections. The association of Labour with antisemitism strengthened and rallied Labour’s vote in the Muslim population allowing Labour to retain key councils across the centre and north of England and to win comfortably in London. It bodes ill for the future.
May 8, 2016
Islam is not simply a revolution brought about by Arabs who, bored of living under their tents, were stirred up by a gifted leader to make a sudden conquest of the most opulent cities of the East. Rather, God allowed the ancient enemy of mankind to have a special opportunity, and to choose an instrument by which he might lead nations astray, enslaving them by the sword. And so there arose Mahomet, the man of Satan, and the Koran, his gospel.
But what was the crime which induced divine justice to go to such an extremity, abandoning nations to a slavery of which we can still see no end? Heresy: for heresy is a dreadful crime which makes the coming of the Son of God into this world to be of no avail. It refuses the word of God; it tramples upon the infallible teaching of the Church. Such a crime must be punished, in order that Christian peoples may learn that no nation resists the revealed words without the danger of suffering, even in this world, the penalty of its rash ingratitude. And so Alexandria fell, though it was Peter’s second see, and Antioch, where he had first been bishop, and Jerusalem, keeper of the glorious Tomb.
The tide was stopped in front of Constantinople, and did not immediately overflow the regions that surrounded it. The Eastern empire, soon to become the Greek empire, was given the opportunity to learn a lesson. Had Byzantium watched over the faith, then Omar would not have come to Alexandria, nor to Antioch, nor to Jerusalem. A delay was granted; it lasted for eight centuries. But when Byzantium had filled up its measure, then the Crescent appeared once more in vengeance. No longer is it the Saracen, who is a spent force, but rather the Turk. Hagia Sophia will see its Christian images whitewashed, with verses from the Koran painted over them. And this is the reason: it had become the sanctuary of schism and of heresy. [. . .]
It dared to penetrate even into the land of France. But a hard expiation it had to do for its boldness, on the plains of Poitou. Islam had made a mistake; where there is no heresy, there it can find no foothold. [. . .]
We shall stop here, having acknowledged the justice of God in regard to heresy, and the true reason of the victories of Islam. We have seen the only reason why God permitted Islam to arise, and why it did not remain an obscure and ephemeral sect in the deserts of Arabia.
We can remember also the words of Leo XIII in Exeunte Iam Anno:
The impartial and unchangeable justice of God metes out reward for good deeds and punishment for sin. But since the life of peoples and nations, as such, does not outlast their world, they necessarily receive the rewards due to their deeds on this earth.
May 5, 2016
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One assumes of course that Hilary will win, but then it seemed inconceivable that Trump would ever win the Republican nomination, so who knows? Hilary is a corrupt, incompetent feminazi. Trump is a grotesque pathological narcissist. How can any one morally vote for either of them? Of course, the authority of rulers is derived from God not from the governed or the voters (whatever the American Declaration of Independence may claim) so one is not responsible for the actions of the people one voted for unless one voted for them for that reason. One’s obligation is to obtain the election of the best possible candidate. The victorious candidate is responsible to God for what he then does with that power. This is not to say it might not be the best thing to write in a candidate or spoil one’s ballot if the alternatives are so bad that there seems to be no other option. Such an action can at least signal to would-be candidates that there is a sizable constituency that is untapped by the present constellation of forces and so possibly improve the range of options next time. Yet, in normal circumstances, however bad the range of options, there will be a discernible gradation of turpitude. In the US nowadays this usually requires that one vote for the Republican candidate (however awful) because the Democratic candidate has gone to some pains to be worse. This is obviously a highly undesirable situation. The Republicans can take the votes of believing Christians for granted and the Democrats can write them off. However, it would seem that all is not lost because of the US primary system which allows ordinary registered Republicans to determine the candidate over the heads of the establishment (limited by the vast resources necessary to mount a campaign). And yet, this very system has now delivered Trump. De Tocqueville famously observed in reflecting upon the USA “our posterity will tend more and more to a division into only two parts, some relinquishing Christianity entirely and others returning to the Church of Rome.” That process was working well in the USA up until the act of ecclesiastical harakiri known as the Second Vatican Council. Protestantism is a parasite, it lives off the Catholic Church. When the Church wavers, Protestantism, after the enjoyment of a brief stimulus, begins to retreat and decompose. What will become of ‘conservatism’ when religion has passed away? One has only to look at inter-war Europe to see: militaristic protectionist populism. The leaders of such movements are invariably, as with Trump, mentally unstable. This is what produces the peculiar dilemma of the present US presidential race. On the one hand we have an evil woman determined to employ the resources of the world’s hegemonic power to further the culture of death and accomplish the final ruin of western civilisation. On the other hand one has not a lesser version of the same evil (as in previous elections) but a madman who cannot responsibly be placed in charge of a nuclear arsenal. Democracy (i.e. isonomia) broke down in Europe between the wars because the socio-political arithmetic deteriorated to the point where only the Fascists or the Communists could win. The ballot box ceased to be a solution. The recreation of those conditions is dangerously close.