A law in urgent need of repeal: the Royal Marriages Act

The Houses of Parliament /

The Houses of Parliament /

 Yes I know that the majority of you don’t give a stuff about royalty anyway but quite a few nations prefer their Head of State to wear a crown; some fine republics abound, where the H of S is elected every so often, such as the United States, France and Germany, but there are plenty of Presidents on this planet who would make a fine old mess of managing a small shop, let alone a nation.

    Now in Great Britain a hard law exists which is not as oecumenical as the Church of England claims to be: this law prohibits the heir to the throne (alone among all British subjects) from marrying a Catholic. It does not matter if the heir has not thought of doing so. The fact is that the law is insulting to the British monarch’s innumerable Catholic subjects, as well as being an even greater insult to common sense. (more…)

The Final Solution


   Researchers have tried to find cogent reasons for Hitler’s pathological hatred of the Jews. Nothing in his childhood in Austria happened which might have sown the seeds of that poisonous dislike growing in his innermost soul. His military service during the Great War brought him wounds, but what influence could Jewish people have had on him in the trenches? The enemy was British or French, not Jewish. (more…)

English section: Gobbledegook & Officialese

An onomatopoeic word is one that derives its meaning from the sound it makes. The accepted dictionary word ‘gobbledegook’ decidedly comes from the sound made by most poultry animals in the farmyard, especially turkeys. The term evokes unintelligible language, gibberish and nonsense, intentional or unintentional. The former is common in the speech of the under-educated, and in semi-educated writing. The latter is particularly to be found in the works of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll. Lear used it supremely well in his ‘limericks’ such as this one:

‘There was an old lady of Chertsey,

Who made a remarkable curtsey;

She twirled round and round,

Till she sank underground,

Which distressed the people of Chertsey’. (more…)

By | 2013-04-08T16:39:31+00:00 April 8th, 2013|English History, English Language, Humour, Philosophy, Today|0 Comments

The US Supreme Court and homosexual marriage


Alexander, 3 state marriages and one lifetime lover he could not marry /

Alexander, 3 state marriages and one lifetime lover he could not marry /

Just now the US Supreme Court is busy debating the rights and wrongs of legalizing in federal terms the joining together in sacred or civil marriage of two people, both of the male sex, or the female. Several, thirteen I believe American States have already made homosexual marriage legal, while several more are not sure, and over thirty of the remaining states have turned the idea down again and again. Meanwhile, powerful lobbies, social platforms, societies and even violently inclined bands are hard at work across the world explaining the urgent need for matrimony between members of the same sex. They will brook no argument. You are with us or against us. You are a decent, compassionate supporter of gay rights including marriage, or you are a homophobe, a queer-basher and, worst of all, ancient and old-fashioned. (more…)

By | 2013-03-28T09:52:34+00:00 March 28th, 2013|English Language, Philosophy, Today, US History|0 Comments

Popular Myths and the Conspiracy Theory: ‘the stab in the back’ 1918


Friedrich Ebert did not believe in the Allies' victory /

Friedrich Ebert did not believe in the Allies’ victory /

Learnéd, and sometime not so learnéd people have started myths right down through the centuries almost since the human race was ‘uncivilized’. King Alfred ‘burning the cakes’, ‘Robin Hood and Maid Marian’, Richard III ‘murdering his nephews’, changelings occupying thrones in Europe, what lay behind the sinking of the Titanic, foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor, was the Russian royal family killed in a cellar in Siberia? Plus a long line of etceteras. (more…)

Sturdy Beggars


Whipping a beggar throughj the streets /

Whipping a beggar throughj the streets /

In the so-called ‘developed’ societies since the end of the Second World War many children are brought up by unthinking parents to believe that work is something other people get. The idea of actually finding some work that pays rarely enters the mind of these children as they grown into adulthood. They have brought up in ‘The Welfare State’. In this demi-paradise they learn that the world owes them a living; they have their rights; ‘what do we pay our taxes for?’; ‘who needs education anyway?’ ‘who wants a job anyway?’ etcetera.

It may come as a surprise to know that in the English Poor Law of 1531, barely five hundred years ago, able-bodied persons who chose not to work were classed as ‘sturdy beggars’. Cynics today may pronounce these two words naughtily reversing the ‘u’ and the ‘e’, but that is not my province. (more…)

By | 2013-02-20T10:14:26+00:00 February 20th, 2013|English History, English Language, Humour, Philosophy, Today, US History|2 Comments

SPAIN today: a prediction and some questions

Morning, noon and night it is predicted by the Spanish news programmes that Mariano Rajoy may resign and take his Popular Party with him. The reason, we are told, is that an ex-treasurer of the party has said that he made extra payments to high ranking members of the PP since 2008 or before. The news programmes insists that these ‘payments by plain envelope’ mean ‘black money’, or payments NOT declared on tax forms. This is now found to be palpably untrue. Rajoy has even taken the unprecedented step of publishing his tax declarations on his own website. The payments are part of the declared emoluments and expenses, and as such are completely legal – if rather rich-making.

Showing the kind of hypocritical cynicism that I had hoped had vanished with Felipe González, leaders of the PSOE are insisting on ‘complete investigations’ of something that has been completely investigated. This is not unusual at all. But for the saintly Rubalcaba to put on his most Dominican face and find all this ‘disgraceful’ would be extremely funny, a Brian Rix Aldwych farce, if it were not so serious. If the PSOE’s plans to dislodge the Popular Party via articles and headlines in their organ El País lead to Sr. Rajoy’s resignation, Spain will be in the same position as it was on the unexpected and unnecessary abdication of King Alfonso XIII in the Thirties, which led indirectly to the Spanish Civil War. (more…)

By | 2013-02-10T12:06:53+00:00 February 10th, 2013|EU History, Philosophy, Spanish History, Today, World History|0 Comments

SPAIN: from black comedy to farce

     Not even the Monty Python team could have invented the present situation in the democracy with a monarchy, Parliament, and civilized population called Spain. The Marx Brothers might have shaken the head and said, “No-one would believe such a script, so fergettaboudit!” (more…)

Post-War poverty in Socialist Britain (1945 – 51)


Winter queues 1948 /

Winter queues 1948 /

It was a surrealist time to be British. Six years of total war had left the people with their men and womenfolk dead, wounded and crippled as well as bemedalled, heroic and stoic. Most people had lost their home (or homes) to the German bombing. France and Belgium, just over the narrow Channel, had been occupied throughout almost all the Second War, and were recovering much faster than the British. The latter, having listened avidly to the words of a fat old man with a fondness for brandy and cigars asking them to sacrifice everything to beat the German menace, and having followed his indefatigable leadership, showed their loyalty by throwing him and his party out in the 1945 elections. The new Prime Minister was Clement Attlee, an Old Harrovian, who had been Churchill’s Deputy PM during the war. He was one of those patricians who become members of the Labour Party, presumably to reward their parents for sacrificing everything to educate them privately. He was all for NATO, against private incomes and country life. (more…)

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