Saturday, 24 June 2017

The best podcast, video, article & image of the week - starting with Sir Roger Scruton and James Delingpole

That shockingly close general election result woke me from my literature-induced political torpor...

...so, having got through 15 of the notable novels out of the 25 I've set myself to read this year in just three months,  I'm allowing myself a month or two to read some non-fiction books and some highly enjoyable fictional rubbish, and to catch up with what's really happening out there in the whacky - not to say alarming - world of contemporary politics. Here's my pick of the crop of what I've read, seen and listened to in the past fortnight:

I always enjoyed James Delingpole's podcasts for the right-wing American website, Ricochet, but the ones he's been doing for Breitbart recently are far, far superior - required listening, in fact. The one with Roger Scruton, which was recorded on the morning after the election, is the best of the lot. If you consider yourself a conservative or a right winger, I can't recommend it highly enough - it will chill your blood, warm your heart, and stimulate your brain. "Conservatives are the people who love something actual and want to retain it" probably wouldn't rouse a cheer amongst the goofballs at Glastonbury - but it's a magnificent summary of what being a conservative means.

I didn't expect to be recommending an article by a former IRA terrorist, but Sean O'Callaghan's reflections on the election result - Puffed-up, bewildered, pampered second-raters. The elites that nearly let an extremist into Downing Street - are well worth reading:
McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn, Andy Murray, Seumus Milne, Diane Abbott, Len McCluskey and those lesser-known people working with them have come very close to grabbing control of Ten Downing Street, the Treasury, the Home Office, the Ministry of Defence, of Culture, of the Environment, MI6, MI5 and every other part of government and administration that you care to think about.
That is how close we came to throwing so much away. The primary responsibility for this lies with self-indulgent divas across the board who are far more concerned with protecting their own careers or interests or, heaven help us, indulging in “blue sky thinking” than they are about the national interest, which seems to me and many others to have the notion of service in its very gut – a sense that appears to be singularly lacking in most of these puffed-up and bewildered second-raters.
The absence of real understanding of the evils of communism, fascism and Islamism is endemic across class, creed and generation.  The radar to spot bad things, bad ideas, is all but lost in a pampered society largely more concerned with selfies than possessing any comprehension of the dangers that lurk always in the depths of the human condition...
When fringe issues – marginal even in the hideous world of identity politics – such as gender fluidity can come to dominate mainstream media, intellectual, academic and political debate for days, we are truly in trouble. And when conservative opinion-formers indulge merrily in this debate, as if they were bravely going over the top at the Somme, then flatulence and self-indulgence rule. 
I was reminded of that last paragraph by this tweet from the notorious libertarian troublemaker, Old Holborn:
Oh God! What have we become?

The most trenchant YouTube video rant I've seen this week was, almost inevitably, from the perpetually pissed-off Paul Joseph Watson. In case you don't know the young woman Watson is berating (I certainly didn't), her name is Josie Long. She is a graduate of Oxford University. And a stand-up comedian - with prizes from the BBC and the Edinburgh Festival to prove it. She demonstrates everything Roger Scruton said about what has happened to our leading universities over the past five decades. As Thomas Sowell, the other eminent conservative intellectual mentioned by Delingpole, remarked: "The problem isn't... that Johnny [or Josie] can't think. The problem is that Johnny doesn't know what thinking is: he confuses it with feeling."
An alliance consisting of figures as disparate as Sir Roger Scruton, James Delingpole, Sean O'Callaghan, Old Holborn and Paul Joseph Watson might seen unlikely - but they're brothers-in-arms when it comes to the fight against this sort of flatulence and self-indulgence:
It's a battle we really can't afford to lose. 

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