Friday, June 24, 2011

Christian groups force the SNP to delay ‘Sectarianism Bill’

Alex Salmond was intent on having his (succinctly-named) Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Bill on the statute book in time for the commencement of the new football season in July. It was being rushed through Holyrood in the hope of preventing the supporters of Celtic and Rangers being nasty to each other and their respective religions, despite concerns about religious liberty and freedom of speech expressed by the Law Society for Scotland, the Church of Scotland and the Equality Network.

It is bemusing that it took court action by the Christian Institute and CARE for Scotland to force a climb-down on the legislative timetable: the day after the papers were issued to the Court, the SNP announced that the Bill will now be postponed by six months in order to permit time for proper public consultation.

Legal papers urged the court to delay the legislation and ‘allow everyone to take a breath and make sure crucial mistakes are not made’. Mike Judge, of the Christian Institute, said: “We all wish to see the stain of sectarian hatred removed from our society but we must not act in haste. This is too important to get wrong.” They want to see a free speech clause inserted to prevent the unintentional criminalisation of religious jokes, atheists criticising Christianity, journalists debating fundamentalist Islam, or peaceful preaching.

Mr Judge added: “Rushed legislation that inadvertently impacts on free speech could be divisive and damage community cohesion. That’s the last thing anyone wants to see.”

He’s not wrong there. But His Grace is bemused that the SNP do not appear to grasp that there is already adequate legislation granting sufficient powers to deal effectively with sectarian disorder.

Traditionally, the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Scotland have objected to anything sung by Rangers fans, from the ‘Hokey Cokey’ (a ‘faith hate’ song) and ‘Follow, Follow’ (from the old evangelical hymn ‘Follow, Follow, we will follow Jesus’), to the more recent No1 hit on the terraces ‘The Famine Song’, to the tune of the Beach Boys' ‘Sloop John B’, which includes the refrain ‘The Famines over, why don't you go home’, dedicated to the many Celtic fans of Irish descent domiciled in Scotland.

Now His Grace will agree that the ‘Famine Song’ is more than a little insensitive to those Scots of Irish descent. But there is not usually any objection from Celtic Park (or the Scottish Roman Catholic Church) when ‘The Fields of Athenry’ is sung by Celtic fans. Originally a rather sad ballad about the Irish Potato Famine and a man who was exiled to Botany Bay for stealing corn to feed his starving children, the Bhoys (Hoops, Celts, Tims) have ‘enhanced’ it with a couple of chants lauding the IRA. They also sing ‘Boys of the Old Brigade’ which glorifies IRA murders. Now the Gers (Bears or Blues) are no innocents with songs rejoicing at ‘Being up to our knees in Fenian Blood’, but it does seem that protests against sectarianism in Scotland – whether from the Roman Catholic Church or the Scottish Parliament – have always been a tad one-way: anything sung by Rangers’ fans is blatant bigotry, while the melodious music of the Celts is but an expression of their culture.

It becomes more evident when you consider the words of Roseanna Cunningham MSP, who has refused to rule out that her party’s ‘Sectarianism Bill’ could criminalise the singing of ‘God Save the Queen’. And not only the national anthem, but also ‘Rule Britannia’ could be outlawed and deemed an expression of ‘hatred’ on the terraces or in pubs. And (here’s the best one) making the sign of the cross ‘aggressively’ could also land you in prison. Ms Cunningham said: "I've seen hundreds of Celtic fans making the sign of the cross in a manner I can only describe as aggressive.”

Talk about making windows into men’s souls.

And it is moot whether a woman is fit to judge what constitutes ‘aggression’ when the testosterone-charged male of the species is gathering to participate in his ritual ball-kicking cult. Indeed, is he then able to do anything un-aggressively?

It beggars belief that a constituent nation of the United Kingdom is intent on making it a criminal offence to sing the national anthem when a football is present. It is even more bizarre that someone blessing themselves could be arrested for making the sign of the cross. Supporters of Rangers and Celtic become McMontagues and MacCapulets:
JOCK: Do you cross yourself, sir?

HAMISH: I do cross myself, sir.

JOCK: Do you cross yourself at us, sir?

HAMISH [Aside to MUNGO]: Is the law of our side, if I say ay?


HAMISH: No, sir, I do not cross myself at you, sir, but I do cross myself, sir.
And it will then be for the Prince to sort out who did what to whom and with what motive and intent. And whichever man is judged to have crossed himself ‘aggressively’ could be sent to prison for five years for bigotry.

Where this legislation will leave defence of the Act of Settlement 1701 or the Act of Union 1707, His Grace cannot begin to imagine. Will it become a criminal offence to make a defence of the Constitution of the United Kingdom?

Or will it only be when a football is present?


Anonymous Stephen said...

"Or will it only be when a football is present?" No .. if said behaviour is posted on t'interweb it will also consitute an offence. I'm not conversant enough with the detail, to work out whether expressing hatred amongst a like minded group of low lifes in a private place - which is recorded and placed online - results in imprisonment for the person singing (old derry's walls? Our pope reigns? etc) or the person posting.

What policy makers fail to realise that for a significant segment of people involved - they identify with the protestant/ catholic BECAUSE of which team they support - not the other way round.

24 June 2011 at 11:32  
Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

'Offence' is vaporous until an individual wants it to be otherwise.

Mooning ones detractors should be compulsory.

24 June 2011 at 11:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'What policy makers fail to realise that for a significant segment of people involved - they identify with the protestant/ catholic BECAUSE of which team they support - not the other way round.'

If belief in environmentalism and the BBC is protected then...

Say! The courts could make that (football) a protected belief under the provisions of the Equality Act 2010.

24 June 2011 at 11:40  
Blogger subrosa said...

The change of time schedule was made after a debate in the Parliament on Thursday morning. Alex Salmond knew then that opposition parties were against it because of the timescale and he's enough of a politician to realise on this subject he needs consensus.

The legal challenges were a minor element.

24 June 2011 at 11:41  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace, the conversation continued the next morning after the match:

Jock, 'Cò an caora sin còmhla riut a chunnaic mi an-raoir?'

Hamish, 'Cha b'e sin caora, 'se sin mo chèile a bha innte!'

Tapadh leibh agus mar sin leibh an dràsda.

24 June 2011 at 11:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His Grace is falling into a trap that I have highlighted before He purports to hate cultural relativism but the minute it suits his argument to deploy it, he does not hesitate(the habit of replacing the name of one religion/identity group with another in some exchange, without realising that the context is altered is my favourite). We should end this scourge - it should be possible to say one religion is better than another, more warlike than another etc. but why do believers in a non-relativist, post-post modern future always resort to exactly the same relativism in their arguments?

It may seem that Rangers fans are unfairly tagged with the sectarian label and the media may have recently leaned that way. Then again, the parcel bombs were sent to Roman Catholics so perhaps that is hardly surprising. It wasn't Ally McCoist or Walter Smith who was the victim of attempted assault in the dug out. I recall no parcel bombs being sent to leading Protestants. This is the truth (another concept under threat in this post-modern world).

In actual fact the enlightening exchanges in the Scottish Parliament and the select committee (enlightening not least because they demonstrated the need for the pause that has duly been delivered) seem to outline that there IS a gap in the current legislation. Indeed, Roseanna Cunningham in a rare moment of lucidity highlighted the gaps at the Justice Select Committee earlier this week. Look at her response about an hour in:

There is a problem in Scots' Law about the meaning of 'intent' and whether threats on the internet are 'sent' or not. The Bill needed to be delayed - but it is also needed.

Kind regards,

A devoted communicant.

24 June 2011 at 11:44  
Anonymous James Christie said...

Yes, yes, yes. There's no shortage of valid concerns about the legislation, and about how any legislation can get to grips with such a nebulous concept as "sectarianism".

However, I don't think you do justice to Roseanna Cunningham and the SNP government over the question of criminalising singing God Save the Queen and Rule Britannia.

There is no question that Rangers fans have sung both in a highly aggressive manner and with sectarian intent. The sight of hundreds of fans abusing these songs by belting them out as tribal chants while giving highly ambiguous straight arm salutes is deeply unpleasant and such behaviour is designed to provoke. It's the only thing I've seen at games that has reduced elderly men, who've seen it all and normally just shrug their shoulders, to foaming mouthed fury at the disrespect and the puerile, fascist-style posturing.

Now you could rightly argue that such behaviour could be treated as a breach of the peace, but there is a problem and I think it's wrong to imply that the SNP are launching some sort of attack on the national anthem. It is Rangers fans who've been abusing it.

The chances of the police leaping on citizens simply for the "offence" of singing the national anthem is non-existent and misrepresents the problem. If anything, the habit of Rangers' fans appropriating symbols of the UK for their own tribal purposes is damaging to the Union, rather than a defence of it.

If Ms Cunningham had ruled out the possibility of singing God Save the Queen ever being considered an offence, in any circumstances then that would have been the green light for Rangers fans to seize it as their song, and the national anthem would have been abused even further.

You are, however, quite right in your comments about Celtic fans apparent unwillingness to admit that they ever indulge in sectarian behaviour. Their IRA songs are all political and cultural. It is only other people who are bigots. Celtic fans are simply freedom loving defenders of their heritage, standing firm against tyranny, oppression and intolerance. What lovable dears they are!

24 June 2011 at 11:45  
Anonymous Jon said...

Google Translation of Bluedog's quotes:

Jock, 'said berries Valve Co. chunnaic riut a very raoir mi?

Hamish, 'that was Cha berries, that spouse to cows in it!

Sorry - I do love a good Google translate!

From my rather non- religious perspective, sectarianism only highlights the willingness of (supposedly) rational men to expend great effort highlighting what divides them, to the general ignorance of that which they have in common. I wouldn't assert that this is the exclusive preserve of the religious at all (mankind will always find reason to fall out) but it does appear to me that the ostentatiously religious (if not actually faithful) have elevated it into something of an art form.

24 June 2011 at 12:13  
Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

'February 14, 2010
‘Rebellious Scots’ will remain crushed in God Save the Queen
The UK government has rejected calls to remove an “anti-Scottish” verse from the British National Anthem to make it more inclusive.
Lord Goldsmith, the former attorney general who led Gordon Brown’s review of British citizenship, had suggested that a verse calling for “rebellious Scots” to be crushed ought to be rewritten'.

Calling upon God to save the monarch while endorsing such temporal aggressive attitudes alienates any real chance for social cohesion and fuels sectarianism.

May be that responses like this make the case for a secular State better than any amount of my god is bigger than your god, my tribe is better than you tribe, kind of arguments.

What chance the future if we cant let go of the past.

24 June 2011 at 12:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Why don't you keep quiet today on a subject you know nothing about?

It may make you seem wise in the eyes of others.

We could all learn something from the Scots commentators today.

24 June 2011 at 12:17  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...

Bigotry is bigotry from whatever sourse. The various chants from Rangers and Celtic, celebrating murder, wardeath and famine, are an absolute disgrace to Scotland and to Britain.

Once again you do appear a tad one-sided in your analysis though:

" ... it does seem that protests against sectarianism in Scotland – whether from the Roman Catholic Church or the Scottish Parliament –have always been a tad one-way: anything sung by Rangers’ fans is blatant bigotry, while the melodious music of the Celts is but an expression of their culture."

It would be good to see your evidence, if any, for this assertion.

You should also know that it has been clarified by the Lord Advocate that the singing of the National Anthem and/or making the Sign of the Cross will not generally be considered a criminal act.

24 June 2011 at 12:22  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace, in principle the Scottish government are right to try to end sectarianism but completely wrong in using a legal sanction to do so. It simply won't work and only an atheist dreamer would be so daft as to propose such a solution. The recent riots in Northern Ireland are a manifestation of the same evil, and a moment's thought by the Scottish Executive should persuade them of the futility of their approach.

Your communicant has said this before and been roundly criticised by Your Grace for doing so, but the Orange marches should not be given police approval to proceed. They are a totally unnecessary exercise in baiting Catholics that just triggers another downward spiral on both sides of the Irish Sea.

24 June 2011 at 12:34  
Blogger English Viking said...

Aside from Liverpool FC, the second best team in the world is quite obviously Rangers FC.


You need to keep out of comments on football matches. You've got form for lying about them. Still, you are a cat-lick, so why should I expect better?

More than a club

24 June 2011 at 12:37  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Jon @ 12.13, close, but no cigar.

24 June 2011 at 12:39  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Thank you YG for stirring up the informative comments above.

In the interest of saving freedom of speech, song and religious expression, why not ban public exhibition of football games in Scotland?

But there may be scope for chestnuts such as "Why did the chicken *cross* the road?"

[Warning: this is a flippant remark not deserving the attention of anyone who may be offended or distressed or in any way upset or perturbed by flippancy in general or this in particular, whether visiting, trespassing or simply lost.]

24 June 2011 at 13:03  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...


Want any tickets for the Olympics or Wimbledon? I can get them but for you they'll be a premium to pay.

24 June 2011 at 14:54  
Blogger Demetrius said...

Under the terms of this law singing the old folk song "I know where I'm going" could get you a life sentence.

24 June 2011 at 14:56  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

The only thing that you need add to nationalism to make an incendiary mix is religion.

When will they all grow up?

24 June 2011 at 14:57  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

I should point out that we Americans do not experience this problem at soccer games. A cynic might suggest this is because no one in the US actually watches soccer. I don't know. I think there is another reason, and perhaps some tolerance for the circumstance is required. I think the spectators might simply be finding ways to entertain themselves while hopelessly waiting for something to happen in the match. An 'insurmountable 1-0 lead' does tend to decrease the excitement level.


24 June 2011 at 15:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

I think Stephen at 11. 32 has presented the best insight and one which the Scottish legislator needs to be mindful of so that it does not criminalise practising Christians:

‘What policy makers fail to realise that for a significant segment of people involved - they identify with the protestant/ catholic BECAUSE of which team they support - not the other way round.’

24 June 2011 at 15:18  
Blogger The Young Oligarch said...

A very balanced piece , YG .

When reading some of the responses , though , I felt that we should be reminded of this photograph of the attitude of certain parties to our troops and Remembrance Day .

There will be no attempt to outlaw demonstrations such as this , however . Nor should there be in a free country .

24 June 2011 at 15:23  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

I might have guessed Carl that you are not a fan of our “beautiful game” Surely you don’t watch the American equivalent where men dressed like packs of Weetabix crash into each other occasionally spewing the ball out to the only man in the team that appears to have any legs. If you really want to pick the ball up as well as kick it might I recommend Rugby in which the participants knock hell out of each other without the need of fancy dress.

24 June 2011 at 15:32  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Back in the days when I wore knickerbockers and a straw-hat, 'differences of opinion' were resolved in the boxing-ring, under strict rules governing both 'fisticuffs' and good-sportsmanship and gentlemanly agreement.

Failure to abide by said rules resulted in a sound thrashing by the presiding Master; I cannot recall that it ever came to such an end, but we knew it as a gilt-edged surety.

The last days of Trial by Combat perhaps?

Anyhows, why not begin football matches with such contests eh? Not only might it prove better 'sport' than the ensuing football match, it would further ensure that the fans considered their actions rather more carefully.

Let's bring blood, snot, fear and ritual, back to its rightful place at the forefront of the justice system. All jolly good character-building stuff, and largely self-financing too!

24 June 2011 at 15:32  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

Graham Davis

Of course I watch Football. Every September I wait with great anticipation for NFL Advent. But your suggestion is also quite acceptable. I love Rugby. I have even sort of half figured out the rules, if not the strategies. Would that BBC America would show it more often. Would that BBC America might show anything worth watching more often.


24 June 2011 at 16:04  
Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

McSingh -
Up yer Kilt.

24 June 2011 at 17:07  
Blogger English Viking said...


From what I can gather, Olympic tickets are rarer than rocking horse excrement, so if you can really get them, you're on to a right earner.

I hear Gadaffi has got a couple going spare. His son and grandchildren won't be needing them now the RAF have valiantly killed them in their beds.

24 June 2011 at 17:31  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Your Grace: Will it become a criminal offence to make a defence of the Constitution of the United Kingdom?

Or will it only be when a football is present?

Could that be -
Q: 'When is a bigot not a bigot?' A: 'When he has a black ball!' ?

For, presumably, we're meant to notice that the owners of those whited skulls wield black balls. Perhaps they're masons of a type defined heretofore? So, for them, the UK constitution is already irrelevant.

24 June 2011 at 18:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The trouble with Protestant faith was its total disregard and attack on superstition.

It threw the baby out with the bath water by rejecting ancestral wisdom, now it is not able to see the bigger picture.

They say English masons reject Scotish rite masonry because they were behind the American war of Independence. But is that not like saying a blind man holding a trunk does not recognise the Elephant in the room.

Now our ancestors, as superstition goes would have known the importance of a blood oath, the craft was in the blood and the phallus continued the line.

England is paying the price for rejecting the magic potency of blood and faith.

24 June 2011 at 19:18  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

Bred in the bone wrote:

The trouble with Protestant faith was its total disregard and attack on superstition.

Well, we couldn't very well stay Roman Catholic, could we?

England is paying the price for rejecting the magic potency of blood and faith.

This whole post was ironic, right? You weren't being serious?


24 June 2011 at 19:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carl it is my understanding the CofE now blends christianity with druidry, wicca and freemasonry.

We replaced ancestral wisdom with new age crap, how ironic is that?

24 June 2011 at 20:00  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

English Viking.

I agree with a lot of what you post on here BUT you are clearly deluded when it comes to football.

Swansea City FC We are the greatest football team the world has ever seen

I will say this though, I get sick to my back teeth by people that have never stood on the terraces, slagging off football fans. They do not understand rivalry or loyalty and seem to think that a football crowd should behave like a Wimbledon tennis crowd. "Oh come on Tim" Aggression and letting off steam is all part of it, Banter don't you know. The professionally offended should stay the **** away.

24 June 2011 at 20:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or more to the point the Stuarts, Rosicrucians and Scotish rite no how to blend the magic arts and freemasonic craft with religion, which puts the protestants at a disadvantage, because they rejected it all as superstition and now fail to see the forces at play.

24 June 2011 at 21:05  
Blogger Roger Pearse said...

The lust to set up thought police affects so many in our society, and all of a leftward trend.

The reason, of course, is that they never imagine anything they want to do or say, however hateful, being affected by it.

The solution, of course, is to give them a taste of their own medicine. They are, indeed, so full of hate that it should be a simple matter to create some anti-hate body which only targets lefties.

Once they see their own freedom being infringed, they'll get much less keen to infringe ours.

24 June 2011 at 23:01  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...


Ummmm ... so is open racist abuse acceptable at football matches? Of course not!

I've witnessed Ranger's and Celtic 'banter' and I can tell you it goes way, way beyond the bounds of rivalry. It mirrors sectarian divisions in Scottish society which is still evident. Nasty stuff. I don't know if legislation is the answer and suspect not. However, something has to be done.

24 June 2011 at 23:07  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

Bred in the bones

What do you mean by 'ancestral wisdom?' Are you referring to magic spells and witchcraft and the like? If so, what is the source of that power? How could the believer ever be subject to such power when he is indwelt by the Holy Spirit?


24 June 2011 at 23:23  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...

English Vikng

"I hear Gadaffi has got a couple going spare. His son and grandchildren won't be needing them now the RAF have valiantly killed them in their beds."

Surely we should be saddened at the loss of life, especially 'collateral damage' involving the young and innocent, and pray for them?

War is a necessary evil against the likes of Gadaffi, lets celebrate successes and not rejoice in human misery.

25 June 2011 at 01:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is like this Carl, putting aside spells and withcraft for the moment, pagans dismiss the Bible as being mere encrypted zodiacal signs, solar movements, planetary bodies and so forth.

Now, why they may have good grounds for doing so, the point being missed is that yogins of the east and sages of the west believe we have a subtle body aswell as a gross body and therefore they read scriptures on an inner yogic level.

A magus can do this also with the Bible, making it take on a whole new life, the old alchemical schools of India taught the battle of Kuruksetra was being fought at the centre of the universe, why this sounds like a Star Wars Jedi story, the universe for them was both within and without.

Dismissing western alchemical traditions as superstition, has lost us this gnosis and is losing us the battle.

Granted we have the Holy Spirit but have we visioned the cosmic scale of the good fight we are born to undertake, are we bringing peace, harmony and light to the inner spheres.

Apperently not, if the outer realm is a reflection of our struggle, what is worse, some malevolent trickster has convinced us this wisdom is devilish superstition to be disregarded, how convenient.

25 June 2011 at 01:51  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Bred in the bone:

''Dismissing Western alchemical traditions as superstition, has lost us this gnosis and is losing us the battle.''

I agree wholeheartedly. When knowledge became divided between two camps, much was lost, possibly forever. The process begun by the Roman Church, was completed by the naivety and brutishness of the early Protestant church. As you say, they rejected it as a superstition.

25 June 2011 at 02:10  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

Bred in the bones

You realize that your post of 25 June 2011 01:51 made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. At best it is gibberish. At worst it is spiritual darkness. I do not need you gnosis or your alchemy. The battle is already won.


25 June 2011 at 05:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok Carl, like you say the battle is already won, but remember Judah does not have a new testament.

Micah told them to hammer their swords into plowshares and so they thought of fulfilling that prophecy with the hammer and sickle and world communism.

You go back to sleep thinking the battle is won, leave spritual darkness in the hands of world freemasonry, believers like you getting involved trying to bring in the light.

25 June 2011 at 07:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meanwhile the enemy of all Christendom continues to grow like a cancer in the midst of Scotland, England, Wales and all of Europe deliberately introduced, encouraged, pampered and protected by liberals, marxists and “secularists”.

25 June 2011 at 09:28  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Bred in the bone (21:05) " ... puts the protestants at a disadvantage, because they rejected it all as superstition and now fail to see the forces at play."

Also put the (Anglo) Catholics who value the Book of Common Prayer at a disadvantage. Where is the lamp by which to fare forward in the gloaming?

Hail Gladdening Light, Φώς Ιλαρόν (Phos Hilaron ) _ Original Ancient Text (Youtube): Φώς ιλαρόν αγίας δόξης αθανάτου Πατρός...
Keble's English version, 1834 at cyberhymnal. Or Newman's "Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom".

25 June 2011 at 09:43  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

It is a football match,nothing else,if the fans can not partake of the agression exibited by the players,we might as well only allow the chelsea flower show and sit down to piss.The supporters,like men in general, have violence in the core of thier being,enact as many laws as you wish,this nature will not change,people must vent thier feelings,so the best that we can do is to confine it to the football stadium,we bear within us the highest heights and the lowest lows,this is what makes man dymamic.

25 June 2011 at 10:21  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

Anon 09:28

Good quote there, I think I'll borrow it:)

25 June 2011 at 10:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MrJ so good to have you around!

You hear the sirens sounding, when others think sirens are Greek mythology and superstition.

Have you seen Herne the Hunter flying over Windsor?

25 June 2011 at 11:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oswin so good to see your light is not under a bushel, hoping the enemy will not spot your position.

In coming at 12o'clock!

25 June 2011 at 11:27  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Fact is, (Mr) Bred in the bone(11:16), the nearest I have come is seeing the Merry Wives and Falstaff in performance, and sitting on a bench made of oak felled in Windsor Park, but not at the same time. A visit to Herne Bay is another thing.

btw I noted an earlier reference to The Devil and the Sacred in English Drama, 1350-1642 by John D. Cox, but have not yet seen it.

25 June 2011 at 11:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MrJ thank you for paying attention here is one for your edification

Art and Magic in the Court of the Stuarts by Vaughan Hart

As for Merry wives and Falstaff, let me know when they are showing Catherine the Greats trilogy would you?

The Deceiver

The Deceived

The Siberian Shaman

25 June 2011 at 12:34  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Bitb 12:34_ More for MrJ's reading list. Noting (coincidentally) that the place chosen for the murder of the Tsar and family was none other than Ekaterinburg.

25 June 2011 at 14:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well spotted MrJ

I just hope Carl is still looking in and enjoying the irony of it all.

25 June 2011 at 14:36  
Blogger English Viking said...


IMHO, war should be reserved for an absolutely desperate last measure of self defense.

The only war I can think of that falls into this category, that has occurred during my lifetime, that has included HM's forces, is the Falklands.

Gadaffi is a pussy-cat, when compared to Ahmedinijad, or Mugabe. Why don't we bomb them?

Oh, I remember now. Can't bomb ex-colonies, jolly poor form. Can't bomb Iran, because if we start a war with them, we'll lose.

O, how the mighty have fallen,

I spoke with a Norwegian friend the other day. He is astonished at the total collapse of a once-gigantic superpower, GB.

He described it's relevance to world affairs today thus:

An aircraft landing strip in the middle of the North Sea.

Perhaps Orwell was right; Airstrip One.

25 June 2011 at 17:29  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

Bred in the bone

I just hope Carl is still looking in and enjoying the irony of it all.

What irony? I am still trying to wrap my mind around the idea that Freemasons are secretly using powerful ancient alchemy to effect some ... spiritually dark purpose. Or something. Perhaps they are conjuring black helicopters. And now I discover that the Communists ... were they perhaps secret Freemasons? ... who murdered Nicholas II had some spiritual purpose in selecting Ekaterinburg as the sight of his murder. Or were they simply tools of an ancient Gnosis? There is a point at which this thread almost completely dissolved into incoherence.

I do not fear men who cast wool of bat and tongue of dog into a bubbling brew. Let them chant their incantations, and invoke whatever spirits they imagine. They have no power over me. They can do nothing. They are foolish men playing foolish games, and they have received their reward. They can no more alter the destiny of man than they can change the orbit of the planet.


25 June 2011 at 18:16  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Bred in the bone @ 11:27:

I don't subscribe to all of your ideas, but there is a kernel of truth to some of what you say.

(Don't worry, I employ plenty of aluminium 'chaff' and seldom switch-on my mobile 'phone.)

25 June 2011 at 18:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good on ya Carl, you can do no more than be yourself whatever comes your way, thats my philosophy in life.

Take no notice of me, when I find myself sitting in the middle of a primordial soup of chaos, I just cannot help picking out bits and seeing if they fit together.

It beats Sudoku.

25 June 2011 at 23:13  
Blogger Weekend Yachtsman said...

It seems a little pointless to legislate zealous punishments for pseudo-religious abuse, while ignoring the fact that all Scottish (state-)school children are legally segregated into Prods and Tims from the age of about four and a half.

Maybe Mr. Salmond would like to address the cause of the problem rather than the results?

But I guess that wouldn't chime with his desire for endless headlines.

It's a wonder he hasn't managed to blame the English for the whole problem; I suppose there's time yet.

27 June 2011 at 15:55  
Anonymous Avi Barzel said...

Your Grace,

A worthy issue and wise opinions from you. Without shoving my head into that madly spinning and dagerously wobbling buzz-saw that is the abortion debate, I would like to comment (with the caveat that my views represent no one but my humble self) that organizations such as Britain's LIFE and Israel's Efrat, appear to model worthy solutions for anyone, of any religion or lack thereof.

We can all ponder the fall of civilization, mourn over the disappearance of traditions and mores, but as important as they are in their own way, the main "driver," above any behind the high numbers of abortions appears to be poverty and its associated ills.

Those who oppose abortion for whater reasons, should perhaps work harder on supporting charities and pressing for policies which financially and socially reward pregnant women, mothers and, whenever available, the fathers. This would obviously be a contentious issue, but it pays to remember that we already have accepted welfare in principle and practice, but that the current welfare policies obviously do not provide enough or the right kind of help to make having children an attractive choice. Pressure for relevant welfare reforms and generous material support to the right charities will achieve far more than trying to stir up opposition to abortion and to reach for the very high-hanging fruit, the ban.

It's also my observation, Your Grace, that religion...and this applies to all religions...can sometimes achieve theologically important changes "on the cheap," by trying to inspire or frighten. But something this big, which statistics show it to be a function of economics and social realities, must be addressed on its own, very real and material terms. Given that practical pro-natal programs appear to work better than anger, ideological exhortations, bans or scares, the victories will become immediately and empirically evident not only on statistical charts, but with each and every lovely child born into a world of better opportunities.

6 July 2011 at 17:11  

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