In search of lost time | James Delingpole

September 21, 2010

My friend Mickie O’Brien, late of 47 and 44 RM Cdo, died the other day. I’m not sure how old he was — late 80s, I would imagine — but, whatever, it was good going for a man who should have been killed at least twice in the 1940s, once at the Battle of Kangaw when the Japs shot away half his stomach and once when he walked deliberately into a minefield to rescue a French farmer. For one exploit or another Mickie won an MC.

The question I used to ask Mickie most often was how he managed to cope with so much fear and horror.

(to read more, click here)

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Eat local organic food if you like, but don’t kid yourself that it’s ‘green’ – James Delingpole

September 21, 2010

Don’t get me wrong, I love farmers’ markets. I love going to the fashionable one in Borough, London, and that wonderful rich feeling you get whenever you don’t buy anything. And I love going to the one near me in south London and bantering and haggling with the fish man till he succumbs to giving me some amazing bargain like five decent-size Dover sole for a tenner.

I also really like the idea of putting money direct into the farmer’s pocket rather than helping finance yet another bloody edge-of-town Tesco. And I like the espresso man with his espresso machine. And the jolly sausage ladies. And the free-range eggs. And the Eastern European man who gives me a discount on the veg. All these are the kind of good reason as to why one might support one’s local farmers’ market. But what isn’t a good reason is this notion many people have that by shopping local they’re helping to save the planet. Because they’re not. Quite the opposite is true, in fact.

(to read more, click here)

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2 thoughts on “Eat local organic food if you like, but don’t kid yourself that it’s ‘green’”

  1. Tom Forrester-Paton says:22nd September 2010 at 9:28 amAn anuvver fing: The locavores are not just wrong in the terms that prevail in this bastion of reason, they are wrong in their own terms, as well. In deploring the use of “airfreight” to deliver Kenyan beans to Dutch markets, the locavores overlook the fact that the beans travel as a cheap backhaul cargo, usually in the bellies of passenger aircraft which, if the locavores succeeded in forbidding the traffic, would still fly the same route, repatriating holidaying Europeans – the “carbon footprint” of their journey is practically zero.

    That’s of course if the Moonbat Tendency hasn’t succeeded in shutting down that remaining source of Kenyan economic betterment, tourism (for purposes other than attending climate conferences). Which is another argument. I suppose.

    What particularly pisses me off about this Kenyan green bean crap is that in general, and by and large, and on the whole, I approve of the British Empire, including the benign way it wound itself down. But my approval depends critically on the post-colonial states being allowed by the developed world to go about the business of developing themselves (properly, I mean, not just as aid-junkies) unmolested. Examples of cogent African business development are rare enough without their pitch being queered by a bunch of ignorant, pharisaical harpies.

  2. pola says:27th September 2010 at 2:11 amit’s not about the carbon footprint which is a scam anyway as you seem to understand judging from your latest article in the telegraph about bilderberg and global cooling. the point is that the industrialized countries move more and more towards economies which do not produce anything but are pure ‘serve’ societies. this is not sustainable for any country – if it doesn’t produce anything and has to import everything. that’s the whole problem that the us, uk, and many european countries are facing. and even if your crop is destroyed by one bad season you still have the knowledge, you still have food stored from the previous season and if not you then your neighbor. it doesn’t take a scientific paper to understand the sanity behind the idea of being independent in your food supply either as individual or as a country. just common sense.

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Opiate for the masses – James Delingpole

September 14, 2010

One of the few things I respect about mainstream TV is how utterly shallow and addictive it is. In many ways it’s like crack: it doesn’t pretend that it’s good for you but it gets you to where you want to go way more effectively than tofu or wheatgrass juice or organic dolphin-friendly tuna caught with rod and line. Sometimes it achieves high artistic standards too, but this is usually a fluke, which happens despite the medium rather than because of it. TV isn’t like film or opera or theatre or sculpture or any of that poncy stuff. Its main job is to get you out of it as quickly as possible — an opiate for the masses.

(to read more, click here)

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It Is Not Drugs That Cause the Problems, It’s the Wholly Unwinnable War on Drugs

As a spliff fan, myself. . .

At a dinner party a couple of years ago I was lucky enough to be sat near one of my heroes, Roger Scruton — like being a couch away from Socrates at a symposium. But then, halfway through, the great man began sounding off on one of the two things he is completely and utterly wrong about (the other one being pop music): drugs.

By ‘drugs’, of course, dear, brave, brilliant Roger didn’t mean to include the alcohol he had been quaffing all evening nor yet the highly addictive yet legal nicotine death sticks of which the Fawn and I had partaken before dinner. What he meant was yer proper, actual, tabloid horror drugs: cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, heroin, and the deadly, evil ‘gateway’ drug they call ‘spliff’.

As something of a spliff enthusiast myself I thought this was a bit much. Especially coming from a man whose philosophy generally springs from the most rigorous logic and the soundest libertarian principles. And I was about to speak my mind when an elegant, distinguished fellow with a double-barrelled name sitting opposite did so for me. ‘When I was in the City I used heroin for ten years,’ he said. ‘It never did me any harm. Rather enjoyed it actually.’

Britain has a serious drug problem. The world has a serious drug problem. And the serious problem is this: we have collectively decided to make criminals of the billions of otherwise law-abiding citizens who wish to pursue the perfectly natural human instinct to seek occasional chemical or herbal escape from reality. We imprison people who shouldn’t be imprisoned. We waste money which would be better spent elsewhere. We increase crime, corruption and violence. We deny cash-crop farmers a living. We finance narco-wars. We enrich criminals. We destroy lives. The drugs ‘problem’, in other words, is almost entirely of our own making.

(to read more, click here)

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3 thoughts on “It is not drugs that cause the problems, it’s the wholly unwinnable war on drugs”

  1. yaosxx says:27th August 2010 at 4:17 pmVery daring article James and on the whole spot on. Can’t thing of anyone else who would dare to write such an article in this way. Loved the ketamine/czarist ball episode!
  2. Dave Stocker says:30th August 2010 at 5:40 pmSpot on from me, too, James. In the TV documentary series you referred to, former Govt drugs advisor Nutt made a telling point. He said something like ‘[the government position] is clearly not about the science, it’s about morality.’ I have yet to hear a politician from either end of the political spectrum confidently articulate just which moral principle is invoked to justify drug prohibition. Could it be that pleasure ought to be earned thru’ hard graft, without shortcuts, or is it about protecting the vulnerable, or both, or something else? I’d like to hear what members of our new government would answer to a carefully-crafted question along these lines.

    As I understand it, evolution is about the interaction between the individual ‘organism’ and the ‘environment’. Recreational drugs are increasingly part of the contemporary ‘environment’, and should perhaps be considered as an evolutionary force. Those who don’t handle them respectfully or are taken over by them will simply die, and it shouldn’t surprise us.

  3. MERL says:15th September 2010 at 8:25 pmHAS NO ONE NOTICED THAT OUR WARS, OUR WEATHER, THE BAD VACCINES, ETC PLUS THE PRESENT EXONOMY AND TAKE OVER BY GOVERNMENT ALL GOING IN THE SAME DIRECTION……….SYNCHRONIOUSLY?

    CHECK OUT WHAT SCIENCE ALREADY IS AWARE OF….NIBIRU 12/21 / 2012

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I know exactly what I want to read this summer — if only I could find it | James Delingpole

I know exactly what I want to read this summer — if only I could find it

What I thought I’d do this summer holidays is catch up with all those classics I’ve been meaning to read for ages: A la recherche du temps perdu, Moby-Dick, David Copperfield, Crime and Punishment, Madame Bovary, Vanity Fair, everything by the Brontës, anything German, Metamorphosis, the Odyssey, the Iliad, most Balzac, anything by P.G. Wodehouse, Our Mutual Friend, Anna Karenina…

But where to start?

(to read more, click here)

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One thought on “I know exactly what I want to read this summer — if only I could find it”

  1. Kevin says:21st August 2010 at 2:30 amGerman- anything by W.G.Sebald
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Religious conversion

The other week Simon Hoggart had a go at Rev — the new comedy about an inner city vicar played by Tom Hollander (BBC2, Monday) — and I don’t blame him. We had a similar reaction in our household when we watched about ten minutes of the first episode before deciding it wasn’t for us and switching off.

(to read more, click here)

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One thought on “Religious conversion”

  1. yaosxx says:30th July 2010 at 2:01 pmHa Ha Ha! Though I did think the fur coat bit stood in their favour – at least it meant they were less likely to be lentil-munching vegan nutters!

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Is Prince Charles ill-advised, or merely idiotic? | James Delingpole

July 29, 2010

I do wish the Prince of Wales weren’t such a terrible prat because then I wouldn’t have to say it in print and quite ruin my chances of a knighthood. But he is a prat. A dangerous prat at that — as he reminded us yet again just the other day in a speech he gave to ‘business leaders’ at St James’s Palace about what he thinks is happening with ‘climate change’.

(to read more, click here)

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2 thoughts on “Is Prince Charles ill-advised, or merely idiotic?”

  1. yaosxx says:30th July 2010 at 1:54 pmI’d say both! Thought this was amusing and very well written James!
  2. david w t milanes says:1st August 2010 at 3:19 pmIt is rude ill mannered of you and vile to attack Prince Charles in this way. He is earnestly trying to do good and trying to send a message to humanity or those that will listen to respect the planet to cherish nature.He wants us to pass on a world that is worth your children living in, a world where nature flourishes where man is not so dominant that he destroys everything. Just imagine how beautiful this country was in the time of John Clare. Not everthing was right but try to imagine what has been lost and then you might in a small way understand why Prince Charles cares as much as he does. Please tell what good you have done in this world that bears comparison with what he has done?

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Lefties Have Got away with Feeling Superior for Too Long — Let the Fightback Begin

July 18, 2010

I was at a debate at the Institute of Economic Affairs last week when the speaker next to me — a preening, prickly chap with a moustache and hugely self-important manner — took it upon himself to apprise the assembled throng of the most extraordinary fact: apparently, James Delingpole is nowhere near as good at delivering Ronald Reagan quotes as Ronald Reagan was.

‘As I can testify from experience,’ he added, impressively, ‘having heard Reagan speak on several occasions.’

‘Gosh!’ I thought to myself. And again ‘Gosh!’ I’m often taken aback when complete strangers decide to have a go at me personally in debates.

(to read more, click here)

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10 thoughts on “Lefties have got away with feeling superior for too long — let the fightback begin”

  1. Eric Smith says:18th July 2010 at 2:34 pmDelingpoleYou are starting to sound like Alan Bastard’s rude father. Worse, you are degenerating into the British Anne Coultard and that, in my opinion is exactly what we don’t need. The reason the welfare state still exists post Mandelson and Thatcher is to facilitate the accelerating transfer of wealth from poor to rich without the rich being murdered in their beds. Layers of bureaucracy are actually a form of protection for big business (from start ups).

    It is ironic that your public school sparring partner, George Monbiot is probably miles to the right of you. He is an extreme right wing statist, you are an extreme right wing libertarian. It is also ironic that global warming / carbon trading is a gigantic corporate operation, initiated by Enron that you oppose and he supports.

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/sealed/gw/business.htm

  2. James W says:19th July 2010 at 4:02 amThe fundamental reasons why I hate the left are two-fold;1. as you say, they assume moral authority from the fact that historically they supported the poor, the exploited, the sick and the disenfranchised………..who with a heart would not have supported Labour’s main ideals 1918 to 1950?

    Labour’s problems – particularly from 1990 onwards stem from the fact that there is no longer any oppression and poverty in Britain………everyone has the vote, everyone gets the calories they need (the blue collar classes are largely obese), everyone has access to education, healthcare, everyone has warm homes, television, mobile telephones, internet access and foreign holidays……….there is equality in the dynamics of employment and discrimination on the grounds of gender, race and sexuality has been outlawed and there is a massive level of social protection…….the question of rights and prosperity are thus relative.

    Thus, Labour have a huge problem in defining their purpose – they have none as the socialist agenda has been achieved in full. Basically Labour is all dressed-up and has nowhere to go.

    Which brings me on to the second reason I loath the left.

    2. their propaganda machine stifles truth, individual freedom and peoples’ opportunities to make progress.

    Labour is facistic in nature – the individual must place all his/her trust, faith and adoration – not to mention money – at the feet of the party elite and swallow the shibboleths of the Labour creed……..the class war…….greed and a lack of concern go hand-in-hand with capitalism…..Labour is the only party that cares…..is the only party with moral authority… and is the only party that never EVER makes mistakes – and if they do, they should be forgiven because they were made with the best of intentions.

    Absolute loyalty is expected…….and that means putting the state’s needs before those of the individual…….and because the beatific ends always justify the means the party will trash any opposition with ruthlessness and if necessary brutality – onward socialist soldiers!

    Faced with a culture that does not comply – why, they will dilute it, denigrate it, destroy it and build a new one more to their own liking.

    Of course the party elite are not bound by any of the rules and principles that they impose on the plebs – they are free to accumulate wealth, advantages and accolades and of course perpetuate their influence by nepotism.

    The Left is bankrupt, both morally and spiritually……..there time has been and gone, they need to wither and die.

    The Gillian Duffys of Britain have been ripped off big-time – Boxer has retired to his field to find it is surrounded by a massive steel fence patrolled by compliant thugs and vicious dogs, but there is no grass in it and half of the field has been ear-marked for a shiny new school and community centre.

  3. John of Kent says:19th July 2010 at 10:52 am“James W says:
    July 19, 2010 at 4:02 amThe fundamental reasons why I hate the left are two-fold; -snip-”

    I agree with everything you posted! very sensible and insightful analysis as to why labour serves no purpose anymore. Actually, you missed one huge point, under the Bureacratic dictatorship that is the EU, no political party in the UK now serves any purpose. Except, maybe UKIP.

  4. James W says:20th July 2010 at 9:28 amJohn of KentUKIP are mostly nutters though aren’t they? Saying that I did give Farage £50 to help him beat that little twat Bercow – not that it did much good.

    The main point is why will Cameron – apparently so keen on the plebiscite on matters of constitutional importance – not hold a referendum on EU membership?

    After all what is the point of voting on how a sovereign government is to be elected if the elected government has no sovereignty over which to govern?………….If you get my drift.

  5. Alec Y says:20th July 2010 at 7:59 pmThere is no point to any other party except UKIP. Yes exactly, the trouble is getting the message across to the masses. What annoys me are people like Dan Hannan who pretend to be eurosceptic yet remain in the Tory party.
  6. John of Kent says:21st July 2010 at 9:41 amI don’t think UKIP are nutters! BNP yes, but UKIP no. Read their policies on their site- very sensible stuff.I would say the three main parties are suffering under a massive delusion for swallowing the AGW scam hook line and sinker. Therefore the Con-Dems and the Labs are the nutters! And it is a sign of insanity – not standing up to the Eurocratic dictatorship that rules our lives.

    It is insane to want to stay un the EU and to follow all the lunatic carbon reduction policies when there is no need to reduce carbon emmissions. I would therefore say that the UKIP are perhaps the only sane party!

    You are right though, our elected government has no power as it has all gone to the EU, they merely pass EU dictates. And the EU is not democratic.

    Therefore, from your own argument, to preserve democracy the only sane vote has to be for the party who would get us out of the EU.

  7. James W says:21st July 2010 at 2:39 pmJoK,What you say is right. However, the fact remains that UKIP members are most certainly not full plates of chips.

    Look at their leaders…………Kilroy-Silk for a start, then Farage nearly goes and kills himself in some ham-fisted stunt.

    Hannan is a very smart bloke…….the rest are just talkative blokes from the golf club……and they cost the Tories the election……….or I suppose you could say Cameron’s refusal on the EU vote did.

    Whatever.

    I’d say that they need to enter coalition with the Con-Dems………absolutely anything to keep the left out.

  8. John of Kent says:22nd July 2010 at 2:05 pm” 6.I’d say that they need to enter coalition with the Con-Dems………absolutely anything to keep the left out.

    I agree with that, but don’t believe everything you read in the (mostly liberal-lefty) media that you read about UKIP. Kilroy silk left the party years ago and Farage’s accident was, well just an accident as far as I am concerned. The media do anything they can to smear UKIP.

    Where the Tories have gone wrong is they need to adopt UKIP policies. I did not vote for the Tories because their policies were weak! I will not vote for a party that adheres to the Anthropogenic Global warming/ climate change theory.

    UKIP speak out against both the EU and AGW. If the Tories had the UKIP policies, I would vote fot them, however they have sickeningly positioned themselves just slightly to the right of the Lib Dems, hence the “Con-Dems” alliance. I have little faith in this government, on the things that matter I don’t see them being any better than labour! ;-(

  9. SamG says:23rd July 2010 at 1:11 pmA completely unrelated pointThe left in Oz

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/19/2957323.htm

    Over 95% above-the-line voters will give legislative power away because of their acquiescence to personality politics.

  10. Mike Paterson says:27th July 2010 at 10:42 pmJames, you don’t blog frequently enough. Maybe you’re on your summer hol.

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History Like It Used to Be

History like it used to be

Because I was taught history properly by my prep-school teacher Mr Bradshaw, my head is full of easily accessible dates which I know I’ll never forget. Obviously, I know Crécy (1346) and Agincourt (1415), but I also know one or two more obscure ones like those of Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet. This is because of a cunning acronym Brad taught me — a phone number BROM 4689 — which I dare say I remembered mainly because at the time I lived in Bromsgrove.

According to the new history-teaching orthodoxy, of course, dates are an unwelcome imposition on a child’s creative spirit. What matters now is not whether you can remember why, when or by whom great battles were fought, but how well you can empathise with the misery felt by their participants. Not royal or noble participants, obviously, because they’re insufficiently representative of the common man. This is why every Nu Generation history teacher’s favourite war is the Crimean War: because then you get to bring in Mary Seacole.

How do we stop our kids being bored rigid by this turgid PC drivel? How do we rescue them from the even more depressing new orthodoxy, whereby history is to be taught not as an exciting narrative about goodies and baddies shoving red-hot pokers up kings’ bottoms and sailing the seas in ships called Shit Fire, but as a multiplicity of competing viewpoints which render all attempts at objectivity ultimately meaningless?

One option is to drip-feed them at home with excerpts from proper old-school history books like H.E. Marshall’s Our Island Story (republished by Civitas), Ladybird Series 561 classics like King Alfred the Great and Oliver Cromwell, or George Chamier’s more recent When It Happened in Britain. Another is to get them watching the BBC’s Horrible Histories (CBBC). Not that they’ll need much persuasion. If they’re anything like my kids, they’ll be on to it already — probably viewing it on computers via BBC’s iPlayer because that’s how the inheritors of the earth do things these days.

(to read more, click here)

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4 thoughts on “History like it used to be”

  1. James W says:21st June 2010 at 1:55 pmLooks like a great piece – I shall save reading it in full until I pick up my Speccie.

    Anyway, fully agree, it’s dreadful leftist garbage isn’t it?

    Quite depressing that the left are happy to consign the nation’s fantastic history to, well, history………..all for the sake of wanting kids to know what it was like to go without TV, toothpaste, tetracycline and Toblerones.

    I fucking loath the left.

  2. Herkinderkin says:4th July 2012 at 3:14 amJames, the “”red more, click here” link throws a 404 error..
    1. Eric says:4th July 2012 at 3:21 amIt looks like the problem is on The Spectator site – there are google links to the article, but the article is not showing on Spectator.
      1. Herkinderkin says:4th July 2012 at 4:02 amThanks Eric. I’ll come back to it tomorrow – his subject is dear to my heart. Mrs H and I had to assist in our own children’s primary school education by teaching them basic arithmetic, English, spelling and grammar, as none of those were addressed adequately by the schooling at the time.

        And this is the scary bit – our kids are the same generation as James. Now, HE writes as a concerned parent, so how much worse has it become after another generation of galloping political correctness?

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Men Fight for Their ‘Mates’ — It Is the Secret of Why They So Love War

One of the nicest, gentlest fellows I’ve ever met is a man named Mike Dauncey. He’s so terribly polite that he can’t bring himself to swear even in extremis and if you had to guess what he did before he retired, you’d probably say ‘country parson’. In fact, though, Brigadier Mike Dauncey DSO is a bona fide war hero, known as the ‘sixth Arnhem VC’. Only five were in fact awarded at the battle. Mike was put up for the sixth, only to have the letters ‘VC’ crossed out on his citation and amended to ‘DSO’ by one BLM (that’ll be Bernard Law Montgomery) who felt that, heroism or no heroism, five VCs were quite enough for one debacle.

When you learn what Mike did as a young lieutenant, though, you’re left in little doubt he deserved better.

(to read more, click here)

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