Traditional Britain Group AGM - Christopher Gillibrand's Speech
by The Editor
Below a speech I gave to the Traditional Britain Group on May 18 following their Annual General Meeting. Video to follow. See also my Ecclesiastical and Political Call to Arms of 2010.
By Christopher Gillibrand
Below a speech I gave to the Traditional Britain Group on May 18 following their Annual General Meeting. Video to follow. See also myEcclesiastical and Political Call to Arms of 2010.
Ladies and gentlemen, comrades in the struggle for the liberty and prosperity of our dearest of all nations. I have sojourned on the continent for the last ten years, in that very heart of darkness, which goes by the name of Brussels, where daily they scheme for the destruction of our liberties and business. Chief conspirators among them are the French, who live with perpetual anger in their breast against all things Anglo-Saxon, not least our economics thereby blinding themselves to their own spiritual and economic decay. To which I can only echo the words of the Duke of Wellington,
We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France.
They pride themselves on civilisation but it is but now so much chaff blowing in the wind of globalisation.
France, the eldest daughter of the Church, whose finest flower, St Joan of Arc, was herself a great enemy of the English, is now the most decadent of all the devastated vineyards of the modern European church.
More immediately their economy and that of Italy is about to bring down the European roof crashing down on us all. We do not have until 2017 to get sufficient distance from this impending disaster not to suffer our own grave economic and social consequences. (But more of Cameron Conservativism later)
The French Revolution was and remains the source of many contemporary evils with its corrupt and corrupting principals of “liberty, equality and fraternity”. I was once accused of rejecting the principals of the French revolution- and I surprised my accuser by confessing immediately that I did, with my whole heart and soul. Politically incorrect maybe. Unapologetic always.
In a previous speech to this most esteemed of all political groups, I said the Revolution supplies to us but the liberty of dogs, the equality of sheep and the fraternity of wolves. The dogs of liberty attempt to herd the sheep but the wolves of the revolution consume them. The Revolution in the name of a perverted humanism, even committed that most odious sin of regicide- for he that will kill the Monarch would think nothing of joining in the mob screaming for the death of the King of Kings on Good Friday.
I suggested that these so-called principals, better to say perversions of the human spirit. should be replaced by human liberty, in the profound and Christian sense of the word found first in St Augustine, together with identity and dignity.
Identity so that not just we as individuals but also nations rediscover who they are- lest we be assimilated into a European melting pot. Death is to be preferred to assimilation, for assimilation is a living death of the human spirit.
Dignity, of the use of reason and an eternal destiny that distinguishes us from the animals, and which should be protected from the very moment of conception to the very end of life when God calls us to our reward, a time not of our choosing but His. The right to life and the right to property, both held in contempt by the blood soaked, greedy Revolution are interchangeable.
Sadly, an Englishman, William Wordsworth paid homage in 1798 to the French Revolution
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven!--Oh! Times, In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways Of custom, law, and statute, took at once The attraction of a country in romance!
When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights, When most intent on making of herself A prime Enchantress--to assist the work, Which then was going forward in her name!
It is not just irrational love of the allegedly reasonable that is enchanting, but the very modern itself, seductress par excellence, all other loves and fidelities forgotten in the very moment of rapture, shock and perversion.
I make no apologies for first speaking about the modern in religion before I move onto the modern in politics. As the Duke of Wellington said,
Educate people without religion and you make them but clever devils.
The Catholic Church has suffered under the heavy burden of the modern for the last fifty years. I for one am not celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council rather the much more important 1700th anniversary of the victory of Constantine at the Milvian Bridge with the important consequence of the acceptance of the Christian religion in Rome and in the Empire. We shall not conquer by being open to the world and its ways, but in close array around the sign of the Cross. Salve Crux, Spes Unica. In Hoc Signo Vinces. Holy Cross Our Only Hope- in this sign we will conquer.
One of the signs of the acceptance of Christianity was the outlawing of homosexual unions.
At the Second Vatican Council, there was a great movement back to the Fathers, to allegedly rediscover the pristine freshness in faith of the Early Church. The modern world is pushing us even further back into the past into a new paganism. As I said in a letter to The Times when Rowan Williams became an Archdruid, I quote, “When Pope St Gregory the Great, Apostle of the English, told St Augustine of Canterbury to transform rather than destroy pagan altars, he could not have expected Augustine's successor to reverse the process. What Williams did for religion, Cameron now does for morals with his proposals for gay marriage.
The re-moralisation of our society needs leadership rather than the followership of all trends practiced by Dave Cameron, not least over gay marriage. Cameron saying that he will fight secularism is like a European politician saying that he will fight corruption or Silvio Berlosconi saying that he has gone off women.
The task is made easier for the new pagans not just by the simple trahison des clercs, betrayal by the clergy, but by the abandonment of the theology of St Thomas Aquinas by the modern Church. Indeed in the encyclical Aeterni Patris, which established Thomism as the philosophy of choice for Catholics, Pope Leo XIII presciently stated that even critics of the Church, “ openly declare that, if the teaching of Thomas Aquinas were only taken away, they could easily battle with all Catholic teachers.”
I am obliged to quote at length the encyclical Studiorum Ducem of Pope Pius XI.
Again, if we are to avoid the errors which are the source and fountain-head of all the miseries of our time, the teaching of Aquinas must be adhered to more religiously than ever. For Thomas refutes the theories propounded by Modernists in every sphere, in philosophy, by protecting, as We have reminded you, the force and power of the human mind and by demonstrating the existence of God by the most cogent arguments; in dogmatic theology, by distinguishing the supernatural from the natural order and explaining the reasons for belief and the dogmas themselves;
in theology, by showing that the articles of faith are not based upon mere opinion but upon truth and therefore cannot possibly change; in exegesis, by transmitting the true conception of divine inspiration; in the science of morals, in sociology and law, by laying down sound principles of legal and social, commutative and distributive, justice and explaining the relations between justice and charity; in the theory of asceticism, by his precepts concerning the perfection of the Christian life and his confutation of the enemies of the religious orders in his own day. Lastly, against the much vaunted liberty of the human reason and its independence in regard to God he asserts the rights of primary Truth and the authority over us of the Supreme Master. It is therefore clear why Modernists are so amply justified in fearing no Doctor of the Church so much as Thomas Aquinas.
End quote and it is also so very clear why I like St Thomas so very much. Go to Thomas, go to Divus Thomas, Divine Thomas.
There was a great sign of hope that the long post-conciliar devastation of God's vineyards was coming to an end with the elevation of Pope Benedict XVI to the Papal throne.
He understood the nature of the office more than any other modern, that while the bishops participate in the teaching office, the Papacy cannot be rented out to them in the name of collegiality. Cardinal Ottaviani, predecessor of Cardinal Ratzinger, as head of the Holy Office pointed out at the Council the Bible only records one example of the apostles acting collegially - at the Garden of Gethsemane when "They all fled."
My one criticism of Benedict is that he laid aside the time-honoured title of the Patriarch of the West, for which he even received the much more important criticism from the Moscow Patriarchate, to whom infallibility, not jurisdiction in the West is the real problem.
It is of vital significance as the only ecumenism today of real interest is between traditionally minded groups, Orthodox, Anglicans and Catholic, since most Anglicans and also many, many Protestants are suffocating their faith in a women-ordaining progressivism, a desperate search for love celebrated in dogma free-zones, whose only object is to please crowds, but whose churches are emptier day by day. The Anglicans talk many pretty words about ecumenism but their ordination of women shows they are not serious about ecumenism.
Pope Benedict talked in a 2005 speech to the Curia about the hermeneutic of continuity, saying that there was no real change at the Council. This was the leitmotif of his Papacy.
If this was the case, what on earth was the purpose of the Council? Councils are normally called as a result of grave crises in the life of Church, but in 1960, Mass attendance was in growing strongly and more Catholics than ever understood the meaning and practice of their faith. The freefall set in after the Council- now there really is a crisis but God forbid that Pope Francis calls a Third Vatican Council to finish the unfinished work of the modernists at the Second.
Bliss was it that dawn to be alive at the Church's very own French revolution. Ratzinger, a progressive of the highest order at the Council, in many ways became the ecclesiastical Napoleon.; Napoleon who attempted to reconcile conservatives with the principals of the Revolution, symbolised by Napoleon's imperial Coronation on this day in 1804. Oh, that the Pope would be again crowned and not inaugerated as all have been since Paul VI. Reading the augers is nothing if not pagan. Indeed Catholicism prospered in France, when there was no other monarch to turn to after 1870.
But it was the radical revolutionary Ratzinger who broke the power of Curia at the Council in a speech he drafted, as a theological advisor, for the near blind Cardinal Frings. There would, for instance, have not been a declaration on religious liberty, but one on religious tolerance and Western society would have been on much firmer grounds, confident in its own identity. Dialogue would not have become another word for surrender. The Council talks loud about human conscience, for did not Cardinal Newman say?
Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ, a prophet in its informations, a monarch in its peremptoriness, a priest in its blessings and anathemas, and, even though the eternal priesthood throughout the Church could cease to be, in it the sacerdotal principle would remain and would have a sway.
Certainly, if I am obliged to bring religion into after-dinner toasts, I shall drink—to the Pope, if you please,—still, to Conscience first, and to the Pope afterwards.
But the Conciliar conscience is conscience not divine but of readers of the Tablet, unaligned and forgetful of its twin prudence. No wonder the virtue of obedience was forgotten after the Council. Any act of disobedience became a conscientious act, inspired by some alleged “Spirit of Vatican II”.
And in the bitterest of ironies, traditionalists had to become disobedient to the modern church in order to preserve the Faith. The Council can be seen on the surface as a continuity, not least because the real breaks came before the Council, first philosophical and then later theological.
The first philosophical break came with the acceptance of Maurice Blondel's fatal definition of truth with which anything becomes possible. He wrote.
In place of the abstract and chimerical definition of truth as the adequation of intellect and reality, we must substitute methodical research, and define truth as follows: the adequation of intellect and life.
The great Thomist, Father Garrigou-Lagrange wrote to Blondel warning him of a protracted residence in purgatory if he did not retract.
The second philosophical break was the attempt to reconcile personalist and traditional philosophy as an alternative to natural law philosophy. The modern Church had ended up teaching morals, as if a breach will damage the person but this is in conscience rejected. A personalist argument against homosexuality is not an argument at all.
Natural law which Edmund Burke called
the great primeval contract of eternal society, linking the lower with the higher natures, connecting the visible and the invisible world.
The final philosophical break was the submission of Father Maréchal to the Kantian critique of the possibility of metaphysics, which uneccesarily emasculated much Thomistic theology in Cahier 5 of Le point de départ de la métaphysique. The Church had surrendered ground to the unemotional mathematical explanations of Hawking, and the cold, unfeeling chemical processes of Dawkins, even before either were born. And now Dawkins wants to complete the rout and prove the triumph of science and the non-existence of God. I for one will never bend the knee to nature without grace.
Theologically, the break came later with the publication of the de Lubac's Surnaturel in 1948 which postulated that grace and nature had become compartmentalised in traditional teaching where they should be joined. The end effect was to deny the sheer gratuitousness of grace and to leave the way open for the father of all modern heretics Karl Rahner, himself influenced by Marechal philosophically to posit intrinsic grace in nature. When everything is full of grace, anything can be accepted and we return to Blondel's definition of truth.
There was at least a chance under Pope Benedict that traditionalists could be reconciled to the Church. Failure to achieve this is catastrophic both for the Church and traditionalists.
A fatal error was made making the texts of Vatican II a litmus test of Orthodoxy, ignoring all other previous Councils. The real debate should be about the breaks described above, not Vatican II itself. Vatican II is only a symptom of taking false philosophical and theological paths.
Pope Benedict even claimed before his election that Gaudium et Spes, the Conciliar text on the Church in the modern world is in parts Pelagian in its acceptance of works without grace- the church becomes very busy with secular schemes of social betterment but turned away from God.
This use of the Vatican II texts has been promoted by Archbishop Mueller, the new head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, who horrible to say, is a defender of liberation theology which did so much damage to the South American church in the 1970s and whose fellow travellers would have left us enslaved under the Communist yoke. I am not too young to have been a Cold War warrior. Lech Walesa's pleas would have fallen on deaf ears in the modern Vatican.
My spirits were hardly raised by the election of the new Pope, whose record of suppressing the Latin Mass in his Archdiocese is lamentable and who has the excessively strange opinion that the Falkland Islands are Argentinian. Too many British soldiers sacrificed their lives in the defence of the sovereignty of the islands for this to be even remotely true. Does he want to invite the Italian army to take Rome again as they did in 1870 and make him a prisoner in the Vatican? (The Pope had been dependent on the French garrison which withdrew- never rely on the French to defend anything)
I always thought that once we had a Pope that had not been at the Council, some progress could be made in the restoration of tradition to her proper place alongside Scripture and Magisterium in the Church. But there is only one group of people who are keener on the Council than the Council fathers, those who were at seminary in the 60s, before the great emptying of the seminaries, as was Jorge Bergoglio.
Msgr Ronnie Knox, convert from Anglicanism and sometime Catholic chaplain at Oxford said,
He who travels in the Barque of Peter had better not look too closely into the engine room.
Pope Benedict was all too well aquainted with the engine roome- Pope Francis by contrast sees no problem with the post-Conciliar times and indeed calls the Second Vatican Council a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit- it is as much ruled by the Holy Spirit as the Falklands is ruled from Buones Aires. One can only fear what could happen now given the Pope's support of the charismatic movement. The Holy Spirit or even the Spirit of Vatican II can be used to justify precisely anything.
But bliss it was that dawn to be alive. I just hope we do not see a repeat of Pope John XXIII. Neo-conservatives at the time said don't you worry THAT could never happen. But THAT happened over and over again.
Finally, we must await the next generation for a Pope who sees the Council for the disaster it was- resulting in empty echoing churches, often bulldozed away and a Faith not passed onto children. In Vienna, they even have a ghastly cube, called the Vatican II Memorial Church- if you seek its monument look around- unfaithful clerics and empty churches- and the faith not taught. Its pseudo-spirit even pervaded the Anglican church whose radicals were freed for even greater radicalism, when the Roman anchor gave way.
No progress can be made without an acceptance of a problem. Running around pretending not to be ill will eventually lead to total collapse.
There is a Viennese saying- there are three great mysteries of the Church-
1st: How many womens' orders actually exist.
2nd: Where the wealth of the Franciscans comes from.
3rd: What a Jesuit really believes.
And reading Pope Francis, His Life in his own words, one is tempted at least to agree with the last. We have waited centuries for a Jesuit Pope and he disguises himself as a Franciscan. I have five Jesuits in the family but would never dream of supporting the modern Jesuits. My relatives would turn in their grave to see what became of the greatest order, besotted with liberation theology.
The revival of traditional ceremonial begun under Pope Benedict is at an end in the name of Franciscan simplicity. Not least under threat is the Latin Mass from which all other liturgy is a mere abstraction
There is an enormous danger that this becomes not a love of the poor but an ostentatious display of poverty. Dominicans are also a mendicant order, but simply do not make the same song and dance about it as the Franciscans.
Love of poverty becomes a pauperism to please the modern world, not least as it stands as a concession to the worldly who attack the Church for her wealth. Ironic, by the way, that the poorest church I ever did see in Austria stands surrounded by millionaires villas, many of whom go out of their way to loudly criticise the church for her wealth- the Conscience of the Rich, as C P Snow entitled one of his novels.
I am all in favour of restoring the Church, as St Francis was told to do by God at San Damiano and whose example Pope Francis hopes to imitate. However, this will not be achieved by the Pope if instead of promoting religion, he imposes poverty on us all. He should resolve the crisis in his own church before making pronouncements as he did today about the economic crisis, which is making a good job of imposing universal poverty all of its own.
Pope Francis seized the highest office with a short but evocative speech at the pre-Conclave meetings. He complained about theological narcissism- but after the Council the Church was never more self-referential. What can be more self-referential than the modern Mass where the priest faces the people and the faithful are no longer the Body of Christ, but the pilgrim people of God, wandering across the face of the earth. He wants the Church to go out to the world to evangelize but ironically all over Europe there are mission crosses set up in churches, to which the date of each local mission is added- normally these happened every ten years- but they stop in the 1950s. What went wrong?
Evangelisation is not a virtue in itself- the modern church, Anglican and Catholic must know what she stands for. The Orthodox always know.
Before anything, she must turn towards the East in prayer- priest and people- open to the divine.
But I now turn from Rome to England.
May God deliver us from the complacent Romanticism of Alfred Lord Tennyson in Morte D'Arthur
The old order changeth yielding place to new
And God fulfills himself in many ways Lest one good custom should corrupt the world
Arthur, the second finest name that a Britain can possess after George, St George being our principal patron with St Alban in heaven. David is good for a Welshman, and David Lloyd George seems to have prospered for a while under his patronage, as well as having a fair amount of the natural genius of the Welsh.
But now I come to the Scottish Dave, Dave Cameron.
Like the Pope who made a dramatic intervention in the pre-Conclave meetings, he won election with a sharp and confident speech- Old Etonians are not known for their lack of confidence.
But the battles for this country will not be won in the playing fields of Eton or indeed by a cosy clique of Old Etonians. If, God forbid, I was Prime Minister, I could certainly find enough talent among alumni of Manchester Grammar School to run the country after a manner, but an Old Mancunians club would be a disaster for the country as it would entirely be lacking in balance and vision, to the exclusion of talent.
Pope Francis is in danger of trapping the Church in the infernal 1960s, David Cameron has trapped the Tories in the 1950s. He is the re-incarnation of Harold Macmillan, not unlike Macmillan responding to "Events, my dear boy, events" but with no real personal vision for the country. The important difference from Macmillan is that Macmillan represented a Northern seat, so understood at least to some degree the travails of working people. Even Macmillan was bold enough to say- with a courage of which Cameron would never be capable.
It is only by giving their heads to the strong and the able that we shall ever have the means to provide protection for the weak and for the old
- there is no dignity in poverty, whatever the Pope might say.
Cameron can never win an election without Scottish, Welsh and certainly Northern votes and there is a complete disconnnect with the party and the people. He is a barrier to the return of a Conservative Party to the plenitude of power with a real working majority in the House of Commons.
I waited sixteen long years for the return of the Conservatives to power and now clearly will be waiting for a few years yet. In Yes Minister, Sir Humphrey tells Jim Hacker what is the quality that makes men Prime Minister, it is the Killer Instinct. This frightened Jim but the real Dave has never had the killer instinct- he is in a profound sense an accidental Prime Minister. And above all to have made the coalition work in Conservative interests he needed that killer instinct. In reality, the LibDem tail has been wagging the Conservative dog. The LibDems would have been crucified at any election but they behave as if they are the masters now of the house.
Dave never had the will to power indeed he willed the result of the last election in his heart of hearts. I am all too painfully aware of that liberalising tendency on the left of the Tory Party, having worked for Baroness Nicholson, LibDem peer and former Tory MP.
But return to power, even if it is shared, is not sufficient in itself without policy.
We are not expecting the confounded systems of the continentals, but the pragmatic pursuit of power, practiced by Conservatives for generations, not least to exclude from that same power to the greatest degree possible, socialists and liberals, now that does require vision to be successful.
Take for instance education. Where is the vision that will return one grammar school to each and every significant town in the country? Where is the vision which will restore education in craft and enterprise, in parallel, and with equal dignity to intellectual excellence?
Not in the modern Conservative party.
That said, until his claims this week that he wished to be the heir to Blair, I believed that Michael Gove was the one solitary Ministerial talent of which the government could rightly boast. He had, after all, distributed King James Bibles to each and every school in the country to mark the 400th Anniversary of that most excellent of books. There can have been no sounder act in the whole history of British government.
But Blair and his kind have dragged the country into a post-modern ditch, the very antithesis of the traditionalism for which we all stand. For his vanity, the lives of British soldiers were sacrificed in foreign entanglements without clear purpose.
Bliss, they did say it was that dawn to be alive. Indeed, it could only get better, when we were trapped on Year Zero of the Blair government, which put at naught the achievements of the previous generation. The French Revolutionary calendar had its Year One, and Conservatives have had to put up with Dave and Theresa pretending that before them the Tory Party were a nasty party, who were all but criminal. This is disrespect for your own people. No wonder Tory councillors are defecting to UKIP.
Now we have to await a future where Gove proclaims himself the New Man. We do not need a new Man, we need a Conservative Man or woman for that matter. The Conservative Party was at her very best led by a woman.
Mr Cameron has so modernised the Conservative Party that it no longer lives up to its name.
As Burke said of the French Revolution,
Our Business is interrupted, our repose is troubled, our pleasures are saddened, our very studies are poisoned and perverted and knowledge is rendered worse than ignorance, by the enormous evils of this dreadful innovation.
I name this dreadful innovation rather the modern Conservative party.
Dave ought to have seen what happened to the Catholic Church when it turned modernity into a idol to be venerated. Being trendy appeals to nobody as there is always somebody more trendy than yourself. It is like organising a disco service in Church to appeal to youth. There are plenty of better discos around. The Church will be saved by her traditionalists, conservatism will be saved by the true believers in UKIP.
Take for instance, military spending. It is understood that the coffers are empty, but where is the future vision of the armed forces that can enforce the will of Her Majesty's government at two places simultaneously anywhere throughout the world, without the help of anybody, unless we are disputing with China or Russia, where I concede we would need America to lend us a certain degree of assistance. We have been reduced to sharing French aircraft carriers. We should not be excessively keen on fighting alongside troops who might cancel an offensive for lunch, who surrender rather than having their joie de vivre shattered- somewhere along the Maginot line, there is a plaque dedicated to a French regiment “Surrendered without having been defeated”.
Take for instance, the economy
Cameron is as embarrassed by capitalism as Ted Heath was, in contrast to Enoch Powell who said,
Whatever else the Conservative Party stands for, unless it is the party of free choice, free competition and free enterprise, unless- I am not afraid of the word- it is the party of capitalism, then it has no function in the contemporary world.
I for one do not mean by capitalism the corporatism practised by Labour and Tory governments alike which hold the Small and Medium sized enterprises that make up the bulk of the economy in the same contempt that they are held in Brussels.
We will be waiting for ever for a government which contains the anti-business, business Secretary, Cable to transform the British economy into the dynamic engine that the country needs. Yet another deregulation initiative is fizzling out, ground down by the Sir Humphrey's of this world who have a vested interest not just in regulation but better regulation. Excessive taxes and regulation are the drumbeats at the funeral of a civilised society.
As I rode on my bike in snow on a cold April morning in Wales, I wondered how many businesses had been put out of business by global warming dogmatism, which is in it last throws, as even the scientists realised they have not only deceived others but deceived themselves in pursuit of state money. A bandwagon that the unprincipled Cameron was only too happy to ride. I am all in favour, I hasten to add, on environmentalism based on science- I tested the equipment that confirmed the hole in the ozone layer and made speeches on the environment as a Conservative candidate even before Mrs Thatcher. But in politics, all too often new Green is but old red writ large- like Cameron they are not concerned with people or indeed the environment but personal power. Besides, how many people are concerned about the environment the day after tomorrow when only with the greatest difficulty does the economy not breath her last today.
The only way back is through entrepreneurship and transformative innovation- it is time that the natural genius of the British people is unleashed instead of being shackled by Brussels and Whitehall. The only innovation I believe in is economic. Goods and services must be traditional and form and content- modern methods of production mean that the finest can be produced and the cheap modern has no longer an excuse.
Nothing can really stop a nation that has the imagination to bounce bombs of water to destroy the Ruhr Damns- Dambusters whose anniversary we celebrated 2 days ago or drove a destroyer straight through the front door of Dieppe harbour or broke the Enigma codes to ensure that Europe should be free from the Nazi menace.
And so, take for instance, Europe. The things that make politicians bring them down. Cameron tried to stop the Conservative party banging on about Europe to secure his position. It was important then, it is even more important now given the creeping tyranny of Brussels directed economic governance of Europe.
I do not know which Brussels Cameron visits when he goes to European Council meetings. After ten years in Brussels, I was used to ministers proclaiming victory when they had in fact either made no difference at all or had been roundly defeated. They did not go native- they just behaved like the French.
I was also used to victories that should never have been in question proclaimed as a miraculous force of arms.
He is like the enthusiastic young monk who thinks he is going to be the great reformer of the order which he joins. Destined he is to failure and disappointment. Not one order has been reformed from within in the entire history of the Catholic Church. For the other Europeans, the stakes are too high to let us have our own special way. There are too many vested interests. And, ah yes, the Single Market, O Single Market, what crimes have been committed in your name. Lord Astor says the Tory Party will campaign heart and soul to stay in Europe. So great an effort will be totally in vain.
I once as a student was accused by an Oxford don of being a reed in the wind shaken in the wind. This was a misdiagnosis even in those days, as I do not do doubt as it is bad for the soul and bad for the psyche. Little did I expect that we should have a Leader of the Conservative Party some thirty years later, who despite the advantages of the very best education, even in the same university as myself, should be a reed shaking in the wind- too busy responding to every slight whisper of wind to be effective at the governing of a great nation.
I am all for the pragmatic pursuit of power. But Dave's perpeteum mobile comes over as the personal and craven desire to retain office. It is so transparent to voters and they are not fooled. Why does the whole of the European policy have to look like a forced hand? The truth is he is not a true believer in anything. Thank God for UKIP- not unlike the brave traditionalists who endured every kind of opprobrium in the modern Catholic Church, we would not have come this far without them.
Now to add insult to injury, Mr No Name, one of Cameron's charmed inner circle yesterday claimed that Tory members are mad swivel eyed loons. Just because they are right and and the PM is wrong on Europe and gay marriage. He should meet a real swivel eyed loon before casting such aspersions, Idi Amin would be good but he has gone to meet the devil and is unavailable. The Iraqi information minister is still alive, and Obama's White House and the European Parliament could provide excellent candidates for this research project. Nero fiddling while Rome burns comes to mind for some reason, as the glory of the Conservative Party is consumed by modernism. But I can assure Mr Cameron that there are no loons in the Chipping Norton Conservative Association.
Ironically, saying that Conservative party are loons indicates a certain detachment from reality. Physician heal thyself. Both Christian and Tory were originally insults, UKIP has its Gadfly Club. From this day on I am proud to be a swivel-eyed loon. Much better than being a ModCon.
Unlike the Barque of Peter, the good ship Cameron is eminently sinkable and should be put to calmer waters, make I suggest the Norfolk Broads, before she takes Conservatism and even more importantly the Country with him, shackled to a insignificant little dingy called LibDemery from whose crew the conservative Captain takes all his orders.
Of Mrs Thatcher it was said, she thought the unthinkable and thereby transformed the country. Cameron by contrast, cannot even think the thinkable. The country remains in the post-modern stasis established by Blair. She spoke from the heart of England to the heart of Great Britain in language clear and conservative that moved all but the most stubborn. She proved forever that the Country can be led from the right, and must be led from the right, providing policy is clearly articulated. It is a lesson that Cameron and his modernising kind are determined to forget, not least because they have an inability to articulate policy.
To Mrs Thatcher's eternal memory, we shall see her like again, because we have to. Our nation needs such as her. Without her, Cardinal Bergoglio would have sung Te Deum every year in Port Stanley, as he did on national day every year in the cathedral of Buenos Aires. Without her, we would be ruled not by Brussels, but by Moscow's willing satrap, Arthur Scargill. Without her, all hope of future and better glory for our nation would have been extinguished forever. This is the flame that we carry, and this is the flame which we carry with pride.
More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of, says the dying Arthur in Tennyson.
Pray for the soul and body of our nation, epitomised in the great King Arthur. He is a part-mythical figure but he stands for something deeper and eternal in our nation, the eternal spring ever renewing herself in the face of history.
We cannot be true to ourselves and to our dearest of nations, spiritually or temporally, unless we be true to tradition and drink most deeply from that spring.