Monday, July 02, 2007

Back Early from Holidays....

...we got fed up with the rain.

I see that Karen Armstrong is up to her old tricks again. The excellent Damian Thompson is having another go at her on his Telegraph blog. As I’ve previously said, I feel uneasy about some of the attacks on Islam but Armstrong badly needs to learn some facts and stop playing to the Muslim gallery. Her comment that Islamaphobia started with the crusades is especially cringe-worthy. I presume that the fear felt by Christians in eighth century Spain at the advance of the Islamic armies into Iberia wasn’t a phobia because it was completely justified. I wonder how Armstrong would classify the fear felt by those affected by the recent spate of bombings here in the UK. The UK media are being criticised by in the Guardian's CiF blog for reporting that these awful events are being perpetrated by “Asian-looking men” and elsewhere for not being open to the possibility of the bombers being Buddhists!

On the subject of blogs, Daniel Hannan, also over at the Telegraph is always enlightening. In the interests of full disclosure, I should mention that he is a close friend in real life. Once upon a time I was in favour of the European Union that Dan campaigns so vehemently against. I saw it as the modern reflection of medieval Catholic Christendom (whose borders it matches almost perfectly, aside from Greece and Romania), an alliance of civilised peoples united by a shared history and culture. Over the years I’ve become steadily more disillusioned and have now reached the point where, if our political masters ever deigned to ask us, I would vote for Britain’s withdrawal.

The problem is that the European Union is run as not a union of high culture and historical bonds, which are predominantly Christian. Rather it is run by an international elite of bureaucrats. Like everything else these meddlers touch, such as education or the BBC, the EU has become a complicated nightmare of political correctness and tribalism. On top of that, it is manifestly corrupt. Actually, if truth be told, the EU was always like this, but if there is one thing bureaucrats are good at, it is maintaining grand illusions and shouting down anyone who tries to puncture them.

Finally, if anyone is interested in the workings of UK politics, the best blog by far is Ben Brogan’s. He is the political editor of the Daily Mail, a paper for which I have a near pathological dislike. I’ve even trained my mother (a regular reader) to call it the Daily Bigot. Brogan’s blog, however, is essential reading (if wholly irrelevant to the normal subject matter of this Bede’s Library).

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