Friday, 19 June 2015

O tempora!

I have so far read the first few pages of the pope's latest encyclical. I had quite forgotten how incredibly boring papal encyclicals are. I may comment in more detail yet but so far I've seen "beloved ecumenical patriarch," "hope of full ecclesial communion," and a lot of hot air about Francis of Assisi, a man who, in my opinion, is little distinguishable from Oliver Cromwell. But this latest from Rome (H/T John Ad Orientem) just proves my point that popes are little different from politicians. Countries that turn away illegal immigrants should beg forgiveness of God, is it, "your holiness?" Spare me this sanctimonious bile and silly rhetoric! I don't know what things are like in the Vatican but my brother says that going to places like Woolwich in South East London (that's where young Mr Rigby was stabbed in broad daylight a few years ago) these days is like going into Nigeria or Somalia. And this impression is demonstrably not solely limited to Woolwich. Where are the English people? This is England, isn't it? Or have they all fled away?

Now, the general consensus, at least among my friends and family, is that we don't want more immigrants. We don't want to support the whole of Africa and Asia in this small island until such a time that the country is concreted over, smothered in concrete high rise flats, and becomes scarcely different from the ravaged countries from which the immigrants all came. And since when was it our moral responsibility to do so? I don't care to listen to foreign languages spoken in the streets of Sidcup and Eltham. I am not interested in what is going on in Syria, or the Ukraine or whichever other country has some sob story. It seems to me that our Christian-endowed sympathies are being overburdened with the baleful knowledge of everybody's troubles, and we then watch in sullen impotence as our cities and public services are swamped by less-than-civilized brutes who couldn't care less about Her Majesty The Queen, or the Prayer Book or even the English language. And those are just the ones here legally!

I don't want to go through life feeling terrible about people starving, driven from their homes &c by war, and feeling as though it is my moral responsibility to welcome the world and its family to supplant the English on English soil for such reasons. In purely practical terms, we were not meant to know what is going on thousands of miles away. We have the immediacy of modern communication systems to thank for that! The pope brushes his teeth with a new toothpaste, and it's up on Twitter with millions of retweets. It's against nature!

It seems to me that all the enthusiasm for this brave new world comes only from leaders who wield absolute power and influence, whereas the resentment, indignation and the honest-to-God desire to remain English in England, or French in France, or Italian in Italy; free, honest, Christian and proud to be so under God comes from the led, the uninfluential, and the impotent. I have always been resentful of authority because I have always perceived authority figures, from school teachers to popes, as inveterate liars and egregiously incompetent. And my, have they always hated me for that!

Lately, I have felt so overwhelmed with the world; with the conspicuous failures of churchmen; the moral disintegration of everyone around me; the treasonous character of politicians, the feeling that everything and everyone is an enemy; that I alone perceive a universal malady under which all men, save myself, do labour, that I just desire absolute and utter silence and solitariness. I want to be alone and left alone. I want to be only dimly aware of my immediate surroundings, and that just to survive a puritan existence. I have felt for some time now that I am the last Christian left alive. I am the last Englishman, and the last Irishman. I am fighting a losing battle with the modern world. I want nothing more than to shut out the world with all its evil because I am sick to my stomach of everything about life under the wan sun of this sick world.


  1. "There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tower high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach."

    1. I was just reading Barbara Pym and lo! A comment from James C.