Category Archive 'James Delingpole'
16 May 2019
Lady Butler, Floreat Etona!, 1882, private collection. The work depicts Lieutenant Robert Elwes of the Grenadier Guards, who was killed at the Battle of Laing’s Nek on 28 January 1881, during the First Boer War.
In the Spectator, James Delingpole complains that Oxbridge Colleges are these days making a point of discriminating against graduates of famous Public Schools, and that the rot has so far set in that Bolshie dons are giving Eton boys “gratitude lessons” and lectures about Sexism (!).
Across the country, private school parents who have scrimped and saved about Â£40,000 a year for fees are increasingly finding that their sacrifice is being rewarded by near-automatic Oxbridge rejection for their blameless offspring.
And who is speaking out against this class war-driven injustice? Almost no one. Which is why Anthony Wallersteiner, headmaster of Stowe, took so much flak for telling it like it is. â€˜The rise of populists and polemicists has created a micro-industry in bashing private schools,â€™ he told the Times. â€˜Thereâ€™s a much more concerted effort by [Oxbridge] admissions tutors to drive down the number of places given to independent schools,â€™ he went on â€” to a deafening chorus of near silence from his fellow public school heads.
Wallersteiner is dead right but the reason he wonâ€™t get much support from his peers is because most of them, deep down, agree on private education: that itâ€™s a bastion of unearned privilege, that it needs shaking up in order to accommodate itself to the modern world and that one really mustnâ€™t grumble if its boys and girls are penalised by the system because, hey, maybe thatâ€™s only fair.
How do I know this? Because Iâ€™m just coming to the end of more than a decade of putting my kids through private school and what Iâ€™ve witnessed is a creeping malaise not dissimilar to the one afflicting the Conservative party: institutions that no longer believe in their own brand, that are desperate to pretend they are something they are not (and never should be) in order to impress the kind of people who are always going to hate them anyway.
Take those â€˜gratitudeâ€™ lessons at Eton. These have been launched, apparently, â€˜after a review of teachers and staff found that they felt gratitude was an important trait which was not promoted by the schoolâ€™. Classes may teach things like how to â€˜write thank-you cards for everyday acts of kindness: â€œThank you for taking time to talk to me today.â€â€™ Can the school really not see what a massive own goal this is?
First, it plays into the hands of all those who think that Eton boys are a bunch of pampered, arrogant, entitled, snooty toffs. But the vast majority in my experience are supremely well-mannered, considerate and modest. And also fully conscious of their duty to give something back.
When Boy was there, for example, he gave up an afternoon every week to visit a local comprehensive school to help mentor a boy and a girl through their English Literature GCSEs. It wasnâ€™t compulsory â€” simply a reflection of the Eton public service ethos that is instilled in the boys from the moment they arrive. Often the formative work is done by their house â€˜dameâ€™ â€” the mother substitute who teaches them everything from how to dress properly to the importance of thank-you letters. These â€˜gratitudeâ€™ classes are fixing a problem that never existed.
Second, it is deeply off-putting to the kind of parents who should be sending their children to Eton: not ones who want it to be like every other touchy-feely progressive institution but ones who appreciate that its idiosyncrasies and traditions and archaisms are what make it so great. There was terrifying talk at the beginning of the new Head Manâ€™s tenure that the schoolâ€™s penguin uniform might be abolished. Happily, this got a lot of resistance, not least from the boys. But itâ€™s a measure of just how much madness there is abroad in the private education sector right now that serious consideration was given to destroying, on some trendy whim, arguably Etonâ€™s most distinctive selling point.
Boy had a fantastic education at Eton. But almost everything that was good about it, from the arcane terminology to the kit to the remarkable independence the boys enjoy, was the result of the accumulated values of its first 550 years of existence. It was not the result of any measures that modernisers have introduced in the past decade or so.
Here are a couple of things that particularly irked me: one or two bolshie beaks palpably not giving a toss about the massive increase in Oxbridge rejections because, hey, this actually gelled quite nicely with their own lefty prejudices; and the lecture â€” which an entire year group was forced to attend â€” by Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project.
Eton attracts some incredibly highâ€“powered speakers from all manner of fields: world leaders, explorers, entrepreneurs, you name it. But all these talks are voluntary, because thatâ€™s how Eton rolls: right from the start you are expected to forge your own intellectual destiny.
Apparently, though, it was deemed so important the boys should be lectured by a third-wave feminist on entrenched male privilege, gender injustice, and the inner rapist just waiting to burst out of every young man given half the chance, that this particular lecture was made compulsory. Apart from bespeaking a terrible lack of faith in the boysâ€™ manners and sense of sexual propriety, it represented a de facto endorsement of the kind of culturally divisive, hard-left identity politics which schools like Eton ought to be resisting at all costs, not glibly endorsing.
14 Jun 2015
James Delingpole and I were born knowing we were really English Dukes.
James Delingpole has been suffering all his life from the same affliction as myself.
Today, finally, I have plucked up the courage to speak out in the hope that fellow sufferers of this awful disability might finally be able to talk openly about the misery this tragic condition has brought upon them. Perhaps we could even form a campaign group and demand government compensation.
The problem is this: I was born Trans Class.
Imagine how it feels to stare into your bathroom mirror every day and to see, reflected back, not the extravagantly be-sideburned, gimlet-eyed, red-cheeked aristocrat you know you really are, but just the pallid, gaunt features of a middle-middle-class nobody struggling to make a living, just like all the â€œlittle peopleâ€.
Imagine waking up, not in the four-poster-bed that has been in the family for generations and which its rumoured Anne Boleyn once slept in, but just a fairly ordinary pocket-sprung number you picked up ten years ago from a boring high street chain with some name like SlumberWorld or DreamLand or Bed-U-Like.
Imagine the stabbing agony you experience every day when you realise that nothing you ever do â€“ NOTHING â€“ is ever going to alter the fact that you will never have a foxhunt bearing your name (like the Duke of Beaufort does), that neither you nor in all likelihood your children, will ever inherit a 52 bedroom Baroque palace with 5,000 acres of parkland landscaped by Capability Brown and swarming with unusual-looking sheep, rare-breed cattle and exotic deer which your ancestor brought back from the Forbidden City in Peking.
Imagine the horror of knowing that instead of having your every whim catered for by a retinue of liveried servants â€“ as is your natural birthright â€“ you instead actually have to put your leaves into your teapot yourself, then pour boiling water on it from an electric kettle, then wait for it to brew for four minutes, then pour it out into a cup which isnâ€™t made from antique finebone china but has Mr Silly on it and came from some unspeakable supermarket like Tesco, not to mention all the other crap that ordinary people have to do because they know no better and werenâ€™t born Trans Class like you and are therefore more dumbly accepting of their lotâ€¦stuff like putting out the rubbish once a week for the binmen, and having to floss your teeth rather than getting your cheeky chambermaid Moll to do it and having to watch television rather than having your staff watch it for you and then give you a written summary in copperplate.
Imagine sticking both arms out every morning then remembering, with a shudder, that there is no valet to slip on your frock coat and that in fact all youâ€™ve got is a bunch of Charles Tyrwhitt shirts and the same old pair of jeans which youâ€™re going to have to put on yourself.
Imagineâ€¦.well thereâ€™s really no point because you canâ€™t bloody imagine. Unlike me â€“ unless of course you are a fellow Trans Class victim â€“ you wonâ€™t have sufficient intellectual refinement or imagination to imagine, because your proletarian brain wonâ€™t let you.
So since you lack the inability to imagine, Iâ€™ll just have to tell you.
I was born an 18th century Duke with a vast estate, a stable of two dozen hunters, a bevy of mistresses, a summer â€œnooky houseâ€, more estates in the West Indies (where I can assure you that the workers are all very happy with their lot and address me cheerfully as â€œMassa Duke, Sirâ€), a beautiful if slightly remote wife who is related to the King, lots of paintings (especially of me) by Gainsborough and Reynolds, yet I am trapped in the body of a middle-class, middle-aged journalist in ugly, pointless, 21st century Britain.
And it is HELL, I tell you, hell.
That is why from now on, to help my cope with my disability, I shall expect to be addressed as â€œYour Graceâ€, be given the place of honour at those of your miserable dinner parties I deign to attend, and be treated at all times with deference bordering on worship.
Read the whole thing.
28 May 2015
James Delingpole is not on board with the celebrations for the victory of the Irish Gay Marriage Referendum.
Which is worse:
a) opposing gay marriage
b) abducting a mother of ten in front of her weeping children, suffocating her with a plastic bag, shooting her in the head and burying her in an unmarked grave?
Well, obviously we know the answer is a) because we can see it in the above heartwarming picture, taken during the recent Irish referendum on same sex marriage.
It shows gay rights activist Rory Oâ€™Neill (aka drag queen Panti Bliss) sharing a lovely group hug with David Norris (an Irish Senator who lobbied for the 1993 decriminalisation of gay sex) and, of course, with the unmistakably vulpine figure of Gerry Adams, the sinister Sinn Fein president who continues to deny he was ever a member of the IRA.
Aaaahhh. Doesnâ€™t it make you feel all warm and gooey inside?
Well it doesnâ€™t have that effect on me, Iâ€™m afraid. In fact, if Iâ€™d voted â€œyesâ€ in the Irish referendum and someone had subsequently showed me that photo, Iâ€™m pretty sure Iâ€™d want to stick an orange in my mouth, tie a noose around my neck and top myself for the very shame of it.
For, if a picture is worth a thousand words, that particular one is worth more like a hundred-thousand-word book entitled â€œAbsolutely Everything That Is Wrong With The Modern World.â€
19 Nov 2014
Blue Ridge Hunt hunting at Priskilly. (click on picture for larger image — Photo by DZ)
James Delingpole (who hunts) deplores Britain’s Puritanical hunt ban. In his view, foxhunting should not be illegal, it should be compulsory.
Foxhunting is the greatest sport ever devised. It takes place on a wildly uneven pitch perhaps 100 miles square, in often fiendish weather conditions, involves extraordinary team work and cameraderie between man and beast, with, instead of a football or a rugger ball, a living, intelligent quarry often more than capable of outwitting its pursuers. If you havenâ€™t hunted, you really havenâ€™t lived.
The best advert for hunting are the people who are against it: joyless vegans; vindictive class warriors; the noisome RSPCA; dreadlocked inner city crusties with dogs on ropes; mimsy unmarriageables with a dozen cats; Nick Clegg; Ed Miliband; the Green party; everyone who works at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth, Wales; townie tossers.
Read the whole thing.
Like the America Gun Control Act of 1968, the British Hunt Ban was actually modeled on legislation passed by Adolph Hitler. Hitler was a vegetarian and an animal lover. He, too, thought hunting beasts with hounds was cruel.
24 Oct 2014
(photo by me)
James Delingpole has succumbed to hunting mania, and like most of us he’s having difficulty affording it. I wonder if Roger Scruton (who also hunts) has any advice.
I have fallen in love with an unsuitable male. My wife isnâ€™t totally happy about this relationship because she recognises how dangerous it is. The problem with Eddie is that his vices are my vices. Heâ€™s reckless, an adrenaline junkie who likes always to be up front. Really, a most unsuitable companion for a skinny, breakable family man fast approaching 50.
And did I mention how expensive he is? Itâ€™s as bad as having a high-class mistress or a serious cocaine habit, but Iâ€™m powerless to resist. I love hunting. I love my mount Eddie Stobart. When Iâ€™m riding to hounds, all my worldly cares vanish. It makes me feel like Iâ€™ve finally discovered the point of existence. Tragic, isnâ€™t it?
Itâ€™s tragic because I know I could quite easily die â€” or worse. And also because I canâ€™t afford it. A day out with my local hunt, with hireling, will set you back around Â£300. But really, if you want to get any good at it â€” which I do, so as to improve my chances of not breaking my neck â€” you want to be going out at least twice a week. Itâ€™s at times like this that you learn seriously to regret those early career choices. If Iâ€™d gone into the City and made my fortune, maybe I could have retired early and spent the rest of my days doing what I was really born to do: being a Master of Foxhounds, of course.
Read the whole thing.
Perhaps we should start crowd-funding conservative intellectuals’ equestrian activities in the interest of promoting better journalism.
03 Aug 2013
James Delingpole has been arguing with lefies, and has learned a great deal about himself from them.
I think itâ€™s time you learned a bit more about me. Be warned, it isnâ€™t pretty.
Basically, my sex life is a mess. Iâ€™ve never had a successful relationship with women, owing to the fact that Iâ€™m misogynistic, immature and a braying right-winger with a face like a horse. And we havenâ€™t even got on to the size of my penis yet which, as you can well imagine, is minuscule.
Then thereâ€™s my unfortunate educational background. Youâ€™d think it would be an advantage having had an excellent private education at Malvern followed by a stint reading English at Oxford. But God, you couldnâ€™t be more wrong. From public school all I learned is arrogance and a sense of entitlement and a lofty disdain for the poor while my English degree, being a mere â€œhumanityâ€, is worthless and leaves me especially ill-qualified to comment on any issue which has to do with science.
And itâ€™s not just that Iâ€™m ignorant about science, either. Iâ€™m actually anti-science. Perhaps itâ€™s all the money Iâ€™m paid by Big Oil, perhaps itâ€™s because Iâ€™m mentally ill, or perhaps itâ€™s just because Iâ€™m plain evil but, would you believe it, Iâ€™m on a personal mission to disseminate ignorance by deliberately distorting the truth about issues like climate change because it doesnâ€™t accord with my selfishness and greed and refusal to alter my rapacious lifestyle for the common good.
Did I mention my mental illness? I think I did but it really canâ€™t be mentioned often enough. Iâ€™m sick, warped, perverted â€“ not to mention stupid, childish, puerile, irresponsible, silly, flippant, sexist, racist, disablist â€“ and totally wrong in the head. Itâ€™s all down to the lack of love I received as a child, which turned me into a rampant attention seeker. The kind of upbringing I have scarcely bears thinking about but what we can say with confidence is this: the values imparted to me by my parents were so perverse that they created the veritable monster I am today.
16 Feb 2013
Death of John Talbot — Charles-Philippe LariviÃ¨re, La bataille de Castillon, 1838, Galerie des batailles, ChÃ¢teau de Versailles.
In Friedrich Schiller’s Die Jungfrau von Orleans, when the enchantress Joan of Arc preaching her visions and prophesies, inspires the French Army to heroic efforts and panics the English into flight, the dying English commander Talbot complains:
â€žUnsinn, du siegst und ich muÃŸ untergehn!
Mit der Dummheit kÃ¤mpfen GÃ¶tter selbst vergebens.
Erhabene Vernunft, lichthelle Tochter
Des gÃ¶ttlichen Hauptes, weise GrÃ¼nderin
Des WeltgebÃ¤udes, FÃ¼hrerin der Sterne,
Wer bist du denn, wenn du dem tollen RoÃŸ
Des Aberwitzes an den Schweif gebunden,
OhnmÃ¤chtig rufend, mit dem Trunkenen
Dich sehend in den Abgrund stÃ¼rzen muÃŸt!
Verflucht sei, wer sein Leben an das GroÃŸe
Und WÃ¼rdge wendet und bedachte Plane
Mit weisem Geist entwirft! Dem NarrenkÃ¶nig
GehÃ¶rt die Welt.
Folly, thou conquerest, and I must yield!
Against stupidity the very gods
Themselves contend in vain. Exalted reason,
Resplendent daughter of the head divine,
Wise foundress of the system of the world,
Guide of the stars, who art thou then if thou,
Bound to the tail of folly’s uncurbed steed,
Must, vainly shrieking with the drunken crowd,
Eyes open, plunge down headlong in the abyss.
Accursed, who striveth after noble ends,
And with deliberate wisdom forms his plans!
To the fool-king belongs the world.
James Delingpole is feeling a lot like John Talbot these days, listening to the leaders of the world spouting nonsense about Climate Change.
As regular readers will know Iâ€™m in such a continual state of foaming fury about the idiocies of the world that I sometimes go over the top. â€œTruly, there arenâ€™t enough bulletsâ€, Iâ€™m wont to cry in exasperation. …
[T]hatâ€™s me, completely buggered then. Maybe, since words are my stock in trade I should end it all now.
Problem is, every time I look at the internet or read the newspapers or watch something on TV Iâ€™m yet again reminded by just how right I am to feel the way I do. Truly, there really arenâ€™t enough bullets.
By way of further proof, I give you two speeches made by politicians this week: Climate Change Secretary Ed Daveyâ€™s speech to the Royal Society; President Obamaâ€™s State of the Union Address.
Both were on the subject I try to mention as little as possible on Bogpaper because I donâ€™t want to sound like a one-trick pony. Suffice to say that in both cases, both men were talking unutterable bollocks on a subject on which I know quite a bit: certainly a hell of lot more than they do.
And it wasnâ€™t just disputable bollocks. It was unquestionably, demonstrably wrong bollocks. Almost every statement each of these politicians made was a flat-out untruth. They made scientific claims which were not remotely backed up by hard evidence.
Now whether they were themselves deliberately lying or whether they were merely badly misinformed we shall never be able to prove. But it really doesnâ€™t matter, the more important point is this: this week two politicians in positions of enormous power made keynote speeches which will have a major impact on peopleâ€™s lives. What they said was wrong in almost every way: yet serious public policy is going to be based on it.
Stupidity doesn’t always win, of course. It just wins most of the time.
20 Feb 2012
James Delingpole is not only sound on Anthropogenic Global Warming pseudo-scientific fraud, he is able to articulate the fundamental moral problem with drug prohibition quite succinctly.
VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) â€” Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul decried the â€œwar on drugsâ€ Thursday night, telling supporters in Washington state that people should be able to make their own decisions on such matters.
Voters in Washington are likely to decide this year whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana
â€œIf we are allowed to deal with our eternity and all that we believe in spiritually, and if weâ€™re allowed to read any book that we want under freedom of speech, why is it we canâ€™t put into our body whatever we want?â€ Paul told more than 1,000 people at a rally in Vancouver, a suburb of Portland, Ore.
Yep. Go on… friends. Tell me: why not???
In a follow-up post, Peter Robinson quotes Milton Friedman in support of Delingpole.
17 Dec 2011
British skeptic James Delingpole discusses why Warmism is so difficult to stop, despite the Climategate scandal.
The thing about both the Soviet Union and Adolf Hitler’s Germany was that the enemy was plain in view. We knew these guys were bad, they had black uniforms, they had swastikas, they had tanks – they were obviously the bad guys, they wanted to destroy us. What makes the modern environmental movement so dangerous is that it masks its intentions behind this cloak of cuddly, touchy feely, polar bear-hugging, Nobel Prize-winning righteousness. …
What could be nicer than trying to save those cuddly little polar bears from melting due to our wanton greed and selfishness? It gels with a sense that I think grew in the affluent ’90s, when people began asking themselves questions like, Shouldn’t there be limits to growth? You know, isn’t there more to life than consumption?
So, you have this alliance of ordinary people, of kids who’ve been brainwashed at school, of the big corporations which wanted to get in on the act by greenwashing their image, of powerful NGOs like Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund, of politicians wanting to be seen to take action in matters of public concerned. So what you have is this unstoppable bandwagon, all pushing this agenda based on the flimsiest of junk science.
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