Archive for June, 2005

Dead Socialist Watch, #157

June 29th, 2005

Henri Lefebvre, French Marxist, author of the Critique of Everyday Life, born 16 June 1901, died the night of 28-29 June 1991.

Happy Birthday Jean-Jacques!

June 28th, 2005

Sarah reminds me that Rousseau turns 293 today, which is a fine age to be.

Dead Socialist Watch, #156

June 28th, 2005

Anthony Buckeridge, author of Jennings Goes To School and other books, born 20 June 1912, died 28 June 2004.

Dead Socialist Anarchist Watch, #155

June 28th, 2005

Alexander Berkman, born 21 November 1870, committed suicide 28 June 1936.

So Farewell Then, Richard Whiteley

June 27th, 2005

I’m expecting quite a bit of extra traffic over the next few days, for the odd reason that the Virtual Stoa is third on a google search for “Richard Whiteley” + “obituary”.

People who follow this link won’t find an obituary of Richard Whiteley, however, though they will find details of Tim Collins ex-MP CBE’s “Countdown”-themed reception at the House of Commons last year, which may bring them some consolation in this dark hour.

On the Piss

June 26th, 2005

From today’s News of the World:

She [Carole Caplin] said that Mr Blair was drinking more alcohol since she had stopped advising him. He was not “an alcoholic” or “a drinker” but needed a break from drink when subjected to stress, she added.

Now, obviously CC’s an unreliable source for anything and everything, but if Mr Blair were drinking too much, this would support my general theory of British prime ministers, which is that after a few years in the job they start boozing heavily.I haven’t researched this with any care, but I think the theory holds for Asquith (“Mr. Asquith says in a manner sweet and calm / Another little drink won’t do us any harm”), Macmillan, Wilson and Thatcher.

There are exceptions. Winston Churchill may be one, as he was drinking the whole time he was in No.10, beginning with champagne for breakfast, and consumption may not have increased as time went by. I don’t really know anything about Lloyd George, but given his pro-temperance noises, he might be an exception. And I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say that John Major hit the bottle c.1996 or so, though if anyone thinks that he did, please say so.

But according to the general theory, at any rate, it’s high time Mr Blair hit the bottle, so we should keep an eye out for further signs.

A Challenge to Scouting

June 25th, 2005

Final Instalment.

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Communism has shown itself to be more than a political creed. Its members, well-trained and severely disciplined, have elevated it to a kind of faith.

We must have an even greater belief in the faith which we hold.

The choice is not between having a faith and having no faith at all, but between faiths of completely different kinds. If Communism forces us to seek a creed, or to examine our own creed again, it will have done us a great service.

Here, then, is the challenge to Scouts in this generation – a challenge to adventure in the service of God, through whom we believe that the eternal is more important than the temporal, the spiritual more important than the physical or mental.

We must be as fervent in our worship of God as were the first followers of our faith, who were likewise surrounded by a world which was hostile to their beliefs. What matters more than anything else is what we believe about God and what is His will for us.

And we must take pains to understand our faith, and the proofs of its truth. Each of us must take his place as a member of his own Church and cannot stand outside and expect other people to carry on the work of the Churches. It is impossible to fight this battle as isolated individuals. We must all stand together.

We must also be passionately concerned with the well-being of the people of our country. Whether we belong to a political party or whether we do not, we must fight against all injustice, cruelty and selfish indifference to the needs of others. Not only is this God’s will for His people, but if we do not do so, we shall help the seed of Communism to grow, for their propaganda has more opportunity where there is injustice and oppression.

This only amounts to saying that we must carry on our Scouting at the highest possible level, and encourage our Scouts to do the same. Many boys have never been brought to realise the full meaning of Scouting. The small boy who joins a Cub Pack or a Scout Troop comes to get fun and adventure, and all too many never get beyond this stage. It is our responsibility as Scouters, through our example, to bring all our Scouts to the realisation that Scouting is indeed an adventure – the greatest of all adventures – the adventure of living under the guidance of God.