Festival of Drivel!


By PETER HITCHENS (edited)

Daily Mail  columnist Peter Hitchens visited the ‘OCCUPY’ protest camp outside St Paul’s and concluded it is a ‘chaotic, self-righteous festival of drivel’

Every crank, dingbat and fanatic in Southern England has found his or her way to the camp by the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral. Whatever your cause, it has a pavilion here, especially if it is a lost cause.

There’s a Buddhist shrine next to an arrow marking the direction of Mecca. Che Guevara, that old mass murderer, has his image on display. There’s propaganda against the  ‘persecution of sex workers’. The Socialist Workers Party, those latchers on to every passing procession, have a stall that looks a little too neat and tidy for the occasion. Bolshevik discipline doesn’t really mesh with the world of Twitter and dope.

There really are signs against ‘capitalism’, a word used only by people who still think you can change human nature, which you sort-of can if you have concentration camps and an effective secret police.

And there are other placards enquiring rather aggressively: ‘What would Jesus do?’ People who ask this question always assume that Jesus would agree with them. Well, I suppose it’s possible. But what would He agree with, exactly?

Stand here long enough and you will be pinned to the wall, or to a pillar, by lots and lots of nice but rather silly people.

  • There’s the man who thinks we invaded Iraq to punish it for not having a central bank.
  • There’s the man who thinks the clue to the greed of the City somehow lies in the Channel Islands.
  • And there are dozens of recently fledged experts on the wickedness of the City itself, though it is clear that this is a new concern for them. They are thrilled to have discovered that the City of London Corporation is so fantastically undemocratic. They had no idea that such wickedness still survived, and that they can be against it.
  • There’s the slender public schoolboy with the looks of a tragic Thirties poet who, handed a megaphone, emits five minutes of the higher drivel about nothing in particular. ‘We are the people,’ he claims, adding: ‘We have forgotten what and who we are.’  Speak for yourself, sonny!
  • And in these less religious times, battiness takes new forms. A dreadlocked man in a Rastafarian hat and glowing red trousers rages about world citizenship to an audience of perhaps 12, including me.
  • In the mighty porch of the cathedral, a group of furry people are listening to a man play the guitar. I am reminded of Tom Lehrer’s song: ‘We are the Folk Song Army. Every one of us cares. We all hate poverty, war, and injustice .  .  . unlike the rest of you squares.’

I’m sure that if I had waited long enough, I would have been taken to one side by enthusiasts for flatulent diets, speakers of Esperanto, or persons who think that The Key To Everything is to be found in the measurements of the Great Pyramid.

My nostalgic side hoped to run into advocates of opening Joanna Southcott’s box, which was supposed to be unsealed at a time of grave national crisis, in the presence of all the bishops (it was eventually found to contain an old lottery ticket and a horse pistol). But such enthusiasts are scarce nowadays.

The “Teach-In”

Later, as darkness and drizzle fall, and a general meeting of stupendous, award-winning tedium gets under way, I am reminded of that forgotten horror of the Sixties, the ‘teach-in’.

The people’s representatives (if that is what they are, as they don’t represent me) take an unbelievable amount of time to approve a bland statement about Egypt. They are, it turns out, in favour of democracy and against repression.

When I ask one – who has lectured me lengthily about the wickedness of the banks – what his qualifications are in economics, he concedes with a self-mocking smile that he doesn’t have any.

Where do they come from? It’s hard to tell, though a lot are obviously students with vague timetables. One says he works with autistic children, a rather noble calling. Wouldn’t he be doing more good if he went back to that? He doesn’t think so. To him, this is more important.

It’s impossible to dislike most of them, though I have to admit I carefully avoided the squad of four gaunt men with hollow heroin-abusers’ faces, dressed in war-surplus fatigues and kicking a football around.

And I tried not to meet the stern gaze of the astonishing bearded preacher, who strides backwards and forwards across the cathedral steps, expounding his own version of the Gospels, for hours and hours and hours.

If haranguing were an Olympic event, he could harangue for Britain. The only trouble is that – because he is always on the move – you would have to follow him backwards and forwards for several miles to follow his argument. As it is, you get a snatch of it and then it fades away, and then it starts again.

The camp is scruffy, ugly and dispiriting. The last time I saw so many of these bubble tents was in Mogadishu in the middle of a horrible famine, when many of them contained dying babies.

Now you can’t tell what or who is in them because they’re mostly zipped up tightly. Not having my own thermal-imaging device, I cannot be sure, but in several hours at the camp I saw little sign of life among the tents. (Photo actually taken with thermal imaging camera showing 90% of tents unoccupied at night.)

There’s a lot of sensitivity over the heat-sensitive pictures which seemed to show that most of them were empty by night. ‘They falsified it,’ a determined young man tells me, in between thrusting pamphlets at me and giving me a forbidding reading list.

Cannabis

Nobody made any great efforts to deny that a  lot of cannabis was being smoked. If there really was a war on drugs, I suspect the police could devastate the camp by simply enforcing the Misuse Of Drugs Act 1971. But of course there is no such ‘war’, and the police aren’t interested.

There’s quite a lot of smoking of ordinary cigarettes going on, an interesting reflection on a generation that prides itself on not being fooled by corporate greed and consumerism. So why did they fall for that bit of it?

It was time to go into St Paul’s itself. I had hoped for Evensong, the most beautiful and potent service of the Church of England.

It would have done the campers good to listen to the haunting, 2,000-year-old words of the Magnificat: ‘He hath shewed strength with his arm. He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.’

Someone might then have explained to them that this was a promise of eternal justice, not a programme for government. Alas, it was some other modern service, its bare, plastic language weirdly out of tune with the clouds of medieval incense and the gorgeous feudal robes of the clergy. And the sermon, like so much of the Church of England, was infected with modern Leftwingery and talk about ‘equality’, which sounds nice in theory but always ends up very nasty in practice.

From outside the giant doors, you could just hear the bearded preacher roaring distantly, like the sea.

And I contrasted the great classical majesty of the cathedral, one of man’s most successful attempts to combine reason, science and hope, with the chaotic, self-righteous festival of drivel outside. Yet there’s no doubt which of the two is closer to the mood of the modern world, more’s the pity.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2058102/Occupy-London-Everyones-terribly-sweet–festival-drivel.html#ixzz1cw1iN08p

UK Riots: What are the underlying causes?


It’s hard to know what to say when for three days and nights your cities have been under siege, set on fire and ransacked.

We watch the news with a sense of disbelief but not surprise. Many of us had said “if this goes on, there will be rioting in the streets”. But we meant that the poor, the oppressed, the angry, and those treated cruelly and unjustly would hit back with a protest so strong that this country would reel from it.

In the event, the rioting was even worse because it was the result, not of protest, nor in support of basic human rights, but a selfish greedy and criminal desire to loot and burn for the sake of it, just because they can.

The bible said “lawlessness shall increase” and it is. It said this:
2 Tim 3:1-5

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come, for people will be…
lovers of themselves
lovers of money
boasters
proud
blasphemers
disobedient to parents
unthankful
unholy
unloving
unforgiving
slanderers
without self-control
brutal
despisers of good
traitors
headstrong
haughty
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God

This we see all around us, growing worse by the day.

There has always been selfishness and lawlessness. But throughout history that evil was contained and restricted by physical distance and location, by lack of speedy communication, and by the unavailably of graphic media, as well as the inclination of most people to be law-abiding and moral. All that has been swept away.

Today we see gangs organised via Twitter and Blackberry messaging, being directed round the streets by mobile phones.

Today we see the result of that mayhem instantly via a live feed on TV, encouraging others to go out and do the same thing the next day.

But given all that is true, what are some of the recent causes underlying the situation we are witnessing of rampant uncontrolled lawlessness roaming our streets? It’s not hard to identify because these are issues that are being discussed in every gathering of normal people (but somehow not in the corridors of power, where a corporate insanity prevails.)

Education

For many years the education system has been infiltrated by left-wing, liberal, and fanciful new-world ideas that have removed discipline and straightforward studying of the facts, and replaced them with “yuman rights”, and propaganda for the cause. Instead of educating children, they introduced them to the idea that anything goes, and nobody must complain. We ended up with generations of illiterate yobs whose only aim in life is to take from society and escape all consequences.

Justice

Whether or not you believe in the death penalty for murder, it was a turning point for this country when we decided to imprison killers instead. It was the leading edge of another liberal agenda to see criminals as “victims of society” instead of those who needed punishment. Year by year we have watched the justice system strain and break. Shorter sentences, more lenient courts, fewer people arrested, while crime escalated at an alarming rate. The police are hogtied by nit-picking rules and regulations that forbid them to violate anybody’s “rights” (apart from the victims of crime, naturally). Add to this the prevailing attitude of the authorities that it’s illegal to defend yourself or (as they call it) “take the law into your own hands” and you have the disgraceful situation of innocent citizens brought to court for trying to defend their own property or lives!

Drugs and Alcohol

People fuelled by these are much more likely to be irrational and desperate. Too much crime is drug-related. Yet alcohol continues to be dirt cheap, and the licensing hours have been extended instead of cut. So unable are the authorities to deal with the drug problem that their recently proposed “answer” was just to make personal drug use legal because it’s impossible to stop it now. Yet people out of their heads on drugs and drink are frequently violent and abusive, stealing to support their habit, unable to work, ill and using up NHS resources, not to speak of the damage they do to their own and their family’s lives. (Much of what was stolen in the rioting was alcohol.)

Video games and computers

This is another huge area of concern. Very young children are getting access to the internet, seeing and involving themselves in things that scar their minds and corrupt their spirits. Social Networking introduces them to people they would not normally have known, and outside of all parental control. Peer-pressure means they will attempt things against their better judgement. Video games are violent and horrific, teaching them to kill and steal without mercy and without restraint. What they see informs their lives and educates them to believe in a world where everything is up for grabs, without consequences.

Media

Music too, and TV programming, has become more and more sexually explicit and foul in every way. Censorship seems non-existent. Storylines are about all about getting your own way, no matter what. Crime is fun, and clever. Younger and younger children are reading magazines and other media that pushes them to conform to a sexualized and greedy lifestyle when they are too young to make adult decisions about the need for restraint.

Breakdown of the family, no discipline

At the same time, as we all know, the family has crumbled apart. With the open encouragement of successive Governments, marriage has been abandoned in favour of casual relationships, children being born to multiple partners, men drifting from one woman to the next, women raising several non-related children alone… meaning that the all-important input of a strong and reliable father-figure is missing. The only parenting that the children understand is getting their wants supplied. They witness arguments, abandonment and strife all their lives and conclude that there is nothing stable or good about the human experience. It’s “every man for himself”.

No incentive

One strong incentive in life is to do better than those around you, gain a good education and train for a career that will reward you and your family in later life. However, that aim has been removed from the lives of many ordinary people. Much schooling is a joke and even now children leave without knowing how to write or speak correctly, and unable to do basic sums. They know nothing about history or geography and even less about science. Then when they try to go on to university they either drop out, unable to face the challenge of a good education, or else they are unable to attend in the first place due to cost. The only jobs they can get (if any at all) are menial and badly-paid. If despite all this they enter a profession that provides a good salary they are stung by the various taxes and disincentives this country has always provided to punish those who do well. Talent and Invention are shipped off to countries who know how to reward them, while we struggle on with a dumbed-down lack-lustre population that only knows how to toe the line.

No good role-models

Another incentive used to be the role-models people encountered while growing up. Now, many role-models such as footballers, rock stars and actors are famous for being loud-mouthed, drunken, adulterous and ignorant. It’s the evil of society that is paraded in the press and applauded, and made into entertainment. It is greed, selfishness, infidelity, pride, anger and hatred of religion that people see and hear. They conclude “this is how life is lived, this is how I should be.”

Hatred of God

The prevailing attitude of the media today is “bash the bible”. No holds barred in portraying Christians as ignorant depraved fools who deserve no consideration from society. Every sinew is stretched out to find yet another way to disprove the Christian truths, whether in the Press, on TV or just in private conversations.

Children may not have been taught anything about history, but if any conversation arises with a religious element they suddenly “know” all about the bible, how contradictory and “repressive” it is (even though they have never seen, let alone read, one.) It seems as if TV producers work to a golden rule that Christians must appear in every drama and cartoon, to be mocked and resented and shown up as corrupt and self-serving idiots.

It’s no wonder churches are empty and Christianity has such a bad name. But along with that goes the intense fear of “judgement” that people instinctively feel! Anyone who is Christian knows the knee-jerk response “how dare you judge me?” when anything about God is mentioned.

Deep levels of sin have produced a bad conscience in society, but instead of owning up to sin people would rather do away with God, so as to avoid unpleasantness. When they are told by everything they hear and see that God is judgemental and repressive, they join in the chorus, rejoicing in their freedom to do as they please.

The result can be seen on the TV news today.

When a child as young as 10 gets a message from a gang of friends who say they are going into the city to smash and burn shops and loot whatever they can carry, what is there from the list above to prevent him saying “I’m there.”

Is there any parental disapproval? NO! His Mum is probably too busy watching TV with her new boyfriend, and even if she stands in his way, she’ll be told to F-Off.

Is there any fear of the police or the legal system? NO! Even if by bad luck he was arrested he wouldn’t be charged, and would be let back home with nothing more than a caution. Then he’d be even more proud of his status in the gang!

Is there any personal inclination to avoid criminal behaviour? NO! “Everybody else is doing it” and the more they succeed the better they feel. Everything he watches and everyone he admires spurs him on, rather than the opposite.

Is there any reason to resist? NO! Because he “needs” to “have things” like the rest of the world, and his Mum won’t buy them. He wants new trainers, and the clothes that his friends wear, and all those “must-have” electronic gadgets, and the drink that dulls his unhappy memories, and he knows he’ll never be able to have them without stealing. So why not? Society “owes him”! “THEY” have things, so why shouldn’t he?

And I must say, when big businesses, banks, government departments, celebrities, and the high-fliers in this country are so dismissively arrogant about their billions of ill-gotten gains, while others have nothing, it’s not surprising there is a deep resentment amongst ordinary people!

Finally, is there any fear of the consequences? NO! From whom could there be consequences? His mother doesn’t care that much, his friends already approve, his school won’t intervene and to be sure he won’t be hearing anything about God and the Ten Commandments anytime soon.