Wednesday 27 March 2013

Sex, Drugs & the Coronation of Charles II

We know that the day before Charles II's coronation on April 23rd 1661 a royal procession on horseback took place. The king's coteries, in a tradition long since abandoned, passed between the Tower of London and Whitehall. We know it had been raining that week and people worried further downpours might spoil the pageantry. We know all this and much more thanks to Samuel Pepys' Diary.

The article can be read in full at the following link:

Sunday 10 March 2013

G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton begins Orthodoxy (1908) with a parable about an English yachtsman who sets sail and discovers a new island in the South Seas. Anxiously (but manfully) he strides ashore, armed to the teeth, and adopts sign language as his means of communication with the natives. In the far off distance he spies a barbaric temple. Courageously he marches towards it with the intent of planting a British flag upon the edifice: except it is not an unfamiliar shrine he discovers there. To his surprise and confusion the barbaric temple turns out to be the Pavilion in Brighton. Does our yachtsman feel foolish? Most certainly he does, and Chesterton should know because he confesses that he was that yachtsman, only the truth he stumbled upon was not the Pavilion in Brighton but Christianity.

Saturday 9 March 2013

St Hugo of Venezuela

There are moments while watching the ABC when you understand what it meant to be a patriot living in Vichy France. One week those who control the public airwaves are ridiculing a genuine freedom fighter, Geert Wilders, and the next our state-run broadcaster is mourning the loss of one of the archenemies of Western civilisation, Venezuela's comandante president, Hugo Chavez.

 The article can be read in full at the following link:

Saturday 2 March 2013

South Vietnam's Journey into Oblivion

George J. Veith’s Black April tells the story of South Vietnam’s journey into oblivion. His thesis is that the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces (RVNAF) possessed an integrity and pluck its detractors ignore, and would have been even more effective at the end if the post-Watergate Congress had provided the vital resources it had promised, including desperately needed fuel and parts for its air force. By 1975 the Vietnamese communists had lost the ideological and guerrilla warfare they had waged against the people of South Vietnam for more than fifteen years, and so the final showdown between Hanoi and Saigon was settled by a conventional military invasion. South Vietnam’s anti-communist cause, notwithstanding monumental mistakes on the part of its key leaders, was a just one, but in the end betrayed.

This article can be read in full at the following link:

Courage In Flight

Few have experienced a more precipitous learning curve than Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Somalia’s most famous (or notorious, depending on your perspective) emigrant has completed a second autobiography, Nomad, at the relatively young age of forty. If her life continues to be as eventful as it has been until now—and her round-the-clock security regime does its job properly—we may see many more memoirs penned by the brave and articulate Hirsi Ali.