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Saturday, 22 April 2017

A Nasty Lie Exposed

Oh gosh, what a week this has been! Our Prime Minister Theresa May calling for a snap election to be held on 8 June. No! No! No! Not again! Please! Fifty days of inter-party wrangle flooding our TV screens, continuous online fodder waiting to be clicked on by the electronic mouse, and endless covering of the front pages of every newspaper. It is not too difficult to fathom out why she has made such a decision whilst on her Easter break in Wales. As an unelected PM, May felt the lack of moral backing in her attempt to get Article 50 on the move, to take Britain out of the European Union. As a fully elected politician, she will have that extra power to "Fulfil the will of the people" despite the rather thin majority of 52% of Brexit voters over 48% of Remainers.

And the Remainers have by now been referred to as Remoaners, and thanks to Katie Hopkins, Daily Mail columnist, we are now also referred to as Remainiacs. And so the slur is boldly published in a national newspaper which will not only circulate across the whole of the UK but around the world as well - not to mention the online browsing in addition. Really, come to think of it, do these journalists really reflect the attitudes of the English? No, I don't think so, because what I have seen and heard around me in real life over the past year, the majority of the public don't display any of that kind of attitude. Only these well-educated journalists at the computer keyboard. And when I say well educated, I'm referring mainly to both Grammar School and Public School education such as Eton, followed by great institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge (although Magdalen College at Oxford has rejected Hopkins at her admission interview - a possible cause for her on-going inward bitterness). But their influence is without doubt must have, for example, played a key part towards the hostility of the crowd of English European Cup football fans in Marseilles in June 2016, to charge aggressively through its streets shouting insults at the French - their hosts - as well as towards Russian fans who were also fellow guests at the tournament.
Oh such emotive shouting. And such hatred! But it does look as though patriotism spawns hatred towards all foreigners, both at home and abroad. And emotive expressions is an issue Hopkins is hard against, but not against the hatred shown by the England football fans, as I believe she would have been happy enough to have been involved in the street aggression. Rather, it's more to do with one of her latest articles, exalting and praising the elderly Royals for their ice-cold, unemotional stoicism, the ideal model of English reserve and stiff upper lip. So not surprising that she had ordered both Prince William and Prince Harry to "put a sock in it" after Harry admitted that he attended counselling sessions after twenty years of torturous feelings bottled up after witnessing the death of their mother Princess Diana at a road tunnel accident in Paris during August 1997.

But what either escaped Hopkins' attention, or she had deliberately omitted from her articles, was Prince William's concern about the biggest killer of all young men in the UK: Suicide. This is where William was directing his concerns; that the keeping a stiff upper lip for the sake of British stoicism is unwise if it's a compromise to the person's health and well-being. But Hopkins would have none of it. Instead, if someone can't hack it, then let him kill himself. Why would she care? Such a patriotic attitude is a classic example of Darwin's evolution through natural selection - the survival of the stoical strong in expense of the emotional weak.

Prince Harry - attended counselling.

As if all this was not enough to digest, as one who has retired from nearly half a century of honest working life, there was I, relaxing at a coffee bar, itself incorporated into our local branch of Waterstones Bookshops, along with a cappuccino and a day's copy of the Daily Mail newspaper. It featured an article written by columnist Stephen Glover. He was accusing a literacy author and fiction writer Julian Barnes of hatred, hysteria, and lies, leaving me with no other option than to believe that this Julian Barnes is a devout Remainer.

Wait a minute! Julian Barnes? He is not totally unknown to me. I recall 1997, having flown overnight on a cross-Pacific journey from Sydney to Los Angeles, on a route once featured in The Guinness Book of Records as the world's longest non-stop passenger flight. After a week spent in scenic San Diego, I boarded a Greyhound bus heading north to Los Angeles, to change buses there for my final destination of St Luis Obispo, a non-touristy town set some distance inland from the south-central Californian coastline. I chose this town because of its lack of tourist tat found in larger, more famous cities. I wanted to experience a taste of the typical American suburban life unhampered by famous locations and their visiting crowds. And the small backpackers hostel was nothing more than a normal suburban home with several bunk beds squeezed into two of its bedrooms (one for each gender) and registered with Hostelling International.

It was from this hostel which I hired the home-owner's bicycle to pedal the ten miles to Avila Beach, where I spent the day in pleasant weather before a fast burn-up cycle ride back to the hostel. The next day, with some free time, I sauntered into the local library. There, on one of its shelves, I spotted a book which title attracted my attention: History of the World in Ten Chapters - oh yes - and a Half - by Julian Barnes. I sat down to read the whole of the first chapter, which was a ongoing commentary of life inside Noah's Ark whilst the storms raged outside, as narrated by two stowaway woodworm. I was impressed with his literary imagination and ability.

That was twenty years ago. Reading Stephen Glover's article lashing out at whatever Barnes had written has not only aroused memories, but also curiosity on what this famed author had exactly penned. After noting the location of his original article from which Glover had quoted, it wasn't difficult for me to find Barnes' Diary in The London Review of Books website. I was intrigued by its length. If you think my blogs are long, they are indeed miniaturised by comparison to Julian's. It was actually a mini-novel about certain families from Germany, Belgium and France interacting with the English. Then, nearing the end, he gets to the point. Categorising The Daily Mail newspaper as the Pravda of the right, he brings up the case of the murder of Labour Member of Parliament and Remain supporter Jo Cox, by right-wing maniac Thomas Lair. Glover heavily criticises Barnes for accusing the newspaper of publishing a minor report of the killing after thirty pages of other news. Glover then emphasises that the Daily Mail had devoted its first page to the murder, then pages four, five, six, and seven, thus calling Julian Barnes an outstanding liar and promoter of fake news to prop up his support for the UK to have remained in the European Union.

Julian Barnes.

It was by first reading Stephen Glover's article in the Daily Mail, then arriving home, I was prompted by wonderful memories of my backpacking days to search the internet for the actual article by Barnes himself, from which Glover had quoted. What I have read was a shock to me! Because by quoting what Glover had written and then comparing his words to what Barnes has actually written, an inconsistency can be easily seen. A dishonest twist to Barnes' words by Glover intended to deceive his readers. Here is the comparison:

Stephen Glover: Referring to the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox a week before the referendum, Barnes claim "the Mail, which gave its readers 30 pages of more important news before deigning to report Jo Cox's murder."

Julian Barnes' actual wording: The Mail, which gave its readers 30 pages of more important news and comment before deigning to report the conviction of Jo Cox's murderer, and which has itself been deleted as a source of reliable information by Wikipedia.

The conviction of Jo Cox's murderer. That is what Julian Barnes actually wrote. Thus the reader of Stephen Glover's article is deceived. And the journalist's intention to deceive was most likely founded on his own principle of the reader's trust in his authenticity, as it was assumed that none of his readers would have bothered to check the source for themselves. However, the fact is that the murder took place on Thursday 16 June 2016, and I have no reasons to doubt that the Daily Mail did devote five of its pages to the case, including its front page headlines. But the conviction of the murderer himself took place at the Old Bailey on 23 November 2016, more than five months after the shooting occurred. Therefore if Barnes was referring to the conviction of Thomas Lair rather than to the crime itself, then it is within plausibility that the newspaper treated the case as a minor report thirty pages in from the front.

Therefore within a space of just two or three days, the inner dark secrets of the supposed virtue of patriotism are revealed. The first outlandishly against the apparent mawkishness and emotional sentimentality of two Royal brothers who both believe that sharing of emotions is beneficial and a possible antidote for the high rate of male suicide here in the UK. And this reflects the attitude of a bitter female journalist who had the most privileged of social status denied her by a committee sitting at Magdalen College in Oxford. Quite likely it was this loss of opportunity to gain a PhD degree, which initials would have trailed her surname. It makes me wonder whether her desire for the military was a way of getting her revenge, disguised by a "love" of our country offset by her hatred of Remain voters and demeaning them as monkeys, her disdain for public emotion, her wanting to throw out all immigrants from the UK, and her obsession for the social class divide.

The other journalist shows his patriotic love for Brexit by using deceit by deliberately misquoting another writer, a highly intelligent and eloquent Remain supporter. Then after ensuring that his deceit is well camouflaged, he has the audacity to accuse the Oxford-educated Remainer of being hateful, hysteric and a liar! And here is the irony: Stephen Glover received his degree at none other than Magdalen College in Oxford, as did Julian Barnes before him, yet the same rejected Katie Hopkins some years after Glover's graduation. In all, does the love for the economic, government, and social well-being of our country need to depend on lies, hatred, xenophobia, and partiality?

Loyalty to one's homeland is good if all its indigenous honoured God and obey his commandments, which includes a high respect for both home-born and foreign-born inhabitants. At the moment I can think of three Biblical characters who were very loyal to their nation, that is the nation Israel, and particularly Jerusalem, a city where God has forever placed his name. King David took Jerusalem from the Jebusites and made it his capital. Later he wrote psalms echoing his loyalty and devotion to Jerusalem. The whole of Psalm 122 is a good example of the King's loyalty to Jerusalem. Then the prophet Jeremiah shows his devotion to Jerusalem, and how its fall under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was the source of his grief which inspired him to write the book of Lamentations. But the most striking is the prayer delivered to God by the prophet Daniel, which is recorded in Daniel 9:1-19. Although he pleads for his people Israel, his land, and his city Jerusalem. But we read nothing of hatred, social class, national superiority, or xenophobia. Nor any appeals for imperial expansion either.

Instead, he pleads for God 's forgiveness for both himself and for his people from their sins, making a confession that God was very good in delivering the Israelites from slavery in Egypt to give them their land promised to their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who was re-named Israel. And yet his patience having endured for his people, despite living for centuries in constant rebellion against God's holiness. Daniel expresses his own sense of unworthiness, along with the unworthiness of his people. He honestly blames himself and his people for the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of his people to Babylon. Then he pleads with God for his gracious forgiveness and undeserved goodness, along with the restoration of the nation and of the city where God's own name is written. The prophet's pleading is a good example of standing under the shadow of the Cross. When in that godly state, any differences between indigenous and foreigner becomes totally of no importance, as with the evils of nationalism, social class, and xenophobia are all washed away. In their place, everybody becomes aware of his own sense of unworthiness before the throne of a Holy God. And this sense of unworthiness brings everybody together in unity, all in desperate need for God's love and forgiveness, along with the need for reconciliation.

How wonderful it was when Jesus Christ came, who is the Truth, the Way, and the Life (John 14:6). He death, burial, and resurrection has not only brought forgiveness of sins and reconciliation to a Holy God, but has broken down every barrier which existed between Jews and non-Jews, nation against nation, class against class, even the gender divide. Total reconciliation is what Jesus Christ of Nazareth has brought to everyone who believes. On the face of Truth, lying, hatred, division, and patriotism surely cannot stand a chance!

Ancient men of faith knew this very well. Enough to eliminate all sense of patriotism well out of their lives. Men of faith of both the Old and New Testaments. This we know, for in Hebrews 11, a list of faithful men is given, which is sometimes referred to as the Faith Hall of Fame. The writer then concludes with this:

All these people were living by faith when they died. They did not see the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country - a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
Hebrews 11:13-16.

What a difference between these great men of faith and the likes of Katie Hopkins and other strong-minded Brexit voters, both within journalism and those of other professions and vocations. The two classes could not be more pole-opposites! I can't help believe that if these hate-filled, lying patriots continue to swallow what the Devil offers them, then eventually they will all be swallowed by the Devil himself, and suffer a lost eternity.


  1. Dear Frank,
    Praise God for the heroes of the faith, and for His Word, which tells us not only of their faith but also their foibles, so that we know there is hope for any of us. God is truth, and so much of what we hear today, whether from the mouths of politicians or from "news" that may be distorted or even fiction, is not. Satan is working overtime to convince people of his lies.
    Thanks as always for the timely and thought-provoking, Scripture-based post.
    God bless,

  2. Sadly, in the last few years, American new media has decided thei primary responsibility is to control people's thingkin, rather than simply keeping them informed. Apparently they think the people are to stupid to make an intelligent decision if they knew what was really going on. so they editt the news to make only their position seem tenable. In reality they prevent people from making informed decisions by distorting or concealing the truth and accusing those who take a different position of being illogical, ignorant racist, or various other terms with unpleasant connotations.
    Being patriotic is not a hate ful term in itself, merely referring to seeking the good for one's home country. True patriotism will seek to eliminate some of the very things you mentioned as being detrimental to the country. Thankfully, God knows th etruth, and will guide us if we will listen.