Tuesday, 30 December 2014

WILLIAM BLAKE – Dreams and Nightmares

 WILLIAM BLAKE – Apprentice and Master. 
 Exhibition at Ashmolean Museum Oxford.

Few artists have ever been so versatile, or so original, as William Blake, artist, engraver, poet and satirist. Most people will recognize some of his extraordinary, powerful and arresting images. They have an impact far greater than their physical size might lead you to anticipate. The picture used on the poster for this event,

“Los howl’d” is actually quite small but amazingly bold and intense. The male figure is crouching, gnomelike, the arms wrapped around the head, whose face is a mask of indescribable horror, fear and dismay. It is comparable to the Expressionist painting “The Scream” done more than a century  later by Edvard Munch. Both have a nightmare quality enhanced by their livid colouring. Blake’s picture is an illustration to his own book “The first Book of Urizen” published in 1794. He continued to write and depict his own stories and poems all his life, following the unfashionable belief that a work of art could be both literary and visual in tandem and on an equal footing. The pictures were not secondary, and nor was the text. They were complementary.
               This exhibition traces Blake’s career and development. He never went to school but was apprenticed to an engraver, before training at the Royal Academy. He rejected fashionable taste and took inspiration from mediaeval and Renaissance art, particularly Michelangelo, with his perfect understanding of anatomy. Soon his creations started to depict a world of imagination, spirits, allegory and dreams. Many people enjoy Blake’s religious poetry, such as the hymn Jerusalem, without realizing how unorthodox his beliefs were. His parents brought him up in the Moravian Church and as well as reading the Bible he encountered belief in inspired visionary trances, Kabbalistic sacred sex, mysticism, alchemy, and the imminent Second Coming. The Moravian sect regarded Emmanuel Swedenborg, who believed that he had seen the New Jerusalem in visions, and spoken with angels, as a mystic and a prophet, and although Blake did not retain his faith in Swedenborg, his imagination was stimulated by such Continental and exotic currents of thought coming from far beyond the limited London world he inhabited.

                In his twenties he produced a series of  etchings entitled “All Religions are One and there is No Natural Religion”, followed by “The Book of Thel” which creates its own mythological world, in words and pictures. It was followed by “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”, which proclaimed a philosophy of liberation from traditional restraint, and he risked prosecution as his Song of Liberty openly proclaimed his support for the French Revolution. In this work he included the astonishing image of Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king who went mad and lived as a beast for seven years. Like Los, the image has a ferocious intensity, a face full of horror staring out of a mane-like beard, claws growing out of his disturbingly animal footlike hands, so that we are not sure if he is human or quadruped.
        Blake went on to publish “Europe: A Prophecy”, whose frontispiece features the famous image of God measuring the universe with a pair of compasses. It has a strong resemblance to his picture of Isaac Newton. In the book’s engravings, human figures seem possessed with demonic power and intensity; they weep, they shriek, they mourn, they supplicate. Two women crouch by a fire with a dead baby; angels are seen in company with devils; serpents writhe symbolically. The originals of these and many other immensely powerful pictures are brought together in this wonderful exhibition. In some cases there are several different versions of the same image as Blake coloured and finished them by hand. There are also examples of some of the inspired Bible illustrations he produced in later life  - the images of Job and of the death of Ezekiel’s wife are full of suffering and compassion.
      This is a very important exhibition. It is running only until 1st March 2015 so don’t miss it.




Monday, 22 December 2014

Nobody is Born Homosexual - Royal College of Psychiatrists Admits Truth

Last May the Royal College of Psychiatrists issued a statement in which they backed down from the dogmatic position that homosexuality is innate. This dramatic U-turn should have been headline news, but all our PC media and newspapers carefully avoided mentioning it.
The RCP was under pressure from the militant LGBT lobby to issue a statement in order to bolster their campaign to ban all orientation therapy even for those who seek it on a voluntary basis. Such a ban is of course one more attack on freedom. But the science was not on the LGBT side (surprise, surprise!) Resistance from a group of Christian psychiatrists forced RCP to admit that there simply is not enough scientific evidence for the LGBT theory.
Other explanations of homosexual behaviour  (i.e. childhood formative influences) are very much better documented. 
So it turns out that the Christians are better scientists than the atheists.

Anyone who kept up with scientific research could have told them long ago that the LGBT dogmas were fairy-tales. Eight independent studies carried out world -wide on the behaviour of identical twins have ALL concluded that homosexuality is not genetic. In the vast majority of cases  - around 90%  - their sexual orientation differs."Eight major studies of identical twins in Australia, the U.S., and Scandinavia during the last two decades all arrive at the same conclusion: gays were not born that way.
“At best genetics is a minor factor,” says Dr. Neil Whitehead, PhD. Whitehead worked for the New Zealand government as a scientific researcher for 24 years, then spent four years working for the United Nations and International Atomic Energy Agency. Most recently, he serves as a consultant to Japanese universities about the effects of radiation exposure. His PhD is in biochemistry and statistics.
Identical twins have the same genes or DNA. They are nurtured in equal prenatal conditions. If homosexuality is caused by genetics or prenatal conditions and one twin is "gay", the co-twin should also be "gay".
“Because they have identical DNA, it ought to be 100%,” Dr. Whitehead notes. But the studies reveal something else. “If an identical twin has same-sex attraction the chances the co-twin has it are only about 11% for men and 14% for women.”
This does not deter our abysmal education system from teaching children the lie that you can be "born gay" or even worse nonsense "in the wrong body". This ignorant view, defended by the pompous but ill-informed Dr Adam Ritchie, pervades our slavish TV and media, and it justifies setting up youth groups to indoctrinate and recruit youngsters to a life they may later regret. 

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In a highly significant development, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has changed its position on the causes and nature of same-sex attraction.

The review follows strong criticism made by the Christian Medical Fellowship and Core Issues Trust of the way in which the Royal College had handled scientific evidence on the issue.

In its latest statement, the Royal College states that "sexual orientation is determined by a combination of biological and postnatal environmental factors" and goes on to say that "[it] is not the case that sexual orientation is immutable or might not vary to some extent in a person's life" (emphasis added).

This represents a major shift from its previous position, which is still reflected in other parts of the Royal College's website (e.g. "there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences have any role in the formation of a person's fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation").

In justifying its new position, the Royal College cites studies that are over 10 years old. There is no explanation as to why weight had not previously been given to these. The Christian Medical Fellowship and Core Issues Trust had critiqued the Royal College's approach to evidence in their submissions to the Church of England's Pilling Report.

However, in spite of the recognition that post-birth factors play a part in development of sexual attraction and that sexual orientation is not immutable, the Royal College maintains its opposition to therapy aimed at helping people explore the possibility of change in sexual orientation. Instead it suggests that such therapy is 'potentially harmful' but cannot point to any hard evidence to justify such an assertion.

Andrea Williams commented:

"This is a remarkable development. The Royal College has been held to account by Christian organisations that have simply pointed to the hard scientific evidence which was being ignored, apparently because of ideologically driven blindness. Begrudgingly, the Royal College has changed its position but it still supports those who seek to deny help to those who face unwanted same-sex attraction. It claims that such therapy is 'potentially damaging' but where is the hard scientific evidence for that?

"The assumption that people are 'born gay' has become deeply rooted in our society and has driven huge political, social and cultural change. Yet now the Royal College of Psychiatrists has admitted that things are not so simple and that post-birth environmental factors play a part. It is a step in the right direction and I want to congratulate the Christian Medical Fellowship and Core Issues Trust for their painstaking perseverance to ensure that public debate acknowledges truth. We will continue to work to ensure that those facing unwanted same-sex attraction can access appropriate therapy."

Read the response from Core Issues Trust here >

Find out more - 'Debunking the Myths'

These developments will be discussed at the forthcoming 'Debunking the Myths' Conferences in London (13th June) and Belfast (14th June), featuring high-level speakers on the relationship between same-sex attraction, science and the gospel.

Well-known New Testament scholar Professor Don Carson says of one of the speakers, Robert Gagnon:



Saturday, 20 December 2014

Labour missed a Good Chance and Russell Brand Picked It Up

I have always thought that Russell Brand was an idiot. 

Russell Brand joins residents and supporters from the New Era housing estate in East London as they deliver a petition to 10 Downing Street.

 And I still think he is an idiot, but what does that say about Ed Miliband and New Labour, since undoubtedly Brand has scored a big popular victory in the New Era Housing Estate's battle against re-development  - and Labour has missed the opportunity to do so.

Russell Brand 's reason for existence seems to be to give men an insight into how women feel about Marilyn Monroe. A childish, brainless, wiggling dummy made into a celeb simply because of sex appeal. Well that's what Brand is too - and he may well have his chest hair blow-dried before appearing on TV, but the fact is that he has still for once done something to show he cares. He stood up for people who feared being driven out of their homes en masse. This was not about government cuts, it was about private owners seeking to maximize returns. 
Of course Brand is a political baby and of course he is economically illiterate - as most people are  - and of course he has done a lot of harm by telling people not to vote. Apparently he is an ex-drug-addict - it wouldn't surprise me. His sexual boasting and rudeness in collusion with Jonathan Woss were atrocious and juvenile. He earns enough to pay £76,000 per year rent and his company got funding from banks such as Royal Bank of Scotland which he denounces.
But despite all of that he took a short break from being a cocky lout to help some people who were in genuine distress. The New Era residents live in flats with a rent of £800 per month, and the market rent the property owners would like to charge is £2,400 per month. Now, after organised protest and resistance, the owners will be selling the site to an affordable housing charity. East London has always provided housing for the less-well-off and if they can be driven out from there, they can be driven out from anywhere.
Of course Brand doesn't understand the causes of the housing crisis, and he shrugs off the effect that unlimited immigration has on driving up prices, but at least he showed he cared. For five minutes he took his mind off sex and drugs. 
I don't think Russell Brand has got the answers to any of our problems. He wouldn't have the faintest idea how to explain the resurgence of slavery in modern EU-controlled Britain. Only this week thirteen more Eastern Europeans were found in Rochdale, working an 80-hour week, living in a barely-furnished slum and paid wages that left them with £25 per week after rent. This is the wondrous prosperous world the EU promised us.

Filthy: The Rochdale house where the 13 Slovakian slaves lived. They were paid £25 for an 80-hour week after rent was deducted for the squalid home and travel

The point is that New Era is a cause Labour could have taken up. These are brownie points Labour could have scored if it wasn't too busy running junk like HopeNotHate and operating fake Facebook pages or Twitter accounts attributed to members of certain other political parties.
If Labour had time for anything apart from endless dirty tricks, they could have been at the head of the New Era residents' protest march instead of leaving it to the likes of Brand.
     Start worrying if Labour sacks Ed Miliband and takes on Brand as its next leader! With 9 million followers on Twitter he could probably get elected.


Sunday, 14 December 2014

Labour Councillor Shields Serial Killer - Excuse me who is a "danger to the public"? Colin Ash-Smith or Marine Blackman?

When I wrote to my Labour MP Andrew Smith asking him to vote for clemency for Marine Alexander Blackman, he replied that Blackman's crime was an "appalling" one and that nobody could say he was not a "danger to the public."

Funny. Compare that to this case of a Labour councillor who sheltered a serial killer for twenty years...because he was her own son. She lied for him, gave him a false alibi and disposed of a knife before the police could come and search their home.

Mother: Diane Ash-Smith (pictured in October) gave her son Colin, 46, an alibi for the murder of 16-year-old Claire Tiltman in 1993, claiming he had been driving her home after dropping off leaflets

Thanks to Diane Ash-Smith, who later became Labour Mayor of  Dartford in Kent, Colin escaped justice for twenty years after ruthlessly killing schoolgirl Claire Tiltman in 1993.
And his diary records how he planned, stalked and possibly carried out the killings of numerous other women.
Both Diane and her husband were Labour councillors for many years.
Claire Tiltman murderer Colin Ash-Smith sentenced to life
Colin Ash-Smith

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Claire was stabbed repeatedly in an alleyway in Greenhithe while on the way to visit a friend.
Colin Ash-Smith, 46, was already serving three life sentences for previous attacks on two women.
Ash-Smith was told he would spend a minimum of 21 years behind bars by the judge at the Inner London Crown Court where he was found guilty on Thursday.
Judge Mr Justice Sweeney said: "I have no doubt that this was a premeditated murder that you carried out because of the feeling of power that it gave you.

Start Quote

This was a killing for the sake of killing, carried out by a ruthless and predatory armed killer”
Brian AltmanProsecution QC
"In so doing, you not only ended Claire's young life which was so full of promise, but you also caused unbearable grief and upset to her family and friends."
Ash-Smith was not in court for his sentencing.
About a dozen of Claire's school friends were in the gallery to hear the sentencing.
The judge praised Kent Police for bringing Claire's killer to trial.
"I would also like to commend the members of Claire's family and her friends who have attended this trial for the dignified way in which they have conducted themselves," the judge said.
"And I express my sorrow for the burden they have had to carry for many years at Claire's untimely loss."
Claire's parents, Linda and Cliff, died before her killer could be brought to justice, but they had been convinced Ash-Smith had murdered their daughter.
'Warped pleasure'
The Dartford Grammar School for Girls pupil was known as "Tilt" to her friends. She had just finished her mock GCSEs and wanted to go on to be a firefighter.
Ash-Smith was first questioned in 1995 as a suspect in Claire's murder but was only charged earlier this year, on the same day he was due to be considered for release by the parole board while serving his sentences for the two other attacks.
During the trial Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, said the former milkman got a "warped pleasure" from the "savage" attack on Claire.
"This was a killing for the sake of killing, carried out by a ruthless and predatory armed killer, who attacked his chosen victim rapidly and stealthily, allowing her no time for defence or escape," he said.

Councillor used her job to help murderer son cheat justice for 20 years: Mother of man jailed for killing teenager Claire Tiltman in 1993 pumped police for information about inquiry and provided son with false alibi 

  • Colin Ash-Smith, 46, finally convicted of murdering Claire Tiltman in 1993
  • Judge jails him for life with a minimum term of 21 years behind bars
  •  Ex-milkman went to her funeral in clothes he wore when he stabbed her
  • Ash-Smith described in court as his mother Diane's 'golden boy'
  • Mrs Ash-Smith claimed son was driving her home at time of Claire's death
  • She then used council post to obtain information about murder inquiry  
  • Police would not comment on whether she will now face charges
Claire was on her way to a friend’s house in Kent four days after her 16th birthday when Ash-Smith, then 24, pounced. He stabbed her nine times and left her to die in an alleyway
Guilty: Yesterday former milkman Colin Ash-Smith, 46, (left) was finally convicted of murdering 16-year-old Claire Tiltman (right) in 1993. Claire was on her way to a friend's house in Kent birthday when Ash-Smith, then 24, pounced, stabbing her nine times and leaving her to die in an alleyway
Brazen: Ash-Smith is pictured attending Claire's funeral, wearing the same jacket he had on when he stabbed the schoolgirl in an alleyway in Greenhithe, Kent
Motor: Colin Ash-Smith drove this car while on regular night patrols looking for his victims


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Monday, 1 December 2014

In Many Ways 1957 was Not Such a Bad Time

Private Eye   ...ha ha, but wait a minute. Was 1957 really such a terrible time to live? There were many good things about it if you stop and think for a moment.  

In 1957, there was full employment in the UK and in fact there was such a shortage of labour that we were begging immigrants to come in from the Commonwealth to do certain jobs. Rather different from the picture now, with chronic long-term unemployment in many sectors of society, and businesses perversely recruiting from abroad to make that situation worse. 

In 1957 we were steadily paying off our national debt, which was a result of war, not of overspending on benefits. We went on paying it off throughout the Thatcher era, but now it is steeply rising again and we have sold off most of our national assets as well. 
In 1957 we owned our own Post Office and a letter cost 2d.
In 1957 the UK had a large, vigorous and thriving fishing industry that flourished because we controlled our own waters. Now it has been reduced to shreds and our fish stocks ransacked and looted by mega-trawlers from EU countries.
In 1957 we had an immense national railway network with hundreds of little branch lines that have since been closed down. You could go almost anywhere by train and the railway provided a secure lifetime's employment for a multitude of the working class. In 1957 most people expected to have a "job for life". You trained as a nurse, a midwife or a teacher and you were not sacked at age 35 to make way for someone younger who could be paid less.
In 1957 the state pension was enough to live on.
A 3-bedroom semi in a London suburb cost £2,500, which was about five years' earnings for the average person. Now it would cost around fourteen years' salary.
Cadbury's was alive and kicking, producing real British chocolate in its factory-in-a-garden at Bourneville.
We made our own cars, bicycles, radios, knives, forks and scissors instead of importing everything from China. We even made our own china...
In 1957, the National Health Service in Britain was free. Completely free. People paid their taxes and in return got FREE prescriptions, FREE dental treatment and FREE eye tests. You could also get free glasses, or if you didn't want to be seen in the free ones you could get free lenses and buy your own frames.
Council care-homes for the old were free of charge.
In 1957, there were free grammar schools in every part of England. The academic standards they aimed at  - and mainly achieved  - were staggering compared to today's state education. Very high standards of literacy and language learning were taken for granted. The standards of most O-levels were comparable to what they call A-level today. Or higher. And school gave you free milk.
In 1957, if you won a university place, you got all your fees paid, even if your parents were very rich. If they weren't very rich, you got a free grant to cover your living expenses. This continued even if you were on a six or seven-year medical course. There weren't so many universities but there were plenty of training colleges and technical colleges which were also free of charge and guided young people  straight into work. 
In 1957, most children were born in wedlock, with two parents formally committed to supporting and bringing them up. From the child's point of view that was a decided advantage.
In 1957, Britain had a sizeable and effective armed force. It had a numerous army, a well-equipped navy and the best Air Force in the world. Now we couldn't defend a children's playground.

In 1957, your rubbish was collected weekly from outside your house, not fortnightly.
In 1957, you could drive your car into the middle of London or Oxford or most towns and find somewhere to park it  - FREE.
In 1957, public libraries were so well funded that they stocked a wide range of newspapers and would also get any book you asked for, free if you were still at school, or for a ridiculously low fee if you were an adult.

As far as mod cons go, the basics (washing-machines, fridges, radio, TV, telephones and central heating ) had been invented but because there was much less traffic on the road you could safely cycle almost anywhere you wanted to go. When you switched on the radio or TV you would hear bearable standards of English without endless swear-words or phrases like "He was sat over there". TV was still black and white, but at least you would switch it on and off without having to find some blasted control and point it at the box, press buttons and wonder whether the blasted batteries have run down.
In 1957, we still owned half of the world's broadcasting frequencies. We hadn't sold them off, unlike now.
There were twice as many pubs in England then, and five times as many little village shops.
And in 1957, we made our own laws. We were not subject to arbitrary decrees from the EU commissioners or absurd rulings from the ECHR. Our Parliament governed our country. Now we have given away our own sovereignty, blindfold as we were never told the truth about it. We were told we were entering a "free-market zone".


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