The Conservative Party is in a tailspin, plunging on every measure of political success and contentment.
Before I went on a break a week ago, I wrote a spoof rant on how the Tories had been partially swallowed by the Liberal Democrats. When I returned I found it was true.
First, that Chinese-dinner of a Budget in which a lot of money was shuffled around but nobody was left satisfied. It was so fiscally neutral it neutralised itself.
More importantly, when the nation’s grannies are fleeced, somebody has boobed big time. It’s no wonder top-gun Chancellor, George Osborne, tried to hide it.
Then, a story right off the pages of Charles Dickens. Wealthy gentlemen are lured into a house in central London, taken up to the top flat on the pretext of dinner and parted from a large slice of their cash. It’s such a sleek operation, the great Fagin would be proud of it.
To add to the woe, a columnist in The Times accused the Prime Minister of acting like a President, not a Prime Minister, as if he were a clone of Tony Blair. There is, of course, no vacancy for Head of State, so our PM must be thrashing around in some sort of limbo.
Dear oh dear, whatever happened to the most electorally successful political party in world history? With both Osborne and Cameron shot down within days, a gaping hole has been left at the top of government. Who will fill the gap?
Well, there’s always the Liberal Democrats.
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At last, a fad has emerged that might just run for more than a week or two.
Fads come and go like contestants on a TV singing show. A trend only becomes a genuine movement with some staying power when the London crowd takes hold of it. If Notting Hill and Islington chic are on board, it will fly.
So what are we to make of the strangest fad to arrive in ages: a huge demand for Vitamin D? The health pages of the press are now incomplete without a piece on this miraculous nutrient, previously linked only with rickets, or bent bone syndrome. Something for the very poor only, maybe, or immigrants from hot, sunny countries?
Vitamin D3 (the natural version) is really a must-have pill to pop for a variety of conditions, not just bone-specific, but with 2,776 functions in the human body.
New research has shown a remarkable correlation between the incidence of heart disease in a country and the burning of coal in power stations. Since Britain switched from coal to other fuels during the Miner’s strike in the 1980s, heart disease has diminished amazingly.
Doctors claim the success for themselves, of course, but it really should be attributed to Arthur Scargill who almost single-handedly shut down the UK coal industry.
The mechanism operating is that burning coal puts so much sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere that it filters out ultra-violet (UV) radiation in the 295nm band. That is precisely what stimulates the skin to produce Vitamin D, which is closely associated with heart disease.
A massive project that ran almost every possible cause of heart problems through the Legal & General computer showed no link with obesity, butter fat (indeed, butter gave an inverse correlation, so tuck in chaps), and no apparent benefit from vegetables.
The shining star of this programme was Vitamin D. So put away the sunscreen and take to the beaches. It should be noted, however, that the test didn’t include cancer, especially of the skin variety, but I bet Vitamin D is good for that too, as is lots of tomatoes.
Healthspan recommends a supplement dose of 25 micrograms (ug) of natural D3 a day for optimum health.
A belated Knighthood for “King” Arthur, perhaps?
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Do your shoulders slump the moment you hear the words “guest editor”?
You are not alone.
The temp will almost certainly be a quangocrat or an obscure member of the literati — an aged crime or science fiction writer perhaps — or a fiercely political tribalist who despises every neck of the woods apart from his own. Contemporary poets are among the worst as they are inevitably wet and boring. Time to bail out.
Editors and producers like to think they are “breaking new ground” or “pushing the envelope” by introducing the exotic or simply bizarre into their normally sedate package. It’s also, I fear, a sneaky way of getting back at a loyal audience for their mass protests at any slight alteration in the “much-loved” status quo.
But if you ditch a winning formula for “something fresh and exciting” you will almost always be the loser.
Let’s be done with this scourge of “guest editors” once and for all!
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In the idealistic days of one’s early teenage years, I adopted three mottos to carry me triumphantly through later life:
1. “Example is always more efficacious than precept.” Dr Samuel Johnson
2. “The higher he got, the further he could see.” Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure (Recently quoted by Charles Moore, which is what reminded me of these little gems)
3. “Never become trapped in a niche: experts are anything but.” John Evans
I made the last one up, but don’t discount it, it’s true. Overall, I reckon they have served me well. Any other suggestions?
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Book Review: A Parenthesis in Eternity by Joel S. Goldsmith
Although this book was first published in 1963, it remains one of the few attempts to tackle the whole of the spiritual path, including the final Union with the Divine, since the great works of John of the Cross: The Ascent of Mount Carmel and The Dark Night of the Soul.
Its tone is largely Christian, with Jewish inclusions, and many references out to the author’s own organisation: The Infinite Way. Being a natural mystic, his net trawls widely through Buddhist and Hindu sources, as well as the Mystery Schools of antiquity.
The work is described as Goldsmith’s spiritual autobiography, although it doesn’t read like one. He is insistent throughout the text that mystics should follow the Mystery Schools’ observance of complete secrecy about their own experiences. He does, however, go into great detail on what to expect at different stages along the path without putting his name on it.
I don’t agree with this self-imposed reticence, which I believe hands victory to atheists and others who can criticise without response. The original edict was sensible, since the Roman Church would not hesitate to burn at the stake anyone they regarded as a heretic. That threat has now receded completely and the internet has opened up total publishing for all, whatever one might think of that.
It is, however, quite clear that this is a man who has experienced what he describes and tells it with total honesty and without bragging.
I recently got my copy from Amazon. Anyone on the Quest, or thinking about it, should have a copy of this book. Militant atheists should approach it in a generous spirit. It is all true.
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Profundity of the Week
Introverts are the true leaders of the world, whatever extroverts may say.
See, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain (Just out).
who is the author of The Eternal Quest for Immortality: Is it staring you in the face? Available from Amazon and all good booksellers.
Mystics in the Modern World is coming soon.
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