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November 19th 2017 print

Peter Smith

The Prescience of Hilaire Belloc

Intelligent people aware of Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin and the like still manage to believe that Islam is benign and bad things won’t come of its growing foothold in the West. Belloc knew better, grasping all those years ago that its challenge can't be permanently postponed

Hilaire BellocI recently read Hilaire Belloc’s The Great Heresies. I confess to having read nothing else of Belloc which I now intend to put right. He was a Roman Catholic of great conviction and this apparently colours much of his political and historical writings. It is of course central to the book I have just read. At this time, I don’t want to go into all of the heresies against the Catholic Church which he covers, of which The Reformation is prominent. I want to focus on Islam, which he calls “the great and enduring heresy of Mohammed.”

A first thing to remember is that this book was published in 1938 when the Islamic world was largely occupied by Western Powers. If you trace a line from, say, 622 (when Mohammed and his followers reportedly migrated from Mecca to Medina) to 1938, it would be hard to find another period when the Islamic world was at such a low ebb. Now listen to Belloc.

Millions of modern people of the white civilisation – that is, the civilisation of Europe and America – have forgotten about Islam. They have never come into contact with it. They take for granted that it is decaying, and that, anyway, it is just a foreign religion which will not concern them. It is, as a fact, the most formidable and persistent enemy which our civilisation has had, and may at any moment become as large a menace in the future as in the past.

Switch to the present.

Fifty-six countries are members of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (I have left out the non-country Palestine). Iran will soon have a nuclear bomb. What North Korea did Iran can certainly do. The world’s Muslim population of around 1.7 billion is due to grow to 2.8 billion by 2050, according to a study this year by Pew Research. That same organisation projected in 2015 that Muslims will make up over 10 per cent of Europe’s population by 2050. That, let me guess, will prove to be a serious underestimate. Radical preachers abound inside and outside the West. Muslims have carried out over 30,000 deadly terrorist attacks since 9/11.

Imagine Belloc now. What would he think? Of course, he would think that he was right all those years ago. But he would surely be amazed that the threat had grown so large, had penetrated the very bosom of the West, under our very noses, so to speak, without it causing profound alarm. He surely would think that our political leaders had turned traitorous or stupid to continue to preside over Muslim immigration. And, as to the religion of peace epithet, his reaction presumably would be unprintable even for a devout Catholic.

A possible clue to Western political malfeasance lies in something else Belloc wrote.

I say the suggestion that Islam may re-arise sounds fantastic – but this is only because men are always powerfully affected by the immediate past – one might say that they are blinded by it.

This resonates with me. I find it all around me. Intelligent people aware of Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, and the like, think that bad things can’t happen. In my experience in Australia, they see the recent peaceful and prosperous past lasting forever. I remember expressing concern to a colleague after the Cronulla riots in 2005. His response was typical. Like other migrants, Muslims will become Aussies in nature and outlook, he claimed. That happened before and is bound to happen again. Isn’t it?

Our political leaders have a responsibility to shake us out of suicidal torpor in the face of dire threats. Be Churchill-like in other words. Unfortunately, our politicians almost to a man and woman are appeasers of the worst kind. The worst kind are not those who simply deny the threat. They are those who kow-tow to it and invite it into the living room where our grandchildren are playing.

Maybe we have the political leaders we deserve. Sometimes I think that when I listen to some Pollyannas around me. Others, thankfully, are perceptive enough to realise that bad things happen if we let them. But I fear such people are outnumbered.

Torpor will do us in when the enemy is resolute. Islam has been resolute for 1400 years. Here, finally, is Belloc again.

In Islam there has been no such dissolution of ancestral doctrine or, at any rate, nothing corresponding to universal break-up of religion in Europe. The whole spiritual strength of Islam is still present in the masses of Syria and Anatolia [≃ Turkey], of East Asian mountains, of Arabia, Egypt and North Africa. The final fruit of this tenacity, the second period of Islamic power, may be delayed – but I doubt whether it can be permanently postponed.

So here we are, eighty years after Belloc wrote. Islam is not only outside the gate but has a rapidly growing foothold within. As prescient as he was even he could not have foreseen that happening. Sheer self-destructive madness isn’t predictable.

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [53]

  1. ArthurB says:

    Winston Churchill made similar comments about Islam around the end of the 19th century, saying that while individual Muslims might be decent people, the religion itself was responsible for the backward state of Muslim societies. A few years ago, someone in Britain quoted Churchill’s words, and was immediately investigated by the thought police for making derogatory comments about the Religion of Peace.

  2. Bran Dee says:

    Once again Peter Smith calls it out with the clarity of Hilaire Belloc. Politicians don’t want to know about the dangers of Mohammedanism because that issue is harder to acknowledge than the national debt and both sides of politics avoid that issue.

    The other ‘ism’ Leninism/Stalinism need not have emerged in Christian Russia 100 years ago except for the foolishness of the Provisional Government after the abdication of the Tsar. The ministers in the PG were called by one observer ‘the foolish virgins’ and they made every mistake possible which enabled the minority Bolshevik despots to seize control and commence the reign of terror.

    Once established in Russia communism endured for 70 years but Mohammedanism once established in Spain endured for close to 700 years. Afghanistan, where once peaceful Buddhism and Hinduism were predominant, the sword of Mohammedanism has produced a violent and failing state continuing to fester and export terror to the world.
    [These issues are obviously not as important to our parliament as same-sex-marriage for 2% of Australia's population]

    • pabloAU says:

      Politicians don

    • pabloAU says:

      Politicians don

      • pabloAU says:

        Politicians don’t want to know about the dangers of Mohammedanism

        I don’t know. May they are scared? Maybe they smell the would-be-winners?
        Maybe someone does not let them be critical of enemies of one’s enemies?

        Interestingly it was Catholic world behind the Islam’s setback, on 3 major occasions, Charles Martel, Lepanto and King Sobieski, the last of which lasted for over three centuries.

        Not many senators supported Cory and his initiative to commemorate Vienna victory ( the King humbly wrote in a letter to His Wife: venimus, vidimus, Deus vicit, approach to the Osman enemy marked with frequent Holy Masses.

        Is such spirit still somewhere in The West?
        Because appeasement can only delay the road to serfdom.

  3. padraic says:

    Hilaire Belloc is certainly right about Islam and many other things, as well as being a writer with an incredible breadth of subject matter. I used to read to my kids when they were little, poems and stories from his collection of comic verse and verses for children. They loved them and they were funny, yet instructive. His perceptive sarcasm was evident in his poem “The Modern Traveller” and in his “A Shorter History of England” his discussion on Henry VIII’s medical ailment was different from normal histories. I rate as one of the best written pieces of prose that I have ever read an extract from his essay “Hills and Seas” entitled “The Mowing of a Field”. You don’t have to agree with everything he writes but you have to admire him for having a go. The modern PC mob would add his books to the pile they are gathering for a book burning. He is definitely not for the snowflakes.

  4. Ian MacDougall says:

    At this time, I don’t want to go into all of the heresies against the Catholic Church which he [Belloc] covers, of which The Reformation is prominent. I want to focus on Islam, which he calls “the great and enduring heresy of Mohammed.”

    Good move, Peter. Don’t get sidetracked into either heresy or witch hunts. Only enter into contests you can win, because modernity arose and medievalism sank at the time of the Reformation; which was a damned good thing, as it broke the political power of the professional Christians, otherwise known as the clergy; Protestant as well as Catholic. (As you might guess, I am a tad anticlerical.)
    But you are quite right about Islam.
    Both Islam and Christianity have an official position of eventually dominating the world. I do not think that either ever will, but if I was a betting man, I’d put my money on Islam. The contest is on: will Islamic migration subvert the West, or will the West prove too big a mouthful for Islam to swallow? As long as the PC mob can be held in check, I will put my money on the liberal West for that contest.

    In the pre-reformation Christian world, in the interest of saving known humanity from Sin, anticlericalism, and General Error, the Catholic clerics discouraged their flocks from the reading of Holy Scripture, lest those who they wished to maintain as sheep (to be regularly shorn) misunderstand certain passages, particularly from the Gospels, and fall thereby into said Error.
    The laity could easily misunderstand and become confused without clerical instruction in their proper interpretation, and so it was safest for the priesthood to do their Bible reading and thinking for them, particularly on matters of faith and morals. The Bible was thus placed on the Papal Index. This also saved Catholicism from the fate of the sectarian Protestants, who had splintered into a multitude of squabbling sects thanks to the opportunism of amateur preachers.
    Of course, those considered by the Holy Inquisition to be too far gone and too reluctant to renounce their own heresy, even on the Holy Rack, were sentenced to an early purgatory by being burned at the stake. Such, as you are probably aware, was the fate of the astronomer, philosopher, mathematician and occultist and critic of the clerically-favoured geocentric theory of the Universe, Giordano Bruno. HIS heresies can be perused by googling. The great physicist Galileo Galilei was hauled before the Chief Inquisitor Cardinal Bellarmine, and saved himself by renouncing the heresy that the Earth is in motion around the Sun, maintaining under his breath that it moved nonetheless.

    Beginning in the 19th century, historians have gradually compiled statistics drawn from the surviving court records, from which estimates have been calculated by adjusting the recorded number of convictions by the average rate of document loss for each time period. Gustav Henningsen and Jaime Contreras studied the records of the Spanish Inquisition, which list 44,674 cases of which 826 resulted in executions in person and 778 in effigy (i.e. a straw dummy was burned in place of the person). William Monter estimated there were 1000 executions between 1530–1630 and 250 between 1630–1730. Jean-Pierre Dedieu studied the records of Toledo’s tribunal, which put 12,000 people on trial. For the period prior to 1530, Henry Kamen estimated there were about 2,000 executions in all of Spain’s tribunals. Italian Renaissance history professor and Inquisition expert Carlo Ginzburg had his doubts about using statistics to reach a judgment about the period. “In many cases, we don’t have the evidence, the evidence has been lost,” said Ginzburg.

    The Inquisitors operated in Europe, chiefly on the Iberian Peninsula, in the 8 centuries spanning the 12th to the 19th centuries, and clearly proved to their own satisfaction that you do not have to execute many in order to scare the bejasus out of the rest of the population. The Kim dynasty of North Korea is the latest despotism to adopt that principle, with no Holy Catholic Church involved at all.

    All the above regimes illustrate the fact that scientific and technical progress depend on liberalism and free inquiry. In the case of North Korea, scientists and engineers have to be free to pursue their researches if progress is to be made, but within the limits set by the regime. That IMHO is a real challenge and difficult (in the long term probably impossible) balancing act for the regime. Agricultural science in the USSR was set back decades by Stalin’s dogmatic meddling in fields he did not understand well.

    Links next.

    • Jimbob says:

      Emeritus Professor John Lennox (Mathematics, Oxford) also points out the same matters you have here Ian. Honestly, we can’t be sure how accurate the 826 executions is but nevertheless, even if it was +/- 100%, it is an extremely small number over a period of 124 years throughout a nation of maybe 15,000,000 at the time. Considering, Spain was the central investigative region for most of Catholic Europe during that period, it’s catchment area was far greater that the borders of Spain.

      Let’s put it into perspective 826/124 = 6.66 persons p.a throughout Southern Europe mainly, say around 80,000,000+ people.


      Saudi Arabia 154 pa / 32,000,000; Iran 567 (2016 / 977 (2015) / 80,000,000 including for Sodomy…welcome to Australia!; China 2004 people (2014 – last published figures…bit on the nose for an emerging super power) / 1,400,000,000; USA 20 / 323,000,000.

      Why would we ever let the facts get in the way of a good story eh?

      • Ian MacDougall says:


        Why would we ever let the facts get in the way of a good story eh?

        Why indeed? 7 murders per year by the Black Brotherhood… why that’s nothing at all! And look on the bright side! Other brotherhoods have been a damned sight worse! Why not go and pick on them?
        And remember, as the Stalinists used to say: “the few die; the millions live.” If a few troublemakers have to cop a bullet each to the head in order for our glorious Truth to prevail and spread throughout the world, ’tis a small price to pay. Particularly since the world will certainly be better off when rid of them.

        • Jimbob says:


          You misunderstand me completely. I’m not justifying any murders, I’m simply pointing out the hypocrisy of those who use the “inquisition” to attack the Catholic Church. As you correctly point out, the Stalinists were far worse in terms of order of magnitude and that’s all I’m saying. Evil is not concentrated in one institution; it’s common to all institutions because all institutions are composed of evil doing humans.

          The cynicism is unbecoming though Ian. What’s your “truth”? Is there anything that you value more than you or your own life? Is there no moral issue that you would be prepared to fight for to the death? I get a feeling for what it is you believe in and it certainly isn’t the afterlife but I guess if you think that this life is all there is, you would probably want to avoid anything that might shorten its’ duration.

          • Ian MacDougall says:

            “Is there no moral issue that you would be prepared to fight for to the death?”
            If I had been old enough to join the AIF, after Pearl Harbour, I would have joined the fight against the Empire of Japan and its threat to Australia. Also against Hitler after Munich.
            But nothing in the news since 1945.
            The question is not so much of survival, but ‘survive as what?’.
            What is my “truth?” Why truth of course. I am a not some New Age mystic or postmodernist advocate of multiple ‘truths’. But I am a scientific seeker: always after scientific truth. Which is why I have such a history disputing the arguments of the antiscience, anticlimatology, antirenewables coal shill brigade who are so over-represented around here.

          • ianl says:

            > ” …But I am a scientific seeker: always after scientific truth”

            So when will you start, trollster ?

            Arm-waving, shouting in CAPITALS, ad-homs, straw men – all of these are not “scientific truth”.

    • Jody says:

      I’m hourly expecting (like Mr. Micawber) my access to be cancelled here as I’m not re-subscribing to “Quadrant”. Ian McD: I’ve read what you’ve said about the Christian religion and it’s hard to disagree with some of the, let’s say, dissonant elements of it you mention. You may be interested in this thoughtful discussion (on both sides):


      Also, the spiritual aspect of religion and belief – not to mention the tenets of christianity itself, which were the basis of our civilization for a long time – eventuated precisely because of what the priest said in that discussion; the direct result of two events human beings had no control over, birth and death. I’ve long believed that myself and it was nice to hear it from someone else.

      I have labored the point before about JS Bach and his Lutheran faith and its role in his transcendent music. Religion played a huge role in his life and let’s not forget this same man buried at least 10 children and 1 wife. And yet there isn’t a scintilla of grievance or victim-hood in his music. It’s sobering to bear those facts in mind and compare them to the atheistic snowflakes we have all around us today. Bach transcended the earthly and temporal while he was still amongst morals, and this is but one tiny exultant cry beyond his suffering:


      I think we mock religion at our own peril.

  5. Bill Martin says:

    Another excellent article by Peter. However, while it sounds the alarm loud and clear, there is not a shread of suggestion of what we might do to protect ourselves against islamisation. What’s the point of repeatedly staing the obvious – obvious to some at least – without prescribing some defensive measures? Nobody ever does! Is the call to action against this peril too much even for quadrant? Would it be so very dangerously politically incorrect to canvas some ideas which might be effective against the onrush of our demise? While we commiserate wringing our hands, our mortal enemies progress towards their goal virtually unhindered.

  6. Keith Kennelly says:

    End Muslim immigration, ban the subversive Islamic ideology, close the Islamic schools and mosques, jail radicals and roundup and deport the extended families of convicted terrorists.

    That would fix it..

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      We still have immigration controls, but banning an ideology takes us into Orwell territory. Closing Islamic schools, OK: but all other religious schools would have to also close, lest we head into Saudi and Iranian type religious control. Jail radicals, provided they have committed a crime, and re making thoughts crimes: see Orwell again, and the history of the USSR re punishing families for the alleged deeds of one member.
      Most Muslim immigrants and asylum seekers are in fact refugees from their own godawful religion, though most of them have a hard time seeing or admitting it.

      • BTW says:

        Islam is not a religion. It is an ideology which is incompatible with democracy, just as communism is an ideology incompatible with democracy. Religious schools in Australia work within the rule of law of the country and the separation of powers. Muslim based schools seek to foster their own Sharia laws which are based in the Islamic ideology. Western civilization has Christian foundations based on worship of a God of love whereas Islamic ideology is based on the barbaric inclinations of Mohammed.

        • Ian MacDougall says:

          All religions are ideologies, whose main function IMHO is providing a rationale for group identity and cohesion. Christians and Muslims alike worship the Sky Tyrant Yahweh, thought up by ancient Jews, but the Zoroastrians’ Ahura Mazda (from 6th C BC) could well have been the first of the lot, and inspiration for all the rest.
          Christ declared that we should love our enemies, but that did not stop later Christians from publicly and barbarously killing those same enemies, and also coming up with arguments that one could simultaneously love someone while burning them alive.

      • Keith Kennelly says:

        Ian it is just this kind of nit-picking which has hamstrung our ‘managerial elites’ and bought us to a point where nearly 2%of our population now have an alliegence to and adherence to an ideology directly in conflict with the pillars upon which our society is built.

        What don’t you get that?

        • Ian MacDougall says:

          If any of the Muslim 2% break the law: the central pillar on which our society is built, then they should bear the consequences. But having “an alliegence [sic] to and adherence to an ideology” can never be a crime. The “central pillar” of our society is freedom: of thought, of religion, to participate in markets as both buyer and seller, and freedom of association. Those are precisely what authoritarians and tyrants of every stripe have opposed down through the ages.
          And that means freedom for those who think and speak against freedom, and against democracy. Over the history of Australian democracy, we have had more than our fair share of those who sought to ‘protect democracy from itself.’
          Muslims are commonly refugees from the tyrannies and wars of succession so common in the Islamic world. Tyrants are rarely beaten by the armies of rival tyrants. They are commonly beaten by armies who come as liberators, and democratic ones to boot.
          The Athenians proved that to the ancient world when they defeated the Persian armies at the Battle of Marathon.

  7. Jody says:

    Unfortunately not all muslims are escaping their religion; very many of them have brought their organization criminal activities to this country, which is appallingly soft on crime. This is amongst the very least of their problems – being afraid of the Australian legal system. What a bonanza for all of them: as my hero Jordan Peterson says, ‘if you already have these social problems why would you want to import more of it”!!


    (Any minute now I expect my Quadrant account to close as I will not renew it.)

    • Doubting Thomas says:

      Sorry to hear that, Jody. I for one will miss your contributions to the commentariat. Personally, I can’t imagine life without Quadrant, the only bright, shining beacon in the gathering politically correct gloom.

    • Warty says:

      I concur with Doubting Thomas, Jody, and your stated reason for ditching QOL (technical malfunction to do with your inability to withdraw an already posted article) seems too trivial to me. The fact that there have been a series of ad hominem attacks on you may seem more pertinent, but there again, not everyone regards your contributions as being politically toxic. I personally disagree with your views about Abbott (though I know why you hold those views) and Trump (though I know that you, Greg Sheridan and Paul Kelly find his ‘mannerisms’ distasteful), but so be it, those are your views and rightly presented in an open forum.
      My own delight is being able to come up with an argument to combat yours, and others’ in a hopefully rational way. The fact that the whole range is given ‘a voice’ is wonderful: it doesn’t happen in The Australian, for instance.
      So do reconsider, fellow English teacher.

    • en passant says:

      Oh good. Another unexpected improvement

    • padraic says:

      Hang in there Jody. Ignore the personal sledging directed at you. I have always thought that is out of place in a publication like Quadrant. I read the article in the hotlink you posted above and to meet Bill Martin’s suggestion we offer answers to problems as well as identifying them, I would suggest that we stop all migration for 5 years and those who are here already should be required to take up Australian citizenship and renounce their original citizenship and not be allowed to send money out. Muslim migrants should be asked to sign a document saying they do not support Sharia Law and if they don’t then bye bye. All migrants who don’t renounce other citizenships should be asked to leave. The article mentions that the family owes $10 million in tax, yet “legally” sent out $20 million to Lebanon. These people at laughing at us and think we’re mugs. During the 5 years respite, monitor the number of criminal convictions incurred by each migrant group and use that information as a basis as to whether we resume taking further migrants from a particular country. We need breathing space to integrate newcomers into our society, not consign them to “multicultural” ghettoes.

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      Your decision of course, Jody; even though welcome as far as Eyn Pyssant is concerned. (In itself a reason to stay).
      But you will be sadly missed by the more discerning members of this motley crew.

      • Jody says:

        Thanks very much Ian, Warty and DT. The problem of inability to edit posts (I’ve made a lot of typos) has finally gotten to me, as well as the ad homs of which you speak. I’ve enjoyed all your comments/contributions and hope I’ve respected them thoughtfully enough to put the time and energy into a response. We live in dark times; in my over 60 years I cannot remember feeling the encroachment of tyranny as I do now and the entire mainstream polity caught in the headlights of the moral miasma. My own extended family has succumbed to the mind-numbing group-think of political correctness and I have nothing in common with them. Rainbow flags, Manus Island detainees being ‘tortured’, Bob Brown as a hero, Tony Abbott as the devil incarnate. These are not the thoughts or ideas of happy people. So, as I hourly await my disconnection thanks to those who’ve commented. PS: I’ve just given a fairly large donation to the IPA; I live in hope that freedom may return but know it won’t happen by an act of god.

        • SJones says:

          I would like to add my name to the list of people who would be sorry to see you go Jody. I always look for your contribution (along with the other regulars), even though I don’t always agree with you. I agree with you more than disagree. Please reconsider.

    • LBLoveday says:

      It won’t close unless they find someone to re-write their computer system.

  8. MOAB says:

    Expanding islamisation of the world is not a natural phenomenon. Along with the followers of various other extremist philosophies, muslims were mobilised by those who want to destabilise the world in order to remould it. In this capacity muslims have proven to be a very useful and stable tool in the hands of globalists.

    • BTW says:

      The focus of the left on destroying the civilization which has given them such an incredible standard of living (even if it’s at the expense of fellow citizens) is a classic example of biting the hand that feeds it.

  9. Jody says:

    I posted this earlier than my other comments but it is ‘awaiting moderation’ so I’m posting it again:

    I’m hourly expecting (like Mr. Micawber) my access to be cancelled here. Ian McD: I’ve read what you’ve said about the Christian religion and it’s hard to disagree with some of the, let’s say, dissonant elements of it you mention. You may be interested in this thoughtful discussion (on both sides):


    Also, the spiritual aspect of religion and belief – not to mention the tenets of christianity itself, which were the basis of our civilization for a long time – eventuated precisely because of what the priest said in that discussion; the direct result of two events human beings had no control over, birth and death. I’ve long believed that myself and it was nice to hear it from someone else.

    I have labored the point before about JS Bach and his Lutheran faith and its role in his transcendent music. Religion played a huge role in his life and let’s not forget this same man buried at least 10 children and 1 wife. And yet there isn’t a scintilla of grievance or victim-hood in his music. It’s sobering to bear those facts in mind and compare them to the atheistic snowflakes we have all around us today. Bach transcended the earthly and temporal while he was still amongst morals, and this is but one tiny exultant cry beyond his suffering:


    I think we mock religion at our own peril.

  10. Warty says:

    Having read about the abuse meted out to Andrew Hastie, from some of the 60% ‘Yes’ voters of his electorate, I am of the mind that Islam is the least of our worries at the moment. I may be remiss in thinking that our civilisational decline is in itself responsible for the inroads Islam has achieved in Europe, Britain and here in Australia: but I believe that SSM is only the half of it.
    For the conservatives amongst us, the task ahead may seem overwhelming, so I’d rather consider just one step at a time, and shrug off the inhibiting idea that I might be a little too old to do much to resist the swell. I consider myself to be one of many resisting the ravages of the ‘progressives’ as they attempt to tear down all our cultural edifices. It is why I respond to articles and comments here and elsewhere. It is also the reason I joined the Australian Conservatives, having been a Liberal voter for most of my life.
    I believe one of the more significant errors to have emerged from The Enlightenment was fostering the idea of the individual over and above the needs of the community. This may seem a rather simplistic way of putting it, but promoting the freedoms of the individual over and above his responsibilities to his community must ultimately lead to social dislocation, and eventually complete anarchy.
    There are a number of Quadrant readers who’d disagree, but one of the great many virtues of Christianity was to consider the needs of others before those of your own, in other words the very opposite of what is happening in Western countries, where individual rights have become institutionalised dogma, unless it comes from the right, in which case it is to be demonised with the sort of religious fervour protestants and Jews might have come to expect from the Spanish inquisition.
    The aftermath of the SSM business is a nation divided. The issues that seem to preoccupy Jody’s extended family are again symptoms of a nation divided and an invitation to Islam to step in to fill a void.
    I agree with much that Peter and Hilaire Belloc have to say about the rise of Islam, but let us deal with our existential malaise first. We may then miraculously find the resolve to push back against creeping Sharia. Publications like Quadrant perform an important function in this resistance, and it needs our continuing support to maintain that role.

  11. Keith Kennelly says:

    Ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an argumentative strategy whereby an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of …

    Now go back and look at those that Jody initiated.

    And learn the meaning of hyprocrasy.

    Of course I initiated a few but the vast majority of attacks by me were made on Jodys opinions and outlandish statements.

    I’ve attacked her for being of such many let views and bexhibiting the behaviours of Burnhams ‘Managerial Elites” and for exhibiting attitudes and adopting positions the same as the moderate wreckers of the liberal party.

    I’ll stand by this.

    The posts today in regard to this have been in no small measure directed towards me, in an underhand manner. Name names it’s less cowardly.

    Yet I doubt very much anyone would bother to write a post about Jody’s disgraceful behaviours.
    Nor will I.

    • Warty says:

      Over a year ago, I found my interchanges with Rob Ellison taking on a vindictive edge, to the point whenever he posted a comment, and whenever I posted a comment each of us simply had to engage. The fact that others bore the same attitude towards him is beside the point; nevertheless he disappeared from QOL, and I regret that. There have been several since who have held different views to mine and I either resist responding or I do so dealing with those aspects I disagree with, as I feel that taking it ‘to the person’ detracts from the quality of debate. A serious argument stimulates, but vendettas are hurtful to all involved: there are no victors there.
      I read, and respond to, a number of online publications, including American ones, and some of the latter are the worst, in terms of their low level of debate. Quadrant is one of the best, and Spiked, a libertarian English publication is often on a par. Catalaxy Files is a bit of a mixture.
      In other words the quality of the debate is determined entirely by the readers, not the editorial staff, though Sinclair Davidson will at times suspend guest posts, whenever he has what he calls a ‘Bird attack’, a trollster who goes ballistic at times.
      The fact that QOL readers have not ‘named names’ has little to do with cowardliness, but more a collective desire to be polite and avoid the continuation of ad homs: those will destroy this publication. Rob Ellison’s departure and Jody’s imminent one are evidence of this, and I honestly think we are the lesser for this.

    • LBLoveday says:

      The comments software is far from perfect, as Jody has pointed out, but it does underline many obvious errors in spelling and, or, grammar, so they can be corrected and cannot properly be passed off as unwitting “typos”, like the following from your post (which my 2007 Outlook also picks up):
      while giving a pass to others that a cursory proofread should pick up:
      “liberal party”
      “such many let views” (2 for the price of one!).

      I’ve long thought that sloppy writing likely indicates sloppy thinking or a disrespect for the intended recipient(s).

  12. Keith Kennelly says:

    Now Warty

    Is LBLoveday’s post the nasty type of ad hominem, that cowardly attacks with out naming names, that you suggest should be ignored.

    It is the same type of ad homenim attack indulged in by Jody and is a common tactic used by Burnham’s ‘superior minded’ managerial elites?

    A simple yes will suffice. I won’t expect you to be consistent and reprimand JBLoveday, as you criticised others.

    • LBLoveday says:

      Who is the JBLoveday of whom you write? Sheesh, I’ve seen more attention to detail from 7 year old boys with ADHD!

      Quote: “cowardly attacks with out naming names”. Huh? Assuming you mean “without”, my name is at the head of my post, and the content is so clearly directed at your post that naming you would be superfluous.

  13. Keith Kennelly says:

    Ps nothing in Loveday’s post smacks of a desire for politeness.

    • Warty says:

      LBLoveday’s response reminds me of a South African (with a strong Africaans accent) commenting on the danger of being complacent when around Honey Badgers. He warned that they had a tendency to rip the balls right off an unwary human. It seems to me the pointedness of Loveday’s response has that quality.
      Most of us would have noted the interchanges between you and Jody and perhaps felt they were unnecessary and unpleasant, particularly seeing we have no clue whatsoever about the full range of opinions an individual may hold. Add to this the fact that we are responding to a more limited form of communication, lacking the far greater range of face-to-face contact brings. Tone may give an indication, an impression, but that is all it is: an impression.
      I am not normally in the habit of rushing in to judge an individual (though my wife thinks otherwise, with regards to herself) but the compassionate side of me can’t help voice regret when somebody feels the need to leave an online community like ours because of the tenor of debate. This is the only reason I felt compelled to comment, as normally I leave you, Jody and En Passant to fight it amongst yourself, distasteful though I find it.
      LBLoveday is presumably has quite a different nature to mine, and has responded in kind, not to an attack on himself, but to the nature of your own vociferousness. That is his decision, not mine, though I would rather simply observe rather than judge. The fact that I originally offered sympathy to Jody and mentioned the ad hom attacks, without reference to individuals engaged in the interchange, was to avoid making ad hominem comments. Though entertaining, I leave the Honey Badger stuff to others.

      • LBLoveday says:

        Are you Warty2 elsewhere?
        It is inevitable, imo good, that people have different natures (imagine if we all sought the same qualities in a spouse!).
        I’ve always been impervious to wrongful criticism, even as a child, while thankful to those who set me straight, whether that be regarding wrong spelling/grammar, numerical miscalculation, lack of knowledge, or poor behaviour.
        I drummed into my daughter “If someone criticises you, she is right or wrong. If wrong, she’s the one with a problem, so ignore her unless you feel you must help her. If right, she has done you a favour, so work on correcting the fault he has identified”.
        However, I have always felt protective of others who at a particular time seem more fragile than I, whether physically or mentally, and may not be able to ignore the unwarranted criticism or physical threat, and I instinctively attack their attackers. My wife thinks I am brave – but I cannot be brave as I have never felt fear.

        • LBLoveday says:

          Self-criticism – should be “the fault *she* has identified”.

        • Warty says:

          I am indeed Warty2 elsewhere. Spiked, for instance, insists on telling me that I can’t be ‘Warty’ as another Warty exists elsewhere (he happens to reside at The Australian and QOL).
          Many have quite rightly found fault with me, but I agree with you, in that if they have a problem with me then that is something for them to deal with. As for fear, I’ve experienced more than my fair share of that, but most admire those who have put themselves in the line of fire despite fear of imminent annihilation. Paul Ham’s Vietnam: the Australian War is replete with examples of such men.

          • LBLoveday says:

            I’ll order the book.
            I’ve just re-read Colebatch’s “Australia’s Secret War”, about the disgraceful treatment of young men, many conscripts doing their government’s bidding, by Unions and the likes of Cairns. P237 again reminded me of the most vile comment I’ve ever seen in Hansard, by, who else, Keating: “Fifty years ago your class was supporting them (Japanese)”. It was directed at the Leader of the Opposition, Downer, whose father (can’t be more distinctly of “your class” than that) spent the last 3 years of WW2 in the hell-hole of Changi.
            A couple of years ago, I had a lay-over in Darwin and visited their War Museum. Canberra it isn’t, but they had a new Vietnam display, and I read everything they displayed written by veterans. Their confusion and dismay came through so clearly.
            I particularly liked two “call to action” pamphlets devised by grunts, the key messages being that on coming home “Punch a Postie” in reference to the PMG Union’s strike on handling mail to soldiers in Vietnam – no news from parents, wives, sweethearts, friends… allowed – and “Wallop a Wharfie” in reference to the dock strike preventing materiel being sent to Vietnam, materiel to protect Australians, including friends of mine, conscripted by their government and sent to war in a foreign land.

    • LBLoveday says:

      Quote: “Ps nothing in Loveday’s post smacks of a desire for politeness”

      “Phantom rough on rough-necks” Old Jungle Saying.

  14. Keith Kennelly says:


    Just carry on and keep calm.

    You’ll survive.


    Jody isn’t leaving because of our interchanges being unpleasant. Indeed she has initiated almost all of them.

    She’s leaving because she has finally realised she has been wrong and so often been on the wrong side of nearly every issue. She also realises she sits with Turnbull and his destructive mates.

    She can no longer express the views she has held without appearing at odds with the opinion of almost everyone here, on Abbott, Trump, the bedwetters and Turnbull.
    The only one she shares an opinion of is Shorten, but that isn’t hard.

    You too lb would be horrified st you comments, as horrified as Jody, should you ever meet me.

    Tell me what degrees do you have?

    YJody has them all, apparently, yet can’t maintain her composure in the face of facts that challenge her opinions.

    Are you the same?

  15. Keith Kennelly says:


    You seem to exhibit much knowledge of the the behaviour of 7 year old boy”a and comics.