Odds, Ends and Interviews

Chris Nuttall on how traditional book publishers are making themselves irrelevant, and how for indies, Amazon is basically the only game in town.

The Chrishanger

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Scenes from Europe before the storm

Scene one: At a reception at an unnamed organization, as I was talking shop with a few colleagues, I overheard conversation from the next cluster of people over. They were discussing churches being repurposed as libraries, discos, shops, a hotel, and, increasingly… mosques. What struck me (as an non-Christian who largely grew up in Europe) was not that they were discussing this matter. It was the perfunctory tone in which they did so — as if the subject matter was the rainy weather or a 10% increase in the price of vegetables.

Scene two: a number of people — card-carrying New Class members, what else? —  lamenting the “xenophobia” of the common ‘native-born’ people. Needless to say, they live in neighborhoods that are largely insulated from the mass ‘refugee’ wave and its fallout.

Scene three: a former mail carrier in his eighties struck up a conversation with me, after he figured out I was fluent in his language and familiar with the country. He pointed out that, while he had a sizable pension after his 45 years of service, a refugee family that had just moved in across the street got more in welfare payments than his , plus a nearly rent-free house.

The man pointed out he had voted Socialist all his life. But he was so sick and tired of being called a ‘racist’ for even mild criticism on Muslim refugees that he was switching his allegiance to a shady far-right party I myself never would want any truck with. Upon being queried, he basically said: ‘if they’re gonna call me a racist anyway’

Now if I had a Euro for every time in five days I’d heard variations on this theme: “if the Eurocrats and media are  gonna brand us racists anyway, we might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb”, I could have at least paid for a roundtrip flight. Behold the incentive structure the New Class has created.

When things blow up, it will not be pretty. Having largely grown up in Europe, this is heart-wrenching to see.

In some countries, conservative-leaning politicians are trying to stem the tide by reforms that aim at eliminating the worst abuses and at stanching the fiscal hemorrhage from a generally unsustainable welfare state. One such party leader, Bart De Wever of the Belgian N-VA party, actually has the audacity to invoke Edmund Burke — the father of modern conservatism — as an intellectual founding father. One can only hope he and others like him can offer an alternative to, on the one hand, mindless ‘multicul’, and on the other hand, ‘blood-and-soil’ thinking that might lead Europe down equally dark alleys.

Any glimmer of hope is welcome. It is two minutes to midnight.