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Friday, 27 June 2014

Richard Ingrams on dictators, antisemitism, feminism, homosexuality, child abuse and Auberon Waugh

http://quartetbooks.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/richard-ingrams/

Dictators
Mary and I had dinner with Mosley once and I was most impressed. His political charisma was clearly defined. At a certain point the conversation stopped and he began to speak about what was going on in the country and what ought to be done. Then he started to wave his arms and it all became slightly hypnotic and quite frightening.

Antisemitism
People such as Balfour, who were responsible for the State of Israel coming into being, were quite anti-Semitic and believed that creating a Jewish state would be a good way to get the Jews out of their own countries. It’s always seemed to me that the Gentiles most keen on Israel are anti-Semitic.
 The Jews are saying to the Palestinians, we don’t want you people; this is our country; we must keep our race pure. But because there are so many powerful Jewish lobbies, particularly in the United States, you’re made to feel guilty, or you’re attacked for anti-Semitism, if you mention the fact of racism in Israel.

Margaret Thatcher and Feminism 
I used to admire Mrs Thatcher quite a lot and I think she has done many good things. As a journalist, one is aware of how the printing unions have been crushed by her, and they undoubtedly were a restriction on the press. For example, you could never have started a paper like the Independent in the old days. There is no doubt, on the other hand, that she has been in power too long and has grown to be power mad. It happens to all those people. In my experience, women (this is a sexist remark) are unable to cope with power, not only in politics, but also in publishing, journalism, or whatever. Women in positions of authority can’t do it as a rule, or else they manage for a time, but after a while they crack up.

People say there should be more women in politics, but one of the good things about women is that on the whole they don’t want to go into that world. They are not in general ambitious, they don’t want power; or if they do want it they want to exercise it over individual men, not over men and women generally. The reason why there aren’t more women MPs is not because men are prejudice against them but because there are so few women who actually want to do it. Men and women have totally different urges, most men being ruled by women within marriages, for instance. Dr Johnson was absolutely correct in saying that law has wisely given women little power because Nature has given them so much.

I wouldn’t wish to attack individual feminists, but I do feel it’s dangerous for women to think they are better off without men or vice versa. It seems to me that we both need each other, yet the whole women’s movement is geared to the idea that women should dispense with these dirty, nasty men. It’s the same the other way round: men can’t get by without women. It’s natural for women to want to have children, and encouraging them to think that somehow they’re better off pursuing a career seems to me a wicked thing to do. It asks women to turn their backs on their natural instincts and produces much unhappiness.

I feel sure that feminism is in part responsible for our huge number of divorces, because women are encouraged to think that, if they are unhappy in their marriages, they have no reason to stay enslaved to a man; that if they don’t like it they should just give up. That’s wrong, and it is just as wrong for a man to make the same assumption. Women have a natural urge to kick over the traces, as I’ve constantly found with those I’ve employed on Private Eye. Every so often they think, sod this, I’m off to do something else. If you apply that urge to a marriage, then it can’t be a good thing.

Homosexuals
My antipathy to homosexuals is directed against homosexual campaigners rather than individual homosexuals. If I’m sitting side by side with a homosexual at lunch, I’m not going to get up and spit in his face since I don’t feel that individual repugnance. I don’t feel repelled by homosexuals if I meet them. I do object, on the other hand, to the politicizing of homosexuality and the propaganda and promotion of the idea, because I don’t believe in the notion being peddled that people are born that way and there is nothing to be done about it. It may well be true of some homosexuals, but the vast majority of those I know seem to me to be quite capable of heterosexual activity and to have a choice. Promoting the idea that they ought to make a choice in favour of the homosexual way of life therefore seems to me a great mistake.

Child abuse
Child abuse, for example, has become a major issue on television, and a kind of hysteria has been worked up because it is something on which everyone can agree. No one, except possibly Bron, will get up and speak for the child abuser, but all will agree he is terrible. In the same way, it is very easy for a vicar to make awful statements about South Africa in a sermon since no one will contradict him. All the time people try to get on these bandwagons of consensus issues.

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