Clarissa Dickson Wright (1947-2014)

About ten years ago, I bought a cookbook from the discount bin at Chapters. Hilarious and for the writing alone worth the $4 or whatever I spent on it. I have yet to attempt the recipes for snails or tripe or other offal-based dishes.

The author died today. From the obituary at the Telegraph:

Her support for the Countryside Alliance did see her plead guilty to attending a hare coursing event in 2007. She had thought it legal as the greyhounds were muzzled and the magistrate gave her an absolute discharge. “I did not get a criminal record for that,” she said. “I was quite looking forward to going to jail in Yorkshire and writing the prison cookbook. It would have been a rest.” In 2012 she again raised eyebrows when she suggested that badgers shot in any cull should be eaten. Badgers, she noted, were once a popular bar snack: “I would have no objection to eating badgers. I have no objection to eating anything very much, really.”



Where did I put my orange shirt?

The real St. Patrick would disapprove of your drunkenness and debauchery. Even if it is a fair approximation of Irish culture.

The Irishman now out contempt is beneath
He sleeps in his boots and he lies through his teeth
He blows up policemen, or so I have heard
And blames it on Cromwell and William the Third!

Finally, apropos of St. Patrick’s Day, here, from the BBC, is a better intro to trinitarianism then you’re likely to get from your local evangelical church. (Though there are exceptions.) After a bit of a rocky intro that leans in a modalist direction, the panellists of In Our Time give a pretty good rundown of the doctrine, from Paul and John, through Augustine, down to Barth.


Burke and electability

From Mere Orthodoxy:

Jesse Norman, a Conservative member of parliament, distilled from Burke seven core principles of conservative reform. Burke believed that statesmen should act:

  1. Early, forestalling problems before they are fully felt;
  2. Proportionately, in order to mitigate unintended consequences;
  3. Successively, building on the work and lessons of what’s come before;
  4. Steadily, allowing for those affected by change to adjust;
  5. Consensually, avoiding wasteful conflict that hinders a lasting impact;
  6. Coolly, aiming for a rapport with other leaders; and,
  7. Practically, making sure that each step is achievable.

Could you find a conservative party in the west today that actually believes that? That genuinely acts as though it believes that?

The Conservatives in Canada get part marks here. In a number of areas – trade, foreign affairs, and a few others that don’t come to mind right now, they do seem capable of running matters quietly and competently.

The more visible face of the party is a different story. The omnibus legislation, the ham-fisted maneuvering in committees, the stonewalling in the House of Commons, the relentless self-serving advertising for the “Economic Action Plan”, the crudely scripted soundbites, the muzzling of the backbenches, and more, all combine to give the party the well-deserved image of the’ nasty party’. And your average partisan, faced with this list, will likely shrug and say “they all do it.”

Indeed they do. And horrifying though it is to imagine, perhaps this is what the people want. They say they don’t, they say they want better, nicer politics, but deep in the bowels of the party headquarters the strategists know better. On left and right, the far greater appetite is for clamorous moral melodrama, not calm, careful governance. The people want someone to wage war on their behalf against imagined foes, against poverty, against drugs, against racism, against unfairness in all its forms. As Mencken observed, “democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”