Category Archives: Books

A brief remark on style

While I agree in principle that fiction writers should avoid the passive voice and choose a strong verb in instead of resorting to adverbs, the passive voice and adverbs are functional part of the English language, and I use them when required by the shade of the narrative. I take my example from Evelyn Waugh who, it was said, never wrote a bad sentence. Take this sentence in Decline and Fall (chapter 9 about sports day). There were accusations of cheating:

No one spoke of the race, but outraged sportsmanship glinted perilously in every eye.

Would Waugh’s meaning be the same – have the same force – if one removed ‘perilously’ ? Or what verb could replace the already descriptive ‘glinted’ and convey the same meaning?

Short synopsis of ‘In Times of Distress’

On ‘My Books‘ page I have posted a short synopsis of the first book in the Winterbine Tetralogy. I am more than halfway through the writing and am confident of a release date in December 2019.

IN TIMES OF DISTRESS
Book One of the Winterbine Tetralogy.
Fr Jos van Engelen, a Dutch missionary priest stationed in New Guinea, is recalled to Holland in March 1940 to help the Superior-General in combating suspected subversion within the order. At the German invasion of Holland, he is drawn into dangerous covert operations against the Nazis which results in the execution of close collaborators. While in Amsterdam, he saves a young woman and her baby from being crushed in a stampede. It’s the start of a relationship with the young woman and a deadly tussle with her occultist husband. At the same time, he enters into a running conflict with the same subversive elements within his order. The conflict comes to a head during the Second Vatican Council, the result of which is his expulsion to Binawarra, a small country town in Australia. In a parallel plot, Anneke van Engelen, the priest’s niece, goes astray during the student radicalism of the 1960s with disastrous consequences. Fr van Engelen and Anneke van Engelen feature in THE CASTLE OF HEAVENLY BLISS, book three of the Winterbine tetralogy.


The ‘Goddess’, neo-paganism, the occult and Gnosticism are introduced as the themes of the Winterbine series. The ideological conflicts of the 1960s and 1970s form the background.
Publication December 2019
More information HERE.

Pell-haters triumph – Australian justice system collapses

Cardinal Pell’s enemies inside and outside the Church have triumphed. It took years of mockery, vilification, fabrication, defamation, and calumny to achieve it. But there it is. The years of poison they have pumped into the Australian population, particularly in Victoria, meant Cardinal Pell was never going to get a fair trial. Indeed, it is likely there were some among the jurors who were determined to destroy the Cardinal before a word had been said in court.

Media sewer rats Louise Milligan and David Marr can be pleased with the brilliant results of their biased character-destroying books.

I don’t believe for one instant -never have and never will – that Cardinal Pell is guilty of the charges for which he has been convicted. What was charged never happened. What the motives were of the person who out of the blue made the charges, I cannot say. The public is not allowed to know anything about him. The public is not allowed to know details that may mitigate in Cardinal Pell’s favour, that may cast doubt on the accuser’s credibility.

Did the accuser have a vested interest in Cardinal Pell’s destruction?

To have doubt cast on the accuser’s veracity would be repugnant to the Pell-hating media who want the story kept as tight as possible and who prowled around outside the court building like hungry wolves. I watched the Channel 7 bulletin directly after the suppression order had been lifted. Their unabashed reporters showed they had long thought Pell guilty and were eagerly waiting for permission to pour out their disgust. Which they did in buckets. Not one mention of the questions that could be raised.

Ironically, the ABC whose commentators have played a determining role in the destruction of Cardinal Pell allowed comments of doubt from two high profile Catholics. Paul Collins, former priest, and Fr Frank Brennan, both critics of Cardinal Pell and on the Catholic left, said they were ‘gobsmacked’ by the verdict. They obviously did not think the Cardinal would have been found guilty. The shock generally among Catholics is reported to be tremendous. With good reason.

Apart from the effects of years of vilification, I have several reasons for rejecting the verdict.

First, such behaviour was totally out of character. I have followed Cardinal’s career closely for years. He was an articulate defender of the Faith orthodox Catholics wanted. To defend the Church against its critics inside and outside the Church, one has to be tough. But his behaviour was otherwise unimpeachable. He preached and acted out the Faith fearlessly. It is just too much to believe that such a well-organised man was so stupid as to jeopardize his newly assumed position as Archbishop of Melbourne with such risky action. It does not wash.

Second, in 2015 the scandal of clerical sexual abuse had been in the headlines for years. In 1996 Cardinal Pell had set up a body to deal with cases in Victoria. Compensation would be made. It was only a question of how much. Then all of a sudden around 2015, a basket of accusations of sexual abuse was laid at Cardinal Pell’s feet. Victoria Police were falling over themselves to arrest and charge him. Which they did. It was as if a faction had colluded.

Why did the successful accuser wait so long before he went to the police when he must have known he would have been treated with kid gloves if he had done so years before? The reasons he gives for waiting are not convincing. Why would an innocent 13-year-old who must have gagged and choked at the action he was forced to carry out not have stumbled shocked and half-conscious from the sacristy and then have escaped the notice of the people milling around in the church? And why, if he did indeed escaped attention, did he not saying anything about such violent action? The story is just not credible.

Third, the time and location of the alleged actions make them improbable, if not impossible to have happened. If people examine the location of the sacristy where the action was alleged to have taken place, then they must conclude not only would anyone in Archbishop robes find it extremely difficult to do what was charged, but they could not have done so without being seen. There would have been people everywhere at that time. See Fr Brennan’s article for far more detail supporting my analysis.

The far left – the Marxists – have always used demoralisation to undermine their ideological enemies. Most Catholics in Australia must be feeling utterly demoralised at the moment. Some who know their history must be thinking that not much has changed since the penal laws and anti-Catholic bigotry came ashore in Sydney Cove on the 26th of January 1788.

One must fear for the life of Cardinal Pell in prison. That would be the icing on the cake.

Who would watch the oscars?

The Oscars are on. But who would want to watch preening parading women bursting out of their scant frocks and waving #metoo flags? Who would want to witness the vulgarity, the squealing, and the political rants from actors whose thinking processes have not advanced beyond kindergarten? The number of talented actors who have made jerks of themselves in recent years through their puerile political opinions is disillusioning to put it mildly. Think of Robert de Niro.

In the beginning the Oscars was an elegant affair with actors maintaining dignity, letting their performances speak for them. The women were stunning, but modest, and the men handsome and reserved. They preserved the mystery of the film star. But all that has been shattered.

Publishing falls to the left

Ideologues Captured the Canadian Publishing Industry

In 2016, when I enrolled in the Master of Publishing program at Simon Fraser University’s Vancouver, B.C. campus, I had expected to find an industry of like-minded professionals who shared my love of the written word. And I did indeed meet many such colleagues. But I also got a glimpse into an industry that has become politicized to an extent that I scarcely could have imagined.

Publishing is not a career one chooses for the money. Nearly all areas of the industry are suffering economically. But since embarking on this course of study, I’ve found myself confronting challenges that have nothing to do with money. Regular Quillette readers will be aware that political and ideological forces have constrained the range of acceptable content in artistically and academically rarified fields such as creative writing (including poetry), media studiesmusic and performance art. What might be less appreciated is the manner by which these same forces are exerting pressure on the more mainstream area of publishing…

Read on…

getup!’s worker ants

Just before Christmas (23 December) I wrote the following on the ‘Vote Tony Out’ Facebook page:

The Votetonyout campaign is driven by Getup/Alinsky-type far-left fanatics. If you become a sucker to this paradigm leftist agitation, you’re supporting the full box of gender theory, white patriarchy, identity politics, whiteness studies, sexualisation of children (the Marxist safe schools program) open borders, radical redistribution of wealth, zero emissions, and so on and so on… Don’t be fooled by the ridiculous claim that the agitation is coming from ‘ordinary non-political concerned citiziens’. You could not be more gullible if you fell for that.

One would think after all this time that there would be no argument about GetUp!’s political pedigree. It’s Green-Left, espousing all the issues dear to the spectrum left to far-left. That seems a no-brainer. It took a while for someone to respond. A couple of days ago, this furious reply appeared from a female GetUp! worker ant. It’s as it appears.

Continue reading getup!’s worker ants

it’s behaviour, not system

Lidia Thorpe, an Australian of (very diluted) Aboriginal ancestry (AOAA) told 3AW’s Neil Mitchel that talk about rape and murder in the indigenous community is a ‘diversion’ from the real issue. The rape and murder is ‘not a result of what we’re doing as Aboriginal people,’ she said, ‘it’s what the system is doing to our people.’ She then changed from the present tense to the past tense, from what happens now to what happened then – colonisation, ‘stolen children’, and so on.

Billions of dollars have been spent on Aboriginal disadvantage from the time of Charles Perkins in the 1960s to the present day. AOAAs like Lidia Thorpe have grown up in mainstream Australian society enjoying all the benefits of that society, benefits that in Burkean terms are our society’s rights.

Continue reading it’s behaviour, not system