Saturday, 29 January 2011


Do get ahold of this week's Catholic Herald. The back page column by Stuart Reid is always very well worth reading, and this week he demolishes 10 O'Clock Live in general and Jimmy Carr's lazy, nest-soiling, and now rather tired and dated Catholic-bashing in particular.

Sue Perkins was also at it on The News Quiz, with some certainly feeble and probably false anecdote about losing her virginity up against a statue of Our Lady. "I went to a mixed Catholic school, and there's a reason why there are not many of those." Sue Perkins was born in 1969.

Still, having watched John Sergeant tear it to pieces on The Review Show, and waiting for the likewise infinitely more intelligent 30 Years of An Audience With to come on, I did manage to catch the repeat of David "What Am I Doing On This Rubbish?" Mitchell's interview with Alastair Campbell. "Under Saddam Hussein, women had no rights whatsoever," the old monster lied astonishingly.

In reality, while our intervention in Afghanistan has merely failed to improve the lot of women, our intervention in Iraq has made that lot almost immeasurably worse. But Mitchell did not pick him up on it. Already an Observer columnist, perhaps he really does want into journalism. In which case, of course, you don't go around asking awkward questions of Alastair Campbell.


  1. Stuart Reid is great, and you are his natural successor.

  2. The first part of that is correct, anyway.

    He is wrong about the EU, but only because, like Auberon Waugh, he wants it to be Christendom. It isn't, and it never will be.

    Apart from that, he is splendid.

  3. The paleoconscience of the Catholic Herald speaks very highly of you, I suppose you are both part of the extended family at The American Conservative.

    His column is the main sign that proprietors or editors-in-chief come and go but the Herald will never be entirely lost to orthodoxy and could one day be brought fully back to it.

  4. Mitchell's Observer column this week is pretty good.

    Reid's traditional Catholic anti-capitalism and anti-war stance is very similar to yours. He writes about figures such as Dorothy Day and he is even a bit sceptical about the Ordinariate.

  5. Mitchell name-checks Saint Helena at the end, urging those two blokes from Sky Sports to enjoy it as the culmination of their Napoleon Complex.

    Yes, it's a good column. What is he doing on 10 O'Clock Live? He can't need the money. And even if he did, that wouldn't be a good enough excuse.

  6. re. Auberon Waugh's pro-EU stance: like much of what he wrote, it wasn't really serious politics, it was kneejerk support of something born out of kneejerk dislike of something else (in his case, that Americans were vulgar burger-munchers), combined with a desire to be as contrarian as possible in the context of Conrad Black & Barbara Amiel.

    Had he seriously considered the secular, left-liberal stance that the EU tends to encourage (which is why I'm more supportive of it than you are), he would, as you say, probably have been against it.