You are here:   Columns >  Manchester Square > Ten more years
 
For this reason, the role of intellectual magazines such as Standpoint is more important than ever. Our scope is wider than that of more narrowly political periodicals. Our ambition is not merely to provide a running commentary on the ephemeral preoccupations of the Westminster village, but to defend the values and explore the achievements of Western civilisation against the relentless onslaught of the barbarians and philistines. Michael Gove encapsulates the contrast with typical aplomb: “Standpoint is the Athens to the Spectator’s Rome.”

When this magazine was launched exactly ten years ago, many gave us months at most. They underestimated the appetite of a discerning public for the “thoughtful and provocative articles” in this “splendid magazine”, to quote Gertrude Himmelfarb, the doyenne of American intellectual history. Loyal readers and generous donors continue to support our stand against the consensus of those too lazy to think for themselves.

We have just witnessed a troubling display of near-unanimity in British public life, not against our enemies but our allies: against the United States for reimposing sanctions on Iran and moving its embassy to Jerusalem, and against Israel for defending its borders against tens of thousands of Palestinians. Standpoint consistently opposed the Iran Deal and supported the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Implied in the violence on the Gaza border, however, is a threat to civilisation that Israel cannot but resist. Recall what happened in the Gordon Riots of 1780, once evoked by Dickens in Barnaby Rudge and now again by Antonia Fraser in her masterly new book on Catholic Emancipation: The King and the Catholics: the Fight for Rights, 1829 (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £25). She reminds us that some 1,000 Londoners were killed in the Riots, hundreds of them by the Army; dragoons charged to the rescue in Downing Street; a mob 50,000 strong wrought havoc, burning, murdering and pillaging throughout the capital, all in the name of “No Popery”.

For 18th-century Protestants, think 21st-century Palestinians. Who can doubt that if mobs from Gaza rioted in Israel, there would be similar — or much worse — scenes of carnage? Prime ministers, leader writers and BBC correspondents should hesitate before condemning Israeli soldiers for picking off Hamas or other terrorists among the rioters in order to prevent the kind of pogroms that Jews have endured down the ages. It is an illusion to think that such a Day of Rage could not erupt again in London. Were religious riots to engulf Europe, not only Jews and Catholics but everyone would suffer. And our troops too would have no choice but to shoot.
View Full Article
 
Share/Save
 
 
 
 

Post your comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.