THE preoccupation with coronavirus and the government’s catastrophically badly judged response to it risks making us far too insular. So an article by the veteran foreign affairs analyst Con Coughlin published by the Gatestone Institute reminded me. It brought me up with a start to realise how quickly I had forgotten about Iran – not so long ago front of mind and front of news as the second most contagious country after China. Coughlin writes that the ayatollahs will struggle to survive the oil slump, the latest setback to their regime.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, he reports, has tried to put a brave face on it. Rouhani would have us believe that Iran is unlikely to suffer as much as other countries from the oil price drop because it is less reliant than others on crude exports. But if that were the case, Coughlin argues, then Tehran would not be asking the IMF for a bailout; and Mr Rouhani, together with Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, would not be begging Washington to remove sanctions.
For all the regime’s attempts to claim it has everything under control, the country is teetering on the brink of collapse, and the ayatollahs are fast running out of options to save themselves.
You can read the full article here.
More news that the press’s Covid-19 immersion all but obliterated was ‘Earth Day at 50’. Ron Stein of New Geography has a post the Global Warming Policy Foundation website has republished which shows how every environmental doomsday prediction of the first Earth Day in 1970, from ecological collapse and the end of civilisation to warnings that the world is running out of oil, has turned out to be flat out wrong.
It is a must-read for climate science consensus sceptics and it can be found here.
Back with coronavirus, a kind reader alerted me to an article on VirtueOnline about archbishops advising priests and chaplains not to visit the sick and dying in hospital.
How far our risk-averse so-called spiritual leaders have departed from their belief and their calling is devastatingly set out by Judi Sture. ‘You would think, in these extraordinary times, that we could reasonably look to our Mother Church for guidance, wisdom and support’, she writes. Are we looking to the wrong church? Or simply to the wrong leaders, she asks?
‘Those who have somehow scrambled their way up the greasy poles to the gilded palaces of Lambeth and Bishopthorpe, and now inhabit tiny PC-worlds of their own creation seem to be ever-further removed from the world the rest of us inhabit.
‘Not content with closing, yes, CLOSING, every parish church in the country, thereby denying faithful congregations access to their own central place of worship and fellowship, the leadership of what is left of our Church has now surpassed even that . . .
‘Think that you can still rely on a summons to your priest or a hospital chaplain as you lie on your deathbed with Covid-19 or any other medical issue just now? Think you can expect to have your priest hold your hand, or at least pray with you and give some personal comfort and support as you lie there struggling? Well, think again, you forlorn hopers!’
Sture gives the hapless Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, described by her as ‘The Muppet-Designate of York’, both barrels. Her not-to-be-missed polemic can be read here.
Finally I’m please to be able to report on Christian Concern’s initiative and challenge to the Government’s dangerous decision to allow DIY abortions which we discussed here.
Christian Concern expects to hear the dates for the judicial Review imminently. Its case is supported by evidence showing the policy risks serious harm and injury to women and increased chances they will be coerced into the procedure which the Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe believes would not have been possible if Parliament were functioning properly. You can read the full judicial review application here.
Miss Widdecombe’s expert witness statement is here.