Monday, July 07, 2008

On Honour

There was a time when it was a given that Citizenship implied ascription to the ideals of honesty, respect, & selflessness; men and women swore to truth on their HONOUR, and under the watchful eye of their Creator. They upheld to Fear God, Honour the Queen, Love Thy Neighbour, and Obey the Laws - ON THEIR HONOUR.

Acting honourably means to demonstrate, accept, ascribe, or evince:

1. allegiance to moral principles
2. a person's good reputation and the respect they are given by other people
3. a. fame or glory
b. a person who wins fame or glory for his or her country, school, etc.: he was an honour to his nation
4. great respect or esteem, or an outward sign of this
5. a privilege or pleasure: it was an honour to meet him

The concept essentially boils down to this: You bring credit to yourself by acting with decency, integrity and/or valour for the sake of others, or in bringing credit to others through a selfless or noble action. Inherent to this is a clear grasp of respect for others, self-respect, and self-control.

They keys are decency, integrity and selflessness.

The impetus for posting this is The Blogging Tories granting of a seat of honour (of sorts) to the so-named Bill Whatcott, a self-confessed "glue-sniffer, thief, rent boy, rusticated LPN, and evangelical Christian."

My issue with Whatcott comes from his claim that:

"I got an image of the Order of Canada, crapped on it, wrapped it up and mailed it to the Governor General to communicate my utter contempt of her office, her arrogance, her anti-Christian/anti-life bigotry and the now corrupted and irrelevant Order of Canada in general."

THIS is what the Blogging Tories consider Honourable behaviour?

Celebrating an act of idecency directed at the representative of Her Majesty The Queen?

Celebrating contempt for the Vice-Regal Office, and thus for the office and position of their Lawful Sovereign Lady?

Celebrating the actions of a man who can only presume to know what thoughts beat in the heart of Her Excellency the Governor-General?

Celebrating (and presuming to join) the disdain of a former Solvent-Huffer, Prostitute, disbarred Nurse, and Religious Charlatan for the repository of Canada's Honour?

If these people are conservatives, then I am the Man-on-the-Moon.

This is NOT the behaviour of honourable, decent, conservative people. At least NOT the people I have known personally - and shared the appellation "conservative" with - for the last 45 years.

These people demonstrate no knowledge, consciousness, or appreciation for 300 years of the English Tory tradition.

No conservatives they. Rednecks perhaps, but Tories - NO.

Perhaps civilisation is doomed; Edmund Burke realised this in 1793 when he wrote of the Revolutionary Mob rough-housing the Queen of France to her eventual death.

"It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she had just begun to move in, glittering like the morning star full of life and splendor and joy. 0h, what a revolution! and what a heart must I have, to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall! Little did I dream, when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fallen upon her, in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour, and of cavaliers! I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult."

"But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded, and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Never, never more, shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom! The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise is gone. It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honour, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil, by losing all its grossness."

If there ever was a time for Honour, it is now. Some people however, are incapable of such Nobility.


At 12:12 am , Blogger Sir Francis said...

...sophisters, economists, and calculators...

...words whose aggregate impression fits the CPC and all libertarian-continentalists to a "T", as does "money-jobber", another of Burke's favourite terms of abuse.

In a way, Whatcott epitomises his CPC brethren: after all, he used his excrement as a vehicle of communication. He literally "talked shit". What better way to symbolise the essence of today's "conservatism"?

At 10:56 am , Blogger Ryan said...

If I´d known about this fellow beforehand I would have written a letter to the governor general expressing my disgust that this glue-nosed fundie had the order of canada to begin with. For the same reason, that is, that he has shown an implicitly anti-Christian attitude. You know, the one with Jesus...

At 2:04 pm , Blogger Matt said...

Very interesting post, and interesting blog more generally.

I was wondering if you've had occassion to read "Radical Tories" by Taylor? It is a meditation on the Canadian conservative tradition, drawing on its various strands in order to perceive its shared worldview.

Like you (if I may be so presumptuous), I fancy myself something of a contrarian when it comes to politics and even what it means to be a conservative. I would challenge you, though, to not completely throw the baby out with the bathwater. Toryism is not completely dead within the CPC. I say this with confidence because, though my views sometimes clash sharply with fellow self-described Tories (usually on foreign policy), I certainly do consider myself a Tory conservative. I remain active in the CPC not only because I think it is a far preferable alternative to the Liberal Party, and not only because I think it's on the right side of most fiscal and international relations issues, but also because I believe it is the only viable vehicle in Canada for even a muted toryism.

That recent display over at Blogging Tories notwithstanding, do you feel entirely certain that the CPC is truly antithetical to tory conservatism?

Keep up the good work on your interesting blog.


At 7:29 pm , Blogger Bill D. Cat said...

I wonder if there are any Canadian Tories ....

At 6:52 am , Blogger Aeneas the Younger said...


I read "Radical Tories" when it first came out - which makes me either precocious, or old. Actually, I am a precocious 45 year old man ... if that is possible!

I fully understand your attempt to find meaning in the CPC as a "conservative." I was a member and Youth Executive in the PC Party from 1979 to 1990.

Unlike you however, I came to see that Mulroney's continentalism and the general pro-American views of many so-called "conservatives" (most of whom were from the West, particularly Alberta and BC)represented the final death of the tory tradition & ideal within which I was raised - and within which I believe.

I refuse to tell a man how to live, but let me just say this: I have been there in the bowels of Ottawa (and I have run in the same circles as people like Harper, Jaffir, Kenny & Levant) and I cannot imagine common cause with them on many issues.

Some of them are republicans and others are Republicans. I hate both. Yes, I said HATE. I hold them in contempt. They are not tories. They are liberals.

It is the liberals of the left and right who have destroyed my Canada - the Land of the Loyalists.

At 6:54 am , Blogger Aeneas the Younger said...

Bill D:

Yes, we are still out here - and it is our intransigence that denies Harper (and Dion) his majority.

At 8:58 am , Blogger Matt said...

Fair enough, Aeneas. Just glad to see you still taking swings.

Would you honour me by exchanging links? I used to blog at The Dominion Pages, but my new page is:

I've already taken the liberty of posting to your site - hope that's ok.


At 6:07 pm , Blogger Fenris Badwulf said...

You are going red neck on us loyal progressives, Aeneas. Who the heck is Aeneas, anyway? Sounds like some dead white guy. Maybe you better change your nick to something more street person like. How about Umbugu?

All this talk of high standards is not going to get you on the seminar circuit here in Toronto, city of light. Ability is bad, you know.


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