Category Archives: promiscuity

Coarseness and vulgarity of thought and of language

‘It sets upon a pedestal promiscuous and adulterous intercourse’: Mervyn Griffith-Jones

Dalrymple writes that in R v Penguin Books Ltd, the prosecutor, Mervyn Griffith-Jones,

seemed not to have noticed that society had changed since his upper-class youth.

Griffith-Jones

opened the case with such pomposity that he became a figure of fun ever afterwards,

and is remembered only for what he said in his opening remarks to the jury:

It does tend…to induce lustful thoughts. It sets upon a pedestal promiscuous and adulterous intercourse. It commends…sensuality almost as a virtue. It encourages…coarseness and vulgarity of thought and of language…It must tend to deprave…One of the ways in which you can test this book, and test it from the most liberal outlook, is to ask yourselves the question, when you have read it through, would you approve of your young sons, young daughters—because girls can read as well as boys—reading this book? Is it a book you would have lying around in your own house? Is it a book you would even wish your wife and servants to read?

The court erupted in laughter, Dalrymple reminds us, and

later, after the not guilty verdict, in a debate in the House of Lords on an unsuccessful motion to strengthen the law of obscenity, one of the noble Lords was reported to have replied to the question of whether he would mind if his daughter read Lady Chatterley’s Lover that he wouldn’t mind in the least, but he would mind very much if his gamekeeper read it.

The lure of fundamentalist Islam

Römische Ruine mit einem Propheten, 1751, Giovanni Panini. Graf Harrach’sche Familiensammlung, Schloss Rohrau (outside Vienna)

Römische Ruine mit einem Propheten, 1751, Giovanni Panini. Graf Harrach’sche Familiensammlung, Schloss Rohrau (outside Vienna)

Dalrymple points out that many immigrants to Europe are drawn to radical Mohammedanism because they see it as an antidote to Western degeneracy.

Those parts of Western culture they see are the least attractive side: gross promiscuity, the idea that one’s whim is law. They do not understand anything of the better aspects. If we lack the confidence to pass our culture on to our children it is hardly surprising we do not have the confidence to pass it on to other people.